The best restaurants in Brixton: pop ups, fine dining and under the radar gems
From melted cheese to mackerel ceviche, we explore the best Brixton restaurants, from the indoor market to the locals' fave
Back in 2009 Brixton’s indoor market, sitting in the corner between Atlantic Road and Coldharbour Lane was a sorry, rundown affair with a collection of stalls that didn’t attract nearly enough people to make them profitable. That all changed with a project that gave new tenants the opportunity to take on a unit rent-free for three months. What followed was an influx of imaginative new restaurants, serving a diverse range of cuisines, which transformed the old 1930s Granville Arcade, now known as Brixton Village, and nearby Market Row (on the other side of Atlantic Road) into the gastronomic hubs that they have become.
In 2015 the market expanded further with the creation of Pop Brixton, a collection of shipping containers housing yet more bars, restaurants and shops – here are the hotspots that should be on your Brixton to do list.
Where to eat in Brixton Village
It’s no bookings at this diminutive corner pitch, but the Chinese street food is worth waiting for. Think comforting bowls of slurpable noodle soup, dumplings and more-ish fried vegetable balls.
With a real focus on local produce and sustainability, this little restaurant also sells seasonal produce, such as South London honey and jam made from fruit trees near Brockwell Park.
A gorgeous shop that describes itself as ‘a treasure trove of lovingly curated oddities old and new’ and you just have to visit to understand why. There’s always some new print to pore over or jewellery to lust after. Perfect for unusual presents — for yourself, or anyone else.
Best restaurants in Brixton, Market Row
If you’re used to tasting menus being stuffy, you need to head over here one evening, where thoughtful dishes of inventive, seasonal food are served in a super casual environment. If you don’t want to commit to four courses, test the water with the snack menu at the downstairs bar.
This deli/café was set up by Bridget and Giuseppe, the founders of Franco Manca, the famous pizzeria chainlet whose first restaurant is still nearby. While perennially popular for a weekend brunch, they’re a solid standby for sandwiches, freshly baked pastries and bread at any time.
We can’t decide if this is a bar that serves excellent tapas, or a tapas joint with an excellent cocktail list, either way, whether you’re thirsty or hungry, they’ve got you covered — a ginger beer and basil mojito with paella arancini is the answer to most questions.
Pop Brixton restaurant guide
If you’re pining for the Alps and a hit of hearty mountain fare, this the first restaurant from street food purveyors, The Raclette Brothers, is just what you’ve been looking for, with all the melted cheese and charcuterie your heart could desire.
Smoke & Salt
The name refers to the preserving and curing techniques that form the basis of the menu at this miniature spot that conjures up miracles from one of the tiniest kitchens ever seen. The many global influences could make it seem a bit of a mish-mash but somehow it all works beautifully.
The New Zealand Cellar
You can try before you buy at this wine shop and bar that serves and sells — as the name might suggest — only Kiwi wines. They’re passionate about what they do, and happy to guide you if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Other gems: Brixton restaurants not to miss
The Department Store
Owned by an architect firm, this redevelopment houses a number of restaurants and businesses. Downstairs there’s buzzy Canova Hall, an all-day bar-restaurant and workspace, but join the Upstairs club (or find a member to sign you in) and you’ll get access to a stunning roof terrace with views over the whole city.
Creative small plates that take inspiration from around the world (you’re as likely to find Korean spiced pork belly on the menu as you are to find a mackerel ceviche — and both are excellent) are paired with natural, biodynamic and low-intervention wines at this friendly local.