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Brighton’s creative and diverse food scene and stunning coastal location are a winning combination for trips out of the capital, whether for business or pleasure. The city’s reputation for flying in the face of all things mainstream extends to its restaurants: vegetarians and vegans are well served here, and residents value institutions that focus on sustainability and local produce. Plus, Brighton’s international scope and proximity to London ensure international cuisines are amply represented. Here’s Square Meal’s pick of the best restaurants Brighton has to offer.
Since moving to myhotel, The Chilli Pickle has gone from strength to strength. Ex-Cinnamon Club chef Alun Sperring still wows the city’s diners with modern Indian cuisine, including signature dishes such as oxtail Madras, and tandoori-spiced sea bass. Meanwhile, his wife Dawn heads up a friendly front-of-house team in the dining room.
Sustainability and organic and free-range are key at this two-tiered restaurant overlooking the beach and pier, which is proud of the fact that 80% of its ingredients are sourced within 35 miles of the city. Inventive dishes such as scallops with cauliflower pannacotta and oyster jelly set the standard, and service is impeccable.
This congenial, diminutive bistro is the original eatery of Brighton restaurateur Ben McKellar. There's a French slant to the dishes produced by the kitchen, tempered with an instinctive understanding of ingredient combinations. Good service and reasonably priced wines complete a satisfying package.
The Brighton branch of this plush boutique hotel chain is a haven of luxurious comforts designed to help visitors unwind. Its romantic bistro is decked out with polished wood and brass and soft lighting, and the menu offers gutsy French food, from vichyssoise to sole Véronique.
The Meadow’s chef/proprietor Will Murgatroyd cut his teeth at Gordon Ramsay's Pétrus in London, which may explain the attention to detail and consistently high standards that prevail at the Hove eatery, including home-cured hams, restaurant-baked bread and even butter churned on-site.
The first conveyor-belt sushi restaurant to open outside London, Moshi Moshi’s eccentric decor, table seating, Japanese tapas and saké cocktails make it more inviting for a sit-down meal than lots of its fast-food-oriented competitors. Staff follow Japanese custom in not accepting any tips.
This dinky restaurant has built up a formidable local reputation, thanks to the talents of chef Andrew MacKenzie, who cooks up a regularly changing menu of technically astute dishes served in a stylish dining room. There's a decent selection of cocktails – plus sea views – in the bar upstairs.
This bijou fish restaurant tucked away in the city’s South Lanes combines a relaxed vibe with super-fresh seafood dishes from the open kitchen, including classics such as smoked-mackerel pâté or fish pie, plus platters of shellfish. Service is speedy and well versed, although prices are more in line with London than Brighton.
This relaxed seafront bistro has a true neighbourhood – and family-friendly – feel. The kitchen serves a menu of British and European classics made with local, seasonal ingredients, and the long dining room has a comfortable feel thanks to ambient lighting, fresh flowers and pictures of the owner and his family on the walls. Weekend brunch is a major attraction.
A coolly contemporary but accessible vegetarian, Terre à Terre’s Asian-influenced food challenges, dazzles and excites. Other plus points include an imaginative organic and biodynamic wine list, as well as personable, informed service.