Independent Cafes | Brighton & Hove

We see coffee a part of our culture and everyday life. It’s not just a beverage, but a social ritual. People come together over coffee.” WOLFØX

Brighton & Hove is a flourishing hub of coffee culture. There are so many independent cafes to explore to find your favourite caffeinated beverage. New places are popping up all the time and some of the seafront town’s favourite places have expanded their concepts offering more opportunities to visit at new locations.

Here’s a roundup of some great places to grab a coffee and a bite to eat in the local area (in alphabetical order rather than preference).


Coffee – 3/5 Instagrammable factor – 2/5

Great location, seasonal menu and good coffee. Grab an outside seat at Baked and enjoy the popular breakfast offerings alfresco. Treat yourself to a simple toasted tea cake or a more elaborate full house fry up. Other options include eggs benedict, meat hash, chorizo or feta eggs, pancakes and veggie and vegan full house breakfast options.

Soups, sandwiches and toasties are also on the menu. Coffee is provided by Small Batch roastery. Smoothies, fresh juices and a range of alcoholic beverages are also available.

Baked, 69 Church Road, Hove BN3 2BB

Cafe Coho

Coffee – 4.5/5 Instagrammable factor – 3/5

As a homegrown independent espresso bar and cafe, Cafe Coho is a must visit for local residents and visiting coffee lovers. The coffee served here is the closest match to my favourite brew in the UAE (LOCAL in Abu Dhabi). Great blends and a good selection of sweet and savoury food with lots of choice for vegetarians, vegans and gluten free diners too.

There’s a few tables and window seats in front of the coffee bar alongside other indoor seating areas plus an outside space on the corner of Ship Street. Coffee is sourced from smallholder farmers in Rwanda, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Try the homemade cakes and sandwiches.

Café Coho, 53 Ship Street, Brighton. BN1 1AF – check out the other locations HERE

Cafe Marmalade 

Coffee – 3/5 Instagrammable factor – 4/5 

The much instagrammed cafe of local vloggers and bloggers, Cafe Marmalade is a rustic shabby chic space with a great menu. Indulge in childhood favourites at this converted dairy such as bacon butties and cheesy beans on toast. Choose from freshly made sandwiches and toasties, sausage rolls, pastries, salads and quiches as well as baked goods and breakfast served all day. The Italian coffee is good but the food and decor steal the limelight here. Love the menus written on brown paper hung on the walls. Definitely worth the trek over to Kemp Town.

Cafe Marmalade, 237 Eastern Road, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 5JJ. 

Due to Covid 19 restrictions Cafe Marmalade is currently closed for dine-in but The Store opposite is open for takeaways.

Gail’s Bakery 

Coffee – 4/5 Instagrammable factor – 3/5 

The well known London artisan bakery has a cafe in Hove and a second branch in Brighton’s North Laines. Gail’s Bakery serves speciality coffee and a range of delicious, fresh loaves baked in store daily, it’s definitely the spot to pick up your sourdough bread. Open from 7am – 7pm it’s great for a lazy, indulgent breakfast. grab a juice and lunch on the go but also just lovely for that afternoon cuppa accompanied by one of their scrummy cakes, scones, buns and tarts. Thoroughly recommend their giant cheese straw too. 

Gail’s Bakery, 157 Church Road, Hove. BN3 2AD and 93 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YE

Nowhere Man 

Coffee – 3/5 Instagrammable factor – 4/5 

This niche little cafe tucked away on Upper North Street, Brighton is worth seeking out if you like pancakes and bagels. Nowhere Man is a cool concept with a retro feel, it’s all about old school vinyl and chilled vibes. The coffee was ok but the pancakes were divine (vegan and gluten free options available too).

We sat in the colourful courtyard garden where service was a bit slow as we were forgotten but it was worth the wait. Stacks of fluffy pancakes can be ordered in various sizes topped with sweet or savoury options and there’s a selection of bagels and sandwiches too. 

Nowhere Man, 53 Upper North St, Brighton, BN1 3FH 

Redroaster Café 

Coffee – 4/5 Instagrammable factor – 4.5/5 

This chic coffee house is located in Brighton at the bottom of St James Street. Redroaster Cafe is a modern, light filled space teaming with design features and plenty of botanicals. The ethically sourced, hand-roasted coffee (beans are available to buy and for delivery) is served alongside breakfast, daily lunch and a very popular weekend bottomless brunch

At night, the chefs of Lucky Khao take over offering Northern Thai BBQ flavours with a menu that uses local sustainable ingredients and a happy hour drinks such as nitro cocktails

Redroaster/Lucky Khao, 1d St James’s Street, Kemptown, Brighton.

Small Batch Coffee Roasters 

Coffee – 3.5/5 Instagrammable factor – 3/5 

Small Batch is a locally owned independent coffee roastery who roast their sustainable coffee at Goldstone Villas, Hove. There are seven locations across Brighton and Hove (and one in Worthing), my nearest and once favourite branch is situated in a converted old Barclays Bank (with a coffee lab and bathrooms in the old vault) in Seven Dials. Don’t expect a warm and friendly welcome here as the staff are grumpy, try the Norfolk Square location who are the complete opposite! 

The smaller Hove branch is also cute and perfectly positioned on the way down to the seafront. Other branches can be found outside Hove station and adjacent to MyHotel in Jubilee Street, Brighton. Food options are limited but rumour has it their marmite & cheese straws are the best, I couldn’t get my hands on one despite a valiant effort.

Small Batch Coffee Roasters, 108a Dyke Road, Seven Dials, BN1 3TE and 67C Church Road, Hove, BN3 2BD (click HERE for all the locations) 

The Flour Pot Bakery 

Coffee – 3/5 Instagrammable factor – 2/5 

The Flour Pot Bakery is an artisanal bakery and cafe that offers good coffee and a fantastic range of handmade freshly cooked and baked sweet and savoury delights. Definitely try the banana bread. There are various venues but sadly I only visited once this summer (First Avenue branch) as sadly I found the space to be dirty and not up to its usual standards. This experience put me off going again and with so many other options available there was really no need.

Try the coffee for yourself, sample some baked goods and grab a loaf to take home. Click HERE for the seven locations in Brighton & Hove.

The Queensbury Coffee House 

Coffee – 4/5 Instagrammable factor – 2/5 

Some may say it’s a controversial addition to the list but the coffee was so good I couldn’t miss it off. The Queensbury Coffee House is not your standard trendy coffee shop like most in this list but instead it’s housed on the upper floor of the Barker and Stonehouse furniture store on the Old Shoreham Road in Hove. 

We stumbled upon it after being in the area and went back twice more. It’s certainly not your average coffee shop due to it’s more ambiguous location but if you find yourself in that part of Hove, pop in. Speciality coffee, delicious vegan sweet treats (try the millionaire shortbread) and a whole host of freshly made sandwiches.

The Queensbury Coffee Shop, Barker and Stonehouse, 184-186 Old Shoreham Rd, Hove, BN3 7EX

Trading Post Coffee Roasters

Coffee – 4/5 Instagrammable factor – ⅘

You can’t be in Brighton and not visit Trading Post Coffee Roasters. Alongside their delicious freshly roasted coffee is a great organic food menu packed with locally sourced ingredients. The cheese and marmite Welsh rarebit is a winner and they make the best grilled cheese sandwich in town. Lots of delicious breakfast options here too and a cheese & marmite flavoured sausage roll that was devoured by my meat eating companion The artisan coffee roastery offers you a choice of in-house blends when you order. 

The Ship Street location is a mecca for digital nomads and students, the upper floor is jam packed with people on laptops all hours of the day. The large outside area is the best option, weather permitting. I have probably visited this cafe the most frequently because of the great food selection, be warned though it’s packed on weekends so expect to wait a while for your breakfast order. Food to order is only available until 3:30pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends. You can also grab an alcoholic here. 

Trading Post Coffee Roasters, 36 Ship Street, Brighton. BN1 1AB – check out the other locations HERE

WOLFØX Organic Coffee Roasters

Coffee – 4/5 Instagrammable factor – 4.5/5

Wolfox is a multifaceted brand offering different concepts throughout Brighton & Hove. My favourite, WOLFØX Chapters, is a cool space in Brighton’s Preston street where they serve their delicious coffee with healthy brunch offerings as well as lunch and dinner options. The weekend bottomless brunch is definitely a popular option. 

BRØD+WOLF Bakery on Western Road is a dark little space attached to SIX restaurant. The cafe offers a selection of artisan baked goods and vegan treats alongside a wide choice of specialty coffee. Grab an outside table and sip your coffee with a side of people watching. Beware though asking for a regular dairy milk in your coffee makes you feel uncultured, it’s definitely a place for nut milk junkies.

WOLFØX Chapters, 27 Preston Street, Brighton. BRØD+WOLF Bakery, 106 Western Road, Hove – see other locations HERE 

Further afield……..

Flint Owl Bakery (Lewes) 

Coffee – 3.5/5 Instagrammable factor – 3/5  

It’s hard to choose what to eat amongst all the handcrafted and organic pastries and delicious cakes at Flint Owl Bakery that are freshly baked daily. Grab your speciality coffee or tea of choice and slot into the bijou restaurant or outside in the pretty walled garden. Plenty of lunch options too like their homemade quiches, sausage rolls and salads. Don’t forget to buy a tasty sourdough loaf to take home.

Flint Owl Bakery, 209 High St, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2DL

Marram Trading (Hurstpierpoint)  

Coffee – 3.5/5 Instagrammable factor – 3.5/5 

Nestled on the high street in the village of Hurstpierpoint, Marram Trading* is a lifestyle concept store and coffee house named after the marram grass that grows along the coastline in the sand dunes. Good coffee and sweet treats.

*Marram Trading was forced the close the cafe/shop but all the concept store is now online and hopefully the cafe will be up and running again soon.

Marram Trading, 113 High Street, Hurstpierpoint, England. BN6 9PU

The Green Welly Cafe (Ditchling) 

Coffee – 3/5 Instagrammable factor – 3/5 

Located in the heart of Ditchling Village, The Green Welly Cafe is a super cute space with a walled garden for alfresco dining. Home baked cakes served with a selection of coffee or one of our many varieties of tea or cold drinks. Or why not indulge in a glass of chilled Prosecco, wine, cider or beer. 

The Green Welly Cafe, 1 High Street, Ditchling, East Sussex, BN6 8SY

Read more about Brighton & Hove in previous posts HERE

I visited all these venues and all the views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2019/2020. All rights reserved. Additional photos used with courtesy of the respective venues.

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