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Free State Kitchen is an American street-food restaurant that happens to find itself on Maryland Street, oh yes (it’s the free state, see?). With Stateside classics such as juicy burgers, pulled-pork baguettes and heavenly pastrami on rye, Free State Kitchen has been mining a resurgence in the popularity of such fast-food-done-good cuisine since it opened in 2013.

With their juicy burgers, generously stuffed pulled-pork baguettes, and heavenly pastrami on rye, they’re a shot in the arm for the maze of backstreets between Hope and Rodney and the best excuse to head uptown for a recession busting meal we can think of.

It’s not just burgers, dogs and dripping meat though. The menu focuses on East Coast cuisine so think Maryland Crab Cakes, Seasoned Clams and seafood, home cured Pastrami, seasonal salads, mac’n’cheese, Buffalo Wings and Baltimore’s favourite sandwich, The Scooch.

Expect deli sandwiches – the kind that makes you wonder how anyone in America is still able to walk, east-coast-style seafood, chowder, sweetcorn fritters, seasonal specials, home made desserts and sundaes.

And we couldn’t not mention the buffalo wings – hot and meaty in a buttermilk marinade. Another FSK celeb is the Onion Burger: beef, garlic butter, caramelised onions, Dijon mustard mayo and Swiss cheese. Yum.

There’s also a range of daily specials, sweet pies and ice cream sundaes, all made in-house with as much local produce as possible: Larkin’s Farm, The French Corner Bakery, Bexley’s Butchers, Cheshire Farm Ice Cream and The Liverpool Cheese Company.

What’s more, if you can’t stay for food they do a take-out service too. Fed, up, tired and hungry after work? That’s dinner wrapped up then.

You can enjoy craft beers and cocktails while you dine – or head outside in Summer to enjoy a drink outside. There really aren’t too many beer gardens in Liverpool, so make the most of Free State Kitchen’s.

The beer isn’t strictly East Coast, but it’s often American in origin or inspiration (Sam Adams, Pabst, Brooklyn, Goose Island and Anchor among them). There’s 20% off wine every Tuesday too.

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That stunning garden out back? It’s great for al fresco dining, parties or enjoying a coke float. It really is one of the city’s most beautiful, if overlooked, spots (it used to be a convent garden, which explains the statues).

There are markets selling Vintage records, bespoke clothing and jewellery, retro furniture and artisan bakes to enjoy during the Summer. Plus live music.

Combining locally-sourced ingredients with East Coast cuisine, this Georgian Quarter eatery may be oh-so on-trend when it comes to the current popularity of meat juice dripping down fingers, but it’s a cut above most ‘dirty food’ outlets. And it’s not trying as hard. At Free State Kitchen the food does the talking.

Free State Kitchen opening times

Mon-Thur: 11.30am to 9:30pm
Friday: 11.30am to 10:30pm
Sat: 12pm to 10:30pm
Sun: 12pm to 8pm