The Park View

The Park view brighton interiorA huge outdoor seating area makes suburban Brighton pub, The Park View, a great place for post-park drinks and long summer Sundays.

Beer is well-kept with a strong roster of lagers, often including Budvar and Brooklyn lager. Local ales populate the hand pumps and the spirits selection goes way beyond the usual pub suspects. Pub food is slightly above average with dishes like salt and pepper squid and proper sausage and mash setting the tone.

Set back from the main drag between London and Brighton, The Park View tends to attract a local crowd, from 20-somethings who don’t want to head into town to families and the post-work crowd on their way home from nearby Preston Park station.

Best Bars tip: If you’re looking for a party venue, try downstairs; it’s a fair size and it comes with a separate entrance.

— Lucy Britner, @Britner

the park view brighton beer garden

The Hope & Ruin

The Hope Brighton gigSituated right down from the station and not too far away from the beach, this spacious venue is popular with the post-work and student crowds alike.

While a lot of people come to the Hope & Ruin for the friendly, laid-back attitude and the fact that it stays open nice and late, the rest arrive for the music. The bar’s outdoor sign, which features a logo of a retro Orange amp, should set the evening’s tone well.

Upstairs you’ll find a 100-capacity venue, Hope Live, where the venue hosts four or five gigs and club nights a week. It is here that you can catch both local indie types as well as touring acts from around the world. Downstairs, expect an assortment of old but comfy sofas, a jukebox, a pint or four of something cold and a good playlist soundtracking the night. If you fancy a bite to eat, then the bar’s tapas and pizza menus should do the trick.

Best Bars tip: The Strokes, Adele and The White Stripes have all played at The Hope over the years. We suggest catching an up-and-coming band here while they’re still up-and-coming. You never know…

– Heather Steele, @steeleheather

The Hope Brighton

The Prince George

The Prince George Brighton barPopular with the post-work crowd, neighbourhood boozer The Prince George — located on bustling Trafalgar Street — is a mix of both traditional pub and boutique bar. Case in point: there are lots of cosy nooks and crannies (surrounded by the type of framed posters and paintings you’d expect to find in an old timer) merged with pendant lamps and exposed brick walls alongside fancy wallpaper. It’s this, plus the lovely little garden – replete with plenty of plants, plus heaters and big brollies in the evenings – which brings the crowds.

Its main draw, however, is its restaurant Veggie-Veggie. As its name suggests, the entire menu is dedicated to herbivores, and it’s been voted as one of PETA’s top 10 veggie restaurants in the UK. With the likes of ginger beer-battered halloumi with chips and mushy peas as well as chestnut mushroom ravioli with blue cheese sauce on head chef Malcolm Ingram’s menu, we’re not surprised.

If you’re just after a bevvie, then the selection of local ales here is almost second-to-none. There’s a range on offer from the 1648 Brewing Co, Dark Star, Langham, Kissingate and Hepworth & Co. We make ours a pint of Dark Star IPA every time.

Best Bars tip: For the serious vegetarians, there’s a meat-free wine and beer list. Very virtuous.

— Heather Steele, @steeleheather

The Prince George Brighton fireplace

Freemasons Tavern

Freemasons Tavern Brighton HoveLocated in a corner of Brunswick, this Hove establishment stands out from the crowd of high street chains and local shops with its striking Grade-II listed exterior. Trust us, Freemasons Tavern is stunning: picture a tiled mosaic front and two storeys of art deco windows and imposing glass doors. 1930s heaven.

Inside, this splendor isn’t quite echoed, except for the bar, which has a gold tiled ceiling. Instead you’re greeted with the kind of interior that wouldn’t look out of place in a more modern joint: exposed brick walls, tables and benches made of reclaimed wood and a variety of art – mostly of pop culture icons – all feature here.

The bar’s biggest draw is its affordability: a bottle of house wine costs under £12, while a classic cocktail is £6.50. In terms of food, expect to find pub grub staples such as burgers, fish & chips and roast dinners on a Sunday.

Best Bars tip: This laid-back spot is the perfect place for hanging out with friends away from much busier, louder establishments. It also stays open until 1am on a week night and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. That’s a lot of time for catching up.

— Heather Steele, @steeleheather

Freemasons Tavern Brighton Hove

Sidewinder

Sidewinder Brighton beef brisket tacoWe love Kemptown hot spot Sidewinder. Distinctive from its big one-eyed crab mural on its exterior, this large pub has not one but two of the best beer gardens in town – think wooden booths complete with their own heaters for when the night draws in.

While we’ve always been fans, we’ve been making more frequent visits since it transformed its menu from pub grub to meaty Mexicana. Named Smokin’ Gringo, the kitchen now serves up the likes of burritos, tacos and nachos. Alongside this, the drinks menu has expanded from your usual bar fare of beers, ciders and wines to some punchy Margaritas, Palomas and Mojitos.

Yet fear not traditionalists. On Sundays the joint still serves roast dinners, complete with a build-your-own Bloody Mary station. That’ll kill those inevitable hangovers.

Best Bars tip: Another of our favourite haunts, Brighton Flea Market, is just down the road. We say combine a jaunt over to the east side of town to pick up a bit of bargain taxidermy plus a pint or two of the good stuff.

— Heather Steele, @steeleheather

Sidewinder Brighton

Signalman

Signalman Brighton pork bellyA stone’s throw from London road train station, Signalman is no grubby railway boozer. Old port posters and bare bricks grace the walls, as well as a shelf or two of books and a specials board.

A handful of well-kept ales sit alongside the regular lager line-up and the wine list is short and perfectly put together. The food can be great in here and the menu keeps up with the seasons. Burgers and fish and chips are generously portioned and salads like tuna nicoise are huge, fresh and tasty.

The Signalman is a real hit with locals and it has an almost cult following, but friendly staff welcome all comers.

Best Bars tip: If you’re at a loose end on a Monday, try the quiz. It’s one of the best in town.

— Lucy Britner, @Britner

Signalman Brighton pub

Lion & Lobster

The Lion and Lobster Brighton exteriorHovering somewhere between the borders of Brighton and Hove is this labyrinthine gem of a pub. Although you might get lost inside The Lion & Lobster, the building itself isn’t hard to find: its 19th century exterior is painted red top-to-bottom. The palette continues inside, where this scarlet hue is matched with dark wood panelling, brass banisters and mahogany furniture.

As well as a restaurant, the space includes three separate bars (one of which will happily screen the footy) and plenty of hidden nooks and crannies – perfect for a first date or for when you want to get your gang together without the rest of the pub watching on.

While its wine list isn’t especially remarkable, we’re always happy to sip Sharp’s Doom Bar and Special pale ale, both of which are on tap. It’s also got your typical selection of spirits and soft drinks.

Best Bars tip: It can get very busy when the sun’s out. Customers vie for a space on its lovely, but compact roof garden. Those wanting a bit more shade will appreciate its lower alfresco spot, which has the added benefit of its own bar. We hear the Sunday roasts are pretty good too.

— Heather Steele, @steeleheather

Lion and Lobster Brighton food