Brighton food bucket list
Here at Restaurants Brighton, our philosophy is that between birth and death you should do as much living as possible. This is our Bucket List, the 100 foodie things in Brighton and Sussex we think you must try before catching the express diner cart to The Other Side, because food is life, and Brighton is full of it.
Did you know, the long-established, highly praised, and first authentic Indian restaurant in Brighton will not serve you curry? The Anglicised word is too general for a country with such varied cuisine from such diverse regions. What you will get is truly authentic regional food, some from handed down recipes, others with modern twists, always delicious and always served with the warmest and most hospitable welcome you can imagine. A Thali is a great way to sample four or five different dishes in a well balanced and healthy lunch at Indian Summer. Special offer
Slap bang in the middle of the North Laine you will find some of the city’s finest eggs Benedict brought to you by Kooks. Fresh homemade hollandaise sauce on top of perfectly gooey eggs, the real treat is in the home made, maple smoked ham hock underneath, rounding up mouth fulls of salty, sweet and creamy delight. They’d probably be more of a talking point if people could stop eating them long enough to talk.
It is slightly ironic to stock a bar with over 800 fine wines, age cocktails for two years in wine barrels before opening them and source classic spirits made to recipes that represent the brands at their zenith, then give it a prohibition theme and hide it behind a shop sign for a confectioners. But enter the L’Atelier du Vin ‘speakeasy’ and you’ll soon see the appeal of not talking too loudly about where you’ve been, it’s a homely treasure you’d much rather keep to just you and yours.
Drakes is the place to go for a special occasion or to make an occasion special. The boutique hotel’s restaurant provides a snug place to wine and dine with an ambience of relaxed sophistication. Every inch of the Drakes experience is special from the pristine table setting to the well-selected wine list, to the seasonal and local menu of modern European cuisine. After your meal why not retire upstairs to the cocktail bar, or if it’s a really, really, special occasion to a romantic room with a slipper bath in the sea facing bay window.
Head through the Hilton Metropole to the Met Bar; with its deep wingback chairs, epic views over the West Pier and a good dose of old-world charm there’s plenty to luxuriate over. For a bit of an adventure try one of the signature cocktails, all themed around the imaginary adventures of one Admiral Neil Halverston Hilton, a debonair adventurer of the British Navy. Cocktails include “Cocktails at Cannon Hour” a gunpowder tea smoke infused Gin Gimlet and “Message in a bottle” which is an Old Fashioned served sealed in an ice ball with a small hammer! Pull up a chair at the bar and hear the outlandishly fictional inspiration behind the equally outlandishly tasty cocktail.
Well placed between the train station, the beach and the shopping centre, Churchill Square, the colourful and spacious Nuposto is the perfect place for families to charge up or wind down when visiting Brighton. Authenticity and freshness is at the heart of NuPosto, fresh mozzarella is brought in from Italy twice a week and pasta is made on site daily. Soft chewy Neapolitan pizzas are made from dough that has proved for at least 24 hours, but if there’s a hungry bunch in tow there’s no need to worry as the two wood-fired pizza ovens do their thing in 60 seconds. Nutella pizzas and both frizzante and Peroni on tap means everyone gets a reward for being good.
Supplier to top London and Brighton hotels and restaurants including The Grand and Michelin Star awarded Restaurant Tristan, GB Charcuterie also has a shop at the Brighton Marina for retail customers. So, if spending a day at sea or climbing the Seven Sisters, it’s the perfect spot to pick up a picnic hamper showcasing some of the best British meats, cheeses and maybe a bottle of award-winning Sussex sparkling wine from Nyetimber. Back off Yogi, this picnic basket’s too good for bears.
Anyone who’s met Neez the owner of popular favourite Planet India will know he’s always game for a laugh. So when he introduced an early weekend menu it was no surprise that it wouldn’t be the same old “pre-theatre” line up. Queue the “pre-telly thali”, tagline “you’ll be home in time for Bakeoff!”. Where the funnies stop though is with the food which is pure vegetarian and authentic family recipes, full of spicy flavour and wonderful texture combinations. A less spiced smaller thali is available for 8-year-olds and up and adults are greeted with a homemade gin gimlet, making this a great stop off after a family day in town before hitting the sofa and prime time TV.
Zama’s catchphrase is “Inspired by Punjab, made in Hove” and places itself as a casual sociable canteen style venue. Sleek interiors in dark wood and earthy tones of ochre and olive make for a stylish but easy-going setting. The menu is big on the grilled and tandoori meats, with the Zama Mixed Grill being a feast for two, but there’s plenty for non-meat eaters to get excited about too, the onion and samphire pakoras are really something quite special.
Hixon Green is two stories of stylish all-day eatery modelled on the kind of venue you’d expect the cast of Sex and the City to frequent. Open all day every day from early breakfast to fashionable brunch, lunch is a build your own style menu offering a great range of freedom of choice for those who are exacting in their tastes and an evening menu with a global fusion but Sussex produce at its core.
Third Avenue has polished itself to a high gleam and delivered a sophisticated, relaxed venue with much to offer. There are two dining experiences, The Grill Room serves steak quite literally fit for royalty (beef comes from the Queen’s preferred butcher), whilst the 72 Lounge Bar serves a mix modern of sushi and sharing platters. The extensive drinks menu covers all bases from beers and wines to cocktails and expansive lists of premium spirits. Serving breakfast from 10am and late night partying until 2am Friday and Saturday, this could well be a venue you never have to leave!
Week day offers make every day a Market day at this social and lively Anglo-Spanish fusion tapas restaurant. Rock up clinking for BYO Monday, delve into five small plates on Tapas Tuesday, Charcuterie and Wine Wednesday and Cava and oysters on Thursday. And if you’re planning a party on Friday, there’s the “Downmarket” private dining room available to for hire. So whatever you’re in the Market for, there’s a Market day for you. Special offer
Head out to The Sussex Ox, Polegate where local and seasonal dining is about as real as it can get. Their steak, along with all the other meat on the menu, comes from their own family owned organic farm just 5 miles from the pub. Their chips are made from their own farm potatoes and their fruit and veg are often grown in their kitchen garden. Round it all off with a pint of something local in the gorgeous pub garden.
Head into Hanover for the winning combination of late serving Sunday Roasts and live jazz, helping you draw out the last of the weekend with a toe-tapping “we can just stay for one more” kind of vibe. The Sunday roast list is reflective of the area’s community with strong vegetarian and vegan options and hearty portions being quite fitting for a pub affectionately known as “The Harty”.
In 2018 Duncan Ray’s The Little Fish Market made 37th place in the National Restaurant Awards ‘Top 100’, adding yet more accolades to the already sizeable haul. The Little Fish Market isn’t complicated in any way, the menu is simple and the food clearly has a massive sustainable focus. Duncan offers a fixed priced five course evening menu, generally changing over a four to six week period, based on catch. Past delights have included Monkfish with Pork belly and Carrot and Star Anise or the hugely popular Slip Sole with Seaweed Butter.
For the steak lovers out there, this Argentine meat experience will have your tastebuds buzzing!Situated on the busy Church Road in Hove next to it’s neighbouring Deli and Wine Bar, Cafe Malbec, Latinoamerica is the Argentine restaurant you want to go to for a great steak. Here you’ll be presented with a platter including a selection of prime Argentinian steak cuts, served with house salads, rice or chips, recommended to accompany this feast is the ‘classic Argie trio sauces’.
A quirky mix of cabaret and carnival styles are served over two floors and a roof terrace at The Mesmerist in the Lanes. Regular live bands and late night weekend DJ’s enthral fun seekers whilst a bewitching cocktail menu captivates the inquisitive. But three floors up and it’s the festival feel roof terrace and outdoor bar that will keep you coming back.
The attitude of Plateau is easy going and keen to keep things natural. Kicked back beats, meets simple modern French bistro dining from organic and local producers and cocktails are classic. It’s the wine listing that really shines here, the Plateau team carefully source the best low intervention, organic and small yield wines to bring you wine like how it should really taste. With the relaxed atmosphere flowing as easy as the drinks you can enjoy these wines the way they’re meant to be too, without snobbery, pretence or fuss.
Sunday roasts are a competitive business in Brighton and so the pressure’s on to create one that’s truly standout, The Coal Shed really punches high with their show-stopping sharer-for-two roasts. There’s always the option of 500g of 35-day dry-aged roast sirloin of beef, cooked on the coal grill, with roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, Yorkshire puddings and lashings of gravy. The sharing style makes this a great one for families adding an extra level of social dining to a traditionally very family oriented meal.
Brining the sustainability trend to the cocktail trend in Brighton is GungHo, cocktails are made using small batch foraged botanicals and local ingredients championing all types of fruit and veg; from green strawberries and elderflower to chicory root and basil. Cocktails at GungHo are an event not to be missed because, being season dependent, once they’re gone, they’re really gone.
Manju’s is a small, family run, Gujarati restaurant in the heart of the North Laine. From the opening, Manju’s established itself a fantastic reputation and popularity. What is really special about Manju’s is the story of the eponymous Chef. Manju arrived in the UK in 1972 after the Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, expelled all East African Asians; with two small boys she went straight to work in a factory in order to survive, but nestled in her heart was the dream of owning her own restaurant. Six decades later and that dream was realised, with Manju, now in her 80s, cooking and creating all the menu’s dishes.
Lucky Khao, which shares its roof with Redroaster Cafe (# 43), is Brighton’s first Northern Thia restaurant. Northern Thia differs from Southern Thia in that the cuisine is more hearty, reflecting the climate which in the North is wetter and similar to that of the UK. Lucky Khao cook using a green egg barbeque for meats that are fall off the bone tender and zingy and spicy flavours that will change how you think about Thai food forever.
One of Brighton’s most popular restaurants and celebrated in the National Restaurant Awards for three year’s running (2015-17), Michael Bremner’s 64 Degrees offers intimate dining in a restaurant where the kitchen really is the heart. The tasting menu showcases local producers through genius technical delivery utilising specialist equipment such as dehydrators and water baths. A vegan tasting menu has also been introduced.
For unabashed 80’s fun, karaoke still holds power over many revellers. At Lucky Voice you get a booth from which you can order cocktails and pizzas to be delivered to you, so there’s no need to miss out on any of the fun, but there’s also a good sized bar area should the next person up be known to murder any song and you need an excuse to get away.
It stands to reason that the best place for a fish restaurant is by the sea, and what better way to eat it than with uninterrupted sea views. The Salt Room is Brighton’s award-wining fish restaurant which champions local and sustainable produce cooked over a coal grill and boasts a seafront terrace with far stretching views. For a fun end to your meal try sharing the Taste of the Pier dessert with mango ’99’, passion fruit pops, edible pebbles, lime yum yum, clotted cream and strawberry fudge and peach and raspberry mallow. Review.
Journey up Western Road and into the Northern Tropics! The team at Tropical Sushi all harken from Venezuela and Colombia where fresh produce was plucked on the doorstep. This passion for freshness and vibrant Latin flavours translates surprisingly well in Japanese fusion sushi. Their range of dishes include poke bolls, sharing platters and rolls, all freshly made to order. With traditional sushi options featuring plentifully on the menu there’s no need to miss out on your classic favourites too.
Offering a tasting menu only Wednesday to Saturday, Masterchef: The Professionals winner Steven Edwards presents his ingredient led concept etch. Since opening in 2017 etch. has scooped Michelin Plate, 5 Good Food Guide and two AA Rosettes, clearly etch. are leaving their mark.
Just when you think you’ve done the full gamut at The Walrus on Ship Street you find something new. The spacious ground floor is neatly divided into booths and nooks, keeping it intimate, up a floor and you come to the neatly laid out restaurant, home to monthly supper clubs, up again and you’ll find a two tier roof garden. Think you’re done? not a chance; descend into the belly of the beast for late night dancing and live music. Luckily with great food, drinks and a friendly atmosphere getting lost isn’t that much of a problem.
Formally resident pop up at Cafe Rust near Preston Park, the family-run Chard have made a permanent home for themselves at igigi general store on Western Road. The menu is purposefully kept small so as to ensure exceptionally high standards of quality in both presentation and produce used. The family team of three take so much care in every level of the experience it can be hard to believe it wasn’t a dream.
Enjoy some Regency splendour at The Grand Hotel, their GB1 restaurant features a show-stopping central bar designed for those seeking a more relaxed dining experience. Take a front row seat as the talented bar staff mix you a variety of signature specials, from The PPP (Pisco, pomegranate syrup and pink peppercorns) to the very instagrammable English Rose and take decadence to the next level with award winning seafood.
It can be hard these days to plan for the whether thankfully The Wheatsheaf has it covered. A good sized beer garden has a play area for children, making this a great family spot for balmy days whilst the comfy sofas and armchairs gathered about the fire make for a perfect setting to cosy up with a bottle of wine and shelter from less hospitable conditions.
Kujira is the newest addition to Preston Street bucking the revival in this part of the city. The sleek, moody decor sets the scene for stylish dining and a karaoke booth downstairs makes for some fun evenings. The real entertainment, however, is the open kitchen and robatayaki grill on which marinaded meats and vegetables are expertly cooked. The in-house mixologist has prepared a unique cocktail offering, making Kujira one of the most distinctive hot-spots in a city of hot-spots. Even if you don’t need to, make sure you visit the loos, they’re something special!
The Curry Leaf Cafe in the Lanes is the first of three outlets for the group. The cafe is laid back and cheery, with bright decor and friendly service. The street food offers a tour of some of the tastiest dishes South India’s street vendors have to offer at affordable prices, including classics such as the ubiquitous samosa to the more surprising masala fish and chips.
Hove Place is a strong local favourite, in part for its fine selection of wines, craft ales and spirits, in part because of its beautiful Italian inspired garden and in part because of its carefully created seasonal and locally sourced menu. More than the sum of its parts Hove Place raises the bar for fine pub fare, drinks and atmosphere.
Billed as a “tap house” rather than a pub, The Western Brighton is a popular spot all year round that serves great drinks and top food in a handy location right by the shopping metropolis of Churchill Square. If you’re shopping till you drop you can rest your weary feet and quench your thirst on one of the benches in the sun trap of the ample outside seating area, or inside by a log fire when it’s chillier.
If you’re up for the challenge the Lost Boys Chicken are offering a house T-shirt for anyone who can defeat them in ‘The Duel’. Not for the faint hearted, this is a mountain of ten wings served in a perilous double helping of their XXX Hot Shadow Sauce and rolled in a Reaper chilli flake crumb (that’s up at the top of the Scoville scale in case you wondered). So will you rise like a phoenix or plummet like Icarus, the gauntlet has been cast!
For an afternoon tea with a difference, relax in the Chez Mal Lounge at Brighton’s Malmaison Hotel. Situated at the scenic Brighton Marina, it is the ideal setting for an afternoon tea with views of the marina, giving it an exclusive yacht club feel without the member’s fee. The Mal Afternoon tea is their personal reimagining of the classic with some fun twists. A decent selection of speciality teas remains central to the serving, respecting that where there can be innovation, there must also be tradition.
For those not in the know, an empanada is South American pastry stuffed with meats, cheeses and vegetables, similar in some ways to the native Cornish pasty but with a Mediterranean influence on flavour. These traditional Argentinian morsels are surprisingly hard to find in Sussex, but what’s more surprising is how well they compliment a good drop of robust New World wine. Like chip shop chips with good champagne, once you’ve tried the combination you’ll be keen to introduce as many people as you can to it.
Opening in 2010, Ten Green Bottles has quickly become the go-to destination for those who love a great quality glass (or two) of wine, served by the most knowledgable team in town. Do you want to find out more about wine in a relaxed environment? Ten Green Bottles are the Brighton wine experts and they offer a variety of different wine tasting events to choose from including their cheese and wine challenge, their wine challenge, sparkling wine tasting and much more.
Filling a Brighton niche is The Roundhill Pub with its menu of constantly changing menu that is a cut above the standard pub fare. The menu, and all the drinks, at The Roundhill are vegan by default (some dishes can have cheese added to them). The venue itself is beautifully presented, lots of greenery, an eclectic mix of furnishings and big windows taking up two walls make for a light and friendly space. Serving food all day with lots of events keeps this plant-powered pub a hub of activity.
Winner of BRAVO 2018 ‘Best Brunch’, Star Fish & Coffee’s aim to have you “brunch like a boss” seems to be working. Nicely placed on the corner of Queen’s Park, a stack of super indulgent pancakes with bacon, maple syrup and blueberries feels less naughty if you bookend it with a good walk. If you’re not a fan of sweet with savoury, go for one of the equally excellent breakfasts, from full English, to all kinds of eggs and hashes.
There’s so much good about Redroaster it needs its own list. The fair trade, organic coffee is hand roasted daily and dispatched throughout Sussex as one of the most popular roasts going. The award-winning interior with gleaming white marble and high vaulted botanicals is sustainably built and powered. Profits from Redroaster contribute to social projects in the UK and Rowanda. Want some tasty goodness? Turn up midweek for Wellness Wednesday, for an organic, locally sourced menu full of vitalising yummy superfoods.
The gothic inspired Hotel du Vin in The Lanes is a bastion of sophistication, featuring 49 unique suites, a modern French bistro, bar and vine covered pergola where you can enjoy alfresco dining or an afternoon tea. Originally build by a wine merchant the impressive building houses an equally impressive wine cellar which you can tour as part of their regular wine tasting masterclasses with the resident sommelier, a perfect way to whet your appetite for some fine dining in the light, elegant bistro above.
Terre a Terre has long been established as one of the finest vegetarian restaurants in Brighton, if not the country. Modern cuisine is experimental and inventive, pushing plant based dining to new heights, for the new comer it’s menu can be a little overwhelming supercharged as it is with a mixture of the familiar with the exotic, the Terre Tapas is a good way for two to share their way round some of the highlights of the menu. Be prepared, the Terre Tapas looks like a tropical rainforest, and its just as easy to get lost in.
The Better Half pub has traditional furnishings with a modern twist, and a small lovely beer garden out the back for the warmer months. The menu has been impressing foodies all over Brighton since opening, and their Sunday roast offering is no exception. The menu is impressive mix of tradition and intelligent modern additions which respond to seasonality and needs, vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs will find some refreshing and well considered alternatives to the standard alternatives.
The Wardroom in The Old Ship Hotel, lends a sense of old world nautical distinction to its dining experience. Captain of the ship, Head Chef Phil Mesquitta, brings a menu rich in global influence, experimenting with the flavours of France, Jamaica and Korea to name but a few; this is a first class cruise through modern dining, where every table is the captain’s table.
Situated at the northern most end of the North Lain, Mange Tout is sister venue to Plateau in The Lanes in the south of the city, between them they not only bookend the famous shopping area of Brighton but the day too, since Mange Tout service focuses on breakfast through to lunch and Plateau on evening meals and drinks. Both favour seasonal and organic produce served simply. The relaxed modern bistro feel is a great spot to start a shopping trip through the eclectic streets with a French influenced breakfast and some excellent locally roasted coffee.
If you’re looking for a city escape one weekend, then the Shepherd & Dog pub in Fulking is close enough for an easy jaunt whilst having that middle of the countryside feel. With a number of walking tracks situated around the pub, all with stunning views over the picturesque South Downs, you can work yourself up an appetite before planting yourself on an outdoor bench and enjoy a large glass of chilled wine with a delicious meal and a view.
Centrally located The Black Lion pub offers a great place to get your good times started with live music and top DJ’s throughout the week. Keen to deliver well on everything they do, The Black Lion serves some great traditional pub fare but with an emphasis on supplying a product that can hold its head up in very foodie city. Drinks too cover fun cocktails to good craft ales, making The Black Lion something of a ready made party in a box.
The Cheese Hut is the retail side of The Cheese Man whose delivery vans will be a familiar sight to Brighton folk as they make their drops at the finest delis, restaurants and shops in town. For Cheese lovers, The Cheese Hut in Portslade is an Aladin’s Cave with over 120 cheeses available to buy and around half from local producers. So does eating cheese before bed give you nightmares? Who cares! Dreams vanish in the morning, but cheese is for always.
Dating back to the 1800s, The Sportsman Pub in Goddards Green was originally two buildings before being knocked through to make the now well sized traditional village pub. Situated only a pleasant meander away from Hickstead and Burgess Hill with a large children’s play area and a Cask Marque award. The Sportsman is a great stop-off point whilst exploring Sussex or as a destination itself with plenty of local entertainment and private events catered for.
The iconic Moshimo in Bartholomew Square has at its heart a strong sustainability ethos whose ‘Lovefish’ campaign is one of the most successful global campaigns to tackle over fishing. Surprisingly for a sea food restaurant Moshimo have also been awarded a ‘Progy’ by animal rights and vegan champions Peta, get 50% off all vegan sushi on their Vegan VVednesday’s and it becomes pretty clear why.
One backpacker with a coffee cart dreamed a small batch dream turned it into Brighton’s favourite coffee shop chain. With its dark wood interiors, chunky wood furniture, ethical origin coffee and trendy tattooed baristas, Small Batch Coffee is indisputably part of Brighton’s social culture; winner of the BRAVO ‘Best Coffee’ award 2017 and 18 stands as a testament to the fact.
Opening on Duke Street in 2019, Honest Burgers took a long time getting here considering they launched at the Brighton Food Festival in 2010. The prodigal sons are none the less welcomed back, having spent nine years conquering London’s hippest quarters, the Brighton venue keeps what works in the big smoke, things like pure 100% Brittish beef made in their own butchers and homemade rosemary salt fries, but adds to it a little sprinkle of Brighton’s own fairy dust with a play list curated by the musos at Resident and a bespoke beer from the hop-meisters as Holler Brewery.
Combine your trip on the BA i360 with a meal in the stylish and modern West Beach Bar & Kitchen with their flight and set menu offer available Friday’s and Saturday’s. Start with a trip in the worlds tallest moving observation tower with spectacular views over Sussex and beyond before gently returning to earth for a seasonally and locally inspired menu, if the trip has left you a little giddy the bar’s extensive menu is sure to feature a remedy.
Bohemia is a substantial bar restaurant in the Lanes open from Breakfast through to evening meals daily. For a night full of atmosphere try their Live music Thursday’s, dine on a menu of freshly prepared modern, global-inspired cuisine, enjoy expertly crafted cocktails and listen to local talent into the evening; it’s the perfect combination to turn foot-tapping into shape popping and a Thursday night out to a Friday morning in.
Weekends in the summer months are a great time to see the North Laine burst into colour as shops, bars and restaurants spill out into the pedestrianised streets, one such place that nearly always induces a sense of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is The Dorset, long benches fill the street as boundaries between parties break down and conversations roll over the top of live music from local performers, golden beer catches sunshine and generous plates of good pub grub spills out from the kitchen. Go on, ask someone to budge up a bit and grab yourself a pint, the shops will still be there tomorrow but some moments are made to be seized.
Celebrate the start of the weekend with Donut Friday at The Flour Pot! Their doughnuts are not to be missed, from salted caramel and honeycomb to the classic jam doughnut, there’s something for everyone. Either treat yourself to a doughnut with an artisan coffee or share them around the office for that perfect Friday afternoon treat, you decide!
Murmur takes its name from the natural phenomena of the starlings flocking to roost at twilight between the piers and being situated on the seafront in Kingsway Arches, murmur is a great spot to watch the captivating display. Conceived by Michael Bremner of The Great British Menu and 64 Degrees fame, murmur serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and seeks to bring great quality dining into the every day for the whole family.
The Talbot is a gorgeous country pub in the heart of Cuckfield with a traditional warm welcome at its heart. They pride themselves in using local growers, brewers and products and are a dog friendly venue too, making it a perfect place to head out for a countryside visit. Refurbished in 2014 the Hayloft is their 70 seater restaurant with original feature oak beams, high ceilings and wooden floors, a great venue for private functions out of town.
Lucky Beach are as passionate about their burgers as they are about sustainability, helping t ensure there’ll be burgers for everyone forever. Meat is locally sourced and high welfare whilst the vegan option is a Moving Mountains B12 Burger, a plant-based patty so convincing it almost moos. They’ve clocked up awards for their burgers and their sustainability work, holding the highest rating from the Sustainable Restaurants Association in the world.
Ghyll Manor, Horsham is a 17th Century country house set in acres of beautiful private grounds boasting a lake and picturesque summer house. Bursting with period character the Manor offers tailored services for events and weddings. The restaurant at Ghyll Manor serves welcomes non residents for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon teas.
‘People in Glass houses should get hot stone massages’, not quite the original saying but one to live by none the less. Take a day trip out to Wickwoods country club for a spa day, indulge in one of many luxurious treatments and when you’re feeling nice and floaty drift down to the contemporary orangery restaurant for some award winning dining set in beautiful gardens.
When a breakfast menu runs to several pages and categorises its main listings by size ranging from Big, to Bigger to Biggest you know you’re in for some serious hunger bashing. Joe’s Cafe in Seven Dials has countless awards for its unabashed commitment to massive plates of brekkie classics, the page of hash’s is well worth a peruse, take on the mighty Hashegeddon at your peril!
Cosmic Pizza Co. have taken over the kitchen at West Hill Tavern bringing homemade stone-baked pizzas promised to be ‘out of this world!’. Excitingly Cosmic Pizza are taking the dirty pleasure of ‘breakfast pizza’ out of the shadows (and student halls) and celebrating it, their menu of brunch pizza’s include toppings such as Monterey jack cheese, chorizo and easy eggs, with vegan and vegetarian options too. Turn it boozy with one of their bottomless brunch deals, because if you’re going to get judged for eating pizza for breakfast you may as well be drunk too.
From sunrise to sunset and beyond, OhSo on Brighton’s seafront is a great all rounder. Family friendly by day and party loving by night, there’s a range of food to be had and a great selection of drinks. Where OhSo no doubt peaks though is in the divine coupling of a first class cocktail with a summer sunset over the West Pier. So grab yourself your favourite tipple, marvel at the murmuration of starlings and contemplate where the night will carry you – at OhSo, that needn’t be far.
It’s little wonder Gars has been in business since 1983; the stylish contemporary Chinese food keeps customers coming back for more. The main a la carte menu has a wide range of choices, encompassing traditional favourites such as prawn toast, to more modern dishes with a twist, like the carpaccio of beef with chilli and sesame oil dressing. At lunchtimes there’s a deliciously light and innovative new dim sum menu too.
The Old Bank is located in the heart of Kemptown and specialise in marinated meats cooked on the chargrill. Weekday offers pepper the menu including all you can eat ribs and wings on Mondays every week. They are sticky, tangy and lip smackingly juicy with meat that just falls away from the bone. A serious meat eater’s paradise, there’s nothing spare about these ribs.
Homemade artisanal houmous and falafel are the stock and trade of Smorl’s Kitchen in the Brighton Open Market. Owner, Sarah, has perfected her art over 25 years, first learning to make houmous at festivals, what she does now will spoil you for supermarket houmous for life. The Biggie Smorl’s is a pitta packed with salad, zingy pickled cabbage, toasted seeds, the best falafel you are ever likely to try and a generous helping of their phenomenal houmous, one bite and you will be hooked.
With a bold new refurb and exciting menu brought to us by the skilfull hands of Phill Bartley, the Gather Inn, facing out on Hove Lagoon is a place well worth a second look. Spacious and bright with great views, it’s a good spot for the whole family, especially on Sundays for top quality roasts. With a very spacious private hire area and accommodation, it’s also a good one for big get-togethers, the sort out of towners can join in on too.
Open Friday and Saturday nights only, Upstairs at The Joker is a great bar to impress others with your knowledge of hidden gems in the city. Raised above the hubbub of Preston Circus, Upstairs at The Joker is an oasis of calm where time stops for classic cocktails, conversation and a traditional games room. Dark wood furniture, plush velvet seating and arched floor to ceiling windows make for a dramatic contrast to the lively pub downstairs, upping the wow factor as you introduce others to this 1930s time capsule that’s hidden in plain sight.
Tucked away in scenic Lower Beeding, The Crabtree is not only a local favourite but a foodie destination for those in the know. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that their desserts are worthy of a spot on British Bake Off! Head Pastry Chef, Sian Wren makes delicious cakes and desserts daily and the menu changes often to reflect the season and local produce available.
The Cleveland Arms provides the Preston Park and Fiveways areas with a welcoming community pub full of family-run friendliness and modern, comfortable decor. The Cleveland packs its calendar with events ranging from morning pilates to good old fashioned pub quizzes but it’s the food that keeps people coming back for more. The menu is best described as ‘elevated pub food’, retaining traditional classics such as sausage and mash and the celebrated Sunday Roast but adds world flavours and fashionable additions like brunch, available Thursdays-Saturdays. Not every venue can comfortably marry old and new, but the Cleveland Arms seems to embrace all.
The Urchin is about two things, craft beer and shellfish and these two things they do exceptionally well. Whilst it’s conceivably a brave move to pair back so much, the concept is not a new one since both ingredients have long been major components of Sussex’s produce. The bold collision of clean, fresh shellfish and hoppy malty ales makes this a retrograde move you’ll be revisiting time and again.
Semolina were awarded 12th place in Brighton’s Best: Top 20 Restaurants list in 2017- an accolade which put an already popular restaurant smack bang in the spotlight. Husband and wife team, Orson and Linda specialise in great service and monthly changing seasonal menus, with as much local produce as possible. Paired back to a core team of two with a simple menu where everything, including ice cream, is made from scratch, Semolina truly is intimate bistro dining.
Passion and finesse is what is felt at The Chimney House, where Head Chef Charlie likes to forage as many ingredients as possible for inspiration for his dishes. Here you will find locally sourced seasonal produce, alongside seasonal foraged ingredients that you may never try anywhere else. A truly unique dining experience that is a must try in the summer months.
Breakfast is a meal we can easily overlook, either by skipping it entirely or eating the same thing over and over. It doesn’t have to be boring and samey, however. Head to Moksha for the Huevos Rancheros: a crispy tortilla topped with chorizo, black beans, sweet corn, chipotle sauce, free range egg and a tomato and avocado salsa. The veggie version is equally tasty: black beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, a fried egg and fresh coriander. The tortillas can be gluten-free, if you prefer. Arriba Arriba!
Cafe Chilli on Church Road in Hove brings us the current trend in Bangkok right now – fusion Thai food. Created by Thai born chef and still using authentic Thai ingredients but with a unique twist, you will find some of your favourite classics served alongside Thai flavoured burgers or spaghetti. Definitely one to try out this year for something different.
Cherry tree Cafe Brighton is an independent café situated in the inner harbour at Brighton Marina with a lovely warm atmosphere and lots of sun drenched outside seating. They offer breakfast, brunch and lunch away from the hustle and bustle. Head down on your bike on a Saturday morning and order their signature Eggs Benedict, charge yourself up with some Small Batch coffee and feel ready for anything.
The Fountain Inn is a stunning 16th century pub in Ashurst which has kept its old world charm with low ceilings, pretty gardens and a warming fireplace for the cooler months. Here you can expect to see a menu with classic dishes using local ingredients, and with a Cask Marque award the offering of local ales and beers is certain to be top quality. Beautiful gardens and a country pond make The Fountain a popular spot in the summer, and one to add to your country pub list for anytime of year.
Who doesn’t enjoy a springy dough filled with cheese, meat, herbs and pizza toppings? The Al Calzone at Al Duomo is made using hand stretched dough, tomato, salami, ham, peppers, mushrooms and oregano and then stone baked at a hot temperature until the insides are gooey. The ultimate beer food to enjoy on their summer terrace with an iced cold drink in your hand.
V and H cafe is a lovely and light independent eatery on Palmeira Square who home make and source from a large range of local small businesses. V and H serve classic but good quality cafe food with an emphasis on fresh and healthy, making it a popular spot for Hove’s younger families. Smashed avocado on fresh sourdough from Real Patisserie proves a popular dish, topped with perfectly gooey poached eggs for a royal treat full of goodness.
Located just off the square at the New Steine part of Kemptown, the New Steine is a Parisian style bistro offering classic and un-pretentious French and British inspired dishes. Their signature dish is the Sirloin Steak cooked Parisian style. Located just off St James’ Street, with it’s bustling night life and eccentric characters, there is more than just a little bit of a Monmatre vibe to linger over when you’re done.
The Independent is a Hanover free house offering an ever changing selection of four keg and ten cask ales sourced from local Sussex brewers as well as globally. Tins and bottles are also available both as drink in and take out and not limited to beer, the wine and cocktail menu packs a big offering for a cosy venue. The food is a cut above the average local’s too, seasonal and fresh, extending to brunch at the weekend and a roast that holds its head high in a city mad about Sunday session. All of which makes for some serious good reasons to return time and again.
Fourth and Church is one of Hove’s classiest foodie spots offering a range of affordable retail wines, along with artisan cheeses, charcuterie and small dishes to accompany if you are after something a little more substantial. You can pop by after work for a wine to enjoy at home, or sit down and indulge in carefully selected cheeses and small plates of food with recommendations of wines to match. Read our review to find out more.
Agua Dulce Brighton specialises in Spanish cuisine and tapas and is situated close to the seafront and Brighton’s Lanes. Expect to find fresh fish and seafood, paellas and plenty of tapas dishes. Agua Dulce is split into the bar area, with seats at the counter, as well as the table area. Try the traditional suckling pig, empanadas, croquetas, octopus dishes and pig’s trotters.
Delivering more for visitors to Sussex’s award-winning vineyards. Rathfinny’s tasting rooms offer a place to do a spot of impromptu tasting at their feature copper bar or enjoy a menu crafted by Michelin Star Chef Chris Bailey. A five-course tasting menu is available for evening meals Friday and Saturday whilst a two or three-course lunch is available Wednesday to Sunday, the menus celebrate Sussex with a Spanish and Iberian finesse.
Boasting an excellent list of sparkling wines, Libation in Hove is a lively and social venue suitable for everything from a quick stop midweek to a full-on weekend party. Selling Sussex award winning bubbles from Nyetimber and Ridgeview, French champagne, Italian prosecco and Spanish cava, there’s something to pop everyone’s cork.
Heralded by national and local trend setters, The New Club has been listed as one of the best places to brunch in the UK by Stylist Magazine and listed by Worlds Best Bars. The urban NY decor is matched with confidently crafted diner style food, craft beers and signature cocktails. Turn up for brunch, stick around for a burger at lunch or hang out for dinner and drinks, do what you like – just be there.
Wingrove House is a stunning 19th century Colonial-style country house set in the historical Sussex village of Alfriston with a modern restaurant serving inspired seasonal menus. The restaurant serves modern British food and is open daily for lunches, dinner, and Sunday lunch. The restaurant has a bright and spacious feel with beautiful views over the outdoor terrace, gardens and village church on the Tye. Working with local suppliers and where possible organic produce, the menu reflects a love of fresh and seasonal ingredients.
The Plough serves home cooked lunch and dinner daily, 12-3pm and 6-9pm Monday-Friday, all day Saturday 12-9 and roasts served until late on Sunday, 12-7pm. If you fancy a little bit of exercise the Plough Inn is only 30 minutes or so walk from Brighton Marina, along the under cliff walk – so not far to go if you want to stretch those legs and get out of the busy city.
House Restaurant in The Lanes prides itself on outstanding levels of service and a flawless reputation. Serving modern bistro cuisine with a changing monthly menu focussed on seasonality and local produce, it is the dish of the day and catch of the day specials, through which the chefs are able to demonstrate their impromptu creative flare, that will keep you coming back. If you’re heading out to Shoreham then you will find a home away from home in House’s sister venue Chambers Bistro.
Roasting its own beans in house and boasting an Italian second generation head roaster makes Trading Post on Ship Street a real no brainer when searching out that morning caffeine hit, and handily if you’re needing something with a little more substance to it they have a great selection of breakfasts ranging from the über healthy Bircher muesli with berry compote to a full range of cooked breakfasts with vegetarian and vegan options aplenty.
The Greene room at The Cricketers is eponymously named after author Graham Greene, who reportedly particularly liked this boozer. Popular with the famous and the infamous alike, it as also the dwelling place of one George Chapman, a potential candidate for the true identity of the Whitechapel killer, Jack the Ripper. All rumours aside, The Cricketers remains a popular pub in traditional style with plenty of rooms to explore and a good coach house style restaurant serving contemporary pub fare.