Brighton knows what’s up when it comes to eating things that live in water and its fish and seafood restaurants are testament to this. In fact, the best seafood restaurants in Brighton serve some of the highest quality fish and seafood in the entire UK. For that exact reason, they’re often amongst the best places to eat in the city, regardless of any cuisine. Here are some of our favourites right now:
1. Regency Restaurant
Regency Restaurant is one of the best seafood restaurants in Brighton because it’s been a permanent fixture of the seafront since the 1930s. It’s one of the oldest and most popular restaurants in Brighton serving local fresh fish and seafood at exceptional value, earning it nationwide and critical acclaim. The restaurant itself is charming as anything and the menu features everything from hot lobster thermidor and grilled skate to whole sea bream or extravaganza shellfish platters. On a sunny day Regency Restaurant is always full and buzzing.
Atmosphere: Completely charming. Always busy but still relaxed
Price: You can eat two course quite comfortably for less than £20
Address: 131 Kings Road, Brighton BN1 2HH
2. The Little Fish Market
When we said the best seafood restaurants in Brighton are worth getting excited about, we meant it, as the Little Fish Market is another with widespread critical acclaim. The Little Fish Market – actually in Hove but you’ll forgive the short trip – is owned and managed by chef Duncan Ray who strives to make the most of the freshest and most sustainable British produce. Chef Ray insists on working closely with all his suppliers and the result is nothing short of fine dining. The menu at The Little Fish Market is a five-course degustation that changes every six weeks or so, plus a kaleidoscopic wine list. Oh, and The Little Fish Market walls are adorned with artwork from local Brighton & Hove artists. You have to get involved.
Atmosphere: Elegant, refined and quite fancy
Price: £69 per person
Address: 10 Upper Market Street, Hove BN3 1AS
3. IL Bistro
IL Bistro remains one of Brighton’s longest serving independent restaurants having worked with local fish suppliers since 1976. It’s locally owned, locally loved and housed in an 18th-century fisherman’s cottage dating to the reign of George I. Heritage out of the way, IL Bistro isn’t exclusively fish and seafood but is one of the best seafood restaurants in Brighton nonetheless. The a la carte menu features starters like fresh fish croquettes and mains like fish casserole, traditional fish and chips, baked whole sea bass and moules mariniére. The restaurant itself is contemporary and really bloody cool, making IL Bistro a solid bet for all kinds of occasion.
Atmosphere: There are some definite gastropub vibes
Price: A gorgeous baked whole sea bass is £15.25
Address: 6-7a Market Street, The Lanes, Brighton BN1 1HH
4. English’s of Brighton
In some form or another, fresh food from the sea has been served at the English’s of Brighton premises for over 150 years. Since 1945, however, the Leigh-Jones family have been running the show. The team at English’s of Brighton are rather proud of their marble-topped oyster bar, a feature that goes a long way in highlighting the quality of the place, but oysters aside you’re also able to enjoy fish off the bone, fish on the bone, shellfish, seafood platters, the list goes on. Try the monkfish ballotine with pancetta, hispi cabbage, silverskin onion and jus, served alongside one of English’s signature cocktails, of course. It’s dishes like these that make English’s one of the best seafood restaurants in Brighton, hands down.
Atmosphere: What you’d expect from a high-quality oyster bar
Price: Oysters are mostly £3 each, with mains around £20
Address: 29-31 East Street, Brighton BN1 1HL
5. Riddle & Finns
Last but by no means least, Riddle & Finns champagne and oyster bar is somewhat of a household name around Brighton & Hove. It’s a restaurant that strives to offer a unique experience that’s a cut above the rest. To be one of the best seafood restaurants in Brighton, Riddle & Finns takes a lot of inspiration from high-end liquor shops and oyster bars of New York City and Paris, meaning a visit here feels damn classy. The selection of oysters is second to none and the a la carte menu offers dishes that range from pan-fried fillet of halibut with polenta, aubergine caviar and piquillo pepper sauce to whole grilled lobster served with a classic garlic & herb butter. Washed down with a bubbly, you really can’t go wrong.
Atmosphere: Order Champagne. This is that sort of place, but it’s not pretentious at all
Price: Absolutely worth the premium you’ll pay. Expect to spend around £40-50 each
Address: The Lanes, 12b Meeting House Lane, Brighton BN1 1HB
6. Melrose Restaurant
There’s a pattern emerging here, as Melrose Restaurant is another that seems to have always been a part of Brighton. Established in 1960, Melrose Restaurant remains family-run and most known for its proper, award-winning fish & chips. It’s right opposite Brighton’s iconic West Pier so sea views are guaranteed, and dishes are always simply prepared with British ingredients used wherever possible to ensure that prices are kept fair. You’ll find a decent wine list at Melrose Restaurant, too, so you’ll definitely find one to pair with fresh fish platter that you inevitably end up ordering, featuring grilled halibut, salmon, cod, fried scampi, calamari and chips or potatoes.
Atmosphere: Relaxed, welcoming, perfect for the family
Price: Great value. Not many main dishes cost more than a tenner
Address: 132 King’s Road, Brighton BN1 2HH