I’m half Italian and was blown away by Liverpool’s new authentic cafe

Francie’s Foccacia and Coffee is a quaint Italian cafe modeled after an Italian ‘focacceria’ – a type of Italian deli where freshly baked focaccia sandwiches are served alongside coffee and sweets.

They only opened last week, but have already established themselves as an exciting new place to visit. Half of my family is Italian, so I was looking forward to this visit, perhaps more than most, as a chance to taste all the flavors I was missing – and maybe even discover some new ones.

I grew up with home-cooked Italian food, so I looked for that same feeling when visiting. Their menu features familiar combinations like prosciutto (Italian ham) and mozzarella, and some that aren’t as well known, like bresaola (air-dried, salted beef) and parmesan.

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In addition to sandwiches, they also offer salads and anti-pasti dishes, the traditional first course of an Italian meal, which is usually served on a platter for everyone to share. The sisters, who have now expanded their business, also own a pasta restaurant, which the ECHO visited in 2020, but this venture has a more personal touch, as the new focaccia is named after their grandfather, Frank, who was from Genoa – a famous city as “the birthplace of focaccia.”

Sonia Veneziani-Rocha tries out new Italian cafe Francie’s Foccacia and Coffee at Albert Dock(Image: Liverpool ECHO)

It was a gesture that really stuck with me because it reminded me of my own grandfather who was from a town just two hours away. The cafe, based at the Albert Dock, not only has a diverse menu, it even serves wine. However, when I visited, I opted for the classic coffee and cannoli combination. Guests can choose to sit in or take out, making it a perfect choice to grab a bite to eat on your lunch break.

The interior is a bright, cheerful atmosphere in the colors of the Italian Riviera style, where you can watch the sandwich being made with fresh ingredients imported from Italy. I ordered an iced latte and a salted caramel cannoli, but their famous coffee specialty is a pistachio cappuccino with pistachio cream and crushed pistachios. Watching it prepare was a tantalizing sight.

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