The best places to eat in Sussex

Penned on the 4th September 2023

The best places to eat in Sussex

Above images by The Salt Room

On the south east coast of England lies the county of Sussex, abundant with picturesque towns, idyllic green countryside, sandy beaches and a sweeping coastline along the English Channel. But it’s not just the beautiful scenery that Sussex is renowned for. Foodies will be delighted to discover an array of excellent eateries and diverse culinary experiences here, from quaint pubs and cosy coffee shops to award-winning vineyards and Michelin Star restaurants. Many use high-quality local ingredients from the abundant surrounding farmland and coast too, so clear provenance and fantastic flavour are in ample supply. 

The Crown & Anchor, Chichester Harbour

Best for: Alfresco waterfront dining
Stunning sea views at The Crown & Anchor in Sussex

You can’t get much closer to the coast than The Crown & Anchor on Dell Quay Marina. The popular outdoor terrace has stunning views across Chichester Harbour and its bobbing boats, making it an idyllic spot for lunch or dinner al fresco in the fresh sea air – but if the weather’s not playing ball, the indoor restaurant set in the 16th-century inn is just as beautiful too. On the menu, you’ll find local seasonal British dishes such as ‘Cold Smoked Pork Rump’, a classic beef burger or freshly caught fish of the day, as well as well-loved desserts like Sticky Toffee Pudding and Berry Pavlova. Wash it all down with a pint of local ale, a glass of wine or a cocktail at sunset, should the mood take you. 

Some nights they have live music too, so keep an eye on their social media to see what’s on during your visit. 


Purezza, Brighton

Best for: Vegans (and pizza lovers!)
Delicious pizzas at Purezza in Brighton

In the vibrant, bustling hub of Brighton, you’ll find Purezza, the UK’s first vegan pizzeria! Purezza is on a mission to bring plant-based food to the masses without compromising on taste, quality or sustainability – and their innovative menu goes all out to make that the case. Choose from a range of pizzas with creative and delicious toppings like ‘Pear and Blue’, ‘Pepperoni and Agave’ and ‘BBQ Bourbon’ – all 100% vegan and as good for the planet as they are for your plate. Or if pizza’s not your thing, there are plenty of plant-based pasta dishes, salads and burgers on offer too. 

There are all kinds of exciting things to see and do in Brighton before and after your meal, so why not make a full day of it?


The Crab & Lobster, Sidlesham

Best for: Fine seafood dining
The cosy interiors at The Crab & Lobster in Sussex

The Crab & Lobster is a charming 350-year-old restaurant on the tranquil banks of Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve is a real haven for seafood lovers. Much of their menu is sourced from local fishermen and farmers, with an emphasis on fish and, of course, crab and lobster. Expect relaxed fine dining with the likes of ‘Fillet of halibut with saffron crushed potatoes’ and ‘Baked Selsey crab gratin’. There are options for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans too, all equally as delectable and full of flavour. And if you fancy something a little lighter during the day, you can opt for an open sandwich or salad to savour beside the water. 

The Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve is a wonderful spot for bird-watching, so you might like to pack your binoculars for a post-lunch stroll. Keep your eyes peeled for black-tailed godwits and little egrets.  


The Ginger Fox, Hassocks

Best for: Refined British pub food 
Delicious dinners at The Ginger Fox, Sussex

In the beautiful rural setting of the South Downs countryside sits this quintessentially British thatched-roofed inn, The Ginger Fox. Their philosophy is ‘to create uncomplicated, full-flavoured food, made from the freshest, highest quality seasonal produce’ – and the menu certainly won’t disappoint. On the A La Carte menu, you’ll find the likes of ‘Lamb prosciutto’ or ‘Black Bomber cheddar cheese mousse’ to start, ‘Confit pork belly’ or ‘Sea bass with tomato pesto’ for the main and ‘Strawberry parfait’ or ‘Lemon Curd with meringue’ for dessert. On Sundays they serve hearty roasts too – but it’s usually the busiest day so booking is essential. There’s plenty of space to dine outdoors or enjoy a pint of local ale in the beer garden when the sun’s shining, with a wonderful children’s play area too. 


Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard, Sedlescombe

Best for: Wine-lovers
Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard in Sussex

Sedlescombe Vineyard in East Sussex is the oldest organic vineyard in the country – and was the first wine producer to pioneer English biodynamic wine. You can take a vineyard tour in this ‘High Weald Area of Outstanding Beauty’ to learn all about their fascinating sustainable wine-making methods and soak up the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, before enjoying a a tasting session of Sedlescombe’s internationally-recognised red, white, ros​​é and sparkling wines. Once you’ve worked up an appetite for something savoury, head to the on-site café Bar & Kitchen for a charcuterie board or a ploughman’s made with local organic cheese – and another glass of wine to wash it down, of course. 


Café Du Jardin, Lewes

Best for: A French-style café experience
The courtyard in the summer at Cafe Du Jardin

Café Du Jardin is a quaint café bar hidden in a pretty courtyard at the back of a characterful antiques shop in the historic town of Lewes. There’s a distinctive French feel to the whole place, from the decor and café furniture to the faded yellow walls and artworks – and there are all sorts of tasty French treats to choose from on the menu. Whether you’re after a coffee and a croissant, crepe, or an indulgent Baked Camembert or Croque Monsieur, stay a while to enjoy a slow breakfast or lunch before browsing the beautiful antiques collection in the shop. 

Lewes has a thriving independent shopping scene, so you could continue your day dipping in and out of its many boutiques, galleries and lifestyle stores. 


The Half Moon, Plumpton

Best for: Families
Fish and chips at The Half Moon in Sussex

Right next door to the famous Plumpton College in East Sussex, The Half Moon is a relaxed pub set in a stunning 200-year-old coaching inn. It’s the perfect spot for a family meal out, with a vast green garden and a play area, with swings and old tractors for the kids to explore while you enjoy a glass of local ale or wine from nearby producer, Bluebell Vineyard Estates. There’s even a mini golf area open from March to October if you fancy a fun family tournament! To eat, try the hearty ‘Pie of the day with creamy mash and seasonal vegetables’, or the British pub classic, ‘Beer battered fish & chips’. The kid’s menu has plenty of options for hungry little ones too. 


The Salt Room, Brighton

Best for: Contemporary seafood
Delicious food at The Salt Room in Brighton

The Salt Room is a must-visit eatery in Brighton for fish and shellfish-loving foodies. This modern restaurant celebrates cooking over coals, giving their fresh coastal ingredients an exquisite, expertly balanced flavour – and a few years ago they won The Seafood Restaurant of the Year as a result, securing its position as one of the best in the whole of the UK. Dishes on the menu include ‘Tempura prawns’, ‘Cornish crab’, ‘Chargrilled monkfish’ and ‘Coal roasted scallops’. ‘The Surf Board’ is an iconic menu favourite too, and a great idea if there are two of you sharing – you’ll get a selection of grilled and steamed fish with french fries, salad and aioli. Whatever you choose, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the iconic West Pier Ruins and Brighton seafront from the stunning floor-to-ceiling windows as you eat, or if the weather allows, from out on the terrace. 


Turner’s Pies, Bognor Regis, Chichester & Rustington

Best for: Pie fans
Freshly baked pies and cakes at Turner's Pies in Sussex

Turner's Pies is a family-run establishment with branches in three different areas of West Sussex, serving their famous freshly baked pies since its beginnings all the way back in 1933. It’s maintained its traditional approach too, with good old-fashioned favourites like ‘Steak & Ale’ and ‘Chicken & Ham’ available to order. You can also choose from a range of homemade quiches, sausage rolls and scotch eggs if something else should take your fancy. For the original authentic experience head to Bognor Regis to Turner’s Pies first shop on Hawthorn Road and take away your pastry to eat beside the seaside. Post-pie you can take a gentle wander along Bognor’s most visited attraction, the nostalgic Victorian Pier, perhaps stopping for an ice cream if you’re not too full! 


The Pass, Lower Breeding

Best for: A Michelin Star tasting menu
The interiors at Botanica Sussex

The Pass is an intimate dining experience at the luxurious five-star country house hotel, South Lodge in Lower Breeding – and with chef Ben Wilkinson at the helm, it was awarded a Michelin Star and 3 AA Rosettes in 2023. The restaurant’s tables are situated in the open kitchen, giving you a 360-degree view to witness the master chefs at work as they craft all seven of your tasting menu courses, transforming the locally sourced seasonal produce into experimental culinary works of art. Each dish is sure to blow you away. But if you fancy something a little different at South Lodge, it’s also home to a Mediterranean restaurant called  Botanica, as well as The Camellia, which is a beautiful spot for a special afternoon tea. 


Amberley Castle, Arundel

Best for: Afternoon tea in a castle!
Afternoon tea at Amberley Castle, Sussex

Speaking of afternoon teas, for a traditional cream tea with a difference head to Amberley Castle in the South Downs National Park. This 900-year-old castle is now a luxury hotel – and you can visit the Great Room and Terrace for a sumptuous afternoon tea surrounded by medieval architecture and decor. You’ll get a quintessential selection of homemade finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and preserves, cakes, quiches and sausage rolls – served with coffee or tea. Or if you fancy treating yourself to something a little special, you can choose to swap your hot drink for champagne. 

The landscaped gardens surrounding the castle are beautiful too, so make sure you allow time for a peaceful stroll when you’ve finished up. 


Moshimo, Brighton

Best for: Sushi
Fresh Sushi at Moshimo

Moshimo is a modern Japanese restaurant in the heart of Brighton specialising in sustainability-made sushi. You can select whatever takes your fancy from the conveyor belt, or order from the vast menu of homemade Maki, Sashimi, Nigiri, Gyoza and more. There’s a huge selection for vegans and vegetarians too, with delicious plant-based versions available for all types of sushi and small plates on the menu. The modern building was designed to look like a floating red lantern, only adding to the experience – and the walls slide open just like in traditional Japanese rooms, opening the restaurant up to the outside in the summer. 


Gelato Famoso, Eastbourne

Best for: Authentic gelato
Authentic gelato at Gelato Famoso, Sussex

Those with a sweet tooth and gelato fans shouldn’t miss Gelato Famoso in Eastbourne’s Marine Parade. It was established in 1967 (formally known as Fusciardi’s) and has been serving its homemade gelato and coffee to locals and tourists alike since. There are over 18 flavours to choose from in the cabinets, from classics like ‘Mint choc chip’ and ‘Rum and raisin’ to specials like ‘Pistachio’ and ‘Ferrero Rocher’. They also serve incredible sundaes and indulgent waffles, loaded with gelato, sauce and toppings! You can eat in the café or watch the world go by from the outdoor seating, or opt for a takeaway if the sun’s shining to enjoy your frozen sweet treats at the nearby seafront.


Somewhere special to stay in Sussex
The lovely interiors at Douglas Fir in Sussex

For the ultimate unforgettable foodie adventure, why not top off your trip with a stay in a  stunning shepherd’s hut or treehouse amongst nature? Our collection of unique glamping hideaways in Sussex are the perfect base for a solo trip or a romantic getaway for two, nestled amongst the green countryside with just the sound of the birds to wake you. 






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