Liverpool student guide: Best bars, shops and more
Words by Matthew Smith
As another academic year begins at Liverpool’s universities, a new intake arrives to embark on an exciting adventure in the vibrant city. Your Move provides a definitive guide to Liverpool’s best bars, shops, attractions and more for students to explore.
Best Student Night
Love Wednesday @ Level
Fleet Street, L1
Located on Fleet Street, Level has quickly established itself in Liverpool’s thriving student culture since opening its doors in 2014.
The popular nightclub has seven bars, six rooms, three floors and a capacity of 2,600. Resident DJs also provide a wide range of music from house, electronic and urban to hip hop, bass and nostalgic dance anthems of the ‘90s.
On Wednesdays Level is transformed into the ‘Love Wednesday’ club night which has become one of the city’s essential midweek student clubbing experiences, with its laser shows, acrobatic displays, fire eating, aerial performances and special guest appearances.
Best Live Acts
Hardman Street, L1
Located in the pulsating heart of Hardman Street and a purveyor of live music since 1958, The Magnet harnesses Liverpool’s underground live music scene with its alternative rock, R&B and techno offering.
Having championed grassroots talent throughout its history, the basement venue has attracted a young Freddie Mercury and Brian May as well as Pete Wiley and reggae’s Gregory Isaacs.
Every Saturday the venue also hosts The Liverpool Comedy Cellar, which has attracted stand-up performers including Peter White, Justin Moorhouse and talented acts on the international circuit.
Coinciding with the arrival of thousands of new students, The Magnet will host a range of artists over the coming months. London-born Xam Volo brings his alternative and hip hop sounds, American indie-rock band Broncho also arrive in Merseyside and the hotly-tipped Mancunian alternative-rock quintet Cabbage will perform at the venue as part of an extensive UK tour.
The Tavern Company
Smithdown Road, L15
Established in 1990, The Tavern Company was Liverpool’s first Mexican and American BBQ offering and has since become a multi award-winning restaurant.
Located in student hotspot Smithdown Road, The Tavern Company has been viewed by many students during its 26-year history as the top place to go to for a chilled out recovery breakfast or brunch.
The restaurant’s breakfast was voted the ‘Nation’s Best Breakfast’ in 2014 and 2015 and, due to popular demand, is now served seven days a week from 9am until 2:30pm – so there is no rush for students to wake up any earlier!
Best Coffee Shop
Bold Street Coffee
Bold Street, L1
After an early start you might be seeking that hit of caffeine to set you up for the day. There are few better places where you can get that extra shot of espresso or a smooth Americano than the multi award-winning Bold Street Coffee.
Located on the city’s perennially popular Bold Street, its unique rich-tasting blend is at the heart of Liverpool’s independent coffee shop scene.
Interestingly, a host of interior designers, musicians, local photographers and artists have collaborated to create an authentic atmosphere, with the shop occasionally showcasing the work of local talent.
Best Record Shop
Bold Street, L1
Aside from main shopping hubs such as Liverpool ONE, the quirky shops oozing character on and around bohemian Bold Street offer unique finds for music buffs.
Dig Vinyl is nestled beneath the popular Soho vintage clothing shop and offers a range of carefully curated second-hand vinyl records and re-pressings. Customers have the opportunity to trawl through a variety of material from indie, soul and funk to punk, psych and techno.
Be sure to keep up to date with special events at Dig Vinyl, such as record signings, by talking to staff who share a genuine passion for music.
Best Sports Bar
Shooters Sports Bar
Thomas Steers Way, L1
Located on Thomas Steers Way in Liverpool ONE, Shooters screens.
Premier League fixtures, Formula 1 and live boxing. It also hosts weekly pool nights every Thursday for sports fans to participate in.
With pool tournaments and a dining menu resembling that of a typical American diner, the bar is a popular destination for Liverpool’s students due to affordable prices and Man vs Food challenges.
Best for Culture
Wood Street, L1
Unique to the city, Liverpool’s award-winning Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) specialises in showcasing innovative concepts across the creative media, art and film industries using forms such as virtual and augmented reality.
Current displays include immersive exhibitions forming part of the Liverpool Biennial and a free November exhibition entitled ‘No Such Thing As Gravity’ will allow visitors to explore scientific questions using a combination of art and technology.
With a cosy café, a bar, free Wi-Fi and a Picturehouse cinema with four film screens showing independent as well as mainstream productions alongside its gallery and exhibition space, FACT is a gem in Liverpool’s vibrant cultural landscape – the ideal destination for a rainy day.
Best for Casual Food & Drinks
The Shipping Forecast
Slater Street, L1
The Shipping Forecast serves a variety of craft beers, ales and lagers and also boasts an extensive food menu including the popular Sunday Roast and the student favourite – gourmet handmade and chargrilled burgers.
Popularity amongst students stems from the offers available throughout the week. ‘Late Rates’ provide discounts on drinks after 9pm from Sunday to Wednesday and after 10pm from Thursday to Saturday. ‘Tappy Mondays’ give patrons £1 off all pints from the tap, cask or keg and the ‘Two-for-One’ burger offer on Tuesdays makes The Shipping Forecast an ideal place to relax after lectures.