the best cafes in Brighton and hove

If you decide to go on a trip to Brighton or live in the areas. If you can I would recommend going to one of these cafes either for a quick hot drink or a nice spot of lunch!

1. Café Rust – Hove, George Street

Cafe rust, it should be called Café gold. They have nailed nearly everything that you would expect to find in a café. The food is great, especially the eggs royale. This dish contained 2 slices of fresh sourdough bread, with smoked salmon, poached eggs, topped with hollandaise sauce and was garnished with salad leaves. For my daughter, they swapped her salmon for smoked ham even though it wasn’t on the menu which is fantastic.

They also cater for vegetarians and vegans. The ingredients are fresh, all of the food has a homemade comforting vibe to it. The staff are extremely friendly and are very accommodating to small children. After my daughter had finished her meal, the waitress came over with some marshmallows and a cookie which was free of charge. This was a very kind gesture. Their coffee is organic and tastes perfect, this is a nice place to relax, do some work or get together with some friends.

They offer free Wi-Fi and have very clean toilets. The design is rustic, with lots of seating, with even more upstairs. They also have an outdoor sun terrace upstairs for the warmer months. They offer to host parties and private functions. The only fault is that they only take cash, but this is not a big deal as there is a cash machine just outside.

2. Honeypot Café - Hove, Blatchington Rd

This is a very busy large cafe with modern looking decor, it is clean and has wooden tables and industrial style chairs. The main colour inside is white with a dark blue trim and there is big bulbs that have metal fittings scattered.

Something I thought was unusual is how the menu states that as they work in a busy kitchen they do not cater to those with allergies. The menu is upmarket but was very seductive. I went ahead and ordered the French toast which consists of brioche, Berry compote, and streaky bacon, this usually costs around £10 but because of the government scheme "eat out to help out", it was half price.

cafe food in brighton

The taste was like pure heaven, the freshly made brioche with the sweet berry compote combined with salty bacon and maple syrup was unlike anything I've ever eaten. The brioche was extremely soft, kind of like a doughnut waffle pancake all in one. It was dusted with a little icing sugar, and the maple syrup just soaked into the brioche, all I can say is wow.

After trying the French toast, I had to come back and try "The eggs Benedict" which is my favourite thing. It was very tasty, and came with a nice crunchy muffin, salty ham, perfectly cooked egg, and generous amount of hollandaise.

It had seeds on that looked nice but the flavours didn't work, and overall the eggs Benedict was second to Cafe Rust. The honeypot cafe has really clean toilet facilities with a working handier and baby changing facilities.

3. Café Arcadia – Central Brighton

They pride themselves as an independent local coffee shop. The café offers barista-quality hot drinks as you would expect. But they also offer fresh milkshakes, smoothies, natural juices and gelato. The thing that I love about café arcadia besides from the rustic design, is the friendly staff that make you feel at home. The food is priced reasonably and is much better quality in comparison to other competing cafes.

This is the perfect place for breakfast or lunch, I would recommend either the eggs benedict, fresh homemade curry, homemade Greek-style halloumi wrap or the soup of the day. It is by far the best place in Brighton to go to relax, enjoy some delicious home-style food and to do a bit of work. I am happy to support this independent café, especially considering how hard the staff work.

This place despite being located in the city centre; it is a hidden gem. At certain times of the day it is quiet and other time, it’s one of the liveliest cafes in town! The only way that they could improve would be to promote themselves more, as they do not seem to be recognised compared to nearby chain giants. They could do this by offering special deals such as a free cup of tea with every breakfast or even a loyalty card to retain customers.

4. Circa Deli Café – Brighton, Woodingdean

This is a great café, the best in Woodingdean! They offer some really tasty dishes, cakes and drinks. The staff are very welcoming and friendly, the design is simplistic, recycled, and they are very eco-friendly in terms of storing cutlery in old tins, and using compostable takeaway cups. They get fresh bread delivered every day which is great for when you don’t have time to make your own. The toilets are kept clean. They offer a wide range of syrups for your coffee such as hazelnut, caramel, vanilla and cinnamon.

They also sometimes run community-based events such as cheese and wine tasting. This is a shame because it would really boost their popularity. Also, no other café in Woodingdean offer eggs benedict, and that is my favourite! Whilst the food is quite pricey. I would say that the quality stands up for its defence. This is because you do get what you pay for in flavour and environment. Prices are higher if you choose to eat in because of the service that they provide. Which in some ways deters their customers. If you do come here, try the sausage, egg, Swiss cheese muffin, it is heavenly. All three of these cafes are great. I would recommend going to whichever one you are closest to and if you happen to take a trip to Brighton you should definitely not leave without visiting at least one of these cafes!

5. Café 97 - Hove, Blatchington Rd

I walked into Cafe 97 as I was inspired by their large menu that had lots to choose from. Breakfast is served all day, and choices include your usual full English breakfast, omelettes, paninis, wraps and even handmade burgers served with chips.

This place is perfect for early or (late breakfast!), even come here for lunch or early dinner. In the front of the cafe the seating has chunky rustic tables, in the back it has chunky seating as well. Making it suitable for whether your eating alone or as part of a group.

I ordered the full English breakfast, and it was a huge breakfast indeed. It came with mushrooms, hash browns, sausage, bacon, beans, perfect fried eggs, large tasty pork sausages, black pudding, toast, and grilled tomato.

cafe 97 fry up breakfast

Overall it was a good breakfast, The few downfalls were that the bread was stale, the grilled tomato was mushy and was seasoned with salt, finally the frozen hash browns were very mushy.

6. The Hidden Pantry Café - Hove, Blatchington Rd

The name suits the cafe as it is a hidden pantry, we chose to eat here for lunch because of the many positive reviews online. As we walked in we were welcomed by a lovely decor featuring flower canvas’s scattered around, comfortable soft floral cushions on each seat. The environment automatically made you feel like you were in your living room at home, especially considering that they had a box of children's toys and books.

As you walk in, there is a small seating area, but they have extra seating downstairs. They provide high chairs, and the prices are fair, but as we came on a ‘eat out to help out day’ it meant that for higher quality food it was even cheaper than expected. They are a strictly no pork cafe and had beef sausages available instead and even some vegan options. 

The chips are hand-cut and taste lovely, the eggs are organic which is nice to know that they care about animal welfare. The waitresses seemed very friendly and took our order fast. On the menu, there was a lot to choose from. I wanted to try one of the lovely looking milkshakes that they had on there website but unfortunately, this wasn’t on the menu, and instead, we were given a ‘cold hot chocolate’ with whipped cream on top. 

cold hot chocolate cafe drink

It tasted like an average powdered mix and was nothing special. The bathroom and the kitchen are right next to each other which is not very good for hygiene, and in the bathroom, there was no air hand drier, nor was their paper towels to dry your hands. There was just a fabric hand towel which is a breeding ground for bacteria. 

I ordered eggs Royale, and the salmon was beautiful with a rich oak-smoked flavour. The problem is that they gave me way too much of it, and whilst the presentation looked good, the salmon and salad was detached from the main meal which meant that I had to build it myself, to improve the experience they could have used less salmon and put it on top of the eggs. Hollandaise sauce is delicious but there was a lack of it.

salmon and eggs Benedict with toast

Our kids had a fry up, and for some reason the beans came in a separate china bowl which was quite awkward for them to eat. Overall, the food is of great quality, tastes great, but there are a few issues that should be looked at. 

7. Caffe Bar Italia - Hove, 24 George St

Came here for lunch, and the iced coffee is heavenly, it's made with fresh Italian gelato. My son had the panettone which is a delicious treat that was topped with icing sugar. It's perfect for a light Italian breakfast but is also a tasty accompaniment to a good coffee.

Sadie ordered a panini which was served in a toasted ciabatta with mozzarella, tuna and sweetcorn. It was warm and comforting. It was very tasty but unfortunately it wasn't heated enough to melt the mozzarella.

salmon and scrambled egg hollandaise

I had the scrambled eggs and smoked salmon with hollandaise. The flavour was delightful, but unfortunately again, it came out cold. Also, I only got a tiny amount of hollandaise it came detached from the meal in a separate bowl. I will be back for the gelato, panettone, or an iced coffee but next time I think I'll eat somewhere else.


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