At the heart of the picturesque seaside town of Southsea, Hampshire, lies this vibrant and eclectic street lined with restaurants, independently owned shops and a thriving arts scene. As one of city’s main attractions, here are all the best things to do on Albert Road in Southsea…
Albert Road, with its rich history, architectural charm, and burgeoning culinary scene, offers at least a few hours entertainment if you’re visiting Portsmouth anytime soon. As you’ll see, this bustling thoroughfare is a microcosm of creativity, culinary delights, and community spirit.
With shops and restaurants coming and going, and the artwork regularly changing and developing, it’s one of the most eclectic streets in Portsmouth to explore.
I’m going to reveal some of the highlights here, whether you’re looking for somewhere new for a drink, to eat, or to pick up a gift or two.
History of Albert Road in Southsea
Named after Prince Albert during the mid-19th century, this street is a living testament to Southsea’s storied past. Wander along and you’ll find well-preserved Victorian-era buildings with ornate facades and wrought-iron balconies, as well as rickety flats and houses nestled between the colourful shops.
Best shops on Albert Road, Southsea
Forget the cookie-cutter high-street chains; Albert Road is a haven for independent boutiques and unique shops.
Pigeon Books is Southsea’s only independent bookshop, specialising in new fiction, queer lit and diverse children’s books. Owners Mel and Phil often run in-store events, so check their calendar for your dates, and they always have a book recommendation if you’re out of inspiration.
Pop in to see what their book of the week is. And then go and sit in one of the Southsea bars and read it with a glass of wine. Sounds like a great idea actually – I’ve inspired myself!
Just a few shops along and you can sift through the vintage finds at Dress Code. Whether you want band tshirts, cool sunnies, or a belt to bring that outfit together, there are some great selections here.
Restaurants on Albert Road
Albert Road traverses continents and palates with the range of restaurants here. You can savour everything from hearty English breakfasts to spicy Indian curries and artisanal vegan lunches.
As the sun sets, the corner of Albert Road, near the Kings Theatre is the top spot. Sit outside The Vaults and Porters and soak up the buzz. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional ales or craft cocktails, you’ll find a spot to unwind and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Vegans, this is the Southsea restaurant for you. Brian and his team have created a delightful plant based menu with plenty to titillate those tastebuds. My personal favourite is the breakfast burrito – in fact I’d like to eat one right now with a side of hot sauce.
I love the vibe at Hunter Gatherer. If I owned a coffee shop, this is what I’d like it to look like. They also run cool special events in the evening – I went to a wine tasting once, oh and a collage workshop. They have a hatch for coffee on the run, if you need.
Offbeet has to win the award for the most calming, spa like restaurant on Albert Road. This is one of the newest places to eat on Albert Road, and is serving vegan dishes all day long. I 100% recommend visiting for the breakfast tacos, and their oat milk flat whites are bang on too.
If you want a great red wine, with a tapas side, then Nicholsons is the bar and restaurant for you. In summer you can sit outside and watch the delights of Albert Road, while in winter you can cosy up indoors and order a carafe or two of wine. Serving all the Spanish tapas you can think of!
Fah Thai is my go to spot for group meals. Really blummin good Thai food, and it’s BYO too!
Porters serves tasty, filling Tex Mex style lunches in a familiar traditional pub setting. With lunch deals and plenty of beers, wines and spirits to choose from, this is one of my top lunch restaurants to choose from in all of Portsmouth.
The best Japanese food in Southsea – fact.
They also have little booths, like in Japan, and they’re really lovely in there. Definitely recommend!
If you want to know more about the best restaurants in Southsea, click the link!
Bars on Albert Road
Portsmouth loves a drink, and Albert Road is one of the best places in the city to find somewhere to do it.
From quaint and cosy pubs with rich histories to stylish cocktail bars, Albert Road’s bar scene offers a kaleidoscope of experiences that cater to all tastes. Here are the best places along Albert Road for a drink, and where to enjoy some of Southsea’s nightlife too.
Southsea has its own gin, impressed?
Southsea Spirit Bar is one of the latest additions to the fun of Albert Road. This little bar seats up to 40 across two rooms, and serves fresh cocktails in a cool yet welcoming setting. I can definitely recommend the spicy margaritas btw.
If I was going out tonight, this would be the first place I’d call in!
“A tropical bathtub-style gin with flavours of juniper, fresh orange, caramelised pineapple and a touch of coconut.”– Southsea Spirit
SOUTHSEA APPLiANCES aka broken & Repaired
And the second place would be here, at the secret prohibition style bar, Broken and Repaired. Located inside ‘Southsea Appliances’ this is one of those bars where you have to ring a buzzer to get let in.
To be honest I’ve had a range of experiences here, but I think it depends on your server, and their enthusiasm for the novelty cocktails they serve. Go for the ‘Art Attack’ if you enjoy a side of painting on your night out, and make sure you hit up that photo booth before you leave too.
Also, see if you can find the secret disco room…
What to do at night on Albert Road
Albert Road’s live music scene has several venues that host performances by local bands and musicians. Go to the karaoke and you can achieve your own musical dreams!
I’ve seen some great shows here – including Six and Mamma Mia – and am all booked up for the Christmas Panto too. It’s a small theatre, but a wonderfully historic one and occasionally, some top shows come to perform too. Check the listings for your dates!
The Wedgewood Rooms
The legendary Wedgewood Rooms has hosted numerous renowned artists and bands over the years. Expect indie rock, acoustic folk, and anything in between. I’ve been to a 90s night here, a Fleetwood Mac tribute night, and a few original gigs too. They also run all kinds of student and indie nights.
149 karaoke club
I’ve tried to go here numerous times after a few drinks, but never quite succeeded in getting in thanks to its popularity. One day I will pre plan my karaoke needs and book a room!
Creativity on Albert Road
Creativity thrives on Albert Road, evident in its thriving arts community. Several art galleries and studios showcase the work of local artists, providing a platform for emerging talents to shine.
The Art Space
The Art Space Portsmouth, a prominent gallery on the street, hosts exhibitions featuring a diverse range of artistic styles and mediums.
look out for the murals
As you stroll along Albert Road, you’ll also find vibrant street art and murals, especially by local legends Fark and Mister Samo. Portsmouth is very proud of its murals so enjoy a self guided street art tour along Albert Road for some free fun.
dice board game & lounge
At Dice you can play board games while eating and drinking your way through their menu too. They have all sorts, for all ages, and a licensed bar too. Check out their listings for special events nights for all your Dungeons and Dragons, and Keyforge desires.
Get pierced, or tattooed
You might need to book in advance, definitely if you want to get pierced at the legendary Sisters of Chaos, but getting pierced on Albert Road is a fun way to pass the time.
My last piercing was at Southsea Tattoo Shop, and we just walked in.
Obviously if you’re getting a tattoo you’ll want to give it a little more thought, but there are a few great places to get inked along Albert Road. Do your research and follow their Instagrams before you commit!
READ MORE: How to Spend 48 Hours in Southsea
Albert Road in Southsea
Albert Road in Southsea is a vibrant, eclectic, and culturally rich destination for anyone seeking a taste of history, art, music, and gastronomy. It’s one of the few independent high streets in England, and so always needs our support. It’s just a few minutes walk from Southsea Beach and is definitely one of the reasons why I love living in Southsea, so give it a visit.
Next time you’re in Portsmouth enjoy the coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, bars and shops of Albert Road!