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A foodies guide to Brighton with kids

Fun-filled family time

Brighton, the perfect location for an absolute blast of a family holiday! It’s teeming with a plethora of attractions that are bound to ignite the excitement of the whole gang. Whether you’re yearning for some glorious sun-soaked days by the seaside, craving delightful park adventures, or fancy exploring the idyllic countryside, Brighton, Hove, and Sussex have got just the ticket to keep you all entertained. You see, it’s simply a matter of uncovering these marvellous treasures that will bring joy and delight to each member of your lively crew!

Two girls sharing a drink on the beach on a sunny day.


Pick ‘n’ mix 

First things first, let’s make sure everybody is fed. Parents will know that it’s a rookie error to leave the house with hungry children. You’ll be aware it takes no time at all before your little angel’s halo comes crashing to the floor and two tiny horns sit tidily in its place. Head straight to our child friendly venue page and beeline to the one closest to you, feed up the troops and only then embark on your grand day out in Brighton. 

pasta in the red tomato sauce at Donatello Brighton

Going Pier to Pier 

Pick Palace Pier as your starting point and venture east to west. After a stroll through the arcades, a jaunt on the dodgems and a candy floss fuelled serenade, you’ll be well ready for some refreshments (or some heavy carbs to ground them after all that sugar!) Ohso Social is situated just to the right side of the pier (if looking out to sea) and is a great option for all-day family-friendly dining. They often offer kids eat free promotions over the holidays, so they’re also providing unbeatable value for money! 

sunset shot of the ohsos outdoor terrace and Brighton beach. Coronation 2023 events here.

Located between the Piers, and about a five minute scooter ride from both, you’ll find Shelter Hall. A seafront facing, multi-restaurant food hall, and a popular destination for visitors, and locals alike. They house seven unique kitchens, a guest pop-up and a kids only menu. All the menus provide exceptional quality, and deliver some really tasty dishes that can satisfy a whole range of palates and appetites. 

Photo credit: Shelter Hall External

New Club is located just off the beach on King’s Road, they serve some seriously yummy diner style classics, including milkshakes and burgers – which are almost always a hit with families. Once bellies are filled with the good stuff you can skip back down to the seafront and enjoy the wonders on King’s Road Playground. If you visit during the summer months then make sure you bring your bathers – the playground comes with its own paddling pool, water fountain, and sun shelters. Which makes this spot a certified oasis! 

brunch served

Spot your yacht 

A trip to Brighton Marina is a safe bet, whatever the weather. Packed with family fun activities, you won’t be short of entertainment. Glow Balls crazy golf is neon fun for everyone. Or, if you’re afraid of the dark, you can keep it physical by going bowling. Feeling hungry? Then head to The Watershed which offers great all-day family dining with a view – they’re west facing and positioned right on the water, which makes them an unbeatable spot for catching sunsets and yacht watching opportunities. 

Brighton marina view


Head away from the hordes of Brighton and onto the stunning seafront stretch of Hove. The streets are wider, flatter and somehow the seagulls seem less obnoxious. Hove Lagoon is a cracking destination, it comes with a large playground, skate park, water sport opportunities, lagoon pedalos, boats and the reputable Big Beach Cafe. Famously owned by none other than Fat Boy Slim, himself. Gather Inn has stunning views of the lagoon and provides well-made pub grub, a little tipple for the parents, and even a bed for the night should you wish to extend your stay.

The Gather Inn Brighton. Sunday roast Brighton. Brighton Restaurant Awards. The picture shows many wooden chairs and tables in the light and spacious bar room. This is a Brighton seafront restaurant with views over Hove Lagoon area at the far end of Brighton.

If you’ve had enough beach-time, then the Church Road area of Hove also has some great family friendly restaurants and cafes for you to refuel at. Pesca is a superb Italian restaurant, which specialise in traditional Italian cooking practise and charming hospitality – perfect for a family lunch out.

Don’t lose them down the Lanes

Brighton Lanes are the oldest part of the city and while they’re not bursting with kid friendly activities, they are historical and you can’t really visit Brighton without getting Lost In The Lanes. What you can do though, is make the trip exciting by breaking it up with a trip to Knoops. ​​It’s the go to cafe for a chocolate drink and Brighton’s answer to Willy Wonka. If a little sugar rush doesn’t get them whizzing around the cat creeps and twittens, then we’re not sure what will!

Knoops summer drinks on Brighton beach on a sunny day.

Parents will know that you generally can’t go wrong with pizza or pasta. So, unless your child is an alien, head to Donatello. They’ve been serving authentic Italian cuisine here in Brighton since 1991, and have nailed it! 

close up shot of the delicious looking pizza at Donatello Brighton

North Laine 

Another of Brighton’s destination locations is the North Laine. Often referred to as the beating heart of the city, this area is bustling with crowds, independent shops, traders and eateries. The Pavilion Gardens are a fabulous spot that during the summer months are animated with live music and picnics. There’s also the Brighton Museum, which is set inside the Dome and has a whole host of things for you and the family to boff up on. Tinto Taperia is located just off the Pavilion gardens and next door to The Theatre Royal. They serve authentic Spanish Tapas which is ideal for little fingers.  

North Laine Brighton

The Dorset is set on North Road. It’s a lively pub that serves great food and drink. They have a superb dedicated kids menu and often offer kids eat free promotions during the holidays! Trading Post is a great place to grab a coffee, hot chocolate and snack to go. They have two North Laine based venues and are well known for their fantastic in-house roasted coffee. Moksha, is acclaimed for serving the best brunch in Brighton and serving a fantastic range of family friendly cafe favourites. 

A plate of pasta and a portion of chocolate cake with sauce and cream. Served alongside kids colouring pages and crayons.

Park play 

Whether you’re planning a park pit-stop and forgot to pack a picnic or you find yourself on an impromptu park play day, all that fun needs fueling. We have some fantastic park-side cafe options, that’ll feed you and the crew up, ready for some serious playground antics. 

Smorl’s is based in The Open Market, they serve the best of the best in healthy and nourishing wholefood. Their menu is 100% vegan and they use chickpeas as the staple of most dishes. Falafel, hummus and panini are all available and make the perfect lunch to support a playdate at The Levelthink urban, cool, add a skate park and a water feature that’ll keep the kids entertained all summer long!

Queens Park, sits neatly between Hanover and Kemptown, has luscious greenery, with tennis courts, an ample playground area and a huge pond, which is home to many a duck, goose and swan (and seagull!). Starfish and Coffee can be found on Egremont Place, they’ve won multiple awards for being the best cafe and serving the best brunch in Brighton. So, they’re really worth coaxing the kids out of the playground for! 

breakfast served outsife with the view of a park

Kids in Sussex  

Take a trip out of the city and explore the fruits of Sussex. There’s plenty of adventure to be had out there on The Downs or exploring the county’s various stretches of coast. The Cider Tap is located just 20 minutes drive away on Wobblegate Farm, it’s the perfect wilderness for the kids to run wild around and then feast on the wholesome and wonderful home cooked (and grown) meals.

two men enjoying their sandwiches and beer in the garden of The Cider Tap Sussex

For any budding golfers there’s Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate, set in Horsham on over 500 acres of land. There’s plenty of space to practice that golfer’s swing and once you’ve exhausted yourselves out there on the course you and the family can relax in the Vineyard Kitchen Restaurant and enjoy their well made gastropub classics. 

Two children are being shown how to play gold, a woman in a pink t-shirt is handing a club to a boy in a green t-shirt and cap, the second child is stood with the golf club bag.