Brighton's Best; Top 20 Restaurants 2019

It's that time again, the time when the top 20 restaurants in Brighton are announced. If you're not familiar with THE LIST, this is the top restaurants in Brighton narrowed down by votes from a panel of 'local experts' such as food writers, chefs, restauranteurs and food bloggers. 

This year I was lucky enough to be selected to be on the panel again so I was excited to see how the list turned out and if any of my votes made it to the top 20. So here are the top 20 in order:

The Little Fish Market
Taking the top spot for a second year running, they are (frustratingly) one of the few on the list that I haven't made it to and chances are I am going to struggle to now! I have only heard amazing reviews about this place and with the chef also bagging the Best Chef award, it is definitely one to head to asap. 

Bincho Yakitori
This one absolutely had my vote. I have never reviewed Bincho on my blog but it is one of my go-to restaurants for special occasions and visiting family. A Japanese barbeque restaurant with a simple menu but stunning flavours, a well deserved second place!

Cin Cin 
Another of my favourite restaurants, Cin Cin is an Italian restaurant with beautiful handmade pasta and a specials board that rivals any others I've seen. A restaurant with two sites (central Brighton and Hove) with slightly different feels but the same amazing open-kitchen atmosphere and delicious food. 
I was lucky enough to go to the Hove restaurant opening earlier this year and even got the chance to interview their head chef Jamie Halsall a few months after. 

Another one on the list that I'm yet to visit but is high up on the list. The Hove restaurant has monthly changing tasting menus ranging from 5-9 courses alongside wine pairings which bagged them the 'Best wine list' award this year too. I'm a keen follower of both the restaurant and the head chef, and former Masterchef professionals winner, Steven Edwards. 

Chilli Pickle
In at number 5 is Chilli pickle, a central Brighton Indian brasserie with a great selection of dishes and thalis that cannot be rivalled. I actually went recently to their restaurant not only to try their thalis but also got a chance to head into their kitchen and find out exactly how they make their traditional naan. Read all about our visit here.

The Set 
I've been to The Set twice, both before and after the revamp, and loved both menus they had on offer. Set in the beautiful hotel, I love that the new menu champions local brands and has options from starters, mains and a set menu for two to share. I'm looking forward to heading back soon to try their new menu in full. 

64 Degrees
Perhaps one of the better-known restaurants in Brighton, it slips down to 7th position after regularly staying higher. Seating only 20 it's a smaller but high-end restaurant in central Brighton run by Michael Bremner, who was seen on 2017's Great British menu and making it all the way to the banquet. 

The original 'Ginger' restaurant, opening in 1998 but remaining consistently one of the best restaurants in Brighton. It combines great food and personal service with a seasonal menu and limited seating, make sure to book ahead to this Brighton gem- and keep an eye out for the newest in the 'ginger' franchise coming soon.

I also loved their October best offering (a restaurant festival run by the same organisers) and was lucky enough to head down and try it last year. 

The Salt room
I am a big fan of The Salt room and I've been there for a few meals over the years. They, as expected, have some stunning fish dishes and their most recent offering of a taster menu was something that my mum and I thoroughly enjoyed; the octopus dish is something else! What I loved is that alongside the amazing fish dishes they also have some other stand out dishes for all dietery requirements. The taste of the pier pudding and afternoon tea dish are also a must try for those of you with a sweet tooth! 
Read my full review of their afternoon tea here

Petit Pois
I took Henry to this French restaurant in the Brighton laines and it was one of Henry's favourite meals we've had. In at number 10 Petit pois has a well priced but delicious menu with everything from classics like snails and frog's legs to pork cheek stews and duck breast with celeriac. I loved the relaxed feel of the restaurant when we went and it's definitely somewhere we will head back to soon. 

I, like so many other people, was very happy to see Chard make its way to the top 20. I haven't made it there myself, however I received a glowing review from an ever hard to impress but keen foodie (my grandmother) recently. They have just made the move to the beautfiful space above Igigi and I am sure Chard is going to go from strength to strength in the new space. I am excited to head down to try their brekafast or their weekly changing lunch menu.

Baby Bao
I love that this made it to the top 20 list! Baby Bao, which is based in The Pond pub in the North laines, has a menu of their signature Taiwanese steamed buns alongside small plates and sides. They have a great selection of dishes for meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans and you cannot go without trying their dessert bao; which is served with either black sesame ice cream or peanut butter ice cream and jam. 

Issac At
I am always surprised that Issac At doesn't place higher in these awards, but coming in at number 13 is this British restaurant championing local produce and set menus. I ate here a little while ago and tried their set menu and absolutely loved their food, and their presentation. I really enjoy an open kitchen and Issac At does this perfectly. 

Fourth and Church
A hove based combination of a deli, wine shop and tapas bar serving small plates varying from aubergine caponata to seared octopus and slow cooked octopus. I haven't been to Fourth and Church yet but it comes highly recommended and, whenever I walk past, the deli counter always looks appealing!

Goemon Ramen bar
I feel like I missed the memo on this one. I have walked past Goemon a couple of times and never thought to stop and try their menu. However, with this high a recommendation, I am sure Henry and I will be heading down to Preston St to try one of the ramens or highly recommend gyoza. 

Plateau was definitely one of those restaurants that I didn't get to soon enough. A restaurant meets wine bar, I had always thought of it as somewhere to drink however, mum and I headed down to try their October best offering last year and loved it! With a set menu or sharing food and a focus on sustainability and season food, it's a great late lunch or date night spot to hit in the centre of town.
Read my full review of their Octoberbest offering here

Fatto A Mano
I just never have anything bad to say about Fatto a Mano. It's the perfect mix of interesting toppings and combinations without going too far! Most recently I have a new found love for their sides as well- you haven't visited Fatto A Mano without trying their rosemary salt fries! It's a favourite visit for Henry and I, I usually go for the capricciosa which has all of my favourite toppings but the specials are always one to look out for. 

The sister seafront restaurant to 64 degress, this restaurant has more of a family feel than 64. I haven't actually been down yet but I hear it has great breakfast options so it'll definitely be somewhere to visit in the summer- or when spring really starts.

An Anglo-Spanish tapas and small plate restaurant with a Sunday roast offering. Henry and I have actually only been to Market once and we weren't blown away with the service, but after seeing it being recommended by a few people, and now with a spot in the top 20, I think it's time to give it another go. 

Riddle & Finns
As one of the first restaurants I reviewed on my blog, Riddle & Finns holds a special place in my heart. A champagne, oyster bar and restaurant with sites both in the iconic Brighton laines and along the beach, it's a great spot for any lover of seafood. They are also amazing at accommodating allergies which is a mark of great service to me. 
Read my original review here

Brighton's best restaurants are also the geniuses behind Octoberbest, the autumnal restaurant festival during which the top 20 restaurants offer a variety of deals and set menus throughout the month. Previously this has always been for the select 20, however this year (I am so excited) a few who have missed out on the top spot are also going to be a part of the festival too. 

21.Coal shed, 22.The Urchin, 23.Kujira, 24.Lucky Khao, 25.Bus stop, 26.The Gingerpig, 27.Polpo, 28.VIP Pizza, 29.Unithai and 30.Halisco

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