The Little Fish Market

British, Fish·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of The Little Fish Market

Gold Award

The Little Fish Market is proof positive that good things really do come in small packages. Hidden down a nondescript side street in Hove, this teeny but terrific fish restaurant has room for just 20 diners across a handful of tables.  

The Little Fish Market is owned by the fittingly named Duncan Ray – a chef who used to work at Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred The Fat Duck in Bray. At The Little Fish Market, Ray creates seriously refined food in a tiny basement kitchen.

The fixed-price tasting menu is a constantly evolving affair (dishes change every 4-6 weeks) dictated by the catch from the local boats, although diners can expect “magnificent” dishes packed with flavour. Dishes you might find on the menu include celeriac with seaweed potato and hispi cabbage, followed by a mussel curry served with apple. Desserts are a highlight too, with options including the likes of a Valhrona chocolate tart and mandarin with cacao nib.   

With the multi-course tasting menu clocking in at £87 per person, this is not exactly a cheap night out by Brighton standards, but the quality of food on show here more than justifies the price tag. We were also impressed by the superb service, while we found the concise wine list to be a good match for the range of fish served to us. Our top tip is to reserve your place well in advance, especially for weekend meals, as tables here often get snapped up weeks in advance.

The Little Fish Market joins a clutch of Brighton-based restaurants that have proved themselves as more than capable rivals of their London counterparts, with other top Brighton joints to look out for including Murmur, The Salt Room and 64 Degrees.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
British, Fish
Cosy, Quirky, Unique
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Special Features
Gluten-free options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


No doubt one of Brighton's most celebrated restaurants, The Little Fish Market is true to its name - a small, 20-cover restaurant, run by Duncan Ray, who cooks a single tasting menu with a heavy lean towards south coast fish and seafood. Ray has worked under the likes of Marco Pierre White, John Burton Race and Heston Blumenthal in his career, before striking out on his own in Brighton.

Since opening in 2013, The Little Fish Market has scooped a bevy of awards, including a place in the Good Food Guide, the Michelin Guide, the National Restaurant Awards Top 100 and three AA Rosettes. These days, Brighton boasts a rejuvenated restaurant scene, but The Little Fish Market was there right at the beginning, and alongside chefs like Michael Bremner and Steven Edwards, Ray has done a great deal to put Brighton on the national culinary map.

You'll find the restaurant just off the main road towards Hove, where its unnassuming double-front sits neatly next to The Old Market theatre. This old building used to be a fishmonger, hence the name, and though it has smartened up a bit it still retains that rustic charm. Though Ray has experience in some very fine dining establishments, his cooking at The Little Fish Market is more classic and restrained.

The single tasting menu shows off a variety of fresh fish and seafood - whatever is best on each day - cooked in a way that shows it at its very best. The dishes are described in very few words - think 'Brill', 'Scallop' and 'Bream' - to keep a sense of mystery and surprise behind each one. While the accompanying wine selection is ably curated by Noble Rot's Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew. 


Does it cater for dietary requirements?

Unfortunately, it is unable to offer a vegetarian menu, and cannot cater for some major allergies . If you do have allergies, please check with the restaurant before making a booking. Whilst every effort will be taken, there will be no guarantee that a replacement dish/ingredient can be offered without prior notice.

Helpful? 0

Is there a bar?

There is no bar at the restaurant, but you're welcome to arrive a little bit early and have a drink at your table.

Helpful? 0
Meet the team
The Little Fish Market

Duncan Ray

Chef owner

You wouldn't know from The Little Fish Market's unnassuming shop front that there was a such a pedigree chef behind the stoves, but Duncan Ray is that chef. His CV is chock full of A-listers - Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and John Burton Race, to name but a few. In 2013 Duncan decided to strike out on his own, taking over an old fishmonger on the Brighton and Hove border and turning it into a small but perfectly formed seafood paradise.


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

01273 722213 01273 722213


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue 18:45-21:00
Wed 18:45-21:00
Thu 18:45-21:00
Fri 18:45-21:00
Sat 18:45-21:00
Sun Closed


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3 Reviews 

Malcolm F

27 December 2022  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4.5

Small restaurant in Brighton backstreet serving unbelievable fish dishes. Chef Duncan Ray is clearly a master of his craft and shows in these wonderful creations.



21 March 2018  
Great value sharing plates for lunch.

Jeremy Q

21 March 2018  
Great seafood & variety of puddings - friendly staff & super location by the Quay.
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01273 722213 01273 722213

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