I've tried to put together a bunch of recommendations that I think would give you a great trip to Brighton, covering places to eat and drink, things to see and places to shop. If you use just one of these recommendations I'd love some feedback in the comments!
Eat . . .Brighton of course boasts an abundance of restaurants and eateries. We've been to so many over the years but it's hard to keep up with what's been, gone or changed hands. So, for the purposes of this post, I will guide you through some we have personally tried and loved recently. For street food-inspired Indian dishes, head to Chili Pickle where you will get amazing flavours and a vibrant atmosphere - though be advised it's always busy so make sure you book! Oki-Nami serves delicious Japanese cuisine and is situated right near the Pavilion Gardens and Theatre Royal, and for delicious Thai food there's Sabai Thai right near the Pavilion or I've heard Giggling Squid is good, though I've not been there personally. If you want something fancy-free there's Burger & Cocktails on North Road - this is a subsidiary of the Giraffe chain, but the staff in the Brighton branch are all friendly and welcoming ... and the food and drinks really hit the spot, particularly after an afternoon lost to many of Brighton's fine drinking establishments! For tapas, you can't beat Casa Don Carlos - though, again, I would advise you to pre-book a table as it's always busy.
For seafood, Fishy Fishy used to be our favourite but unfortunately that's now gone. So next on our list to try is Riddle & Finn's which now has two Brighton locations - the original cozy oyster bar in the Lanes, and a new branch right by the beach. Speaking of which, there are a couple of little huts on the beach selling fresh seafood - my boyfriend loves getting a seafood bowl from one of these pretty much every time we visit!
If it's a lunch you're after, there are many fabulous independent cafes in the Lanes / North Laines well worth a try. A new find of ours is the Croque Shop on Duke Street. Their sausage rolls are quite simply amazing! For dessert, you won't regret checking out Gelato Gusto or Boho Gelato!
Drink . . .Our go-to Brighton pub is The Black Lion. It's a good size, plays decent music, serves decent food and booze and has a beer garden out the back. The Black Lion also hosts DJ sets from some of the city's top names and is open late pretty much all week. You can't go wrong! The Hop Poles on Middle Street is another good, laid back pub - though a bit more compact than the Black Lion. Meanwhile down on the seafront there's Brighton legend The Fortune of War - the only proper pub amongst the plethora of bars and clubs down by the sea. Up on Queens Road there's Hope and Ruin. Upstairs there's a gig venue where the likes of Adele cut their teeth, whilst downstairs there's a decent, newly refurbished pub. Nearby, the Prince Albert on Trafalgar Street has an amazing mural on its exterior paying tribute to many great musicians. It regularly hosts gigs and is really close to the train station if you ever have to make a quick get-away to catch the last train home! As with restaurants, there are of course, loads of pubs and bars - but laid back pubs are our thing so that's all I can really recommend. Others of note include The Fountain Head (classic yet contemporary), Mash Tun (cheap, cheerful, studenty) and Fiddler's Elbow (homey, Irish vibe) - but just explore and see where you end up - that's the best advice I could give you. There are pubs and bars everywhere in Brighton, so there's bound to be something for everyone!
See . . .There's plenty to see in Brighton - from the famous Brighton Pavilion, to the labyrinthine Lanes / North Laine shopping streets, the seafront and the iconic East and West Piers. A new addition to the skyline is the i360 viewing tower (pictured below) - which I've yet to try but which promises spectacular views over the city and the sea. The Pavilion won't fail to impress - inside it's a sumptuous fusion of Georgian meets Eastern style, with stunning chandeliers with dragons wrapped around them and all sorts of extravagant flourishes. Behind the Pavilion you will find well-kept gardens that are free to enjoy and which lead to the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, the Brighton Dome - a great concert and event venue and further through to the nearby Theatre Royal. If it's shops you're after, you'll find most of the mainstream suspects up at Churchill Square, whilst the Lanes and North Laine offer a wonderful mix of more independent shops and boutiques. Aside from all that, Brighton boasts a Toy Museum and an ever-changing array of fantastic street art!
I hope you've found this guide useful and that you have a fabulous time in Brighton. Having grown up nearby, I've spent a lot of time there and still do! If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll do my best to help out.