Brighton has long been known as one of the U.K’s more alternative cities intermingling a unique blend of kooky off the wall ambience, labyrinths of small streets and iconic beach landmarks. You’re guaranteed to stumble upon some interesting bars in Brighton as you explore the world famous Lanes, stroll down the stony beach front and venture into nearby Hove.
Every summer it attracts locals and tourists from all walks of life. The energetic type will take on the London to Brighton bike ride, The Fringe fills the city with musical notes and barrels of laughter, this is just a drop in the nearby ocean. Creativity fills every alley of Brighton and Hove, including the myriad of bars dotted about town. There’s far too many to mention but the 6 handpicked here are a selection of the very best, tried and tested.
Each bar or pub provides a little something for everyone, trust me. Cocktails with a twist, nouveau beers, proper music and top-notch food.
If you’re swinging by the UK then Brighton has to be on your hit list, it’ll certainly get the juices flowing for your summer festival line up.
Hove’s famed The Gin Tub takes you back into the 20th century while sipping your favourite botanical gin cocktail. Finally, there is somewhere to go on a date or a quiet drink without the distraction of smartphone, that’s right there is no signal for your smartphone.
You’ll have to sit and chat with your drinking partner. But don’t worry there’s plenty to natter about from deciphering the gin menu to working out how to use an old rotary telephone. Retro landlines stand on every table for you to ring through a drink order to the bar or even call another table for a chat. Select from a choice of 100 gins for a truly unique cocktail experience.
Location: 16 Church Rd, Hove
The Gin Tub
Three words to sell you on Dead Wax Social… Beer, vinyl and pizza. Any bar worth checking out these days will generally have at least a couple craft beers on offer. To be honest I can’t deal with anywhere only offering a Fosters or Budweiser.
Dead Wax Social keep it fresh with an ever-changing wall of beers combined with stonebaked sourdough pizzas. Plus its vinyl on the decks all the time, every time. Flick through the record shelves and absorb the unique ambience.
Location: 18A Bond St, Brighton
Dead Wax Social
Slip away into the 1920’s right in the heart of Brighton. BYOC is an experience as much as it is a bar. What does BYOC mean? BRING YOUR OWN COCKTAIL.
Sounds like an easy ride for the bar staff. Well, rock up with a bottle of your favourite alcohol and let the cocktails entertain each with its own little spin for your bespoke drink. The place is decked in 1920’s antiques as it draws influence from American prohibition laws where rusty homemade gins forced bartenders to get creative with their flavouring.
Location: 41 Meeting House Lane, Brighton
The Watchmakers Arms brings ever-changing traditional beer choices for you to taste in their local micropub. This tiny pub will sit no more than 30 people for a friendly quiet pint but it’ll be one of the tastiest English beers you could with to sip after a long day. Or got somewhere to be? Fill up one of their growlers to share with friends. They’ve got a few microbrews of their own on the go and might even be a free cheeseboard to accompany.
“Five cask ales (straight from the stillage) always available: one stout or porter, one best, one session pale and two more means there is always something for pretty much everyone (unless you drink ‘wifebeater’ or ‘string vest’).” -captainbonobo, TripAdvisor.
Location: 84 Goldstone Villas, Hove
The Watchmakers Arms
Walk along the seafront and you will come upon seafood restaurants and bars in Brighton of all shapes. Expensive upmarket eateries for long lunches and quick snack shacks for food on the go. Walk a little further before deciding and you’ll end up finding the perfect balance. For afternoon sunny beer break or a late night hangout, The Tempest creates better vibes than any of the tourist traps.
Definitely a summer hangout for drinks and seafood on the beachfront. Friendly staff, craft drinks choices and fresh ingredients make The Tempest Inn a nifty choice but there’s more than meets the eye. Head inside to find a different world in Brighton’s caves. Lanterns and crevices sculpt their way throughout the underworld ready for you to wash down squid and crab late into the night. Couldn’t be a better spot to sit in the sun (or moonlight) and enjoy a pint.
Location: 159-161 Kings Rd, Brighton
The Tempest Inn
The Lion and Lobster partly makes the cut because of its name. It’s also one of the oldest bars in Brighton, spreading over three floors including a secret terrace for sunny days. Set just off the high street away from the hubbub of Brighton it is the perfect base for a cosy beer and some hearty pub food.
Let your eyes wander and explore the collection of pictures, ornaments and other paraphernalia that seem to have made the walls their home over the years. It’s got a strangely homely feel about it, a little bit like hanging out at your grandparents’ house, if they live in a pub that is.
Location: 24 Sillwood St, Brighton
The Lion and Lobster
Feature image: BYOC BrightonLast updated on May 11, 2022
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