Thursday, 19 January 2017

Date Night in Brighton: 9 Tiny Romantic Restaurants

Generally speaking, when it comes to date night dinners, teeny tiny restaurants have the most romantic charm. Obviously the food has to be spot on, too, and although Brighton is
packed with great little restaurants, there are plenty of NOT so good, not so romantic ones. So, to make sure you have one of those fantastic, giddy, date night dinners you’ll remember for years, today I’d like to share nine tiny romantic restaurants in Brighton the Ellie & Co team have tested and we know you'll enjoy.

1) Riddle and Finns in the Lanes. This champagne and oyster bar reminds me of a New York restaurant with its understated sophisticated decor. At night it's bathed in candlelight and has just the right balance of being relaxed, yet lively. If like me you're not not the biggest fan of crustacea, there's so much more on the menu, like delicious light salads and fish dishes and most importantly, champagne.

2. Semolina Bistro. This postage-sized independent restaurant is one of those perfect local places every neighbourhood needs. It works for mid-week catch up date dinners or long, laid-back romantic weekend date nights. Orson and Linda, the owners, really know how to make people feel welcome, so you can’t help but relax. The food is fresh and light and beautifully presented, the wine crisp and cool, the cocktails delicious. Finish up with one of their signature Brighton coffees, a comforting, heady mix of coffee, cream and Tuaca, a deliciously sweet butterscotchy liqueur. Yum.

3. Mediterraneo Deli. This teeny tiny local husband-and-wife owned Sicilian restaurant is absolutely magical. It has one of the coziest, quirkiest dining rooms in Brighton, speckled with candlelight. As soon as you walk in, you feel transported, the stress melt off, as you take a seat, order the Parmigiana de Milaneze and reeeeee-lax. Dan and I have had some of the loveliest dates here and it’s a great place for a group, too. (Insider tip: this place is popular and it’s only open for dinner at the weekend so make sure you get in early.)

4. Carlito Burrito. You can easily lose yourself and feel like the only couple in the room on a busy night at this colourful and off-beat hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant. Sip a delicious hibiscus margarita, while you gaze into each other’s eyes – or at the amazing array of Mexican curios all over the walls (highly Instagrammable!). Foodwise, it serves the most AMAZING fish tacos and the best pulled pork burritos in the whole country; if not the world (in my humble opinion). True story: One night, the man next to us ordered a burrito for dinner – and another one for dessert! They’re pretty filling, not sure how he did it. Personally I like to leave room for churros. 

5. Isaac AT serves exciting tasting menus (great for indecisive people like me) in an elegant little dining room in the North Laine. The food is a delight; every bite a taste explosion of carefully put together delicate flavours. Not only that, you get to watch Isaac and his team create your dishes from scratch in the open kitchen, before they serve it to you personally and talk you through what’s in it – nice touch. It’s like you’re in their house! We went here to celebrate Dan’s birthday once and it was perfect.

6. Solera de Tapas. Being in this tiny tapas restaurant in the heart of the North Laine area of Brighton makes you feel like you’ve been transported to south-west Spain. Just looking at the menu you’ll understand why. The dishes are delicious and authentic, the vibe rustic and cosy, and the service great.

7. 64 Degrees. This little place caused a stir around Brighton when it first opened and is consistently popular. It’s all about creative small plates, which are so pretty and intricate they’re a good talking point! Don’t worry – they’re not so small you leave hungrier than when you arrived, and end up scoffing a burger on the way home. You can order up a few dishes, and go back for more. I love sitting at the counter, ordering a wine and watching the chefs at work, carefully preparing their dishes which look like works of art.

8. The Gingerman. Set close to a little square just up from Brighton seafront, this special place is a great option for one of those splurgy romantic occasions. It serves modern European full-flavoured food (think: venison with croquette, parsley puree, celeriac fondants, calvero nero, blackberry and cocoa oil), or if you want, there are two- and three-course menus. Request a table away from the door, order a not-too-expensive bottle of wine, and enjoy!

9. Little Fish Market. Everything is cosy at this great miniature fish restaurant tucked around the backstreets of Hove – from the enticing shopfront, to the relaxing d├ęcor. They serve a five-course tasting menu of pretty dishes made with the freshest fish which makes for a homely relaxing date night.

So there you have it! So I’d love to know, what are your favourite restaurant for date night in Brighton, or where you live? 

Pssst!  Brighton's most instagrammable restaurants and the tiniest plant shop in Brighton is hiding in a vintage clothes shop.


  1. I need to try them all!

  2. Subway tiles and candles, yes!

  3. Ooh, I must make a note to have a read. I have friends that have a flat in Brighton!

  4. Thanks for including us in your round up, Ellie. Duncan.

  5. My wife and I love shopping in North Laine! The tapas restaurant, Solera de Tapas, sounds like it would be perfect to visit. We went to Spain on our last holiday and fell positively in love with the cuisine there. I would be excited to try out the restaurant's tapas version of Spain's authentic style.

    1. Hey Grover - I'm so sorry I only just noticed your comment! I can vouch for the food in Solera de Tapas having spent a lot of time in SW Spain. I hope you enjoy it!