Concealed rooms, speakeasies, create your own cocktail bars, special menus and gaming-orientated pub nights – Brighton is chock-a-block with hidden food and drink spots.
We’ve done some investigating, and found 25 of the best secrets about foodie life in the city.
1. Create your own drink with the team at BYOC
Bring Your Own Cocktail is a bar that doesn’t sell alcohol – instead, guests are invited to bring along their own fav tipple. The resident mixologists will then whip up a cocktail right then for you to enjoy, with a little help from an antique drinking trolley containing fresh syrups, pressed fruit and vegetable juices, herbs, salts, and fruits.
41 Meeting House Lane, BN1 1HW, 02034 412424, byoc.co.uk/brighton
2. Enjoy your favourite tipple at Mascara
Bring your own bottle along to Mascara Restaurant, so you can enjoy your favourite tipple while experiencing the North African cuisine and the Moroccon décor.
101 Western Road, BN1 2AA,01273 278185, mascara-restaurant.co.uk
3. Get some great deals with a Tastecard
Get yourself a tastecard, and get 50% off or 2 for 1 at 56 restaurants in Brighton, including The Hop & Vine, The Lectern, Tun Tuns Café and the Raj Pavilion.
4. Krua anne has a BYOB policy…
At Krua anne, which serves Thai cuisine, you are welcome to bring along your own alcohol for a corkage fee of £1 per head. Enjoy with seafood, noodles, curries, and stir fry dishes.
19 Kensington Gardens, 01273 628555, kruaanne.com
5. …as does Pompoko Gardens!
Pompoko Gardens is a small, independent Japanese restaurant in Brighton’s Lanes. You can also bring along your own soft or alcoholic drinks to accompany your meal for £1.
101 Church Street, BN1 1UD, 07796 001927, pompoko.co.uk
6. Try some pre-threatre grub at The Coal Shed
The pre-theatre menu at Brighton favourite The Coal Shed is pretty impressive – for a £4 starter, choose from duck and fig salad, mussel and clam mariniere, or ash rolled goat’s cheese with pea and mint fritters. The selection of mains, all £8, includes minute steak and beef dripping chips, pan fried Pollack with petite nicoise salad, and crispy duck egg with grilled asparagus.
8 Boyces Street, Brighton, BN1 1AN 01273 322998, coalshed-restaurant.co.uk
7. Keep an eye out for special offers from Visit Brighton
Be sure to keep on top of all the very best offers by checking out the official Visit Brighton’s ‘Special Offers’ page – they add offers as they become available, so keep an eye out!
8. Move with the seasons at The Jolly Poacher
Fancy something new? The menu at The Jolly Poacher moves with the seasons, and is always changing – although you can count on a selection of brunches, dinners, light bites and afternoon tea. The team are also happy to create bespoke menus for special occasions.
100 Ditchling Road, BN1 4SG, 01273 683967, thejollypoacher.com
9. Discover a pirate’s galleon at The Black Dove
Hidden downstairs at The Black Dove is a pirate’s galleon inspired lounge room, stuffed with vintage treasures. Kick back while listening to the stereo, which plays be-bop, Jamaican ska, jazz, delta blues, afro-centric, and contemporary beat music.
74 St James’s Street, BN2 1PA, 01273 671119,blackdovebrighton.com
10. Hide out at The Wick’s 1920’s Speakeasy
Located on the corner of Western & Holland Road, The Wick’s spiral staircase will lead you to a 1920s Speakeasy, taking inspiration from America’s prohibition era. Candlelit tables, twenties jazz, and post-war artwork on the walls.
63 Western Road, BN3 1JD, 01273 736436, speakeasybrighton.co.uk
11. Enter The Funfair Club’s vaults
This eccentric bar is set in 18th century vaults, and has funfair acts, ball pits and retro music. This secret spot is a great place to grab a drink.
15 King’s Road, BN1 1NE, 01273 757447, funfairclub.com/Funfair-Club
12. Want to mix it up? Head to Metrodeco
If you’ve got very specialist tastes in drinks, and you’re looking for a place where you can simultaneously indulge in both a cocktail and a traditional cup of tea, head to Metrodeco for an afternoon of 1930s glamour.
38 Upper St James’s Street, BN2 1JN, 01273 677243, metro-deco.com
13. Bring your own bevvy along to A Taste of Sahara
Located on Brighton’s busy Western Road, A Taste of Sahara, which is a Lebanese, North African and Middle Eastern restaurant, has an alcohol-only BYOB policy. Bring along your own bevvy to enjoy with dinner.
103 Western Road, BN1 2AA, 01273 911843, atasteofsahara.com
14. Enjoy the monthly ice cream specials at The Parlour
Are you a bit of an ice cream fiend? Then head to The Parlour, which not only has 32 flavours of ice cream, but also hosts monthly specials, such as orange and mascarpone or cherry choc brownie. The Parlour also has a ‘Soup of the Month’, such as sweet potato, coconut and coriander soup.
The Parlour, Brighton Marina Village, BN2 5WA, 01273 628283, theparlourbrightonmarina.co.uk
15. Rootcandi is hidden in plain sight
Journey through Modern Europe with the Stanmer set. Battered cauliflower and curried mayonnaise delves into the best of Turkish flavours. Head towards the Mediterranean with roasted aubergine in spicy tomato sauce and topped with garlic mushroom mozzarella (plant-based of course). Then head north with potato cakes, stuffed with plant-based cheese, pea purée and basil, inspired by Baltic cuisine.
Hidden upstairs in Brighton’s Iydea Western Road branch, Rootcandi is a plant-based tapas restaurant. You can either select from the tapas sets, or build your own with your favourite dishes.
105 Western Road, BN1 2AA, 01273 965904, rootcandi.co.uk
16. Create your own breakfast at Little Miss Piggies
Everyone loves breakfast food. Why not build your own tailor made brekky at Little Miss Piggies? Create a breakfast that suits you from the list of breakfast foods on offer.
85 St James’s Street, BN2 1TP, 01273 69029, littlemisspiggies.co.uk
17. Find something new at the Street Diner Brighton
Held on Fridays in Brighthelm Garden in Queens Road, from 11am to 3pm, you’re sure to find something different but delicious at this weekly street food market.
Brighthelm Gardens, Queens Road, BN1 1YD
18. Neighbourhood is Kemptown’s ‘hidden gem’
Neighbourhood is known as the ‘hidden gem of Kemptown’, and is an eccentric little bar with a distinctive and independent vibe. Check it out if you’re on the hunt for something a little different.
101 St James’s Street, BN2 1TP, 01273 673891
19. Shake it up at Upstairs & Downstairs
Upstairs is a bar and grill, which is open every day until 2pm. Downstairs is a club, open every weekend until 2am. Whichever tickles your fancy.
5-6 Western Road, BN3 1AE, 0173 723621
20. Enjoy retro gaming with your drink at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
Want to enjoy your drink while kicking back with a huge selection of retro games and consoles? Look no further. Head over to Stick Mike’s Frog Bar on every second and fourth Wednesday of the month to take part in the Gaming Retro-Bution session.
9-12 Middle Street, BN1 1AL, 01273 749465,drinkinbrighton.co.uk/stickymikesfrogbar
21. Plateau are the wine experts
So, apparently orange wine is a thing. Think you know your vino? Guess again. Plateau offers one of the biggest wine lists in the city, and offers more than 20 wines by the glass on a frequently changing basis.
1 Bartholomews, BN1 1HG, 01273 733085, plateaubrighton.co.uk
22. Tequila secrets at The Pull and Pump
This watering hole harbours a boozy secret – behind the tall beer pumps lie an impressive Tequila offering – a grand total of 64 blends.
1-2 Clarence Square, BN1 2EG, 01273 328263
23. Go upstairs at Oki Nami for amazing cocktails
Co-owned by Fatboy Slim’s Norman Cook, Oki Nami serves sumptuous sushi. However, if you head upstairs to the building’s second floor, you’ll find a cocktail bar. Try the elderflower doused ‘Death in Vegas’ or the bourbon based ‘Lion’s Tail’.
6 New Road, BN1 1UF, 01273 773777, okinami.com
24. You can get lost in The Lion and Lobster
A rabbit warren of nooks and crannies, The Lion and Lobster restaurant is spread over three floors, including a pub area, regency restaurant and even a hidden roof terrace.
24 Sillwood Street,BN1 2PS, 01273 32729, thelionandlobster.co.uk
25. Al Duomo serves up a pre-theatre treat
Looking for a good place for a pre theatre meal? Head to Al Duomo, where you can choose two courses off of the Special Set Menu for £10.95 or £12.95 for three courses.
7 Pavilion Buildings, BN1 1EE, 01273 326741, alduomo.co.uk
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Main image: The Wick Inn on Facebook