Tuesday, 29 March 2016

5 Instagram-Ready Restaurants in Brighton

Love it or hate, Instagram can actually be really useful for travel tips and gives everyone an extra hobby in life. It's also a great way
to keep up with all those local and off-beat gem restaurants in Brighton – I've actually had some of my best meals in the city at places I've spyed through Instagram. So here, I've selected a few of my favourite Instagram-ready restaurants and enlisted the help of a few other Instagram users to show you the way to some of the most city's best and most Instagrammable...

1. Café Marmalade #LunchSpot

I actually found out about Café Marmalade thanks to Instagram. I saw a snap of the unplastered peeling walls, missed paint job, time-worn tiles that look like they’ve been discovered hidden beneath layers of paint, the torn out magazine pages on the walls - and that busy counter crammed with stacks of deliciousness and within minutes I just HAD to find this place. So I hopped on the scooter and zipped it over to Kemp Town to make sure I didn’t miss out on a table!

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Next to the hospital close to the sea in Kemp Town, Café Marmalade has been open about a year and is set in an impressive 1890 big old Regency building and is open for your morning coffee, brunch, and lunch and sweet treats.

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You can’t help be drawn to the stacks of cakes, pies, quiches and sandwiches on the counter as much as you try to resist – some of them brought in homemade from the owners’ kitchen. Then there are those giant bowls of salads… and the dishes they serve on the menu like scrambled egg and crispy bacon on Real Patiesserie chewy brown bread. OMG.

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Yep, guaranteed you’ll pretty much spend the entire time in Café Marmalade with your iPhone out, wondering what to snap next.

Find Cafe Marmalade at 237 Eastern Rd Brighton, BN2 5JJ.

2. Carlito Burrito #EclecticLocal

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If I’m in need of some mid-week fun and comfort food, or want somewhere to go for a celebration, I’ll haul my rumbling tummy and friends over to this cosy local Mexican street food dive restaurant, Carlito Burrito. Born on the festival circuit, they serve the best Mexican food this side of the Atlantic – in my humble opinion – all made from scratch with love in their tiny kitchen.

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Inside, you sit perusing the menu amid a rainbow-coloured treasure trove of Mexican curiosities and folk art and bright tablecloths – all highly Instagrammable – while cool Mexican music drifts from the stereo...

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Start with what they call an 'oyster shot' if you dare. It's self-explanatory: you shuck a super fresh Brighton oyster and wash it down with a pico de gallo and tequila shot to get you in the mood, followed quickly by a hibiscus margarita.

The burritos are bursting with filling and the fish tacos life-changing – I'll put bets on you’ll be dreaming of the food forever after. At least you can always live vicariously through other people's Instagram photos to get your next fix. 

Find Carlito Burrito at 12 York Place, Brighton BN1 4GU.

3) Riddle and Finns #NewYorkDateNight

If there’s a whiff of ‘New York’ about a restaurant, I’m there – before you are. This favourite Brighton champagne and oyster bar has all the New Yorkie jazz – red-tiled floors, white-tiled walls, high marble bar tables and the entire place is bathed in candlelight each night making it perfect for a special date night. I like to call a trip here 'date night in New York'. 

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A photo posted by Riddle&Finns In The Lanes (@riddlesinthelanes) on

I always crave the crab salad and can never resist the chips – crispy and thin, but haven't braved an oyster. Although this is why Instagram is amazing – it even has an oyster cynic like me actually wondering whether she’s missing out…

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Find Riddle and Finns at 12 Meeting House Lane, Brighton BN1 1HB.

4. Grow40 #WinePalace

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Anywhere with a ‘wine snug’ gets an Ellie & Co high five especially if it’s Instagrammable, which this one is. You’ll find it tucked upstairs at the back of a little restaurant called Grow40 in the bohemian North Laine and like it says, you have to be a member of the restaurant's wine club to step through the velvet curtain...

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Downstairs, the café-restaurant is full of cosy tables you don't have to be a member to enjoy. But where to sit? Outside on the patio for aperitivo and people watching, inside for a cocktail at sundown, counter seats for coffee and thinking time…? Too much choice. But this is where Instagram comes in handy – if like me, your restaurant experience hinges on finding that perfect table – not too much draft, not out on a limb in the middle, NOT facing the till… here’s a tip: use Instagram to choose!

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If you’re lucky, you might just get the one table on the rooftop amid the cafe's vegetable garden…

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All this talk of cosy tables I almost forgot about the food. The menu is quite small but made up for the fact it's highly Instagrammable. 

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Should you like to plan what to eat before turning up, here's a picture of the restaurant's signature dessert I found on Instagram – sweetcorn cake! As you might have thought, it's not a cake covered in yellow sweetcorn, but popcorn. Thank goodness for Instagram!

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And then there are all those wines to choose from...

Find Grow40 at 40 Kensington Gardens, Brighton BN1 4AL

5. The Paris House #SexyParisienneBar

You can just imagine Brigitte Bardot or some other Parisian bombshell in pedal pushers sauntering in to this cosy corner bar in Hove, smoking a cigarette, ordering a carafe of red wine. To be fair, if you hunt around the walls of the little snug room out the back, she's never far away – in fact, she's probably hanging out with all those other 60s Paris beats, Serge, Francoise et al. Yep, it's safe to say you're in good company on a night out at The Paris House. 

There's usually a gypsy jazz band skiffling away most nights, so while they do their thing, grab a cosy nook by the fire, one of those carafes I mentioned, perhaps a cheese platter if you're in for the long-haul (this bar is famous for them around town) and settle in for the perfect evening, Paris style. 

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Find The Paris House at 21 Western Road, Brighton BN3 1AF.

Follow @EllieAndCo.Inc on Instagram for more Brighton tips!


  1. Some great finds here! I would add Rock Ola to your list, I love their kitsch interior.

    1. Thanks Joanne. Good tip! Will do some investigating. The new Holy Phok place is a winner too.