Brighton’s Great Escape Festival is once again upon us and hundreds of acts are preparing to perform at this year’s many venues. Whether you are visiting Brighton or a regular to the festivities, you’re bound to work up an appetite and might need to know where to stop. There are plenty of food and drink places surrounding the venues and we have gathered our faves. From vegans to seafood lovers, there is something for everyone. Whether you want fast-food, or a cheeky pint, here is how to enjoy Brighton’s hospitality as you journey through music.
Starting by Brighton Railway Station on Queens Road, is Sunoso. For those coming to the city via train, any spot along Queens Road is a convenient stop-off regardless of where you are heading next. A tiny café style location, Sunoso offers seating or takeaway, whatever works for you. Pick up one of their Donburi bowls that come with a number of toppings and fresh vegetables. It is the perfect light bite. Walk a little further up the road and you’ll find The Hope and Ruin. This is a Great Escape venue which also hosts great grub. They house Beelzebab, an entirely vegan kitchen serving seitan-based kebabs and hot dogs seven days a week. Take a seat in the eclectic interior for a drink and kebab before heading upstairs, where shows and club nights are held.
Komedia is another venue situated on Gardner Street. They will have Great Escape events on in their basement for a total of four nights. Attendees are encouraged to grab a snack from their menu or browse the many drinks they serve at the bar. Since they’re known as a cinema, they’ve got some classics like nachos and hot dogs, but their burgers and sides are worth a try too.
Moving on from the North Laines to North Road, the location of Bison Beer and the Fountainhead, both pubs are well loved by residents of the area. Bison Beer focuses on their own small batch brews and signature burgers, which they make in collaboration with SLAM BBQ. Check out the full menu if you’re interested in a craft beer or cocktail along with your meal. If you’re bar hopping to pass time between gigs, Fountainhead is right next door and their 100% plant-based kitchen is great for a small plate or a full pizza. Made in-house by Flower Power Pizza, their snacks are great for a mid pub crawl bite.
Just a couple of minutes around the corner is Ten Green Bottles. They are a picturesque wine bar with an expansive selection of wines by the glass or by the bottle. Don’t shy away from trying a glass or two as a pre or post show treat. The ambient lounge area makes a lovely destination for an evening outing.
SURROUNDING BRIGHTON DOME
The Brighton Dome will be hosting a huge amount of Great Escape artists. Opposite, on Church Street, is Pompoko a small Japanese restaurant with fantastic food at modest prices. The menu is simply huge, but the experience at Pompoko is always a good one. If you’re heading in the direction of The Lanes, pop into Bar Valentino on the way for a unique cocktail overlooking Pavilion Gardens. Described as ‘a sanctuary of distinction’, it is exactly that. Watch people and buskers from the balcony as you enjoy some separation from the chaos below.
Let’s venture into The Lanes, which will you believe it, have even more bars, pubs and restaurants for you to try out. Starting with a hidden gem on Prince Albert Street, Shogun Ramen is easy to miss. Take a peek in the window and if you’re drawn into the intimate atmosphere, choose from meat or vegetable-based ramen dishes, curries and traditional Japanese side dishes. Nearby is Black Lion Street, incidentally home to The Black Lion, a pub which frequently puts on club nights with DJs and other live music. Pop in for a drink in their snug beer garden or get a few plates to share between friends. The area is full of Great Escape venues, so you’ll be within walking distance of wherever you’re off to afterwards.
Our last destination is East Street, which is a hub for great music, food and entertainment. Known as ‘Brighton’s oldest boozer’, dating from 1568, East Street Tap is a popular starting point for most nights out. It’s no surprise that patrons often end up staying for the stellar vegan menu and constantly changing array of craft beers. The menu shows off several burgers and sides made by The Mad Robot, who specialise in vegan junk food. This is the ideal place to visit before or after a gig, either for a meal, a pint, or both.
East Street also has loads of options when it comes to food, and most of them make for the perfect takeaway meal to nosh on while walking from point A to B. There’s What The Pitta, which has been the subject of many a positive review over the years. They concentrate on keeping their carbon footprint low and their quality high. If you have some gigs lined up in the area, pay a visit to What The Pitta for an on-the-go lunch. Last, but most certainly not least, The Bok Shop. Always reliable and always flavourful, their chicken (and vegan chicken) never disappoints. Another apt choice for a day walking around Brighton, go pick up one of their flavourful choices and get yourself out on the town.
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