It’s that time of year again, friends, when our lovely hippy city by the seaside morphs into a mecca for mouthy hens, sozzled stags and your mates from London who, surprise surprise, suddenly decide to visit now the sun’s shining.
Do we resent them? Course not. Come empty your pockets, sexy out-of-towners.
Just not at these secret spots below. They’re ours…
IN THE NORTH LAINE
Situated on that sweet spot in the North Laine, where you’re handy for everything but off the main tourist rat runs, this proper pokey little pub serves craft beer, eight different ales and an eye watering 100 varieties of whiskey.
When it’s sunny patrons spill onto the streets, or the interior is lovely and cozy, boasting the awesome novelty of a wall covered in old cigarette tins: deposit a love letter or drawing in any of the tins for the next person sat there to ponder over.
On a North Laine back street you’ll find this well loved, cosy locals boozer. Always packed with a jolly crowd who love to sup the excellent range of ales, have a good old chinwag with the bar staff and tuck into a quality roast on a Sunday. Classic pub decor and the bants to match, you’re bound to have a quintessential pub experience in this little blinder.
Renowned for being Brighton’s best whisky pub, the Great Eastern stocks over 100 variations of American whisky and even won the ‘Best Spirit Pub in the UK’ back in ‘08. The staff are all mega friendly and very knowledgeable so if you can’t tell your bourbons from your malts ask them for a recommendation. Also known for their live music, this awesome little boozer have regular gig nights from retro ska to foot stompin blues.
NEAR LONDON ROAD
A Brighton pub oozing with character, a cushty open fire, comfy sofas and a beer garden that can only be described as the cats pyjamas. Outside your cosy requirements are catered for with heated booths and snuggle blankets. Their Sunday roasts are raved about and usually sell out fast so you better hop to it. Stick around for the popular Sunday night quiz and try your luck at winning a fab stash of prizes.
The Signalman’s secret beer garden is where you’ll find us in the summer months. One of the largest in this fine town and it catches the sun all the livelong day. Get a round of cold ones in from the bar, a bite to eat from Kitgum Kitchen and settle in for a sun soaking afternoon in this heavenly green booze haven.
Right opposite The Level is an eclectic pint sized pub with art on the walls, one hell of a booze stock and uber smiley staff. Earth & Soul are in the kitchen, cooking up a vegan storm with their tasty, plant-based street food dishes. With regular events nights and a banging selection of real ales, the Druids Arms is a big hit amongst locals.
AT BRIGHTON STATION
A stones throw from the station is original home of the Dark Star brewery and by jove, it serves breathtakingly good brews. It has a reputation of bringing together ‘real beer’ lovers who can choose from 8 keg lines, 7 casks and 3 draught ciders. The locals that flock here truly know their porters from their stouts.
The Caxton Arms serve up some truly wonderous pub grub to match a glass or pint of your favourite tipple. Whether you fancy wings, burgers, fish and chips or a classic steak; you're sure to find something great on this menu. With an impressive sandwich selection at lunchtimes, a blinding roast available for meat eaters and veggies alike on Sunday's, and BBQ's through the summer, there's never a bad time to head down and say hello!
Affectionately dubbed ‘The Manor’, The Sussex Yeoman is a warm and welcoming alehouse with an award-winning menu. There’s a real focus on ethically sourced local ingredients, and creative gastro food. This winning combination keeps the locals coming back time and time again, we’re most definitely hooked that’s for sure.
CLOSE TO SEVEN DIALS
Most of the selfie-stick wielders who visit this time of year never make it up to Seven Dials. And all the better – this comfy, victorian-style hostelry has loads of room inside and out.
The bedecked beer garden has plenty of tucked-away benches for a conspiratorial natter, or picnic benches out front suit those who like to watch the (resolutely non-touristy) world go by.
…or if you want something a bit more refined and continental up on Seven Dials to this gallic bar and eatery. Posh nosh including raclette and a continental take on scotch egg (seriously, try it) are washed down by prime continental hooch in a refined, dark-hued setting. Formidable.
This diamond of the Dials is one of Brighton’s most hidden treasures. Boasting a brilliant little beer garden with outdoor live music on Sundays. Kids eat for free on Saturdays and dogs are very welcome regulars. A lovely little family pub with oodles of charm, they even take over the whole street during pride for a big ol’ knees up.
Famed for its immense sausage and mash menu, this hidden gem of the Dials also plates up an impressive Sunday Roast. We strongly urge you to get down there and try it for yourself. This old-school locals’ boozer stocks some real tasty browns, has three epic beer gardens and plays regular host to creative and crafty events.
An independent, family-friendly pizza pub perched high upon the hillside just two mins walk from Brighton station. The 'Westie' has been lovingly restored by Ben and Heather and is a proper local boozer with a family at the helm. With traditional pub pantones, a blend of old and new furniture, and plenty of charm. A super cosy home-from-home - creating a beautiful neighbourhood pub with ‘the Cheers factor’ - a place where everybody knows your name.
AROUND UPPER NORTH STREET
Run by London based Southey Brewing Co. The Brighton Beer Dispensary are dishing out some of the most exciting beers in town. The interior is unassuming, exposed brick walls, wooden saloon style bar and red velvet stools. Bang tidy. The pub grub here is to die for so come hungry, and fill up on some Key Babz goodness.
Cosy sofas - tick, south facing beer garden - tick, classic pub grub - tick. The Windmill, just off Western Road is off the beaten track but well known by its surrounding residents for its lively atmosphere, and epic pub quiz nights. They have been known to host a dance off battle if the winning teams are tied. There’s free chilli on mondays too, WIN!
Easy Tiger aims to please the Montpelier community with a warm and friendly local that appreciates the value of good food and drink served with an honest smile. A fully stocked bar, complete with top-drawer craft beers, will set the tone for an all-inclusive offering after a brief period of refurbishment. Easy Tiger seeks to capture the culinary legacy of Indian food through the country’s famous Toddy Shop street side bars.
IN HOVE, ACTUALLY
This Hove hostelry is a real locals favourite and smack bang in the most desirable Poets Corner. With a mouthwatering American smoked menu, a cracking selection of Harvey’s Ales and a kitsch wee beer garden you can see why the regs and thier doggos love it so much here.
Just a hop skip and a jump from Hove seafront and you’ll find yourself in Better Half waters. A laid back and super friendly joint serving up quality pub grub and a top-notch ale selection from the likes of Bedlam Brewery and Timothy Taylor’s. Pub quiz nights are packed as are Sunday lunchtimes, The Better Half is a real pillar of the community.
The Southern Belle is a pub come theatre come hotel and is located just next to one of the most prestigious squares in the city. The pub is a lively boozer with super friendly staff, decent beers and some mega food choices. The Dukebox Theatre seats 40 and has regular theatre, comedy, cabaret and live music nights. Well worth checking out.
Discreetly situated ‘twixt Church Street and the sea, this sizeable boozer is friendly enough to be buzzing, but far enough from the hordes you’ll never be sat by a twat dressed as Super Mario. Local ales jostle for position with other English faves (Brakspear all the way from Oxford is especially good) plus really, really good food (especially roasts). There’s even a garden, with an actual lawn, and during the summer months one staff member’s entire job is chasing away seagulls. Yeah.
HANOVER & LEWES ROAD AREA
We have to hand it to The Geese; despite healthy competition in the "Best Sunday Roasts in Brighton" category and the challenge of its hidden location, they've built a sea of regular customers whose Sunday wouldn't be complete without flocking to the pub for a hearty Roast Dinner. It’s a small place - which makes it cosy and welcoming but can make it tough to bag a table. Aside from Sundays, the grub consists of a range of good-value and hearty Bangers and Mash washed down with a selection of Guest Ales.
Loud and proud this very yellow boozer is a real gem hidden amongst Brighton’s studentville, Lewes Road. You’ll find a real mixed bag of clientele in these parts, from freshers newbies to real ale drinkers there’s a real community feel here. Hearty pub grub from Union Grill, quality craft beers, live music and quiz nights and a banging beer garden. Tidy.
Hanover residents have a blinding little boozer on their doorstep. For non locals it’s worth a trip to The Constant Service for one of their epic roasts. For £11 grab one of their epic Sunday roasts with FIVE veggie and vegan options or one of their delish homemade pies available during the week. Their award-winning garden is the perfect supping spot for those glorious summer evenings.
DOWN IN KEMPTOWN
Proper old-school Kemptown boozer a reasonable stroll away from the main drag boasting a handsome colonial roof, tonnes of nifty bar-tat, chatty staff and a friction’ microbrewery out back.
One of the oldest pubs in Kemptown, the Barley Mow has long been famed for their fantastic selection of real ales and generous servings of quality grub. With the arrival of the pie professionals, you can expect expert offerings of the delicious pub staple, with unique creations matched with British classics. We love nothing more than playing one of the card or board games whilst tucking into a Pieminister pie.
Named after the architectural duo who laid out much of Brighton, Busby & Wilds is a top-drawer gastropub with an international slant to the beer menu. Check out their mouth wateringly good Sunday lunch menu with treats such as Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder and Walnut, Hazelnut & Almond veggie roast to choose from. Us locals love this friendly neighbourhood public house.