With summer comes the inevitable urge to consume all your meals outside. Thankfully there’s a surplus of alfresco dining joints in Brighton: some fantastic, some suitable only for stag-do breakfasts. We’ve rounded up our favourites across the city, so happy eating and don’t forget your sunscreen.
Murmur – named after the murmurations of starlings that flock round the West Pier that the restaurant faces – is the second restaurant of 64 Degrees founder and Great British menu winner, Michael Bremner. A family friendly affair aiming to satisfy diners looking for something a little less prosaic than fish and chips, it also has plenty of room out front for the energetic ones to run off their desserts.
Lucky Beach Cafe
Lucky Beach is slowly spreading its meaty tentacles across the city, with a kitchen at The Temple Bar and summer pop-up at Patterns. Both these have outdoor seating but the Cafe, spreading across two sides of the beach promenade, is their maison spirituelle. The tagline is ‘local, sustainable, fresh’ and their organic meat and chicken burgers are slathered in umami-rich butters, sauces and pickles. We went recently and had the vegan Impossible Beach – a Moving Mountains patty covered in vegan truffle cheese, roasted shitake, pickled onions, kimchee and korean ssam sauce. It was as unctuous and moreish as any cow burger you’ll find in the known culinary universe.
Easy Tiger @ The Hampton
Easy Tiger’s Indian street food and craft beer selection was pulling in the punters well before their south-facing garden was open. Now diners are flocking to the Upper North Street pub for sun as well as samosas. The food, conceived and cooked by Kanthi Kiran Thamma, is a whistlestop tour through the chef’s heritage and combines pub-friendly Kerala fried chicken (aka very posh and spicy KFC) with punchy vegan-friendly dishes like vegetable stew.
Hove Place has a sprawling outdoor terrace with plenty of shade that was surely invented with the phrase ‘summer daytime drinking’ in mind. Fortunately, there’s some top-quality food to soak up the Aperol Spritz. It’s mostly locally sourced and as well as premium-level burgers (think flank and marrow or smoked halloumi brioche) their Deli Boards are spot-on. Head Chef Phil Barley runs a cheese and charcuterie company, so you can be assured there won’t be a sweaty cheddar in sight.
Riddle & Finns
Utter the phrase ‘Brighton & Hove seafood institution’ to a local fish lover and they’ll reminisce waxily about Riddle & Finns. There are now two outposts of the restaurant; the original is a cozier affair on Meeting House Lane – we love the bar seating outside that peaks inside the kitchen – while its successor is a seafront staple. With a large al fresco section (booking absolutely required on sunny days) and that day’s catches cooked to classic standards the rest of the city attempts to match, it’s one for when the parents visit.
The Salt Rooms
If Riddle & Finns nods to a classic dining aesthetic and experience, The Salt Room modernises the framework. Fish can come on the bone and there is daily changing sharing menu for market fish, whilst dishes like halibut with fennel, samphire and kimchi mayonnaise demonstrate an adeptness with global flavours. The al fresco section has views of the i360 and West Pier, and set above the road so you’ll feel shielded from the beeps and fumes.
Fair enough, we are biased. Street Diner happens every Tuesday and Friday lunchtime in Brighthelm Gardens, literally 30 metres from our Tower Point space. But it is the best street food market in town, whether you’re chewing on the impeccably sourced fish tacos from Olly’s Fish Shack, teeth-suckingly sweet and spicy Baby Baos or the vast, stupor-inducing North African wraps from Kitgum. Plus you can just plonk down there on the grass and eat it with sunlight warming the lines of your face. Result.
With a vista stretching from Hanover to the West Pier, the Setting Sun can claim to have the greediest view in the city. After spending £314,000 on refurbishments the pub is under new management and serving a diverse menu from vegan ramen to fish and chips or, for those to like to sweat inside and out, pork belly vindaloo.
Formerly called Al Fresco, this two floor restaurant and bar is thriving with a new dining approach. Whereas they only previously served pizza, there’s now a crowd pleasing menu with everything from Devon crab to steaks and buddha bowls, with the top level being a little more dining-focused. A surfeit of outdoor seating makes it a huge draw on those hot summer evenings: unsurprising, really, as there’s surely no better spot on the beach to watch that pinky sun melt into the sea.