The British love to eat out and if you've ever spent more than five minutes in the UK you'll likely have noticed that Italian as well as Indian restuarants are by some way the most common. You could say these two culinary heavyweights are fighting for top spot. Fighting to be recognised as the most loved cuisine in these Great British Isles. It's a battle that could go on, and on, and on, but here we'll focus on the Italian restaurants of Liverpool. Why? Because there are plenty of them and as Liverpool is one of the UK's most charming cities, it's well worth a bit of discussion on how Liverpool's Italian restaurants are too.
Italian restaurants in Liverpool and indeed all over the UK are popular for so many reasons that very likely stem from that Roman invasion that happened once upon a time – they brought a lot more than just roads and a water supply when they rocked up on the coast in AD 43 – but rather than a history lesson it's more worth talking about how accessible Italian food is today. By that we mean it's relatively cheap to prepare compared to some other cuisines and thus cheap to consume. But, it still feels like a treat and it's still mighty satisfying. The humble, smaller Italian restaurants of Liverpool feel like a homemade meal away from home, while the more modern ones offer as much chicness and luxury as you'll find anywhere. A meal at any one of Liverpool's Italian restaurants is a win no matter what.
Now, given such popularity over such a period of time, it's only natural that, as well as authentic Italian fare, you'll also find dishes at the Italian restaurants around Liverpool that have developed a few British traits. Essentially, dishes you likely wouldn't find anywhere in Italy. But that's ok because, as we said, Anglicised or authentic, the choice is yours. Whichever you decide is more up your street and whichever of Liverpool's Italian restaurants you eventually end up dining at, great tasting and varied food is as good as guaranteed. Antipasti, pizza, pasta and plenty more besides, now it's time to make your mouth water…
Pizza. Pizza. We'll say it one more time. Pizza… how hard it is to resist. How easy it is to eat too much. It's unlikely you'll find any Italian restaurant in Liverpool that doesn't serve some form of it and that's because it's one of the first things people think of when Italy is brought into conversation. We talked about Anglicised or authentic and with pizza it's kind of the same story – do you go for classically-topped or do you go modern and experimental? Thin base or thick? Either way, the task once you've made your decision is to then finish the whole thing. If you're sharing, no problem, but only a particularly hungry and brave being orders a pizza to themselves. Liverpool's Italian restaurants have all bases covered whatever your pizza preferences (or problems are), so have a gander and find one you fancy.
A quick scan of any good Italian restaurant menu in Liverpool will bring plenty of pasta to your attention. Probably penne, likely linguini, maybe macaroni and a chance of cannelloni. Whatever shape you choose will likely taste very similar, we admit, but the texture and the ways they each make up their respective plates? Well, they couldn't be further apart in that sense. For a layered lasagne that's brimming with meat, sauce and cheese, a pleasing swirl of tagliatelle or spaghetti that's fun to eat and better to taste when combined with fresh seafood or vegetables, or keep things simple with penne or fusilli and fresh sauce. The beauty of pasta – in whatever shape – is that it goes with anything, and any kind of Italian restaurant you choose in Liverpool will serve it fresh and proud.
We know, we know, all this talk about what to expect from Liverpool's Italian restaurants and none about where to find them. But fear not, here's a rundown. The best place to start is the city centre, specifically around Ropewalks, Duke Street, Hanover Street, that kind of area. There you'll find great restaurants like Dough Bar, Bellini and The Casa Italia, but truth be told there are gems on almost every corner. Just follow your nose. Fan out away from central Liverpool for Italian restaurants just as good, think Baltic Triangle, Vauxhall and Williamson Square. You're in for a treat wherever you go, so let the reservations begin. Buon appetito!