The London Road has had a bit of a revamp in recent years, with the Open Market being renewed and redeveloped into a covered market full of independent shops and cafes. The new student accommodation has also helped bring some life back to the area, making it a great place to eat out or pop to the pub.
It's a bit quieter than the city centre and can be a great place to grab something before heading into town proper, particularly if you're planning to stay out late, as London Road closes a bit earlier.
Pubs and cafes are in abundance at the northern end of London Road, near Preston Circus (it's the horrible looking 5 way interchange that the fire station sits on). The Joker and The Hare and Hounds sit on opposite sides of this crossing, with the former often running late night DJ's and music, and serving food until 10pm, and the latter serving a mexican themed menu with cheap cocktails.
Working down the road, you've got 2 very large cafes on the left, Alcampo and the Emporium Theatre - both serve cafe and bar type food and drink, becoming nice spots for an early evening pint or cocktail as the day moves on. You can also book to see a show at the Emporium Theatre - they have a back room for performances.
The middle of London Road, just before it merges into York Place, is full of typical fast food fare, with Greggs, KFC and McDonalds in walking distance.
York Place has a handful of restaurants before you get into town and you can turn up into North Laine on the right at any time (see our guide here), MeatLiquor sells, oddly enough, plenty of meat and liquor, whilst the Brighton-famous Grubbs burgers also have one of their take-aways here.
Up at the northern end there are a couple of great cafe/bars that open late and offer a good selection of beers, ales and cocktails. The Emporium also has a theatre in the back room.
There are also 4 good sized pubs between Preston Circus and St Peter's Church - if you're looking for late night entertainment, The Joker is often open until 2am. The Hare and Hounds does Mexican food and cocktails and just over the road is The World's End. At the other end of the street you have the locally famous Hobgoblin and next door is the Shuffle bar - where you can log on to their WiFi and pick songs to add to their playlist (at busy times it can take a long time to reach your song!).
Finally, just opposite St Peter's, there's The Yellow Book, a steampunk themed bar where the staff are all in brilliant steampunk style costumes.