Sugardough, Brighton

by Eshé Brown

Sugardough Bakery – Market Street, Brighton

A family-run bakery on a mission to make the best breakfasts, brunches & lunches in town

When I’m searching for a new brunch spot, my main criteria are will the ingredients be better than those I can pick up from my local supermarket and does the menu offer any unique twists on the classics?

Family-run, artisan bakery Sugardough, in The Lanes, is my most recent discovery that ticks both these boxes.

From Melbourne to Brighton

Kiwi pastry chef, Kane McDowell, set up the first Sugardough bakery in Hove in 2009, after working in some of Melbourne’s most highly acclaimed restaurants, and later local restaurants, Graze and Food for Friends.

Today, he has two shops: the main bakery, just along the road from his original site on Victoria Terrace in Hove, and a bakery and cafe in The Lanes in Brighton.

sugardough bakery brighton

Kane had dreamed of opening his own place for a while, but the costs of opening up a restaurant are enormous so he had the idea to open a bakery.

He explained: “I started to think about a bakery – you don’t need expensive crockery, tables and chairs. But the real turning point for me was a cousin’s wedding in Fez, Morocco. There were all these people making amazing food on the side of the street with pretty much a burner and a bucket of water. I realised there and then that I really didn’t need a cool-room and a blast chiller to cook. Within a couple of months, I was signing a lease on an empty flower shop and buying as much second-hand kit as I could afford.”

Original décor

The newest site in The Lanes is a bakery-come-café sandwiched between 42 Juice and The Breakfast Club. Refreshingly, there’s not a filament light or exposed brick wall in sight – instead, the calming mint green walls are decorated with vintage pastry tins of all shapes and sizes.

Pendant lights with recycled egg cartons as lampshades hang down from the ceiling and little, round wooden tables and chairs – with just enough room for two – are dotted around the room. There’s also one long table at the back for larger parties.

Locally sourced and seasonally selected

Sugardough serves breakfast, brunch and lunch from 8am-5pm daily, with the majority of ingredients in their dishes seasonally selected and locally sourced.

Take their eggs, for instance, which are all organic and from Rookery farm in Sussex. Or their wholemeal flour, which is stone-ground in a Sussex 17th Century watermill. Even their milk and cream is sourced from family-owned Northiam Dairy in Sussex.

When there’s fish on the menu, it comes from local chefs’ favourite Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales, which have their own small day boats that land the fish at Hove Lagoon within hours of it being caught.

Cheese, groceries and meat all come from a Brighton supplier, with the exception of the lamb, which they buy and butcher whole from Saddlescombe Farm in Sussex – truly nose to tail baking!

A tempting menu

I popped by one Sunday afternoon with my friend Hannah, and quickly realised there’s too much temptation to make a quick decision. Burrata, roasted butternut with sage and brown butter on sourdough, or Ham hock croque madame with seeded mustard béchamel and fried eggs. Plus my favourite of all – avocado toast but with a unique twist ­of mint and feta. Intriguing!

After a good 10 minutes of not being able to make up my mind, I go for the Potato rosti with wilted spinach, smoked haddock, poached egg and avocado hollandaise (£11.90).

But then my friend arrives and she’s keen on this too. Since we can’t have the same, I let Hannah have her first choice and go for the Turkish eggs (£7.50).

There’s a moment of FOMO and then any doubt in my choice quickly dissolves when my plate comes out first and I see how scrumptious it looks.

brunch at sugardough bakery in brighton

Breakfast worth going out for

My poached eggs are tucked up in a thick, garlic yoghurt duvet and sprinkled with tiny flecks of Aleppo red pepper. On the side, two triangles of slightly sweet brioche toast filled with confit tomatoes. Yes, that’s tomatoes IN toast, with eggs! Why have I never thought of this? It’s genius.

With the knowledge that this bread that has been baked freshly by Kane less than 24 hours ago, I really can’t wait to take my first bite. And when I do it’s better than I imagine it would be… The brioche bread is heaven on a plate – sweet and soft and lightly toasted, it has so much flavour. Then there are my poached eggs which break instantly as I poke them with my knife causing a sunny yellow river to ooze into the bowl and mix with the creamy yoghurt.

Hannah doesn’t take long to tackle hers and in no time at all our plates are wiped clean. I sit back very satisfied and think: This is exactly the kind of breakfast worth going out for.

Turkish breakfast eggs at Sugardough Bakery


Rating: Must Go | Worth A Try | Give it a Miss
Price: £19.40 (without drinks)

I absolutely loved everything about this place, so much so a week later I was back for avocado and bacon on toast (which by the way blew The Ivy’s out of the water!) If you’re still thinking about whether you should try it out, I say go for it – the food really speaks for itself.

Need to Know
Sugardough also offers private catering for working lunches or special occasions.

Sugardough, 18 Market St, Brighton BN1 1HH

*Disclaimer: I was invited to brunch but I always write what I think, honestly, regardless.

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