Here are the cheapest ‘substantial meals’ on offer in Brighton’s pubs

Matt Hancock works hard but Brighton works harder

Picture the scene: it’s 6pm, you’re heading to the pub. You’ve packed your mask and hand sanitizer and you’re ready to enjoy a rowdy evening with your sub-six group of friends. And then you remember. The substantial meal. You check your bank – you have enough money to get mildly shitfaced or to buy food, but not both. The classic dilemma of the poor student in 2020.

As if this year hasn’t been confusing enough, officials have spent the past few weeks scrambling to explain the ‘substantial meal’ rule, as the new tiered restrictions create chaos for pubs and bars across the country. Despite throwing the term ‘scotch egg’ around a lot in parliament, Cabinet ministers ultimately failed to provide us with a conceptually sound definition, leaving a lot of room for interpretation.

Pubs up and down the UK have been serving basically anything edible in a bid to stay open, and Brighton is no exception. We’ve already seen The Caxton Arms serving a beer called ‘substantial meal’, and other favourites have been quick to introduce new, innovative menus in order to satisfy the new guidelines. So if you’re looking to  minimise the pennies and maximise the pints, look no further for all of the cheapest SBs in Brighton, ranked from most to least spenny.

The Cricketers, £5 stew and bread

@cricketersbrighton, Instagram

The Cricketers pub are providing substantial meals from their ‘FareShare‘ menu, where £2 per sale is donated to charity. There are vegan, veggie and meat options with locally-sourced ingredients. Better than a scotch egg you have to admit.

The Gladstone, £5 fries

Rumour has it that this student favourite is serving a substantial portion of their loaded fries for the delicious price tag of £5.

Hand in Hand pub, £5 charcuterie boards

@handbrewpub, Instagram

Yes, you read that correctly, Kemptown’s Hand in Hand is serving locally sourced charcuterie boards to soak up the pints. That’s meats, cheeses, hummus and freshly-baked breads all from Brighton sellers, for the not-so-substantial sum of just £5. Vegan and veggie options also available.

Free Haus, £1.50 – £4

@freehauspub, Instagram

Free Haus took the whole scotch egg concept and ran: offering a variety of savoury pastries, stews and of course, falafel and hummus. Brightonians can feel right at home here for a limited cost.

Hobgoblin, starting at £3.99

@hobgoblinbrighton, Instagram

Student favourite Hobgoblin have utilised their local surroundings and are serving food from Dodo Pizza and MeatLiquor. Prices start at around £3.99, or just split a pizza with your pals.

The Hanover, £3.50 scotch egg or pasty

The Hanover Pub and Restaurant, Facebook

One for anyone who finds themselves around the Elm Grove/Queens Road area, The Hanover are also serving an array of scotch eggs, pies and pasties, all for less than the price of a Brighton and Hove network saver bus ticket.

The Bath Arms, £3 stew or soup

@batharmsbrighton, Instagram

Alongside its regular, full food menu, The Bath Arms, located in the Lanes, is offering a £3 ‘meal deal’, consisting of stew or soup, served with bread. It’s like Tesco’s, but with pints.

The Craft Beer Co., £3 ‘pub tax’ meal

The Craft Beer Co. Brighton, Facebook

This pub is offering jumbo/vegan sausages and chips, branded ‘pub tax’, which you can enjoy along with their range of delicious beers. Their website also states that they are welcoming ‘business meetings’ which, in accordance with government guidelines, are exempt from tier 2 rules. Take from that what you will.

Martha Gunn, £3 stew

Upper Lewes Road’s Martha Gunn is playing the substantial meal game and serving £3 veggie stew or chilli con carne. On a personal note however, the other day they only appeared to be serving cheesy chips. Either way, it all costs three quid.

The Ruby, £1 scotch egg, pizza or noodles

The Ruby in Coldean definitely wins the game by serving scotch eggs, Chicago Town pizzas and Pot Noodles for no more than a mere pound. Truly outstanding work. If you have a little more money/self-respect, you can opt for the £4 Vietnamese tapas menu, but honestly at this point, no one’s too good for a Pot Noodle.

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