Restaurant Brighton's guide to

Best Restaurants Brighton

Our top picks

Fine dining at Little FIsh Market
photo credit: Xavi Buendia

The Little Fish Market offers a relaxed and intimate dining experience. The tasting menu, which runs to a dozen-plus dishes, changes frequently depending on the seasons and what’s been landed that day. There are around 20 covers, and diners have their table for the whole night. The menu has a wine pairing option curated by Noble Rot, Mayfair. The Little Fish Market is the most highly awarded restaurant in Brighton, the winner of the BRAVOs 2020 best restaurant award, they have held a Good Food Score of Five since and three AA Rosettes 2016. 

Masterchef winner Steven Edwards set up his restaurant in Brighton in 2017. Since opening, his ambition and drive to perfect his craft has shown no signs of slowing and neither do the recognitions. To date etch. has earned 5 in The Good Food Guide, 66th Place in the National Restaurant Awards (2019), three AA Rosettes, a Michelin Plate and first place in the people’s vote for the Best Restaurants Brighton category in the 2019 BRAVOs. The dining experience at etch. is a complete one and one from which we anticipate even greater things to come.

Ian Swainson’s Spanish inspired fine dining concept is the permanent resident kitchen at the acclaimed Drakes hotel. Swainson’s CV is impressive, studded with Michelin stars and AA Rosettes, while Drakes is widely considered one of the finest boutique hotels in Brighton. Their coming together is a tour de force on the city’s food scene. Swainson serves a six course tasting menu, sourcing the finest quality ingredients. Notably as a sign of the times for fine dining, there are both meat/ fish and vegetarian set menus. 

Tucked away on Ship Street is the very unassuming French bistro, Petit Pois. The restaurant brings together a menu of classic French dishes prepared with sensitive innovation, a lovingly crafted wine list that celebrates the finest winemaking regions of the country and a casual, chic and undeniably French ambience. Petit Pois is a local gem, whose balance of quality, service and fair prices really flies the tricolour for bistro dining,

Moshimo is a giant amongst the best restaurants in Brighton, with a building in the style of a Japanese lantern that is as iconic as the Royal Pavillion itself. Moshimo has a history for making international waves in the seafood industry. The menu excludes endangered fish and places a massive emphasis on sustainability through the Moshimo “Fish Love” campaign. Moshimo also drives awareness on veganism (or flexitarianism) with their quarterly Moshimo Vegan Challenge. How can a sushi restaurant achieve all of this? By being exceptional at what they do is how; Moshimo remains the place to go for sushi in Brighton.

It is unusual for a restaurant annexed onto a hotel to achieve national recognition for excellence, but this is what The Salt Room has done. The conservatory-like restaurant looks out over the West Pier and seafront through a bold black and glass facade. Inside sea botanical infused aperitifs await, and an innovative menu of seasonal, sustainable and locally landed seafood cooked over coals.

Coming from the pedigree stock of The Coal Shed and The Salt Room it’s really no surprise that Burnt Orange quickly won a top spot in the hearts of local food lovers. Burnt Orange combines the same quality and standard of food and drinks as its big siblings but does so in a more relaxed way. With a playlist from Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), creative and fun cocktails and an open bar and kitchen to provide an element of theatre, Burnt Orange is a must-try for a “grownup hangout for Brighton” where quality is key.

The first Northern Thai restaurant in Brighton, Lucky Khao, shares venue with one of Brighton’s favourite coffee shops, Redroaster. From the award-winning Scandinavian inspired interior design, and deep marinated flavours perfected using the very on-trend Green Egg barbecue, there’s a lot of wow factors here. The chefs at Lucky Khao have trained in Bangkok’s celebrated 100 Mahaseth restaurant, bringing an authentic experience of Northern Thia cuisine into the already very cool mix.

Michelin awarded Restaurant Interlude a star in the 2020 awards, less than a year into the restaurant opening. The ever-changing menu at Restaurant Interlude is inspired by and draws many ingredients from the listed gardens of the Leonardslee Estate, Horsham, in which it is set. Dining begins at 7 pm and takes around three to four hours for the 14 to 19-course menu to be served. The menu at Interlude is an event, an exploration of season and terrain that is all together transportive.

Wild Flor serves classic cuisine, cooked with culinary excellence, served with panache and more than just a dash of superb wine. The latter really is the driving force behind the team who are passionate about unusual and rare grapes, but who wouldn’t dare allow you to enjoy these with anything other than the highest standard of food. This is somewhere to enjoy leisurely to fully enjoy every bite and sip.

Rathfinny Wine estate has elevated the visitor experience into something quite special and earned itself a Michelin Plate in 2020. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, The Tasting Room has re-modelled itself as the Tasting Room Seafood and Wine Kitchen, with a menu to be enjoyed in the vineyard grounds or terrace.

Like it’s sister restaurant, The Salt Room, The Coal Shed has a firm policy of using sustainably sourced produce. Black Aberdeen Angus steak from the very tip of Northern Scotland provides the standard of fare. The food is cooked using a Josper Grill, considered the industries best grill for sealing in flavour, succulence, and a smokey chargrill note. The Salt Rooms raises the bar for steak restaurants everywhere and arguably sits among the best restaurants in Brighton for its Sunday roast sharing platter too.

Nostos in Hove is a relatively new addition to th e restaurant scene in the area, but fast becoming a regular go-to. They serve classic Greek cuisine but with elevation and modern innovation. The venue is light open and thoroughly modern. With a strong list of Greek wines and spirits, Nostos is a fantastic venue to celebrate in Greek style.

The Curry Leaf Cafe in the bustling Lanes serves South Indian street food of the sort you would find in busy markets and streets. The Curry Leaf Cafe is exactly that, a cafe, but finds its way into our best restaurants Brighton list nonetheless. Casual dining doesn’t have to mean corners are cut. At the Curry Leaf Cafe, you can enjoy excellent authentic cuisine, well paired with a large selection of craft beers at affordable prices. The Curry Leaf has won numerous awards, especially for the attention to providing menus that cater to allergies and restricted diets.

Combining the best of Sussex produce with masterful smokehouse techniques, Slow and Low Smokehouse will undoubtedly make its mark as one of the best restaurants in Brighton. David Pearse, who has previously run the kitchen at the Cloakroom and the acclaimed Shepherd and Dog, has brought his innovative and creative approach to cooking to The Bronze and curated a concept that stands out in both quality and value.

Take American barbeque flavour as your starting point and prepare to have your taste buds embark on a full-flavoured culinary journey.

This bijou French bistro at the top of the North Laine is relaxed and friendly with a daily changing ingredient-led menu, organic low intervention wine and locally sourced ethical produce. The modern cuisine is French-inspired, but more simply refined with ingredients being finessed. Mange Tout is open daily for breakfast, lunch and light bites, and evening meals Thursday to Saturday.

The story of Manju’s is an inspirational tale of a hard-working mother holding in her heart the dream of opening her own restaurant for 70 years and having it realised by her children buying her her own place while in her 80s. As heartwarming as the story is, it’s a cold world we live in and the story alone wouldn’t guarantee success if the food wasn’t up to parr. But Manju’s life of cooking and caring translates seamlessly into a professional service with a wonderfully personal touch. The pure vegetarian Gujarati food, which is all prepared by Manju, is served tapas-style, as it comes, and has taken Brighton by storm.

Anglo-Spanish tapas and small plates, a robust wine list and sherry specialist, are bedrocks in the Market Restaurant experience. But it is in social dining that Market makes their way onto our best restaurants Brighton list. The buzz of Market beats in perfect time with the tempo of Spanish flavours. Deep earthy charcuterie, creamy cheeses and flashes of spice leap from plate to plate as the chefs work up a creative spectacle in the open kitchen. Hostess Kate ensures drinks, food and conversation flow in equal measure.

While on the hunt for excellence one should not limit themselves to Brighton. Head along the coast to our eastward neighbour Eastbourne and sample the exquisite and versatile offering at Port Hotel. This restored, sea-facing Victorian townhouse is both contemporary and sleek. The menu varies vastly from breakfast to dinner service. However, the offering is set at a consistently high standard. Breakfasts and brunches include: traditional favourites, in both cold and cooked varieties as well as more decadent options like duck royale, for example. Lunch and diner offer a more fine dining experience, offering small and sharing plates that champion the best of local and seasonal ingredients.