Restaurant Brighton's guide to
Pubs in Hove
Our top picks
Very expressive of the character of pubs in Hove, The Better Half, offers a sophisticated menu of both food and drinks whilst refusing to grow up fully. Sunday roasts are a big deal at The Better Half, but evening and weekday meals are not to be overlooked, with homemade and seasonal produce at their heart. The décor is a clever mash-up of traditional and modern design, you are in a ‘proper pub’, but not an ‘ordinary pub’, regular entertainment and live music keep things lively and fun.
The name itself may be a reference to ‘The Better Half of Hove’, one of the oldest pubs in Hove, or a friendly jibe at that sibling rivalry that exists with Brighton, most likely both. Close to the sea, with a heated rear garden, The Better Half is also dog-friendly.
As far as pubs in Hove go, Hove Place ticks a lot of boxes. With a front terrace and Italian themed beer garden at the rear, and just a few minutes from the seafront Hove Place is a great spot to punctuate a summer’s day. With a modern bistro menu available for lunch and dinner every day and a thoroughly raved about Sunday roast at the weekend, the pub’s food serving is well known for its innovation and quality; the wagyu burger proving a popular staple.
The pub itself retains a friendly local feel with a changing menu of cask beers from local breweries as well as popular lead brands, a healthy selection of spirits and, as is to be expected from a Bistro pub, an extensive and well thought out wine list.
Head to The Farm Tavern for lashings of traditional pub comforts, oodles of charm and a jolly neighbourhood atmosphere. The Farm is the younger sibling to The Geese in Hanover, and brings to Hove the same acclaimed food offering of build your own bangers and mash. It’s gastronomically good grub with a menu offering over eight artisan sausage varieties and seven flavours of mash, small plates and tasty sides are also on offer. They have a world class wine list from Butler’s Wine Cellar and great beer. You can expect a roaring open fire throughout the colder months and midweek deals on dining.
As you walk up Western Road in Hove it’s hard to miss the Deco inspired exterior of the Freemasons. What lies behind the gold lettering and floor to ceiling glass windows offers more than historic class. Inside guests will find a somewhat more modern approach to decor with a light, bright, open space setting the scene for fervent fun. If you’re hungry then make sure you check out the food offerings from Bluegrass Fire & Smoke. They provide the pub’s revellers with unrivalled bona fide American smokehouse dishes.
Something you also get more of in pubs in Hove is space, and Libation, tucked just off Second Avenue is a bar that maximises on that to its benefit. Entirely glass-fronted the interior is kept light and modern in wood and leather, whilst outside seating spans the full building length, perfect for sundowners. The menu is modern pub grub, crafted by Chef Russel Tisbury of the Ladies Mile Pub, sourcing locally and seasonally for freshness and flavour. Drinks-wise the focus is more toward wine, with a focus on bubbles, and a good champagne list ranging from affordable by the glass to push the boat out bottles.
BRAVO 2018 “Best Pub Grub” winner, The Urchin is about two things, craft beer and shellfish. Whilst it’s conceivably a brave move to pair back so much, the concept itself is not a new one since both ingredients have long been major components of Sussex’s produce. So, before shellfish became the prerogative of City businessmen and local ale got expensive it was simply the standard fare of those who lived nearby, something standard to pubs in Hove. The secret of The Urchin’s success, other than its indefatigable ability to do a simple thing very well, is perhaps in its cashing in on this collective Sussex memory.
Recently renovated and with a national award for their Sunday Roasts, 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 and expertly cooked gastro pub style dishes served at lunch and dinner. 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 sun-trap overlooking the park with friends or family, sharing a couple of the small plates on the menu.
The Gather Inn is a pub restaurant on the outskirts of Hove, overlooking the wonderful lagoon. Whilst boasting a bright and spacious interior, during the winter months The Gather Inn is also cosy and welcoming, bringing almost a country pub vibe to Brighton’s seafront. Their menu features pub classics such as a Cajun-spiced buttermilk chicken burger as well as more unique dishes including their Morrocan spiced chickpea and butternut squash tagine. Stop by just for a drink in their sea view bar, enjoying a pint while watching the world go by.
More Hove pubs
A stylish gastropub with a glowing reputation amongst pubs in Hove, The Ginger Pig, part of the Ginger man Group, has a smart bar serving excellent classic cocktails and Fine Sussex sparkling wines. The restaurant is open 7 days a week serving seasonal quality meals from breakfast to dinner, with roasts on Sundays.
Located just off Palmeira Square, with dark green tiling, a dark wood central bar and tinted windows this is one of the old school pubs in Hove that has had an injection of life into it, often with a lively bustling crowd. Head upstairs of a Friday or Saturday evening for a speakeasy-themed bar, intimate and hush with post-war jazz, flowing liquor and an exclusive feel.
The Old Albion
Extensively remodelled after being run for 36 years by a previous landlord, The (new) Old Albion, is one of the growing number of pubs in Hove to undergo a new burst of life, offering fun and quality. Here you will benefit from a list of 40 gins and an ever changing repertoire of guest ales and beers, consistently good roasts and cheery staff.
The Watchmakers Arms
One of a growing number of micropubs to appear in a new trend for simple venues for real beer lovers, although the first of its kind for pubs in Hove. The Watchmaker’s Arms serves its own in-house keg and cask beers under their Beercraft brand as well as a changing selection of reputable, local and independent brewers.
The Southern Belle
Winner of BRAVO 2018 “Best Sunday Roast” award, top 3 for “Dog-Friendly” and making top 20 for “Best Pub Grub”, the people of Hove (and Brighton for that matter) were keen to speak up about the Southern Belle. With a mini theatre, boutique guest rooms and weekday vegan and vegetarian pop up by Jaldee Jaldee, Indian street food, there’s a lot to make a noise about.
The Farm Tavern
Another high scorer in three BRAVO 2018 categories, The Farm Tavern was voted top 10 for ‘Best Pub’ and ‘Best Sunday Roast’ and came in second place for ‘Dog-Friendly’. The Farm Tavern shines as a venue full of friendliness, one that regulars and visitors alike consider marks it out as one of the best pubs in Hove.
Making an appearance in yet more pubs in Hove Jaldee Jaldee will also be popping up in the Bottom’s Rest from August 2018. A tucked away gem of pub with a wonderful local and friendly atmosphere, keeps it simple and traditional with pub quizzes and local ales.
The Gin Tub
With over 100 gins on their menu, The Gin Tub is Hove’s number one destination for lover’s of the UK’s number one spirit. As a neat twist to go with your gin the Gin Tub has a novel take on table service, simply use the vintage phones on each table to dial in your order.