Kemptown Restaurants – our top picks

Take a trip into Brighton’s bohemian heart and discover some of the Kemptown restaurants that locals would rather keep to themselves. Kemptown restaurants operate at a slower and more intimate pace than those of Brighton centre, while still providing a level of creativity and excellence for which the city is renowned.

Amarillo at Drakes

Amarillo at Drakes is the coming together of one of Brighton’s finest boutique hotels and the star-studded career of Chef Ian Swainson. This is a gastronomic delight that will bring a foodie spotlight to Kemptown. Amarillo serves small plate, tapas-style dining, with fine dining quality but at a price that’s a little more affordable. It should be noted that Brighton’s last Michelin star was held by a Kemptown restaurant, is history destined to repeat itself?

Amarillo Brighton
Credit XBD Photography

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The Cloak Room

Kemptown is a place for the loud, proud and distinct, all of which is summed up pretty well by The Cloak Room at the top of St James’ Street. The Cloak Room is the taproom for local brewery Cloak + Dagger, with food from Slow + Low Smokehouse, with its own smokery located in Hurstpierpoint. Think vivid colourful design, bold flavoursome plates of Sussex produce, a coveted menu of exclusive whiskey lines and small-batch beer. Add live music from emerging local bands, food and drink events and fun-loving vibes and you’re beginning to get an idea of what’s going on in The Cloak Room.

The Cloak Room

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Longrain Thai

Opening in 2020, Longrain Thai is a family run Pan-Asian restaurant. The intimate restaurant is staffed by a friendly and attentive team, headed up by Lorena, who is clearly passionate about the restaurant and your experience. The Kitchen is headed up by chef, Chandra, formally of Food For Friends, so it will come as no surprise that around 80% of the menu is vegan friendly. Longrain offers modern Pan-Asian food, using fresh ingredients cooked to order. Each dish is intended to perfectly harmonise the four elements of taste, hot, sour, salt and sweet.

a bowl of orange curry with green beans, tempeh tofu and micro herbs.

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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.

Red Roaster. breakfast Brighton. Brighton Restaurant Awards

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Lucky Khao

At night, Redroaster becomes Lucky Khao, Brighton’s only Northern Thai restaurant and barbeque. 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 barbequed meats over a charcoal fire with spicy sharing curries and zingy fresh salads.

Lucky Khao, Kemptown Restaurants

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Starfish and Coffee

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.

Starfish and Coffee Brighton

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More Kemptown restaurants

Metro Deco

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.

Metrodeco. afternoon tea brighton.Brighton Restaurant Awards

Busby And Wilds

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.

Fish and Chips


Purezza Brighton set out with the aim of providing a range of exciting Italian plant-based, vegan options to the UK. They have definitely succeeded and have created a destination where everyone can enjoy high-quality Italian food, cooked by top Italian chefs, in the comfort of a completely animal-free zone (and mostly gluten-free too).

Purezza Review, Restaurant, Brighton, Italian, Vegan

Ginger Dog

Ginger Dog Brighton is the Gingerman Group’s fourth outpost, tucked away in College Place, off the main drag in Kemptown village. Much like the other Ginger Group venues, you can expect high end modern European fare with some twists. Being a pub the Ginger Dog does offer a good hearty menu of traditional pub food using only the very finest seasonal ingredients to offer a really satisfying dining experience.

The Ginger Dog in Brighton

VIP Pizza 

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’ 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.

VIP Pizza Brighton

Cafe Marmalade

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!

Marmalade Best Tea and Cake Brighton restaurant awards BRAVO

Old Bank

Highly acclaimed, this locally-owned steakhouse restaurant serves delicious food, offers great service and is brought to you in a warm and comfortable family setting. Where steak and ribs are the stars of the show, The Old Bank offers nothing but the best and brings you a steak that has been hung for at least 28 days, with different types of cuts and with the option to share.

steak at the old bank in kemptown Lunch in Brighton