Avocados, acai bowls and that shade of pastel pink. If you could reel off every millenial cliche, Love Thy Neighbour would have them all covered. But aside from attracting us foolhardy type whose avocado on toast addiction is preventing us all from buying houses, the Liverpool cafe offers a relaxed brunch experience where you’ll start your weekend with that warm fuzzy glow. And anything remotely warming in this freezing winter weather is great with me.
The first branch of Love Thy Neighbour opened on Bold Street to great attention, mainly because of the giant ‘Avocado is Bae’ mural outside that’s become an Instagram sensation. But while the artwork remains, this restaurant is sadly no more. Instead, the Hatton Garden offshoot remains and it’s even attached to an equally photogenic hostel named Eat Sleep Love.
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While the thought of swathes of restaurants and cafes being designed specifically to be ‘Instagrammable’ is kind of weird, it’s this very specific form of photogenicness (definitely not a word) always drew in the crowds to Love Thy Neighbour. While the street art outside the Hatton Garden Love Thy Neighbour lacks the wow factor of the Bold Street version, I actually think it’s a much nicer place to enjoy a leisurely morning with friends.
For one, it’s a whole lot quieter. Rather than being situated on one of the busiest streets in Liverpool, Hatton Garden is just a little further out but still easily walkable. It’s just five minutes from my flat so strolling down there for a morning smoothie is an absolute breeze – if I could afford to do it more often anyway! As you walk into the restaurant, it instantly feels more spacious with a really chilled atmosphere. It’s usually fairly easily to get a table – although that could change now that it’s the only one in the city – and before you know it, you’ll be perusing the delightful menu in no time.
Fellow veggies and vegans will be thrilled to know that the menu is absolutely packed with delicious options and many of the options are gluten free too. While it’s one of my favourite breakfast spots thanks to the abundance of pancakes, smoothies and of course, avocado, it’s open for business all day with an equally tasty large plate menu to see you through past dinner. While I’m still to try their evening selection of buddha bowls and burgers (their vegan enchiladas are high on my list too), I’m highly experienced when it comes to breakfast.
For me, breakfast out used to mean the most unhealthy food I could get my hands on. From waffles loaded with bacon and fried chicken (honestly, even as a veggie I’m basically salivating thinking about it now) to giant pancake stacks topped with ice cream, I was an absolute sucker for a sweet treat. But recently I’ve noticed my tastes changing towards the more savoury options – maybe with a bit of gasp veg in there too. Plus, once I’ve found my favourite item on a menu, I struggle to deviate from it and that’s why I’d make a terrible food blogger.
In this case, my favourite brunch has to be the chickpea pancake. Originally I had my reservations; being a fan of everything from the fluffy American to the French crepe, I wasn’t sure if this gluten free and vegan variety was going to live up to expectation. But it’s unlike any breakfast I’d ever seen in a restaurant before and that’s why I can’t stop going back for more. In a place like that, you expect beautiful presentation and it doesn’t disappoint with a selection of bowls, plates and mugs that I immediately wanted to replicate in my own flat.
Rather than being piled high with sweet or greasy toppings, two filling pancakes are placed on top of a smoked tomato sauce, embellished with cherry tomatoes and then piled high with smashed avocado, watercress and hummus. Yes – hummus on a pancake. It doesn’t sound like it should work and it definitely doesn’t sound like it should be a breakfast but it surpassed all my expectations. Plus, it made me feel the tiniest bit healthy too, especially when combined with a smoothie blended from banana, matcha, spinach and oat milk. Emily went for her brunch classic – chilli and lime avocado on toast topped with poached eggs – and coffee which got a huge thumbs up too.
If you’re the kind of person who wants that perfect brunch snap for the ‘gram but don’t want to compromise on taste (unlike some Instagram sensations that allegedly have dry and tasteless cakes…whoops!), Love Thy Neighbour is the place for you. Whether you’re a Liverpool resident or a tourist on a city break, bring your friends and enjoy a relaxed catch up over some great food and drink because we all know that it’s doing what you love that matters.
Have you ever been to Love Thy Neighbour? If not, tell me your favourite brunch spot in your home city!