1. Hallouminati at Carlito Burrito.
Cypriot cheese merged with Mexican cuisine might seem an unusual combo, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Using predominantly local produce and the occasional imported Mexican chilli, this snug eatery has created a dynamite burrito called The Hallouminati. Packed with ingredients as fresh as the décor, this spicy little wonder will blow your mind – you’ll be forming the Hallouminati Appreciation Society in no time.
2. Manchego burger at Coggings & Co.
That feeling you get when a burger restaurant just gets it right… Coggings & Co pride themselves on award-winning burgers, locally-sourced ingredients and impeccable presentation. Think brioche buns, wooden boards and artful placement. Their 6oz beef burger – topped with Manchego, chorizo jam and garlic mayonnaise – is a strong marriage of texture and flavour, and a shining example of what happens when simple recipes are executed to perfection.
3. Sharing plates at 64 Degrees.
It’s the eclectic and ever-changing sharing plates that draw the crowds to this cramped, buzzing hotspot. Chef and owner Michael Bremner built the 64 Degrees experience around a technically-advanced open kitchen, opposite which diners perch on bar stools, interacting with chefs at the pass and watching the artistry unfold. This is modern, dynamic and downright exciting food, deservedly dominating Brighton’s restaurant scene.
4. Whole crab at The Lion & Lobster.
A laid-back pub where you can casually feast on a whole crab? It seemed unlikely until The Lion & Lobster made it a regular feature on their summer specials board. Served with crusty artisanal bread, potato salad, homemade aioli and lemon, this is a must for anyone who likes their seafood fresh and their hands messy at the end of a meal.
5. North African spices at The Blue Man.
It’s all about those North African spices which infuse every authentic dish on The Blue Man’s menu. Cheesy Algerian dumplings, known as sferia, with harissa mayo are wisely followed by Merguez a Dar – handmade spicy sausages accompanied by the fragrant house tabbouleh. It’s pomegranate heaven, in the heart of Brighton.
6. Steak at The Coal Shed.
Whatever cut tickles your fancy, The Coal Shed should satisfy even the most ardent steak lover. Masters of their Josper charcoal grill, these chefs know how to cook a steak to perfection, and they’re quietly confident about the quality of their 35-day aged black Aberdeen Angus. Order the chateaubriand to share, or the fillet with grilled lobster if dining solo, and pair with your favourite classic sauce.
7. Sashimi at Moshimo.
Moshimo lives up to the hype year after year, and a sexier, cooler Japanese restaurant you’ll struggle to find. If you’re yet to lose your sashimi virginity, this is the place to do it. Order the Seabass Sashimi “Ceviche” with red onion and a marinade of sweet miso and tangy lime. This is ultra fresh, sustainably-sourced fish, prepared with unrivalled expertise and served in sultry surroundings.
8. Baked goods at Café Plenty.
Relatively new on the scene, Café Plenty keeps the weekend brunch crowd happy with a mouthwatering array of daily-changing baked goods. The Tuscan frittata is a regular special, but any of their colourful tortillas, quiches and pies will leave you with that satisfying feeling only home-made comfort food can.
9. Tandoori Platter at The Curry Leaf Cafe.
Best not squeeze into your skinny jeans for The Curry Leaf Cafe; when you see the size of the Tandoori Platter you’ll understand why. Generous servings of succulent Hyderabadi lamb chop, Hariyali chicken tikka and 24hr-marinated chicken leg are chargrilled in the tandoor oven, before being teamed with tamarind salan, tomato side salad, yoghurt raita and apricot naan. Take a deep breath; it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
10. Scallops at The Urchin.
If it’s gastro-seafood and craft beer you’re after, this is the spot. You’ll find it hard to choose between the aromatic Goan mussels and this juicy scallop dish featuring truffle mash, shallots and crispy sage. Save yourself the hassle and order both.
11. Kimchi gyoza at Rootcandi.
For plant-based, cruelty-free cuisine look no further than vegan sensation Rootcandi, the city’s favourite spot for Pan-Asian fare. While you wait for your crisped-to-perfection kimchi gyoza and Vietnamese dipping sauce, plough through some Thai Pani Puri. These curiously textured pastry shells become all the more interesting when you crack them open and load them with the flavoursome chickpea masala mixture.
12. Chocoholic at Terre à Terre.
Famed for its Terre à Tapas platter (a sharing plate that gives you a little of everything the chef is currently digging), this beloved veggie restaurant has gone one step further, giving us the mighty Chocoholic. When a dessert features indulgent items like “Crème de cacao Brandy Alexander milkshakes” or “Chocolate fudge and peanut salt caramel truffles”, it needs no further justification.
13. Tapas at The Foragers.
To be cooked for by renowned and charismatic chef Munkee is pure culinary joy. If you haven’t eaten your way through everything on his Bar Tapas menu, you’re missing out on little plates of heaven. Any dish that incorporates giant tiger prawns, chorizo and the signature jambalaya fishcake promises to be outstanding, but don’t overlook simpler dishes like southern fried artichoke with parmesan and lemon aioli. It’s flavoursome and best savoured slowly, paired with a bone-dry white.
14. Quattro Formaggi at Fatto a Mano.
Brighton’s love of wood-fired pizzas and truffle oil isn’t going anywhere. At popular neighbourhood joint Fatto a Mano – translating literally as “made by hand” – the chefs nail the fluffy, Napoli-inspired base and the toppings. Unless you’re vegan, there’s no such thing as too much cheese, so order the Quattro Formaggi and you’ll be drooling over each perfectly oozy, stringy slice.
15. The Silo Breakfast at Silo.
Opt for The Silo Breakfast then sit back and prepare for an education, as the true meaning of sustainability is revealed. Earning and maintaining a reputation as Britain’s best ethical restaurant, Silo has been dishing up zero-waste wonders since 2014 with integrity and flair, never once wasting a scrap or compromising on nutritional quality. Attack your fry up with as much enthusiasm as Silo combats food waste; you won’t be disappointed with flavour or quantity.
16. Falafel Melt Wrap at We Love Falafel.
The daily lunch queue snakes down the street for good reason: these are, hands down, the best falafels in the city. The Falafel Melt Wrap is all you’ll ever need for lunch…for the rest of eternity. Pleasingly crunchy in all the right places, it oozes hot, melted cheese, and the jalapeños provide an unexpected kick. If ever there was a time to annoy your Instagram followers with a lunchtime #blessed post, this is it.
17. Afternoon Tea at The Salt Room.
As the name suggests, this mouthwatering menu worships the fruits of the sea. Perfect for first-timers, they offer a unique take on afternoon tea, featuring a selection of moorish savoury bites (the Salmon & Squid Ink Bun and the Crab Scotch Egg are exceptional) and glutenous sweet treats (Chocolate Pebbles and Orange & Yuzu Posset, don’t you know). Wash it all down with gin and vodka Tea-Tails and you’ll have yourself a thoroughly lovely afternoon.