Not such a long time ago, the vegans and vegetarians among us may well have lamented that eateries designed especially for their tastes were few and far between in Liverpool. For those of us in the know, however, for the past eight years, Green Days Café has gone a long way in helping to fill that void.
Tucked away down a side street and above a shop, I don’t find it entirely surprising that a lot of regular visitors to Lark Lane have absolutely no idea that Green Days Café exists. While the truly pedantic could argue that the entrance isn’t technically on the historically bohemian street, even the most hair-splitting of folk would have to concede that the café blends in perfectly with the independent ethos of the area, working closely with the family-run Kolos Bakery in Bradford, The German Bakery in Liverpool, and Coffee Exchange in Blackburn.
Boasting décor that seamlessly blends together both hip and homely at the same time, Green Days Café manages to fit comfortably into the ‘shabby chic’ style that is ragingly popular at the moment. From the farmhouse style furniture to the empty plum tomato tins that house your cutlery, the moment you begin to climb the narrow wooden staircase that leads directly from the pavement you get the distinct impression that you’re being welcomed into somebody’s home. With walls peppered with photographs, paintings and prints of the likes of Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo, and music from Joni Mitchell and her contemporaries playing downstairs, that welcoming feeling doesn’t end once you’re seated.
The down to earth and personable attitude of Carole, the proprietor, resounds in this place- whether you’re just looking for a quiet place to relax, some casual chit chat, or whether you’re looking for in depth advice about which of the multitude of coffee varieties is going to suit you best. At quieter times you’ll be served as soon as you’re ready. On busier days you may wait up to 10 minutes to get served, but I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be acknowledged when you come in. And as anyone who has worked in cafés and restaurant- myself included- knows, managing to serve with a smile while running up and down between the two floors the café is contained in and still managing to greet every customer is no mean feat.
I have no doubt that every caffeine addict reading this will sagely concur when I assert that coffee shop prices in Liverpool have risen unapologetically recently. Despite this noticeably upward trend,Green Days Café has managed to remain comfortably in the cheap and cheerful range while keeping both their food and coffee quality impeccable. Expect to part with roughly £15 to cover food and drinks for two.
Expect also to be spoilt for choice when deciding on your meals, as Green Days’ charmingly handwritten menu offers a veritable wealth of vegetarian and vegan fare. If you’re looking for breakfast, that includes fry ups, continental breakfasts, pancakes with maple syrup, and- for the more health conscious among us- homemade granola, yoghurt and fruit. Toasted sandwiches, falafel, chimichangas, and spaghetti all form part of the lunch menu. Vegan alternatives are offered at every step of the way, with a special mention going to the homemade olive tapenade that appears on a selection of meals. And as with every café worth its salt, a selection of homemade cakes is offered to top off your dining experience. The food is hearty, the portions are generous, the ingredients are fresh and the attention to detail in presentation is enough to rival any café on the lane and beyond.
While we’ve both sampled a good percentage of the café’s menu, it’s rare these days that I and my favourite coffee shop partner veer too wildly from our routine when we visit Green Days Café. Initially finding the continental breakfast too big for one yet too small to share, Ronnie obligingly suggested making us a personalised mega-portion, and has remembered our order ever since. On a lazy morning, the three types of cheese, selection of bread, butter and jam topped off with delicate slices of carefully arranged fruits leave little room for improvement. On those days that we’re completely beyond breakfasting and lunch is on the cards, the chimichanga and toasted sandwich topped with halloumi and pesto are our go-to lunch favourites.
If you haven’t noticed by now, let me say in no uncertain terms that I’m a huge advocate of this place. Green Days Café is not only one of my favourite places to spend a morning, but also one of my top go-to places when I don’t feel like cooking. And now would be the time to admit that I’m not a vegetarian. I like my steak bloody and am particularly partial to any meal that contains seafood. This particular confession only goes to strengthen the ever expanding list of reasons to give Green Days Café a visit. Meat lovers, you will not leave still feeling hungry. You will not feel like you’re missing something on your plate. So go there. Try it out. And once you love it as much as I do, tell your friends. Help to turn this gem of an establishment into the lane’s worst kept secret. It’s truly deserved.
13a Lark Lane
(entrance on Little Parkfield Road)
0151 727 0783
By Blythe Cooper