Restaurant Brighton's guide to
Pubs in Brighton
Our top picks
Brighton pubs don’t get more entertaining than this one. Situated in Brighton’s Lanes on Boyce’s Street, Oculist is a spacious venue with stylish, modern meets rustic interiors. To be enjoyed both in the day and evening with food served daily and DJs at night. Their large roof gardens are a top spot in the summer for a drink in the sun. Hungry? A pan-Asian menu from Daddy’s Dim Sum is served daily. Children and dogs are welcome, however there is an 8pm curfew on evenings when transitioning into DJ nights. A variety of beers, ales, wines and spirits including many local suppliers are served along with a smashing cocktail menu.
The Basketmakers Arms in the North Laine is well deserving of the title ‘iconic’. It’s won countless awards and frequently features in the BRAVOs’ best local category. It’s a cosy, classic pub, with low ceilings, dark interiors and a friendly atmosphere. They serve a quality selection of drinks from premium spirits, and good wines to well poured beers and ales. The menu is classic pub fare made with quality local ingredients and a specials menu that champions locally landed fresh seafood. On Sundays, they serve a popular roast where friends and families (including children and dogs) come together to wind down from the weekend. On summer evenings you’ll often find the patrons of the Basketmakers and other nearby pubs converging in the streets as they draw out the last rays of the setting sun.
The foodie pub, DaddyLonglegs, is set seafront facing on the outskirts of Kemptown and near Brighton Marina. Seaviews, small plates and natural wines are at the helm of this charming venue’s offering. Expect a friendly neighbourhood pub atmosphere, beverages that match that of a trendy independent bar and a food and wine offering that rivals the best restaurants in town. They serve an impeccable roast menu on Sundays and the secluded suntrap beer garden to the rear offers the perfect retreat for unwinding with friends.
This lively pub, venue and kitchen is one of Brighton’s best-known spots. Often packed come Friday and Saturday nights with people drinking, dancing and generally having a great time, few Brighton pubs experience such a transformation over the course of a day. Pop by in the day for a refuge from the hustle and bustle of Brighton’s Lanes and a bite to eat from the gastro pub menu and return to get the party started in the evening at this popular night spot.
The Cleveland Arms is a family friendly pub run by husband and wife, Jamie and Sarah, and their friendly team. The pub is light and airy with a large conservatory and additional outdoor seating. You’ll find local wines, craft beers and spirits at the bar. The kitchen serves up a blended menu to satisfy all types, from pub classics to small plates that celebrate creative cookery with bold flavours. And, of course, an excellent (award-winningly excellent) Sunday lunch. There are also regular drink and food offers.
Brighton is a city with lots of history and tradition, and The Cricketers is a slice of that past. The interior of this spacious pub is in keeping with its Victorian heritage, with a striking red theme throughout. Famous writer Graham Greene was once a regular at the pub, immortalising it in his novel “Brighton Rock”, the upstairs bar and function room is named in his honour.
A very popular Lanes pub, that has a superb food offering from the kitchen of Phil Bartley, serving pub classics made with superior, locally sourced ingredients. There’s a grizzly twist to this historic boozer, it’s said to have also been the haunt of “Jack the Ripper” who planned his murders from the upstairs bar.
The Mesmerist Brighton in The Lanes is a long standing favourite among locals. With two floors, three bars and a roof terrace The Mesmerist has plenty of tricks up its sleeve to keep visitors on their toes. As well as this venue’s fantastic interior, nightlife and drink selection, the food offering is also a reason to visit too. They serve a menu entitled UmamiNation which champions Asian infused Western cuisine. Saturday is all about classic brunches and on Sundays they switch it up with traditional Sunday roast.
Situated in the Seven Dials area, The Chimney House is a quality pub that has become well known for its excellent food offering. The spacious and classic interior has a strong rustic charm that fits perfectly with the food, which has a focus on seasonality and foraged produce.
The pub dominates the corner of a road in an otherwise sleepy area. If you are looking for a gastropub that gives the impression of being out in the country, then The Chimney House should be on your to-do list.
The Lewes Road Inn is a lively pub that’s popular with the local student and young family populations of the surrounding areas. It’s a music pub with open mic nights and regular local bands. They serve freshly prepared pizzas and Italian style small plates as well as burgers. There are meal and drink deals throughout the week and a dedicated kids’ menu of easy pleasers. On Sundays, they serve a classic roast. The pub is open-plan and bright with a rear garden and street-side seating, making this a good venue for local get-togethers, be it a daytime catch-up or an evening out.
As you arrive in Brighton by train you might just spy this pub on its perch overlooking the city. The West Hill Tavern has adjusted to life post-2020 lockdown by transforming itself into a community hub. Open from 11 am daily, The West Hill, or “Westie” welcomes daytime visitors and out of office workers with a feast of everything from coffee to cocktails, gooey toasties and artisanal pizzas from The Great British Charcuterie and Sunday feasts from the renowned kitchen of Phil Bartley.
Tucked a little further out of town, The Ladies Mile in Patcham is a community pub with a strong local spirit. The kitchen is run by Circle Kitchen and serves a good range of classic pub fare as well as a children’s menu. Sunday lunch is a big hit for the whole family here and is well worth checking out (booking advised).
The Dorset brings you everything you long for in a country pub, right in the centre of town: a rustic interior, a classic pub grub menu, alfresco dining and a welcoming, friendly front of house team. Right on the corner of North Road, the location is perfect for a pre or post-shopping bite to eat to a late afternoon, after work pint.
Examples on their most recent menu include pie of the day served with mash, fillet of cod with artichokes and sausage and mash, not forgetting their famous moules mariniere which has been a firm favourite among locals since the beginning.
Hanover, Hove and beyond
Even more good pubs
Taking the term gastropub and making it the best it can be, The Ginger Pig is a no-brainer when it comes to the best pubs in Brighton and Hove. Step inside and you can drink at the traditional bar, taking advantage of the amazing wine selection and superb cocktails.
If you want something to eat then the restaurant area will provide some of the best food available in the city. They have recently added rooms, making this perhaps an Inn rather than a pub now, but no matter which way you look at it The Ginger Pig is a winner every time.
The Hop Poles is one of those Brighton pubs that just seems to exude a sense of effortless cool and calm. A real gem of a pub, there is a feeling of arty creativity at The Hop Poles that ranges from the quirky décor right through to the quality food offering.
The pub is one that manages to traverse many different social groups, making for an interesting and diverse clientele. With regular events such as open mic and quiz nights, there is often something going on. This is a great pub for a quiet daytime drink with a good book or as an evening spot with friends.
New Road in Brighton is the centre of the party when the sun is out, and The Mash Tun is often the focal point. A popular pub for students and revellers, The Mash Tun is often packed with Brighton’s coolest crowd. In keeping with many other Brighton pubs, they have a superb selection of craft beers and real ales in addition to some great grub to keep you nourished. When the sun is out this is the place to see, with the outside seating always full and lively.
Take a stroll up to Queens Park and you will find a pub that you would be proud to call your local. The Independent is just that. Free of any brewery ties, the pub can handpick its drinks offering and does so to great effect. Food is central to The Independent’s appeal, with a superb, restaurant quality, offering and Sunday roast that has people queuing out the door. With music and other events regularly taking place, The Independent represents all that is good in a pub.
This multi-level labyrinthine pub has got quite a cult reputation in Brighton and beyond. A regular mention in Brighton’s best roast columns, and a popular spot for all manner of social activities, The Lion and Lobster do all the things that you would expect from a pub well. It is a lively and buzzing pub where there is always something going on. With numerous screens over the different levels, it is great for watching live sport, and the individual restaurant is ideal if you prefer a quieter spot for your lunch or dinner.
According to the BRAVOs (Brighton Restaurant Awards Vote Online) in 2023, The ‘Eddy’ or Edinburgh near Brighton station is the ‘best local’ in 2023 after 56,983 votes were cast by the Brighton public. Others in this winning Top 20 list include The Urchin, The Ladies Mile, Haus on the Hill, The Cleveland Arms, Better Half, The Basket Makers and Daddy Longlegs.
With approximately 340 pubs, Brighton and Hove is on a par with Liverpool (477 pubs) with 11 pubs per square mile which gives you a different pub for each day of the year. Here are the public voted best pubs in Brighton for 2023 according to the BRAVOs (Brighton Restaurant Awards Vote Online) London has the most pubs with 4,400. The Cricketers in Brighton is one of Brighton’s most famous pubs and The Black Lion next to it, is one of the most popular.