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Renowned for its independent spirit, Lewes is a hub for independent shops and eateries, with so much choice for a small but perfectly formed town just two miles from Blue Door Barns.

Lewes Cafes
Lewes is a brilliant spot for brunch, lunch or just a great coffee. Here’s our favourites spots.

Trading Post

The Lewes branch of this brilliant local business with several outposts also in Brighton, this is the place for great coffee and the ultimate brunch. It caters brilliantly for vegetarians and vegan and is a great place to hang out with a range of table and sofa seating. It feels like a modern and much cooler version of Central Perk for all you Friends fans.

Visit Trading Post Coffee

Flint Owl

Flint Owl started life as an artisan bakery in the village of Glynde and fast became the go-to for all the best restaurants in the area, with a devout following for it’s seminal sourdough. It’s where Blue Door Barns sources its bread.

It now has a branch in both Lewes and Brighton, offering its stunning array of breads and pastries along with a lunch menu which changes daily. We love the salad box options where you pick and mix from a selection of creative choices.

Visit Flint Owl Bakery


For the coffee purist, this is the place to go for coffee and only coffee. Tucked on Lansdowne Place in Lewes, this is a true locals’ outpost.

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Neighbourhood Restaurants


The newest restaurant to the Lewes scene has recently opened (as I write in March 2022) in The Needlemakers, an old lace factory building now hosting an eclectic range of independent shops. Founded by two couples with a passion for food and wine, Squisito offers truly delicious Italian food by day and now by night on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Think delicious small plates, each a taste sensation in its own right, accompanied by a succinct but excellent choice of wines and cocktails. It’s an open kitchen so you also get to see and chat to head chefs/owners Harry and Chris, and if you want wine advice ask aficionado/owner Sally.

Visit squisito


Fork opened its doors in late 2021 and fast established itself as a true neighbourhood restaurant serving a short menu of fantastic, imaginative, brilliantly executed food. The food critics have now found this gem or an eatery resulting in superb reviews in both The Guardian and The Telegraph.

It’s in a class of its own in Lewes and a welcome addition to the more generic places to eat.  The place Emma and Bryony from Blue Door Barns goes for a special dinner.

Visit Fork

Pestle & Mortar

If you’re looking for authentic Vietnamese food this is your destination. Serving food throughout the day, think cracking phos, curries, bhan-mis and Asian salads to make those taste buds sizzle. It also has a store within the cafe/restaurant so you can stock up on some great Asian groceries so you can get creative at home.

Pestle & Mortar on Facebook


For Thai-food lovers, Erawan is a Thai cafe open in the evenings serving authentic Thai food. It’s not licensed so you can BYO and keep the bill manageable, and it also offers takeaways if you fancy eating at home but can’t be bothered to cook.

Visit Erawan


The Swan

Very much a Lewisian experience, The Swan is a great local pub serving decent food and drink with some vinyl playing in the background. It has a decent sized garden too for those Summer months and has a very relaxed, non-dressy vibe.

Visit The Swan

The Pelham Arms

Situated in one of the oldest, Tudor-style buildings in Lewes this is another good spot for a pub supper or Sunday lunch. It has a really attractive central bar and plenty of dining space with a good calendar of entertainment such as jazz and folk nights.

Visit the pelham arms

Lewes Arms

If a traditional albeit quirky pub is what you are after, nothing beats a swift pint in this Lewes institution. 220 years old and always frequented by an interesting, eclectic mix of people. Characterful and idiosyncratic. The Blue Door Barns team love a beer here.

Visit the Lewes Arms

Best of the rest


Lewes is the site of the very first Bills where a lovely, very affable and talented bloke called Bill created what has now become one of the UK’s most successful, stylish chains. If you are looking for a stylish interior and a decent, broad menu then it is always a good spot. Emma and Bryony from Blue Door Barns have been coming here for more than 20 years!

Visit Bills

Fuego Lounge

We decided to give Fuego a mention, because if you are looking for somewhere to have a drink and an affordable bite, and don’t want a pub Fuego will do the trick. It’s a good spot if you are dining with teenagers as has a younger clientele.

Visit Fuego Lounge


New to Lewes, Zorba offers authentic Turkish food, and is known for its sizzling charcoal grill and meze-style menu. Zorba is a restaurant with modern design, slick and efficient service.

Visit Zorba

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