• “If ever I plan to meet friends in town for a hearty breakfast or brunch, Kensingtons just about beats its counterparts as our greasy spoon of choice.” in 6 reviews

  • “This cafe has a balcony overlooking the extremely bustling, trendy shopping street of Kensington Gardens in the North Laines.” in 7 reviews

  • “As we all have heard 'Kensingtons is an anagram of Sonnet Kings' Albeit this is true, the great poetry they create through the art of food.” in 3 reviews

Recommended Reviews

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  • 5.0 star rating
    11/11/2013

    Came to Brighton from the States for a convention and found this wonderful gem tucked away not far from our hotel. A fun, eclectic diner-type place with a great view and super cozy vibe. Something like the funky English cousin to Greenwich Village.

    The sheer range of menu items was spectacular (everything from light, fruity and veg-friendly to meat-laden traditions, also milkshakes?!). I had a difficult time choosing but I don't think I could have gone wrong with any of it. I opted for a sort of traditional hearty, breakfast dish of sausage, eggs, bacon and cheese over a bagel. My companion ordered French Toast with a thick sliver of bacon. Both were amazing and we nearly licked the plates clean.

    Service was super cheerful, pleasant and reasonably fast. Prices were decent. Atmosphere was fab. If I ever find myself back in Brighton, this will be my go-to spot.

  • 4.0 star rating
    23/3/2014

    If ever I plan to meet friends in town for a hearty breakfast or brunch, Kensingtons just about beats its counterparts as our greasy spoon of choice.

    Set in the heart of the North Laines, its first-floor positioning allows you to sit above the hubbub of the busy streets. Inside you can choose to sit at a table or slink into the more intimate diner-style booths. Best of all it offers dining on the quaint balcony area with a pretty view of the artsy Kensington Gardens below. A pedestrianised street, not an actual garden.

    A reliable option, Kensingstons offers what you'd expect with a bit more thrown in to boot.  You'll be spoilt for choice with every possible cooked breakfast combination - from light to full, meaty to veggie - and a selection of lunchtime bites.

    I opted for the pick of the bunch - the Big Meat Breakfast comprising of 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 sausages, 1 hash brown, half a grilled tomato, beans and they throw in toast and a hot drink for just £6 in total. It's your usual fry-up fodder, but it hits the spot and doesn't break the bank.

    As it was a weekday morning I managed to swoop upon an outside table and received my food after just a short wait. Our waiter was a chirpy character. Unsurprisingly, he took a shine to the guest of honour - my sociable little puppy. I'm used to this set-up. Feeling like a member of J-Lo's entourage, graciously holding the leash as he skips upon his back legs in delight (the dog, not the waiter).

    The atmosphere is generally upbeat and the staff are chatty and attentive. It does get very busy at the weekend; so do expect a queue and a wait for tables at peak times.

    The main stickler for me is that the toilet is rather bizarrely downstairs in an adjoining shop. Save yourself the trip and go on your way out.

    In all, the café offers what would normally pass as 3-star fare, but the location, price and choice make it worth your while.

  • 4.0 star rating
    21/12/2012
    3 check-ins

    Really this is a 3 star but it's gets an extra purely because this place is dear to my heart, back in the days I'd bunk school and come here to drink milkshakes and chainsmoke.

    It's a bit of a Brighton institution, been here for yonks and hasn't changed a bit. Which is nice seeing that there are so many ponced up places round here nowadays, they be forgettin der roots man! Hear meh now! Yes it's shabby round the edges but that's why we love it, like your dearly loved, manky old cat that's been in the family for years.

    It's got a range of greasy fry ups and such, sandwiches, chilli, that kind of thing. The list really is endless you can just swap things about and make your own. It's compact but large enough if you get what I mean. Good value for money and the service is always quick and friendly.

    Long live Kensington's!

  • 4.0 star rating
    15/8/2011

    Headed here for "breakfast". Don't know if it's still considered breakfast if we were eating around 12PM. But hey it was the first meal of our day and 2 people from our group got the English Breakfast. A few others tried to fulfill their Mexican cravings with their Mexican part of the menu and they said it passed their standards.

    Got the Royal Baguette (?) not even sure what I ordered but it had Smoked Salmon and Eggs in a Baguette + a small side salad. Pretty good for the pricing, was definitely filling.

    Service was very nice, they kept giving us napkins and I feel like you don't really get that everywhere especially here in the UK.

  • 4.0 star rating
    11/2/2010

    This is a really cute little simple cafe with a view over one of my favourite streets in Brighton.

    As the name suggests, it's on Kensington Gardens, and assuming the weather co-operates, you can sit on the balcony and feel as if you're in some kind of spy-treehouse, watching the endless flows of people beneath you, without them ever really knowing you're there.

    Food wise, it's got all the standard eggs, bacon, sausages type stuff you'd expect from a greasy spoon, nothing spectatular but I certainly had no complaints.

  • 4.0 star rating
    21/4/2010

    This is a very special place to enjoy breakfast or lunch. Both times get extremely busy at weekends so its very advisable to get there nice and early if you want one of those popular tables over looking Kensington Street.

    The sandwich menu is excellent here and the range of different breads only add to the veriety of the fillings. Try the smoked salmon and avocado on warm focaccia - its truly amazing.

    Theres not a place around that is this good for people watching. A true Brightonian gem of a place.

  • 5.0 star rating
    23/4/2010

    As greasy spoons in Brighton go, we are a little spoiled for choice: there are plenty of great places to go and have a full English, or whatever specialty the house offers, and plenty of places that offer much the same. Kensington's is in a similar bracket, offering good old greasy spoon classics (and a huge variety of those) for affordable prices, and also features another of Brighton's classic seating spots on their balcony overlooking Kensington Gardens (the little passageway with Snooper's Paradise on it).

    The menu here is incredible: every possible iteration of the full breakfast (plus veggie options) is available, including the classic and delicious Big Meat (every type of breakfast meat!). It's all hearty and huge and cheap, and if you can grab a lucky table, you'll have a beautiful view of this part of Brighton: the bohemian and stylish hub of the North Laine. It's cool, cheap and tasty: what more do you want?

  • 3.0 star rating
    22/2/2013
    Listed in London by the Sea

    Come for the view, not good (or good for you) food. Everything is either greasy and fried, swimming in butter, or both! Neither my stomach nor tastebuds are fans of that kind of stuff, so it came as a not-so-pleasant surprise when my plate landed on the table. (Do I send it back and risk having my "new" toast spat on and rubbed across someone's bum? Do I eat what I can?) I opted for choice #2, not wanting to cause a fuss. Didn't manage to eat much, but the bird's eye people-watching sort of made up for it.

    • Qype User amyb19…
    • Leicester
    • 1 friend
    • 46 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    30/11/2008

    Cheerful and relatively cheap, this place does some of the best fry-ups in Brighton - guaranteed hangover killers, but they're great even if you haven't had one over the eight the night before. Like a slightly more boho greasy spoon, there are little booths you can tuck yourself into, or perch by the window to spy on the comings and goings of Kensington Gardens.

    The music's a bit random, depending on who's there at the time, I guess, but that just adds to its myriad charms. Welcoming, cosy and with some darn good grub, you could easily spend all day here, and, I guess, some probably have.

    • Qype User Montgo…
    • Harstad, Norway
    • 8 friends
    • 18 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    25/2/2011

    Really nice building, the wood pannelling oozes class. The balcony, indeed, adds to the interest, with the only problem being moving through the usually busy tables! Very trendy staff. The selection of sandwiches is vast and the service is relatively quick - certainly quicker than the Odeon! Although for Kensingtons you don't need a ticket, which is a surprise as its as entertaining as the latest Kenneth Branagh film!

    In conclusion, I was eating a butter sandwich here the other day, (my personal favourite, which is executed to perfection, a true modern day masterpiece) when I saw a fellow human vessel digesting his sausage a few tables away from me. I was most displeased.

    this church of a dining experience is really a small mans dream of perfection. if only they had the for sight to place a rope up to the balcony to avoid the intelligence gases of the modern man. only thrice have i done this and each time i have felt under par and of course very ridiculous.

    There are several layers of marzipan decorating the floor, in the style of the French renaissance. Perhaps a statement about the fragile temperament of youth. Or perhaps a tasty midnight snack for the various rodent residents of the famous institution. Who knows - I do know however that the small selection of wicker baskets on sale far outweigh the others in the city, and are reasonable priced at £17 (small), £12 (medium) and £49.99 (large). The selection of canned drinks are ample, but I'd say that the one Fanta I bought being a French import didn't keep with the same level of service as the Coke and Sprite varities. On that note: (does anyone else find the name 'Sprite' odd? I only know it in the sense of fairy - and Sprite is a very robust carbonated drink!)

    I took a glimpse into the kitchen and saw a malnourished Arabic man playing hopscotch with his aging mother a shadow of the person she once was. This reminded me of my ex wife which made me uncomfortable, this adding confusion to the arousal I was bearing with, due to the staff, a balding turk, mentally undressing me. Perhaps the table tops could alleviate this issue.

    referencing an earlier point in this one man voyeuristic voyage of a establishment of magical proportion. not that i've ever been in. whilst waiting for the door man to take my monocle. i over herd the beating drums and sounds of the wild lion. took me back to my days in the local joke shop. As Madness said 'This must be love, love' - and I'm certainly in love!

    As we all have heard 'Kensingtons is an anagram of Sonnet Kings' Albeit this is true, the great poetry they create through the art of food. There's no t in kensingons! Fools.

    What I'm trying to say is as a Brighton Establishment it ticks all the boxes - service, food, beverages and views. Its the prose of Brighton, like other hotels such as the Size? Although it lacks the choice of bed size that Size? offers.

    Reg,
    Monty

    (p.s. I have never been certain about the star system on the ratings. Is 1 star better, like first place, or is 5, I'm sure I'm not the only one whom has encountered this problem, could an administrator make this less of an enigma.)

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/9/2009
    First to Review

    Another great greasy spoon. However, rather than focusing on the superb "Big Meat" or "Big Veg" (for the veggies) breakfast options, I am going to talk about the real "draw" of Kensington's which is their fantastic balcony area. Giving you one of the best views of Brighton life - sea views aside - you can satisfy your greasy lust whilst simultaneously taking in the vibrant buzz of the North Laines: what I would deem the "heart of Brighton". If the weather is good, I cannot find a better vantage point to simply sit and observe. There is not much else to say, other than check it out.

  • 5.0 star rating
    26/2/2010

    The best baked potatoe in Brighton. This place is cheap and cheerful with a lovely smoking deck overlooking the quaint and narrow Kensington Gardens. The menu is pretty run of the mill; toasties, all-day breakfasts etc but perfect if that's what your in the mood for. Its a good place to go if your a bit hungover, as you can either get some air outside or hide in a booth and devour your sausages and eggs inconspicuously.

  • 4.0 star rating
    21/4/2010

    This café is great to go to for breakfast, it's becoming a bit of a regular for me on Saturday morning after a late night out on Friday! It's got a brighton-esque charm to it. It does a standard range of breakfast and lunch dishes; toasties, baguettes, potatoes, all day breakfasts etc! The prices are pretty cheap and it has a vibrant yet laid back atmosphere. Without a doubt the best thing about this place is the balcony situated overlooking the effervescent north laines of Brighton. You can sit outside and people watch all day! It's so quaint, for some reason it makes you feel like you're somewhere really special! If you want a bit of a rest and bite to eat this is the perfect place to go and sit back, relax and enjoy the cosmopolitan city beneath you.

    • Qype User Berr…
    • London
    • 8 friends
    • 134 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    17/4/2008

    This cafe has a balcony overlooking the extremely bustling, trendy shopping street of Kensington Gardens in the North Laines. It can be hard to get a balcony seat, but inside there are big wooden tables and benches and plenty of space (though it's full at lunch time). There is a huge choice of very good food, my favourite being the refried beans and guacamole with enchilladas. Like most cafes in Brighton, it caters extremely well for vegetarians, with fry-ups as well as healthy stuff and fake meat with the breakfasts. It does a sort of breakfast bap, with all the breakfast stuffed into it, which is pretty full on as it's huge, but very good indeed. The only thing lacking is a toilet - you have to go downstairs and into a separate shop that is attached, and downstairs in that. But at least there is one, it's just a hassle to get to.

    • Qype User mishki…
    • Brighton
    • 10 friends
    • 75 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    15/11/2008

    I love the Kensingtons. Since I was a student I went there everyday after lectures to drink cheap but tasty coffee, eat breakfasts (they have great veggie alternatives) and chat to the friendly staff. They play good music, and it has a really nice, relaxed atmosphere.

    • Qype User giller…
    • Brighton
    • 5 friends
    • 56 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    19/11/2008

    I love the kensington cafe. Right in the heart of the now modernised north lanes you can sit on the balcony and look out over everything and everyone. There are a lot of places now to eat in Brighton and perhaps the cafe is not always my first choice. But if i'm on my own there is nowhere better. A tortilla with refried beans, a beer and a newspaper is a great way to spend an hour or two. This is simple, wholesome food and very reasonable.

  • 3.0 star rating
    6/11/2009

    I have to admit the balcony is really behind the three stars for this place. The balcony is fantastic- more places on Kensington Gardens should invest in one! It makes you feel like a spy listening in to the passersby below, or like you are at the theater in a box watching the action..you guessed it..below you! The cafe itself however...I understand that it's a greasy spoon, aimig squarely at the student/party crowd who want cheap, simple and giant without fuss. I love a greasy spoon! This one veered a little too much towards the greasy for my liking though- the decor looks sad rather than shabby cool, and the toilets-eeek! The food we ordered for lunch- full english for the boy, backed potato for me- was not great either. Dried up potato for me with not enough filling. The cheapest cotton wool bread for the toast, too many beans and not enough of everything else for the breakfast. The mugs were dirty and the service was quite slow. Shame...'cause I love the view.

    • Qype User noelle…
    • Hove
    • 0 friends
    • 58 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    27/8/2012

    Greasy spoon with a trendy twist.

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