There’s such an eclectic mix of lunching spots in the vibrant city of Brighton that you’re bound to find something to fit any taste or budget.
Though it’d be impossible to list every place you should try, Amy Rutter has listed ten places worth your hard earned pennies.
On a budget
The king of Brighton bagels is another seriously cheap (and delicious) eat. The flagship store is on Bond Street but there are four additional shops around the city (Ship Street, Duke Street, Brighton train station and Church Street in Hove). Choose from a poppy, sesame, onion, multi-seed, wholemeal, jalapeno or plain bagel with a vast range of toppings including the ATM (avocado, tomato, mozzarella and basil), classic BLT and Reuben (pastrami, swiss cheese, tomato, pickles and mustard).
They also do wraps, soups and omelette-filled bagels. Lunch bagels start at £2.80. If you’re not fussy, save yourself a quid or two by opting for the £2 daily specials at any of the four stores. There’s a set filling for each day of the working week costing just £2.
7 Bond St, Brighton, BN1 1RD, 01273 722702, bagelman.co.uk
As You Like It
This is one of Brighton’s best kept secrets and a goldmine for anyone tightening the purse strings. It’s a simple cafe doing simple food well. Don’t expect anything fancy – your options are sandwiches, paninis, baguettes, jacket potatoes and salads with a choice of toppings. But get this, everything costs £2. Whether you get one filling or three, it’s £2.
It’s absolutely amazing value for money and one I used to visit frequently when approaching pay day! As You Like It is a really tiny cafe with only three or four small tables so most people get food to take out (go early or late to avoid the queue that runs out the door as there’s only one person serving).
17 Regent Arcade, Brighton, BN1 1HR, 01273 328236
Located in the heart of North Laine, Pompoko bustling, cheap and cheerful – but serves really tasty Japanese food. It’s quite informal and always packed so if you eat in, it’s not the time for any private conversations unless you want the rest of the restaurant to hear! You can get miso soup for just £2.95 or choose Donburi (rice bowl dishes), Yakimeshi (stir fried rice), Yakisoba (noodles) or traditional Japanese curries for the mains menu for around £6.
110 Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1UD, 07796 001927, pompoko.co.uk
— Street Diner (@StreetDiner) September 14, 2015
Brighton’s Street Diner isn’t a cafe or restaurant but instead a regular market of pop up street food traders from Sussex preparing and serving amazing street food from all over the world. You’ll find awesome fresh tempura fish subs priced at around £6 from Olly’s Fish Shack (all sustainably sourced local fish), traditional Portuguese dishes such as francesinhas (a croque monsieur with Portuguese sausages, egg and a beer-based sauce). from Dina’s Kitchen and Venezuelan tostons with fried plaintain and cheese from Toston Tolon. The Street Diner is open most Fridays from 11am to 3pm – get yourself down there!
Brighthelm Garden, Queens Road, BN1 1YD, twitter.com/StreetDiner
Fancy some good value-for-money Thai food? You’re in luck, my friend. Tucked away on a street leading up to the seafront, the popular Sukhothai Palace serves two courses of authentic delicious fodder for just £4.95 on their lunch menu. Starters include options such as Tom Yum soup or prawns on sesame toast while mains include Thai curries, Pad Thai noodles and spicy fried rice.
62 Middle Street, Brighton, BN1 1AL, 01273 748448, www.spalace.co.uk
Although Iydea is a vegetarian establishment, I’ve never met a meat eater who left disappointed. It’s a bit like a cafeteria where you queue to choose your dishes from a range of hot plates. But school dinners these are not, Iydea offers some of the most gorgeous veggie and vegan food that Brighton has to offer. The menu changes daily but examples of typical foods on offer are mushroom stroganoff, vegetable enchilada and harissa couscous-filled aubergine.
Once you’ve chosen your main you’re presented with sides and toppings such as carrot with roasted seeds in a tamari and ginger dressing, cajun potato wedges, sweet chilli sauteed savoy cabbage, hummous and tzatziki. Choose one main, two sides and two toppings for £4.70. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Slap bang in the heart of North Laine, you’d be forgiven for thinking you really were in New York when walking into the Hell’s Kitchen deli. It’s been serving Brighton since 1951 and offers a mix of amazing sandwiches, salads and pastry goodies to go. How about a Wrath sandwich for £4.95 (spicy meatballs, chorizo and salami with melted cheese, jalapeno and fiery hot sauce), indulgent oven baked macaroni and cheese for £4 or a homemade scotch egg sliced open and smothered in mustard for £2.60? Everything I’ve eaten here has been seriously yummy.
4 Gardner St, Brighton, BN1 1UP, hellskitchendeli.co.uk
Pho (pronounced fuh) is named after the Vietnamese national dish which is an aromatic rice noodle soup served with a side plate of fresh herbs and chilli. The broth is made by simmering bones for 12 hours to offer a wonderfully deep taste that makes the base of many of their dishes. Pho with flash fried steak comes at £8.75 while the tofu and mushroom wok fried noodles (pho xào) is £7.95. Don’t miss the amazing fresh rice paper summer rolls with peanut sauce (from £4.25 to £4.95) for starters.
12 Black Lion St, Brighton, BN1 1ND, phocafe.co.uk
Burgers have seen a huge increase in popularity in Brighton over the last few years and so has seen numerous new burger joints popping up all over the place. Burger Brothers is one that seems here to stay. Describing themselves as “two dynamic characters with an avid passion for quality food”, Burger Brothers are known for their gorgeous soft buns – they didn’t opt for brioche buns like everyone else but instead use a Jewish bread recipe which makes the buns soft but firm.
The Simple Jack (beef burger with Monterey Jack cheese) will set you back £5 while the more fancy Bennetton (beef with portobello mushroom, award-winning stilton, wasabi mayo and caramelised onions) costs £8.50. You can also ask for gluten-free, wheat-free or dairy-free buns at no extra charge.
97 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YE, facebook.com/burgerbrothersbrighton
This is the Mexican food of your dreams – not only is the food delicious but the restaurant is so much fun and the staff are wonderfully friendly. It’s another North Laine offering but you can’t book a table so get in there quickly to place your order. The gorgeous menu includes fresh burritos, quesadillas and tacos with pulled pork, homemade Mexican chorizo, garlic and chilli prawns or black bean and adobo roasted veg (prices range from £6.75 to £9). Rinse it all down with an authentic drink such as the Mexican beer-based Michelada cocktail.
36 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AQ, lachoza.co.uk
Main image: Bagelman on Facebook