Places to eat in Brighton: 7 of the hottest new restaurants you must try
I have lived in Brighton, one of England’s most colourful and free-spirited seaside cities, for over 20 years. One of the greatest perks of living here is the abundant food scene. From cutting edge cuisine to global street food to experimental vegan fare, there are an endless supply of tempting places to eat in Brighton.
In addition to a vast array of old favourites, several new restaurants have sprung up in recent months, creating an air of post-lockdown positivity. As a food lover and someone who enjoys nothing more than sampling a wide variety of cuisines, here are a few of my favourite new places to eat in Brighton.
Bang Bao: Experience bun heaven for vegans
Created by Dom and Amy, a dynamic duo in their twenties, Bang Bao is located in Presuming Ed’s, a funky indie coffee shop/bar on bustling London Road and also a favourite hang-out of mine. This vegan bao initiative offers a tempting range of buns inspired by traditional Southeast Asia, but using locally sourced ingredients.
The light and fluffy buns are hand rolled and cooked in a Chinese bamboo steamer. Fillings include hoisin oyster mushroom, Korean fried ‘chicken’ and ‘pork belly’ with caramelized apple chutney – all 100 percent vegan. Among the small plates available are corn ribs, loaded fries and sweet potatoes, each with a unique Asian twist and made with love by Dom and Amy.
Tapas Revolution: Sample a taste of Spain by the British seaside
Tapas Revolution opened its doors in June 2021 and brings a taste of Barcelona to Brighton. Serving traditional Spanish tapas in a contemporary setting, Tapas Revolution was the mastermind of Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy. With 10 restaurants in the UK and two books under his belt, Omar is a heavyweight of the Spanish food scene.
Situated in the heart of the city centre adjacent to the Pavilion Gardens, the spacious dining area has 100 seats along with another 80 on its sunny terrace. In addition to an extensive range of meat and vegan tapas, there are several mains on the menu including the Spanish classic – paella – which is available with seafood, chicken or as a combination. Wash down your tapas with the extremely palatable blood orange sangria.
Kitgum Kitchen: Discover African/Gujarati fusion cuisine
It may be small, but Kitgum Kitchen packs a punch with its tasty, home-cooked African/Gujarati fusion cuisine. With its exposed brick walls and cool artwork, the restaurant finally has a home of its own after years of pop-ups in markets and pubs.
Perhaps the only one of its kind in the UK, Kitgum Kitchen has an interesting back story: The parents of founder, Fayaz Amlani, were exiled from Uganda in 1972 under the dictatorship of Idi Amin when those of Asian descent were forced to leave the country. The restaurant was inspired by the cooking from Fayaz’s childhood.
One of the most popular dishes (and also my personal favourite) is Kuku Wa Kupaka, a chicken and coconut curry with a boiled egg in garlic, ginger and turmeric sauce. Vegetarians will love Moong Nu Shaak, a curry created with mung beans, cumin, coriander and tomatoes. A host of mouth-watering sides are perfect for sharing.
Socialite: Don't miss this stylish venue at Brighton Lanes
Socialite is a new addition to the city’s fine dining scene and is located in the labyrinth of the Brighton Lanes. During the day, it’s a great spot for brunch or lunch. At weekends DJ’s spin tunes and during the week, there’s live music. The décor is stylish and the vibe is cool, while comfortable sofas and low tables give the venue a chilled ambience.
The menu is British combined with global influences and the locally produced ingredients reflect the seasons. Mains include lobster linguine, wild bass and lamb as well as veggie options. There are a wide range of grilled steaks available and small plate snacks are served on a roof terrace under the stars. The expertly crafted cocktails are tantalisingly good. Check out Brighton Sunset, an appetising concoction of gin, peach, pink grapefruit and aromatic tonic.
One Kitchen: Relax with a locavore lunch surrounded by nature
Set amongst beautiful walled gardens of sprawling Stanmer Park, One Kitchen is an ideal spot to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and indulge in some tasty cuisine in a natural setting. Serving all day breakfasts, lunches, daily specials and cream teas, the surroundings are light and spacious, and there’s a large seating space outside.
Ingredients from the gardens and other local suppliers are used to create the dishes. Plumpton Estate pulled pork bun and peavacado on toast are two of the top dishes on the lunch menu, while afternoon tea includes homemade scones, jam, honey and honey with sweet and savoury accompaniments.
One Kitchen has the added bonus of an adjoining market farm shop and delightful gardens to explore.
The No Catch Co.: Have authentic fish and chips – vegan-style
This brand-new vegan enterprise is a fresh take on the British staple of fish and chips. Situated on the seafront, The No Catch Co. was founded by Ed Winters and Kevyn Bourke, who believe that fishing is a disaster for the environment, as well as a moral issue.
Their aim is to help people realise how delicious a plant-based version of traditional seafood dishes can be. The restaurant uses a GMO soy substitute for everything from smoked haddock to prawns to calamari. In addition to mains, small dishes include Tofish Bites and Popcorn Chikken and there are also as a wide range of dips and sides to choose from.
It’s a no-frills establishment, but its offerings might just surprise visiting carnivores.
Munchies Craft: Sip coffee, cocktails and Turkish treats
Munchies Craft is one of those unique indie venues that fits perfectly into Brighton Lanes’ boho vibe. With neon artwork on display by local artist, Ash, the small colourful bar oozes character. There’s even a resident dog, Alex, who is usually seen lounging on the sofa and always appreciates a little attention.
Run by women, the cafe’s quirky décor is reflected in its menu. A small selection of breakfasts include Man a Man, which I can whole-heartedly recommend. It’s a one-pan, Turkish-style dish with egg, fresh tomatoes, peppers, mozzarella and chives. Pancakes and waffles with a wide range of enticing toppings are a speciality. From lunchtime, Turkish tapas and sandwiches are available. Portions are generous, so come hungry.
To round it all off are craft coffees and an original variety of cocktails, like the Green Bomb – a combination of fresh basil, gin, triple sec and house sweet and sour.