Restaurant Brighton's guide to

Alfresco Dining

Our top picks

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.

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 which emulates the experience of sitting on tatami mats in Japan.

Situated at the bottom of Preston Street with views of the West Pier, The New Club takes full advantage of its enviable position. With full glass doors opening onto the streetside dining area this is the place to be for brunch, lunch and cocktails when the sun’s out.

With two sites in town, Trading Post Coffee offers two distinct alfresco Brighton options to go with their excellent coffee and wholesome daytime menu; sit outside and watch the world go by on the busy Ship Street or rise above it all with the rooftop terrace on Kensington gardens.

Welcoming folk of the Preston Park area and beyond, The Cleveland Arms is the definition of a community pub. The venue itself is a modern, light but cosy and welcoming space. The Cleveland Arms boasts a beautiful outside suntrap terrace overlooking Blaker’s Park on a residential and quiet street, great for kids to let off some steam while you enjoy a pint in the sunshine.

Head down to the Brighton marina and follow the boardwalk down past all the big chain restaurants to the jetty. Here you will find a gem on the water’s edge. With food by Space + Thyme you know you’re getting good quality freshly prepared food. There’s an emphasis on sharing platters, with classic as well and a good roast on Sunday. Come for the food, stay for the west facing aspect and late evening sun. 

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 beachside 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.

The outside seating at The Dorset spills out onto the pedestrianised North Laine during weekends and bank holidays. The crowd at The Dorset present an enviable view, filling up benches, sipping cool beers, tucking into quality pub-grub and filling the street with laughter and good times. You’ll be sorely tempted to join them, and why not? Some moments are there to be seized and the shops will still be there tomorrow.

Doing Brighton in the sun with burgers, beer and beats are Honest Burgers. The successful chain started off in our fair city and after conquering the coolest of cool parts of London returned home. Keeping with their roots they have a partnership with the from local musos Resident Records. With seating on the pedestrianised Duke Street between the main shopping attractions and the beach.

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 Road area, the café has an east-facing aspect ideal for enjoying their award-winning brunches in the sun.

The Mesmerist is an all-day-all-night party hub, with floor upon floor ascending to their rooftop terrace, decked out with its own bar and kitsch astroturf. A Tex-Mex menu is served all day from midday seven days a week with bottomless brunch available on Saturdays and a fabulous Sunday Lunch to round off the weekend. Get to the rooftop sharpish to secure your alfresco feast spot. 

Nestled close to the Royal Pavilion and Gardens, Al Duomo is one of the oldest family-run Italian Restaurants. It is an ideal spot for lunch, an afternoon bite or dinner on the huge terrace.  Enjoy two for one cocktails every day apart from Saturdays from 12-6 pm and the pre-theatre menu Sunday-Thursday, princely views of The Pavillion make this alfresco dining a singular experience.

Redroaster has fantastic south-facing, floor to ceiling windows which can be opened out completely to create an indoor/outdoor atmosphere. St James’ Street is sometimes called the Café Quarter of Brighton, and Redroaster is the undoubted monarch if this is so. Connecting bohemian Kemptown with Brighton central, this is a fine spot to watch the colourful local characters over a spot of superb brunch and ethically sourced, locally roasted coffee.

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.

Lucky Beach is one of those cafes that locals want to keep a secret, with its beachfront location and fresh, funky and sustainably led 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 its patio and beachfront tables.

Located just a hop and skip away from the hustle and bustle of the Brighton seafront is Woodbox Pizzeria. The casual, friendly restaurant serves authentic Neapolitan pizza with a little outdoor seating that catches the late evening Summer sun, perfect for balmy evenings and a slower pace than you can expect from the city centre.

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.

Situated on Brighton’s Marina and serving the best of British produce, The Great British Charcuterie is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine and a charcuterie platter. Not only can you eat alfresco style, but you can also purchase whatever you’ve eaten to take away, share with friends or give as a foodie gift.

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. During the weekends the street is pedestrianised and the restaurants extend into the road, where you will be able to enjoy the sun on your skin while enjoying some of the best Indian food in the city.

Hove

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.

V & H is a 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 has 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!

Sussex

Emerging out of the Coronavirus lockdown the Michelin Plate Awarded Tasting Rooms at Rathfinny wine estate take full advantage of their exquisite views and ample space. Serving Wednesday to Sunday Rathfinny offer two alfresco dining experiences, with luxurious three-course picnic hampers and the “Seafood and Wine Kitchen”. Both can be enjoyed in the beautiful estate grounds with limited seating on the Tasting Rooms decking available for visitors dining from the locally landed seafood menu. Enjoy English summer at its very best, with picturesque Sussex views and award-winning food and wine. 

The Sussex Ox garden has panoramic views of the South Downs and is stunning from lunchtime through till sunset. The pub ethos promotes farm to table dining, with much of their menu featuring meat, fruit and vegetables from their own farm just two miles away from the pub. Sup on a pint of something local while soaking up the Sussex sunshine.

Idyllically set in the foothills of the South Downs, The Shepherd and Dog is a classic English pub, serving elevated food. The gardens are everything an English country pub garden should be, with breathtaking views. During the summer there are barbeques to be had as well as the seasonal menu.

Morleys Bistro is a relaxed, comfortable and dog friendly restaurant that is nestled in the heart of the historic village of Hurstpierpoint. They have a beautifully spacious and sunny garden where you can enjoy a glass of quality wine while dining on delicious, classic bistro dishes prepared with seasonal and local ingredients.

The Glass House restaurant is about relaxed casual dining at the super impressive Wickwoods Sussex members club and grounds. The Orangery restaurant opens up onto perfect English lawns and woodland, where you can enjoy meals prepared by MasterChef finalist James Villers, perfect for a day-spa followed by lunch or an afternoon tea.

The New Inn in Hurstpierpoint has a south-facing garden that gets all day long sun during the summer months. The kitchen garden provides much of the vegetables that go into the gastropub menu, while the beer garden itself is a beautifully maintained example of the English country garden. There is also an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven which gets fired up during the summer months.

The Crown Inn Dial Post has a classic country beer garden situated at the rear of the pub, as well as a front patio overlooking the village green (perfect for keeping an eye on the kids). The menu is locally sourced and includes foraged ingredients. In addition to the alfresco spaces there is a pleasant sunroom dining area and cosy traditional pub, making it a fine stop for typical capricious summer weather. 

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.

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 alfresco during the summer months or just to relax and enjoy a drink. There is a children’s play area so the whole family can come and annoy themselves.

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 minutes 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.