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  • Writer's pictureSHOOTLAB

TOP 10 places to Eat & Drink in Lewes 2023

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

We are Shootlab Content Creators based in Lewes, the town where we live and work. We love Lewes, so we thought we would share with you some of the best places to eat and drink in 2023! People often ask us, "What are the best Lewes pubs for food?" or "What is there to do at night in Lewes?" If you're looking for a great dining and drinking experience, our guide offers a selection of the best restaurants in Lewes and best pubs. Some of the town's top choices include The Depot Lewes, Vegu Lewes, Pestle and Mortar, and Bun and Bean. For a more traditional Lewes pub experience, try The Swan Lewes or The Snowdrop Inn. Both are fab! If you're looking for something a bit more unusual, check out Abyss Brewery and Beak Brewery. Read our Blog to find out more about the best bars and restaurants in Lewes.

ABOUT: ABYSS Brewery Lewes is a brewery situated on an industrial estate in Lewes town. The building itself is an old Maltings Warehouse, so has lots of brewing heritage. It has been brought it up to date, by the installation of a modernist cube at one end, which serves as the bar, tap wall and office/function room. The spacious seating area can comfortably accommodate large groups both indoors and outdoors. The taproom is a little off the beaten track, but like Beak brewery up the road (and countless others), they prove that fans are more than happy to go the distance to find great beer. ABYSS Brewery is a great new addition to the brewing heritage of Lewes!

DRINK: ABYSS brewery produces high-quality beers, the perfect choice for those who enjoy delicious, premium-quality beer and want to try a beer from one of the celebrated Sussex breweries. ABYSS beers are available in a variety of styles which include the revered Abyss Pale Ale, dark ales, stouts, and lagers. Fans of ABYSS beer can drink their way through 10 taps of their beers plus there are loads more options in the fridges including some excellent Bavarian options. Fitting with the style of the bar, there’s also a cocktail menu on offer, which rotates and aims to feature spirits sourced from local suppliers. Our favourite pale is the Abyss Just an Illusion DDH Pale 5.2% - other beers include SMOD/Saint Mars of the Desert with SALT Brewing, ATOM beers, Arundel Brewery, and PLAY Brew Co

EAT: ABYSS Menu - onsite Mexican Street Food Kitchen, curated by Carlito Burrito featuring unique ABYSS-inspired Mexican dishes.

ABOUT VEGU LEWES: Vegu Lewes, it's great to see a fully Vegan Korean café serving delicious dishes and drinks ☕ bubble tea, coffee, buns, and more, for all vegans who love Korean Cuisine. At SHOOTLAB we are all Vegans, so Vegu Lewes is an awesome addition to the town's eateries and one of 'best places to eat Lewes' Currently, it is only open during the day 8.30-5 pm. I'm sure lots of people in the area will be excited to try it out! (Cafe Vegu is definitely our favourite Vegan restaurant in Sussex)

 Korean vegan Corn Dog with Kimchi topping vegan hot dogs on plate in cafe, light wood table, grey brick in background
Korean Vegan Corn Dogs with Kimchi topping 'Vegan Hot Dogs' Photography by ©shootlab

EAT: Vegu Lewes offers Korean Dishes, which include, Vegan Dumpling soup, Red bean bread, Jjajangbab, Korean Black Bean Rice, Soondubu Jjigae (Korean Soft Tofu Stew), and Kimbap, Black Sesame Bun. If you're looking for a delicious vegan version of the classic corn dog, then I recommend you try the Korean vegan corn dogs with kimchi topping! Believe us when we say, they are super tasty. One of the best places to eat in Lewes 😋

DRINK: At Vegu, they have all the standard teas and coffees, plus they offer Bubble Tea and Black Sesame Latte. We think their Black Sesame Latte is the best coffee in town ☕️ - it's creamy and delicious with a hint of nuttiness! So make sure to give it a try the next time you're in Lewes town.

A charming brick building with a white facade and black trim sits on the corner of a bustling street. The building is a pub, and features a prominent sign above the entrance that reads "Swan Inn." A smaller chalkboard sign is on the side of the building, advertising specials or upcoming events. In front of the building, a well-worn sidewalk leads to a door with an archway and a window to its right. The inn is surrounded by other buildings, including a house with a chimney on top. Overall, this image portrays the lively atmosphere of an urban street corner, complete with various businesses and historic architecture
One of the most loved best pubs in Lewes - The Swan, Lewes

ABOUT: Question, how many pubs are there in Lewes? Lewes has 17 pubs, not bad for a town of this size. So how do you choose the best pub to go to for a drink in Lewes? Well, let's start with The Swan Lewes, a much-loved pub known for its music policy and ambiance. The pub is a traditional, old-fashioned two bar public house. The Swan Inn on Southover High Street. This quintessential English pub exudes old-world charm with its exposed wood beams, cozy fireplaces, and worn oak furniture. But it's not just looks - The Swan serves up excellent British fare like fish & chips, bangers and mash, and their Sunday roasts with meat from local Holmansbridge Farm are sublime. Enjoy a pint from their great selection of local ales in the garden, perfect on a sunny day. With friendly staff, They have a vinyl-only music policy, ensuring that you get to listen to classic albums, rock, Jazz soul, and funk whilst hanging out with friends. They also have weekly DJ nights, and a relaxed vibe, it's no wonder The Swan Inn is considered a Lewes institution after 400 years in business. This is one of the best pubs in Lewes and the perfect place to enjoy a pint or two after a long day of exploring the beautiful Sussex countryside surrounding Lewes.

DRINK: The pub offers a variety of traditional well-kept ales, beers, ciders, and wines.🍺🍷

EAT: The Swan Inn menu - the pub serves classic English pub dishes, sandwiches and burgers. All of their meat is free range, and the eggs are sourced locally. Definitely one of the best pubs in Lewes for food and music.

ABOUT: Beak Brewery is a trendy independent brewery based on an industrial Estate on the edge of Lewes town centre. (A 20 minute walk from Lewes train station) Great beers, great location and great food! Beak has an outside covered seating area and is a fab outdoor space for a warm evening with amazing views looking straight up at the chalk cliffs of the downs! 

woman walking through brewery bar space, she is wearing white T-shirt with illustration of man reading a book and holding a large yellow beer bottle, the woman is walking towards a open doorway to deliver drinks to customers
Beak Brewery | Craft Brewery and Taproom interior

DRINK: Beak Brewery produces everything from hop-forward IPAs, best bitters to Saisons and Imperial Stouts. Their core range includes Pale Ales, IPAs, Stouts, and Porters, all of which are available in cask, keg, and bottle. We would personally recommend their Parade 6% IPA, a firm favorite here at Shootlab. They also brew a range of seasonal and special edition beers, so there's always something new to try. If you're ever in the area, be sure to go and visit the Beak Brewery taproom! Well worth the short 10-minute walk out of Lewes town.

EAT: Beak Brewery has an ever-changing rotation of Street Food collabs every Friday (5-11 pm) and Saturday (12-11 pm). Plus, they usually have some sort of live music or event going on. To find out more, make sure to check Beaks Facebook page for the most up-to-date info.


ABOUT: Here at Shootlab, we absolutely love The Lewes Arms, one of the classic local pubs here in the heart of our town. Dating back to the 16th century, this characterful, idiosyncratic pub has a quirky architecture including a thatched roof and distinctive Norman archway. We love that The Lewes Arms is known for its friendly atmosphere and traditional British cuisine. As content creators based in Lewes, we've covered some of the great local events held there like live music, comedy nights, and the annual pea-throwing contest!

The pub also has historical significance for us, having served as a rebel headquarters during the Battle of Lewes. Today, we frequently visit The Lewes Arms as it's such a popular drinking spot for locals like us. With its cosy interior and wood burning stove, it's perfect for a rainy autumn or winter night.

We're also big fans of their new Greedy Boys winter menu, which has lots of delicious vegan options using local ingredients. As plant-based eaters, we're always delighted to find great veggie and vegan food. After hearing amazing things about their Sunday roasts, our team decided to visit one weekend. It was a fantastic decision - the staff were so welcoming and helpful. We met up with friends to enjoy the atmosphere and sample the menu. We got a table on the terrace without booking and despite the limited menu, the food was outstanding. The vegetables cooked to perfection and the vegan nut roast with massive chunks of nuts was incredible.

Overall, we highly recommend The Lewes Arms and Greedy Boys kitchen, especially for a tasty Sunday roast. It's a staple for us and we love supporting this historic Lewes establishment.

Lewes Arms pub exterior, curved walled building, 9 windows, blue sky,  a sign with a lion emblem hangs from the facade
Lewes Arms Pub, a local favourite and one of the characterful best pubs in Lewes

DRINK: The Lewes Arms is a traditional alehouse so expect well-kept Harveys beers, as well as the usual assortment of wines and spirits.

EAT: Lewes Arms menu- Classic British Pub food, local foods, as well as lots of vegan, veggie options, so good if you just want to eat great plant-based food.

modern building exterior glass windows, seating areas, blue sky exterior Depot in Lewes
The Lewes Depot exterior outdoor seating areas

ABOUT: The Depot Cinema and Restaurant in Lewes is a hidden gem located right next to the train station. This contemporary, independent cinema has three screens showing a diverse range of mainstream, art house, and foreign films. Film lovers like us can join one of Depot's film clubs or accessible screenings with subtitles. The on-site Depot Kitchen & Bar features high-quality, seasonal dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Complement your meal with one of their craft beers, ales or ciders from southeast England. With its warm atmosphere, commitment to the arts, and delicious food and drink options, The Depot in Lewes offers a memorable night out for locals and visitors alike. It's easy to see why this unique venue is consistently praised as one of the top places to eat and drink in Lewes, we would highly recommend it.

DRINK: The Depot offers a wide selection of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails

EAT: If you are looking for food or somewhere to go for a drink The Lewes Depot Kitchen & Bar in Lewes East Sussex is a great option. The atmosphere is perfect for a romantic dinner, or a night out with friends. The menu features both traditional and contemporary cuisine, and there is something to suit every taste. I would highly recommend The Depot restaurant in Lewes East Sussex to anyone looking for a relaxed place to eat with great ambiance. The Lewes Depot menu is always changing, so check out their website for more information.

Snowdrop Inn pub exterior flowers on window sills, pub sign blue sky
The Snowdrop Inn, best Pub in Lewes (in our opinion)

ABOUT: The Snowdrop Inn is a charming pub located in the heart of the historic town of Lewes, it offers a warm and inviting atmosphere and is very social. The Snowdrop is the perfect place to enjoy a pint of ale or a glass of wine by the fire, or in their Lewes pub garden. It also serves a range of delicious food. Whether you're looking for a cosy place to eat lunch or a lively spot for a night out, The Snowdrop is sure to please. so make sure you pay them a visit, sometime soon! We always have a great time when we go there, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good time!

DRINK: Great selection of ales and lagers

EAT: The Snowdrop Inn menu - great quality food, cooked using the best ingredients from Lewes and the surrounding area. The cuisine is European, Gastropub, Central European with Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan and Gluten Free Options

Cafe exterior, large windows black painted window frames and walls Caccia & Tails cafe exterior, yellow metal bench with beige blanket draped over it, plants on either side
Caccia and Tails in Lewes Exterior

ABOUT: Caccia and Tails is an American-Italian deli takeaway in Lewes East Sussex that is quickly becoming a favourite among locals and tourists alike. The cafe specialises in street pasta dishes and New York Italian classics. The food is made using only the freshest ingredients, and the food is cooked to perfection. Whether you're in the mood for pizza, pasta, or something more adventurous, Caccia and Tails are sure to please. The cafe is take-out although there is a small amount of seating.

Update: Caccia and Tails have recently opened a café called Furci's at the new Charleston gallery in Lewes.

ABOUT: Flint Owl Bakery & Café in Lewes, East Sussex is a great place to get your morning cup of coffee and choose from a delicious range of pastries and cakes. The Flint Owl team bring their unique take on baking to the people of Lewes. With a focus on quality ingredients and fresh baking. In addition to its delicious pastries, Flint Owl also offers a daily changing lunch menu including a selection of sandwiches, soups, and salads. Whether you are looking for a quick snack or a hearty meal, Flint Owl has something to offer. So why not stop by Flint Owl Bakery & Café, the atmosphere is always friendly and inviting, and the food is delicious. The café is filled with amazing cakes, pastries and light lunches, and of course their famous bread! In the summer they have a lovely garden space which is well worth a visit.

ABOUT: Bun & Bean is an independent coffee shop and café in Lewes, serving hand-made veggie burgers, specialty coffee, cakes, and craft beer. This is a cosy, comfortable eating and drinking space with a small amount of outside seating and a boho décor. The menu is small and simple, but the atmosphere at Bun & Bean is always warm and inviting, and the staff are always willing to help guests find the perfect meal or snack. Whether you're looking for a quick coffee or a leisurely lunch, Bun & Bean is the perfect spot. Go visit and discover why they are one of the best independent coffee shops and cafés in the area.


Delicious coffee and range of hot drinks.


The café is known for its amazing hand-made veggie burgers and Vegan burgers. Bun-and-Bean also offers a variety of savoury dishes, such as sandwiches, soups, and salads. Whether you're looking for a light snack or a hearty meal, Bun + Bean has something to suit your taste.

ABOUT: Pestle & Mortar is an authentic noodle bar, tea room, and Asian grocery. Their menu offers a variety of delicious dishes, from noodle soups to stir-fries and rice dishes. The tea room serves a selection of traditional teas and from around the world and also our favourite, their a amazing Vietnamese coffee! In the Asian grocery, you can find a variety of ingredients and products from all over Asia, including sauces, spices, and snacks.

ABOUT: Bill's restaurant originated in Lewes, and has a reputation for being one of the best branches of the popular chain! Great location in the Cliffe area of Lewes. This branch of Bill's has a really nice, buzzy atmosphere, and it is worth visiting the Cliffe part of town for the Lewes shops, cafes, and historic architecture.

Best Things to do near Lewes

One of the best things about living in Lewes is that you are located right in the Sussex South Downs. Not only does this provide a beautiful backdrop to everyday life, but it also provides a network of amazing Lewes walks right on your doorstep, including this amazing Lewes to Southease Walk.

modern restaurant interior with orange walls, big windows, wooden tables and wooden benches, dried flowers hang from the ceiling
Birchwood Cafe/restaurant in Flimwell Sussex. Photography by Shootlab

If you are staying in Lewes and fancy a drive, why not visit Birchwood Restaurant and cafe in Flimwell. It is one of the top sustainable restaurants in the Sussex area. Flimwell Park is an interesting eco woodland architectural development on the East Sussex and Kent border.

Read our blog on the link below to find out more about the Flimwell Park development.

Birchwood Restaurant Flimwell Park Sussex

Katy Hessel looking at art in gallery, white walls, oil paintings hanging on walls
Katy Hessel at Charleston Sussex Photography by Shootlab

Fancy a bit of culture...why not take an excursion to an amazing Art Gallery which is just a short drive from Lewes in East Sussex? Click to read our blog about our favourite art gallery in the Sussex area

Read about the celebrated Burning Sky Brewery, another Sussex based Brewery located in nearby Firle. Award winning Brewers & Blenders of Artisan Beer!


We are Shootlab, a Content Creation Agency based in Lewes Town, Sussex. Offering a full range of content creation services from Video-Production, Photography, Videography, Podcast Production to Social Media Content Creation & Social Media Management . Elevate your brand or business with Shootlab's expertise in dynamic content creation and high-impact video production.

We'd love to hear more about your company or business and how we can help you. Please reach out anytime – we look forward to hearing from you!


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We have produced Social Content for many of Lewes business's including 360 botanics, The Grain Store, Locate East Sussex, South Downs National Park, Wild Nutrition, Charleston

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Glad that the guide was helpful, you should also try Pestle & Mortar they are an independent and also do amazing Asian food... a favourite among Lewesians!



Thanks for introducing me and my boyfriend to Vegu Lewes, we had such a good time and the food is amazing. Stef 😋

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