Brighton’s Best Restaurants 2020
The results are in for the long awaited Brighton’s Best Restaurants awards 2020. In February, Brighton’s food community (including yours truly) was busy submitting their top places to eat in Brighton & Hove, as well as the following category awards:
- Best Chef
- Best Front of House
- Best New Opening
- Best Out-of-Town Destination
- Best Sunday Lunch
- Best Wine List
Starting with the Best out of Town award, this went to Heritage, a recent hospitality project that was originally crowdfunded by Matt Gillan to transform an Edwardian property into his flagship restaurant and boutique guesthouse.
And, in reverse order, here are the results:
20. Lucky Khao
Lucky Khao has been open little more than a year, so to make it straight into the Top 20 restaurants is a fantastic achievement. I visited for the first time a few months back and absolutely loved the vibrant dishes, unusual cocktails and fun atmosphere (complete with neon lights). I’ll have my review to follow soon!
19. The Urchin
After narrowly avoiding the Top 20 in 2019, The Urchin landed the #19 spot. Serving up delicious, simple seafood dishes in unpretentious gastropub settings, it’s a well-deserved placement.
18. Baby Bao
Despite dropping six spots in 2020, Taiwanese bao and bites experts, Baby Bao, secured its place one again as one of Brighton’s best. With a continually changing menu of exciting (mostly vegan/veggie friendly) plates to try, it’s definitely one of my favourite spots for a quick bite!
17. Paradiso Social
I’ve been desperate to get to Paradiso Social and try the small plates and cocktails, and this ranking is a reminder that I need to get my arse into gear! Paradiso Social’s small, seasonal menu in New York diner-style settings have clearly got the Brighton foodies captivated.
16. Riddle and Finns
After making the #19 spot in 2019, the long-serving Brighton favourite, Riddle and Finns, climbed three places – not that we need reminding of its place as Brighton’s specialist in seafood and champagne.
15. Petit Pois
Laid-back French bistro, Petit Poi, dropped a few places in 2020’s Best Restaurant Awards but retains a great spot nonetheless. Whilst I haven’t made it down there yet, I’m told you’re a fool if you don’t order the duck or the pork belly.
14. Fatto a Mano
My longtime favourite place to eat in Brighton and, in my humble opinion, the best pizza in town, Fatto a Mano climbed three spots in this year’s listings! Now with three restaurants under its belt, plus a deliver to bar service at Unbarred Brewery, the family-focused pizzeria is captivating more hearts by the day.
13. The Salt Room
Popular seafood and steak specialist The Salt Room is up there for another year at #13, and it’s no surprise with such a strong a la carte and cocktail menu.
Here’s a little throwback to the first time I tried any sort of oyster whilst enjoying The Salt Room’s afternoon tea.
12. The Gingerman
The Gingerman, Ben and Pamela McKellar’s flagship restaurant, has proved once again that after over 20 years in Brighton, it’s still one of the best spots in town.
11. The Flint House
For a first-time spot within Brighton’s Top 20 restaurants, #11 is a very respectable spot indeed, which is exactly what The Flint House earned. With four of its five restaurants within the Top 30, it’s been a great year for The Gingerman Group!
10. The Chilli Pickle
Clutching onto a spot in Brighton’s top 10 restaurants for another year is Brighton’s beloved The Chilli Pickle. Despite a setback with a Guildford closure and subsequent false local news reporting, The Chilli Pickle prove they’re still standing strong as one of the best.
Read my review of one of its previous OctoberBest menus here.
Up two on last year, the ever-charming Chard, led by three-person team Benny, Mae and Ciarán, who also took away a very well-deserved Best Front of House award! After a stunning OctoberBest experience in 2019 (pictured in feature image and below), the team have been working on a slightly new direction for the restaurant, with five and seven-course tasting menus.
8. Fourth and Church
Fourth and Church have jumped up the rankings this year, from thirteen to eight – one I’m personally thrilled about. With every visit, there’s never a single lacklustre dish on the menu and its previous OctoberBest menus have been brilliant for showcasing some of the best food in Brighton at such great value.
7. 64 Degrees
64 Degrees has remained within the top ten of Brighton’s best restaurants since 2016 and retained its spot at #7 for the second year. Having previously been up there as the best restaurant in Brighton, it goes to show how fierce the competition is and how much Brighton’s restaurant scene has grown and evolved in recent years.
6. Cin Cin
Credited by many for transforming Brighton’s authentic Italian food offering, Cin Cin also remained within the Top 10 of Brighton’s best restaurants. With regularly changing menus across its Brighton and Hove restaurants, Cin Cin is a must-visit if you’ve not been.
5. The Set
The Set climbed up a place up on last year after changing up the menu focus in late 2018 – plus, the team also took away Best Sunday Lunch for its renowned Sunday Sharer menu.
Firmly in place, etch. took fourth place for another year. It’s one that’s on my list that I’ve annoyingly still not made it to, but all experiences I’ve heard of Steven Edwards’ establishment to date continue to be excellent!
3. Wild Flor
You could argue Wild Flor are the biggest winners of the Brighton Restaurant scene as, not only did they land straight in at number three, they also took away the Best New Opening and Best Wine awards!
2. Bincho Yakitori
A solid no-mover for the last few years and firmly amongst the favourites of local diners and chefs alike, Bincho remains the second best restaurant in Brighton.
1. Little Fish Market
If you’ve made it this far down and are an avid Brighton foodie, I’m sure this one will be no surprise to you! Little Fish Market took away the top spot of Brighton’s best restaurant for the fourth year running, along with Best Chef for Duncan Ray. Hopefully, 2020 will be the year I finally make it down there, but the bookings will undoubtedly continue to be very busy for this one!
Are there any big surprises or disappointments in this year’s Top 20 for you? Who were you rooting for? I’d love to hear your take on the top spots – let me know in the comments below.
Don’t forget, the next part of Brighton’s Best Restaurants will be the OctoberBest festival later this year – so keep your eyes peeled for a programme of special menus at great value!
Feature image of Chard restaurant provided by the Best Restaurant Awards team.