Today I wanted to share with you my guide to areas in Brighton for shopping like a local. I’ve already written about my favourite independent shops, the coolest vintage boutiques, and this incredible chocolate shop. I thought it would be useful to talk about shopping in Brighton by neighbourhood, in case you find yourself staying in one and need inspiration.
Just a heads up: This guide won’t direct you to shopping centres filled with all the usual chain shops you’d find in any other British town or city in the UK. Instead, it focuses on five local areas and their unique and interesting shops. I’ve also created a map for each neighbourhood showing all the places I talk about marked using a green heart icon in the hope you’ll spot them more easily. Let’s go!
Shopping in Brighton LIKE A LOCAL
Seven Dials Shopping
Hidden behind Brighton train station is the beautiful neighbourhood of Seven Dials, one of my favourite in the city. It attracts well-heeled residents and is popular with everyone – families, couples, individuals, hipsters, not-so-hipsters, alike – due to its location close to the station, centre and sea, but still far enough away to give respite. I like it mostly for its beautiful architecture and it’s my favourite neighbourhood for a weekend stroll for this reason, its pretty streets hiding some of the most beautiful homes in Brighton. It’s not surprising several cool independent shops have popped up, not to mention cafes, bars and restaurants.
Shops not to miss: Hi Cacti plant shop, Kate Langdale Florist, Little Mustard Shop, Salvage and Sawdust vintage clothing, Seven Cellars bottle shop, Tinkers hardware, Treasure and Trash tiny antique furniture shop.
Stop for a bite at: L’atelier du Vin, Hellenic Bakery (indulgent baklava and biscuits), Latina Brighton (Portuguese cafe/ deli), Murasaki (Japanese), Puck Coffee (best coffee in Brighton, they also sell records and bratwurst!), Red Snapper (Thai), Thai Pad Thai, The Crescent pub (lovey hidden neighbourhood local pub with a shady paved terrace out the back).
Fiveways/Preston Park shopping
This unpretentious, leafy area of Brighton is located about a 30-minute walk north out of the centre of Brighton which makes it a peaceful escape hatch. It has a friendly down-to-earth atmosphere and streets lined with Victorian terraced houses. Although on first glance it looks thin on amenities, you can actually get most essentials in the area, meaning you can avoid going into town if you’re not in the mood.
Shops not to miss: Hollingdean Wholefoods (hidden inside a hidden art gallery), In Hand, artist Amy Isle Freeman’s studio and shop, Preloved of Brighton vintage boutique, Quaff independent off licence, Savery Books (great community second-hand book shop), Store plastic-free shop for refills, Wigwam Toys.
Stop for a bite at: Bendito Maiz (incredible Mexican vegan taco place hidden inside this hidden art gallery I mentioned above), Florence Road Cafe (inside One Church Thursday and Friday), Preston Park Tavern, Raven’s Bakery (great bread and pastry for cheap), Rustico (pizza), my favourite chip shop, Tilt Coffee Shop and Kitchen.
Treasures to discover in the area: Blakers Park, Brighton’s mysterious hidden waterfall, Coachwerks Art Gallery, Duke of York’s Cinema (the oldest cinema in the country), Florence Road Market (every Saturday 9.30-1.30 outside One Church), this hidden walk around Fiveways/Preston Park, my hidden Brighton garden complete with miniature Victorian pet cemetery, Preston Park.
Open Market Shopping
Where Brighton’s Open Market lacks in attractiveness, charm and atmosphere, it wins in community spirit for the variety of local small businesses under the one roof. From rare books, local honey, and haberdashery to herbal medicine, vintage finds and laptop repairs. Brighton local radio station, Radio Reverb, also has its home here. Foodwise, it’s a global feast, with outlets selling everything from Korean and Mexican to Greek and earthy vegetarian. It’s incredible! It’s located not far from the Round Hill conservation area, a residential neighbourhood with an urban feel not far from the centre of Brighton.
Treasures to discover in the area: Bardsley’s Fish and Chips (I talk about here), Duke of York’s Cinema (the oldest cinema in the country), Florence Road Market (every Saturday 9.30-1.30 outside One Church), a hidden walk around this colourful neighbourhood nearby, the Garden House (market garden turned gardening school), Semolina Restaurant (I talk about here).
Kemp Town Village Shopping
Kemp Town is an energetic colourful suburb not far from the Stein area of Brighton with most of the action set along and off St James’s Street, which gets crazy. If you walk further east, however, you’ll find a more peaceful part of town people have started calling Kemp Town Village, for its community atmosphere. It centres along St George’s Road where you’ll find a great selection of independent shops, not a chain in sight (except Boots), including a thriving local bookshop. Once you’re done, you’re in the right place for a sundowner at my secret Brighton beach club.
Stop for a bite at: Black Dove pub (doesn’t do food but does great cocktails), Cafe Rust, Ground Kemptown, Necot Coffee House, Open Bakery, Portland, Pizza Face (take-away), Suriya’s Thai Kitchen (take-away).
This shopping area around Church Road area of central Hove feels spacious, is a great option if you want to duck off to the beach afterwards. The street feels lively but still has a slower pace than in the crazy centre of Brighton and along Western Road not too far away.
Stop for a bite at: Botanique (special occasion vegan place serving beautiful vegan food that actually fills you up and tastes incredible), Cafe and Salvage (cafe in which everything is for sale including the furniture!), Cases Wine Bar, Cin Cin (Italian tapas), Market (Spanish tapas), Morelli Zorelli (pizza), Real Patisserie, Unithai, Wild Flor (modern European).