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Top 10 Liverpool: Full English Breakfasts

A heroic trail through the fry-ups of the city centre. These are the ones that make it into the final

Written by . Published on November 6th 2014.


Top 10 Liverpool: Full English Breakfasts
 

IF YOU thought a full English was something you ate to cure a hangover, then you really ought to question your novice approach to alcohol. It doesn't work.

 For the rest of us, it’s a protein-packed treat which doesn’t have to kill you to make you stronger - and is all the better if you aren’t cooking it.

We at Liverpool Confidential spent the entire month of October eating FEBs around Liverpool city centre, lots of them. We’ll do the suburbs, we’ll do other kinds of breakfast another time, when we've recovered.

Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking this kind of exercise is fun. There are more than one or two glaring omissions in this list and that is because they were truly awful. 


THE CONFIDENTIAL CRITERIA

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Sausages:
Good juicy, meaty with well seasoned filler. None of that "99 per cent pure pork" nonsense that supermarkets and farmers markets dish out as “Finest” or “Gourmet”. Those are the sort you pretend to like - even though, in reality, we are dealing with tough, flavourless mystery pork. And let’s face it, dear friend, you have come too far on this earth to allow any sort of mystery pork a place in your mouth or anywhere else.

Black pudding: Rich, robust and sassy, please.

Eggs. Large, free range ideally. Fried, poached or scrambled. But, they must not be the miserly tiny variety.

Heinz Beans: Go on then, but be careful where you put them.

Toast: Ideally fried in dripping, but it's not going to happen. Instead, best cut by hand from a fresh, springy, gutsy bloomer, served hot and saturated in butter, or with a nice big ramekin of the stuff. No prepackaged catering pats, that's nanny state.

Hash browns: Yes, yes, we know they have no place in a traditional English fry up but they are here to stay. Resist the freezer cash n carry bag. How hard can it be to grate a spud, a bit of onion and lash it into a pan to go gold?

Mushrooms: Not stewed. Any big black-gilled variety, with plenty of attitude, fried off until most of the water has left and liberally seasoned.

Bacon: Can we have some flavour please? And most of the fat rendered crisp on the edges, instead of a flappy white reminder of last night’s stomach surgery on Embarrassing Bodies? It can be smoked, it can be plain, but it can't reduce to the size of a postage stamp after the injected water has drained away. Mmm.

Tomatoes: If you must, but try to use your imagination and never, never, never from a tin.


 

81 Renshaw 481a Renshaw Street: Lots of banger for your buck

Full English, £4.95, 81a Renshaw Street, L1. All day.
You get a goodly amount for your money at this cafe and arts venue, including tea or coffee (can’t vouch for the former but the latter was so nice we had seconds). Good quality ingredients include two fine meaty sausages, lovely sweet cherry tomatoes, properly cooked button mushrooms. Beans were coralled in a ramekin. If the two bacon rashers could have been crisper, the toast (two rounds) fresher, any small criticism is washed away by thoroughly agreeable surroundings: furniture inspired by John Lennon's Aunt Mimi's back parlour mixed with a whiff of eccentricity and a general air of quiet contentment. 

Bill'sA big bill from Bill's

Bill’s Breakfast, Bills, Thomas Steers Way, Liverpool 1, until noon. (Bill’s Breakfast Basic: £7.95 - baked beans £1.00 -  black pudding £1.50 - with crispy potato 1.25. Total: £11.50)
Sterling effort which will cost you lots of Sterling from the new kid on the block at Liverpool ONE. Four sweet n smoky rashers languish artlessly over two fried free range eggs which, in turn, weigh down big thick slices of buttered, toasted bloomer. Stand back, these short Cumberland sausage links are lethally juicy, fat and flavoursome.

Then the cost starts to ramp with beans, black pudding (two rings, unremarkable) and “crispy potato as add-ons, the latter a well cooked but not-overly-dominant hash brown cake which will see you through all your carb needs for 24 hours.

Cafe Tabac-001Cafe Tabac: More than acceptable

Full English, £6.50 - Half-sized serving: £4.50, Cafe Tabac, Bold Street, L1. All day.
The textbook fry up from the little cafe that has been nourishing ne’er do wells for decades.

Two fried, free range eggs,  lacy crisp on the edges,  two generous slices of sweet back bacon, two thick, meaty bangers straight out of the pan and easy on the fork. Hash browns from Costco, hmmm. Heinz beans, regulation black pudding, a generous amount of mushrooms, expertly fried off, and a tomato which was better than most. The great thick slab of toast, dripping with hot butter (bread supplied daily from Antoni's bakery) makes it memorable. A very good choice if you don’t know when you are going to eat next and are up that end of town. 

Camp And FurnaceCamp And Furnace: sausage sensation

Camp Breakfast, Camp & Furnace, Greenland Street, L1. £6.75 and rising to £9. All day.
Succulent and truly excellent pork and leek sausages, maple-cured bacon and ballsy black pudding, all from Williams butchers of Flint, were the outstanding features, served with a buttered thick slab of toast and other loveliness.

This is another basic plate where you add on items to make up the final meal. With a huge pint of fresh orange juice over ice, and unlimited tea and coffee, this is not to be dissed as hungover hipster territory.

The Baltic Quarter has two-hour free parking and it’s an impressive venue for a brekkie meeting, with the best log fire in town, every day of the year. 

 C Hitch 2

Clove Hitch: Mostly very good indeed

Clove Breakfast £8.50, until 4pm. The Clove Hitch 23 Hope St, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 9BQ.
This was certainly not the cheapest we tried but it was sizeable and the quality, mostly speaking, was excellent. Two decent rashers of back bacon and two good fat meaty sausages were outshone by soft, rich black pudding.

Among the rest, a perfect fried egg, field mushroom with good flavour and cooked just so, beans, and hash browns – little more than potato and seasoning but a well judged balance between coarse and smooth, gently pressed into two discs that were quite possibly the best things on the plate.

The only letdown, aside from the regulation packaged butter, was a sad, poorly cooked half of tomato, its inferiority accentuated by the standard set by the rest. There's a smaller Hitch Breakfast at £5 and a veggie version, including grilled halloumi, for £7. 

Hanover Street SocialExcellent: Hanover Street Social

Full Social, £6.95, Hanover Street Social, Hanover Street, L1. Served until noon. 
Maybe the visiting stags and hens think this place is called Hangover Street Social for come Sunday mornings, this is where they head: regrets, they’ve had a few. But not for long, for HSS’s version of the full English is nothing short of a delight. Bangers, seasoned to perfection with just a touch of fresh herbs, squeal happy free-range Cumbrian pig, ditto the rasher of properly crisped bacon. You many only get one of each to savour, but this is brekkie is all about quality, not quantity.

Soft, crumbly black pudding from Stornaway makes you thankful that Scotland is still part of the Union. Two slices of hot toast, a proper generous ramekin of butter, earthy field mushroom and a tomato that actually tastes of something complete the picture. Special shout out for the long glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Excellent. 

Outstanding: Lox %26#38%3B CaperLox and Caper: Yolks as fat and orange as July 12

Full English, £5.95, Lox and Caper, Hanover Street, L1. Until 4pm.
What, no black pudding? Still, this is an absolute corker of a breakfast frorm the little social enterprise cafe next to the Bling Building.

From a choice of poached, scrambled or fried eggs, the fried boasted yolks as fat and orange as July 12 in Southport.  

Two huge poached versions were the sort you would marry the chef for. Good oak smoked rashers of back bacon and a big punchy Cumberland banger sang to the rest. Sauteed spuds and a sweet, charry, cherry tomato completed the feast. L&C was top of the Tripadvisor, list when we went, whatever that means. For brekkies it is fairly unbeatable. 

Mighty MooseMoose: Good for lost Americans

Mighty Moose, £7, with extras £9.75 Moose, Dale Street, Liverpool 1. All day.
There might not be an exact Full English on the Moose menu, but you will certainly leave the Dale Street diner very full. 

 Moose looks to the US for breakfast inspiration and both here and Over There you will find no shortage of takers for this authentically supersized fare.

Small it ain’t. Not when you’ve added three chipolatas (£1.75) and a tomato (£1) to the Mighty Moose which already comprises two over-easy eggs, two slices of back bacon and toast.

But the main event lies underneath this groaning mound: a potato/onion bash-hash which rises ominously like Mount Rushmore and spreads across the entire plate.

One if you are an American pining for home or think eating a couple of pounds of spuds in one go is cool (it isn't).

OK: The QuarterOK: The Quarter

Full Quarter Breakfast - The Quarter £7,95, with add-on beans £8.95. Served until noon. 
The Richard Curtis/Notting Hill vibe is what you come for here, the morning after the night before, perhaps with a delicate Julia Roberts-type flower in tow. The ambience and setting swings its inclusion here when otherwise it would have struggled. 

Our operative arrived at 11.55am for breakfast and was paying the bill and out at 12.17pm. At the higher end of the breakfast budget spectrum. Want baked beans? It’ll cost ya. Two rashers, two eggs, two fat beef tomato halves, a freezer hash brown, sliver of field mushroom, slice of black pudding and one sausage were OK, rather than memorable. Orange juice comes out of a plastic bottle. As our reviewer Fat Git might say: "You would probably like it."

ShirazBargain bin: Shiraz

Full English, Shiraz,  North John Street, Liverpool, 2. 8 breakfast items plus coffee/tea £4.95 ♦ Smaller breakfast available for £3.95 ♦ Orange Juice £1.80
Shiraz is renowned for its unashamedly monstrous plate of fried goodness, magnificent for a belly bursting session. Lashings of tasty bacon, perfectly cooked eggs – crispy around the edges, melty in the middle – cheap and cheerful sausages, hash brown, black pudding, juicy mushrooms, nicely grilled tomato and baked beans to absorb all of those heady savoury sensations. Oh, and plenty of buttered toast to mop it all up.

Complimentary tea or coffee, but the orange juice is a must – freshly squeezed, pips and all. Service is easy-going; ambience is cosy, and the price is a deal breaker. This is everything you want from a greasy spoon, minus the grease. 

Liverpool Confidential restaurant critics dine unannoucned and get all their own tabs.

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30 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousNovember 6th 2014.

Shiraz.

AnonymousNovember 6th 2014.

Nothing wrong with tinned tomatoes in a breakfast. White pepper, white sugar, and stew them a bit.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 6th 2014.

Hangs head in despair

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

1960's tomatoes

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

Essential to a full scouse breakfast

WackNovember 16th 2014.

Scousism wasn't even invented in the 1960s

AnonymousNovember 21st 2014.

It didn't have a name in the 1960s. Tomatoes did.

John BradleyNovember 6th 2014.

I remember Ulster Fry 110% fat 103% salt. Used to be able to get it from a local butcher, sliced on the bacon slicer.

London FryNovember 7th 2014.

Good list. Lox and Caper is the best in the city. Lovely place and lovely people.

GaryNovember 7th 2014.

You missed Bretta & Co, the best Liverpool breakfast with enough choice to please everyone!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 7th 2014.

"Gary, owner of Bretta & Co"

Ian RNovember 7th 2014.

Siren is defintely worth a mention too. That's my favourite at the moment.

AnonymousNovember 9th 2014.

Best breakfast in town is cafe 31's mega breakfast (Mathew street) tried nearly all of the ones mention above, and 31's win hands down

Professor ChucklebuttyNovember 10th 2014.

Right! I'll tell you what's wrong with most of these. They don't look right. What the bleedin' hell's this supposed to be? I'd be thinking. I don't want it designed by Laurence Lleweggon Bowen. I just want a proper half decent breakfast. I want a round plate for a start and I don't want a series of little bowls coming with it. What's that about? Yer daft gets! A bowl for the beans and a bowl for the black pudding? What am I going to do with them....I'll tell you, I'm going to tip them out so the beans and the black pudding is on my plate, where it should have been in the first place. And would it do you ay harm to butter the sodding toast? And the toast is the one thing that should come on a different plate, not stuck in the middle of the breakfast, or worse still, you have decided that I want my eggs on top of it. I'll decide what to do with the toast thanks, unless I order something with the words...ON TOAST. The only breakfasts in these photos that look like a breakfast should are the ones in the Tabac and the Shiraz one. And listen, as for the tomato- fresh sweet caramelised under the grill is nice but I'll settle for tinned anytime if the best you can do is a raw one. Cook the thing or give me some tinned ones. Finally, like the author I too have come to accept the hash brown. I don't want it but I;m not going to make a fuss. Put it on if it makes you feel better or you want to pretend to be an American. But if you stick mashed spuds like one of the idiots up there or put bleedin' chips on it I'll chuck it at you. I don't know what kind of a lout would expect or have chips with a supposed full English Breakfast. And cut up the mushrooms, don't just put one big one one. Apart from that I'm easy. Unless you give me burnt toast! I want the bread toasted burnt so that means having NO black bits on it.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyNovember 10th 2014.

Will that be in your LCR mayor manefesto?

Friar TuckNovember 16th 2014.

None of them have fried bread! Probably healthier than these evil foreign 'hash brown' things as well as tasting a lot better.

friar tuckNovember 16th 2014.

Well said, Professor!

Joe49November 11th 2014.

Bacon, eggs and tinned tomatoes are a definite once a month Saturday morning treat in our house. The tomatoes must be Cirio (or equally good) mashed in a saucepan with water added to produce a decent amount of gravy. Fry the bacon then the eggs in the same frying pan. Keep bacon and eggs warm on the serving plates and add the mashed tomatoes to the frying pan and 'deglaze' the bacon juices. Pour over the plated bacon and eggs, add a decent squirt of brown sauce and eat with lots of thick sliced bloomer. The combination of runny egg yolks and tomato gravy at the end of the meal is heavenly. Do NOT serve black pudding or beans with this. Thin sliced Spam with crispy fried edges instead of bacon also works well.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Joe90November 16th 2014.

You can keep all that poncy swill! Lark Lane is it?

Toast ToastNovember 14th 2014.

The only place for breakfast in Liverpool

Sam LooverNovember 17th 2014.

I've been to Bill's in Brighton. Pricy and awful. A vegan had two halves of a tomato on a piece of dry toast for £7! Apparently their hummous isn't vegan.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 17th 2014.

A vegan would probably think two halves of tomato on a piece of dry toast was a banquet. How do you mean their hummus isn't vegan? What do they make it with? Lard?

Bernard MatthewsNovember 17th 2014.

Chicken peas?

AnonymousNovember 17th 2014.

Surely a precious, sensitive vegan wouldn't see a poor tomato sacrificed just to satisfy her selfish desire for breakfast?

Nadyia LenninNovember 18th 2014.

Sound food and drink duke street , belter breakfasts in there

AnonymousNovember 18th 2014.

BEST BREKKIE IV HAD WAS AT RAPID IN LIVERPOOL CITY CENTRE BY ST JOHNS BECON ABSOLUTLY BRILLIANT AND COSTS ONLY £2.99 yes £2.99 BOSS!!!!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Old punsNovember 18th 2014.

Beacon and eggs

Alex KingDecember 4th 2014.

Popped int Shiraz for the breakfast this morning and it soon became clear that the reviewer was given special treatment. The eggs were great as was the speed the food arrived. Sadly, the bacon was truly awful... tasted like it had been cooked on Monday and kept warm all week. The sausages were almost as bad and the mushrooms are best summed up with a "Meh!" I don't do tomato so can't comment on the beans but the toast was awful... no butter, just a thin scraping of some sort of veg spread meant i wasn't about to even try it :( However, the most suprising thing wasn't how different it was from the reviewers experience so much as the fact that it is probably the only meal i have ever eaten that left me so bloated i felt uncomfortable walking yet still as hungey as if I hadn't actually eaten. A real shame really as I remember them being great when i worked around the corner and popped in most Saturdays.

AnonymousFebruary 23rd 2015.

Leaf, Leaf and more Leaf probably the best brekkie place in all liverpool, and second in my opinon goes to Barley and Beans

1 Response: Reply To This...
KnowlegeableFebruary 24th 2015.

Please refer to the sentence up the top about one or two glaring omissions...

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