The Longhouse Cafe: A Community-Focused Vegan Cafe in Brighton

“Born in Brighton. Created by the community. Powered by plants.”

You can feel The Longhouse Cafe’s tagline the moment you walk through the door. This vegan cafe in Brighton is full of heart and vegan soul.

Quick side note: our restaurant review series profiles new and unique vegan initiatives from our travels. We love showcasing the delicious food and inspiring people we meet to show that vegan travel is rewarding instead of difficult.

Head our vegan city guides page to see where we’ve been and what we’ve eaten.

The Longhouse Cafe: A Cozy Vegan Cafe in Brighton

The Longhouse Cafe is the embodiment of everything we love in a place.

It’s cozy, warm, with stellar coffee, homemade vegan food, and good vibes that are always in abundance.  Although we normally don’t like to visit places more than once when staying somewhere (just too many places to try!), we found ourselves returning to Longhouse again and again.

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I stumbled into Longhouse Cafe on one of our first days of our 2.5 weeks house sitting in Brighton. I was a little bummed that I had so much freelance work to do upon our arrival in a new city. All I wanted to do was explore! But from the moment I walked in the door at Longhouse, my spirits lifted.

Inside, people seated at different tables were making friends and chatting amicably. Chris, the owner, kept popping in and out of the conversations as he went to and from the kitchen. It’s not often that I come across a place that’s so immediately welcoming (and I’ve been to quite my fair share of cafes). Non-human friends are also welcome – Longhouse is dog-friendly and has a little doggie water bowl out front.

Chris, the owner, is an essential part of the Longhouse experience and he’s always welcoming and down for a little chat. He’s clearly passionate about what he does – facilitating community and creating yummy vegan food with care. He’ll also readily offer up advice on cool things going on in Brighton!

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When he learned that I lived in Madrid, he lit up and said a couple of his friends had just moved their cafe from Brighton to the Spanish capital.

I visited Plenti as soon as I got back to Madrid – and I’m happy to report that Plenti has the same warm vibe as Longhouse. I chatted with Plenti’s owners, Sophie (from Brighton) and her partner Gonzalo (from Spain) and we reminisced about time spent at Longhouse. It wasn’t long before Simon, one of Longhouse’s regular customers, came up in conversation. He’s also part of any visit to Longhouse – a painter, musician, artist of all things (check out his Instagram here) and always chatty about all things Brighton, London, and his time as an elite fashion photographer. He’s quite the interesting guy!

Homemade Vegan Food and Local Products

Everything at Longhouse is made right in Brighton by local creators. The coffee is from a local roaster, the ceramics are created by a local artisan, the hanging plants are from a local plant shop, the kombucha from a local kombucha maker, the juice is locally pressed, and the bread from a local bakery. They often host workshops in the cafe, so check out their Facebook page to see if anything is going on while you’re there!

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Like any good cafe, Longhouse’s menu is a mix of sweet and savory, ranging from a full English breakfast to chili for savory, and pancakes and pastries for sweet.

Personally, I’ll usually go for the sweet with my coffee.  I’m also a bit of a pancake fiend, so of course I had to order a stack – and what a beauty they were.

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On Tuesdays and Saturdays, Longhouse stocks cinnamon buns and danishes from vegan bakers Gabriella and Molly of Planted – don’t miss these!

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They also have various gluten-free options.

A Focus on Sustainability

Reducing our environmental impact is a huge part of why we are vegan and part of the reason why we slow travel. We always search out businesses with a similar sustainable mindset and were happy to discover Longhouse implementing many green practices.

I was pleasantly surprised/impressed/super excited when the kombucha I got one day came served with a reusable glass straw (!!!!!!). Straws are terrible for the environment, like all plastic. But due to the size and shape of straws, marine life eat and become entangled in them. (Read more about the straw problem on National Geographic). While it would be so easy to avoid using them, straws are still everywhere. Longhouse was actually the first (and to date, only) establishment I’ve ever seen using reusable straws, so mega kudos to them. Here’s to hoping this becomes a trend!

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There is also a leave-a-book-take-a-book corner, so if you’re running out of reading material, trade in your old book for a new one! As much as we love physical books, it’s not practical to accumulate them while traveling. Plus, how many books do you have sitting on your shelf that you’ve read once and likely will never open again? Buying secondhand and book trading are both great options for recycling books.

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Cafes are a must in the unforgiving and seemingly unrelenting British rain, especially when it is coupled in Brightom with the wind from the sea. While there are plenty of other delicious eats in Brighton, Longhouse was easily one of our favorites and deserves a visit (or two or three) on any trip to the city.

It’s one of those places where you immediately feel at home.

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