The Best Restaurants in Brighton
There’s something restorative about eating by open water. Feeling the wind on your face and the sun on your skin can give you a boost of Vitamin D and a rush of serotonin that’s hard to match (and hard to find) anywhere else in the UK. In fact, I’d say that the only way to trump that cocktail of goodness it is to feel the wind your face and the sun on your skin with a portion of piping hot chips resting precariously on your knees. Brighton is a great city to do just that. Sitting on the city's pebbly beach with a freshly fried bit of haddock is a culinary experience that's up there with most Michelin-starred tasting menus. But Brighton's also a place where there’s more than just fish and chips and ultra-fresh seafood on the menu.
We’ve already written about the best restaurants in Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, and Margate, so we figured that it was the lovely city of Brighton’s turn for its time in the spotlight. Brighton’s best restaurants run the gamut from neighbourhood Italians to intimate Japanese restaurants alongside, of course, your tried and tested spread of trendy spots that specialise in natural wine and small plates. Some of the restaurants on this list of Brighton’s best restaurants have been around for donkey’s while others are relatively new, having risen from the ashes of lockdown to provide locals with the food they’d been craving for so long. If there's any you think we've forgotten, feel free to get in touch and let us know. Until then, we hope you get a chance to explore Brighton's thriving dining scene sometime soon.
From Jia Mo to Wild Flor, these are the best restaurants in Brighton to eat, drink, and feel great about yourself.
Located on Western Road, Cin Cin is one of Hove’s best neighbourhood Italians and one of the best restaurants in Brighton, full stop. This is where you’re going to want to come to get your fill of ‘nduja arancini, fluffy focaccia, and a strong stable of well-made pasta dishes. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a strozzapreti cacio e pepe or a ravioli of Saddleback pork and guanciale, every plate has been given the same amount of care and attention. Which is lots. Make sure you’ve got an Aperol Spritz in your hand if it’s a scorcher of a day.
60 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1JD
Things on skewers are the primary selling point of Bincho Yakitori and this izakaya-inspired joint does a bang-up job at grilling everything from squid and quail to chicken liver and hearts. The yakitori offering changes on the reg so there are plenty of reasons for giving this sweet Preston Street spot many return visits. Starting your feast off with a portion of sticky, spicy Korean chicken wings and an ice-cold beer is the veteran move to make.
63 Preston Street, BN1 2HE
The Salt Room
The Salt Room is plonked straight on the Brighton seafront and, considering how close it is to the channel, you shouldn’t be surprised that the seafood here is always screamingly fresh. Most of that produce – whether it’s a plump monkfish or simple lemon sole – is cooked over coals till tender and flaky. That signature cooking style has made The Salt Room a must-visit location and rightfully earned it a reputation as one of Brighton’s best restaurants. The dining room is slick, striking, and it’s not hard to see why this award-winning gaff remains one of the classier date spots in the city.
106 Kings Road, BN1 2FU
Blessed with a simple, seasonally-led menu and a razor-sharp wine programme, Wild Flor is one of the most on-form restaurants in Brighton right now. Considering the sheer quality of the food on offer, the £48 summer dinner menu is very solid value for money and an excellent showcase of what makes modern British cooking so exciting. Vino geeks will have an absolute field day with the wine list.
42 Church Road. BN3 2FN
Plant-based small plates, strong cocktails, natural wine, and good times are all on the cards during a visit to Kokedama. This new vegan spot might not have been on the scene for a long time but it’s already making a bit of a name for itself. Expect creative, flavourful dishes like barbecue carrot katsu curry or char siu turnip with chargrilled lime. If you didn’t think vegetables could be fun, think again. Kokedama is one of the best restaurants in Brighton for a full-on tasty yet completely meat-free experience.
36 East Street, BN1 1HL
French food is so widely accepted to be delicious that it has, in many ways, become a little underrated. Petit Pois is a trés mignon restaurant on Ship Street that serves a modern menu of eats inspired by the French classics. Putting a twist on a bouillabaisse or steak au poivre isn’t ever really necessary but I’d be lying if I said the chefs at Petit Pois didn’t do a great job at taking those dishes in a slightly different direction. The wine list at Petit Pois is composed of big hitters from the Burgundy, Alsace, Languedoc, and Bordeaux regions of France. Drink up.
70 Ship Street, BN1 1AE
Brighton’s South Laines is a fairly trendy area. That’s why having a trendy natural wine and small plate spot like Plateau there makes perfect sense. Fresh Sussex produce is allowed to stretch its legs on the Plateau menu with dishes like pork and duck liver terrine and slipcote gnudi with wild garlic and fresh peas sitting on opposite ends of the salty to spring-y spectrum. The choice is yours as to what you decide to pair with your pét nat, but take comfort in the knowledge that whatever you pick is very, very likely to be delicious.
1 Bartholomews, BN1 1HG
Noodles or buns – those are the only two things on the menu at Jia Mo. They’re both handmade and they’re both the best examples of either you’ll find in Brighton. You can opt to have your noodles paired with (or your buns stuffed with) a range of slow-cooked meat that includes cuts of pork shoulder, pork belly, beef shank, beef topside, or lamb. I’ve yet to find a variation at Jia Mo that isn’t worth your time and money. And I'm not just saying that because this place is cheap as hell.
2 Ship Street, BN1 1AD
The Chilli Pickle
Dishing up food that takes inspiration from the wonderful and diverse regions spread across India, The Chilli Pickle is one of the best restaurants in Brighton for an excellent, affordable meal. It’s one of the few spots in the city where full-flavoured Rajasthani dishes like lamb laal maas can be found happily nestled next to Bengal favourites like paneer jalfrezi. You can tell that the team here have a genuine passion for what they do and that they’ve done their homework to boot. The Chilli Pickle has won plenty of awards in its time and – whether you’re sitting in or getting a cheeky Friday night takeaway – you’ll have a great meal on your hands and in your stomach.
17 Jubilee Street, BN1 1GE
Fourth and Church
Supporting local, independent restaurants is ridiculously easy when they’re as good as Fourth and Church. Located on Church Road (hence the name), this wine bar and restaurant does a cracking set menu and an a la carte loaded with seasonal eats. It’s the sort of place that’s so likeable and friendly that you could take your mum or a hot date here and you'd still come out having had just as much of an excellent time with either of them. Just don’t take your mum here on a hot date. That’s just weird.
84 Church Road, BN3 2EB
Isaac At is a restaurant that describes itself as serving “Sussex on a plate”. If you’re wondering what Sussex tastes like: it’s awfully moreish. The tasting menu at this excellent Brighton restaurant changes on a daily basis, meaning there's rarely a danger of having a meal that hits all the same notes as the last, and there’s no doubt that chef Isaac Bartlett-Copeland has created something truly special. Like they should be at most good gaffs, the fresh, seasonal ingredients are sourced from local producers are cooked with care. The most inventive cooking in the city? Quite possibly.
2 Gloucester Street, BN1 4EW
Ethiopian food is spicy, hearty, and extremely satiating. Dishes like kitfo, doro wot, and misir wot are just a few of the cuisine’s greatest hits that Abyssinia on Baker Street does an excellent job at whipping up. The vegetarian platter here is excellent for value and one of the many, many reasons why I consider Abyssinia to be one of Brighton’s best restaurants.
29 Baker Street, BN1 4JN
Tasting menus have a tendency to be fusty, boring, and way over the top. The Set is not a place where you have to worry about sitting through one of those painstakingly pretentious dinners. The £85 tasting menu here is all about fat, fire, flame, and umami – three things that I hope we can all agree go very nicely together. Cooking everything from Sussex lamb and rabbit to French toast, chef-owner Dan Kenny has created a dining experience that’s free from pretensions and full of endearing playfulness. Clever, creative, and well worth a visit. The Set is an instant classic.
50 Preston Road, BN1 4QF
Food for Friends
Being a vegetarian or vegan in Brighton isn’t exactly hard. The city is well-catered towards veg-heads and no restaurant is better suited to helping you stick to a plant-based diet than Food for Friends. Having been open since 1981, triple F has been leading the way in the realm of meat-free cooking with its menu of small plates, large plates, and tantalizing sides. The cooking itself isn’t wedded to any one region (there’s pani puri and Sicilian aubergine linguini up for grabs) but I'd say that only helps the restaurant’s everyman appeal. The wine list also has a strong selection of organic, biodynamic and natural wines if that’s your bag.
17-18 Prince Albert Street, BN1 1HF
This poky joint on Prince Albert Street is easily one of Brighton’s most convenient places to grab a bowl of ramen. It’s super no-frills, so don’t come in expecting to be given five-star service. Do, however, expect to have yourself a serviceable bowl of hot noodle soup or a hot and crunchy katsu curry.
11 Prince Albert Street, BN1 1HE
Kusaki is a completely plant-based Japanese restaurant. It is both the best and, unsurprisingly, the only vegan Japanese restaurant in Brighton. But don’t let that make you think it’s not a quality place to eat. Crunchy karaage oyster mushrooms, clever sushi rolls, and a host of larger curries and noodle-based dishes are all in attendance at this relative newcomer. The menu has plenty to please meat-eaters and vegans alike, and it’s highly recommended that you order at least one of their expertly crafted sake cocktails. A unique offering, for sure.
5-6 Circus Parade, New England Road, BN1 4GW
Fatto a Mano
Boasting three locations in Brighton & Hove alone, Fatto a Mano is always a safe bet for quality Neapolitan-style pizza. Cooked in a proper pizza oven at a face-meltingly high heat, every pie served at Fatto always has just the right level of char. The dough is made using high-quality Italian 00 flour and won’t leave you feeling bloated or uncomfortable even after you eat an entire pizza in 15 minutes flat. Whether you’re sticking to the classics (diavola) or going a little modern (ham and truffle) with your toppings, you’ll be very pleased with yourself when you get a Fatto a Mano in.
65-67 Church Road, BN3 2BD
With an interior as bright and vibrant as the punchy house salsa that comes out of the kitchen, La Choza is one of Brighton’s best restaurants for getting your fill of tasty Mexican street food. It’s impossible to go wrong with a pair of tacos and a cold cerveza but this Gloucester Road favourite proves just how right that combination can be. It’s simple food, cooked well, and served at an affordable price. What’s not to love?
36 Gloucester Road, BN1 4AQ
Bigger isn’t always better but the big, beefy burgers they lovingly griddle at Burger Brothers are just about the best you’re going to find in Brighton. Toppings range from mayo and Monterey Jack to wasabi mayo and blue Stilton, but the team’s commitment to cooking each patty to the correct level of doneness doesn’t waiver. A must-visit if you’re the kind of person who watches a lot of George Motz on YouTube.
97 North Road, BN1 1YE
As a Japanese BYOB on Church Street that charges just £2 for corkage, Pompoko is one of Brighton’s most popular restaurants for fairly obvious reasons. In terms of bang for your buck, it’s hard to beat this tidy little restaurant where the prices have stayed low since its opening. The staff at Pompoko are lovely, the portion sizes are generous, and the menu’s large enough that you’ll nearly always want to try something new the next time you’re there. Standout dishes include the tofu chilli don and the katsu chicken. It’s a cult classic, Mob. Go.
110 Church Street, BN1 1UD
Saying that you enjoy oysters and craft beer is a statement that will probably get you kicked out of a lot of pubs in the country. Not The Urchin though – this is a pub that appreciates the subtle salinity of a seafood platter and has no qualms about waxing lyrical about hops over a hazy IPA. The (good) beer is brewed on-site and the (fresh) shellfish is all caught relatively nearby. The Urchin is an essential spot to hit up on a sunny day when you want to understand why eating al fresco is so popular in all of the countries that have much better weather than we do.
15-17 Belfast Street, BN3 3YS
Brighton is a fun and exciting city to live in and there might not be a more fun restaurant to eat at than Bruha. This East Street spot is a hub for sizzling portions of sisig and refreshing kinilaw – yes, Mob, it is one of the few restaurants in Brighton that serves proper Filipino cooking. If you’re afraid of leaving full, maybe this isn’t one for you. But if you’re after unflinching flavours and getting in a good dose of calamansi while you’re at it, Bruha is a must.
28 East Street, BN1 1HL
Pizza is serious business. Sure, it’s easy to eat and take for granted but a good pizza, made properly, takes some real expertise. VIP Pizza – the VIP stands for “Very Italian Pizza”, by the way – takes its pizza seriously but doesn’t let technical prowess get in the way of the heart and soul they put into every disc of dough that comes out of the oven. A lot of the ingredients are sourced from the family’s own farm in Naples, proving that you can never underestimate the power of good sourcing. It’s the little touches like that which really make VIP one of the best restaurants in Brighton for a slice of pepperoni.
19 Old Steine, Kemptown. BN1 1EL
China Garden is a Brighton institution and is considered by many to be the best place in the city to go for dim sum. It’s a large restaurant that’s been open for forty years, dealing out the most well-known dishes of Cantonese cuisine, and there’s no reason why it can’t be around for another forty more. Excellent cheung fun and chubby har gow are just the tip of the iceberg. Ask the staff for their personal recommendations and you’ll eat well.
88 Preston Street, BN1 2HG
Launched by the same team behind The Coal Shed and The Salt Room, Burnt Orange has forgone the “The + Adjective + Noun” structure in favour of a name that better encapsulates the warming glow of woodfired cooking. Fire-Roasted chermoula monkfish, smoked miso aubergine, and Sussex lamb kofta are just a few of the interestingly chargrilled plates on offer. Yes, you’ll find your tried and tested charred hispi cabbage but there’s no other restaurant in Brighton as committed to the open flame as Burnt Orange. This restaurant is sort of like Brighton’s answer to BRAT, and that’s a very good thing in my books.
59 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL
Juicy shish tawouk, verdant tabouleh, silky hummus. You can find all that (and more) at this busy Lebanese restaurant on Western Road. Ordering a heaped mezze with your mates is one of the most enjoyable ways to eat, in my mind, and Kambis is where you can do that with ease. There might not be a more consistent restaurant in Brighton.
107 Western Road, BN1 2AA
In case you hadn’t got the memo yet: Brighton is home to some pretty good Japanese restaurants. The best of those spots for sushi, though, has got to be Murasaki. The simple interiors here are the perfect counterpoint to the clean, sharp dishes that come out of the pass with freshly fried tempura and fresh-tasting sushi rolls topping the hit list. Wash those plates down with a cold Sapporo and you’ll be in a proper state of bliss, my friend.
115 Dyke Road, BN3 1TJ