Today Sarah from Modern Bric a Brac is sharing with us her favourite places to eat out in Brighton. So next time you’re headed to the seaside and are looking for delicious food, look no further!
Over to Sarah:
When I was offered the opportunity to write about the best foodie places in Brighton I jumped at the chance. It was only after the proposal was accepted that the reality dawned on me, naming only five in Brighton is a pretty difficult task, even for a foodie Blogger like me.
Thanks to the number of visitors Brighton hosts throughout the year and possibly due to its proximity to London along with other contributing factors, Brighton has a vibrant foodie scene. There is, in fact, the largest number of restaurants per head of population anywhere outside of London, currently in Brighton & Hove.
So, I give you no grand claims that this is the definitive list of where to eat in Brighton, but what I can promise is that it is a heartfelt selection with every entry truly deserving its place in my top five.
Best for Brunch, Bill’s BN1 1YE
Where else should we start but with the best meal of the day, brunch?
Bill’s has earned a reputation with locals and tourists alike as a place to go brunching and like many others I’ve frequented this restaurant many times over the years.
First opened in 2005 Bill’s Brighton has changed little, that is, until very recently. In June this year Bill’s had a fancy makeover. Hotel boutique is in, plush banquettes in mustard and chalky blue have been installed, large green plants dotted throughout, round tables added, quirky pictures hung on the double height walls and the mezzanine level extended.
The result is a warmer, comfier vibe. Whether it’s with a group of friends, family or your other half, Bill’s can easily accommodate all of the above. Alongside all of this zhuzhing they’ve also added some new dishes to the breakfast menu.
Baked Spicy Beans, Chorizo & Eggs at £9.95 and Avo on Toast for £7.95 are two welcome additions. Plus, for those in the know they’ve kept their Eggs Royale, Veggie Breakfast and Buttermilk Pancakes on there too.
Best for Fish ‘n Chips, Bardsley’s BN1 4JN
Situated on a side street between the Level and London Road, (a great place for a bargain btw), is the family run Bardsley’s.
A Brighton institution, Bardsley’s has been in operation since 1926 and is now run by fourth generation Neil Brown. They’re a friendly bunch and whenever I’ve been in it’s consistently had a welcoming feel to the place. The shop and diner has reduced in size over recent years but there is still room to sit in and eat.
In former times Bardsley’s also had the honour of hosting a mini museum to artefacts from the life of Max Miller, a well loved British Comedian. Now that space has been reduced, Max Miller’s outfit has been re-homed on Brighton Pier while a few remaining items have been left to adorn the far wall of the dining room.
The menu includes a good selection of fish such as cod, haddock, huss, plaice and skate, with a daily specials board to choose from as well. Prices start at £5.90 for a cod supper. It feels like a real treat to go to Bardsley’s and I love that it’s an independent that has survived for so many years. If you like supporting local and you’re a fan of a fish and chip supper, then this one is just for you.
Best for Lunch, Plateau, BN1 1HG
Centrally located off East Street and opposite Brighton Town Hall you could be excused for walking passed it without being lured inside.
This bar and bistro doesn’t shout for your attention, rather it waits for you to walk through the glass door in your own time, quietly confident that it will win you over. Suffering from the allure of other places too much, it took me a deliberate intention to go there for lunch to get me through the door.
At Plateau they offer a set lunch menu of 1 course for £12, 2 courses for £16 and 3 courses for £20. I had stopped off for lunch with my mum and we were led upstairs to our table, which I hadn’t realised even existed. Seated at a table by the window our plan was to share a starter and dessert, choose two different plates for our mains and share a side.
My eureka moment came directly after trying our starter of Jerusalem heart and ricotta, which tasted delicately flavoursome and fabulous. The next course we had was fish with potatoes and a walnut tagliatelle with a side of greens. All three plates (I try everything) were superb and with these tasty morsels it was clear to see why Plateau has received so many accolades.
Everything tasted so fresh and delicious it took me by surprise. In fact it tasted so good I emailed the owners to arrange a meeting so that I could find out more about them. What I discovered was a passion for natural wines and an ethos of sharing dishes of small plates. Since then I have recommended this place to foodie friends who were equally impressed and meanwhile this little unassuming place just carries on making conquests.
Best for Burgers, Lucky Beach, BN1 1NB
A relative newcomer this restaurant can be found in a prime seaside location on the beach. It’s so well located it could even be mistaken for an overpriced tourist trap, but don’t be fooled!
Connected to the long standing coffee shop Red Roaster of St James’ Street, Lucky Beach is everything it should be. Offering sustainable, free range, organic and locally sourced food, the ethical credentials of this food spot are enough to make it worth taking a second look, if nothing else.
However, that alone wouldn’t be enough to make it onto my special list. It’s the taste of the food that takes it there. Exceptional burgers, starting at £8.70 hit the mark every time. The burgers are topped with fabulous fillings such as fig jam, pig candy, cheddar, toasted hazelnuts and ketchup leather. Plus order a refreshing drink, like their Apple and Rhubarb Soda with fresh thyme and ginger for £2.75 and you’ve got an incredible taste sensation.
At this restaurant you can rock up, grab a table in the sun and order superb food and drink while staring out at the sea.
Best for Fine Dining, Isaac_at BN1 4EW
Finishing my list of places, after covering brunch, fish ‘n chips, lunch and burgers, my final offering is a tad more fancy. Please welcome Isaac_at to the list.
Named after the chef that runs the team, Isaac Bartlett-Copeland, and his team are all still in their early twenties, creative and talented. The venue, just behind North Laine Brewery offers pared back simplicity with great big windows to let in lots of natural light. The meal is a series of small plates all completed by the team right in front of the diners.
Each dish is introduced by one of the Isaac team and the diners start each course at the same time. Innovative food techniques and interesting food combinations abound, think Strawberry & Tomato Summer Soup and Plaice, Potato, Parsley & Sea Purslane. Rolled up with the menu we found a sheet dedicated to a list of their suppliers and the number of food miles attributed to each ingredient. Paired with some local wines this meal is an evening out all on its own and is a dining experience to relish.
The tasting menu price is £50 with beverages sold separately.
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