I agree. Great tasty healthy food, amazingly cheap but they need at least twice the space.
19 reviews of Iydea in English
Iydea is a great little place to have lunch with your friends. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the staff are great: very attentive and helpful, if you need a little direction with how to order as it is a little overwhelming if you’ve never been here before. There is a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, all cooked to perfection and the smoothies are brilliant. As a meat eater, I always say that ‘a bit of mince would jazz things up’, but that’s just me being fussy. I thoroughly recommend popping in, if you’re in the North Laines, or pop by just before closing time to pick up a take out box for the princely sum of £3.20.
I have to change my diet for medical reasons. Something that I’m not looking forward to. However the transition is being made easier by having “eateries” such as Iydea to go to. Referred by a family “Veggie” memer, I tried in here and was very pleasantly surprised and pleased with the menu offered. I am not totally converted, as I know I will still have my “meat ration”. Really tasty, though.
After reading way too much into this place I decided to have some lunch there. When I arrived there was still some choice of food available, and they were replenishing the counter though! The place was very busy, the staff friendly and all smiles and the last two tables outside got snapped up as I was ordering. So, I ordered to go and took my Nacho Bake (with two sides and two toppings, green beans with garlic, roasted carrots with spices, sour cream and some coriander topping) down to the Pavilion Gardens.
The carrots were a bit too hard for my liking but the spices worked well with them, the green beans were cooked perfectly, very yummy! The best bit was definitely my Nacho Bake though. I was tempted to ask for more in the shop as it didn’t look like enough to fill, but the portion size was perfect, a lovely filling sweet potato bake with delicate spice and it was perfect with some sour cream.
I will definitely be going back!
I went into Iydea for the first time the other day, not really understanding the concept of knowing what the food was going to be like. I was very pleasantly greeted and informed in detail about all the different dishes they had on the menu. The chilli and cheese roti was amazing and all the sides that went with it were pretty good too. It was a little expensive for me, at over £5 for a take away lunch but I did get a pretty generous amount and I could have gone for a smaller option… Very good for lunch though, thanks!
OH MY GOD Iydea is amazing. I used to work in the lanes so went her everyday for lunch, I think it is better value if you get a takeaway from here also it quite hard to get a seat. The salads are really interesting and there is something different everyday, all made with seasonal fresh produce. The chilli enchilada is pure heaven. VISIT.
Iydea is a wonderful canteen-style restaurant in North Laine catering for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs. All of their dishes are clearly marked as to their suitability for each of these dietary requirements meaning that I find it an incredibly easy and delicious place to eat. They have a range of both hot and cold food, which varies on a day-to-day basis.
Of the hot dishes, my favourites are their gluten-free falafels, vegetable thai curry and veggie 'n' bean shepherd's pie (which are there pretty regularly). When you get a hot dish, you can choose between large or small - the 'small' means you get two side dishes, the 'large' means you can have pretty much ALL the side dishes piled on to your plate (it's well worth getting the large!)
Their side dishes are always things like roasted root veg, steamed vegetables, couscous or bulgar wheat salads, bean or chickpea salads, red cabbage coleslaw, Greek salad and potato salad. The portions are amazingly generous too - for between £5-7 you can completely stuff yourself on the most wonderfully healthy food. If you don't want a hot meal though, you can opt for a plate of just the salad (about £3-4). Like the hot dishes, the sides and salads seem to vary day-to-day so you'll never have the same meal twice.
Their takeaways are a teensy bit cheaper for exactly the same amount of food and come in a square cardboard box with a wooden knife and fork (which I think is a great way of eating!) More often than not during the summer I'll happily opt for a piled up a takeaway box and head down to the beach rather than sit in a hot and inevitably crowded little café.
A cafe restaurant - more of a good quality cafe, I suppose - but either way, it's lovely. Whilst made for vegetarians, this is pretty much the closest source to home cooked just-how-your-mother-made-it food (if not better) for something even students can afford. If you fancy a taste of non-commercial yummy Brighton life I recommend Iydea for warm tummy type food.
Whilst it's vegetarian based (which can, on occasion taste good! 1), there's a great array of food and the serving format is genius. Simply ask for a small portion and pick two veg, or ask for a large and pick however many you like (although this was enough to confuse my dear Mother upon visitation). The menu continuously changes and costs £4.70 to £7.70 which provides you with as much food as humanly fits on a plate. Foody examples include regular Lasagna, Tortilla, and Chilli style things, and occasionally a Gypsy stew, although we aren't quite sure what this is (Seasonal veg with a paprika sauce and basmati rice & salad, we found, after short investigation).
1 - as a reformed vegetarian, there's a lot of tosh out there but this is genuinely nommish. And as someone who now eats meat, it's so good you won't miss it (for one meal).
Iydea is open from 9:30-5:30 weekdays (10am-5:30am at weekends) and if you head there towards closing time you can pick up a food box on the cheap, which I like.
Don't be put off by the vegan label - this place is for everyone. If like me, dreadlocks bring you out in a rash, you may have passed this place by, put off by the usual new-age Brighton-types that loiter outside. Fear not, basically it's a brilliantly fresh, wholesome and unique lunch option.
You can eat in, but for me the beauty of Iydea is the ability to select a large lunch option, choose one of the mains (the lasagna's and enchillada's are gorgeous), and then fill the rest of the box with a section of hot stuff (roasted vegetables), and cold stuff (leafy salads, bean things, humous etc), all for £5-£6 depending on your choice of main. Somebody does all of this for you, normally a thoroughly pleasant young lady (smiling and politeness is definitely recommended, and can result in a far more crammed box, plus life's too short to be mean), and the whole process rarely takes more than 5 minutes. The boxes themselves have that nice bio-degradable feel, and the whole experience is joyous.
ps. top tip - if you're passing by late afternoon, you can catch their daily sale of leftovers, packed up into neat little boxes for a couple of pounds.
I’m writing particularly in praise of the vegan cakes served at Idyea. I think they are from www.sussexcakecreations, but the super-sweet caramel sauce and fruit accompaniment, makes a gorgeous experience almost numinous.
In my experience the savoury food is also great, a good vegan selection of lovely stuff, but whatever you do, please save space for cake after!
I absolutely love this place, it’s one of the things that makes me think very seriously about relocating to Brighton.
The first time I came here I was searching for the perfect vegan breakfast. Here it was, all yummy sausages and mushroom and beans, in lovely surroundings with super friendly serving staff. As I chomped away happily I saw them starting to bring out trays of delicious looking things for lunch, and cursed the breakfast for being so tasty and so filling! My boyfriend’s face was a picture of surprise and mild disgust as I mentioned my plan to hang around for long enough after breakfast to feel hungry again just so we could try some of the delicious dishes - and yet boys complain if you don’t eat!
Thankfully on a more recent trip to Brighton I managed to get in for lunchables and was not disappointed. It’s proper, hearty vegetarian fare with plenty of good vegan options, and you pay for the dish alone, with a choice of two salads or with unlimited extra bits. It’s all very reasonably priced I think, and there’s free Wifi in there if you want to make a day of it.
In summary - yum.
The food here is pretty good, although not consistently so. I’ve had a few meals there that I haven’t really enjoyed at all but most of the time the food is good.
I don’t really like the atmosphere though. It always seems so crowded and rushed and I prefer to relax and take my time when i eat. More of a cafe than a restaurant.
It’s not the most comfortable place to eat either. You don’t get much room and the tables are quite high and I don’t like that much.
Comment 1 comment on this review
ChiefExec, 30 September 2010:
Oh my, the butternut squash curry is so good here! This combined with the homemade lemonade makes a perfect meal.
A very big selection of veggi dishes, and a fixed, reasonable price – around £6 where you get a main, and all the veg and salad you can eat, plus 2 dips, or seed for the top.
This place is so delicious, and such good value, you won’t be able to resist going back over and over – and enough range to make non-vegetarians see just how tasty and wide ranging veggie food can be
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