I find lunch really annoying. Even though I “live to eat” rather than “eat to live”, I feel like weekday lunchtimes I’m only eating to get rid of the hunger. A lot of my choices are convenience: Marks and Spencer, Pret a Manger, but there are some nice places to grab a quick bite to eat at reasonable prices in the centre of Brighton.
What made me think of writing this post is that so often I ask my students where they went for lunch and they tell me they had burger and chips in McDonald’s or such like. My response is usually “That’s why you all complain about English food because you go to those types of places!”. You can get that in any city in any country in the world!! It really is something that bugs me, we have such a bad reputation for food and I’m quite tired of hearing it. I truly believe living in Brighton we have such great options, and independent places are really booming here.
I’m going to contradict myself here but hear me out please. Tortilla has long been a favourite of mine, it is a chain and could be considered “fast food”, but from my experience it feels healthier than your regular McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC. The reason I say it is because you can get a burrito for £5-6. It’s put together right in front of your eyes and it fills you up for ages. We do have other great options for Mexican in Brighton (La Choza on Western Road and one in the North Laines, and Halisco on Preston Street); however, as far as I know they don’t serve burritos to go as quickly as Tortilla does.
Greek to go
Greekatessen is a mobile van right outside H&M which has lots of lunch options such as Moussaka, spinach and feta filo pie and Gyros with chips. They’re always very friendly and seem to know their stuff. I’m not saying it’s the best Greek you’ll ever have as again we have some fantastic restaurants in Brighton; Archipelagos on Western Road being one of them. However, it’s worth a try for a quick lunch.
Noodles and Dumplings
Pompoko is not fancy in any way, it offers tasty, quick dishes for a relatively low price: it’s around £5 for a noodle or rice dish and around £3 for some dumplings or spring rolls. They have a few tables inside and outside but you can get takeaway too and eat it in the nearby Pavilion Gardens.
The Street Diner at the Brighthelm Gardens on the corner of Queens Road and Church Street opens on Friday lunchtimes only (11-3). It only started this Summer but has become very popular with workers from the surrounding area. I’ve only been a couple of times so far but will certainly be visiting again. Some of the vendors are there every week and others change, which keeps it exciting. They have such a eclectic mix from Paella to Baos (Filled steamed buns). So far I’ve tried Vietnamese rice noodles with lemongrass chicken, pickled veg, peanuts and finished off with Sriracha sauce.
Not a sandwich in sight! 😉