The dining scene in Brighton has really been elevated in the last few years across the whole spectrum of budgets. Fran Villani picks out 10 of the best restaurants.
[Picture: Flickr / CC]
Filling and frugal street food style restaurants are thriving in Brighton, whilst there has been a growth in refined and inventive dining for larger budgets.
Dining as an experience outside of the restaurant is also popular with special chef’s nights and a diverse range of supper clubs for something a little different to the norm.
It really is an exciting time for food in the city, with something for all tastes, diets, budgets, and occasions…
The New Club
Achingly cool, The New Club is a breath of fresh air on the seafront, which is primarily populated by tourist-trap eateries. Many items are made on site like their house cured salt beef. They also mince their own meat for their burgers and I can vouch that the pulled pork from their smokery is the best in town. Almost everything on the menu is under £10, from their popular brunch to the sandwiches, burgers and small plates to share. All with a view of the sea.
133-134 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2HH (01273 730 320, www.thenewclubbrighton.com)
Namul is a hidden gem that you could easily walk straight past. And that would be a shame. Inside you’ll find Brighton’s only café/takeaway serving Bibimbap, a Korean dish roughly translating as “mixed rice”. Pick a rice base and a selection of the many toppings available like Mooli, exotic mushrooms, seaweed, tuna or gosari, or from their house suggestions. I personally like the Kimchi Adventure with crisp greens, spiky kimchi pickled cabbage, egg, carrots, sprouts and seaweed. Get there early to secure a table.
49 Gardner St, Brighton, BN1 1UN (01273 973878, www.facebook.com/Namul.brighton)
A Brighton favourite, La Choza is a bright and breezy restaurant that was established at the beginning of our fascination with Mexican street food, and has retained its popularity despite recent strong competition. I normally go with their in-house smoked pulled pork burrito with hot sauce for a filling lunch and still come away with change from £10. Their Mexican street food salad is healthy and invigorating and also donates to the Rockinghorse Children’s charity. Win-win. Their Margaritas are darn good too.
36 Gloucester Rd, Brighton, BN1 4AQ, (01273 945926, www.lachoza.co.uk)
[Picture: Ben Tilley / Flickr / CC]
This has got to have one of the nicest restaurant interiors in Brighton. Although it seems incredibly smart, with gold leaf and good lighting, they do an incredibly good value, two-course weekday set menu from lunch to 7pm at just £9.95. Starters include caramelised onion, pepper and aubergine pissaladière, tartine of smoked salmon, Bayonne ham and celeriac roulade. Roast sea bass fillet, coq au vin for mains and crème caramel or iced berries with white chocolate sauce for dessert. A bargain without scrimping on style.
115-116 Church St, Brighton BN1 1UD, (01273 687541, www.cote-restaurants.co.uk)
Plateau offers French small plate dining, with exquisite ingredients and one of the best wine lists in the city (with plenty of local bottles too). In French ‘plateau’ means a platter, tray or sharing plate, which is essentially the core of what they offer. Carnivores will not fail to be impressed with the plateau de viandes, with homemade boudin noir and the best pork belly in Brighton. Main meals are available on the board for those that can’t/won’t share. Make use of the bar too and grab one of their wonderful cocktails.
1 Bartholomews, Brighton BN1 1HG, (01273 733085, www.plateaubrighton.co.uk)
The Ginger Pig
The Ginger Pig is a restaurant you can always rely on. In the last few years the food has become increasingly refined and beautifully presented, yet you will never leave hungry. Meat, fish and vegetarian dishes are all equally good, and the menu changes frequently using seasonal produce. Desserts are some of the most interesting in the city, like an Iced Peanut Parfait, Dulce de Leche, Peanut Brittle & Peanut Butter Truffles or Pistachio Sponge Cake & Raspberry Tuille, Goat Milk & Raspberries.
3 Hove St, Hove BN3 2TR, (01273 736123, www.thegingerpigpub.com)
One of my very favourite restaurants, the Chilli Pickle never disappoints. They have educated locals with their regional Indian dishes, to the extent that bog-standard curry houses are now not any good to us. Their dishes have dazzling depths of flavour and are presented on large metal trays peppered with tiny cups of their homemade chutneys and sauces. A feast for the eyes as well as the belly, you can’t go wrong with a meal here.
17 Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE, (01273 900383, www.thechillipickle.com)
24 St Georges
[Picture: The Graphic Foodie]
24 St Georges brings back grown up dining in an increasingly gimmicky food scene. Not that their dishes are in any way old fashioned. With plenty of unexpected touches and inventive flair, dinner here will always be a memorable experience. I recently had fois gras masquerading as glossy red cherries, with the stalks made from tiny pieces of deep fried duck and an incredible black olive baked Alaska. The concise mid-week Menu Du Jour is an affordable way to try their food which still features fantastic dishes such as Brighton Blue cheese parfait, assiette of game and orange and olive oil cake.
24-25 St Georges Road, Brighton BN2 1ED, (01273 626060, www.24stgeorges.co.uk)
Little Fish Market
The Little Fish Market is the best fish restaurant in the city. With elegantly presented food served cosily in a former fishmonger’s shop, its deserved reputation continued to grow, so booking is a must. All the food is cooked by owner and acclaimed chef, Duncan Ray, so attention to detail is showered upon each plate. The short menu changes regularly but expect delicate mackerel salads with quail egg and saffron potato, or even the best fish dish I’ve ever tasted: sea bass with fennel and pink grapefruit with a crab ravioli. Desserts are a highlight too. A Brighton must.
10 Upper Market Street, Hove, BN3 1AS, (01273 722213, www.thelittlefishmarket.co.uk)
64 Degrees has really shaken up the local dining scene with their approach. The interior may be tiny, but it’s worth securing a seat on the pass to watch the chefs craft the intricate dishes. The short menu changes frequently and includes four meat, four fish and four vegetable dishes, all of which are some of the most inventive food in Brighton. Don’t leave without trying the house egg, cooked sous-vide at 64 degrees, naturally.
53 Meeting House Lane, Brighton BN1 1HB, (01273 770115, www.64degrees.co.uk)
• Fran blogs about Brighton food and drink at The Graphic Foodie
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