Street Food in Brighton

I had originally intended to write up some thoughts on street food in Brighton before the August bank holiday and Street Diner extravaganza, but since I've been very slack on food writing here it is after some delay!

I've been in or around Brighton most of my adult life, growing up in the Sussex countryside and attending Sussex uni. One thing that seems obvious to me in the increase in quality street food, there have been some very good fine dining establishments but getting something like a decent burrito was difficult. For example this blog post from 2010 shows the scarcity of burritos in particular but a similar story was the case for other quality street food.

Luckily the past couple of years have seen two trends that have helped those in search of quality food on the move. The first is the rise of popularity of the Tex-Mex slow cooked street food, slow cooked meats and other American fast food such as burgers and hot dogs. The second are the street food markets like Street Feast in Dalston and the Street Diner closer to home in Brighton where you can sample these foods without having to run around town to find them.

In the past couple of years my Sunday brunch has consisted of either a fry up or Eggs Benny but today I had slow cooked British beef in Harvey's ale topped with a British raclette cheese from Spade and Spoon swiftly followed by a Honeycomb cakes "Chockwork Orange" brownie. (Although probably a bit rich for most Sundays! :-) The variety and quality of the food in this one small space is impressive. Moving the Street Diner from Brighthelm gives a bit more space and light to the proceedings, but not sure if it will be that much further to walk for the lunchtime crowd.

Reading the menu from Jamie Oliver's Diner I had been interesting in going there. The variety of food I like eating at the moment is well represented and easy to arrange a group of peeps with different tastes. However the reviews I've seen have highlighted the potential pitfall in such a range - poor focus an drop in quality in not doing one thing well. Luckily I think the guys developing in Brighton are growing more organically, trying and testing their offering. Indeed reading about the start of MEATliquor sounds a similar story to our own Troll's Pantry.

As an observer I think the state of the food ecosystem in Brighton is a fairly good state, we have the fine sit down establishments and food festivals that we've had for a while but now we have some quality "fast food" and a regular gathering to sample this. Also looking forward to finding out more about the community cafe that Seven Bees is talking about opening in Kemptown. Brighton folk, have we ever had it so good?


Places to try

There are so many, but here is my pick from the past couple of months: