These are some of the top rated pubs and clubs in Brighton.
Found between the railway station and North Laine, 3 Jolly Butchers is a popular establishment thatís best known for its locally sourced, high quality food. Whether its salad or sandwiches, burgers or pub-grub, this is the place to come for a tasty meal. Not known so much as a night time pub, the 3 Jolly Butchers does a lot of its trade at lunchtime and during the afternoon. That being said, its relaxing atmosphere and out-of-the-way location make it an enjoyable destination on a warm evening, when you can sit outside. We say out-of-the-way but that doesnít mean itís out in the sticks. Quite the contrary, but importantly itís not on one of the cityís main clubbers thoroughfares meaning itís not too rowdy. Certainly itís a suitable location for anybody returning by train from an afternoon in London. Itís also worth mentioning that the pub offers weekend Ďhappy hoursí. Now that is a rarity. So, in answer to that question. 3 Jolly Butchers is a pub. The adjacent establishment, also called 3 Jolly Butchers, is a sandwich shop. They just happen to be run by the same people. Thatíll also be why itís so popular at lunchtime.
Having stood since 1868, the Bath Arms can stake its claim as one of the oldest pubs in town. Itís traditional style complimented by a cosy atmosphere and fine menu make it perhaps the most popular establishment in The Lanes. Situated in the tight, almost alley-like Lanes, the Bath Arms is one of a number of pubs that revellers seek out. Having traversed the labyrinth of streets, visitors can enjoy a large selection of drinks including a good choice of real ale and fine wines. The pubís menu features traditional dishes with no pomp or glamour. If itís a hearty meal youíre after this is a good place to stop by. During the summer months horses can be seen gathering outside of its front doorway, enjoying the almost continental feel to outdoors drinking. During the winter a real fire make it a cosy place to idle away time or to meet with friends.
Situated just off of Queens Street and therefore away from the harassingly busy clubbing route, the Earth & Stars is an eco-pub that doesnít over preach the idea. Powered by solar panels in the roof, the pub specialises in locally sourced organic products. Whether itís food youíre looking for or a nice cider, the Earth & Stars has a local option for you. Its menu is vegetarian friendly, whilst its drink list is long. A large number of organic ciders please the palate of many patrons. If youíre not green and donít really give two hoots about organics and energy conservation, never fear. Youíre still welcome and the pubs serves meals and drinks that have nothing to do with ecological matters. If you want it can be a plain old pub. The pubís Sunday roast is fast becoming one of the favourites in the city so get there early if youíre interested. Thereís a function room upstairs that can be hired for a very reasonable price so if youíre thinking of celebrating a party, this is as good as anywhere. Whatís more, if you do fancy a trip into the nightlife of North Laine or the beachfront clubs, a short walk takes you there with little fuss. Alternatively, if youíre thinking of heading out for a night in the bright lights of London town, the Earth & Stars is not a bad place for a warm-up drink. After all, itís only about five minutes from Brighton railway station.
Firstly, itís called the Fishbowl because it has a number of fishbowls inside that make up part of the upstairs bars. Thatís the obvious bit out of the way. The Fishbowl is located on East Street, just off of the main beach promenade. Itís tucked away just out of sight which means it isnít constantly overfilled with people. Visitors can make use of the downstairs bar and seating area, an upstairs seating area with a bar thatís open infrequently, or picnic style tables outside of the pub. Be warned, it can get busy late at night thanks to a late license that allows the tavern to stay open until 3am. Those visiting the Fishbowl during the day should make the most of its fish and chips menu. Not only can you get traditionally battered fish but there are a few dishes with a little added pizazz. If you like spicy food there are some dishes especially for you. Between Wednesday and Sunday the pub hosts a number of resident DJs as well as a few special guests. The result is a bit like a nightclub only in a pub setting. An eclectic but friendly crowd makes this a pub to visit.
The Fonts main selling point is that it occupies an old church building, which lends an intriguing and impressive essence to the pub. Located in the heart of The Lanes, the pub is surprisingly inexpensive, comparable with the likes of Wetherspoon establishments found in just about every UK town. In fact, thereíre a few similarities between the two franchises. The Font offers a cheap menu (including main meals from less than 3GBP) which sees a high influx of students. The interior consists of one massive room with two levels. The upstairs level features balconies in which you can cast a glance over the rest of the clientele downstairs. A large screen shows sporting events which, coupled with cheap drinks, can mean it gets a little rowdy inside. During certain evenings DJs spin house tunes, generating a bit of a club atmosphere, although in truth punters are more likely to visit The Font on the way to one of Brightonís actual nightclubs.
If a pub sticks around from 1882 to present day, itís either really good or has an awe-inspiring gimmick. In all honesty the Fortune of War, which has in fact remained intact for that duration, offers a little bit of both. Firstly, the pub is rather unique in that itís actually constructed from the wooden keel of a boat, which has been turned upside down and lodged into the Kings Road Arches on the seafront. A landing rope serves as a stair bannister for those that wish to head upstairs, and there is nautical paraphernalia scatter throughout. Howís that for gimmick? Secondly, being the last pub left on the seafront, the Fortune of War carries quite an advantage over other pubs within the city. Not only is it surrounded by seafront clubs, making it an easy starting point for music loving revellers, but itís also on the beach. On the beach! Thatís quite the scenic view it has there. The pub serves Spanish style food and plays reggae and Brazilian music on its patio. It also hosts bands and DJs on occasion, fitting it in perfectly with Brightonís musical seafront.
Whilst Brightonís city centre offers more than enough pubs to keep even the most auspicious drinker happy, sometimes these busy establishments prove a little too daunting. Therefore, a short trek off the beaten track may be in order. First stop, The Geese. The Geese, or The Geese Have Gone Over The Water to give it its full name is located on Southover Street, a short walk from The Level. Itís a traditional pub set in a residential area populated by university students. But donít let that put you off; this is not a regular boisterous student hangout, rather a calm enjoyable establishment. The pub features an enjoyable menu to go alongside its well-stocked drinks list. Entertainment comes in the form of a general knowledge pup quiz (Tuesday), live music (Sunday), and a Jazz club (alternate Thursdays). The bar also shows all major sporting events on a big screen. Recommended as an afternoon pub, The Geese is ideal for those that want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city and tourist life. A few calming hours here will get you all set to tackle the next of Brightonís flurry of attractions.
Located on West Street amidst some of Brightonís most popular clubs, Heist is an ideal pre-club stopping point. Itís somewhat gothic looking black building front might look off-putting but inside the bar is filled with a stylish dťcor. Certain nights see DJs entertain patrons with an assorted mix of music styles. Itís the barís odd special offers that cause you to raise an eyebrow though. Whilst 2for1 drinks offers are a standard across Brighton, Heist offers the chance to flip for an extra round. On a Monday evening the bartender will flip a coin. If you guess correctly you get the same round again for free. On a Wednesday, people buying two glasses of wine or two bottles of Carlsberg Export receive a free pizza with their round. Heist also serves as an afternoon bar, welcoming children until six in the evening. It has a pizza menu for those looking to dine.
Tucked away in The Lanes, just out of sight of the busy tourist streets, the Hop Poles is a bit of a hidden gem popular with many Brighton locals. The small pub looks fairly indifferent from the outside and is actually rather small inside. But it still manages to pack a punch with Brighton revellers, thanks in part to a large, heated outdoor drinking area and surprisingly good food. The Hop Poles serves good old-fashioned pub grub that looks and tastes great. A decent range of drinks, including real ales, provides the perfect accompaniment. During the day people from all over the area pop in for a bite to eat. During the evening the pub has something of a split personality. Some evenings prove extremely quiet with few customers passing through the doors. This is perfect for those hoping for a quiet night supping a pint chatting to friends. Other nights prove much busier to the extent that itís standing room only. An eclectic mix of music plays through the pubís sound system. The pub also proves popular with post-gig revellers. Itís not uncommon to witness droves of people heading in after 11pm, the standard time for Brightonís music venues to kick out. All in all, the Hop Poles proves a nice little all-rounder thatís worthy of a visit.
Named for the fire station it sits beside, The Hydrant is a multifunctional pub that has a lot on offer. During the day it serves as a quiet (despite its busy London Road location) place to sup on a pint. Comfortable chairs and sofas, a decent food menu, and pub garden all make for a relaxed location with a friendly atmosphere. Pub games, including pool tables which are free on weekday afternoons, give punters the opportunity for a little barroom fun. Offers are available for students as well. The Hydrant also serves as a live music venue, with both the downstairs bar and upstairs room being able to host bands and fans alike. A busy schedule sees an assortment of bands from varying genres come through the door. Punk bands are becoming more common with the closure of Engine Rooms and other city venues. Throughout the pub a series of original artwork compiled by local artists is displayed.
Still retaining the structure and style of the 18th century farmhouse it stands within, the King and Queen is one of Brightonís best traditional pubs as well as boasting a number of feature events. Located on Marlborough Place, a few yards outside of the Royal Pavilion Gardens, this establishment boasts a wide ranging menu of traditional pub food, as well as a large range of drinks including an assortment of real ale. The interior of the King and Queen feels like a tavern of yore, with wooden beams, a somewhat strange layout, and a lovely large fireplace. The courtyard garden is a fine location to sit and enjoy a meal with a drink and some sunshine. Be warned though, itís quite easy to sit here for a lot longer than you planned. The pub features all major sports on its large screen televisions and projector screens. A regular pub quiz is held and on occasion a live band performs for the patrons. As well as all of this, thereís also a function room that will suit the needs of most people looking to host a birthday party, wedding reception, or other such event. Oh, and one other thing, itís reportedly haunted. Just so you know.
Located on the corner of the square that houses the Royal Pavilion and Gardens, Brighton Dome, and the Theatre Royal, the Mash Tun, along with its neighbour Mrs. Fitzherbertís, may well be the best positioned pub in the whole of Brighton. Foot traffic in this area alone means that the pub is always well attended, whilst its outdoor patio, which just happens to be on the street in front of all of these monuments, is the perfect place to sit and enjoy a drink in the sun as the rest of Brighton passes you by. With a menu that serves the likes of sausage and mash and pie and mash, hence the name, itís also a decent enough place to grab a bite to eat as youíre traipsing around the Cultural Quarter or North Laine. This really is a daytime pub though. The building itself is small with very little natural light which means when the weather is bad, and it does get bad, it tends to be a little too close inside. Saying that, on beautiful summerís evenings, folks think nothing of staying outside until the early hours, enjoying banter and the pubís music almost as much as people-watching. Definitely a pub to get a couple of rounds in before moving on.
Mrs. Fitzherbertís in many ways reflects the things that can be said for the Mash Tun, its neighbour. Itís a small pub that really comes into its own during the summer months. The pub is named for Maria Fitzherbert, the Ďillegalí wife of George, Prince of Wales, prior to his coronation as King George IV. The two were married by one of the Princeís chaplains, whose large debts just so happened to disappear, in secret. The marriage was disassociated by the Royal Family as Fitzherbert was a Roman Catholic; under English law the Prince could not marry a Roman Catholic. It is said that the two continued to see each other after the marriage was resolved and George remarried. Some believe that there are hidden tunnels underneath the Royal Pavilion and Steine House where Fitzherbert lived. Well, everybody loves a good mystery. Mrs. Fitzherbertís (the pub) has a small interior that at best can be called cosy, but on a busy night with drizzle in the air itís better referred to as cramped, as well as a rarely used upstairs room complete with bar. Like the Mash Tun, during the summer months it has an outdoor drinking area thatís directly on New Road, by the Pavilion Gardens and the Theatre Royal. As well as a perfect spot for people watching, the bar sometimes features live music for guest to enjoy. On a warm summerís evening this is a fine place to relax.
Located on the ever busy Sydney Street, The Office provides shoppers with an ideal resting place. Here those weighed down with shopping bags or dizzy with wonderment can enjoy a refreshing drink as well as some quality Thai food. Thanks to its prime location, The Office is a busy and lively pub. By day it fills with looking for a break from shopping. By night it fills with people looking to relax in its garden or street front seating area whilst sampling real ale, unique cider, or spirit or two from the extensive drinks menu. A diverse clientele makes this one of the more interesting locations to meet the locals. The Office also makes for a good meeting place and starting point for any Brighton pub crawl. Whether youíre hooking up with long distance friends, or youíve allowed your other half to head out for some credit card bashing or to watch the game, the central location makes for a good meeting spot. During the festive period, The Office is famed for its mulled cider.
All you need to see is the massive John Peel mural on the side of the pub to know that the Prince Albert is a music pub. That simple fact is quite surprising considering its positioning. Only a few yards from Brighton railway station so you half expect this to be a commuter pub, with the suits surrounding its doorway yapping on a Blackberry. But no, this is where Brightonians come for music. The Prince Albert actually feels like your standard town pub, with its limited menu and not-all-that-diverse drinks list. Itís not the freshest of pubs, but then itís not the biggest dive youíll ever find yourself in. The function room upstairs serves as venue for gigs, mainly featuring bands and artists from the rock and punk genres. Itís gathered a reputation as one of Brightonís best venues thanks to its intimate sizing and the performances it has previously featured. If youíre looking for a little more culture, head out to the side of the building, under that Peel mural, and youíll be able to look, stare, photo a piece of graffiti that just happens to be quite famous; ĎKissing Policemaní by renowned graffiti artist Banksy. Oh, and yes it is an original. Thatís why thereís a casing over it.
If youíre the sort of person that feels the need to do something Ďhealthyí before indulging in food and drink then why not walk up Southover Street to the Pub With No Name? The street, located on a steep hill not suitable for people from hill-less Norfolk, will take enough energy/calories/fat out of you that youíll be more than deserving of a good meal and a nice cold drink. The Pub With No Name is every bit your traditional pub in appearance only with a few nuances in its mannerisms. With plenty of nooks and crannies, the barroom has a lot of character. The menu during the week consists of some fine Mexican dishes, but reverts to a tradition roast menu on Sundays. Well, we say traditional. The Sunday roast menu features the likes of pork and beef but also venison, ostrich, or even alligator. Vegetarian options are plentiful too. After a fulfilling meal, sit back and enjoy live sport on the big screen or partake in conversation. A good topic for starters might be: ĎHow can a pub known as The Pub With No Name really be a pub with no name?í Whilst youíre at it, enjoy a good assortment of drinks, including real ales and numerous shots, whilst relishing the off the beaten path feel of the pub. Once youíre ready to leave remember hills are much easier to contend with on the way down.
Revolution, a part of an ever increasing chain of bars, is a popular destination for locals as well as a good choice for tourists visiting the city. Found on West Street, the bar is only a short walk from the seafront and main shopping district making it readily accessible no matter where you are staying in the city. An extensive food menu makes this a suitable venue at lunch time and during the evening. Traditional pub food (burgers, fish and chips) is served as well as a number of slightly more ethnic tastes (try the chicken and chorizo pasta). Mondayís see all burgers offered 2-for-1. The same is true of pizzas on a Tuesday. Revolution isnít just an ordinary bar though. Open until 3am seven nights a week, things get a little louder and a little hotter during the night, to the extent that thereís a bit of a nightclub atmosphere to the place. A range of cocktails can be selected from whilst a number of drinks offers makes a night out that little bit cheaper. For those looking to really celebrate, tables can be booked in advance whilst Revolution also caters for party groups. As such, the multitude of hen and stag parties that descend on the city often find their way here. Specialist DJs, bands, and performers also feature on the barís activity list.
One of Brightonís favourite watering holes is the Royal Pavilion Tavern, or as itís more commonly known, the Pav Tav. As its name suggests, the pub is close to the Royal Pavilion and the Cultural Quarter. This makes it convenient for anybody visiting the nearby tourist attraction. During the day that is. The bar serves a simple pub-grub menu thatís cheap and cheerful and is good for a beer, glass of wine, or soft drink. During the evening and late into the night, the Pav Tav becomes a whole other beast. Frequented by many revellers on their way to this club or that, the pub gets extremely busy. Expect to stand shoulder-to-shoulder rather than finding a seat. The mood though tends to be a friendly one, with punters looking to enjoy themselves rather than create bother. The tavern also features a live music/club room. Local bands grace the stage and play to punters, whilst DJs get the room jumping with some banging tunes. Itís a club in its own right so many that had planned to move on, end up staying for the duration. The Pav Tav does have its quiet times, mainly when DJs and bands are absent. During these times patrons can make use of the pubs games, including a pool table, electronic quizzes, and even a soft toy grabbing machine.
Found right alongside the Mash Tun and Mrs. Fitzherbertís, in the heart of the Cultural Quarter, the Waggon and Horses is traditional pub through and through. From its name to its dťcor and menu, this is a Ďproperí pub. It even has a proper pub smell. Serving cask ales and organic ciders, the Waggon and Horses makes a note to serve decent drinks to its customers as well as hearty food. Its menu contains traditional pub grub to fill the belly. Inside can become cramped on a busy afternoon or night, but thereís plenty of outside seating which makes for a fine accompaniment during the warmer seasons. In fact, the outside drinking area may well be bigger than indoors.
The White Rabbit enjoys the benefit of being based on one of the busiest shopping streets in Brighton, Kensington Gardens. This pedestrianized part of North Laine features Snooperís Paradise, a flea market filled with just about everything under the sun, which is a huge attraction to locals and tourists alike. Such an advantageous position means that this small pub, complete with outdoor seating area, can get quite busy. It also means drink prices are a little steeper than other city locations. Still, the eclectic mix of artwork on the walls (ranging from black and white illustrations to full colour paintings) will ensure your eyes continue to dart around as you drink. The exterior features designs of white rabbits done in a style of Ralph Steadman, best known for his illustration of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompsonís work. A wall of clocks, each set to a different time and none of which are functional, also adds to the artistic merit. Itís also believed to be a reference to íAlice In Wonderlandí for which the white rabbit name is picked from. Food is also served which makes this a nice resting post whilst trawling through North Laine. Otherwise The White Rabbit makes for a decent stop on any pub crawl. The comfy chairs though could have you staying longer than you anticipated.
(Sun 07th May, 2017)
Cultural festival annually taking over a variety of Brighton venues for three weeks in May.
London to Brighton Cycle Ride
(Wed 19th Jul, 2017)
Annual cycle event with over 25,000 cyclists making the 70 mile journey between London and Birghon.
Brighton Comedy Festival
(Sat 07th Oct, 2017)
Two week festival based at the Brighton Dome featuring established and new comedy acts from across the world.