Thought the Albert Dock was all hen do’s, Beatles fans and big chains? Think again.

Liverpool’s most famous dock is the master of reinvention. Engineering masterpiece, industrial powerhouse, naval base, morning telly backdrop, cultural centre, it’s been them all. And over the past year or so it’s started to redefine itself once again to fast become one of the city’s hottest foodie destinations with amazing independent gift shops, pop-up shops and more.

Welcoming over six million people every year, from locals to national and international visitors, the Dock is committed to being progressive and ever-evolving since its official opening in 1846. In addition to being home to the largest group of Grade I listed buildings in the country, the Dock is also located on Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage waterfront, a truly impressive location. It’s no wonder Lonely Planet added it to their UK ultimate travel list.

Here are some of our current Albert Dock favourites:

Madre

The mother of all Mexicans is the new kid on the dock. It’s the feisty, fragrant and fiery love child of Belzan and London favourite Breddos Tacos. So it’s no wonder that the tacos jammed with chicken pibil, quesadillas groaning with grilled cheese and sashimi tuna tostadas are top notch. If you’re a card-carrying carnivore you’ll devour the pigs head chicharron, if you prefer your heads of the vegetable variety, the whole cauli with salsa verde is a must.

Maray

Challenging Madre for best cauliflower on the dock is Maray. If you’ve been to their Bold Street or Allerton you’ll probably have succumbed to the moreish charms of their famous disco cauliflower. Maray is that rarest of beast. A restaurant that has an embarrassment of riches for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike. Expect buttermilk chicken, lamb kofta, aubergine shawarma, the best halloumi in town and chips slathered in filthy, spicy zhug. Sit upstairs to take in twinkly dockside views from the mezzanine.

Lunyalita

Another sibling of a city centre favourite, Lunyalita serves up a little slice of the Spanish magic that Lunya has been delivering for years. A Lunyalita meat and cheese platter and a bottle of red are what summer evenings are made for – we’re already dreaming of heady nights sipping rioja by the dock. Look out for the chicken strips coated in crisps, a Lunya classic, possibly the best tortilla this side of Madrid and dirty patatas bravas pimped with chorizo and crispy onions.

The Nest

The Nest is an art and gift shop selling the work of local artists, designers and makers. We aim to provide our customers with a unique opportunity to purchase something that is seen as “a little bit special”, without having to be exclusive or expensive. Local designers and makers are constantly showing us that some of the best design trends are set by them and followed by many. Therefore, we are so delighted to offer them a platform at The Nest and watch them all flourish alongside each other, while also showing off our great local talent to the many millions of Albert Dock visitors.

Dig At The Dock

Independent record store Dig at the Dock has arrived for a six-month pop-up at the Albert Dock, introducing a new name to the Dock’s diverse retail offer. Bringing a wide range of new and vintage stock to music fans of all ages, Dig at the Dock is building on its Bold Street shop, seen as the city’s premier second-hand indie record shop. The pop-up store will offer a range that goes well beyond vinyl with memorabilia, books, art prints and merchandise related to music and Liverpool.

photo by GetIntoThis

Peaberry Coffee House

Peaberry Coffee House is a go-to for laid back lunches, all day brunches and a constant stream of kick-ass buttermilk pancakes. It’s got a lovely relaxed vibe, burgers bigger than your head, flavour packed rice bowls and really great coffee. Head here in the summer and pop into their adjoining gelateria where the ice-cream, waffles, and doughnuts fly out the door.

Leather Satchel Co

The UK’s oldest satchel maker, the Leather Satchel Co. is a family-run leatherworking business with over 50 years’ experience handcrafting unique leather satchels – made with love and made to last. Treat yourself to a bag and help keep craft alive.

Rough Hand Made

Pies, pasties, the best pittas in the city, Rough Hand Made is the bakery of your dreams. Slightly misshapen, sometimes lopsided but always ridiculously tasty dreams. Everything is baked on the premises with passion, taste and quality the focus – not aesthetic precision. The classic pastries, croissants and bread are spot on, but it’s when the Middle Eastern influences of the husband and wife team shine through that the food here hits next level. Look out for spinach and feta rolls, amazing soups and those pillowy pittas.

Turncoat Distillery

Turncoat Gin was launched in 2017 from a Liverpool garage, fast forward 3 years and they’ve got their distillery, successful line of sprits and bitters, and now a secret bar on the Albert Dock. It’s an underground gem hidden in a basement and as well as hosting gin tastings serves up great craft ale, wood-fired pizza and afternoon tea.

Lost Soles

Known for its unique graphic prints, the store stocks T-shirts and other items from its current men’s and kidswear collections, with a range of in-store exclusive designs and re-releases of sold-out favourites, back by popular demand.

Pie Port

Satterthwaites, is a legendary bakery based on Coronation Road in but not so long ago they opened a new venue called Pie Port, situated in the Dock’s ‘Anchor Courtyard’. Having made a name for themselves in Crosby with their freshly-baked goods and use of high quality, locally-sourced ingredients, the couple are now bringing their much-loved pies to the iconic Albert Dock. 

Docklands Fish and Chips

There are days when only old school fish and chips will do. And that’s what Docklands do best. Chips fresh from the fryer, with fluffy interiors and crispy coats and flaky, meaty cod in light and crispy batter. If you’re veering from the classics, the homemade onion rings and calamari are spot on and it’s all served in cute cardboard boxes. If you can walk past with the incredible tang of salt and vinegar in the air you’ve got a stronger will than us…

Tate

See work from some of the biggest names in contemporary art for free? Thanks very much Tate Liverpool. They’ve brought some massive exhibitions to Liverpool, most recently a Keith Haring takeover that brought hundreds of thousands of people down The Docks.

Puffle Waffle

Hong Kong street food specialist Puffle Waffle has been warming up its waffle iron in the Dock’s Anchor Courtyard, treating all comers to a taste of the sought after Asian creation. With an endless array of weird and wonderful fillings, from chocolate and ice cream, to meatballs and cheese, Puffle Waffle’s bubble waffles can even be topped off with a perfectly poached egg.

Coming soon… Lerpwl

And the dock’s reinvention shows no sign of slowing with Liverpool-born chef Ellis Barrie opening his first restaurant in his hometown. The Barrie brothers have been serving up locally-sourced, quality food from the award-winning Marram Gras in Anglesey for years and Lerpwl looks set to make a splash when it hits the dock later this year.

Add this lot to long-time favourites like The Pumphouse, Gusto, Mattel Play!, What’s Cooking, Pan Am, Revolucion de Cuba and lots more and you’ll realise there’s never been a better time to get stuck into dining dockside.

For events, history and more info about the tenants visit https://albertdock.com/

Words by Angela Barlow