Top 20

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Bincho Yakitori

The back street izakaya bars of Tokyo are the inspiration for this atmospheric Japanese barbecue restaurant, where the open kitchen cranks out skewers of smoky chicken hearts, unctuous pork belly and crispy chicken skin.

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South Asia meets South America at this cute fusion restaurant, which has taken the Top 20 list by storm in its first year. Set up by Chefs Kanthi Thamma and Diego Ricaurte, who hail from India and Ecuador, respectively, the tiny restaurant serves a spicy blend of sharing plates, such as ox heart kebabs and Keralan fish curry.

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Burnt Orange

From the team that brought you The Salt Room and The Coal Shed comes this chic bar and restaurant in the Lanes that’s been an instant hit with Brighton’s drinkers and diners. The menu of wood-fired Med-inspired small plates might include the must-order Crispy smoked lamb shoulder cigars. It’s a great late-night spot.

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Wild Flor

Set over two floors, Wild Flor is a friendly but sophisticated neighbourhood place that over-delivers on the food and wine front. Enjoy carefully selected aged wines at reasonable prices (and much else besides on Brighton’s Best Wine List) with classic dishes such as Ham hock en croute.

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Flint House

Inventive small plates, over 50 wines by the glass and fantastic cocktails at this stylish, polished spot in the heart of the Lanes. Grab a seat at the pass before the open kitchen, at the upstairs bar or on the open-air terrace for the legendary blue cheese honey crumpets.

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The Chilli Pickle

The constant invention in this modern Indian brasserie means you’ll never tire or fail to be astonished by the food served from chef Alun Sperring’s kitchen. Keep an eye out for exceptional seasonal feasting menus too, particularly at Christmas, or treat yourself at home to Brighton’s Best Takeaway.

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The Little Fish Market

Duncan Ray is our Best Chef for the technically brilliant and always delicious seafood cookery at his intimate restaurant that’s tucked away off the seafront. A recent refurbishment has breathed new life into the place and the food is better than ever, meaning The Little Fish Market offers one of the best dining experiences in the city.

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The Set

Housed at Café Rust on London Road, The Set restaurant serves a single multi-course tasting menu to a maximum of just 18 diners. Expect a procession of exquisite dishes combining Asian, European and British influences – or as chef/owner Dan Kenny describes it: “big flavoured, umami and fat-led food”.

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Baby Bao

Baby Bao’s Taiwanese steamed buns and sides, served at craft beer pub The Pond close to Brighton station, have become a destination visit for those in the know. Many also consider this the best vegan food in Brighton thanks to plenty of options on its varied menu.

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Fourth and Church

Run by Paul Morgan (front of house) and Sam Pryor (chef), this recently refurbished, stylish wine bar, restaurant and wine shop has garnered a clutch of national reviews for its regularly changing menu of globally inspired inventive small plates and excellent wine list and drinks programme.

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Small plates with a creative twist are the draw at this cool, buzzing spot in the heart of Brighton’s Lanes. Expect modern European dishes, such as pork tenderloin with smoked eel Bernaise or devilled mackerel with nduja, backed up by a globe-trotting wine list and funky cocktails.

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One of the stars of our OctoberBest restaurant festival, this lively little Mexican joint has made it on to the Top 20 for the first time thanks to a killer mix of tacos, tequila and tasty small plates, such as crispy sea bass with burnt corn and tamarind. The margaritas are not to be missed either.

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The Urchin

The pub with a brewery in the basement serves some of the best seafood in the city, with a happy leaning towards well-priced shellfish, such as Whole crab with lovage and wild garlic butter.

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The first solo venture for chef Dave Mothersill (formerly The Salt Room and The Gingerman), this chic fine dining restaurant brings a stylish aesthetic to New Road. The open kitchen serves a single tasting menu, focused on seasonal ingredients and classical techniques.

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Riddle & Finns

For more than fifteen years, Riddle and Finns has been serving up some of the best seafood in the city. The recently-opened, glamorous restaurant and Champagne bar on the seafront is the sister of the long-established original in the Lanes (both are open to walk-ins only) and offers some of the best sea views in the city.

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Cin Cin

Sit at the U-shaped dining counter and chat with the chefs as they cook modern Italian dishes that make the most of Sussex produce. Don’t miss the handmade pasta, fantastic Italian wine list and potent Negronis.

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Fatto a Mano

Soft and pillowy pizzas, cooked fresh in a wood-burning oven, are the draw at this popular group of restaurants with three sites in the city, plus one in King’s Cross. Their Napoletana pizza is a classic, but the nduja arancini and calzone are also must-orders.

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Steven Edwards’ sleek, sophisticated Hove restaurant is bigger and better after expanding next door and adding a smart subterranean bar. The innovative, seasonal tasting menus and tome-like wine list remain as cutting-edge as ever.

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With small plates, natural wines and killer cocktails, there are plenty of reasons to visit this friendly bistro in the Lanes. The menu changes with the season, but expect sharing dishes such as Barbecued mackerel, Beef tartare and Ham hock pie, plus excellent cheeses and charcuterie.

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Bonsai Plant Kitchen

Set up by former Food for Friends chefs Dom Sherriff and Amy Bennett in 2022, this chic 100% vegan restaurant specialises in South East Asian small plates. Think wheat and pea protein ‘chicken’ yakitori or scorched sushi rice. Japanese murals, neon artwork and a banging track list add to the vibe.

Bubbling Under 21-30