When you think of street food in Brighton you need to think of it in two different ways. There's food that has been prepared in restaurants or take away places that you can eat on the street as you walk home after a night out or while sightseeing. Then there's food that is prepared, cooked, and sold on the street from small kiosks or food trucks.
One of the all-time favorite street foods in Britain, let alone Brighton, is of course traditional fish and chips. Other long-time late-night popular eats are doner kebabs, pizzas, and American-style fried chicken dishes. While they may be some of the original British go-to favourites where street food is concerned and are readily available at multiple outlets throughout the city, the street food scene in Brighton has evolved to include many other international cuisines.
As well as streetside kiosks selling everything from curry to cockles there are markets where you can take a world tour just by tasting the street food on offer at the pop-ups. Brighton has a good few food festivals throughout the year too, and those, along with events like Brighton Pride and Trans Pride, are some of the best places to find amazing street food.
It's impossible to hold on to a take-out box of street food if you have your bags with you. At worst, you're likely to end up either dropping the meal you've just paid for because you're juggling that and your suitcase. At best, if you don't turn your street food into pavement art you could end up with half of it down your shirt.
Do the sensible thing and store your bags in a Bounce luggage locker in Brighton where they'll be safely locked away in a security-tagged locker that way you can relax knowing you've got both hands to hold onto whatever street food you've chosen for your supper.
The Best Street Food Vendors In Brighton
There are several street food vendors that have built a reputation for themselves because of the food they cook. You'll find them down by the beach on the seafront near Brighton Pier, on London Road, by Brighton Station, in Kemptown, and under the arches of Trafalgar Street. If you can, make time to visit them all and you'll find out exactly why they sell the best street food in Brighton.
Captain's is a traditional British fish and chip shop that has been feeding visitors to Brighton for almost 35 years. At this fish and chip shop on Brighton's Lower Promenade they know a thing or two about great cod, crispy batter, and how to fry the perfect chip.
If you've never experienced sitting in a deckchair on the beach eating fish and chips out of a paper tray with a biodegradable bamboo fork, then add this to your list of life's must-dos. Don't forget though that Brighton's seagull population loves chips too, so you could end up with more company than you expected.
Brighton Shellfish and Oyster Bar
Eating fresh seafood while walking along the seafront promenade is a British seaside tradition. You can taste that special tradition for yourself by stopping off at the Brighton Shellfish and Oyster Bar. The seafront is definitely one of the best places to stay in Brighton if you want to get a daily fresh seafood fix.
The Brighton Shellfish and Oyster Bar operates out of a kiosk right on the beachfront in the Old Fishing Quarter on Kings Road. From the kiosk they sell a variety of cooked and prepared seafood as well as seafood filled sandwiches and bread rolls.
Top favourites from here are the dressed crab, shrimp, their luxury seafood mix, cockles, whelks, lobster and a famous dish popular with visitors from London, jellied eels. They're keeping up with the times at this seafood kiosk too by offering chilli garlic prawns, which are a good mouth warmer when the incoming sea breeze has a chill to it.
If you've been to Greece at any time then you'll be thrilled to know you can get authentic gyros in Brighton from Greekatessen. It's one of the local businesses that has put their country's cuisine on the map of Brighton's street food scene.
Greekatessen operates from a food truck in the courtyard of the Churchill Square Shopping Complex which is right in the city centre. Gyros really are one of the tastiest street foods and quick bites you can get. These guys make sure their’s taste exactly as they should by importing all the ingredients.
They also serve lots of other traditional Greek food, namely moussaka, pastichio, tiropitas, and several delicious Greek cakes and pastries. They're in the shopping centre seven days of the week from eight in the morning until three in the afternoon.
Bready's Delights is a Jamaican food van on Brighton's The Avenue that serves up delicious Jamaican classic dishes to take away from eleven in the morning until nine at night.
Bready's Delights also provide catering for many events and festivals in and around Brighton so if they've disappeared, don't worry, they'll be back. Popular plates from here are jerk chicken, rice and peas, and coleslaw. They also dish out goat curries, lamb patties, and Caribbean dumplings.
Two Wolves Kitchen
The Two Wolves Kitchen operates from a bright pink food truck parked in the lot of a pub near Brighton Station.
The food truck’s name is a little misleading as at Two Wolves Kitchen, most of the food on the menu is vegan and vegetarian. Here you can tuck into juicy vegan burgers topped with vegan pulled pork with rosemary chips, a beetroot superfood chili, and vegan duck spring rolls with noodles.
The Curry Leaf is a business that started out selling food from a portable kiosk outside of Brighton Station. It's a testimony to how good the food is from here that they no longer have the kiosk, but two proper premises. One in Kemptown and the other in The Lanes.
While the Curry Leaf strictly speaking no longer serves street food their menu is based on traditional Indian street food dishes so everything has a little if not a lot of spice.
If you like your food spicy you'll be happy to dive into chickpea chaat, pakoras, and bhajis. Main dishes on the Curry Leaf menu include chicken xacuti and lamb laal maas. There are some good vegetarian choices too, namely paneer masala and mushroom kuzhambu as well as plenty of others.
La Choza is a Mexican restaurant that, similar to the Curry Leaf, serves a street food menu rather than serving food on the street.
La Choza's premises on Gloucester Road in the North Laine district is painted in a rainbow of hues that are just about as colorful as color gets. Inside is the same and a splash of brightness complimented by traditional Mexican flower-painted skulls, religious iconography, and Mexican-oriented posters.
The food served at La Choza is pure Mexican so you can expect burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and nachos followed by chillies, chillies, and even more chillies, so it's food with lots of spicy flavors.
Braypool Snack Van-Hot Stuff
If you've been out exploring the Sussex Downs and are heading back to Brighton totally famished, you'll want to pull into the layby where the Snack Van-Hot Stuff sets up for business.
This food truck serves hot and cold food and drinks from a mobile premises no bigger than a horse box. Size is no problem though and they have a long menu of items that will soon sort out your hunger pangs. Don't expect posh. Don't expect gourmet. This food van is all about big beefy burgers, sandwiches, and anything high in cholesterol you can put between the two halves of a bread roll.
Where To Find The Best Street Food In Brighton
If you want to find a selection of great street food all in one place in Brighton then you need to head for one of the markets.
Brighton Open Market
Brighton Open Market has been a major attraction for residents and visitors alike to the city for over five decades and looks fit to continue its popularity for another five to come.
Brighton Open Market is an indoor market located on London Road and as well as regular traders selling goods like clothes, shoes, and housewares, it hosts art and craft-related workshops and live music events. It's also where you can get some of the best street food in Brighton.
At the market, there are small pop-up eateries offering quality food from around the globe. Taquitas CasAzul specialises in tacos and serves both meat and vegan varieties. Smorls is a mini-cafe which concentrates on falafel, hummus, and vegetarian salads while at This Little Piggy they bake gourmet sausage rolls you can chomp on while browsing round the stalls. If your street food has to be Asian then you'll want to drop by Kor-Pan for some traditional Korean dishes or a takeaway container of freshly made sushi.
Brighton Open Market operates seven days a week. Monday to Friday the stalls are open for business from 7 am to 7 pm. Trading hours are shorter at the weekends so on Saturday it closes at 5 pm and on Sundays doesn't open until 10 am.
Street Diner is a weekly street food market held between 11 am and 2:30 pm at the end of Queens Road.
The market consists of some of the best pop-ups and food trucks in Brighton. None serve the same type of food, so go hungry because there's a lot you'll be tempted to try. Cuisines vary from Spanish paella to Jamaican jerk to mezes and much more besides. After you've sampled food from two or three it'll be time to consider going on one of the best hikes in Brighton to burn all those excess calories off.
Street Food Festivals In Brighton
Brighton Vegan Festival
The Brighton Vegan Festival is an annual event held towards the end of May outside of the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel on Kings Road. The gathering involves over 80 stalls promoting vegan products and vegan food items as well as food trucks and pop-ups serving vegan street food.
Brighton Foodies Festival
Brighton Foodies Festival is a yearly three-day-long event held in Preston Park. This is the city's big celebration of all things food-related. There are workshops and demonstrations hosted by well-known TV chefs and a lip-searing daily hot chilli challenge. There are more pop-ups and food trucks present at the festival than it's possible to mention and practically no cuisine is absent from the many menus, plus there's plenty of live music to aid digestion.
Brighton Marina Food Festival
The Brighton Marina Food Festival is an event in the making. Due to bad weather and health restrictions two of three planned festivals have so far been cancelled. Let's hope the next way gets under way as you can never have too much of a good thing especially when it comes to food. Unsurprisingly, this event is held at the Brighton Marina and features tons of street food options.
While traditional Brighton street food has a style all of its own, you’re no longer restricted to a tray of fish and chips. Brighton’s street food and it’s food festivals just go to show that this Sussex city is now making its well-earned mark on the British food scene with top-quality international dishes as well as those well-loved British classics.