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Our top picks
Kemptown restaurants | Our top picks
Kemptown’s Arcobaleno is a cafe bar restaurant that serves as a community hub and entertainment venue. It’s a welcoming space that serves super cocktails and delicious Maltese influenced food. If you’re not familiar with Maltese food then fear not, many of its elements are very familiar while still offering a new experience for the jaded palate. Think homemade meatballs in spicy tomato sauce, loaded flatbreads, sharing plates and pickles. It’s a comforting and social way to eat while you enjoy some local talent on stage (which is nearly always free) and fun signature cocktails.
Escape the city centre at DaddyLonglegs. This Kemptown restaurant is set sea-facing, serves lunch to the dinner menu of seasonal small plates and offers a wine list to equal those of the cities wine bars. All that can be enjoyed inside the modern restaurant or outside on the lawned beer garden. From the food you can expect a weekly changing menu of internationally inspired dishes, a Fishy Friday a la carte offering and Sunday roast riches. Set aside some time to peruse the wine list, which is made up of natural and organic wines of both local and international origin. The restaurant come bar is both modern and packed with history – so, if you’re feeling inquisitive, as their general manager to set you up with some juicy anecdotes.
Dilsk is a modern British restaurant located in Kemptown, Brighton, across the street from the seafront. Situated in the intimate basement of Drakes Hotel, Dilsk offers a high-end dining experience with impeccable attention to detail and masterful culinary flair. The restaurant champions sustainable ethics and pioneering cooking practices, with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. The tasting menu is available as a 10-course or a five-course experience, with wine pairing options featuring handpicked producers from Sussex, Kent, and international vineyards. Dilsk also offers an exceptional alcohol-free range and can provide a non-alcoholic pairing with the tasting menu.
Kemptown is the Bohemian heart of Brighton, itself a rather non-conformist city. So it’s no surprise that this should be the birthplace of the UK’s first entirely vegan pizzeria. Here you’ll find authentic toppings on real-deal sourdough pizzas. Replicating classics such as margaritas and marinara meatballs but 100% plant-based. Pizzas at Purezza are so good they’ve picked up awards in world championships and locally in the BRAVOs. Purezza has gone on to become a national dining group with restaurants in major UK cities (and Hove 😱), and it all started here in quirky Kemptown.
Starfish and Coffee Brighton is located right next to the beautiful Queens Park in Brighton and specialises in brunch, pastries, homemade cakes and excellent tea and coffee. From pancakes with bacon and maple syrup to a luxurious eggs Benedict or a big slice of fresh homemade cake baked by Brighton baker, Berkson Bakes. There are vegetarian and vegan options plus gluten-free bread and pastries available. Winner of the BRAVO 2020 best Cafe.
Nanima cafe and kitchen is nestled on a corner in Kemptown Village. Charming and intimate the venue is perfect for providing a friendly boost to your day. They serve pan-Asian cuisine, which changes daily and is made fresh. Expect home-cooked meals that instil warmth and good feeling. Deeply sustainable in its ethos, Nanima works to a minimal waste policy, they are entirely plastic-free and sell reusable vessels for takeaway purposes. There are also brunch options available on Saturdays, sandwiches for midday grab-and-go meals and a good selection of sweet treats, which they’d recommend pairing with their famous Vietnamese coffee.
New kid on the Kemptown block, trail-blazer Tørstigbar is Brighton’s (and the UK’s !) – very first low / no alcohol bar and bottle shop. With its amazing selection of beers, wines and spirits, and its thrilling menu of exclusive cocktails, there’s nothing like it for the sober / sober curious crowd. Low light, scandi-styling and chilled beats make this an attractive hangout and the friendly-team are always on hand with helpful advice and suggestions for what to try.
More Kemptown restaurants
Well known for its great locally sourced food and an impressive selection of drinks, Busby and Wilds is a homely neighbourhood gastropub. Here you have a modern menu geared to what their customers like eating, with a selection of bar snacks to match. Dishes range from traditional British, modern French and classic pub with plenty of sides and sharers to choose from – all served in a spacious light environment.
Cafe Marmalade is a secret people who live in Kemptown like to keep to themselves. This independent cafe is cosy and welcoming and is open daily delivering your coffee fix from 8 am – 6 pm. Serving fresh pastries and great coffee this venue is perfect for a low key weekend breakfast. If you pop in for lunch be sure to try one of their freshly prepared salads or homemade sandwiches, they are delicious!
Perfectly situated in the centre of Kemptown’s collection of antique and flea markets is the 1930s inspired Metro Deco tea rooms. Afternoon tea is made a meal for all occasions with Metro Deco opening from breakfast through to evening ‘tipsy teas’ served with cocktails and gin infusions.
This pizza restaurant remains a family-run business five generations after the family first established a shop in Naples back in 1845. With over 150 years of experience under their belts, you can be sure that VIP know what they are doing! However as passionate as VIP Pizza Brighton are about their history they also know that they must move with the times. This is reflected in their menu which has plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available.
At night, Redroaster becomes Lucky Khao, Brighton’s only Northern Thai restaurant and barbecue. Northern Thai cuisine is more suited to the UK than the more popular southern-style dishes as the climate is closer to our own. The food here is big on barbecued meats over a charcoal fire with spicy sharing curries and zingy fresh salads. Their signature dish may well now be the barbecue corn spare ribs – often imitated, never matched. But the great thing about the small sharing plates here, is you get to try a lot of amazing, unforgettable flavours.
Redroaster at the bottom of St James’ Street is something of a city institution, ethically sourcing and hand roasting their coffee and serving it alongside top-quality brunch and lunches with flair and style. The venue itself has a cool Scandinavian look and even cooler sustainability policy as one of the UK’s highest-scoring restaurants in the Sustainable Restaurant Awards.