I finally got to visit Liverpool’s Baltic Market, an indoor food and drink market with a twist, located in the trendy Baltic Triangle area of the city.
The arrival of something like the Baltic Market was way overdue in Liverpool, a city which is constantly developing and becoming more exciting month upon month. The fact that it’s the first of its kind in the city means that the Baltic Market gets the best of the best local traders, as well as being THE new place to be every weekend – the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing when we visited on a Saturday afternoon.
The market takes place in the old Cain’s Brewery building four times a week (midday-late Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and Thursday evenings). A mixture of local restaurants and traders sell their produce; on our visit these included Little Furnace, makers of wood-fired artisan pizzas, Timmy Tikka’s Indian street food, and The Midnight Delivery, a dessert delivery service famous for their ‘doughnut fries’ to name but a few. As well as the food, there’s a large bar in the centre selling local craft beers, and a space for live music which had a DJ playing when we visited. The whole place is really cool, with a large social space in the middle and extra seating outside for sunny days. Oh, and it’s dog friendly, and brings together some of the cutest pets in Liverpool every weekend!
Asian food is one of my favourite things in the world, so I was immediately drawn to Pao, the Asian street food stall, for some steamed bao buns. These are a kind of Chinese light bread roll, which are super soft and squishy and come with a filling of your choice. I tried these when we were traveling and absolutely loved them but haven’t had them since. Pao serve two decent sized baos of your choice for £9. I went for the sticky sichuan pulled pork bao, with pickled cucumber, red cabbage and coriander, and the vegan deep fried tofu bao, with black pepper ketchup and pickled shiitake mushrooms. This was a really good combination because they couldn’t have been more different from each other. I surprised myself by actually preferring the vegan option – I’m a lover of tofu, especially when it’s fried and crispy like this, and it went so well against the softness of the bun.
One thing that’s become synonymous with the Baltic Market are the halloumi fries which have taken Instagram by storm, so of course I had to try these. I got them from Hafla Hafla, a mezze stall which is unfortunately going to be leaving the market soon. However, a new stall specialising in halloumi fries is due to arrive, so the people of Liverpool will still be able to get their fix. I can confirm that the halloumi fries definitely live up to the hype, they’re basically just like regular halloumi but new and improved with a crispy batter on the outside, and covered in a chutney-like sauce, onions and pomegranate seeds. One portion contains so many of these salty, chewy delights that I even started to find them sickly towards the end (unlike me), much to the delight of Jordan who finished mine after polishing off his own lot.
By this point I was stuffed (after fitting a few beers in too) but I knew I had one more food choice in me, and I was really curious about the vegan fried ‘chicken’ on offer at the Down the Hatch stall. Rather than opt for another main I just had the side of ‘satan’s bits’, which were a sort of vegan version of popcorn chicken. The ‘chicken’ is made from seitan, a type of wheat gluten, but just like with real fried chicken all of the flavour comes from the herbs and spices in the batter. These were strange but good, the batter was nice and crunchy and there were loads of extra scraps of it in the pot, plus I got loads for just £3. If I wasn’t so full I definitely would have tried something bigger off their menu. Next time!
I absolutely loved the food, drink and overall vibe of the Baltic Market, and I really wished it had existed when I lived in Liverpool. Nevertheless, it’s just another thing to add to the long list of reasons for me to go back whenever I can!
If you liked this, read my blog post about what makes Liverpool so great, here.