Restaurant Brighton's guide to
Our top picks
Beachfront all-day dining for the whole family. If you’re looking for a quintessential day out in Brighton then OhSo can keep you fueled from breakfast to sundown with a menu of seaside classics. Located next to the Palace Pier and right on the beach, you’re perfectly located to punctuate your day’s activity with reasonably priced, good quality food. Or park yourself on one of the benches for a whole day of sun, drinks and food all in one place.
Head over to the Brighton Marina, follow the boardwalk past all the generic national chains and head down the western jetty to The Watershed (look out for the bright red parasols as an indicator of where to go). The Watershed feels exclusive with a mix of New England and luxurious living aesthetics but is really a relaxed and inclusive venue. The menu serves from lunch until early evening, with social sharing platters and Sunday roasts a big feature, and a waterfront terrace right on the marina with a west-facing aspect for sundowners.
Situated beneath the i360, West Beach Bar and Kitchen is a spacious venue with open views across the seafront and ample seafront seating in the newly renovated Kings Way Arches. They serve from brunch to evening meals, using fresh ingredients and local suppliers and producers for a little taste of Sussex. Afternoon teas, Sunday roasts and a pick ‘n’ mix kids menu makes this a ‘family-prefered’ restaurant whatever your occasion.
Lucky Beach, situated on the seafront promenade between the two piers is one of the UK’s most sustainable restaurants according to the Sustainable Restaurants Association. They have also won national awards for their burgers and brunch and serve award-winning Redroaster coffee. Are all the awards down to luck? Nope, these guys are committed to quality and integrity through and through.
Brighton Cookery School is a fun way to mix up your normal food-based get-together where you can learn professional cookery skills, socialise and feat on the results of your labours. Meet up, skill up and cook up at Brighton Cookery School with either a private group or by joining one of their regular classes. Party packages include everything you need, including drinks, for a restaurant experience from both sides of the kitchen.
Born in Brighton, Honest Burgers established itself in the hippest parts of London and beyond before returning home in 2018. Honest Burgers serve a cracking range of burgers, all made with meat from their own butchers, as well as having great vegan and vegetarian options. All burgers come served with their signature salt and rosemary fries. They use local produce as well as set up partnerships with other local businesses making this small ‘chain’ really independently focussed.
Annexed on to The Hilton Hotel on the seafront, The Salt Room offers stylish modern dining and spectacular sea views that attract local foodie residents as well as holidaying visitors. The grill restaurant is seafood led, but not exclusively so, with sustainable, locally sourced top-quality produce at its heart. The Salt Room offers an exceptional quality dining experience with an a la carte menu and award-winning Sunday Lunch sharing platters.
Tucked away in the lanes on Boyce’s street is a gem of a restaurant you might easily miss. Sister restaurant to The Salt Room, The Coal Shed focusses around seasonality and locality and cooks with the Josper Grill, considered the industries finest. The Coal shed is a good all-rounder for lovers of quality, suited to families and parties as much as intimate dinners. Although predominantly a meat and fish restaurant vegetarians will enjoy well thought out and creative dishes.
Cyan is a fresh new look for the iconic old lady, The Grand. This all-day eatery takes its inspiration from the bounty of the sea and the Sussex countryside (the colour cyan is a mix of blue, the sea, and green, the land). Cyan offers an all-day dining menu, a two and three-course set menu, has a special kids menu and serves up roasts on Sunday. All delivered with the standard and quality you would expect from The Grand Hotel.
Coppa Club is located in the Lanes taking up one entire side of Brighton square and the courtyard, where, during the winter its igloos provide a popular alternative dining experience. Inside there is a spacious dining area and lounge making it an ideal venue for drinks and nibbles or a full family meal. The all-day menu is extensive, giving something for everyone. Brunch is an extra feature added weekends and bank holidays.
Located downstairs in seafront hotel, The Old Ship, is The Wardroom restaurant. The modern British menu has a hint of world inspiration to it, as though you were taking a world cruise and picking up flavours along the way. This makes for some very pleasant revisions to established favourites. This is good quality food at a price that won’t require you to push the boat out.
Taking its style from gritty New York eateries, The New Club at the bottom of Preston Street has possibly the best view of the West Pier you can get. Here you can enjoy big brunches, lunches and late serving Sunday lunches, cocktails and craft beers. It’s cool, but not pretentious. Looks good, tastes good and has something for all diets. Try it and you’ll be a regular subscriber to The New Club in no time.
Back in the days when vegetarianism and veganism were nowhere near as popular as they are today, Terre a Terre set out to bring modern creative plant-based dining to a foodie crowd. Nearly 30 years on and they’re still one of the best vegetarian restaurants even with the recent boom. Just reading their menu sets the taste buds afire with a sense of adventure. Terre a Terre continues to teach the newbies what plants can do.
The Hotel Du Vin brand is a mark of excellence well known throughout the UK. The modern bistro at Hotel Du Vin Brighton is just a stone’s throw from the seafront in the Gothic style hotel. The cuisine is French-English fusion, sourcing locally. The bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, welcoming residents and non-residents alike.
Amarillo is brought to us by top Chef Ian Swainson who has worked at and help lead many top restaurants to Michelin stardom. Amarillo is Spanish inspired small plate dining, intended for sharing. The menu is simple, divided into meat, fish and plant and it is recommended that build up around six dishes between two. Located in the boutique Drakes Hotel Amarillo is a high-end dining experience at a more affordable price point and one for which we have hopes as high as the stars.
Steven Edward’s restaurant Etch is the MasterChef winners first restaurant and voted Brighton’s Best Restaurant in the 2018 and 19 BRAVO awards, as well as being featured in the National Restaurant Association top 100 for the past two years. Steven’s style is unique, each plate in the tasting menu has only two primary ingredients and no spices, not even pepper are used in their preparation. Instead, cheffing skill and sensitivity are used to finesses ingredients for a dining experience that is practically flawless.
Duncan Ray runs a tight ship at the multi-award-winning Little Fish Market. The small 30 cover restaurant has an entirely seafood based tasting menu, with a single server at the Front of House and Duncan and one sous chef in the kitchen. Precision is everything here and pays off with The Little Fish Market making waves nationally as well as locally. Notably, the restaurant only does one serving a night with diners arrivals staggard and encouraged to take their time, lingering over wine even after the last perfect morsel is devoured.
Chard began life as an evening pop up run by family trio Benny, Mae and Ciarán. Popularity for the team and their unique mix of rustic charm, fine food and familial warmth soon had them as a full-time hot-spot on the Brighton food scene with a new cafe above i-Gigi General store and great things were expected of them generally. Post-COVID lockdown of 2020, the team are seeking a new home to call their own.
Moshimo is a stylish sushi restaurant with an iconic Shoji style building in the Lanes. They serve authentically prepared sushi using only fish that are sustainable. Moshimo’s commitment to sustainable fishing led to their incredibly successful Fish Love campaign and Brighton’s Vegan Challenge. The menu is suitable for all dietary types, with excellent vegan sushi options.
Planet India is an institution in the city. Low key, relaxed and homely, serving authentic pure vegetarian food with a dash of heartfelt good humour. Entering Planet India is like being welcomed into a family member’s living room, and luckily you were expected! Food is wholesome, good mood food, it can edge a little on the spicy side, that’s also part of the attraction.
Curry leaf in the Lanes is a brightly coloured South Indian Street Food cafe with an extensive menu of craft beers. They have won numerous awards for both the quality of cuisine and the range of offerings for all dietary requirements. A child friendly menu is also served, with more familiar dishes but authentic enough to start a young palate’s voyage of discovery.
Baqueano is an Argentinian steak restaurant run by wife and husband team Adriana and Jorge. Adriana runs the front of house with irresistible warmth while Jorge works the kitchen. They offer a range of cuts you won’t find in other Argentinian restaurants and will pair these with fruity full bodied wines. You will leave vowing to return soon to this charming top-quality restaurant.
Chinese Restaurant, Gars, is another city institution having been running for over 30 years. This is authentic top-quality Chinese food cooked traditionally and perfectly. Good for banquet dining celebrations or lunch time Dim Sum in the Lanes. The private hire karaoke adds a level of guilty pleasure fun to the offering. The menu is clearly marked out for dietary requirements and tolerances with a good range of meat and vegetable dishes.
Most Thai food you’ll find in the UK is Southern Thai, but Northern Thai, as served at Lucky Khao is dryer and more robust and therefore better suited to the British climate. Lucky Khao are big on sustainability, sourcing locally and growing many of their exotic herbs themselves. They also cook with a green egg barberque for superb charred taste and veggie and vegan options that are really different to standard fare. Add to your dining some inventive cocktails and you’ve got Thai food the likes of which you won’t have had in the UK before.
Kujira on Brighton’s Restaurant Street (Preston Street) is an ultra sleek super stylish Robatayaki grill. Here meats and vegetables are marinaded then cooked using hot coals (without flame) heat level is controlled by moving skewers nearer or further away from the grill and requires great skill. Pair a meal with signature cocktails and share a selection of small plates of perfectly dishes bursting with unique flavour, intensified by the dry heat of coals.
Manju’s Indian restaurant is a heartwarming story in itself. Manju, now in her 80s was given a restaurant by her sons, thus achieving her life-long dream. But there’s more to Manju’s than a happy ending and a head chef whose infectious joy is captivating. Manju’s serves seriously good, pure vegetarian Gujarati food from the recipes Manju has been perfecting her whole life.
Indian Summer is the first authentic Indian restaurant in Brighton, prior to which there were only Balti houses serving Anglicised “curry”. Indian Summer remains a vanguard of Indian elevating the UK’s favourite cuisine with a fine dining edge. Meat and vegan, and vegetarian offerings are equally well represented as well as a child’s menu and plenty of gluten free options.
Located at the northern most head of the North Laine, Mange Tout is a relaxed, friendly modern French Bistro with street-side seating and large windows, perfect for observing the busy Laine life. Open for brunch, lunch light bites and evening meals at the latter half of the week, Mange Tout is all about ingredient led, seasonal cooking and low intervention wines. They’re serious about sustainability and quality, but very relaxed about everything else!
Nostos in Hove is a modern Greek restaurant (forget the Taverna clichés), serving a mix of traditional and contemporary Greek cuisine. Plates are vibrant with Mediterranean vegetables, lots of seafood, skewers and slow cooked meats as well as plenty of vegan options. Close your eyes and you could almost be on the Aegean. Nostos is open for lunch and dinner throughout the week and for breakfast Friday to Sunday.
This intimate French bistro in the Lanes seems capable of adapting to whatever your occasion; from romantic dinner for two to a family meal out or friends get together. The menu is unmistakably French but ingredients are sources largely locally for freshness and seasonality. Two major diversions from the traditional French bistro also take place in the Petit Poise menu, a thoughtful range of vegan options (not just “vegan the way French fries are vegan”) and a Sunday lunch menu.
This large family-friendly venue at the bottom of West Street is perfect for social gatherings of any size and spanning generations – the way Italian gatherings should be! Nuposto serve Neapolitan pizzas, fresh pasta and classic dishes. All are made in house with the authentic pizza oven and open kitchen providing the heart of this busy restaurant. With kids eat for free offers and discounts for NHS workers and cinema goers, Nuposto should be a part of any family-day visit to Brighton.
An institution in Brighton and a key contributor to the city, Donatello’s and it’s sister restaurants have been family run since Pietro Addis opened Pinocchio in 1987. Donatello’s is a 400 seater restaurant that serves affordable freshly made Italian food. Everything is freshly made on site from pizza dough to pasta and sauces for affordable quality and freshness you can’t beat.
Head into Kemptown for a local community centred restaurant that’s welcoming to all. Woodbox Pizzeria is intimate and friendly with an open kitchen providing a little theatre to your anticipation and antipasti. They serve Napoli style pizzas proving dough for over 24 hours and using many fresh ingredients from Sussex for superb quality pizzas.
Effortlessly cool, Plateau offers up relaxed high quality dining with a daily changing menu that is ingredient led. Organic and low intervention wines are available by the bottle to drink in or takeaway with a good selection always available by the glass. Cocktails are a bit of a speciality with Plateau and add to this an eclectic mix of beats supplied by the Plateau team for an evening of fun fun infused excellence.
Market Restaurant on the boarder lands of Brighton and Hove serves Spanish inspired small plates in a lively congenial setting. The market theme runs throughout with a menu divided into butcher, fishmonger, baker and greengrocer from which you can build a sharing menu. Weekly offers such as Tapas Tuesdays and Oyster and Cava Thursdays, means every day can be a Market day.