30 years – Brighton’s original vegetarian restaurant
Food for Friends has created original and exciting vegetarian cooking in Brighton’s beautiful South Lanes since 1981. The restaurant was originally owned by Simon Hope and was a great student magnet with big portions and a laid-back hippy vibe.
Ramin and Jane Mostowfi took over the restaurant in 2004 and wanted to modernise the space without losing the friendly and comfortable atmosphere. An elegant and contemporary environment was created which better reflected the restaurants new direction – gourmet vegetarian cooking.
So much has changed in 30 years – food, decor and staff! But the most important ingredient will always be our loyal customers. We spoke to Eve Collyer Merritt who grew up with the restaurant:
A friend from the start
‘Food for Friends was the first vegetarian restaurant I ever visited with my family and, as quite a small child, I was delighted to find that for the first time in my life I could choose absolutely anything to eat! A restaurant visit usually meant selecting from the one or two vegetarian options, but at Food for Friends there was so much that was flavoursome and exotic that I was enchanted. As I grew up in Surrey, a visit to Brighton was an occasional treat.’
A teenager – from ‘cosy’ to sophisticated!
‘In my later teenage years, I visited as much as I could, although the restaurant had changed from the cosy counter-style venue to a shiny, smart establishment, it remained just as friendly and provided equally delicious fare!’
The best bits – sea and soup
‘My other favourite part of visiting Brighton has always been going for a paddle in the sea. I remember one time in particular when my friend and I were surprised by a huge wave and were completely soaked! We squelched and shivered our way up to Food for Friends and took turns contorting ourselves under the hand drier while we waited for our much needed lunch of delicious warming soup to come.’
University years – first class honours and food!
‘When deciding to accept a place at the University of Sussex and move to Brighton, the proximity of lovely vegetarian food was definitely a factor! We celebrated the decision made and the first class degree I gained three years later by visits to my favourite restaurant.’
Romance in the window
‘My boyfriend and I went to Food for Friends on one of our first dates and it’s become our tradition to return for special occasions and we’ve always kindly been allowed our favourite table by the window. He’s a devoted foodie and a recent convert to vegetarianism and is always hugely impressed by the menu.’
Family and food – caring and sharing
‘My sister moved down to live with me in Brighton and we all celebrated at Food for Friends with a sharing platter and a few luxuriously fruit-filled glasses of Pimms. When Mum and Dad came to see us, we were so pleased to be able to take them to the place they took us so many years ago.
Many milestones have been marked with a meal at Food for Friends, it will always be a really special place for me. Thanks for all the good times!’
Eve Collyer Merritt
Book a table online or call 01273 202 310
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