Top 20 – Looking for the best Brighton Pubs?

Picking the best twenty Brighton pubs is not as easy as it may sound. Brighton is blessed with so many superb pubs, bars and boozers that you can find it difficult to choose where to drink at times. This is by no means a bad predicament to be in.

the Basket Makers Pub Brighton

With so many superb places to enjoy a jar or two we thought we should give you our top twenty Brighton pubs. These could already be on your radar and appear regularly on your social calendar, or perhaps they will become a new local hangout to frequent, either way they are some of the best venues in the city as far as we are concerned.

Bar at The Mesmerist Brighton

Take a look through our top twenty and let us know what you think, or get in touch if your favourite has been missed and you want to put it forward for future consideration.

So, in no particular order, here are the top 20 Brighton pubs according to Restaurants Brighton

Hove Place

This little-known Hove pub is a real gem for those looking for a slightly classier standard of boozer. This stylish venue features a classic style bar with a few modern touches and really comes into its own when you step out into the garden. With a fine selection of beers, ales, wines and spirits with the superb charcuterie selection courtesy of Brighton’s very own GB Charcuterie; Hove Place is a sophisticated choice for Brighton and Hove’s drinking public.

Hove Place Bistro Interior

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Arguably Brighton’s best beer garden
  • Try their charcuterie platters

The Joker and Lost Boys Chicken

Voted as Best Pub Food in the inaugural year of the BRAVO’s and top three for Best Pub two years running, the coming together of The Joker and Lost Boys Chicken proves itself a winning combination. New York style fried chicken is served up in a finger licking, lip smacking, selection of sauces along with super stacked sandwiches and bolstering sides. Throw in a great selection of real ales, craft beers and top notch cocktails, and shake it up with late night weekend DJ’s. They may be The Joker, but these boys aren’t joking.

The Joker Brighton Lost Boys Chicken

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Located at Preston Circus
  • Food served until 10pm daily.

The Coach House

It may well fall mainly into the restaurant category in most people’s minds, but The Coach House is also a great place to grab a drink and kick back. The courtyard garden is a tranquil spot where you can block out the hustle and bustle of the lanes and unwind with your tipple of choice. Of course, should you decide that you are a little peckish then you are well placed to get your hands on some quality food. The informal bar area is ideal for a catch up with friends or a relaxed meeting place, and in winter the roaring fires makes it very inviting indeed. It’s a go to venue on a warm summers day and has to be included in our Brighton pubs top 20.

Pubs with fires, Breakfast, Coach House, Brighton. Middle Street
Coach House Interior, Middle Street

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Perfect alfresco dining
  • Great British classics

The Better Half

If you are looking for a pub with a bit of a vintage feel and some seriously tasty food then The Better Half in Hove is right up your street. A little off the beaten track, which is a good thing for pubs, The Better Half has a very cosy and welcoming feel to it. This little oasis of quality food and drink is not far from the Hove seafront and close enough to civilisation to still feel like you are close to the action. The beautifully tiled bar is a real talking point as are the pictures that adorn the walls. The Better Half is a great pub that ticks all the boxes as far as we are concerned.

Pubs with fires, inside the pub at The Better Half

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Cosy courtyard
  • Top Sunday Roasts

The Urchin

Bringing together two of the best things in the world, craft beer and shellfish, The Urchin claimed Best Food Pub in the 2018 BRAVO awards. This Hove pub traverses the line between pub and restaurant, and does so with aplomb. An extensive craft beer list has been curated by the knowledgeable owners, and the superb food offering has made this one of the best food destinations in the city. Tucked off down Belfast Street it has the feel of a local boozer but delivers so much more.

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Great choice of craft beers
  • Perect for date night

The Caxton Arms

This friendly local boozer is experiencing a resurgence in fortunes thanks to a refurb and new management. The friendly atmosphere is just what you want from a neighbourhood pub, but there is a little more life in this unassuming pub than before. The food offering is top draw with superb Sunday roasts that are getting people talking. A surprise outside space and separate venue for hire further add to its charms, making this a quality place to enjoy a refreshing drink and spot of socialising.

Caxton Arms Brighton most dog friendly brighton restaurant awards BRAVO

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Great central beer garden
  • Cosy atmosphere

The Chimney House

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.

Chefs at work at the Chimney House Restaurants Brighton - The best Brighton Pubs

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Community feel in Seven Dials
  • Relax in their charming decor

The Black Lion

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 having a generally 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 gastropub menu and return to get the party started in the evening at this popular night spot.

The Lion

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Spacious outdoor seating
  • Oldest pub in Brighton

The Mash Tun

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 seen, with the outside seating always full and lively.

Crowds at The Mash Tun

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Best place for summer drinks
  • Tasty burgers and sides

The Western

Billed as a “tap house” rather than a pub, The Western Brighton is a popular spot all year round that serves great drinks and decent food, in a handy location right by Churchill Square. If you’re shopping till you drop you can rest your weary feet and quench your thirst on one of the benches in the sun trap of the ample outside seating area, or inside by a log fire when it’s chillier.

Team @ Western Brighton

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Great location
  • Lots of variety

The Independent

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 hand pick 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 roasts that have people queuing out the door. With music and other events regularly taking place, The Independent represents all that is good in a pub.

The Independent Pub Hanover

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Friendly local pub
  • Restaurant quality cuisine

The Cricketers

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 Grahame Green was once a regular at the pub, immortalising it in his novel “Brighton Rock”, the upstairs bar and function room being named in his honour. A very popular Lanes pub, that has a superb food offering and the large inner courtyard offers a different space for dining. With a grizzly twist it is also said to have also been the haunt of “Jack the Ripper” who planned his murders from the upstairs bar.

Food at The Cricketers Restaurants Brighton

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • One of the oldest pubs in Brighton
  • Traditional decor

The Mesmerist

The Mesmerist Brighton in The Lanes is a long standing favourite amongst Brightonians. From the look of the queues that often snake outside the door here, there’s a lot of magic going on inside that party-goers are keen to be captured by, time and again. With two floors, three bars and a roof terrace The Mesmerist has plenty of tricks up its sleeve and is the perfect spot for a quiet catch up with friends working your way through the extensive cocktail list, to a Saturday night party destination!

Restaurants with Entertainment, Cocktails at The Mesmerist bar, Brighton

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Great central location
  • Great for live music in the evenings

Brighton Beer Dispensary

Located just off Western Road you could be forgiven for missing this excellent pub, but you would want to remedy that as soon as possible. The Brighton Beer Dispensary has some of the best beers in town and great food to match. The kitchen operates under the name of “The Dizzy Gull” and serves some of the most inventive pub food around. This is modern pub food that takes classic dishes and turns them on their head, but in doing so creates something quite delicious. An impressive range of cask and craft ales, with regular tap takeovers and events, this is a real beer lover’s pub that is a must in the city.

Brighton Beer Dispensary, Brighton Pub
Just what the doctor ordered, craft and guest ales at Brighton Beer Dispensary

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Twist on the classics
  • Great choice of beers

Ginger Pig

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 pub now, but no matter which way you look at it The Ginger Pig is a winner every time.

The Ginger Pig Best Pub Brighton Restaurant Awards BRAVO

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Top quality cuisine
  • Friendly, attentive service

The West Hill

As you arrive into Brighton by train you might just spy this pub on its perch overlooking the city. Under new management The West Hill Tavern has been given a new lease of life, and that is great to see. The Independently run pub has been given a modern make over but retained its classic pub character. The food element comes in the guise of Cosmic Pizza Co. bringing an ever changing menu of Neapolitan pizza base and innovative toppings. The West Hill is a proper pub that welcomes everyone through their doors.

The Westhill Tavern Best Pub Brighton Restaurant Awards BRAVO
Under new management, The West Hill Tavern

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Great central location
  • Traditional pub feel

Brighton Bierhaus

Taproom for Brighton Bier, the city’s award-winning craft brewery, The Bierhaus is another pub for those who love their beer. The brewery has stepped in to save the site, that has housed a pub since 1830, and a slice of Brighton history to boot. The listed building has been transformed into a new community hub serving an extensive range of beers that showcases the Brighton Bier range alongside guest beers from UK, European and American Breweries. Tap takeovers and meet the brewer events are commonplace so you can always expect to find something special pouring here.

Brighton Bierhaus, Brighton Bier Brighton Pubs
Beer loving society in Brighton Bierhaus

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Lots of unique beers to try
  • Great community feel

The Lion and Lobster

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 does 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.

Lion-and-Lobster, Bravo Awards, Brighton Pubs
Plenty to explore at the Lion & Lobster

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Hidden rooftop terrace
  • Great place to watch sport with tasty dishes

The Hop Poles

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 day time drink with a good book or as an evening spot with friends.

Hop Poles, food pub in Brighton, Brighton Pubs
A colourful lot at The Hop Poles

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Cosy, traditional pub
  • Tasty classics

The Southover

You might need to bring your climbing boots to make it up to The Southover but you will be rewarded for your efforts once you get there. This quality local pub has a great crowd who call it home, and the range of beers, wines and spirits will welcome you in a similar fashion. Great drinks, superb food from smoking superstars “The Little Blue Smokehouse” and a traditional yet modern feel make The Southover a top pub, and regular events and quizzes keep things interesting and varied. The Southover is one of those Brighton pubs that you wished was at the end of your road, and for some lucky people it is.

The Southover, Hanover, Brighton Pubs
Well worth the climb to The Southover

Brighton Pubs Top Tips:

  • Great community pub in Hanover
  • Traditional cosy decor