• “No, I'm talking of the feel.” in 3 reviews

  • “Situated on the top end of Bold Street is a small, quaint cafe called, Cafe Tabac.” in 2 reviews

  • “It's at night that it truly comes alive however, with local artists, musicians and students conversing over beer, wine and cocktails.” in 3 reviews

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  • 4.0 star rating
    16/9/2010

    Tabac is situated at the top of Bold Street. It was established in 1974 and has undergone several reinventions in its time. It is a chic little place which is comfortable and welcoming. It is filling with arty looking regulars who hang out and put the world to rights.

    There is a large variety of dishes on the menu at Tabac, from a simple toastie to Tapas. They have different events during the week. On Mondays and Tuesdays there are film screenings, Wednesday is Jazz Night, and Thursdays to Saturdays they have local DJ's playing a range of music such as disco, soul and funk.

    Tabac has a laid back atmosphere. It is the sort of place you could spend several hours in without even noticing. Give the cocktails a try, they're really moreish and delicious.

  • 5.0 star rating
    1/9/2010

    'The original downtown cafe'

    Established in 1974, Tabac is a Liverpool institution that oozes bohemian charm. The walls are painted bright red, there's a flickering neon sign and the staff all look like they've stepped off a Godard film set. In the daytime, Tabac is a sleepy cafe where you can read the papers, sip a cup of java and fill up on healthy breakfast or lunch. It's at night that it truly comes alive however, with local artists, musicians and students conversing over beer, wine and cocktails.

    Every Monday and Tuesday evening, Tabac host film screenings of world cinema in the back room and on Wednesdays, there's live gypsy jazz. Thursdays to Saturdays, there's a mix of local deejays spinning everything from classic funk, soul and disco to old skool hip hop. The rest of the time, you can expect to hear everyone from Serge Gainsbourg to Arctic Monkeys blasting out of the speakers.

    The only thing that stops Tabac being the perfect continental coffee shop-cum-bar, is the lack of faded movie stars smoking endless cigarettes!

  • 3.0 star rating
    18/5/2010

    Tabac is a bit strange to categorise, during the day it acts as a cafe, and turns into a cocktail/wine bar at night. If I'm honest, during the day, the cafe side of things is poor, the staff often look bored, the service is horrendous and extremely slow. The food isn't all that great either, the menu is average and the price is quite steep for what you get.

    Due to the staff's lack of attitude, the place never seems to get cleaned up, empty glasses are often left on your table, and the toilets need a good scrub.

    However, everything changes at night... the atmosphere really perks up and the place turns into a trendy and popular wine bar. If you fancy a trip to Tabac, I strongly recommend a visit in the evening and avoid the food.

  • 4.0 star rating
    10/6/2010

    I love places like this.

    They're all over the shop in cities like London and in such continental climes as France and Spain.

    I speak not just of the tapas menu and the wines and the beers.

    No, I'm talking of the feel. Of the atmosphere. Of the cocktails.

    It's difficult to describe.

    But I'm a writer. I suppose it's my job.

    OK, here goes.

    Imagine, if you will, that state somwhere between waking and sleeping. That is - imagine that you fell asleep on the train and woke up within ten minutes or so of reaching your destination. You're groggy, all is hazy and out of focus, and you've that weirdest taste in your mouth. Your head is throbbing, but it's numb.

    Then imagine that, upon alighting, you immediately source a strong cup of coffee. The strongest available. It perks you right up, and that strangest of tastes in your mouth is now mixed with the acrid yet alluring bite of the coffee. Your head is now swimming, buzzing - and you need a drink.

    In the first bar you find is a comfy seat with a soft green cushion and some chilled beats over which a sultry lady is lilting sweet sounds in a language unbeknownst to you. This mixes with the satisfying soft thud of glasses set down on wooden counters and the amicable light chatter of the serving staff who are leant against the bar in this down time.

    It feels sort of like that.

    By day it's somewhat sleepy, but by night it comes alive.

    Always, though, is it electric. Always I leave with a warm fuzzy feeling in my chest.

    It does get somewhat crowded and noisy of an evening - people like that feeling, you see. But it's never anything other than beautifully atmospheric.

    We came for the drinks but stayed for the vibes.

  • 4.0 star rating
    10/4/2010
    First to Review

    Owned by the same woman who has Bumper, Baa Bar and Modo, this is different again from all the others. Fashioning itself as a retro, funky cafe-slash-bistro, this is also popular in the evening as a bar, as I found out from my little brother last week.

    Serving decent food in the daytime, it is more of a drink than eat place I think. Whenever I go in and ask what the soup of the day is, they never seem to know, and waiter service can be slow if there are more than 3 tables in. But it doesn't really seem designed for a proper sit down meal anyway - that just isn't the feel of this place.

    There's free wifi so you can usually find an array of people busily hacking away at their laptops here, and the music is subtle and unobtrusive, making it a favourite place for friends of mine to catch up on their work. It has potential to be a bit more than what it is at the moment, but it seems to be doing well so who am I to interfere?!

  • 5.0 star rating
    16/5/2010

    Tabac is a long standing feature in the Liverpool cafe/bar scene and for a while it seemed to get a bit complacent with itself.  I often found service was slow, the beer on draught was often rank and the atmosphere past 6 o'clock was a bit stale.

    Now, however, Tabac has had a bit of a kick up the backside and is back in the game.  It has a very continental feel to it, which is reflected in it very cool decor of 60s French film flyers and photos of Parisien streets and coffee shops, as the feel to the place is very laid back and it is time for a beer or a coffee at day or night.  The food is consistently good with a good breakfast selection, a variety of sandwiches and salads, the ubiquitous taps selection and daily specials of rustic main meals like stews and tagines.

    With its bread and butter being the afternoon coffee and lunch trade, little seemed to be going on at night in Tabac for a while but when I recently popped in one recent Friday night I was pleasantly surprised to find the place full with drinkers, DJs playing a good party atmopshere in full flow.  Seems like Tabac has got its second wind.

  • 4.0 star rating
    19/5/2010

    Are you having an  affair (with coffee or bacon butties), then cafe Tabac has got to be on your list to have that kind of assignation with your favourite indulgences. An experience which can only be improved by meeting a partner in business or love! For me Cafe Tabac oozes that kind of 1970's style and mystique and this is by daytime and even early evening visits. Just think about a place if it was host to the screening of 1960's cult movies such as "The Birds", "Room with a View", " Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" how cool that would be ... well not nearly as cool as Cafe Tabac really is , as not only does this category of movie appear regularly at evening screenings but so does the alternative of sweet soul music from the same epoch.

    Cafe Tabac defines retro and makes a powerful statement about how even within the acres of modern franchises, a small independent business can still carve out its own niche selling us coffee, custard slices and dreams of groovy past.

  • 4.0 star rating
    31/5/2010

    Tabac painted their little part of the town red. Seriously, everything is red. This gives the cafe bar a kind of lusty vibrant warm feel but on the flip side if you didn't manage to snag window seats it's a tad dark.

    I like Tabac especially for their hot chocolates (Add Baileys- I'm not joking- Heavenly) and it's a good shout for take-out if you're going to see a film in the bombed out church.

    And they do a scrummy beer and a burger for £5 at the mo. Although the food is usually up to scratch I had a chilli jacket here that the entire pepper pot must have been upended into because I was actually crying.  But I'm going to write that off as an off-day and give them the benefit of the doubt because it's a cool atmosphere and usually I have zero problemos.

    So when you see the swirly red neon sign wink 'Tabac' at you as you stroll down Bold Street (who could resist?) pop in for a beverage or a snack, just hold the pepper!

  • 4.0 star rating
    4/6/2010

    A cramped yet chic cafe/bar at the top of Bold Street, Tabac is your one-stop shop for cocktails of questionable manliness and pitchers where most of the liquid is in the form of frozen cubes. Whether you'd want to spend an entire night here is dubious. The artsy images stuck up on the walls are all very well but the place is so busy that you don't exactly get the room to stand and peruse them, stroking your goatee.

    The pitchers are the sole reason I come here. Throwing off the shackles of ale to buy a jug of blue stuff may be liberating but once you realise it's too early (and also just how much of a great big Jessie you look)  you can continue on your merry way, subtly fuelled by the luminous ice.

  • 3.0 star rating
    27/6/2010

    Tabac is at the top end of Bold Street on the corner of Chinatown. At this small café/restaurant, they serve a delicious range of Tapas and breakfasts daily as well as a selection of soups, hot speciality sandwiches and salads. I usually go for the 2 Tapas coming in at £6.50 but if that's not enough, you may wish to choose from their daily selection of Tabac Specials (as sign posted). Apart from the sometimes slow service, the food is adequate.

    This is a pleasant place to eat and is popular with students, plus they offer a 10% discount on presentation of a valid NUS card. If you're just looking for a drink, they also have a bar with a Happy Hour along with entertainment everyday between 6pm-9pm.

    • Qype User sweetd…
    • Leicester
    • 57 friends
    • 68 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    2/10/2008

    Situated on the top end of Bold Street is a small, quaint cafe called, Cafe Tabac.
    I first visited this place when I was a student. It is very popular with the student population mainly I think because it offers excellent food at really reasonable prices. It is one of those places that always seems to be busy. Although this may be due to the limited amount of tables it contains, I do feel it is excellent place to eat.
    You can order anything from beans on toast, breakfast, toasted sandwiches to things like italian, etc.
    I would advise anyone who is looking for a nice place to eat, or just have a drink to visit this cafe.

    • Qype User saxonw…
    • Liverpool, Merseyside
    • 2 friends
    • 51 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    18/11/2008

    I'm not so keen on this place - I refuse to go if my friends mention it! Tabac isn't bad, but it's not brilliant either. The last few times I've been it's taken ages to get served, and when the service came it wasn't really very good.

    The menu is very average for what it is, and the portion sizes (plus the quality of the food) are very average for the price. Bit disappointing. It's not terrible, but once bitten twice shy as they say.

  • 4.0 star rating
    6/5/2013

    Low lit place with banquet seating. On Mon-Fri mornings, they offer a huge fry up with a tea for only £5. Excellent value and friendly service. When I visited, every table was full and the waitress apologised for the wait on food which only turned out to be less than 15 mins. Free wi-fi too.

  • 3.0 star rating
    26/7/2012
    3 check-ins here

    Great place i stumbled upon today, a soup & sandwich + sparkling water for 7£. Both were just fine and good value for money. The place is nice and cozy, had a great wibe. they also serve cocktails, so i am deff going back to check those out.

    • Qype User godfre…
    • Liverpool, Merseyside
    • 24 friends
    • 109 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    18/3/2008

    A brilliant place to eat, drink, relax and enjoy chatting with friends. The menu is good with a nice variety of soups sandwiches and main meals. Friendly and efficient service.

    • Qype User cherry…
    • London
    • 4 friends
    • 163 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    20/11/2008

    Great place to eat, great atmosphere. Reasonable prices and good choices on the menu. Food is really nice and service has always been good when I've been.

    • Qype User wirral…
    • Merseyside
    • 4 friends
    • 78 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    30/11/2012

    The welcome here was warm and the staff friendly  if a little disorganised. The atmosphere was nice once you got used to it. The choice of name and decor make me feel like I'm inside an ash tray! Food is average and overpriced. Tea was not good.

    • Qype User emmaja…
    • Manchester
    • 3 friends
    • 11 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    3/10/2008

    Really like this place, friendly and welcoming service. Nice comfy relaxed seating in a small, but comfy setting. Good choice of menu and drinks, with excellent choice of specials too. Good Sized portions, the meatloaf is delicious.

    • Qype User wormho…
    • Liverpool, Merseyside
    • 1 friend
    • 20 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    4/2/2010

    I had heard about this place before I went and every time I go for food it is a huge disappointment. The service is abysmal and slow. Too slow in fact that it's far too casual and smelly for a long lunch or dinner. However, grabbing a hot chocolate at the bar, or a pitcher of booze in the evening is just what this place is best for. Nights are always pleasant here, never for food.

    • Qype User scouse…
    • Liverpool, Merseyside
    • 2 friends
    • 49 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    14/11/2008

    gay friendly bar set on the bohemian Bold Street - 'Bond Street of the North'! Food served.

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