Looks like summer is here to stay and with it comes the need to dose up on your vit d, take in the sights and pop a squat outside your favourite eatery for some tasty sunshine feeding. Brighton's jam-packed with delectable summery restaurants, but which are the ones with the best alfresco spots? Here's our top pick. 

Don't forget to check our lists of the most instagrammable beer gardens, or epic picnic and takeaway deals either. 

If you're looking for delicious, flavour-packed and exciting British food, then look no further than Hove Place. A traditional bistro pub located slap-bang in the heart of Hove, Hove Place's glorious menus have earned them a stellar reputation in recent years. From mouthwatering interpretations of proper pub classics like fish and chips and burgers, to a tantalising and creative bistro menu starring dishes such as panko breaded British burrata, the food at Hove Place is capturing hearts and appetites across Brighton. The space itself is lovely, perfect for date night or a great big catch up with friends and family alike. Pro tip: Hove Place has some seriously stunning Italian-inspired gardens – the perfect place to soak up the sun with a beer in the summer or enjoy a coffee on a crisp morning.

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We love PAELLA. And we love STREET FOOD. What do you get when you cross fantastic paella with a street food revolution? ... Nick & Yana's Crocus Paella, that's what! These guys cook everything from scratch and use local produce where possible. The Paella is made from great ingredients, has no artificial colours or flavours & all paella is gluten free. What's the secret? Excellent quality saffron! a.k.a. Crocus Sativus. As proud members of street food collective, Street Diner, (Brighton's hottest weekly Street Food Market) you can find them at Brighthelm Garden, Queens Road on Fridays. Look no further for private catering for parties, corporate events, weddings and festivals around East & West Sussex.​

Read more about Crocus Paella @ Street Diner

Welcoming one of the newest additions to Brighton's food and drink scene, The Bok Shop. A brand new gourmet fried chicken and vegan faux chicken restaurant sat on the corner of East Street. Try their innovative chicken burgers such as 'The Hot as Cluck' or 'The Satay Night Fever' or make it vegan easily with vegan chicken, mayo, and cheese. Load up on their range of tasty homemade sides, dips, and crispy chicken/cauliflower pieces too. Their 'All You Can Eat - Wing Wednesday' is well worth checking out with a group of hungry mates as well.

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BLOCK. on St James's Street is a bar boasting a great wine list, bringing you lots of new young wineries/vineyards who are pushing the envelope a bit. The wine is supported with a great craft on draft range and Brighton's first and currently only charcoal and wood burning Bertha oven. Working with quality produce from local farms, fisherman and suppliers they've put together a beautiful British menu with a Basque influence coming through. Their famous garden has also recently been improved after being voted Brighton's best garden for the last two years. You don't need to worry about it chucking it down on you either, with the addition of their new heated garden roof. Now you can enjoy some wonderful food and wine al fresco all year round!

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Standing on the humble grounds of its predecessor Audio, Patterns boasts a wonderfully redesigned bar, club and sea-facing terrace. With different cuisines popping up on their recently refitted terrace all Summer, and an array of cocktails, wines, craft & world beers available, you'll want for nothing at this popular seafront venue! Working with promoters and artists on a national & local scale, there's always a cutting edge programme of events to keep Brightonians entertained, from massive gigs to cracking comedy nights.

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Most Brightonians will have whiled away many a blurry night at The Joker – their stunning array of local craft beers (not to mention 2-4-1 prosecco on Monday nights) have lured Team Wriggle in like a magical siren on many an occasion. Nestled smack in the heart of the lively London Road quarter of Brighton, the Joker brings everything you'd expect in terms of atmosphere and good vibes. There's monthly live jazz shows and regular DJs until late on weekends, making The Joker the ideal late-night drinking den to gather in with your best mates.

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The guys behind Bison Beer have launched their new store in Hove, where you can grab their range of awesome beers to go but now also enjoy in store. That's right! Stocking beers from all around the globe and their own fresh brews too, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you. The premises is split over two levels with a bar housing draught beer and food offerings on the upper part, plus fridges and seating down on the lower level. There’s also the small matter of a stunning south-facing terrace at the front of the building. If you don’t know your stouts from your IPA’s then fear not, they’re a really friendly bunch and will point you in the right direction.

Read more about Bison Beer (Hove)

Delicious sandwiches, toasties and breakfast bites await you down at Larder on Gardner Street. Now totally vegan, the only problem you'll have here is picking which plant based delight to indulge in! Toasted sandwiches, classic jackets and buddha bowls are all available to eat in or take away. Try a freshly made smoothie, made right in front of you or grab a hot drink and sit outside the front of the shop, watching the people of Brighton go by.

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An independent deli café-come-restaurant, Lavash are dishing up the tastiest, freshest wraps we’ve gobbled up in a long, long time. Packed full of locally, sustainably sourced ingredients which are prepared to traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern street food methods, these bad boys are seriously tasty. Everything is homemade – from the fresh, light lavash flatbreads to the punch-packing sauces and dips and the vibrant fillings. Lavash is the perfect spot for grabbing a casual bite to eat with your closest pals – enjoy your wraps with a properly tasty craft beer, or why not go all out with a bottle of wine? The vibe at Lavash is chilled out and relaxed, but the service is second-to-none, making it a truly lovely place to spend time.

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To most food-loving Brightonians, Mange Tout needs no introduction. Established in 2009, Mange Tout has created consistently fabulous food, working hard to build itself a well-deserved and sterling reputation as one of the city's best loved and most highly respected independent bistros. The food itself centres around simple, elegant and seasonal cookery, with all dishes crafted from locally sourced produce and ingredients. What we're totally enamoured with, is the beautiful lunch menu. A chalk board details the small but perfectly formed list of daily changing starters, mains, sides, cheeses and desserts. Go with a group of loved ones and order one of everything - Mange Tout is french for 'eat everything', after all! There's also a fabulous selection of drinks – locally roasted coffee and sustainably sourced teas sit comfortably beside a pretty special list of natural wines.

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There are few more pleasant ways to spend an afternoon (or morning) than on the sun-trap roof terrace at Rust in Hove. Even if the sun isn’t shining, this welcoming café is a favourite for brunch and lunch. If you’re there for the former - try the chorizo, or haloumi, with poached eggs - or the wonderfully fresh smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast. The portions are big at Rust, with the jacket potato packing a noteworthy punch. If you’re looking for a slightly lighter (although still generous) option, the salad platter offers a selection of the day’s offerings, plus halloumi, hummus and pita bread – delicious and smug-makingly healthy.

Read more about Cafe Rust - Hove

Young downtown boho spot with soft lighting, cracking small-plate dining and a lovely big bar to prop up and chat with staff over. What more could you want? Breakfast? Cool, how does ‘local butcher’s sausage, poached eggs, white pudding (divine), roasted vine tomatoes, crispy bacon, mushrooms and sourdough’ sound. Tunes? The playlist (one indie, some oldies, select electronica later on) is curated by owner, local DJ and producer Tim Healey. Art? Bespoke pieces dominate the capacious back room. And there’s burgers, plus Mediterranean and even indian options to fill your face. It’s ace.

Read more about Kooks

A relative newcomer to The Lanes is The Plant Room - a delicious veggie eatery hidden amongst a beautiful tropical paradise. This laid-back espresso bar serve up one of the world’s leading coffee roasters, Allpress, coffee connoisseurs come forth. As well as a heavenly selection of loose leaf teas from Brew Tea Co. Veggies and Vegans are well catered for with a wide variety of salads, tartlets and other moreish snacks. The veggie wellingtons are a real winning lunchtime feed. All the indoor plants are supplied by Hi Cacti and if one those super cute spiky little numbers happens to catch your eye, you can purchase one or two to take home. Coffee and Cacti, what more could you want from your afternoon caffeine fix?!

Read more about The Plant Room - Brighton Square

The Dover Castle pub is a fabulous, traditional pub in the heart of Brighton. An old school style boozer, Dover Castle also offers a short but perfectly formed menu of pub classics, augmented with a few quirky twists from the chef's imagination. Expect a menu that revolves around fresh ingredients which have been locally and seasonally sourced, and are free range wherever possible. Inside, the pub is delightfully cosy and comfortable, with an eclectic mishmash of decorations and furniture. Come for a few pints with your best mates, and stay for the fantastic selection of live music, open mic and comedy nights.

Read more about The Dover Castle

Wholesome salads, Small Batch coffee, daily-changing hot and cold specials, quality breakfasts and freshly made sandwiches await you at this gem of a café on Trafalgar Street. Grab a seat and watch the people go by as you enjoy wonderful home cooked food. Keep your eyes peeled for exciting pop-ups in the future too, with a great space tucked away downstairs (which is currently home to cereal innovators- Brighton Cereal Cafe).

Read more about Café Trafé

Published -26th June 2018