It’s said that breakfast is the day’s most important meal, and that edict’s never truer than when you’re being battered on all sides by a day-altering hangover. That breakfast is the jump-off point: it gives you something with which to face the world. It’s an equalizer. Without it you’ll just retreat further into foetus, stinking of last night’s Woo Woos and bemoaning the glory years of Saturday Kitchen.
Brighton is a brilliant place to get yourself a hangover so it stands to reason that it does a good breakfast. And it does. This week its establishments will be busier than ever, as half of London’s music crowd descend for the new music showcase (read: three day carve-up) that is The Great Escape. Of course, as befitting any British town there are some truly awful places to eat, which rather depressingly tend to be the busiest. So to help you wade through the dross and get yourself back on the road to ruin, here’s the best places around.
If you really, really like hash browns - Billie’s
The word ‘legendary’ is far too easily bandied around, but in Billie’s case it is richly-deserved acclaim. A part of the city’s breakfast scene for over thirty years, it’s renowned from Rottingdean to Portslade for its mountainous hashes and pound for pound it’s the best value breakfast in the city. Hash specialities include the Egg Swiss (three poached eggs covered with grilled cheese) and the Ranchero (homemade salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cheese). Word of warning: there’s literally six tables and stays pretty busy until it shuts at 16.00, so you might find yourself queueing with the locals. It’s worth it though. You’ll also need to factor in an hour to lie down after.
If you’ve got a dog- Kiki’s Kitchen
If you’re coming down to The Great Escape you probably aren’t bringing a dog. However, spend half a day in the city and you’ll realise every flannel-wearing, post-hipster beardy sap in the city has got one. Including me. Kiki’s Kitchen is up towards Hove and makes a big deal of its dog-friendly credentials, so the ball-of-fluff of your eye will be showered with treats and attention whilst you crack on with one of their mega breakfasts. Much of their food has an Asian influence, and the couch in front of their open bay doors is the perfect place to spend a couple hours gibbering hungover-drunk nonsense.
If you want to go veggie- Iydea
It’s 2016. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to get a vegetarian breakfast, and Iydea in Kensington Gardens serves up some mean smashed avos. It’s been open for over a decade, and has been a pillar of the city’s thriving vegetarian and vegan scene. It’s dictum is ‘fast food done well’, so it’s perfect if you’ve only got half an hour before your first band is about to start. The White Rabbit’s sprawling outdoor benches are opposite too, so you can roll back the hours and get some beers in
If you want the best - V and H
This place is actually next door to Kiki’s Pantry, and I’m going to tie my balls to the culinary wall and say they do the best in the city. It’s not that they’re necessarily doing anything hugely revolutionary - eggs in all their forms, home made baked beans, cakes so good they could change the weather - but all the food is delivered with a deftness of touch and attention to detail I’ve not found elsewhere. The decor is very airy, white, serene, almost spa-like: just walking in there will make you feel better about that the rounds of Tuacas you were buying for BIMM students at 3am this morning. The food is made in-house or using local and ethically-sourced food, so you can eat your favorite piggy product without guilt.
I went there and ate this. Look at it. You'd go to war for a breakfast that good.
For the sea view- Lucky Beach
Lucky Beach is a ten minute walk up the seafront from Palace Pier, and most renowned for its burgers that have won a plethora of awards. However, locals love it for its brunches that they serve unto 11.45. If it’s sunny and the beach is your thing, it’s arguable whether there’s a better spot to get yourself back to festival basecamp. Get down there early doors on a weekend, and you might some the bug-eyed ravers sloping out of the seafront clubs on their way to an after party. Give them a wave: they’ll always wave back.
And to avoid like the plague - Buddies
Buddies has a USP and that USP is that it's open 24 hours a day. Sadly the food is totally shit and does not make up for the fact you can get a 5am Full English.
On sunny days you'll people swarming to its outdoor terrace, thinking they're about to get a taste of al fresco dining at its finest, only to be slowly overcome by a creeping sense of dread as they consume a plate of chips with the consistency of an old wet tie. Please God, avoid.
The Great Escape is happening this weekend in Brighton. Check out the website and follow them on Twitter for all the updates
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