It’s no secret that Brighton is full of independent businesses, and this is definitely part of what makes visiting this vibrant seaside city so fun. The city’s streets are bursting with quirky shops, restaurants and cafes, meaning that when it comes to finding a great cup of coffee, you’ll be within a stone’s throw of a number of cool options. Nope, you won’t be resorting to Starbucks or Costa for your mid-morning caffeine fix – this is a town with more than a few alternatives to the national chains. Having lived in Brighton myself, I’ve definitely made my acquaintance with most of the coffee shops around town, so here are my top choices for a delicious cup of coffee by the sea. Mine’ll be a flat white, please!
If you’re in central Brighton…
If you’re visiting Brighton for the weekend or even just for a day, you’ll probably find yourself wandering the maze of streets in central Brighton that make up the North Laine. This area boasts over 400 independent businesses as well as a number of better known brands, and is widely regarded as offering the best (and most unusual!) shopping in the city. Luckily, the area also has amazing coffee game: here are 2 great choices for a delicious cup of coffee to fuel your shopping trip.
Bond St. Coffee
Located on Bond Street, a pedestrianized street connecting the busy North Street with the quirkier streets that make up the North Laine, Bond St. serves up quality cups of coffee to its loyal clientele. Its beans are roasted by local coffee specialists Horsham Coffee Roaster, the cafe serves an array of tempting treats to go with your cup of joe (try the friands, you won’t be sorry!) and the WiFi is fast and reliable. It’s no surprise that mid-week Bond St. has a constant stream of visitors both taking their coffee to go and staying to enjoy the beautiful cafe space, nor that on the weekend, the cafe gets busier, and snagging a spot becomes a little more difficult. However, it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area, and at just a short stroll from all the shopping that the North Laine has to offer as well as key attractions such as the Brighton Dome and the Brighton Pavilion, it’s the perfect place to take a break. You’re welcome!
Located on bustling Sydney Street in the heart of the North Laine, Pelicano House rubs shoulders with tattoo parlours, vegan eateries and vintage clothing stores.The cafe roasts its coffee on site, serving it up with a range of mouth-watering treats such as cakes and brownies, as well as a number of savoury options. Not only is the coffee at Pelicano smooth and delicious, but the baristas are super friendly and willing to give a good recommendation or two if you have trouble choosing what to order (and chances are you will!). Like Bond St., Pelicano offers a fast and reliable WiFi connection, and though the cafe may look small, it actually has a second seating area hidden away upstairs, complete with comfy sofa and a great window spot for people watching.
If you’re heading towards Hove…
A short 30 minute stroll along Brighton seafront will bring you to Hove, known for its iconic beach huts. It’s well worth a wander over to this side of the city for its views back towards central Brighton and the pier, but once you’re in the area you’ll also find yourself within reach of some of the best coffee spots in town. An added bonus? As Hove is a little quieter than central Brighton, it’s a lot easier to grab a spot in these under-the-radar gems.
i gigi Cafe
One of my favourite spots in town for coffee and a catch up with friends has to be i gigi Cafe on Western Road. It’s not immediately obvious at street level, as i gigi is actually part-shop, part-cafe: wander in downstairs and you’ll find a gorgeous array of homeware items such as plates, bowls and candles from around the world, but follow the smell of coffee up the beautiful staircase and voilà, you find yourself in the cafe! Not only is the cafe cleverly tucked away, meaning it’s mostly visited by those already in the know, being one floor up from street level means that there are no rushed workers popping in to grab a coffee to go: the space is entirely filled with people who have taken some time out of their day to sit down, enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and relax with friends. A few cherries on this (already perfect) cake? The baristas are lovely, the cafe itself is gorgeous and they also serve breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea. The coffee served at i gigi is also top quality, with beans provided by Brighton & Hove based roastery Pharmacie Coffee.
Stoney Point is definitely my favourite out of all these lovely coffee spots, and I have to say, it’s a bit of a hidden gem. Located on Montpelier Pl. which runs parallel to the much busier Western Road, Stoney Point is both very easy to get to and a little off the beaten path. While I haven’t seen much about Stoney Point online, and it definitely doesn’t have the wide-reaching reputation that some Brighton coffee shops have, it’s always busy, leading me to think that its loyal clientele have just found something so good they want to keep it to themselves. The cafe serves up coffee roasted by London coffee giants Monmouth Coffee, brewing it to the highest standards and serving it up alongside a small but fantastic range of home-made sandwiches, toast dishes and cakes. The cafe itself is fairly small, with seating for maybe 12 people total, but the inviting aroma of coffee beans fills the whole space, making you want to linger a while and order a second cup before you know it. The design is monochrome, minimalist and bare: it reminds me of cafes in Copenhagen, where everything has that effortlessly Scandinavian-chic feel to it. In short, I love Stoney Point: the coffee is great, prices are reasonable, the cafe is beautiful, warm and well designed and the WiFi is brilliant too. My favourite spot in Brighton to spend the afternoon, and definitely worth a visit if you find yourself wandering towards Hove!
The local chains with a loyal following…
Brighton is definitely a hub for independent businesses, as it’s true that lots of Brighton dwellers prefer to support these than the larger chains! However, this support for local businesses has enabled a few of the most popular local coffee spots to become mini-chains themselves, offering their top notch coffee to customers across the city. Here are a couple of my favourites:
Small Batch Coffee Roasters
One of the most popular coffee companies in Brighton, Small Batch has built up quite a reputation for offering superb quality coffee and tea along with a nice range of sweet treats and snacks at locations across the city. Yep, Small Batch is definitely a local success story: with five permanent outposts in Brighton & Hove as well as one in nearby Worthing, chances are that if you visit Brighton you’ll find yourself strolling past one of their locations without even trying to track them down. Their flagship branch on Jubilee Street is their most central spot, but you can find a locally-roasted cup of Small Batch coffee in Hove and Seven Dials too, not to mention the fact that the company has a coffee cart at both Brighton Station and Hove Station, sending commuters off to work with a hot cup of coffee, a pastry and a smile. No excuses for day trippers either then: even if you don’t make it to Small Batch during a visit to Brighton, you can grab one for the train home. Perfect. One quick thing to note: Small Batch doesn’t offer WiFi at its cafes, meaning that if you need to get some work done, this might not be the spot for you! However, if you just want a great cup of coffee and a place to chat with friends, you’re in luck!
The Flour Pot Bakery
Another great mini-chain which came into being at its flagship store on Sydney Street, The Flour Pot Bakery has become somewhat of a local institution. With 5 locations around Brighton & Hove, Flour Pot serves up not only high quality coffee provided by Caravan, another big name on the London coffee scene, but amazing cakes, cookies and pastries too, not to mention their wide range of savoury offerings if you fancy getting breakfast or lunch at the cafe. In addition, Flour Pot sell their own artisan bread which is baked fresh daily, as well as selling balls of pizza dough on Wednesdays and the most exquisite filled doughnuts on Fridays – yum. Each of the Flour Pot locations is beautifully designed, remaining both light and airy as well as filled with personality and charm. The cafe does get busy, and even mid-week you might find yourself battling freelancers (again, great WiFi and lots of plug sockets!) or young families for a spot, but the coffee, food and atmosphere is worth it.
Phew, that’s it! My roundup of some of the best coffee you can find in Brighton. Definitely let me know what you think if you try any of these cafes, or if you have a coffee shop in mind that you think should be on this list! You can get in touch by commenting below, following my Instagram & Twitter pages or via email at email@example.com.
I’ve also linked the Instagram feeds of all of these cafes below for you! Enjoy!