Restaurant Brighton's guide to
Bars in Brighton
Our top picks
Tucked away from the main drag at the top of St James Street, The Black Dove can’t be missed off any list of bars in Brighton, thanks to its character, quirk and quality of drinks, atmosphere and loyal clientele. It’s quite small and compact in size, which means the always-busy tables outside are a handy addition, but don’t let the size put you off: there’s always something going on, whether that’s a DJ playing, a blues or folk band, or comedy downstairs in the snug.
Brighton people love a good party, and the Black Lion has long been a popular choice for those who want to get on down and stay out late in the busy south lanes. Although it looks like more of a very old, traditional boozer from the outside – don’t be deceived, DJs and late-opening hours keep the crowds lively.
Bohemia is a large, popular venue tucked away in the winding Lanes. The Veuve Clicquot roof terrace is a popular spot for socialites in the summer, while the main bar packs out to perennial partygoers all year round.
The Late Lounge, open every Friday and Saturday, offers an exclusive experience for those looking to party like celebs. Bohemia hosts live music on Thursday nights with local talent turning out smooth jazz. The bar is well stocked in every department with impressively flamboyant cocktails being something of a show-stealer.
If whisk(e)y makes you frisky, beer makes you queer then Slow + Low will see us all having a jolly good time! It’s all about Sussex sourced smokehouse and barbeque flavours, community and fun-loving Brighton vibes. Big on sustainability, great beer, cocktails and a whisk(e)y list that puts the whole South Coast to shame.
Leonardslee Gardens is a truly spectacular woodland garden located in Lower Beeding, Horsham. The addition of vines were added to Leonardslee Gardens in 2018 and their award-winning wines can be sampled seven days a week. These amazing wines are also available to purchase online and you can enjoy free delivery when ordering 6 bottles or more.
The Cricketers is a centrally located Brighton bar with a good dose of everything you could want from a classic boozer. The main bar has a very traditional feel to it, with deep red furnishings and lots of nooks, the food menu is strong and there is an adjoining courtyard restaurant area.
Upstairs is the Greene Room, named after a rather famous former patron and you can also read about the grizzly association the pub has with a possible candidate for the identity of Jack the Ripper.
As well as being Brighton’s new coolest restaurant, serving an all-day dining menu inspired by chef Kirks many years of travel, Cyan doubles up as an elegant, buzzing bar. The circular centrepiece of Cyan stands proud and serves as a bar from 11 is through until 10 pm.
From unique cocktails to classic bottles of champagne, Cyan really does offer something for everyone and with staff having undergone extensive training before the grand opening in late 2019, feel free to get creative with your choices here.
Looking for a laid back spot for a drink or two with plenty of space for friends, a playful chic interior and a killer drinks list? We suggest the Coppa Club, new to Brighton in 2019 and taking all-day drinking and dining in Brighton to a whole new level. Sit at the bar, chat with the staff and work your way through their cocktail menu featuring classics as well as some Coppa Club inventions well worth a try.
Award-winning Drakes is renowned for its exceptional restaurant and top-notch comfort and service, but not everyone knows it also has a very fine bar open to drop-ins, not just those already dining or staying in the hotel.
The black granite bar is a gorgeous backdrop to their exquisite champagne, spirits and cocktails, enjoyed in the luxury of the small bar with bay window and sea views. If you’re coming to the restaurant for a meal we recommend you arrive early and start your evening here.
In 2018 GungHo arrived on Preston Street and has since climbed straight to the top of our must-visit cocktail bars in Brighton. Opened and run by Julien Barnett, the bar’s ethos combines Julien’s passion for mixology with working to a zero-waste policy.
The outcome is a truly inspiring and mouthwateringly magnificent drinking journey. Influenced by seasonality the cocktails are often made with foraged and local ingredients championing all types of fruit and veg; from green strawberries and elderflower to chicory root and mushrooms. Expect vibrant, fresh and complex cocktails at GungHo and the bar definitely raises the quality for this area of the city.
The name is a giveaway – they take their wine very seriously at this well-established Brighton venue! But that doesn’t mean they don’t serve other drinks too. Hotel du Vin has a quality drinks list catering to all tastes, so it’s well worth a good run-through.
Wines are sourced from around the world and an in-house sommelier is on hand to help you make the right choice, spirits of all varieties and sensational cocktails too – of course! One of our favourite bars in Brighton for pre-dinner drinks in a sophisticated setting.
Kujira Brighton opened in August 2018 adding to the set of bright young things rejuvenating the Preston Street area of the city. As well as serving delicious Japanese food in the Robatayaki grill restaurant, Kujira also describes itself as an ‘izakaya bar’, a type of informal place to go after work for drinks and a little food. Kujira offers Japanese inspired cocktails invented by their mixologist and perfected through homemade botanicals, juices and syrups, adding to the area’s growing reputation as the cocktail capital of Brighton.
First opening its doors in 2018 on Gardner street, L’Atelier du Vin set itself up as a Speakeasy or prohibition-style bar boasting the largest selection of wines, and cocktails mixed with vintage recipes with prohibition strength spirits. News and popularity of the bar quickly spread and the full team relocated to a new secret location opposite St Peter’s church hidden behind an original 1920s Confectioners shop facade.
A second L’Atelier, offering more room and a lovely suntrap of a back garden has opened in Seven Dials. L’Atelier Du Vin boasts the biggest wine list in the whole of Brighton and also stands out as one of the best looking bars in Brighton. Recently voted as one of the best cocktail bars in the UK.
The Metropole Bar at the Hilton Metropole Hotel boasts a beautiful seafront terrace and a spacious comfortable bar with deep leather booths and grand wingbacks. The cocktail menu has been crafted by Brighton’s most celebrated local cocktail wizards and is themed around the fictitious nautical adventures of the equally fictitious Neil Halverson Hilton.
Each of the signature drinks has a story behind it and many feature an element of theatre; such as Message in a Bottle, an old fashioned served in a solid ice ball with a small hammer on the side, or Cannons at Cocktail Hour, a gin gimlet that is infused with gunpowder tea smoke. Also a wonderful spot for bottomless brunch or afternoon tea.
Nestled in the stylish MyHotel, Merkaba has a wow factor, with a stunning decor best described as futuristic, sleekly chick and hippy boho all at the same time, with huge crystals, aquariums in the walls and curvy tables in a modern urban industrial design. The drinks are equally well-executed, so dress to impress and enjoy every second. Winner of Brighton’s best bar in the Brighton Restaurant Awards.
As Brighton bar locations go, they don’t get much better than that of Ohso Social on the seafront. Literally overlooking promenade and the English channel, Ohso is a very popular spot on a sunny day and it isn’t hard to understand why. Enjoy a cold beer, an Aperol Spritz or a speciality cocktail while enjoying a stacked burger and fries during the day and by night, experience Ohso as a buzzing late-night bar.
Quality and style both reign supreme at Plateau, where the relaxed, effortlessly stylish vibe creates a perfect, intimate backdrop for the fantastic selection of natural, organic and biodynamic wines and sustainably sourced and exquisitely prepared modern sharing plates.
There’s less focus on red meat, more on fish and plants with some game too, sourced from local biodynamic farms. Learn more about their approach with Natural Wines just here. Voted the best bar in Brighton for cocktails in 2019 and best for wine in 2020.
As a part of Brighton history, the Regency Tavern is one of only two pubs left standing in the city that originally applied for the Beerhouse license in the 1830s. As part of Brighton culture, The Regency Tavern embraces the city’s spirit of decadence and flamboyance with Regency themed decor, live entertainment, food and drink offers and of course a cracking Sunday roast.
Socialite Brighton opened in the summer of 2020 in the heart of the Lanes, between East Street and Market Street. This super-stylish high end all-day eatery is a place to socialise with those who look for style and substance in equal measure. The main restaurant and bar is darkly decorated, making it ideal for those meals that transition into drinks or vice versa. Up the stairs, there is a very stylish sun-trap of a roof terrace perfect for cocktails and bubbles (and maybe a little Instagramming). The drinks menu is big on world wines, bubbles and premium spirit cocktails.
Twisted Lemon in the South Lanes is a well-hidden, cosy little cocktail bar with a fun and lively atmosphere. Being one of those places reserved for those ‘in the know’ Twisted Lemon just feels a bit special (because everyone loves being in on a secret).
The small bar is jam-packed with spirits as well as a good selection of beers and wine and a modest menu of pizzas, toasties and paninis are also available. Drinks promotions are on almost every day, making this a very centrally located bar that’s serving expertly mixed cocktails at a price that’s competitive in price to your average central Brighton pint.
This iconic, landmark hotel offers the finest of Brighton’s food, drinking and ambience, so it goes without saying that it’s a prime destination for a night of class and quality.
Set right on the seafront, the views are stunning and the drinks and cocktail list afford you a perfect choice of your classic favourites alongside new, innovative creations. Some of the cocktails are even named after people and places in history, which makes a great talking point.