Restaurant Brighton's guide to

Sussex Pubs

Our top picks

The Sussex Ox is a quintessential country pub. Situated within acres of its own rolling farmland, which literally provides the meat and potatoes on the menu, the Sussex Ox really does provide farm to fork dining. The menu focusses on freshness and seasonality, changing monthly to reflect the produce. The pub prides itself on serving customers some of the best craft beer Sussex has to offer and their wine list is carefully put together featuring natural wines to match the menu. The pub itself is warm, family and community orientated with three main bars and a sizeable beer garden with panoramic views. 

The Crown Inn Dial Post is a true country pub, run by husband and wife team James and Penny. Penny is a local lass, born to a nearby farming family and James, when not in the kitchen preparing their award-winning food can often be found foraging for ingredients. With a sun-room, front terrace and beer garden, The Crown Inn Dial post is a lovely spot to visit rain or shine.

Formerly, two pubs, the Magpie and the Sportsman, the Grade II listed buildings were knocked through into one. This traditional ‘beer house’ has become established as a community hub, serving from breakfast through to evening meals, live entertainment and good ale. Situated north of Hurstpierpoint at Goddards Green, the Sportsman has a large open garden that catches plenty of sun and children’s play area. 

The Plough serves homecooked food every night of the week with roasts on Sunday. It is also available for private hire with a first-floor function room. The menu is classic pub but elevated in quality, with everything made fresh. Weekends can get busy, especially Sundays so if you are planning to eat, booking is advised. For those looking for an out of town experience, the Plough is a short bus journey or a healthy walk/ cycle away, via the marina under cliff walk.

Enjoy a fine selection of locally sourced foods, wines and ales in this Grade II listed gastro pub situated on the edge of the South Downs national park. With a beautiful 1/3 acre beer garden, a generously proportioned restaurant, and three bar areas ranging from the social front bar to the intimate ‘snug’ The New Inn offers a traditional pub feel with contemporary dining. Their drinks menu includes many local craft ales and an award-winning wine list with a strong commitment to local English wines.

An idyllic country boozer with the character and charm from a bygone era. Whether you’re combining your visit with a picturesque walk from The Devils Dyke, you’re making a countryside getaway from Brighton or you’re attending one of their regular events, The Shepherd & Dog has a lot to offer considering its nestled in quite a sleepy village at the bottom of the foothills of the South Downs National Park.

The Crabtree is a family run public house, located in the beautiful Sussex countryside south of Horsham. They pride themselves in serving great local, seasonal food, organic wines and fabulous real ales in warm and welcoming surroundings. Highly recommended if you’re after a drive into the Sussex countryside for top notch gastro pub dining. About 25 minutes drive from the outskirts of Brighton.

The Talbot sits in the heart of Cuckfield village and serves a wonderful range of lunch, bar and dinner menus as well as the traditional Sunday lunch. It has an extensive wine list, regional ales, and a relaxed atmosphere. The Talbot is child and dog friendly and hosts the Cuckfield Food Market. Great for pub and restaurant dining. Good for large parties. Serves good pub classics along with restaurant quality dishes.

The Rose and Crown is situated in the picturesque village Cuckfield, around 35 minutes from Brighton. It is a family business run by Simon and Mark Dennis, who also run the popular sister venue The Crown Inn at Horsted Keynes. Serving modern British food and a great selection of drinks there’s a fabulous beer garden, a lounge or the main restaurant you can enjoy your food in.

The Gingerman group has become synonymous with a level of dining experience that sets the bar for many. The Ginger Fox is the groups rendering of what a high end, classic English country pub should be and what is delivered doesn’t disappoint. Gastro dining in the Sussex downs with locally sourced produce and an exceptional all round experience The Ginger Fox won The Sussex Finest BRAVO award in 2019.

Co owners of The Wheatsheaf, Nilton and Matt, have created a cosy and friendly venue offering a home cooked, home grown, unpretentious menu. The beautifully kept gardens are great for summer days and warm evenings, while the roaring fires and comfy furnishings makes for braving inclement conditions worthwhile. The Wheatsheaf is a welcoming pub to families and dog owners, and caters well for vegetarians, vegans, and those with dairy and or gluten free diets.

The Anchor Inn, near Barcombe is a picture postcard Sussex country pub and restaurant set on the west bank of the River Ouse. It is one of the most unspoilt parts of rural Sussex, four miles or so away from Lewes. Built back in 1790, the Inn has a long history, and today offers two cosy bars and two restaurant rooms, serving real ale, bottled lagers, fine wines and freshly prepared food. Boats can be hired to explore the surrounding river and countryside. 

The Ram Inn is in the quintessentially beautiful English village, Firle. It’s just off the A27, and with easy access to over 100 miles of walking and cycling along the South Downs, the Ram Inn is a perfect stop off point! Having built a reputation for excellent local food as well as locally produced cask ales, The Ram Inn isn’t one to miss if you’re over that way. You can read up on exactly where their ingredients are sourced from over on their website. Photograph credit: The Ram In

The 16th C Fountain Inn is full of old world charm and a gorgeous destination to visit come rain or shine. With its beautiful beer garden and duck pond or inglenook interiors with low beams and fireplaces it is a gem in the heart of Ashurst, Ashurst itself being a gem in the heart of Sussex. Freshly prepared locally sourced food populates the menu, maintaining a traditional pub style fare but with a gastropub stint.