As diverse as its communities, the food and restaurant scene in Brighton, England is outstandingly varied. The city offers much more than the usual alternatives, so we’ve rounded up the best places as a guide.
The Curry Leaf Café specialises in South Indian street food, cooked with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. It also has a drinks menu that consists of craft beer, loose-leaf teas and coffees that are equally organic and come directly from small farms in India. Chef and co-owner Kanthi Kiran Thamma, who was Food Champion at Jamie Oliver’s Recipease in Brighton, serves a deliciously diverse menu. At the same time, the needs of vegans and those with gluten-free and diary-free diets are respected. Curry Leaf Café is also a haven for vegetarians, with its excellent fully vegetarian street food platter. It includes chattambade, deep-fried lentil fritters, and mirchi bhajis (chillies stuffed with spiced potato).
La Choza, with its authentic Mexican street food, successfully brings a bit of Mexico to Brighton’s North Street. The restaurant not only offers exciting dishes created with traditional recipes straight from Mexico but also creates a genuine Mexican atmosphere right in the heart of Brighton. The restaurant’s interior is lovingly decorated with the best of Mexican culture. Guests get to enjoy the mouthwatering burritos, quesadillas, tacos and other inventive dishes in the midst of sugar skulls, lucha libre wrestling masks and Frida Khalo’s artwork. La Choza stands out with its great staff and dedication to ensure absolute authenticity in its dishes. The meals are derived from traditional cookbooks to travelling to Mexico and experiencing the culinary traditions first-hand with locals.
The Coal Shed is a charming gourmet steak and seafood restaurant that is located right in the heart of Brighton. The restaurant has become increasingly popular with locals due to its high-quality steaks, most notably dry aged Scottish steaks from the North Highlands and seafood specialties. Also impressive are the restaurant’s attentive service as well as its express lunch menu at great value. Theà la carte menu at the Coal Shed changes seasonally, making the most out of locally produced ingredients. The specials are equally adapted on a daily basis, so every visit to the Coal Shed is a different high-quality culinary experience. The restaurant has also introduced a BYO Monday, where the extensive menu is complemented with a great choice of wines. There is also a new Coal Shed Wine Club that gives guests the opportunity to learn more about different kinds of wine in the informality of intimate group dinners.
The Chilli Pickle was created by globetrotters, Alan and Dawn Sperring, with the aim of introducing the people of Brighton to authentic but distinctive high-quality Indian food. Stemmed from a shared enthusiasm for great Indian cuisine, the Chilli Pickle has evolved significantly over the last few years. It has developed into an established must-try in Brighton’s culinary landscape. From street snacks, like momos (Nepalese steamed dumplings) to tandoori specials, roasts and kebabs, the Chilli Pickle impresses with an extraordinarily diverse menu. This place guarantees to introduce its guests to delicious new dishes.
The Burgers Brothers, located right in the centre of Brighton in North Road, is one of the city’s best burger joints. The two owners, who have come together with a joint passion for high-quality food, have established a must-try burger restaurant. Classic beef burgers come with creative vegetarian options, such as Our Favourite, with goat cheese, roasted peppers and honey mustard. There is also the Hello Me which comes with fried halloumi and portobello mushrooms. In addition to this, all of Burger Brother’s vegetarian and beef patties, as well as chicken fillets, are prepared on the premises from fresh and locally sourced products.
Iydea is a restaurant with an intriguing idea: it’s a vegetarian canteen that serves fresh and healthy food at great value to either have in or to take away. The restaurant is the perfect spot for everyone who wants to have a quick lunch but at the same time enjoy more than just a plain sandwich. Iydea’s lunch menu is creative and gives guests the opportunity to pick and personalise their lunch themselves. Guests can choose first-hand one of the main dishes on display. These range from vegetarian lasagna and fruity harissa couscous to daily special quiches. Then add any of the hot vegetables, wide range of salads, toppings and sauces available. Variety, quality, value and speed of service are Iydea’s maxims. They are definitely followed through in both the menu and the service in the restaurant.
The Lion and Lobster is a charming traditional pub that serves excellent British cuisine complemented with daily specials. This pub stands out among other traditional establishments. This is apparent not only when it comes to the delicious food and remarkable portions, but also in the great service and the lovely interiors that includes two shaded roof terraces. Besides classic meat dishes, such as the Sussex lamb shoulder, shepherd’s pie or the chargrilled rib-eye steak, the Lion and the Lobster also offers a range of creative vegetarian alternatives. This includes its sweet pepper and basil risotto and butternut, lentil and feta minted filo pastry. The Lion and the Lobster also has a special Sunday lunch menu that includes an outstanding Sunday roast; this is a must-try for every visitor coming to Brighton.
The Gingerman restaurant, which is located in Brighton’s Norfolk Square, is the original Gingerman site that was opened in 1998. Ever since, three more restaurants have been added to the Gingerman restaurants, drawing in more and more costumers every year. The Gingerman’s philosophy is simple: to create high-quality uncomplicated food from fresh and locally sourced products. Exquisite starters, such as brie and truffle or crispy hen eggs come alongside hearty main courses, like Redlands farm beef or wood pigeon. The restaurant’s lunch menu changes on a weekly basis. There is also a special Sunday lunch menu with more gourmet dishes, ranging from duck liver parfait to a perfect praline crème brulée.
Terre à Terre is an exclusive vegetarian restaurant located in Brighton’s historic lanes that attracts both locals and tourists. Terre à Terre was created as a platform for creativity, sustainability and professionalism. The restaurant believes in pushing the boundaries with innovative meat-free cooking while relying on ethical and locally sourced ingredients as well as effective food-waste management. The diverse, completely meat-free menu includes many creative dishes, such as peeking buns. These are made from steamed rice buns stuffed with Szechuan marinated halloumi. Another dish is fancy Nancy, which is coco cardamom fried spiced rice with spring onion and yuzu palm bean shoots.
Opened in February 2015, the Salt Room is situated in a great location, close to the seafront. The restaurant’s covered terrace seating area provides guests with a magical, uninterrupted view of the old West Pier. The Salt Room specialises in a wide variety of seafood dishes, with oysters, lobsters and locally caught fish that come fresh from the market every morning. The Surf Board is an especially outstanding creation on the restaurant’s menu with an exquisite selection of fresh coal-roasted oysters, Scottish prawns, scallops and squid. The Salt Room also offers private dining options, where individual menus, pre-dinner cocktails and an exclusive wine list are created for the guests.