Before living in Brighton, I hunted far and wide for food places with good (if any!) meat free options on their menu. I moved here last year and continued my scavenging for the vegetarian glory I knew Brighton offered- and boy, was I spoilt for choice! Fortunately, you need only hunt as far as BN1 Magazine, for I will now bestow upon you my ever growing list of go-to vegetarian/vegan food spots.
Mainly pizza, because I’m an animal and it’s not as acceptable to eat pasta with your hands, I have two options that I hungrily dart between:
- Purezza, 12 St James Street. Translating to “Purity” in Italian, Purezza is a chain that originated in Brighton in 2015 and has since broadened its vegan empire to Hove, Camden, Bristol, and Manchester. The menu, which is entirely vegan, consists of pizzas containing Purezzas own vegan cheese “Mozzarella 2.0” and alternative Italian dishes such as lasagne, calzone, and spaghetti. I highly recommend this one if you’re hunting for a vegan pizza, as the vegan toppings and variety of pizzas are (so far) unmatched!
- Nanninella, 26 Preston Street. I cannot recommend this place enough! Seriously! I was never one to groan “Ugh, I could kill a pizza right now” like your average university student would, ordering pizza before I discovered Nanninella was always fairly low down on my list of desired deliveries. My first crunch into the light, oven baked to perfection, authentic Neapolitan Sourdough base sent my tastebuds into a Nanninella frenzy for which there has been no return. Having only one vegan pizza on the menu, one my boyfriend raved as the “best pizza I’ve ever had!”, the selection might not be the best for a vegan diet, but there are plenty vegetarian options and by Jove (or by Hove?) they’re something truly special.
Definitely the cuisine I eat the most of, so I feel like I have a fairly solid selection of Brighton’s Thai/Chinese/Japanese food, chopsticks at the ready!
- Pompoko, 110 Church Street. The most affordable of all of my asian food options, but by no means does this mean you are receiving less. The portion size and quality of munch when compared to the price is kind of mind blowing, for less than a tenner you can get a main (£6.20) and a side (around the £2/£3 mark), leaving your bank and your stomach wholly satisfied. The sesame tofu don is my go to, and I have had it at least 10 times without getting same-food-fatigue – sometimes I switch it up with the tofu katsu dish, but I always without fail get vegetable spring rolls. Great, now I want a Pompoko. !IMPORTANT! bring your debit card out and withdraw cash from the Tesco around the corner as Pompoko only take cash.
- Siam Siam Thai Restaurant, 74 Preston Street. A little pricier than Pompoko but offering a larger variety of meat free options, this candle-lit, family owned Thai restaurant situated dangerously near to Nanninella is a newbie to my list of Asian eateries. When I went, I ordered the Pad See Ew noodles (contrary to the Ew, it was delicious) and my boyfriend ordered pineapple fried rice, which was so good it drove me to theft – I may have taken a cheeky forkful when he went to the toilet, and if he’s reading this right now I could potentially be in trouble, but god damn it I’d do it again!
- Presuming Ed, 114 London Road. Colourful and eccentrically decorated Presuming Ed offer a selection of unique, 100% vegan Chinese Bao Buns, hand rolled each morning by young chefs Dom, 26 and Amy, 21. The selection is *chefs kiss* and it is perfect if you want to try something new- Presuming Ed is also a fab place to have a couple drinks in with some mates and it also has an escape room so don’t be surprised if you want to spend all day there. It’s also definitely worth visiting between 12-4pm on Thursday, Friday or Saturday because you can buy one get one free on selected dishes, and who doesn’t love a freebie?
- Curry Leaf Cafe, 60 Ship Street or 40 Upper St James Street. My only option for Indian food as I am embarrassingly lacking in experimentality when it comes to spice, but it would have been criminal not to include this on the list. The vegetarian and vegan options are vast and ones rare to find in any other Indian establishment (not that I have much evidence to back this up since I’m a chilli coward, but I’ve got a strong feeling that I’m right). They do dine in and takeaway, but I highly recommend eating in as the interior is as beautiful and vibrant as the colourful dishes that surround you. Their cocktails, though I couldn’t personally afford them as I had just blown my dosh on a vegan Aloo Gobi Masala, are very unique and look pretty darn good as well.
- What the Pitta, 14 East Street. Not a chain birthed in Brighton, nor an idea birthed in England but “over a cold beer on a hot day in Bodrum, Turkey”, What The Pitta is the location for your greasy kebab shop food that hits that special spot. With Vegan Doner, Gyros, Doner chip boxes, Mezze boxes, and much more, What the Pitta has become a fast favourite for filling takeaway food without the guilt of unhealthy meat.
You are truly spoilt for choice with vegan + vegetarian burgers in Brighton, and if I listed them all we would be here indefinitely, so here are my select few:
- Burger King, 43-45 Kings Road or 63-65 North Street. Right, hear me out, this is certainly not an option for supporting local businesses, and as far as rebelling against the meat industry goes, you’re taking a few steps back – but if you download the app, the offers are insane! As a student, I’m always looking for food deals, and meat-free Mondays at Burger King means you can get a plant based Whopper or a Vegan Royale for £1.99! You can tut at me, and I tut at myself, but its difficult to turn down a deal like that. Plus, they’re pretty yummy.
- Worlds End, 60-61 London Road. It’s difficult to talk about this one without reaching for the deliveroo app, it truly is. I haven’t actually had Vegan Noms inside Worlds End, as I’m normally eating it after a night of drinking not during one, but I’m planning to in the very near future! Either go big with any of their mouthwatering vegan burgers or grab a selection of sides and get tucked in- personally the Satay Loaded Tater Tots are something to be worshipped, and the Chick’n Pap Pops also get a huge, sauce covered thumbs up from me.
- Really Happy Chicken, 46 West Street. My first introduction to vegan burgers in Brighton, my friend ordered this thinking it was actual chicken and only realised when I, a vegetarian since 15, got a burger from there that it wasn’t! A great option for an affordable vegan chicken burger that is from a local vegan business and not from Burger King (sorry again), the simple one is £6.95 and worth every penny.
I hope this has helped any of you hunting for meat free munchies, it certainly hasn’t helped my stomach! Off to scrounge in the weird smelling fridge for leftovers.