Era Brighton
Photograph: Era Brighton

The 12 best places to go shopping in Brighton

Whether you want cool vintage clothes, a classic record or some one-off bric-a-brac, our pick of the best shops in Brighton has you covered

Joe Minihane

Brighton is a shopaholic’s dream, with a whole host of one-of-a-kind locations to satisfy every retail need. Want second hand LPs or freshly cut vinyl? Then the record stores throughout North Laine have got you covered. Got a thing for vintage? You can score an entire new wardrobe at any one of the city’s pre-loved clothes stores. And if you’re looking for jewelerry, furniture or off-kilter bric-a-brac, then you’ve come to the right place. Few things represent this city’s independent spirit like its thriving stores, so head this way and we’ll reveal our pick of the 12 best Brighton shops.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Brighton

Best places to go shopping in Brighton

Why go? Cool houseplants and homewares in a funky space in Seven Dials.

Brighton isn’t short of shops selling fashionable houseplants. But the ace Hi Cacti does so much more. Owner Sabina sells beautiful concrete pottery, which she makes herself, as well as handmade bags and homewares and, of course, low-maintenance plants that will liven up any living space. Pick up a copy of the Hi Cacti book while you’re there.

Why go? A place for print fanatics to indulge their passion.

Who says print is dead? Magazine Brighton specialises in the very best, you guessed it, independent magazines, covering everything from travel to football via fashion and art. All the mags are a labour of love and the passion for a now-niche industry is clear as soon as you walk in. Look out for copies of the excellent Ernest Journal, which covers curious histories and strange journeys, and specialist travel quarterly Lodestars Anthology.


Why go? A record store that shows why live music matters too.

Brighton’s music scene has long fostered some of the best new bands in Britain. And while you can pick up second-hand LPs in a number of vintage shops throughout the North Laine, it’s at Resident where a love of records meets a passion for live music. You can pick up classics and the latest releases on vinyl, but time your visit right and you can catch bands playing in-store too. Proof, if it were needed, why we still need proper record stores.

Why go? A truly independent bookshop with a great selection.

On the border between Brighton and Hove, City Books is everything you could ever want from an indie bookshop. Its staff are super-knowledgeable and always happy to make recommendations, whether you’re after the latest non-fiction or a classic title to lose yourself in. They also run regular events across the city, with the chance to hear more about new books and see authors read from their work.


Why go? Upcycled mid-century, modern furniture from the experts.

Kitting out your home doesn’t have to mean a punishingly dull trip to an out-of-town shopping centre. Brighton’s North Laine is blessed with a number of vintage furniture shops, perfect for ensuring you don’t wind up with an identikit space. Era is the pick of them. Others are cheaper, but owners Sam and Simon take great care to get their pieces into perfect shape and know their stuff too.

Why go? One for the stationery nerds.

Billed as ‘the shop of your stationery dreams’, at Papersmiths it always feels like early September, a time of new pencil cases and big dreams. Journal keepers will find beautiful, hard-backed notepads ready for their daily scribbles. Those who eschew the tyranny of the smartphone calendar will find diaries galore. And anyone looking for a swanky pen or supplies for their desk won’t leave disappointed.


7. Dirty Harry

Why go? Vintage clobber that won’t break the bank.

Brighton has always been great when it comes to vintage. And with an increasing awareness of the damage fast fashion is doing to the planet, there’s never been a better time to dig out some pre-loved threads. Dirty Harry is our pick of the bunch, with an excellent line in jeans, bomber jackets and classic workwear. You’ll find it on Sydney Street, right in the heart of the action and close to other great vintage spots such as Beyond Retro.

8. GAK

Why go? Guitars galore.

You can’t miss GAK. This music emporium on North Road is painted a brash red and yellow, is bedecked in street art of the likes of Hendrix, Prince and John Lennon and has a huge guitar hanging up on the wall outside. Head indoors and you’ll find an amazing array of guitars, with staff happy to help wide-eyed novices and gnarled pros alike. It’s not just guitars, though. Drummers, pianists and bassists are all catered for too.


Why go? The best flea market in Brighton and, arguably, the UK.

Snoopers Paradise is heaven for anyone in search of vintage treasure. Found on the narrow bustling strip of Kensington Gardens, its rambling walkways, hidden nooks and crannies and wealth of other worldly delights are enough to keep any shopper enthralled for an entire afternoon. Whether you want glassware from a 1980s pub, a set of Penguin Classics or an oversized tweed jacket, Snoopers has got you covered. There’s just one key rule: no pictures allowed.

10. Dowse Design

Why go? Great art and design at affordable prices.

Now in a new location on Gardner Street, Dowse sells one-off prints, handmade jewellery and gorgeous textiles. Having moved around the city in recent years, it’s now in a popular spot where many visitors can drop by. The ceramics and homewares make it an excellent bet for anyone looking for one-off gifts.


11. Jump the Gun

Why go? Sharp fashion from a bygone age.

Brighton doesn’t wear its past lightly. And no group are more proud of their heritage than the Mods who pile down to the seafront on their scooters every bank holiday. For locals and visitors who like to look the part while cutting shapes to some Northern Soul or classic tunes by The Who, then Jump The Gun is where it’s at. Think tassel loafers, three-piece suits and silk scarves, with vintage eyewear to match.

12. Our Daily Edit

Why go? Old-school boutique selling long-lasting fashion.

We’ll level with you: Our Daily Edit isn’t cheap. But really, that’s the whole point. This brilliant boutique, opened in 2014, specialises in selling clothing from independent and young designers, with a focus on gender-neutral pieces and sustainability. That means whatever you buy here, from a thick winter knit to an on-trend workwear jacket, will last a lifetime.

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