Restaurant Brighton's guide to

Sussex Pubs

Our top picks

The Sussex Ox is possibly the quintessence of Country Pub. Situated within acres of its own rolling farmland, which literally provides the meat and potatoes on the menu, the Sussex Ox can lay claim to a boast about serving locally sourced produce that few others can match. 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 one of the best beer gardens around.

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 combing 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.

Formerly, two pubs, the Magpie and the Sportsman, the Grade II listed buildings were knocked through into one over recent years and this traditional ‘beer house’ has been part of the villages heritage for some years. Situated north of Hurstpierpoint at Goddards Green, the Sportsman public house has been serving great food and real ales for some time. A lovely spot for a country walk in the nearby surrounding area.

The Plough serves homecooked food, Sunday roasts and serves food every night of the week. It is also available for private bookings (they have a first-floor function room) and events and it is advisable to book in advance just in case it is a busy day (particularly Sundays). Offering a classic pub menu along with an innovative Gastro Menu this venue caters for everybody, from kids to couples, from walkers to your everyday regular.

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.

Book a table at The Crabtree in Sussex. 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.

Co owners 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, whilst 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.

In as much as fish and chips is a seaside favourite it is also a pub classic, and The Shepherd and Dog is a classic country pub. Situated in the beautiful village of Fulking at the foot of Devils Dyke, this pub could get much more idyllic. With an excellent kitchen and superb variety of drinks you can be safe in the knowledge that their fish is fresh with the sea being just a stones throw away. Cod, chips, peas and tartare all of which can be made gluten or dairy free.

Ben McKellar, chef-owner of the Gingerman group of restaurants and pubs, doesn’t know it, but he’s responsible for our frequent outings to the Sussex countryside and he provides great reasons to do so. This pub is a twist on the Gingerman restaurant and the food feels a lot more assured. Can get a little busy on popular days so please book in advance. Perhaps combine it with a trip to Devils Dyke. 

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 from our menu. Boats can be hired to explore the surrounding river and countryside. A delightful little spot to visit in our opinion with good quality food and it makes you feel like you’ve been out for the day!

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 from our menu. Boats can be hired to explore the surrounding river and countryside. A delightful little spot to visit in our opinion with good quality food and it makes you feel like you’ve been out for the day!

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

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