From Bonobo to British Sea Power, Rizzle Kicks to the Kooks, it’s no secret Brighton has produced some of the hottest UK musical talent. 

So which restaurants are best if you want some dirty beats with your dirty burger? Or for that matter, some slow jams with your… sloe jam?

Here’s our pick of the top toe-tapping eateries...

Curry Leaf Cafe

It’s not just the Goan Peri-Peri that’s smoking hot at this infallible Indian in the Lanes. Expect fiery tracks by LCD Soundsystem, Fujiya & Miyagi and Santigold in the evening, with spicy cuts from Radiohead and Caribou keeping it classy on the lunchtime shift.

The Tempest

When the sun’s shining this seafront gem is party central. Sip a crisp, cool lager and tuck into seafood in the daytime with reggae, dub and island classics from Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs and Toots & The Maytals. When darkness falls the playlist merges into ska from the likes of The Specials, with the odd guilty-pleasure classic rock number creeping in once the shots come out. 

Dead Wax Social

Dead Wax Social is an achingly hip bar and  a pizzeria, with a strict vinyl-only policy. As such there’s often a retro flavour to the tunes – think Johnny Cash, The Clash and Revolver-era Beatles. They’re no strangers to the charms of Motown – Marvin Gaye and The Supremes are a foolproof way to get the place moving when the craft beer is flowing. It’s not all nostalgia though; during the daytime, staff love to show off their new acquisitions, recently spinning new LPs from the likes of Warpaint and Bon Iver. 


The self-styled ‘Boho bistro’ Kooks on Gardner St was opened by legendary local DJ and producer Tim Healey. So, as well as the decor having a strong musical slant, with LP covers and iconic artist portraits, the playlist is uniquely well thought out. Accompany a disgracefully delicious brunch with groovy ‘60s surf pop washed down with a Bloody Mary and some acoustic Americana. Later in the evening, accompany the classic British menu with cutting edge House and handpicked Hip-Hop. 


The jazz-age vibe of this killer afternoon tea and brunch spot is underscored perfectly but the cheery, root-toot soundtrack. You’ll surely dig some upbeat Ella Fitzgerald and sultry Billie Holiday. But the rarer, raw stylings of Cab Calloway and early Satchmo are as classy as the brushed-chrome teapot steaming away on your table. 


This chic but unfussy wine bar and eatery in the heart of town knows a thing or two about class. The playlist varies wildly, but if you’re hankering after some smooth grooves from Bonobo, Flying Lotus and selections from label Tru Thoughts this is sweet spot to show a date exactly how cool you are. 

Hope & Ruin

As a venue, the Hope & Ruin has played host to artists as huge as The Strokes and even Adele. Downstairs, the higglety-piggelty pub/dining room layout and furniture lend itself to a hugely eclectic playlist; at lunchtime, anything from space jazz courtesy of Sun Ra to The Velvet Underground. Towards the evening, more grungy with cuts from Younger Lovers and The Clean mean your night will be anything but ruined. 

Published -25th October 2016