When you think of the word 'Al Fresco' you imagine sunshine, cocktails, Cicchetti, the smell of suncream and the sounds of waves hitting the rocks. Well, think again. 'Al Fresco' is now part of the new normal in Britain, think puffer jacket but with a t-shirt underneath in case the sun comes out. The term 'Al Fresco' originated in Italy however the Italians have two uses for the expression; to describe something as 'in the chill' or 'in the cool' or it can be used to say someone is in jail. (possibly from the fact that prisons have cold thick walls and aren't very warm. Perhaps it is best to avoid using 'al fresco' when asking for a table outside in Italy as you may as well be asking for a dining table in prison. Well, you're not here for a history lesson so let's talk about some distinctive spots in Liverpool for a bit of the al fresco spirit.
Salt House Bacaro,
47 Castle St, Liverpool L2 9UB
Dining al fresco in Bacaro is the closest you're going to get to dining in Italy if you are in Liverpool. Venetian small plates inspired by the bacaros of Venice, typical tavern-like eateries serving wine and small appetizers where the locals come to rendezvous. The menu has many sections such as: Charcuterie, Pizzettes, Meat, Fish, Vegetables etc. Their croquettes are legendary and the Black Pudding with Caramelised Onions & Marsala wine is such a hit it's never been rotated off the menu. There'd be guaranteed protests on Castle Street. The bar is also Campari themed so try the Negroni or if Campari's not for you then an Aperol Spritz is a perfect way to live up to the al fresco trend.
24 Hardman St, Liverpool L1 9AX
Buyers Club encapsulates that neighbourhood bar spirit. Tropically decorated with plenty of greenery, an outstanding wine selection and absolutely off the scale pasta. This is the Club you want to be in. Buyers Club more than caters to this al fresco dining scene with plenty of seating outside and no reservation is necessary as they are operating on a walk-in only basis. The House Foccacia with whipped ricotta is a must-try as well as their fresh pasta, Pappardelle with n’duja, pork & fennel sausage with mascarpone was our favourite!
Cains Brewery Village, Liverpool, L8 5XJ
A dynamic multi-purpose venue constructed from re-purposed materials, known for hosting Liverpool's famous Bongo's Bingo, now has an outdoor garden featuring popular food stalls within shipping containers. Current food traders include the taco legends, Madre, the up and coming sourdough pizza company, Pizza Cake and word around town is The Bagelry are set to join this vibrant al fresco destination this month. Raining outside? No problem! Get yourself under one of those shipping containers and feast upon the various food offerings this ever-expanding complex has to offer.
The Pen Factory
13 Hope Street L1 9BQ
The Pen Factory has been doing al fresco dining before it became a post-lockdown trend. They are luckily in possession of an outdoor dining space that traps the sun nicely and is beautifully surrounded by leafy shrubbery. Set to re-open on the 19th of May, don't miss out on their small plate menu offering fresh and local produce. The Pen Factory is the perfect place for a spot of lunch or a relaxing evening dinner. The menu is ever-changing so expect plenty of new dishes to try each time you visit. Al fresco dining at its best.
6 Atlantic Pavilion Albert Dock L3 4AE
Tacos, Margeritas and the great outdoors! A perfect scene! Madre can be found at the sought after hot spot, Albert Docks. The menu dedicates an entire section to the Taco fans or maybe your demons prefer something from the charcoal pit, just hear me out...Coconut Smoked Arbol Chicken!! 5 star location, 5 star food, 5 star al fresco vibes.
Bombed Out Church Garden Bar & Cafe
Leece St, Liverpool L1 2TR
Al fresco dining doesn't have to be strictly restaurant style. St. Luke's Bombed Out Church is the idyllic setting to cater to the al fresco style. Stunning location with superb wood-fired pizzas on the menu from Volta Gabanna and craft beer from Chapter Brewing, this outdoor dining space is truly unique. A perfect setting for a romantic date in the evening or for enjoying a beer with some friends.