Liverpool is a vibrant city known for its rich cultural attractions, world-famous waterfront, and the legacy of the Beatles. In addition to these renowned features, the city boasts a diverse array of bars and restaurants, catering to various tastes and budgets. From affordable lunches to romantic dinner settings, Liverpool offers something for every culinary enthusiast.
Among the wide selection of cuisine options, tapas holds a special place for those indecisive moments, where a variety of bite-sized delicacies can satisfy diverse cravings. Liverpool is home to numerous tapas establishments, serving everything from crispy patatas bravas and scrumptious meats and cheeses to delectable churros. A visit to this bustling city would not be complete without experiencing the best tapas it has to offer.
The History of Tapas
The concept of tapas, meaning “to cover” in Spanish and Portuguese, has a rich history dating back to before the 19th century when European roads were poorly maintained. This made travelling arduous and tiresome for individuals journeying between places.
To ease the strain of these long journeys, numerous inns emerged alongside roads, offering travellers a place to rest overnight and enjoy a meal. Given that many innkeepers lacked the ability to write and travellers often couldn’t read, offering a variety of tasty dishes in small portions made practical sense.
Thus, the tradition of serving a selection of available dishes at once on a “tapa” was born. Over time, this practice endured and continues to be popular even today. The tapas culture now thrives in various cities, including Liverpool, where it caters to diverse occasions such as small bites, group meals, and food-centric date nights.
Best Restaurants in Liverpool for Tapas
Salt House Bacaro
Located on Castle Street in Liverpool, Salt House Bacaro is a popular spot for those in search of delightful tapas. Drawing inspiration from Venice’s bacaro culture, you will encounter expertly crafted small dishes, perfect for sharing with friends or on a date.
In Venice, a bacaro is a casual pub where locals gather to enjoy delicious small bites accompanied by a glass of wine, known as an ombra. Salt House Bacaro brings this Venetian concept to the heart of Liverpool’s picturesque business district, offering a menu that caters to various tastes.
The menu’s diverse options range from succulent meats and fish to satisfying vegetarian and salad dishes. A mouth-watering selection of traditional small plates such as pancetta croquettes, deep-fried prawns and bruschetta, and delicious pizzettes ensures there’s plenty to choose from. Make your way to Salt House Bacaro for a memorable dining experience in a cosy, inviting atmosphere.
Salt House Tapas
Situated on Hanover Street in Liverpool’s bustling city centre, Salt House Tapas is an ideal location for a well-deserved lunch break after an eventful day shopping. With both popular high street retailers and the renowned John Lewis department store nearby, this stylish tapas restaurant offers a welcomed respite for weary shoppers.
As evening falls, Salt House Tapas transforms into a refined dining experience, boasting excellent service and a selection of high-quality dishes. Some highly recommended choices for a comforting meal include the potato tortilla accompanied by aioli, succulent lamb and pistachio meatballs, and triple-cooked chunky chips drizzled with bravas sauce.
Complete the meal by savouring their mouthwatering churros, a delicious bite-sized dessert perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth. To enhance your dining experience even further, pair your tapas with a refreshing glass of sangria. With its confident, knowledgeable service and a neutral yet clear atmosphere, Salt House Tapas is sure to leave a lasting impression.
La Finca Eivissa
Situated at 14 Back Colquitt St, Liverpool L1 4DE, La Finca Eivissa offers a unique dining experience inspired by the captivating charm of Ibiza town’s medieval streets, known for housing some of the world’s finest tapas establishments. The restaurant embodies the spirit of Balearic decor and serves a delectable menu of dishes.
Among the tempting choices, customers can enjoy Cauliflower Nachos, Tiger Fries, a personal Paella, and Albondigas. Complementing the cuisine, La Finca Eivissa boasts an extensive cocktail selection that overflows from the menu, covering almost an entire wall in the bar area. With a confident, knowledgeable, and clear atmosphere, this venue provides an unforgettable gastronomic journey.
Located on College Lane in Liverpool, Lunya is a multi-award winning venue that offers a unique dining experience, with a focus on Catalan and Spanish cuisine. The establishment is dedicated to preserving the tradition of Spanish-style dining, providing a taste of Spain in the heart of Liverpool.
The venue boasts a chic yet relaxed atmosphere, featuring a lively outdoor seating area that allows patrons to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant atmosphere. The menu includes a wide selection of cheeses, meats, banquets, vegetable and fish tapas, as well as their renowned deli platters.
For those seeking a more substantial meal, Lunya also offers an exquisite, freshly-prepared paella made with the finest ingredients, making it an excellent option to follow a variety of tasty tapas.
Located on Smithdown Road in Liverpool, Neon Jamon ranks high among the city’s much-adored tapas bars. Visitors can anticipate a vibrant atmosphere perfect for an enjoyable evening. The eatery boasts popular tapas options such as Fried Goat’s Cheese, Croquetas, Chorizo Rolls, and Mini Hamburguesa Con Peppercorn. In addition to their savoury dishes, guests may indulge in dessert favourites like Nutella Cheesecake and delightful Churros.
Mowgli, located on both Castle Street and Bold Street in Liverpool, offers a unique experience by combining the concept of tapas with the vibrant flavours of Indian street food. Patrons can choose from an extensive selection of small plates, such as Himalayan Cheese on Toast, Bang-Bang Chicken, Mowgli Chip Buttie, and the delightful Yoghurt Chat Bombs.
Inspired by the bustling streets of India’s liveliest districts, Mowgli’s dishes are perfect for sharing among groups of friends and family, offering an authentic and enjoyable dining experience.
Silk Road Tapas
At Beetham Plaza, 25, The Strand & Hope Street, Liverpool, the Silk Road tapas restaurant offers a diverse menu with dishes inspired by global flavours. While traditional tapas are of Spanish origin, the concept can include any small plate ideal for sharing.
Drawing from their travels, the founders of Silk Road have created an assortment of courses catering to various palates and dietary preferences. Additionally, the restaurant provides excellent offers, allowing customers to enjoy more dishes at a lower cost.
Located in both Bold Street and Allerton Road, Maray is widely regarded as one of the finest destinations for tapas in Liverpool. Maray specialises in delightfully flavoured small plates, ideal for sharing among friends or family. Their menu includes enticing meat choices such as lamb kofta and flat iron steak, as well as numerous vegan and vegetarian options, like roasted cauliflower and aubergine on toast. With its notable reputation for innovative, tasty dishes, Maray invites guests to indulge in a variety of their small plate offerings to fully experience the diverse flavours this Liverpool restaurant has to offer.
Located at 6 Castle Street in Liverpool, Black Barrel is a notable restaurant and rum bar that offers a remarkable range of delightful tapas-style dishes. These mouth-watering dishes come with an abundance of flavours, making Black Barrel one of the best places to enjoy tapas in Liverpool.
The establishment caters to diverse dietary preferences, from vegans and vegetarians to pescatarians and meat enthusiasts. Each dish is not only bursting with flavour but also visually stunning, making for an unforgettable dining experience.
Visiting Black Barrel is a fantastic idea, whether you’re touring the city or just seeking to try something new. Indulge in the rich and vibrant Mediterranean dining culture by savouring tapas in Liverpool and be prepared to experience numerous flavours in every small plate meal.