Restaurant Brighton's guide to
Our top picks
Since opening in 2017, Steven Edward’s restaurant etch has celebrated local and national acclaim and review, with three AA rosettes, a Michelin Plate, NRA Top 100, 5 Good Food Guide and BRAVO 2019, Best Restaurant, all under its belt. The small Hove restaurant serves a five, seven or nine-course tasting menu, available as meat and fish, or vegetarian. Each dish features only two main ingredients and is prepared without any spices: instead, the flavour is cultivated through reducing and enhancing the inherent quality of the ingredients.
The Little Fish Market is tucked away in a primarily residential street, and it is from this unassuming location that they garner national critical praise and awards. The ethos of Chef and owner, Duncan Ray, “Precision, Restraint and Simplicity.” The fish restaurant’s set menu changes seasonally using the finest sustainable produce available. One man, Rob, manages the 20 cover restaurant, and unusually, your table at The Little Fish Market is yours for the whole night.
Market is a social dining restaurant inspired by the flavours of Spain, and serving modern tapas and sharing plates. The menu is divided into types of market stands, fishmonger, butcher, baker and greengrocer. Daily deals like Tapas Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, and Cava and Oysters Thursday make for tasty and affordable reasons to return. Food is prepped and served from the open kitchen-bar where you can also sit for a casual but exquisite quick lunch or dinner.
New to Brighton’s Holland Road is Nostos, a Greek restaurant cooking traditional Mediterranean cuisine fresh daily. Inside, tiled floors and hanging greenery give Nostos a chic and stylish feel; moving away from the usual taverna restaurants. The menu showcases some of Greece’s best and most well-known dishes, as well as more unusual recipes passed down through generations of Greek families. Nostos serves up the very best of Greek cuisine with none of the clichés.
FOURTH AND CHURCH is an independent wine merchant and small plates restaurant. The relaxed atmosphere and skillfully curated menu of sharing plates create a perfect environment for casual lunches and evening meals with an air of unpretentious sophistication. Everything is made in-house, where possible, from fermenting to curing, ensuring a high level of quality control. The wines are also hand-selected so that no nasty surprises can break the charm of the experience.
When owner, Neez, decided to open up a second restaurant in Hove he discovered a ready and waiting fanbase of ex-Brightonians. Having grown up and moved to Hove, these former fans still hankered after the good old days of pure veg home-cooked Indian food served with a side of 70s disco and cheery vibes. In keeping with the Hove temperament, the beats have toned down a little, but the homely atmosphere remains. Planet India Hove’s menu differs from the Brighton one with a focus on thalis.
The family team of three opened Chard as an evening resident in Cafe Rust near Preston Park. Oohs and ahhs followed in abundance encouraging the team to relocate to a permanent home above i gigi home store in Hove. Brighton’s loss was a most definite gain for Hove with the Chard family serving from 11 am for brunch and lunch and sumptuous dinners of seasonal local produce. The small scale of the operation makes for an incredibly personal feel and assurance that every dish is given full care and attention before leaving the kitchen.
The intimate Argentinian steak restaurant, Baqueano, is run by couple Adriana and Jorge, both Argentinian natives. Adriana manages the front of house and her infectious joy and enthusiasm for her homeland’s food and wine are equally matched by the skill of her husband’s cooking. The a la carte menu focuses on grilled meats with homemade sauces, and they are the only Argentinian restaurant in the city to serve skirt steak and sweetbread.
The Gather Inn is a pub restaurant overlooking Hove Lagoon, boasting great space and even better views. The menu focusses on local, fresh produce, served in the form of much loved pub classics. The Gather Inn also has a stunning sea view bar, with panoramic windows and a great drinks list.
The first Argentine restaurant in Sussex, Latino America, offers diners a taste of South America in Hove. Argentina has a reputation for producing the best steak in the world, and Latino America has a strong selection from which to choose. If steak is not your thing, the menu has a variety of dishes inspired by the owner’s homeland. This mix of indigenous and Mediterranean cuisine and a superb wine list makes Latino America one of Hove’s top dining venues.
The sister venue to its wonderful neighbour Latino America, Café Malbec offers a taste of South America throughout the day. This wine bar, off-license and deli offer customers a range of exclusive wines from the country with a focus on Argentine Malbec. With authentic empanadas and South American cuisine on offer, this is an ideal spot for a light bite and glass of wine with friends. During the day, you can stop by for a smooth Italian Illy coffee, and one of their homes made Argentine breakfasts and cakes while picking up a bottle of wine for later.
The only Sri Lankan restaurant on the south coast, Moonstone, serves authentic food in a relaxed and welcoming environment. Featuring a variety of traditional Sri Lankan dishes, the food is comforting, fresh and delicious. Made using spices that have been sent by the owners family back home, there are a selection of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes all with their own distinctive style. To top it off Sri Lankan cuisine uses less fat than other cuisines of a similar style making it a viable healthy option.
Not many Hove restaurants can claim that their food is literally fit for a prince, but Bali brasserie can having been picked to cater for a visit by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. With almost 30 years in the Brighton and Hove restaurant scene, this Malaysia and Indonesian restaurant is an institution in the city. With a “tropical bar” for pre-dinner drinks and a welcome just like home, the Bali Brasserie has a popular following in the area. Fusing the influences and spices from India, China and Malay the food is a cacophony of a flavour and character.
Pizza is one of the country’s favourite foods, and Hove restaurant Morelli Zorelli are doing a great job in maintaining this. Using a 150-year-old Sicilian sourdough recipe, the dough is left for three days to leaven before being cooked for 90 seconds in the woodfired oven. This locks in the moisture resulting in an authentic taste of Naples, with a little bit of local flair. You can eat in and enjoy the theatre of the pizzaiolos preparing your meal, or order take away and have it delivered to enjoy at home.
Cin Cin Hove is the second of the Cin Cin group and although younger than the Brighton restaurant, it’s much bigger. Cin Cin serves fresh, authentic Italian dishes in a social setting with seating arranged around an open kitchen. Freshly made pasts dishes are the stars of the show here, with quality and taste hard to find outside of Italy.
Zama is a Punjabi and Northern Indian cafe with casual social dining and is quite a new restaurant to Hove. The focus is on the tandoor where meats are cooked at high temperatures to seal in moisture and flavour while delivering a perfect charr. There is a wide selection of vegetarian dishes with seven dhals on the menu, all vegetarian, nearly half vegan. Decorated in earthy olive tones with long bonkette seating, Zama is the sort of venue that can quite easily accommodate an impromptu Hovite gathering of curry enthusiasts.
The team behind Wild Flor came from the famed Ginger Man group and Butlers Wine Cellars, and so it was no surprise when this Hove restaurant shot to critical acclaim. They serve classic and familiar comfort food, as well as some more adventurous dishes; all finessed to a high standard.
This small Italian restaurant remains a hidden gem in the Hove restaurants scene. Words like ‘rustic’ and ‘authentic’ can be so overused as to lose meaning in many cases. But at Franco’s Osteria the owner’s homeland is deeply embedded in the very grain of the wood that surrounds you, the lovingly curated wine list, the freshly made classic Italian food and the famed Italian hospitality.
The Ginger Pig is a consistent presence in the top Hove restaurants; part pub, mostly restaurant and always excellent. The Ginger Pig serves classic European dishes with a modern twist, backed up with a superb wine list, excellent cocktails and consistently high service. The Ginger Group, with venues throughout Sussex, sets and maintains a standard to which many strive.
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