The Egg Café, Top Floor, 16-18 Newington, Liverpool, L1 4ED – Visit Now
It may be one of the more understated options for food in Liverpool, but what the Egg Café does, it does well.
There is something delightfully unpretentious about the Egg Café. Perhaps it’s the wide selection of homemade cakes resplendent in delicious wedges on the counter. Maybe it’s the freshly-made salads, doled out in portions so large they could be the subject of a Seinfeld episode. Or it could be the reassuringly large mugs of inexpensive filter coffee. Its unassuming appearance (a rarity in Liverpool) certainly helps: the entrance is a doorway smothered in purple paint and hand-drawn gold swirls. It’s hidden in plain sight – concealed from the casual stranger, but obvious to those who have wandered down Newington knowing what they are looking for. Climb a rickety flight of stairs and you’ll find yourself in a place as close to the heart of some Liverpudlians as Pierhead, or the Albert Dock.
Part café, part gallery, part late-night performance space, the Egg Café feels like one of the last outposts of old Liverpool, a comforting foodie anchor in a constantly changing city. Open since 1984, this vegetarian/vegan restaurant has quietly got on with nourishing generations of Scousers while the city roared, rebelled and redeveloped around it. During that time, it has gained a reputation for being one of the most warm and welcoming cafés in the city (a quick peek on Yelp shows just how many first-time visitors have fallen for its charms).
You won’t find any chia seeds, spirulina or massaged kale here
OK, so the food won’t win any awards for originality but, at the same time, you won’t find any chia seeds, spirulina, massaged kale or banal “eat clean” mission statements here. Instead, the Egg just serves up hearty vegetarian and vegan-friendly fare that rarely changes from a set menu; veggie Scouse with spiced red cabbage on Mondays, lip-smackingly delicious Tandoori mushrooms with yoghurt mint dip on Wednesdays, and so on. There’s also a fine array of homemade quiches, soups and salads, which all come in gigantic portions, but leave you with change back from a tenner. We also raise a mug to their outstanding breakfasts – if you can find a better vegetarian full English in Liverpool for less than a fiver, we’ll eat our ethically-sourced hat. You won’t find alcohol being served on the premises but they do have a liquor license, meaning you can BYOB to go with that veggie curry if you’re dining there of an evening.
Above everything else, the Egg Café is well loved because there really is no other place like it in the city. Going there is like walking into a friend’s house (a friend that likes to do an awful lot of baking, at that). Last time we visited, all of its canteen-style tables were filled with members of the different tribes that make up the city; old men discussing the football, Mums coaxing toddlers to eat tangerine segments, shaven headed hippies slurping up giant bowls of soup and a gaggle of foreign students gossiping at a hundred miles per hour. It’s a true Scouse original, laden with its own idiosyncrasies and full of heart. And cake. Really good cake.