10 of Brighton’s best vegan and vegetarian restaurants
PUBLISHED: 12:38 28 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:45 29 September 2020
The city caters for every type of meat-free craving, from Sunday roasts, doner kebabs and sushi right through to plant-based haute cuisine
The sublimely imaginative food at long-established vegetarian institution Terre a Terre is so good it even convinced the late AA Gill, a committed carnivore, who called it “singularly and eccentrically marvellous.”
The owners say they want dining there to be about indulgence, and they succeed so absolutely that it’s easy to forget their forensic approach to ethical cooking and sourcing. We’d recommend sharing the Terre a Tapas for a taste of lots of different dishes, but the buttermilk-soaked battered halloumi and chips is also heavenly.
The main restaurant launched in 1981 with the aim of serving vegetarian and vegan dishes with global influences.
That might include a panzanella salad with the freshest of flavours, or the superlative burger, made from butternut squash and smoked tofu. The Western Road outpost, Botanique, has an entirely plant-based menu, complemented by cheese or egg if requested.
Purezza became the first vegan pizzeria in the UK when it opened in Brighton in 2015. Now it has branches in Camden, Bristol and (recently opened) Hove, and it has gained plaudits for its mozzarella substitute, made from brown rice.
Their sourdough pizzas come with a variety of toppings, including roasted aubergine and baked potato, forest mushrooms and truffles, and aubergine parmigiana.
Say what you like about Brighton, there’s no denying we’ve been at the vanguard of vegetarian food in Britain for a long time. The lovely Prince George pub in the North Laine area has been serving a fully vegetarian menu since 1990.
Here you’ll find confidently executed plant-based fare, ranging from hearty options such as (three choices of) burgers, pies and burritos to curries, bao buns and sausage and mash. You’ll also find three different veggie roast options on a Sunday.
Who said plant-based food has to be virtuous? If you have a junk food itch you need to scratch, this is the place for you.
Part of the Hope and Ruin pub (a top-notch gig venue), it serves vegetarian doner kebabs, hot dogs and a belt-busting array of loaded fries. We don’t know anywhere else with peanut butter jelly fries on the menu.
MORE: Read our interview with Joe Beckett, 27-year-old founder and director of Kinsbrook Vineyard in West Chiltington
Smorl’s is a producer of very good houmous which you can buy all over town, but the business now also has a cafe in the Open Market with all manner of vegan delights.
If you haven’t tried their mezze cake, you’ll want to rectify that immediately: it’s layer upon layer of some of their greatest hits, including falafel, aubergine puree, and of course houmous. The falafel bolognese also sounds intriguing.
Think vegans can’t eat sushi? Think again! The owner was inspired by time spent on an organic pearl farm in French Polynesia and her research into how demand for salmon, shrimp and tuna were affecting the health of our oceans.
Building on festivals and other events, she began to make her name for her ‘sushi burritos’ and now has a sushi bar in Pool Valley. Choices include beet and basil, cauliflower and Thai sweet potato and there are options with meat substitutes too.
This place started in 2016 as a London market stall, with the Brighton restaurant - which opened in summer 2020 - the third to open. Some serious fast food options are on offer here, with burgers including the New York Melt, Buffalo and Auburger (aubergine and chickpea patty).
Sides include tater tots, mac and cheese and a range of fries. If you like what you taste, you can buy kits to make the burgers at home, and they also sell vegan mayos online.
This buzzing little vegetarian cafeteria serves fresh, healthy lunchtime options: simply choose a main dish, which might be something like an enchilada, curry, tray bake or spanokopita; choose a couple of the interesting side dishes; then top it off with some dips or toppings.
The food is always lovely and it’s a pleasure to step inside for a respite from the crowds this part of Brighton often attracts.
Named after the owners’ mother, who dreamed of opening her own restaurant and finally achieved her aim at the age of 80, this is a delightful family-run place serving vegetarian street food in the Gujarati tradition.
Sharing plates include mini masala dosa, paneer masala and bhel puri. The restaurant is tiny, so do book ahead if you plan to visit in the evening.
Note: In these unpredictable times, opening hours can change at short notice. It’s always best to check ahead where possible before you visit a restaurant.