20 restaurants you need to eat at before 2020

On Monday night (25th February), Komedia was brave enough to host more than 200 people from Brighton & Hove’s incredible food scene, as they celebrated the 2019 Brighton Top 20 at the Brighton’s Best Restaurant awards. Hosted by industry legend, journalist and funny man Euan MacDonald, this year’s awards welcomed a shake-up seeing some incredible new entries in the foodie chart. Kicking things off in true Brighton’s Best style, the whole Top 20 team (Euan, Patrick McGuigan, Suzanne Lindfors and Andy Lynes, pictured below) created what can only be described as Brighton’s Best Rap, complete with friendly mocking of industry favourites whilst also updating everyone in the room on the past year’s foodie news.

Voted for by a mix of industry bods and a ‘real people’ panel, Little Fish Market stole the show, coming away with Best Restaurant, Best Chef (Duncan Ray, shown in the lead picture celebrating with his wife) and Best Front of House (Rob Smith). We were happy to see them bag all three as they really have created something quite unique in Hove. If you haven’t visited to try their incredible tasting menu then we’d recommend booking in quick. It’s not cheap at £69 a pop, but it’s worth every penny and more.

Budget-friendly Japanese BBQ experts Bincho Yakitori on Preston Street stayed at number two for the third year running, proving they know how to win hearts (and tummies) across the city with the likes of their crispy chicken skin. The top trio was completed by David and the team at Cin Cin, following the opening of their second (and equally delicious) Italian restaurant in Hove last year.

Bincho wasn’t the only restaurant on Preston Street to appear in this year’s Top 20, with award-winning noodles from Goemon Ramen Bar bouncing in at number fifteen.

Now in its fourth year, the awards saw the most eclectic mix of restaurants yet, giving us all the feels for how lucky we are to live (and eat) in such a beaut of a city. Big ups to Baby Bao for beaming in at 12, Market at 19 and the lovely team at Chard who were awarded 11th place, as well as the Rising Star award for the highest new entry.

As well as the Top of the Pops-style countdown (every restaurant was morphed into a representative album cover shown on screen while they collected their award), category awards this year saw Easy Tiger claim Best New Opening and Dizzy Gull scoop Best Sunday Lunch for a third year. Enough of a reason to march up the steep Hanover incline to their new haunt Haus on the Hill? We think so! If you’ve been lucky enough to venture over to Etch (4th place) in Hove for Masterchef: The Professionals winner Steven Edwards’ tasty creations, then you’ll know they’re not bad at wine either, as testified by them winning Best Wine List last night.

Dinner plans to make? Well then, we’ve included the full list of winners below for your perusal. We challenge you to work your way through all 20 before the 2020 awards. See what we did there? Keep an eye out later in the year for the return of the incredible OctoberBEST where you’ll have the chance to enjoy food from the top thirty for just £20 a head. Tuck in!

2019 Brighton Top 20:
1. Little Fish Market
2. Bincho Yakitori
3. Cin Cin
4. Etch
5. Chilli Pickle
6. The Set
7. 64 degrees
8. The Gingerman
9. Salt Room
10. Petit Pois
11. Chard
12. Baby Bao
13. Isaac At
14. Fourth & Church
15. Goemon Ramen Bar
16. Plateau
17. Fatto A Mano
18. Murmur
19. Market
20. Riddle & Finn

Best Chef: Duncan Ray
Best Front of House: Rob Smith
Best out-of-town destination: The Ginger Fox
Best new opening: Easy Tiger
Rising star: Chard
Best Sunday Lunch: Dizzy Gull at Haus on the Hill
Best wine list: Etch

Photo credits: Matt Humphrey 2019