20 restaurants you need to eat at in 2022

Last night, Horatio’s Bar on the Palace Pier opened its doors to Brighton and Hove’s food scene where a huge, happy crowd celebrated Brighton’s Best Restaurants’ Top 20 awards.

Founded in 2016 and run by food writers Andy Lynes and Patrick McGuigan, 60 Second Reviews co-founder Euan MacDonald and PR/copywriter Suzanne Lindfors and voted for by local experts, from food writers to gourmands and prolific Brighton diners (and BOTI!), it’s one of the foodie events of the year.

So after a year off in 2021 due to you know what, we were even more excited to find out who came out on top. Here we go…Preston Street’s budget-friendly Japanese BBQ specialists – and Brighton institution – Bincho Yakitori got its first ever gold, knocking Little Fish Market off the top spot for the first time in three years. Duncan Ray’s restaurant, famed for their exquisite seafood dishes, moved into second place with Ray holding on to his Best Chef award.

“It’s unbelievable. I never thought we’d knock Duncan off the top spot,” Bincho Yakitori chef Dave Miney said.

“What we have is absolute soul, absolute passion. It’s not complex food, but it’s massive flavour,” he added.

The fact it only opened last year didn’t stop Burnt Orange from storming straight into the top 20 in third place, also scooping up Best New Opening. (They’re having a great year – they also won the public vote for Best Restaurant in the BRAVOs.) Brought to you by the team behind The Salt Room and The Coal Shed and designed as a late-night hangout for grown-ups, the buzzing eatery’s flavourful small plates are perfect for grazing.

BUrnt Orange team Brighton

The Flint House took fourth place (we’re obsessed with their blue cheese honey crumpets) while Hove’s neighbourhood bistro Wild Flor came in fifth. They also won Best Front of House and Best Wine List, continuing a successful run after their awards debut in 2020.

Other big winners included The Ginger Pig for Best Sunday Lunch, Baby Bao at The Pond for Best Resident Kitchen and The Chilli Pickle for Best Takeaway.

Brighton’s restaurateurs and chefs have been through an unprecedented period of adverse trading since the last awards in March 2020 – just before the pandemic hit, said Brighton Best co-organiser Suzanne Lindfors.

“The incredible thing is they’ve come out the other side stronger than ever. Looking at the top 30, a third of the restaurants are new to the list,” she added. From recent openings like the brilliant Cellar and Kitgum to old favourites like Brighton stalwart China Garden and the evergreen Gingerman group, it’s a list worth savouring.

Got dinner plans to make? Well then, here’s the full list of winners below for your perusal. It’s the perfect illustration of the ever-expanding depth and breadth of the city’s dining scene. We challenge you to work your way through all 20 before the end of 2022! 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. Bon appetit!

2022 Brighton Top 20:
1. Bincho Yakitori
2. Little Fish Market
3. Burnt Orange – NEW ENTRY
4. The Flint House
5. Wild Flor
6. The Set
7. Chilli Pickle
8. Due South – NEW ENTRY
9. Fourth and Church
10. Tlaloc – NEW ENTRY
11. Riddle & Finns
12. Cin Cin
13. Etch
14. Med – NEW ENTRY
15. The Gingerman
16. The Urchin
17. Baby Bao
18. Plateau
19. Ciarans’ – NEW ENTRY
20. 64 Degrees

Best Chef: Duncan Ray
Best Front of House: Wild Flor
Best New Opening: Burnt Orange
Best Sunday Lunch: The Ginger Pig
Best Wine List: Wild Flor
Best Resident Kitchen: Baby Bao at The Pond
Best Takeaway: The Chilli Pickle

Photo credit: Matt Humphrey