5 Affordable Brighton Lunch Spots (& What I Order From Them!)

There’s nothing better than a Saturday lunchtime catch up over a glass of wine and some delicious food. It’s even better if it’s cheap, and better still if I have the option to stick to plan (or, you know, completely ignore it if I’m feeling that way inclined).

I’ve put together a list of my favourite Brighton lunch spots, tried and tested by yours truly – and my very discerning (and mostly drunk) friends. I’ve also included my menu choices, both for when I’m sticking to plan and when I’m definitely not, but they all have so many options that change regularly, so see for yourself when you get there!

In no particular order…

Pompoko, Church Street
Japanese cafe

A Brighton cult favourite, Pompoko is my number one place for quick and tasty Japanese food in the city. It feels slightly like dining in someone’s front room and the food is a bit rough and ready (think Wagamamas after a week long bender), but I’ve never been disappointed with anything on the menu, and you can fill up from as little as £5 for a main meal. It’s often busy and you may have to wait for a table, but it’s more than worth it – and as it’s Bring your own Booze for just £1 corkage, you can even treat yourself to a bottle of Aldi’s finest prosecco to go with it.

On plan: Chicken with honey ginger & soy, edamame beans & miso soup
Off plan: Breaded chicken curry, gyoza & tempura prawns

Caffe Aldo, Trafalgar Street
Italian restaurant

I walked past this little family owned Italian for years, until I randomly ended up there for a coffee one day. It doesn’t look like much from the outside which is why I never paid it much attention, but they offer beautiful food and lots of variety at amazing prices! The service is always fantastic and they are more than happy to change things on the menu for you, and – once again – it’s Bring your own Booze, which keeps costs down even further. With a super relaxed atmosphere that’s perfect for a chilled lunch with friends, it’s one of my favourite places to cure (or create) a hangover in Brighton!

On plan: Chicken & asparagus frittata
Off plan: 9 inch Surprise (lol) pizza

Milk No Sugar, Trafalgar Street
Vietnamese cafe

From the outside, Milk No Sugar looks like a super cute coffee shop, but you’d never guess that it’s actually the home of the most gorgeous Vietnamese street food as well. Until, of course, you get up close and the smell of the pho broth hits you. Vietnamese food is fresh and aromatic, sweet, sour, and a little bit spicy (though they will hold off on the spice if you want them to!). Their coffee menu is also delicious, and there’s always non-Vietnamese options and delicious cakes to sample if you fancy something different. The owner, Hugo, is beyond lovely, and it’s a sociable space where sharing tables is the norm – but also perfect for spending an afternoon working or studying. Pho is essentially lean meat and veggies cooked in a spiced broth, so aside from a little bit of oil, it’s brilliant if you’re following Slimming World!

On plan: Beef pho, vegetable summer rolls & diet coke
Off plan: Chicken banh mi & a beenut (honey & peanut) latte

Filfil, Gardener Street
Falafel cafe

Brighton is hardly short of amazing falafel cafes (We <3 Falafel is also UNREAL), but I can’t resist the beautiful mezze platters at Filfil. The falafel itself is flavoursome and perfectly crisp, and there are so many sides and salads and extras to choose from. Just look at that hummus! Oh, and did I mention they serve takeaway wine? Let’s be real, even my ‘on plan’ choice isn’t exactly Slimming World friendly because the falafel is deep fried, but it is SO incredibly worth it!

On plan: Bread-free falafel plate
Off plan: Medium falafel platter & a glass of white wine

Sabai, North Street
Thai gastrobar

I first visited Sabai on my first ever trip to Brighton with my Dad, when we came down for a university open day. We both love authentic Thai food, so we stopped here for lunch, and I’ve been coming ever since! The atmosphere is lovely, very calming, and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of central Brighton. I usually opt for the ‘afternoon special’, served from 12-5pm, which is very reasonable at £6.95, £9.95 or £11.95 for 1, 2 or 3 courses. They also have an award-winning cocktail menu which I have yet to try, but the Mekhong Mojito is calling my name! 

On plan: Chicken jungle curry (very spicy as there’s no coconut milk to cool it down!) & jasmine rice
Off plan: Vegetable tempura, red or green chicken curry & jasmine rice

What are your favourite places for lunch in Brighton, and what do you order there? Let me know in the comments!


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