Wherever you are in Brighton & Hove, you’re never far from the sea. But, there’s more to this vibrant city than the old ‘I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside’ cliché.
In fact, Brighton has a vibe all its own. It’s hip and trendy in a far less try-hard way than Shoreditch or Hoxton. There’s a large established LGBT community and student population. Veggie and Vegan lifestyles were big here long before it hit the mainstream. Brighton is a hub for new media industries and there’s art, music and culture aplenty.
It’s a confident, laid-back kind of place where anything goes. And, as for places to eat out, even Londoners might be spoilt for choice…
Where to eat on the seafront?
If you’re visiting Brighton and are looking for the best location to chill out and eat out, your first destination should obviously be the beach! Here, you’ll find a great selection of exciting restaurants, and some of the trendiest cafes and coolest bars the city has to offer. We’ve put together some of the locals’ favourite choices on the promenade and along the seafront.
The Salt Room next to the Hilton Metropole is one of the most prestigious eateries and is always worth a visit. Located directly opposite the i360 and West Pier ruins, it boasts spectacular views of the English Channel and a much raved about modern seafood kitchen.
Head to The Copper Clam on King’s Road Arches, a relaxed fish and seafood restaurant specialising in locally sourced fish and lobster caught just a stone’s throw away on Brighton beach.
Also, don’t miss Shelter Hall down on the seafront – a new concept combining a vibrant food market with six unique kitchens, bars and cocktail lounges to entertain from morning until night. Look out for their pop-up kitchens and food events too.
Further east near Brighton Palace Pier, Ohso Social is a family-friendly beach bar, cafe and restaurant that’s open all day, from breakfast to dinner and beyond. There’s a large heated beach terrace for soaking up the rays all year round. If you’re looking for a sunshine venue for food, drink and entertainment with a quirky Brighton edge, you won’t find better.
Further west along Hove seafront, Rockwater is a new, trendy bar and restaurant venue right on the beach serving everything from morning coffees to sundown cocktails, relaxed brunches, pizzas, oysters and steak. Try to get a table on the uber cool roof terrace for alfresco dining with amazing views of the sea.
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Brighton’s hidden gems
Of course, you don’t need to be right on the seafront to feel the unique Brighton vibe. Seagull laughter will accompany you wherever you are, should you need a reminder that you’re near the coast. And, whether you meander through the iconic Lanes or the North Laine shopping area or venture further afield from the well-trodden visitor path, there are plenty of quirky eateries you can try.
In Central Hove, Jo & Co wows with a showstopping interior design that’s as perfect for morning coffees and easy brunches as it is for chic cocktails and elegant dining. The menu is inventive, eclectic, and caters for all dietary requirements. For fine dining, the tiny Gingerman Restaurant (no point going if you haven’t booked) has award-winning fixed-price menus.
Over in Kemptown on Brighton’s eastern side, Metro Deco is a bohemian vintage-inspired tea room that’s our hot tip for Afternoon Tea, served with or without cocktails and gin infusions. Redroaster Café at the bottom of St James’ Street is a Brighton institution serving ethically sourced and hand roasted coffee. This venue is one of the UK’s highest scoring restaurants in the Sustainable Restaurant Awards.
Back in The Lanes, there are simply too many great places to eat and drink to mention them all. English’s of Brighton deserves a special mention as one of the city’s most venerable seafood restaurant and oyster bar. Terre a Terre is critically acclaimed to be perhaps the best vegetarian restaurants in the UK and “singularly and eccentrically marvellous” according to one famous A.A. Gill review. 64 Degrees is an award-winning ‘open kitchen’ eatery by Great British Menu 2017 winner chef Michael Bremner serving creative tasting menus of fresh local produce. And finally, The Ivy in the Lanes is a deco-inspired feast for the eyes as well as a delight for the palate that you simply can’t go wrong with.
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And now for something completely different…
To experience the olde-world charm of one of Brighton’s oldest and most traditional pubs along with award-winning food, the Lion & Lobster is well worth a visit. Spread over three floors, it is crammed with unusual interiors and curios, and has lots of cosy corners for intimate dining. The Tempest Inn is another foodie favourite and watering hole serving craft ales. What makes this pub unique is not only the exquisite Asian-influenced menu but its unique lantern-lit ‘cave’ interior.
Finally, no trip to the seaside would be complete without ice cream. In Brighton, that means Boho Gelato, artisan Italian style ice cream made daily in the heart of Brighton with an ever-changing range of classic and eclectic flavours. In Hove, Marrocco’s on the seafront is a family business that’s been making their own mouth-watering ice cream since 1969. Best eaten while strolling along the promenade; just watch out for those seagulls!
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