IL Bistro

4.4
159 reviews
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£25 and under
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Steakhouse
Locally owned and locally loved, IL Bistro is the original bistro in the lanes.
A family run steakhouse brasserie that specialises in the best available British beef, prime cut meats and seafood dishes.

IL Bistro has worked with local food suppliers since 1976
and prides itself on being one of the longest serving independent restaurants in Brighton.

Set in a fisherman's cottage which dates back to the 18th century in the reign of George I the restaurant is situated in the heart of the lanes in Market street and is within walking distance from the beach, Churchill square, the Royal Pavilion and the Theatre Royal and is open for pre theatre dining, breakfast and lunches seven days a week.
What 159 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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s
1 review
Dined on 7 August 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Service was very good and friendly. Sadly, the food was poor / average at best, and very overpriced. The food needs to be of a higher quality and better value.

s
London
1 review
Dined on 4 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

always have a enjoyable experience. Varied menu something for everyone. We will return

JB
Montreal
7 reviews
Dined on 24 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good food and excellent service. Were able to sit on small patio out front on beautiful warm evening. Service is attentive without being intrusive. Our meals were delicious. Would definitely go back if opportunity comes our way.

SH
London
1 review
Dined on 9 July 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Despite the good reviews we were disappointed. It took 3 tries to get a medium steak....?? Really? King prawns weren’t king and were rubbery and chewy...and drowned in butter/oil. (They were taken off the bill) Rolled spinach pancakes were drowned in bland cheese sauce tho the spinach was plentiful and fresh. My main of chicken salad was very average, fresh salad leaves and some quartered tomato chunks...not much care taken. The goats cheese on top was nice. Portions were generous. The sautéed potatoes were lovely. The Barolo wine was just drinkable but not a good year obviously so a large wasted expense.. The staff were v polite and friendly and apologetic about the steak fiasco. Don’t imagine I’d go out of my way to return there!

AB
London
5 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Had booked IL Bistro because of recommendation so had high expectations. We had reserved a table for 9.00pm and we're sat in a small table in the corner next to the stairs, not the best start. Next we were informed that they had run out of 4 of the dishes available...including the fillet steak which we definitely wanted. For 9pm on a weekend this seems a bit crazy.

We order the seafood bisque which was just good and french onion soup which was average. For mains we had seafood rice was was huge and had a lot of seafood in it. This was good value for the price. We also had the chicken of the specials menu which was tasty but nothing unique

Service was great and very attentive, there was also a good wine list that was reasonably priced.

In conclusion we had a good night and some good value food. However with so many other options around I probably won't go back.

PP
London
1 review
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

Other than the slightly odd bread basket with prepackaged butter and enormous slabs of bread, the food was delicious. We had amazing steaks here and excellent wine. Pudding was also very good, although I was left disappointed that the restaurant completely ignored my request to put a candle in it, as it was my boyfriend’s 30th birthday. A little acknowledgment would have been nice, as most other good restaurants listen to birthday requests, especially big ones. I had asked prior to our meal as well. Food and ambience were very good but wish I’d taken him somewhere else for the special occasion.

SO
London
1 review
Dined on 1 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great service and food and wine! Would return for sure.

GM
London
1 review
Dined on 13 April 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

My wife could NOT chew the Lamb

OT
London
3 reviews
Dined on 2 April 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I host a dining group called Brighton Dining with Friends and I was conducting a recce to see if Il Bistro was good enough to introduce to my members. The best way to describe the restaurant is good but not very good or great or excellent.

The staff were very nice and the ambience was good. The price was all right for what we had. I gather that it is a family-run restaurant. However, the food was average. My friend and I tried butterflied sardines to start. They weren't bad but lacked the gutsy flavour that sardines usually have. This may because they were frozen. They had been sourced in Scotland so it is likely that they were stored for a while and frozen.

As a main course I chose a seafood stew. Again, it was edible but didn't excite my palate. The tomato base tasted a bit like a tinned tomato soup. My friend had Riso seafood and felt the same about it. In fact, he thought that the sauce tasted remarkably like the soup base of my dish. We had a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc which was all right.

In short, and whilst it wasn't bad, it isn't up to the standard that our members expect and we won't be putting this restaurant on the list in this year. This is disappointing. I generally review restaurants and will try it again next year to see if it has improved.

S
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 31 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Went to IL Bistro for a early evening meal for mothers day. The whole family enjoyed the meal. A relatively simple menu, with every thing very tasty and cooked very well. The servers were friendly and helpful. A enjoyable experience.

JD
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 30 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely little restaurant, excellent food at a reasonable price and very good service, would definitely recommended but make sure you book in advance, will 100% use this little gem again.

H
Hertfordshire
7 reviews
Dined on 23 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff amazing and accommodating
Food lovely
4 years on a row

EB
Kent
3 reviews
Dined on 16 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Really good food at a reasonable price and very good service. Staff attentive and efficient whilst being friendly and welcoming.

SH
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on 27 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and welcoming atmosphere. Food excellent

MW
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on 16 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A cracking restaraunt that I could sit in for ages Staff are extremly friendly and professional Food is amazing will be going back

KS
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 16 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely food at reasonable price. Great service in a nice venue.

LH
1 review
Dined on 15 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and outstanding service. Highly recommend!

KD
Brighton
3 reviews
Dined on 2 February 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Good food and service - bustling popular place

KH
Gloucestershire
2 reviews
Dined on 2 February 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food and friendly service. This was a one-off visit for us as we were visiting Brighton, but we would definitely consider Il Bistro again if we were back in Brighton.

LF
Hertfordshire
96 reviews
Dined on 28 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good find for a pre theatre meal. I chose the set menu which was really good food and value for money. Large portions for tomato and mozzarella salad and lasagne. Very friendly staff and good atmosphere.

AB
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 26 January 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, atmosphere and excellent management.

OT
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 14 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic night with friends. Service was friendly and attentive. Food was nice and came quickly. We will be returning.

WH
London
6 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 2

Met a friend here for lunch. The food was good and menu was ambitious. I had pâté for first course, fish cakes for second course and skipped dessert or cheese. I can recommend both options, although I felt the fish cakes served with sweet chilli dipping sauce was simplistic and would have been better with a more interesting purée. However I felt that the dining experience let down this restaurant. The interior was drab and the chairs were worn. There was no ambience and the experience felt akin to a harvester or chain pub. I did not feel this befitting of the quality of food served which was very good to outstanding, if perhaps lacking some creativity. I would definitely visit again but only if the interior is refreshed and experience improved.

SW
Hampshire
2 reviews
Dined on 7 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food excellent service caring and excellent . A comfortable experience

TJ
1 review
Dined on 2 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

very good service. good food if you order steak order one doness level up from what you would normally would be my recoomendation.

PC
1 review
Dined on 1 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were in Brighton for a couple of days to celebrate my wife's birthday, while walking through the lanes we spotted the bill board outside following our visit to the pavilion. We liked the fixed meal option but then checked out further menu options on line. We booked for the evening and were very happy with all aspects of the restaurant. Will definately recommend to others, and visit again on future visits to Brighton

CM
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 25 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely food, nice ambiance, friendly and helpful staff

e
London
4 reviews
Dined on 18 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We visit Il Bistro every time we come to Brighton. The food is excellent, especially the steaks and the service is outstanding.

AH
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant is great, friedly service, good food and nice atmosphere.
I enjoyed my night over there with my girlfriend

H
Hertfordshire
7 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brilliant, good service, good and amazing food - 3rd time in a row

WH
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 30 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cosy bistro style restaurant in the heart of Brighton's Laines area. Excellent service and good quality food.

Steaks are the main focus but there are good fish options as well as daily specials.

Would recommend to anyone looking for good food in Brighton.

EH
1 review
Dined on 23 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing we will defo be going back as soon as we visit Brighton again, can’t fault it food was superb staff were lovely too

DM
London
1 review
Dined on 17 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went here for my partner's birthday and she was very pleased. The food was really good and we opted for the set menu which provides really good value for money. Staff was friendly and the patron was a very interesting chap to talk to. Will definitely go again and take more people there.

MG
London
9 reviews
Dined on 16 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was lovely meal and service by the staff. Seafood was really good and the steak was cooked to perfection. If you're looking for a nice smallish restaurant in the Lanes area if highly recommended this restaurant.

GR
1 review
Dined on 16 September 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

We had 2 T Bone steaks which were OK not fantastic. The rest of the meals were good.
The staff were great, friendly and efficient.
THE DOWNSIDE. They added gratuities to the bill!!
This is the UK not USA and I DO give depending on the quality of food & level of service.
I always avoid restaurants who automatically add gratuities.
I realise I could have asked for it to be removed, however, I was with other family members and didn't want to seem to be awkward.

JM
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 12 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Found this little gem on TA and so glad we booked a table. The steaks were superb and the deserts were on the very generous side.

Will be going back when next in Brighton

J
London
11 reviews
Dined on 12 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent lunchtime set menu, good service, value for money, and perfectly cooked food. Will definately visit again when next in Brighton.

H
1 review
Dined on 8 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

1st time in Brighton book restaurant on line good steak for me and good fish for my wife was in on Saturday call on Sunday night again 1st class service and good food. Would call again Regards John H

OT
1 review
Dined on 8 September 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great front of house, very friendly and engaging. The interior could do with a little update however the food was excellent value.

j
London
4 reviews
Dined on 1 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

we were visiting Brighton for the weekend and booked in advance. we would certainly visit again the food was excellent and the service implacable. Booking was clearly the right thing to do as the restaurant was not surprisingly popular.

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