Restaurant Brighton's guide to

Gastro Pubs Guide

Our top picks

Brighton Gastro Pubs

The West Hill Tavern, conveniently situated just up the hill from Brighton railway station, is a sought-after gastro pub destination. With its unique concept as a pizza pub, it offers a diverse range of delectable pizzas made with fresh, hand-stretched dough and an array of delicious toppings. Some popular choices include the Margherita pizza, topped with mozzarella, tomato, and basil, and the Smokey Joe, featuring smoked bacon, red onion, and barbecue sauce. On Sundays, the tavern serves incredible Sunday roasts, with options like roast beef or roast chicken accompanied by roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and rich gravy. 

Gastro pubs Brighton city centre. Few pubs experience such a transformation over the course of a day than The Black Lion. During the day the pub offers a refuge from the hustle and bustle of Brighton’s Lanes and a tempting array of gastro pub style dishes. With sharing platters, small plates and a variety of mains they have got most things covered. Pop back in the evening and you will find one of the liveliest pubs in Brighton and the party in full swing.

The Basketmakers Arms is a traditional cosy pub in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine. It’s a Brighton institution and one where you’ll regularly find a buzzing crowd of all ages, locals and visitors alike. The food menu is classic pub fare done very well. You’ll find traditional favourites but made with premium ingredients and locally sourced where possible. This being Brighton, you’ll also find some strong vegan and vegetarian dishes too. On Sundays, it’s all about the Brighton Sunday roasts, and at the Basketmakers, you’ll get to enjoy the full-on Brightonian ‘Sunday session’ of friends and family, good food and well-kept cask ales and beer. 

The Cleveland Arms is a stylish pub overlooking Blakers Park near Five Ways. This traditional community pub serves Sussex ales, good quality wines and spirits. Food wise, you’ll find a blended menu where elevated pub classics made with quality local produce, sits alongside small plates that are bold and creative. On a Sunday, the award winning roast is not to be missed and with children and dogs welcome, what is not to love? In the warmer months, sit outside in their suntrap overlooking the park or cosy up by the fireplace in the winter. The Cleveland Arms is a perennially excellent pub. 

The Cricketers is a pub stooped in history and vibrant, traditional saloon-style pub in a popular central location. The menu comes from the kitchen of Phil Bartley and focuses on honest pub food classics made better with only the best quality ingredients and locally sourced meat, fish and vegetables. Choose from classic sandwiches served in ciabattas to locally landed fish and chips or hearty pies. There’s also a variety of juicy burgers with a vegan option all served with chunky chips. The Greene Room, named after local author Graham Greene, is also available for private hire with buffet catering. A standout food pub in our gastro pubs Brighton guide. 

The Dorset brings you everything you long for in a Sussex 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 mariniére which has been a firm favourite among locals since the beginning.

As if the drinks and the music weren’t enough, the menu at The Mesmerist is also top-notch. UmamiNation presents a menu of Asian infused with Western favourites, think kimchi loaded fries and you’ll be on the money. On Saturdays you can enjoy bottomless brunch and then crowning the week with a hearty Sunday roasts and all the trimmings. 

The Lewes Road Inn is a spacious and welcoming pub. It’s popular with the local community which largely consists of young families and students. They serve an Italian themed menu during the week, with classic pizzas and small plates. They have a selection of burgers if you’re wanting something more in the way of classic pub fare. The kids’ menu is full of easy pleasers and the large pub is good for family get-togethers. On Sundays, the kitchen keeps it classic with roasts, offering a good selection of traditional meats as well as veggie and vegan options.

The Chimney House serves outstanding food and a great selection of quality drinks in an unpretentious, rustic and all round good Brighton pub. Known for their local sourcing, including the use of foraged herbs and vegetables, the food has a distinctively Sussex feel. The pub has a lovely relaxed community feel to it making for a great atmosphere. Situated just off Dyke Road it is a great spot for an afternoon off the beaten track.

The Lewes Road Inn is a spacious and welcoming pub. It’s popular with the local community which largely consists of young families and students. They serve an Italian themed menu during the week, with classic pizzas and small plates. They have a selection of burgers if you’re wanting something more in the way of classic pub fare. The kids’ menu is full of easy pleasers and the large pub is good for family get-togethers. On Sundays, the kitchen keeps it classic with roasts, offering a good selection of traditional meats as well as veggie and vegan options.

There was a time when the idea of a pub serving a completely vegetarian menu would be unheard of, although perhaps not in Brighton. The Prince George has become well known for its extensive award winning vegetarian menu; but it is much more than just that. A fantastic lively pub with an impressive range of drinks on offer, The Prince George is the ideal place to rest your feet for an hour or two and soak up the atmosphere.

Hove Gastro Pubs

The Better Half is a traditional pub with a modern twist. One of the oldest pubs in the city, it has recently been revamped in a way that respects its history whilst bringing it bang up to date. The food is a celebration of simplicity, focussing on classic dishes and hearty wholesome food. This is a proper local pub, with a warm friendly welcome and superb home-cooked dishes.

The George Payne in Hove is a friendly community pub that’s child and dog friendly. The menu is modern pub fare that’s freshly made in-house and there are plenty of weekday offers to take advantage of. The emphasis is on local quality produce to elevate traditional dishes. Of particular interest is the Butcher’s Block specials, with a changing selection of locally butchered meats and accompaniments which gives the chefs a bit of room to flex their cooking prowess. There’s also a selection of rostis on the menu for something a bit more restauranty. On Sundays there’s a strong roast serving with each ingredient getting some serious TLC for a raucous flavour adventure. There’s also a kids’ menu of affordable easy pleasers.

This little hidden gem of a pub is easily missed. Situated on First Avenue, this bistro pub features a stylish interior and a wonderful heated garden for those summer days. When it comes to the food, you can choose from the menu which serves pub classics with a modern flare or, if you fancy trying the popular Deli Boards, these are perfect for sharing. The Sunday roasts are not to be missed and best to book in advance. Sleek, stylish and very Hove this is a venue for those looking for something a little more polished.

Uniquely positioning itself as a venue which specialises in shellfish, The Urchin celebrates the fruits of the sea from our Brighton shores. With regular supplies from Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales, The Urchin has some of the freshest seafood available in the city. With a superb range of craft beers on offer, including those from their own onsite microbrewery, The Urchin is a local pub with a nationally acclaimed reputation for its food.

If you’re looking for a relaxed, friendly and vibrant place to quaff some wine with friends whilst enjoying a light lunch or an evening meal then Libation could be for you. Libation offers a menu of fresh, seasonal produce that has been used to create a choice of sharing light bites, burgers or wraps. Visit on a Sunday for a delicious roast or try their weekend brunch. With heated outdoor seating you can enjoy your food alfresco at any time of the day.

You’ll be able to tell from the smell that ‘smokehouse’ is more than just a name. Head Chef, Mark, hand picks the best quality seasonal meat and game from local producers and smokes them, and cheese, in-house. The Chop Shop menu is packed with outstanding flavour and makes for a meat eater’s dream. Think wood-smoked ribs, BBQ pulled pork and weekly specials. The rest of the menu is about hearty, indulgent but quality classics. There’s an extensive selection of burgers, loaded nachos and fries and kebabs. There are plenty of veggie and vegan options that are well thought out. On Sundays, there are roasts galore and you’ll find them getting that special smoke treatment too.

Nestled away in urban Hove is The Stirling Arms, a lovely bright pub with a community atmosphere. The menu is Mediterranean-inspired grill, with a great selection of fresh and seasonal specials. You’ll find a mix of Med favourites on the menu, and some items of a more familiar pub grub feel. Small plates include tapas items such as patatas bravas and tiger prawns in garlic and butter. Mains include traditional chicken paella and Tuscan seafood stew. There’s a dedicated pasta section with fresh sauces matched to al dente pasta. They have a dedicated children’s menu (children are welcome until 8pm) and classic roasts are served on Sunday. It’s a Cask Marque pub, so you know you’ll get an excellent drop here, they also have a premium selection of wines and spirits. 

The Ginger Pig

The Ginger Pig is a key part of Hove’s food scene and a proper food destination in every sense of the word. Awarded ‘Best Food Pub’ in the Brighton and Hove Food Awards 3 years running, they serve traditional classics with a modern touch. The menu of locally sourced and seasonal dishes never fails to disappoint, and their wine list is superb. They are currently adding accommodation so you can even stay the night.

Sussex gastro Pubs

Introducing SexMex at The Cider Tap, a menu that champions the finest Sussex ingredients and infuses them with the rich and smoky flavours of Mexico to deliver a menu of street food classics. You can expect options like: Fully Loaded Nachos with pumpkin chilli, sour cream, cheese, squashamole, pickled jalapeños, and tacos, which are served in sets of three and packed with delicious goodness. Wash the Mexican feast down with beverages fit for a king and enjoy the food induced euphoria among the stunning surrounds of Sussex.

The Cricketers in Worthing is more than just a pub; it’s a remarkable food destination with a gastro pub flair. Their menu features a range of high-quality pub classics alongside seasonal specials. Indulge in dishes like their succulent Beer-Battered Fish and Chips, mouthwatering Cricketers Burger with all the trimmings, or the flavoursome Wild Mushroom Risotto. With a commitment to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, The Cricketers creates an exceptional dining experience that elevates traditional pub fare to new heights.

The New Inn in Hurstpierpoint is a beautiful Grade II listed pub that has been lovingly and thoughtfully modernised. A seasonal and local menu is available for lunch and dinner six days a week with Sunday’s given over to the classic roast. The New Inn has a commitment to local; sourcing much of their meat, fish and produce from within Sussex, as well as having their own kitchen garden. The Josper oven is a stand out feature for the menu, where Trenchmore wagyu is cooked with the respect it deserves. 

Situated in the historic coastal village of Rottingdean, The Plough is a traditional village pub that acts as the beating heart of the local community. The menu was created by head chef Phil Bartley, and offers a modern take on pub classics along with his famous Deli Boards. Unmissable ‘Bartley Roasts’ are served on Sundays. This venue caters for everybody from kids to couples and walkers to your everyday regular. Close enough to Brighton as a spot to reward yourself on a Sunday stroll, The Plough Inn is a fabulous pub to while away a Sunday afternoon with a roast and local ale.

This beautiful pub dates back to the 16th Century, and so as you would expect comes with all the hallmarks of it age. With a mix of ancient flagstones, oak floorboards and inglenook fireplaces you can happily spend an afternoon snug inside this pub.  The proper hearty pub food, “cask marque” ales and interesting wine list has got the food and drink covered. With a pleasant garden, gluten free and kids menu available this pleasant country pub should keep everyone happy.

Nestled not far from the Devils Dyke, the Ginger Fox is the country cousin of Brighton’s other Ginger group restaurants. A lovely pub and restaurant to get away from it all, it cuts an impressive sight with its thatched roof and beer garden with child friendly play area and treasure trail. Bordering on fine dining, but in a relaxed setting, the modern European menu utilises the best quality ingredients available. With local ales and wines you will be spoilt for choice.

The Crabtree is located in the beautiful Sussex countryside south of Horsham. They pride themselves in serving great local, seasonal food, organic wines and fabulous real ales in warm and welcoming surroundings. The frequently changing menu uses only the freshest available products including foraged ingredients, so no two visits are ever alike. Sunday lunches are very popular in this beautiful country pub and are well worth a trip out of town for – just make sure you book ahead!