The best restaurants in Brighton: Find your seaside gem

Heading to Brighton? The coastal city 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 the best places to eat in Brighton, in order to - ahem - Brighton up your day.

Updated on 02 February 2024

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. On top of all of that, Brighton eating places are some of the best eating places in the country. 

Unofficially 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 holidaymakers, 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.

'Brighton is a haven for food fanatics as the city is home to hundreds of independent businesses serving up an array of gastronomic delights," says Howard Barden, Head of VisitBrighton. 'Naturally being a coastal city, we have a sensational selection of seafood restaurants, there’s plenty of plant-based options as well as traditional British fayre, Mediterranean flavours and classic curries. Whether it’s fine dining or a casual get together there is a restaurant in Brighton to suit all taste buds!'

As a place that champions independent establishments, the top restaurants in Brighton include plenty of independents, and its seaside location means fresh fish and seafood is a forte - indeed, many of Brighton's seafood restaurants are genuinely fantastic. That said, there’s room for all types of cuisines here, so browse our list below of the best places to eat in Brighton, from British barbecue joints to the best of Brighton's vegan restaurants and sublime Japanese seafood spots. There are a number of great Indian restaurants in Brighton too! If you'd prefer to take a look at our full list of Brighton restaurants and scour all your food options to make the perfect choice, be our guest. 

Plateau

Plateau

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

If fusion is your thing, this Brighton restaurant will be 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 dining room is small, with tightly-packed tables, but the intimate setting makes it one of our favourite places to eat out in Brighton.

£30 - £49
International
Wine Bars
Dilsk

Dilsk

44 Marine Parade, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1PE

This sophisticated little tasting menu spot in Drakes Hotel offers sublime cooking across compact, seasonal menus. Dilsk shows off some of the most inventive, delicious cooking in Brighton, and we love the minimal, whitewashed interiors too.

£50 - £79
Modern European
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
British
Gastropub
The Little Fish Market

The Little Fish Market

10 Upper Market Street, 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.

Over £80
British
Fish
SquareMeal UK Top 100
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
Etch by Steven Edwards

Etch by Steven Edwards

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

MasterChef: The Professionals 2013 winner Steven Edwards has been a fixture in Hove for some years now, impressive with technical tasting menus. These days Etch is affordable too - the signature menu is five courses and priced very reasonably as a result, making Etch more of a regular neighbourhood haunt than a special occasion restaurant. A sleek basement speakeasy completes the experience with a play for pre- and post-dinner drinks.

Over £80
Modern European
British
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.  

Under £30
British
Riddle and Finns The Beach

Riddle and Finns The Beach

65 Kings Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1NA

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?

£50 - £79
Fish
Embers Brighton

Embers Brighton

42 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, West Sussex, BN1 1HB

One of the best restaurants in Brighton Lanes, Embers focuses around dishes cooked over wood fire, including the likes of sticky aubergine with tahini cream, and chicken leg with honey butter and pul biber aioli. Worth a visit for the entertainment of the cooking as well as excellent food.

£30 - £49
Vegetarian
Vegan
Steak
British
Barbecue
International
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
Aji Sushi

Aji Sushi

Unit 1, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 3JE

This sleek, minimal Japanese sushi counter in Hove knocks out tremendous maki and nigiri for the price, and a seat at the counter gives you unrestricted views of all the prep work. Splash out and go for some of the more exciting nigiri, like Wagyu and eel. 

£30 - £49
Sushi
Japanese
Med.

Med.

2-3 Little East Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HT

Brighton isn’t short of great wine bars, but Med is definitely worth a visit. This Brighton Lanes restaurant is just a short walk from the seafront, and mixes a well-constructed wine list (including lots of natural and low-intervention options) with easy-going bistro-style plates.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Mediterranean
Bars
International
Fusion
Wine Bars
Nostos

Nostos

63a Holland Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 1BA

It may be chic inside, but Nostos has the heart and soul of a proper rustic taverna, with food to match. From Cretan pastries and bowls of deep-fried crispy squid to gigantes humming with rich tomato and herbs, Nostos is a knockout - it's no wonder it gets so busy. 

£30 - £49
Greek
Wild Flor

Wild Flor

42 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2FN

With an unassuming little front on the main road to Hove, Wild Flor is totally unpretentious, but there’s some brilliant cooking and wine selection happening behind the scenes. Interiors are spacious, comfortable and laid back, with a bright, airy bistro feel, and the menu takes that concept and modernises it a touch, with dishes like pea and lavender veloute with sheep's milk and spelt tortellino, and glazed short rib, asparagus and watercress with pomme puree. Wines are bang on too - arguably some of the best you’ll find in the city.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Brasserie
Wine Bars
Bistro
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 food 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
Modern European
Brasserie
Afternoon tea
Market Restaurant

Market Restaurant

42 Western Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN3 1JD

One of many excellent tapas-style restaurants in Brighton, Market is a gorgeous little space, with gleaming green ceramic tiles lining the walls and jamon legs hanging over the bar. The menus are typical Spain by way of Sussex, celebrating local ingredients and producers.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
International
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
Fourth and Church

Fourth and Church

84 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2EB

A much-loved neighbourhood restaurant in the Hove area, Fourth & Church is always buzzing. The quick-fire small plates and tapas dishes have Fourth & Church feeling like a British version of a tapas bar, and it’s a wine merchant too so you can take any good bottles away with you.

Under £30
Modern European
Tapas
Wine Bars
Palmito

Palmito

16 Western Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN3 1AE

This petite Latin American restaurant does a lot with a little - an old takeaway space has been carved out into a 20-seater paradise of exotic flavours, with wonderful dishes emerging from a charcoal grill in the kitchen.

£30 - £49
South American
International
The Set

The Set

50 Preston Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4QF

Chef and owner Dan Kenny brings his experience cooking at the renowned Gingerman to this progressive, boundary-pushing restaurant. There is only one weekly-changing tasting menu of between 16-20 courses, focused around micro-seasonal British ingredients and sustainable produce. Dishes change all the time, but examples might include scallop tikka masala, parfait and port, and milk bread with cheese burger butter.

Over £80
British
SquareMeal UK Top 100
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.  

Over £80
Modern European
FUMI Restaurant

FUMI Restaurant

1 Circus Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 9AS

FUMI’s massive monochrome wall mural is immediately striking, but there’s a lot about this all-day hangout that is pleasantly understated. FUMI is a gentle coffee house in the mornings, before switching into a menu of bento boxes and sushi come lunchtime.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Furna

Furna

6 New Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1UF

Taking up residence in a beautiful Georgian townhouse near Royal Pavilion Gardens, Furna's luxurious tasting menus combine exceptional ingredients with pitch-perfect cooking. The interiors are beautifully done too, combining grand period details with contemporary touches, and wine pairings and cocktails - should you want such things - are expertly curated. Make no mistake, Furna is a true gem. 

Over £80
International
SquareMeal UK Top 100
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
Rockwater - Hove

Rockwater - Hove

Western Esplanade, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 4FA

The Rockwater team have done a fabulous job with this gorgeous seafront restaurant in Hove - the interiors of this multi-floor space are beautifully decorated, and the food is great too, kicking off with fresh baked pastries, before transitioning into an easy-going lunch and dinner menu.

£30 - £49
Modern European
International
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 sauces – the green peppercorn is a knock-out – alongside indulgent sides such as truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and beef-dripping chips.

£30 - £49
Steak
British
Brasserie
International
The Flint House

The Flint House

13 Hanningtons Lane, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1GS

A follow-up from the team behind the brilliant Gingerman (which is also on this list, by the way), The Flint House is a calming little oasis amid the buzz of the Brighton Lanes. Stop in for snacking plates like sweetcorn fritters with jalapeno mayonnaise, lardo on toast with truffle and honey, and crispy ox cheek with chilli miso emulsion and tenderstem broccoli, all washed down with a masterful list of wines by the glass.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
Lucky Khao

Lucky Khao

1D St James's Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1RE

The talented restaurant team at Lucky Khao have worked at some of the best restaurants in Bangkok (including renowned Bo.Lan and 100 Mahaseth), before bringing a taste of authentic Thai barbecue back to Brighton. Get stuck into dishes like chicken larb, chilli lamb skewers, lucky crab fried rice and drunken noodles with lemongrass chicken, as well as sustainable cocktails. A thumping soundtrack of 90s hip hop and rock helps to keep the atmosphere buzzing.

Under £30
Thai
Burnt Orange

Burnt Orange

59 Middle Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AL

Another success story from restaurateur Razak Helalat (the man behind The Salt Room and The Coal Shed), Burnt Orange is a little more relaxed and buzzy, promising signature cocktails and music late into the night. The food is good too - think spiced calamari fritti, grilled halloumi with spiced fig honey, barbecue chicken thighs with celeriac remoulade, and wood-fired cod with green coconut curry.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
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. Consistently one of the best Indian restaurants in Brighton.

Under £30
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.

£50 - £79
Modern European

Just a short way west of Brighton you'll find Hove, arguably Brighton's most eclectic, exciting food neighbourhood. Don't believe us? Check out our list of Brighton's best afternoon teas, or the best restaurants in Hove - we have eateries you don’t want to miss! Or, get your weekend plans in shape with our best bottomless brunches in Brighton.

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