Christmas is approaching, fast, and we’re gearing up for the second most important day in all of Christmas … that’s right, it’s Friendsmas! For those not in the know, it’s the day where instead of arguing with your pops about who gets the last roast tattie, you do it with your mates instead. Because friends are the family you choose, amirite? A foodie feast, lashings of booze and a round of secret Santa. Heaven. 

We’ve rounded up some particularly perfect Wriggle venues, so you and your besties can celebrate Friendsmas in style. 

Merkaba is one of Brighton's best-loved bars. Voted “Best Drinking Venue 2017”, it's the perfect place to celebrate with friends and family. At Merkaba, the ethos is that cocktails should be enjoyed in a beautiful, cultured and relaxed environment. Come and sample one of their artisan cocktails from the extensive and ever-changing menu.

Read more about Merkaba @ My Hotel

Wanting to give the English public the authentic Spanish food and music experience, Karim Larbi and Jorge Rodriguez founded Olé Olé in 2009. With authentic Spanish flavours and their legendary Flamenco Shows, these guys hit the nail on the head when it comes to creating a restaurant with high quality food and atmosphere. Needless to say, this fabulous team's flair has succeeded in making Olé Olé Tapas one of the best Spanish restaurants in southeast England.

Read more about Ole Ole

True to its name, Ten Green Bottles’ main celebration is wine (not that there aren’t a number of other non- and alcoholic beverages on offer), which it pairs effortlessly with cheeses and a wonderful selection of small plates. Engage in private wine tastings, buy some slosh to take away or drink-in by the bottle with bar nibbles to match, and you’ll be supporting small producers from some of the finest wine regions in the world. Wine with a heart – now that’s something we can all get on board with.

Read more about Ten Green Bottles

Gourmet fried chicken and vegan faux chicken restaurant sat on the corner of East Street. The Bok Shop serve up 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.

Read more about The Bok Shop

Well respected in Brighton for cooking up authentic tastes of Almeria in South East Spain, Agua Dulce is a real local hotspot. Whether you want drinks and a few tapas at the bar area or a sit-down meal with friends, you'll be treated well by the lovely staff and might even forget it's Brighton. With classic fish, meat and veggie tapas available and other favourites like Paella, there's something for all tastes down on King's Road.

Read more about Agua Dulce

The original Curry Leaf Cafe is located in the heart of Brighton's Lanes, just a couple of minutes' walk from the beach. Its colourful, laid-back 75-seat dining space – decked out with exposed brick walls, wooden tables and vintage Indian design touches. In the evenings diners can experience the cafe’s small but diverse dinner menu of tandoor-grilled meats, street food dishes and expertly spiced curries, accompanied by some of Brighton's best craft beers and spiced cocktails.

Read more about Curry Leaf Cafe - Brighton Lanes

The Golden Pineapple on Ship Street is a relaxed neighbourhood cocktail bar, whipping up some quirky signature creations, gin flights and balloons, beers, and wines. If cocktails are calling, expect the likes of their Tropical Lady with GP Pineapple Spirit, Velvet Falernum, Raspberry, lime and egg white, or their Sazerac with Buffalo Trace, Martell VS, Pernod Absinthe, Sugar, and Bitters. These marvellous melodies will certainly send you sprightly on your merry way.

Read more about The Golden Pineapple

If you’re looking for authentic Mexican street food, ​then call off the search party. This place is Mexican owned, with Carlito himself at the helm. Born from a festival stall, Carlito Burrito serves up delicious Tacos, Burritos and Quesadillas made with the freshest of ingredients. It’s no wonder The Guardian voted their food amongst the best available at Glastonbury ‘14. There’s a hefty range of Tequilas, Mezcals, and Mexican Craft Beers to sample, and even an Oyster and Tequila Shooter for more adventurous diners. Friendly staff, unbeatable food and fantastic music makes this hidden gem a must-visit for all Brightonians. The fish tacos may well change your life, güey.

Read more about Carlito Burrito

Relatively new to the Brighton foodie scene is Kujira, a modern Japanese ‘izakaya’ specializing in Robata and cocktails. A ‘Robata’ is a grill restaurant that uses a slow burning wood or coal technique without live flames to produce a rich, intense flavour unlike any other. Kujira is the perfect place to come with friends for Japanese style sharing plates and some of the best cocktails in the city. There are plenty of veggie, vegan and gluten-free dishes available and the impressive cocktail list has been curated by their in-house mixologist and utilises homemade botanicals, syrups, garnishes and flavours.

Read more about Kujira

A vintage Citroen H-Van is where Woodbox originally came to life. In 2013 armed with a classic set of wheels, a wood fired oven and some delicious Napoli style sourdough, these delicious street pizzas were sold to the masses at food markets and festivals across the UK. Due to the impeccable reputation the touring Neapolitan food had built, the Woodbox Pizzeria opened last year in the heart of Kemptown. Offering the same traditional Napoli style pizzas, made with locally sourced Sussex ingredients and blended with fine Italian flour, you’ll really want to get a pizza this action.

Read more about Woodbox Pizzeria

You probably already know about the infamous pub sited two minutes from the Royal Pavilion, right in the heart of the city. But do you know about Mrs Fitz’s secret gardens, on the roof terrace, the perfect spot for an after-work cocktail under the stars? With a fantastic retractable roof, the terrace is open whatever the weather.

Read more about Upstairs @ Mrs Fitzherberts

From the ashes of Pike & Pine has come another great flame - this time with the team at Lucky Beach at the helm, bringing traditional northern Thai barbecue to the edge of St James Street. Expect quality service and an abundance of flavour - all served under the bright neon lights that wouldn’t be out of place on a Chiang Mai high street.

Read more about Lucky Khao

Taking the title for the UK’s first plant based pizzeria, is Brighton’s very own Purezza! Their menu consists of exciting vegan pizzas such as the Parmigiana party and Here Comes Truffle. Pizza bases include tasty sourdough, hemp flour and a delish gluten free option. There's also a whole host of cruelty free cheeses - rice-blend mozzarella, coconut, almond and cashew based fromage. YUM. If you’re still feeling munchy after all that, why not try one of their mouth watering vegan puds, the cashew Tiramisu is calling out to you!

Read more about Purezza

The quality of Moshimo's eats and vegan / vegetarian offerings puts them at the figurehead of Brighton’s buzzy food scene. When it comes to their sushi plates, Moshimo don’t mess around; the team’s knife skills are second to none, carving beautiful and delicate sushi dishes in an array of vibrant colours and flamboyant displays. You’ll find all your favourites circling their sushi conveyor-belt, from salmon hosomaki and Spicy tuna maki, to Sea bass & yuzu chilli pepper and sustainable ‘eel’ nigiri. We might sound a little greedy, but we like to dip into a couple of small sushi plates before ordering a hot main with rice: we’re talking miso marinated hake, chicken katsu, and our personal pick, Korean pork bulgogi.

Read more about Moshimo

At Munchies' Craft, everyone is welcome to join the festivities during a wild cocktail night out. The team not only have a cracking range of dangerously tantalising cocktails but also an ever-changing selection of craft beers, lagers and ciders for you to quaff. You can also leisurely sip on a glass of wine while tucking into your casual yet oh-so-tasty dinner.

Read more about Munchies' Craft

A class act of a spot, definitely the pick of the watering holes on the main seafront drag. Food-wise, Tempest’s new menu is to die for; they've got a cracking range of veggie and vegan options, an array of mouth-watering burgers a fish & chips so good you'll actually consider a second serving.

Read more about The Tempest

Wolfsmouth have hit up their second burger menu at London Road favourite, The World’s End. Unlike their sister burger pop-up, the burgers here will have a heavy weighting towards vegan and vegetarian burgers and snacks. Their plant-based delights are just as delicious as their meaty counterparts and the homemade seitan has a big part to play. Using their extensive experience, knowledge and open-thinking, Wolfsmouth focus on ingredients which are often overlooked and strive to make them extraordinary.

Read more about The World's End

Located in Brighton’s London road area, with an unpretentious and strong neighbourhood vibe, indulge in a huge range of ever-changing seasonal plates, drawing on a wide scale of influences. Paradiso also boasts a dazzling cocktail menu. These buzzing glasses of boozy perfection are surely the best way to start your night!

Read more about Wolfsmouth @ The Paradiso Social

Mogu Mogu Goodtime have brought Japanese Izakaya bar food to Bison Beer in Hove! – a little taste of Toyko. Essentially, it's all about good food, good drinks, and relaxed, laid-back vibes. Their aim is to give you Japanese comfort foods that go hand in hand with beer, made from quality ingredients. It's a prep heavy menu but they've done all the hard work for you so you can just eat, drink and relax.

Read more about Mogu Mogu Goodtime @ Bison Beer

Published -27th November 2019