Before we began our full time house sitting lifestyle, we spent a year renting a flat in the centre of Brighton. Back then, Chris was spending his weekdays working at a desk 9-5 as a web developer, while I worked on my Etsy shop in our conservatory-turned-studio at home. We spent our weekends recovering from a busy Monday-Friday, walking dogs via Borrow My Doggy and grabbing some food or drink from one of the many, many cafes in the city. Living in a bustling city, you’ll find yourself in a paradox – the ability to do so many things, with so many places to visit right on your doorstep, but having to work so much to afford the rent and bills for a city flat that you barely find the time to visit places that aren’t just around the corner from home or work.

Returning to Brighton and Hove for house sits always fills us with joy, as it feels like coming home. We know directions from one place to another without using Google Maps, we marvel at new shops that have cropped up since we left the city, and lament over the closure of familiar haunts. And yet, when home owners recommend their favourite cafes to us, we realise just how many gorgeous places in the city we have yet to discover!

At a recent house sit in Hove with Gizmo and Kola, two easy-going chihuahuas, we hit the pavements with the pups to discover some new foodie finds in Hove. Here are some of our favourites:

Down to Earth Coffee

Although it’s the smallest cafe on our list, Down to Earth more than make up for their size with their large array of pastries. We defy anyone to walk past without stopping in! These guys line their windows with dozens of mouth-watering sweet treats, from traditional cinnamon buns to vegan Biscoff custard doughnuts – it’s impossible not to be tempted inside! On this occasion we opted for a raspberry and pistachio bun to share. Down to Earth don’t mess around when it comes to portion size, and this bun is the size of a large fist! Super sweet and so tasty, it made us want to come back to sample more of the menu.

Down to Earth is located on a busy main road, just after a bus stop. The cafe is completely dog-friendly, though with our vocal chihuahuas in tow, we opted to sit at one of the few tables outside to avoid any fuss from us! If you don’t fancy eating to the sound of buses passing by, and the cafe inside is full, it might be best to order your food to takeaway and enjoy sitting on the beach just a four minute walk away. If you do sit in, the dark greens and light wood decor of the cafe make it a stylish place to stop for foursies with your four-legged friends. The staff are always really friendly here and are happy to help you make up your mind when you just can’t decide what to go for. A fabulous little stop in the heart of bustling Hove.


We made a quick stop at FIKA while on the lookout for somewhere to get a quick cuppa and a bite to eat. Being lovers of all things Scandinavian, FIKA drew us in with its Swedish name and promise of cinnamon buns. The decor is deliberately rustic inside, with chipboard walls and black and yellow tape on the floor dividing the space between seating area and counter. While it may not be the most aesthetically-pleasing cafe in Hove, what it lacks in boujee decor, FIKA more than make up for in Biscoff lattes, brunch burgers, and the fact that many of their mouth-watering dishes are available in veggie, vegan and gluten free options at no extra charge.

The staff were all super friendly too, and gave Gizmo and Kola a lot of well-appreciated fuss! With a relaxed atmosphere, a plethora of sweet treats behind the counter, and minimal decor, we enjoyed the chilled out vibe and knew we’d made a good choice. There is limited seating (though a covered outdoor area opens up the space) so you may find yourself sharing a table, but this kind of seating plan makes for a cosy, community feel. Gizmo happily dozed in Chris’ lap, while Kola sat alert, waiting for any chance of a dropped crumb. An understated hidden gem, waiting to be discovered!


If you’re looking for the most Instagrammable cafe in Hove, Oeuf is definitely it! With its Laduree green facade and stylish interior decor, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a Parisian restaurant. Soft pastel colours, floral bouquets and beautifully presented dishes to make your IG followers envious – Oeuf definitely know their brand and their audience. This place is definitely worth booking in advance as it fills up quickly!

The cafe is entirely dog-friendly, though we chose to sit outside on the chequerboard-tiled patio. Oeuf is located on a quiet residential road, between a hotel and a house-turned-apartment-block, with a sea view at the end of the street. Enjoying the sunshine paired with a gentle sea breeze, an artfully-poured chai latte in hand, was the perfect setting to enjoy a peaceful and delicious cafe stop. We’re already planning our next visit to try their signature ‘Frumpets’ – French toast crossed with a crumpet. You can thank us later.


Ok so we’re cheating with this one a little bit, in that we make a point to visit Baked EVERY time we’re in Hove, so it doesn’t count as a new find… But we did try a new dish this time, does that count??

We HAD to put Baked on this list as there’s a reason it’s our go-to spot in Hove – the food is incredible, and we’re never disappointed when we visit! While the basement area inside isn’t dog-friendly, the ground floor is and for our most recent visit we tucked ourselves away on the comfy bench by the window with Gizmo and Kola, to give ourselves plenty of room and soak up some sunshine. There is also a sheltered outdoor seating area surrounding the cafe to provide additional seating for doggo patrons. My usual order is the pancake stack, drenched in house maple syrup and finished with blueberries – dreamy! On this occasion, I opted for the halloumi eggs while Chris chose his favourite dish – chorizo eggs. With ingredients on the menu to make your mouth water (you had me at toasted sourdough) it’s always tough deciding what to order here.

Aside from choosing from a cornucopia of tempting dishes, the other wonderful thing about Baked is the lovely staff, who brought over dog biscuits for a very grateful Gizmo and Kola. Dogs aren’t allowed on the furniture here (or to sit in your lap, much to the disappointment of our two snuggly pups) but they happily snuffled for crumbs under the table before curling up together on Chris’ coat. The outdoor seating area, while lovely on a sunny day, is a little narrow so we’d recommend an indoor table for you and your four-legged friends to be most comfortable. And definitely book in advance to avoid waiting! Being on the corner of one of the main roads in Hove, this place is super popular.


Hoisin ‘duck’ pitta at T@Hove

We visited T@Hove at the recommendation of our fellow housesitting pals LifeOfYannah, who met us and the doggos for lunch on a sunny day. The cafe is relatively new, but has a sister cafe in the Seven Dials area in Brighton, so has a well-established style and menu. There’s ample seating inside and out, and Gizmo and Kola happily snuggled up on a comfy sofa with us. They received lots of ‘aww’s and head scratches from the friendly wait staff as we had a good catch up with Yan and Hannah. It does get quite loud in the cafe, especially at lunch time as the acoustics aren’t the best, but the FOOD! Oh wow…

Everything on the menu is vegetarian or vegan – a real conundrum for a veggie like me who isn’t used to having SO much choice on a menu, and everything sounded incredible! The pittas are completely heavenly, and absolutely stuffed full to the brim with veg goodness. I opted for a hoisin ‘duck’ pitta, while Chris chose the ‘Brad Pitta’ – vegan lamb shawarma, salad and sriracha mayo. We enjoyed a slow stroll along the seafront with the pups after our visit, mostly because we were too full to go any faster. Highly recommended for a filling and delicious meal!

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