Smith & Western
Possibly the most iconic Horsham restaurant, Smith & Western has long been a favourite for birthdays, themed nights out and an all round fun dining experience. It isn’t fine dining but it doesn’t claim to be; your time at Smith & Western will transport you into the ol’ Wild West with American classics such as BBQ ribs and burgers. Smith & Western had long been situated on the corner of North Parade and East Parade, before moving into the current location on East Street. It isn’t just the menu that delivers the all-American experience. The decor and decorations deliver a truly immersive dining experience. Whilst the kids will love it, don’t assume it isn’t a suitable location for an all adults group. The frozen margaritas attract friday night revellers from far and wide.
We are yet to try the new breakfast menu available on a Saturday and Sunday, but we eagerly await trying it out with high expectations.
China Brasserie is not located in the middle of the town, so maybe doesn’t get the love that it deserves. The China Brasserie menu features all of the classics you would expect from a Chinese restaurant, but the quality of the produce and ingredients sets China Brasserie above many. China Brasserie is one of the pricier options in town in our experience, but the prices are fair for the quality. The restaurant is most popular with the pre-theatre crowd visiting the nearby Capitol Theatre. Used to offer a great priced set lunch menu, sadly no longer available as of March 2023.
The Red Deer
The Red Deer is an upmarket pub and brasserie located in the central Carfax, occupying the site of the old Waitrose. Significant investment and attention was paid to ensuring an elegant, intimate dining experience for those seeking a level above pub grub.
The menu at The Red Deer delivers a French twist on home-cooked classics, and is in the same vein to popular favourite French brasseries such as Brasserie Blanc. The Red Deer is operated by The White Brasserie Company, who boast an impressive portfolio of similarly upscale brasseries such as The March Hare in Guildford and The Cricketers in Cobham. Chances are if you follow anyone in Horsham on Instagram, you might have seen the archway that leads into the patio garden, that is even popular in winter thanks to the heaters.
Buenos Aires Steakhouse
As the name suggests, Buenos Aires Steakhouse let’s you dine like an Argentine without leaving West Sussex. The Argentinians are very proud of their steak, and it is easy to understand why. Compared to the grain-fed beef that you will find in many restaurants, the Argentianian cows are fed a diet of Las Pampas grass, giving the meat a tender, melt-in-the-mouth quality.
Diners are given the choice between a cuadril (rump), ancho (ribeye), chorizo (sirloin), lomo (fillet), a spiral cut ribeye, churrasco de lomo (marinated fillet) or a chateaubriand, among a small selection of non-steak options. If you are dining with another steak fan, the sharing options go down a treat. The ‘grill on the board’ sharing platter is perfect for those wanting to try a selection of different meats, cheeses and sides.
Côte Brasserie is a popular, modern chain of French Brasseries dotted around the country. They prioritise fresh, seasonal food crafted by a skilled and passionate team of chefs. This ethos is evident at the Horsham restaurant. Côte classics include the beef bourguignon and moules frites. As with most chains, you know what you will get with a visit to Côte, and that is a relatively pricey but consistenly tasty meal in a pleasant, upmarket restaurant. Make sure to try the chocolate merveilleux if you have space for dessert.
One of our favourites in Horsham. The Giggling Squid is a Thai tapas place that is popular for diners celebrating a special occasion such as a birthday. The Horsham restaurant has a lively, energetic buzz to it, a vast difference to the usual Thai restaurants that often aim to replicate the ambience of a temple. Giggling Squid currently has 46 restaurants across the UK, yet time and effort has gone into ensuring the Horsham restaurant feels authentic and welcoming. The dish most worth trying is the Lamb Shank Massaman, but don’t fill up on prawn crackers beforehand as the portion is massive.
Don’t be fooled by the shop front for Scotch Wool and Hosiery Stores. This is a tasteful throwback to the history of the East Street building that now houses Monte Forte, serving up Neopolitan pizza straight from the pizza oven. Having started from a food truck in 2017, Monte Forte has quickly grown to offer an authentic Napoli dining experience at their Horsham and Reigate restaurants. There is a wide selection of 12” pizzas, as well as a few choices for the vegan or vegetarian diner. Our favourite at the moment is the double American honey, not something we have seen at other pizza restaurants but certainly one to try.
For years, Horsham was missing a high-class Turkish restaurant, and then all at once multiple fantastic restaurants opened up. Our first experience of Izmir was of their attractively-priced lunch time menu, that offers one of the best value lunchtime deals for diners during the week. Having enjoyed the lunchtime menu, we returned for dinner and were not disappointed. If you and a companion are feeling hungry, the Izmir Special for two is a celebration of Turkish cuisine at its best. On a Friday and Saturday evening, Izmir becomes the hottest location in Horsham for a cocktail.
Located just off the end of East Street, Zeytin is an incredibly popular Turkish restaurant in Horsham since first opening in 2019. Zeytin proudly describe themselves as where tradition meets flavour, and it is easy to understand why. Don’t just take our word for it; Zeytin have won the regional award at the British Kebab Awards for two years in a row. The Iskender Kebab is a Zeytin special that is a must try.