The best Brighton restaurants

Heading to Brighton? The seaside town has more to offer than fish and chips on its pebbled beach or ice creams on the pier – although these are Brighton staples. The city is actually a hub for a range of gorgeous restaurants, and below you can browse our list of which ones to try out in order to Brighton up your day.

Updated on 24 July 2019

Ah, Brighton. This seaside gem, only a pebble’s throw away from London, is not only an incredibly popular destination during the summer for busy city folk looking for an escape to the beach – it's also the cultural hub of the south.

Unofficially named the UK’s ‘hippest’ city, it has always been a destination for the free-spirited, and it has even been named the happiest place to live in the UK several times. It’s also the only area in the UK with a Green Party MP, a left-leaning party focusing largely on environmental issues.

Its large LGBTQ+ population has also given Brighton its nickname as the unofficial gay capital of the UK, and the city is renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas and its popular music, arts and cultural scene.

All of this, alongside its increased tourist focus, has helped attract millions of visitors over the years, ranging from day-trippers and holiday-makers, to hen-do parties and clubbers. Recently, a similar influx has been detected on Brighton’s restaurant scene, which consequently is as vibrant and enticing as the city itself.

As a place that champions independent establishments, Brighton showcases a large number of indie restaurants, and its seaside location means fresh fish and seafood is a forte. But there’s room for all types of cuisines here, so browse our list below of the best restaurants in Brighton, from Indian curry houses and British BBQ joints to sublime Japanese seafood eateries.     

Petit Pois

Petit Pois

70 Ship Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AE

There is more than meets the eye with this family-run neighbourhood bistro. The exceptionally well-priced French food is always solid and always delivered with a friendly smile. Through the open kitchen, head chef David Roy can be spotted conjuring up the likes of escargot, frog’s legs and duck rillettes as starters, while pan-fried sea bream fillets with bouillabaisse sauce from the mains section will transport diners from the south of England to the south of France in no time.

Under £30
French
The Little Fish Market

The Little Fish Market

10 Upper Market Street, Hove, Brighton, East Sussex, BN3 1AS

It might be hidden down a nondescript side street in Hove, but there is nothing nondescript about this tiny fish restaurant (we’re talking 20 covers). It serves up absolutely terrific seafood in a seriously refined way, in the shape of a fixed-price tasting menu, which changes every month or so. Although dedicated to showcasing the catch from the local boats, the menu delivers meat and vegetable dishes worthy of royalty. Reserve your table well in advance, though – this place books out quickly.

£50 - £79
Fish
Murmur

Murmur

91-96 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FN

This beach-front brasserie with its ideally-located terrace takes its name from the dark cloud of starlings that has a tendency to swirl above the adjacent West Pier at sunset. Take this in on the terrace while enjoying the likes of lobster croquettes with saffron and chorizo mayonnaise; fantastic locally-sourced oysters; or harrisa-baked marrow with red pepper tabbouleh and coconut yoghurt dressing. As you can tell, the cuisine spans the Mediterranean and so does the wine.  

£30 - £49
British
Restaurant Tristan

Restaurant Tristan

3 Stans Way, East Street, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1HU

This Michelin-starred Horsham restaurant churns out food that is as impressive as the 600-year-old beamed ceiling you'll be dining beneath – ingeniously inventive cooking results in clear-flavoured dishes. Line-caught sea bass with green tomato and sea herbs is proof of it, so is the grouse with black figs and cobnuts. From the dessert menu, make an effort to try the pineapple soufflé with coconut and vanilla, which is as accomplished as you would have hoped. The young chef in charge, Orrery-alumni Tristan Mason, sure knows what he’s doing.

£50 - £79
British
The Coal Shed, Brighton

The Coal Shed, Brighton

8 Boyces Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AN

Sister restaurant to Brighton’s The Salt Room, this barbecue-leaning restaurant is mostly known for to-die-for beef – locally sourced fillet, rib-eye and rump is sizzled on the restaurant’s Josper grill and served with a choice of sauce – the green peppercorn is a knock-out – alongside indulgent sides such as truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and beef-dripping chips. The interiors are as macho and masculine as the fare, and if you’re visiting on a Sunday, opt for the sharing Sunday roast, where half a kg of black Aberdeen Angus sirloin is served with all the trimmings.  

£30 - £49
Steak
Brasserie
International
Plateau

Plateau

1 Bartholomews, Brighton, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HG

If fusion is your thing, this Brighton restaurant is right up your alley. It merges French food with Spanish tapas, with a few Asian twists thrown in for good measure. The result is sharing platters laden with homemade terrines, squid tempura or grilled steak skewers. Have you tried gnocchi with edamame beans before? Now’s the time. The squid-ink risotto is also ace. The dining room is small, with tightly-packed tables, but the intimate setting adds to its charm.

£30 - £49
International
Etch by Steven Edwards

Etch by Steven Edwards

216 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2DJ

This intimate restaurant in Hove is the result of Steven Edwards winning the coveted MasterChef: The Professionals competition in 2013, and the excellence he demonstrated in the MasterChef kitchen he has certainly transferred to Etch. His signature style of mixing technically accomplished cooking with explosions of flavour is demonstrated in tasting menus that only explore a handful of ingredients. Edwards has mastered the skill of keeping things simple, yet being able to blow your mind at the same time.  

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal Gold List
The Chilli Pickle

The Chilli Pickle

17 Jubilee Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2ED

This is Indian with a deft, complex and creative interpretation, which goes down well with the hip foodies of Brighton. Chef Alun Sperring has taken his experience at the Cinnamon Club in London to the southern shores to create signature dishes such as red tandoori sea bream, rose water-infused mutton biryani and oxtail Madras. All is delivered with freshness and attention to detail, lifting the experience to fine-dining levels. The colourful dining room, scattered with atmospheric fairy lights and shelves stacked with provisions bring things back to earth again.

Under £30
Indian
Indian Summer - Brighton

Indian Summer - Brighton

69 East Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HQ

This modern Indian restaurant with vintage chandeliers, lit glass screens and giant sepia photos exuberates warmth both through its service and its spicy food. The short and seasonal menu is peppered with authentic regional ideas, so expect everything from stir-fried pork ulathiyathu (a South Indian speciality served with  roasted coconut sauce and apple chutney) to tandoori black bream with Bombay aloo and sesame raita, pomegranate and tomato salsa. For lunch, street food-styled snacks are on the bill alongside a two-course set menu.   

£30 - £49
Indian
The Gingerman

The Gingerman

21a Norfolk Square, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2PD

This is the original restaurant by Brighton chef legend Ben McKellar. A recent refurbishment now allows plenty of natural light to flood the dining room, where French-leaning food is served. Top-drawer ingredients are used and combined in simple pairings, resulting in ace dishes. A starter of asparagus soup with poached quail’s egg, toasted ciabatta, Old Sussex Cheddar and home-cured lardo virtually sings on the plate, while desserts such as lemon parfait with buttermilk and Gingerman honey sorbet are a triumph.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Griffin Inn

Griffin Inn

Fletching, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3SS

This charming 16th century inn is an Uckfield gem with its original beams, open fires and wood panelling – oh, and its incredible food. Mostly using locally sourced ingredients, the kitchen rolls out seasonal dishes ranging from crab linguine, monkfish with grilled lime and red pepper jam, or tempura scallops. Arch-British dishes such as steak and chips or chicken and leek pie are also up for grabs – enjoy these out on the glorious terrace or garden.

£30 - £49
Gastropub
The Salt Room

The Salt Room

106 Kings Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FU

Overlooking Brighton’s seafront, this is a real special-occasion place with a menu to match. It majors in locally-sourced seafood and grilled meats cooked over a coal fire. Dishes not to miss include lemon sole with spiced potted crab butter, cucumber and seaweed-roasted potatoes; the ‘Surfboard’ stuffed with grilled shellfish from the south coast of Scotland; and the ‘Taste of the Pier’ dessert, featuring doughnuts, fudge and chocolate ‘pebbles’. For warmer days, head to the ocean-front terrace for that ultimate seaside experience.   

£30 - £49
British
Fish
SquareMeal UK Hot 100
The Lickfold Inn

The Lickfold Inn

Highstead Lane, Lickfold, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 9EY

Head chef Graham Squires and chef partner Tom Sellers deliver pub grub to Michelin standard here. Witness bar snacks such as juicy pine-flavoured chicken wings or whitebait with homemade tarama. Simple stuff such as a whole brown loaf with whipped chicken butter or egg shells filled with wild garlic sabayon are, in fact, not simple at all, but complex and sensational. The interiors are as bold as the food, with Tudor details such as ancient lamp posts, brick hearths and low beams.

£50 - £79
Gastropub
Cin Cin Brighton

Cin Cin Brighton

13-16 Vine Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4AG

Cin Cin indeed – there is a lot to toast to in this intimate Italian restaurant. Only 18 guests can dine here and they are all seated around the U-shaped counter and one-man open kitchen. Top-notch Negronis are dished out at the same speed as flavour-bursting small plates. Expect the likes of Jersey royals with salsa verde and egg-yolk jam, and silky-smooth homemade pasta. Desserts include blood-orange and Campari carpaccio with white chocolate – innovative, intriguing and utterly delicious.  

£30 - £49
Italian
SquareMeal UK Hot 100
Terre à Terre

Terre à Terre

71 East Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HQ

This meat-free diamond has been serving vegetarian food since 1993 and is a popular spot for open-minded B-towners. The rest of the cuisine is equally open-minded and always dazzles the crowds with unusual flavour combinations and intriguing ingredient pairings, leaning towards Asia. Korean fried cauliflower, say, comes with sweet and sour sesame sauce and onigiri rice, soused daikon, kohlrabi and pickled mirin ginger jelly. The restaurant’s Asian take on afternoon tea is also spectacular with twists such as steamed rice buns stuffed with Szechuan marinated halloumi. 

£30 - £49
Vegetarian
Moshimo

Moshimo

Optikon, Bartholomew Square, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1JS

Don’t knock conveyor belt sushi until you discover Moshimo – this is a step up from your usual sushi experience. Raw fish is served alongside Japanese tapas and the plates are as top-quality as the signature sake cocktails are. But the restaurant also has a huge focus on vegan and vegetarian food. Novel presentation vessels (such as small, wooden boats) keep things on theme and the specially-designed building is reminiscent of a huge, red lantern that evokes a 1960’s Tokyo feel.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Bincho Yakitori

Bincho Yakitori

63 Preston Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2HE

Bringing a slice of Japan to the streets of Brighton, this smoky barbecue restaurant evokes the indulgent spirit of izakaya bars in Tokyo with its grilled small-plates. Chef Dave Miney cooks behind the open kitchen on the binchotan coal grill in this industrial looking site just off Brighton beach. The result? Skewers of chicken hearts, pork belly and Korean chicken wings, all oozing with umami, spice and smokiness. Sweetcorn with miso butter also gets our vote, and we recommend you wash it all down with one of the Japanese craft beers on offer.  

£30 - £49
Japanese
Riddle and Finns The Beach

Riddle and Finns The Beach

139 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FN

As you might have guessed, locally-sourced seafood is at the forefront of this bijou, beachfront restaurant. If the weather allows, sit outside for some epic views of the beach and the ocean, which will fill your nostrils with that salty sea air that will undoubtedly add to your experience. Gulp down ceviche dressed with a chilli, red onion and lime salsa, or fresh oysters. If you’re feeling brave, why not opt for the whole crab or lobster?

£30 - £49
Fish
The Ginger Pig

The Ginger Pig

3 Hove Street, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2TR

From the team behind the much-loved Gingerman restaurant (also in Brighton) comes this light and airy gastropub serving locally sourced dishes. The food is suitably trendy, but always tasty, with fans claiming they have never had a bad experience here. You might expect crispy pork neck with kimchi puree and grilled lettuce or roast monkfish with spiced potatoes, crispy squid, black garlic, spinach and curry velouté. Pickled mackerel with cherry tomatoes, grilled fennel and pickled cucumber makes for a light and summery dish, and if you’re visiting on a Sunday, the roasts are hugely popular.  

£30 - £49
Gastropub
64 Degrees

64 Degrees

53 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HB

Encapsulating the edgy, hip, leftfield and idiosyncratic identity of Brighton itself, this rock n’ roll restaurant offers excellent British food with a thrillingly theatrical concept. From the open kitchen, dishes such as flat iron misozuko with Bovril and shallot; Gorgonzola, kimchi and hazelnut in a boisterous veggie constellation; or brill with grapefruit and chilli impress. Dishes come out as and when they are ready, which adds to the constantly buzzy atmosphere – you can soak all of this up directly at the pass perched on top of yellow-topped bar stools.  

£30 - £49
Modern European
SquareMeal UK Hot 100
Curry Leaf Cafe - Brighton Lanes

Curry Leaf Cafe - Brighton Lanes

60 Ship Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AE

What better combination than Indian street food and craft ale, eh? That’s exactly what you’re getting at Curry Leaf, which serves up snacks during the day (expect mini poppadums with homemade chutneys or open-faced naans with paneer), and rich curries at night (the chicken-based Shimla Mirch or vegetarian Ennai Kathirikai with aubergine and paper dosa should be on your list). From the long craft beer menu, give the Wild Beer ‘Bibble’ IPA a go – it goes so well with the food.   

Under £30
Indian
The Set

The Set

33 Regency Square, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2GG

Chef and owner of this hotel restaurant, Dan Kenny, brings his experience cooking for the renowned Ginger restaurant group with a progressive approach to flavour and texture at The Set. Purees, powders and ash contribute to elevate your usual steaks and salads to a gastronomic experience. The weekly changing set menus always surprises and often include ‘bonus bites’ such as the fan-favourite chicken nuggets. The fare is British and the dining room is industrial-chic with robust wooden tables, exposed brick and old-school classroom chairs.     

£30 - £49
British
Isaac At

Isaac At

2 Gloucester Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4EW

This Scandi-styled restaurant might be tiny, but it is big on flavour, presentation and finesse. Delicately constructed and exquisitely presented plates of food taste accordingly and are best experienced through the constantly evolving, seasonal and locally-sourced tasting menu (there’s a seven-course one, a four-course one, as well as a vegan and vegetarian option). You might witness celeriac with egg yolk and apple; haddock with cauliflower and parsley; or lamb with Brussel sprouts and shallots. Staff are educated on wines, so ask them for pairings.

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal UK Hot 100

We’re not wrong in assuming you’re a lover of seaside restaurants, are we? Yeah, we thought so. So why not explore more of the south-west of England with these must-try harbour-side restaurants in Bristol? We have 16 eateries you don’t want to miss! If you're in that end of town we’ve also got a round-up of the best brunches in Bristol, where you can kick-start your morning