Best Alfresco Dining in Brighton and Sussex
The Restaurants Brighton guide to alfresco Brighton or alfresco dining in Brighton. From stunning seafront views to secret walled garden retreats, we have all of our favourite Brighton and Sussex cafés, bars, and restaurants with the best outdoor spaces covered.
Alfresco dining in Brighton
The Salt Room boasts a large outside terrace with 60 covers and outstanding views overlooking the West Pier and a stone’s throw from the iconic Brighton British Airways i360. Offering award-winning seafood and a beautiful cocktail list curated by Bar Manager, Matt Ottley.
Indian Summer is located on the bustling East Street, full of high quality restaurants and quirky shops. On the weekends the street closes off to traffic and diners spill onto the road to soak up the sunshine. Offering some of the best Indian dishes in the city, we urge you to go alfresco at Indian Summer…
Located in the centre of the iconic North Laine area, Grow 40 is positioned at the entrance to Kensington Gardens and offers you an English-French inspired bistro style menu and Champagne bar, boasting the largest wine list in the city. Open for breakfast daily from 9am you can take advantage of the street side seating and enjoy the hustle and bustle or rise above it on the roof terrace, to soak up the sun and some bubbles.
Situated on Kemp Town’s colourful St James’ Street, Social Board Brighton is a counter top cafe delivering top restaurant quality food in the form of highly inventive, meticulously delivered sandwiches, salads and mains. Social Board want to deliver amazing quality in relaxed and informal surroundings, best taken advantage of with their street side tables or in the little sun trap nook at the back.
Japanese restaurant Moshimo is the city’s original conveyor-belt sushi bar serving handmade and sustainable sushi, the perfect kind of food for some alfresco dining. And what better place to eat it than on Moshimo’s Hiroba deck, this emulates the experience of sitting on tatami mats in Japan.
From cool autumn lunches to dewy winter morning espressos, warm spring evenings to their famous summer Al Fresco menu, there’s always a reason to get out and enjoy the outside. With a beautiful outside space you can let your wine breathe in picturesque surroundings whatever the season.
This modern bistro is ideally placed at the top of the North Laines with outdoor seating and plenty of opportunity for watching the hustle and bustle of Brighton’s famous shopping area. Open from 9am seven days a week, evening meals are served until 9.30pm Thursday to Saturday, closing at 5.30 Sunday through to Wednesday. Their daily changing menu of fresh local produce is best enjoyed with a glass (or a bottle) of one of their fine low intervention organic wines
Set within 5000 acres of park and woodland, Proud Country House has Alfresco dining to a tee. With formal tables on the terrace as well as seating on the lawn, there’s plenty of space to find a spot for breakfast or lunching in the sun. With the added bonus of a children’s play area under the trees, it’s easy to while away the hours.
If you are partial to a bit of people watching The Western is for you. Right on the mecca of Churchill Square, you can perch outside with beer watching the world go by amongst the hustle and bustle of central Brighton. We recommend a pint something from a local brewery or a thirst quenching Vodka Tonic, both specialties of The Western!
When the sun shines at the weekend, Edendum throw open their windows and spill out onto the street – in one of Brighton’s most cosmopolitan and quirky neighbourhoods. This isn’t your average Italian café, the menu’s inspiration comes from Northern Italy where seafood and their speciality, ‘Gnocco Fritto’ (fried strips of pizza dough) originates. Perfect for picking at over a glass of something cold and refreshing…
London’s successful Breakfast Club dining experience has ventured into Brighton’s Lanes after much anticipation. The Breakfast Club have brought a bit of Miami Vice and Art Deco to Brighton. Painted bright yellow with baby blue seats outside, it’s hard to miss! With an extensive menu featuring American dishes such as Beef Chilli, Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Pulled Pork it is definitely the place to be if you’re hungry and for some alfresco dining in the summer.
The Caxton Arms is one of Brighton’s best kept secrets with their two-level beer garden and balcony. It’s tucked away in the heart of the city centre, just a short hop from Brighton station. The traditional pub inspired menu focuses on tasty authentic food, made by their passionate chefs. They use local butchers and fishmongers to ensure they have the freshest ingredients and cater well for vegetarians and vegans.
Drink and dine in secret style at The Mesmerist, just off Brighton seafront and located right in the middle of The Lanes. Arguably one of the best secret roof terraces here in Brighton, you can enjoy a cold G&T or a signature cocktail above the busy bustling Lanes in the summertime and feel transported to Mediterranean blissfulness! Try the ‘Summer in Veneto’ with Gin, Aperol and Prosecco which is our favourites here at Restaurants Brighton.
Located close to Seven Dials, very few know about the gorgeous rear garden at Coggings and Co where they serve some of the best burgers in the city. This peaceful sun trap is getting busier so get in there quick. Still a relative newcomer to Brighton and a venue nationally recognised for its dedication to sustainability.
Not many know that Jamie’s Italian has a west facing sun trap hidden away just off the Brighton restaurant’s first floor. Great if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city centre Brighton and a perfect venue if you are in need of Jamie’s hospitality while soaking up some vitamin D. Pretty and secluded.
Situated on Brighton’s Marina and serving the best of British produce, the GB Charcuterie is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine and a charcuterie platter. Not only can you eat alfresco style, you can purchase whatever you’ve eaten to make and home, share with friends or give as a foodie gift.
Sidekick Kitchen is based in Brighton’s lively pub, The Mash Tun. Homemade ‘dirty burgers’ can be enjoyed in the sun on a summers day whilst watching the hustle and bustle of central Brighton. All burgers come served medium rare along with pickles, garlic mayo and skin-on fries for the side – perfect for mopping up the juices!
Morris and Jacques offers a relaxed café style environment and is located centrally on St James Street in Kemptown. Morris and Jacques is a great venue for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a sun trap garden to soak up some seaside rays.
Moksha Café is the quintessential family café. The home-made cakes and meals, along with lovingly made coffee and friendly staff is what makes Moksha a fond favourite in the local area. Located on York Place in the London Rd area, the cafe has an east facing aspect ideal for breakfasts and brunches in the sun.
Red roaster has fantastic South facing, floor to ceiling windows which can be opened out completely to create an indoor/outdoor atmosphere. It’s the perfect sunspot in the afternoon too, a great place to meet a friend for lunch or breakfast. From herb waffles to crab brioche, expect high quality, innovative dishes with Head Chef Matt Gillan running the kitchen.
Dining at Terre à Terre is a culinary experience like no other. With intense flavours, sublime textures, and a combination of ingredients that few have the imagination or daring to put together, it will change the way you view vegetarian cuisine forever. Iconic and acclaimed Brighton institution with small rear terrace.
Nestled close to the Royal Pavilion & Gardens, Al Duomo is one of the oldest family run Italian Restaurants, an ideal spot for a lunch, after noon bite or dinner on the huge terrace, for family’s, friends or couple’s “dog friendly” and enjoy a lovely selection of cocktails or wines with your freshly sourced and cooked food in the centre of the cosmopolitan area of the city near all the main theatres and venues.
Who doesn’t adore this place when the sun comes out? Located in The Lanes and with arguably the coolest alfresco/ beer garden in our opinion. West facing garden, friendly staff and a great food menu. The Coach House has been serving many happy customers for years and also is a fantastic wedding reception venue.
The House restaurant offers a 60 seater heated outdoor terrace nestled in a cosy wind proof cobbled square in the atmospheric historic Lanes of central Brighton.
Formerly Havana, 32 Duke Street is under the same ownership as before and has been transformed into a venue where you can eat, drink, dance, and experience some of Brighton’s most ideally located outdoor seating. On the popular Duke St, this is a superb option at any time of the day and offers a haven for people watching, especially on their classy balcony.
The Old Bank Steak & Ribs is set in the heart of bohemian Kemptown and is a great venue for informal dining, for special occasions or for a spot of alfresco dining in the lovely, spacious patio area.
Alfresco dining on Brighton Seafront back to top
Lucky Beach is one of those cafes that locals want to keep a secret… with it’s beachfront location and fresh n funky menu you’ll have to get in early to nab a seat. But it’s definitely worth a short wait in order to fill your boots with delicious brunch offerings and top notch burgers. Seats 100 across it’s patio and beachfront tables.
The place to be on a summer’s evening and a great spot to enjoy a West Pier sunset. When the sun’s out OhSo gives you a beach side atmosphere like nowhere else and if you’re after a perfect sundowner cocktail then look no further. Ideal for breakfasts, lunches and dinners – always open when the weather is good.
Forming part of the old Victorian Arches underneath the Kings Road, the Bucket and Spade Cafe is ideally located on the Promenade, next to the Kings Road Playground & Paddling Pool. The Bucket & Spade Cafe is the perfect place to bring the family, with a large selection of meals and snacks for the big and little ones.
On the Kings Road and directly opposite the West Pier, Smokeys gives you an outdoor terraced area where you can enjoy the staple American smoked classics for breakfast lunch and dinner. A great alfresco option the seafront terrace provides the usual great views and opportunity to watch the world go by.
The window seat at Riddle and Finns is a sought after spot so, if you can, book well in advance. Specialising in seafood, and with views overlooking Brighton’s West Pier, this seafront venue provides fine dining on the beach, and is a regular contender in the Restaurants Brighton top ten.
The New Club in Brighton is super-cool. They use quality ingredients all the way through their food and drinks menu and bring us an LA style Indie Coffee House, mixed with the vibes of a New York Bar and Diner. Boasting a large south facing outdoor space, New Club is the place to be when there’s a hint of sunshine.
Alfresco dining in Hove back to top
Delightful little café with a very loyal following. Well known for home baked goodies, their own baked beans recipe and service with a huge smile. Located on Holland Road in Hove V & H café they have west facing street seating which is lovely for tea and cake in the afternoon. V&H are also passionate about locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, so you can enjoy your food knowing it’s from just down the road!
The Hove Place Bistro and Gardens is a popular casual bistro style pub in the heart of Hove located close to the seafront in the Palmeira Square area. With arguably the best outdoor space in the whole of Hove, here you have plenty of outdoor seating in their beer garden, a great mix of people and it is a super place to enjoy an evening drink or a bite to eat from the bistro menu.
An elegant soupçon of a Bistro with just enough street side seating to make the alfresco list. Le Nantais puts a little bit of French style and a lot of French taste into the heart of Hove. Easy strolling distance from the beach for a pre or post meal promenade and plenty of weekday specials makes this a perfect stop for some casual but excellently executed dining.
Alfresco dining in Sussex back to top
Situated in the heart of Lewes, Italian restaurant Aqua offers fresh authentic Italian food at affordable prices, using only the best produce. What better way to eat Italian authentically than to do so alfresco with a glass of wine! Cosy heaters mean you can sit out all year round enjoying the tasty food and drink. There’s a great range of cocktails and 241 Bellini’s 7 days a week, 12pm to 7pm for your perfect Aperitivo!
Wingrove House, in the village of Alfriston on the outskirts of Brighton, boasts 19th-century colonial style, manicured gardens and seasonal menus. The house has extensive grounds and a relaxing alfresco dining area for those summer days and balmy nights. A great destination to get out of the city.
Want to try something completely different? The Glass House restaurant is about relaxed casual dining at the super impressive Wickwoods Sussex members club and grounds. Why not make a day of it and combine your trip with use of their spa facilities too? Escapism perfection.
The Shepherd and Dog in Fulking has been serving West Sussex and the surrounding areas for some years now. So, whether you’re combing your visit with a picturesque walk from The Devils Dyke, or you’re attending one of their regular events, The Shepherd & Dog has a lot to offer considering it’s nestled in a quiet sleepy village at the bottom of the foothills of the South Downs National Park.
The Oak Barn is an original 250 year old barn, lovingly restored to a family run bar and restaurant. Situated in scenic mid Sussex you will find the Oak Barn just 15 mins outside Brighton – just off the A23 at Hickstead. One of the big draws to the venue is their beautiful outdoor area where you can relax and eat and drink in the sunshine. Bliss!
Want to get out of Brighton for that perfect Sussex village getaway? The Talbot sits in the heart of Cuckfield Village and serves a wonderful range of lunch, bar and dinner menus as well as the traditional Sunday lunch. The Talbot has an extensive wine list, regional ales, and a relaxed country pub atmosphere with a large alfresco area. One of our Sussex village favourites.
Located just north of Henfield, this traditional style pub welcomes the whole family (including the dog!). The Bull is popular for it’s freshly made to order pizzas that are stone baked in a traditional oven. The spacious beer garden is an ideal space to dine al fresco during the summer months or just to relax & enjoy a drink. There is a children’s play area which the kids can enjoy whilst the parents sit back & rest.