Ever wondered why folk who live around these parts look so damn good all the time?

It’s nowt to do with laying off the booze, that’s for sure. 

Nope, in fact Brighton is blessed with the healthiest dining spots around. Not just the vegan places – they obviously rule – but it’s our hood’s magic formula of high-end ingredients and a willingness by chefs to be bold, clever and… basically not just smother everything in salt and whack it in the fryer.

Let’s get stuck in to Brighton’s tastiest sit-down treats…

Hands down the healthiest-slash-best-value-for-money sit down lunch in Brighton, the lush greens, crisp haricots and plump haricots and tartly-seasoned cous cous at this agreeably hippyish high street buffet spot will make you feel young and spry, while the home-made juice selection will put the spring back in your step.

Read more about Foodilic North Street

Discreet corner sandwich spot that’s wildly popular with locals, boasting top-notch coffee and salad boxes for when you’re being all keen and laying off the carbs. Shout out to the vegan wellington, mushroom toast, goody-goody ‘cheese’ and keenly prices lunches. And their adorable little dog, obvs.

Read more about Café Trafé

Superior salads, formidable falafel and hands-down the best humous in Brighton. Get your fill of goody-goody grains and delicious dips at their tucked-away indoor market spot, and don’t worry about the name – Smorl’s portions are anything but, you guessed it, small.

Read more about Smorls Houmous Falafel and Salad Bar

Out in the hinterland of health-conscious Hove you’ll find this rustic-interiored gem. Gaze out on the eye-catching architecture of Palmeira Square and nosh on a waffle, poached egg or light baked treat, washed down with a selection of teas of juices. Pro tip: the strawberry Earl Grey is quite revelatory.

Read more about Down to Earth Coffee

Sushi burritos – totally a thing! Get a load of the colourful, flavoursome selection at this central spot, who by the way won an award for festival catering last year. So much to try, but have a bash at popcorn cauliflower, beet and basil satay, rainbow roll with carrot and coconut sauce, or quick and naughty tofu rice pocket. Nom.

Read more about Happy Maki

This innovative concept eatery isn’t only the first zero-waste restaurant in the country. Well, it is. But as well as that they keep it healthsome using whatever flora is in season on the Sussex Downs that week. They literally don’t waste a scrap, and neither will you with Babbington Leek, Jerusalem artichokes and (get this) ’Sunflower Seed Ice Cream.’

Read more about Silo

When you hear ‘gluten-free’ and ‘breakfast’ do you instantly think ‘ugh, so you mean yoghurt and fruit then’? Nah mate, that’s not the idea at Iydea. When you need a hangover-crushing fry-up in your life, pronto, swing by this smiley indie cafe in North Laine and stuff your face full of gut-friendly goodness.

Read more about Iydea

Forget that it’s healthy for a moment – Moshimo is one of the classiest restaurants of any sort in Brighton. Bowls of sticky, fleshy, umami fabulousness meander about the plush seating and low tables, all of it impeccably sourced and whipped up right in front of your lovely eyes. Date night perfection, that won’t savage your waistline.

Read more about Moshimo

Well worth a wander out to Hove for. Or a jog, come to think of it – in your running gear you’ll fit right in at this health-focussed brunch spot and juice bar. The byword here is ‘clean’ with zero processed, everything protein balanced, gluten free, raw-leaning and superfood ready. Set. Go….

Read more about Body Fuel Cafe

A contemporary café nestled in the charming Lanes, offering a heavenly selection of Has Bean coffees, speciality teas, a whole host of nutritiously, delicious dishes and daily changing salads. While away an afternoon in this stylish backdrop whilst digging into moreish delights such as roast peach, proscuitto, rocket and whipped ricotta salad or head down on a Saturday morning for a Wriggle favourite – The Acai Bowls, small breakfast bowls jam-packed with goodies such as fresh fruit, pistachios, hemp seeds, bee pollen and granola.

Read more about Lost In The Lanes

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.

Read more about Lavash

When it comes to fast food, vegetarians and vegans tend to get a bit of a raw deal. Fortunately, FilFil brings delicious, nutritious cuisine from the Middle East to our doorstep, sitting right in the heart of the North Laine. Expect more hummus than you can handle, more than enough falafel to fill you up and boundless baba ghanoush and baklava. Drop in on a weekend stroll through town, or refuel after a busy day out shopping – you’ll be more than welcome.

Read more about FilFil Cafe

Oseta Cafe is a small independently owned cafe in the heart of the North Laine. They pride themselves on fresh, delicious breakfasts, wholesome lunches and rich, tasty Brazilian coffee. Their delicious dishes are made fresh daily using only the best local produce and there’s always plenty to cater for meaties, veggies or vegans. This community led cafe is one of Wriggle’s favourites and a real hidden gem.

Read more about Oseta Cafe

Situated on Preston Road, Cafe Rust is the perfect hideaway for those looking for beautiful breakfasts & light lunches. Rust is full of shabby chic charm - which you can soak up over a cup of locally sourced, Red Roaster coffee, or one of their freshly-made quiches, salads and delicious sandwiches. If it’s sunny out, try and nab a seat in their beautiful patio area and escape the hustle and bustle for a few minutes.

Read more about Café Rust

Hells Kitchen is a deli with a difference. Since opening in 1951, this New York-style eatery has been delighting Brightonians with its huge array of “saintly salads” and “mean munches”. There’s no such thing as a small portion at this deli. Go for the seven deadly sins of sandwiches and you’ll be full all day - a particular delight being the Sloth, which is a bacon, peppered-tomato, avocado, rocket and pesto filling in a choice of homemade breads. Hells Kitchen classics The Wrestler, Chairman Mao, Deadly Deb and Paradise Joe are all oozing with mouth-watering ingredients: shredded duck, salt beef, peppered salami and of course, dill pickle and American mustard. For a larger lunch the Mac & Cheese is a must - covered in a decadently cheesy sauce and accompanied by a delicious fresh salad. With food like this, it’s no wonder they’ve been around for over six decades!

Read more about Hells Kitchen - Gardner Street

When the clean eating craze kicked in and flooded our Instagram feeds, along with it came a hundred-year-old recipe - Kimchi. Time for Kimchi is showing us how it’s done with their brand new Korean Deli and Grocery Shop on Church Street. They make their own artisan Kimchi using traditional fermentation methods and create delicious deli-style bowls that can be taken away or eaten at their twee window seat. Whichever you prefer, you can rest easing knowing you’re getting a super nutritious, most likely, more than five-a-day feed.

Read more about Time For Kimchi

Positioned in the main concourse of historic Brighton Station, Curry Leaf Cafe's colourful purpose-built kiosk serves up an authentic menu inspired by the street food stalls commonly found in the bustling train stations of India, plus a range of craft beers to take away – all packaged in compostable, biodegradable containers that won't clog up landfill.

Read more about Curry Leaf Cafe - Brighton Station

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.

Read more about Crocus Paella @ Street Diner

Published -14th January 2019