You’ve done the hard part. You found the hottie, got their number, and they’re up for seeing you again. Now it’s your job to lay on a damn good time.
In a city with more restaurants per head of population than anywhere else in the country, how do you choose a place that’ll blow your date's mind – and guarantee you get invited back for ‘coffee’ later on?
Wriggle selected the hottest spots in town for you to show off your taste, whatever he or she is into… and maybe save a few quid as you do it. It’s time for the best date-night restaurants in Brighton…
Impress the out-of-towner
RIDDLE & FINNS on the seafront is the only place to go to make an effort. Your date is coming all the way to Brighton for you, braving roadworks or even (heaven forfend) Southern Rail. With peerless ocean views, and zero chance a seagull will nick your chips, this classy champagne and oyster specialist strikes an arresting balance between fancy dining and cute seaside nostalgia.
Rock a melomaniac's world
KOOKS is the place to impress a cutie who really knows their music. Find it in the hip North Laine. The self-styled ‘Boho bistro’ was opened by legendary local DJ and producer Tim Healey. So as well as serving the works (burger, steak, plaice), and boasting a decor covered in LP covers and iconic artist portraits, the tunes are spot-on. Listen to groovy ‘60s surf and acoustic tracks in the daytime, then cutting-edge house and handpicked hip-hop when the sun goes down.
Get a Pizza the action
Purezza will help you impress someone who doesn't eat meat. In the vegetarian capital of the UK you can’t do better than this place. Situated on St James's St it's just a short walk down to beach where you can savour your vegan, sourdough pizzas in perfect seaside bliss. Did you know they're the UK's first UK plant based pizzeria? (Your date will be totes impressed by that little factoid). Not only do they serve top-class pizzas, but their animal friendly desserts are the perfect excuse for an after meal sharer with bae.
Tackle the indecisive one
SIX is the place to satisfy the picky-eater who can’t ever decide. We’ve all been there. ‘What do you fancy?’, ‘Oh, you choose.’, ‘Seriously though, what do you like?’, ‘Oh, anything.’ This place offers three distinct spaces; an airy brasserie, a fairy-lit snug, and a cold pressed juice/cocktail/coffee bar. Plus a menu spanning gastropub fayre, burgers, Asian fusion and pan-European. Whatever they fancy will be here, plated with super-photogenic finesse and served with a stack of quality booze.
School the student
BEELZEBAB is for a uni date. Chances are, the student will be seeking a kickass soundtrack, edgy decor and a 'casual' (aka, not too pricey) menu. Find them at the Hope & Ruin, an achingly cool Queens Road venue boasting a world-beating playlist, a gig venue upstairs and straight-up awesome decor – feast your eyes on its cabaret lighting, knackered piano and bathtub sofa. The Beelzebab nosh is cooked in a converted caravan – cos, why not? – Beelzebab itself serves filling, decently-priced grub like hotdogs, cheesy fries and kebabs. And it’s all vegan (mic drop).
Drink 'em under the table
BYOC promises the coolest, and best value, hooch session to book your beloved into. As a concept alone it’s dazzling; pay just £25 each and bring along a couple of spirit bottles. The expert, friendly bartenders will whip up a series of ever-stronger cocktails from whatever you brought along, plus their own unbeatable store of juices, spices and bitters. You enter through a deserted storefront to darkness (true speakeasy style) so it even looks amazing. Just don’t turn up on an empty stomach.
If they like it dirty
...DEAD WAX SOCIAL is the one for them. As much akin to a ramshackle gig venue as it is, the food and booze are deceptively hi qual – a solid and ever-evolving pizza menu and highly respectable craft beer selection. Everything about it feels like a music venue you’d go to in your teens, but in a good way. Show your date you still got the moves to handpicked DJs or, in the daytime, a solidly discerning vinyl-only playlist.
If their daddy's rich
GINGERMAN will show your class. Foxy black-clad staff proffer all manner of fancy appetisers before presenting you with a rolling menu of sumptuous locally sourced freshness, with an emphasis on full-flavoured British cooking. Sink an espresso Martini with the one you adore and eat one of the fanciest meals either of you will ever enjoy. After that, it's all up to you MY friend.