Ideal for the best pizza and pasta in Brighton.
Sure, fish’n’chips on the pebbles, perhaps with a plastic pint in hand, is a great way to spend an afternoon in the quintessential British seaside town of Brighton. And yep, poking around in a polystyrene tub trying to spear that last pickled cockle…we love it just as much as you do.
But variety is the spice of life, and sometimes it’s nice to perch your bum on a proper seat or stool, clink a glass of wine and enjoy something a little more hearty and warming. If you’re craving Italian today, you only need to step inland just a little, and there’s heaps of the good stuff. Here’s where to eat Italian food in Brighton; the best Italian restaurants in Brighton, IDEAL for the best pizza and pasta in Brighton.
Though the trend for daily, freshly made pasta with refined but generous sauces has taken over London completely, it’s yet to permeate the UK’s other foodie cities in quite the same way. Brighton, though, is rightly proud of Cin Cin, the premier purveyors of the good stuff here, and a more than capable match for any of London’s top pasta slingers.
Take your pick from the original location in the North Laines, on Vine Street, or the newer, larger branch on Western Road, Hove. Either way, expect some of the finest bowls of pasta you’re likely to find outside of Italy, alongside some excellent housemade charcuterie, gorgeous desserts and the odd creative starter, too. The Hove branch even boasts a grill for a couple of larger plates in the evening. On our last visit, of which there have been many, a ragu of lamb sweetbreads with rigatoni was sublime.
FATTO E MANO
Five years after the original Fatto e Mano opened on Brighton’s London Road, two more outposts have opened (one in Hove and one in the city’s North Laines) and world domination seems the only next logical step.
Each restaurant is packed every day of the week and it’s easy to see why. The pizzas are as authentic as they come; wood fired quickly, so the cheese remains delicate rather than singed, the dough soft and pillowy not burnt and crispy, with a blistered crust and restrained, respectful toppings, true to the Italian tradition. The name translates as ‘handmade’ in Italian, and that’s certainly the vibe here; everything is made from scratch and with love, and it shows. It’s great value, too, with no dish over a tenner.
Even if pizza isn’t your thing (how have you got this far into the article, by the way?), Fatto e Mano has some excellent starters and sides to see you well fed; their aubergine parmigiana, in particular, is ace.
As of 11th May 2020, Fatto e Mano are offering delivery all over Brighton and Hove. The pizza delivery game in the city just got kicked up a notch!
The new kid on the block, on a street of already fine places to eat, is already making big noises in the city. Yep, though Nanninella has only been open on Preston Street for a few months, they’ve already gained a sterling reputation for fantastic pizzas, blistered, burnished, and traditional, just as it should be. In fact, their primary product is so good, our only complaint is that they don’t deliver.* Nor is there even a menu online. Word of mouth it is, then.
Not to worry, the vibe inside, all brightly coloured tiles and a view into the hot glow of the pizza oven, frames a hospitable, enjoyable place to spend time. What’s more, the staff are lovely. Our favourite pizza here – and in the whole of Brighton, in fact – is the provola e pepe, which uses smoked mozzarella and freshly ground black pepper to great effect. Any pizza featuring their fresh burrata is equally wonderful. Already our favourite pizza restaurant in Brighton.
*As of 12th June 2020, Naninella are now offering home delivery via their website. Result!*
Though there have been recent closures, the hugely influential Venetian-style restaurant Polpo still has an outpost in Brighton, now the only one outside of London. And long may it continue; housed on New Road just off the famous Brighton Pavillion, behind the obligatory curtain, this is a gorgeous place to enjoy inventive, interesting small plates and some great wine.
Focus your order on the Cicheti (snacks), Crostini and Pizzetti sections of the menu and you can’t go wrong; the latter are mini pizzas beloved of the Venice backstreets, and are delicious. And from the snacks section, the stuffed fried olives, beef and pork polpetta (a meatball with tomato sauce) and mushroom arancini are all fantastic.
Just beyond Hove Lawns and right on the oceanfront along the gorgeous Kingsway promenade is Marrocco’s, an Brighton and Hove institution. It’s pretty old school looking from the front, with Tricolore themed signage and a few al fresco seats. Opened since 1969, it feels as though nothing has changed since, and that’s all part of the charm.
Though the menu includes a Norwegian breakfast, burgers, and fish and chips amongst other globe-trotting delicacies and alongside seafood pasta and pizza, we’re here for the superb, daily changing selection of gelato, which is some of the best in the city. Though the word ‘legendary’ is thrown about on menus a little too liberally these days, their ice cream sundaes are genuinely worthy of the acclaim. Proper old school Italian at its best, this.