Brixton is now one of the best areas of London to be both hungry and gluttonous within, having one of the widest ranges of cuisine in the capital.
Whether seeking a new culinary experience or an old favourite produced to perfection, any cravings can be easily satisfied – the only problem being where to begin.
With new places constantly appearing (and others disappearing), this extensive guide does its best to keep abreast of all the options and what to expect when you find them.
We’d love to hear your thoughts & experiences – good and bad – and any suggestions of places we’ve not covered. Please help us keep this guide up to date and accurate by adding your comments in the box below, or you can join the debate over at urban75.
Lively, ramshackle pizzeria that also plays host to live music
This relaxed cafe/bar is tucked away in the corner of the covered market. Worth grabbing a slice of pizza if you’re pausing to check out the live music that plays on some evenings. (check their Facebook page for the latest listings).
24 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
020 7738 7646
Cosy Eritrean restaurant with great traditional coffee
It is best to arrive at this cosy Eritrean restaurant a little later in the evening and gather round a big injura – a huge sour pancake onto which curries are spooned, leaving everyone to tear bits off to scoff, all in a hazy aroma of the well shaken traditional coffee.
386 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LF
020 7737 4144
THE AVOCADO CAFE
Avocado based market stall
If you are partial to an Avocado then head here for a tasty selection of Bruschettas, sandwiches and salads, they have appeared at the Station Road market on the first and third Friday of each month, but check their website or twitter feed for the latest news of their whereabouts.
Station Road Market Stall
020 7274 5559
Solid take-away option with simple restaurant that’s busy but not over-crowded
This is a standard, some might say basic, Thai restaurant and that is the charm of Baan Thai. This is a great take-away option if you have that specific Thai scratch that needs itching, although Brixton is fairly blessed with good Thai options.
401 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LQ
020 7737 5888
Hearty Jamaican fare with a relaxed vibe (including the service)!
This brightly coloured, bustling restaurant that lives on Acre Lane does many Caribbean favourites very well. As well as fine ackee & salt fish they do a mean rum punch and incomparable plantain. The relaxed vibe is part of the charm, although this has seeped into the service at times.
12 Acre Lane, SW12 5SG
0207 737 6633
Breakfast & brunch restaurant
Small, friendly cafe right by Loughborough Junction station
Compact cafe situated in a railway arch serving Monmouth coffee, home-made cakes, panini, pizza, beer and wine, with occasional live music nights.
Loughborough Junction station, Coldharbour Lane, SE5
BICKLES – CLOSED SEPTEMBER 2014
Friendly, if fairly typical, Chicken joint serving decent portions
This is Brixton, so knowing where to grab jerk chicken, rice ‘n’ peas is essential. Bickles is perfect to nip in and collect a reasonably priced meal to take home, although eating in is an option, made more attractive by the recent refit to make it more restaurant-like. You can also brush up on a little Jamaican lingo from the guide on the wall; nuff bickle make you go rhaatid.
423 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LH
Visit their website for details of take-away and more info.
BLACK & WHITE
A decent and charming option away from the village crowds
Named after the rather fetching interior décor, Atlantic Road’s Black & White has been in Brixton for over 40 years, previously as Peggy’s. Thursdays and Saturdays are, as you’d expect, Cow Foot Days. Decent meals are available along with the tea and coffee, as well as Guinness Punch.
75 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU
020 7396 0609
BLUE TURTLE OASIS
Welcome addition to Loughborough Junction
Some great coffee can be found at this little new, easily missed place in Loughborough Junction, although be warned there is a fairly limited range of snacks on offer. Being relaxing and quiet, with free wi-fi available, this is a handy option for a spot of work if you’re in this area.
Click here for a review and images.
210 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8SA
An Indian that lives up the hill
Bombay Inn is a firm local favourite for those that like their curries. The decent value, freshly prepared food covers the sub-continent but has a Bangladesh bias. If its Brixton Hill location is too far, they offer a take-away service.
220 Brixton Hill, SW2 1HE
02086717372 & 02086744736
Upmarket yet affordable, tasty and authentic tapas
A seriously good tapas bar worth the extra little walk up Acre Lane, with daily specials and an impressively wide ranging menu. Boqueria offers much more than the street food vibe seen elsewhere in Brixton, yet a lively atmosphere is retained and the prices remain reasonable. Booking is recommended, but worth doing for a good meal out.
192 Acre Lane, SW2 5UL
020 7733 4408
Brazas is a well loved family run restaurant that provides fine grilled ribs and the piri-piri chicken has received many an accolade.
45 Tulse Hill, SW2 2TJ
020 8678 0697
BRIXTON VILLAGE GRILL
Steak specialists with a range of grilled options
Tiger prawns, Stirlon steak, peri-peri chicken wings, all char-grilled the Portuguese way, perfect to combine with crisp salads and crispier chips. Amusing to see a ‘Hangover’ section in the menu, if only the same thought had gone into selecting some more original pictures for the walls.
43-44 Granville Arcade , SW9 8PR
A good char-grill burger option
This friendly burger joint on Market Row is a good option, although the precise tastiness of a burger is often subjective. However, the Tabaco onions side dish are fantastic and the veggie burger is more imaginative than elsewhere.
Unit 10, Market Row, SW9 8JX
020 7733 4646
BURNT TOAST CAFÉ
Small and simple Café with extra tasty bread
Having recently undergone a little make-over, Burnt Toast is a modern bakery that specialises in sour dough breads. Breakfasts, coffee and cakes are here too, with chunky toasters on the tables for some DIY toast.
Shop 88, Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS
The small and unassuming Café Italia offers a great selection of food and drink, more of which can be read about here.
4 Station Road, SW9 8PD
Unpretentious and lively Café on Station Road
Widely recommended charming Portuguese café. Traditional Portuguese dishes such as Bolas & Bifana sit alongside the standard English breakfast, all arriving in big portions at cheap prices. Also the place to come for espressos.
18 Station Road, SW9 8PD
020 7733 0363
Great café on Rushcroft Road with superb food and lovely atmosphere.
Now closed: see archive feature here
Lurking amongst the flowery dresses of Morleys department store, Nero scores points for serving surprisingly decent – and strong – coffee and stocking the delicious Bad Boy Bakery cakes (made by prisoners in nearby Brixton Prison). The free wi-fi, big windows and cheerful staff make this a good venue for a working lunch.
72-488 Brixton Rd
020 7733 2361
CANNON & CANNON
Cheese & Charcuterie
This tiny deli is a great place to collect cheeses and cured meats, either for a Brockwell Park picnic or just back home to add a little something special to your lunch.
18 Market Row, SW9 8LD
020 7501 9152
Grilled meat restaurant with unbeatable cakes
Some lovely food is available at very reasonable prices. Although the emphasis is on meat and, as a recent name change suggests, Brazilian cuisine, there is plenty more to the menu than that. The freshly baked cakes also worth finding some room for if possible.
Read a full, football themed, review here.
25-27 Market Row SW9 8LB
020 7095 9052
Understated Mexican that is slightly lost amongst the noisy neighbours
The Mexican food served in this cramped but cosy restaurant has a distinctly authentic, home-cooked feel. The flavours are extremely appetizing – try the soup – although you may find yourself surprised at how much you need to order to truly fill you up.
9 Market Row, SW9 8LB
020 8127 5107
Highly rated food combined with mixed over-all reports
Another small, cosy place that serves up authentic Italian home-made dishes with fresh, locally (and carefully) sourced produce making up the seasonally evolving menu that seems to get a range of reviews, perhaps sometimes tempered by either the crowds or the prices. As a side note, cookery lessons are available here.
67-68 Granville Arcade , SW9 8PS
CHAMPAGNE + FROMAGE
Opinion dividing new upmarket arrival
Most people are happy with the traditional liquid cheese accompaniments of wine or ale, but the quality range of cheese on offer means that Champagne and Fromage may be more than the gimmick it first appears. Using the shop to take some bits home feels like a better option than sitting in the often chilly market to indulge in this treat (for most of us), although blankets are provided.
Go here to read up on the various arguments of what the arrival of a Champagne bar means for Brixton.
Unit 10 & 11 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
0207 095 8504
Tasteless fried food from faux-hip Meat Liqor funded venture
With all the other chicken options available close by, there seems little reason to waste time and money (small can of beer: £4.50) in here. The food is quite tasteless and the obvious heavy investment leaves as bad a taste in the mouth.
12 Market Row, SW9 8BR
020 7274 0939
Ugly Greek frozen yoghurt franchise
Stands out not so much like a sore thumb, more a gangrenous one, the plastic pink shell looking like it got lost on the way to a Westfield shopping mall. Rarely looks busy and the kindest thing to say is that it’s a healthier alternative than ice cream.
14 Market Row, SW9 8LD
Umbrella take-away service that aims that covers many Brixton eateries
A newly born venture to bring the food of Brixton Village (and beyond) to those too lazy, or busy, to step outside themselves.
Tiny little place on the corner, selling a range of deli products
Cornecopia sells a range of relishes, jams and sauces, although they do manage to squeeze in a few tables in the tiny space as well. The vegetarian food shouldn’t be ignored by meat-eaters, and the Cornish wine appears to be surprisingly popular.
65 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS
07919 542 233
Chain coffee store doing its predictable thing
Boasting the dingiest entrance in Brixton (and managing to look permanently closed), Costa serves up a predictably average fare of sandwiches, cakes, snacks and bearable coffee in a windowless cavern under the railway lines. Great for cave dwellers perhaps but we like a bit of sunlight with our mastications.
458-460 Brixton Road, SW9
One for the Dim Sum enthusiasts
The background music and décor are good accompaniments to the delicious Chinese Dim Sum. The Cheung Fun is widely appreciated, as are the expansive selection of teas and cocktails, but it is a little overly formal.
69-73 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU
020 8127 8677
CROWN & ANCHOR
Pub grub with exceptional beer selection
The main reason to make the journey to Crown & Anchor is the fine selection of Craft beers they have on draught (see here for more details), but they also do some really tasty food which you can pair perfectly with just the right drink.
246 Brixton Road, SW9 6AQ
020 7737 0060
Unassuming place from which to try a Japanese curry
Japanese curries are slightly milder than the Indian version, with the tasty Katsu curries being a good starting point from this curry house that is pleasant rather than breath-taking.
14c Market Row, SW9 8LB
020 7326 1399
Pub that serves bargain tasty pizzas
The Dogstar is worth visiting if not everyone in the group needs to eat, because the pizzas here are very reasonably priced and decent to boot. It gets shockingly busy at the weekend but it’s big enough to always have a table free in the week, so is well worth storing as a handy option.
389 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LQ
020 7733 7515
A popular cooked breakfast option
Dive in here for a slightly more sophisticated cooked breakfast. Our tip is to choose a poached to perfection duck – rather than the standard hen – egg option together with the ginger beer.
424 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LF
Great food in a relaxed setting
The Effra Social is an attractive pub, previously being the local Conservative club. It’s several rooms are nicely decorated, the retro look being within keeping here, and this extends to the dining room at the very back of the establishment.
The prices reflect the higher than average food on offer here, well worth checking out if you want the comforts of a pub combined with restaurant food.
For a full review of the food on offer click here.
89 Effra Road, SW2 1DF
020 7737 6800
EL RANCHO DE LALO
Hearty meals to satisfy the curious carnivore
This Colombian restaurant is one of the old-timers within the village, meaning a more authentic décor shabbiness. Heavy on the meat, accompanied mainly by rice and beans, this friendly place is a good bet to fill up easily on less familiar food such as the spicy sausage and empanadas.
94-95 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS
Pimped up hot dogs
This occasional pop-up venture has previously made a temporary home in the Express Cafe in Market Row. Currently popping-up elsewhere, check their website for news of further appearances.
Electric Dog offers a range of hot dogs, with some unfamiliar flavours to either eat in or take-away. See our full review for all the details, but this is certainly the place to come if you have the urge for a frankfurter in a (brioche) bun, or a tasty shake.
15-17 Market Row, SW9 8LB
The concise menu reflect the tiny kitchen that produces tasty curries
The seating, and nearby noise, can make it seem like you’re eating on a traffic island as the tables spill out from the tiny cafe, but the Pakistani street food of samosas and curries and in particular the thalis are authentically tasty.
55 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS
07590 389 684
For lush fish and friendliness, head here, but not if you’re in a hurry
Seafood is in abundance here, as are the flavours and the friendliness that make Etta’s such a charming place to relax. Be careful not to fill up on the scrummy crab fritters before you get the chance to sample the mains, although there is often a long enough wait between courses for your appetite to return.
85-86 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS
0207 737 1673
Eclectic and ever-changing Vegan option by night
By day the Express Café serves up fried breakfasts satisfactorily enough (see our review), but do not be mistaken that it is the same food on offer on Thursday to Saturday evenings.
At these times some unconventional vegan or vegetarian meals, not always sticking to the French origins, can be discovered. Perhaps the sharing of space has led to the slightly shambolic feel but worth keeping a Vegan eye on this one.
15-17 Market Row, SW9 8LB
020 7978 8515
A place well regarded by many of Brixton’s coffee lovers
If you’re gasping for a caffeine fix, it is best to persevere long enough to find Federation Coffee, and collect a connoisseur’s coffee.
Decent cakes too, although it is fair to warn that it seems to be a bit of a hipster magnet.
77 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS
020 8444 4957
FISH, WINGS & TINGS
One of the many options for jerk chicken
FW&T’s is another simple and friendly place to satisfy your jerk cravings at, with plenty of fish choices (cod fritters are tasty) if you feel like giving the feathered victims a rest, and the vegetable roti is so densely packed it’ll leave you as full as any meat selection. The sauces are enjoyably hot, adding an extra layer of flavour to the already tasty dishes – and countered by a quality coleslaw. The patio space is ideal if the weather is fine.
96 Coldharbour Lane, SE5 9PU
020 7733 3401
Simple and seasonal Italian food done well
The GB stands for Gastro Bar, and the Focaccia part of the name refers to the freshly baked bread of that name, although others (Ciabatta) are available. The daytime sandwiches available during lunch are replaced by a changing selection of Italian meals in the evening. Good value for some quality food, not one to be ignored amid the cacophony that is the Village.
81 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS
Near legendary pizzas at decent prices. Great take-away option
The general consensus is to come here for the best Neapolitan wood-fired sourdough pizza in London. The queues aren’t as crazy as before (reflecting good competition, not falling popularity) but allow for some ‘anticipation building’.
4 Market Row, SW9 8LD
FRENCH AND GRACE
Tiny place in the Village that is a decent lunch option
Rosie French and Ellie Grace of The Salad Club supper club fame serve a variety of food, with interesting salads and wraps that are brim-full of flavour, generally with a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean slant.
19 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
Relaxed and vibrant swiftly swerving noodle bar
Pretty solid option for the now familiar casual and speedy Japanese grub. The acoustics are possibly the only thing to really complain about this canteen-style place – it has a job to do and it does it very well.
5-7 Vining Street, SW9 8QA
020 7737 2369
GRAB AND GO CAFE
Independent French run cafe that opens early
It’s unlikely to be mentioned in any hipster foodie blogs, but Grab & Go is an excellent, unpretentious little independent Brixton cafe, situated less than a minute from the tube station.
And these guys start early too, opening at 6.30am on Mon-Friday, 8am on Saturdays and 9am on Sundays. We recommend it – full review here.
6 Atlantic Road, SW9 8HY
020 7274 2061
Hidden gem of a tapas bar below St Matthew’s Church
Vintage photos of matadors and flamenco dancers and a soundtrack of Spanish folk songs gives Gremio an authentically Iberian flavour down in the crypt of the church’s rib-vaulted underbelly.
Formerly Babalou, this tapas bar and club features an exclusively Spanish wine list, Spanish beers such as Mahou from Madrid and many a tasty tapas.
Read a review, accompanied by plenty of pictures, of the opening night here.
The Crypt, St Matthews Church SW2 1JF
Standard little café
Ideal place to pop in for a cup of tea or a no-nonsense lunchtime meal, but don’t expect too much more from here.
338 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8QH
020 7274 7537
Unpredictable little place that has Japanese and Chinese, but Sushi no longer
Some say charming, others suggest unrefined, Gyoza could clearly do with a smoothing of the corners to be a destination worth genuinely seeking out, but it’s prime position means it may often be a temptation and you could do worse, you can just probably do a bit better too.
426 Coldharbour Lane SW9 8LF
0207 274 1492
Unfussy new place offering decent dumplings
There are soups and teas but it really is the dumplings you head here for – cheap and generous, this place is a positive addition even if it isn’t all that much to look at from the outside.
30 Market Row SW9 8LD
Cheap speedy Caribbean take-away joint
A take-away place from which you’ll likely get a pretty decent dish for your dollar, full of flavour whatever you choose, although of course the jerk chicken is a safe bet.
17 Electric Avenue SW9 8JP
020 7274 4521
The burgers garner rave reviews, but the vegetarian options need some work.
People already flock from afar to one of the more publicised ventures of the village.
All are here to sink their teeth in to the medium rare Yorkshire-breed steak patties, served in springy sourdough buns and chomp the rosemary-salted, triple-cooked (sometimes over-salted) chips. Veggie option leaves a little to be desired, just an afterthought here.
12 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
0207 733 7963
An inconspicuous place on Atlantic Road that serves the best Sushi in Brixton
If you fancy Sushi then take care to seek out Ichiban. This is Brixton’s premier Sushi house and whether you have Sushi, Sushemi, Tempara or Tofu, the food here is both totally tasty and really good value.
58a Atlantic Road SW9 8PY
020 7738 7006
Recently changed Mexican
Although there are no real surprises on the menu, the Mexican food here is fairly decent and there’s little chance of you leaving the place hungry.
1 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
020 7924 9888
JEFF THE CHEF
Fragrant jerk chicken served out of a tiny trailer on Station Road
Perfect for some jerk while you wander round the market; follow your nose to Jeff’s little outside grill that lives on Station Road.
1 Station Road, SW9 8PA
Tiny meat joint that pays attention to the details
A widely loved meat joint that lives in the Village. In common with many neighbours it’s cramped, busy, BYO and serves what some label as ‘gourmet-fast food’ – but perhaps the array of delicious sauces are what elevates The Joint above the others.
The pulled pork, chicken wings and ribs are all ample in both size and flavour, and garner plenty of sticky thumbs up.
Unit 87 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS
Super friendly Brixton stalwart BYO Indian restaurant & take-away
Kahn’s accommodating staff and lack of pretentions fill the Brixton curry gap admirably.
Buying the drinks from the offie next door makes this cost effective and impossible to leave without bursting at your seams, stomach and taste buds fully satisfied.
24 Brixton Water Lane, SW2 1PE
020 7326 4460
Unassuming and relaxing Café by day turns into lively bar by night
Visit here during the day and you will find a pleasant café, walls adorned with the work of local artists and tasty food from their excellent chef from New Orleans, Louisiana, alongside coffee & cakes.
The good vibe doesn’t alter in the evening but it certainly becomes a lot livelier, swapping the squishy sofa’s for bar-leaning. The limited choice of beers is offset by the array of decent and affordable cocktails.
64-68 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PY
0207 274 5373
Authentic flavours of Thailand in a good people watching spot
The queues stretching out from this friendly Thai restaurant are testament to the string of superlative reviews extolling the expertly cooked food, although it is worth remembering that there are other Thai options near if it does look too busy. Only your appetite should hold you back from eating all three courses, the dessert being a surprise delight.
95-96 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
020 7095 8922
Algerian food in a pleasant setting that’s away from the Village crowds.
The Berber-influenced dishes that are rich with spices and subtle chilli are only bettered by the desserts and the on-display home-made cakes and intricate pastries at this colourful and cosy Algerian restaurant. Worth a wander up Acre Lane for something a little different.
140 Acre Lane, SW2 5UT
0207 7733 3150
Ice cream worthy of the name
The panna cotta ice creams from Lab G are freshly made each day, with the range of flavours also rapidly changing, supplying you with an excuse to try another of these truly unmissable Italian style creamy gelatos.
6 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
Small, friendly, good value French café on Brixton Hill
This French cafe has built a good reputation as a friendly, relaxing retreat with very good food, including the French specialities of bread and patisseries. Note that Le DeliCorner is currently closed on Sundays, although this may change soon with any luck.
21 Upper Tulse Hill, SW2 2SD
Not the cheapest option, but in a great setting
Brockwell Park is one of the finest parks in London and the outdoor Lido has this exceptional tea & cake shop, with lovely poolside views. Booking is essential for evening meals, via the website, where you can also take a peek at the menu, although there have been mixed reviews of the service.
Take-away/restaurant renowned for the peri peri, also does great fish
Previously posing as The Gallery, this long-time favourite on Brixton Hill serves some of the best (and franchise-free) charcoal grilled peri peri chicken in South London, in an unpretentious setting.
256A Brixton Hill, SW2 1HF
020 8671 8311
LONDON FRENCH DIP
Worth checking out if you catch them on one of their occasional Brixton appearances
An occasional visitor to Brixton, LFD provide LA-style meat sandwiches dipped in roasting juices. Street food as it should be; simple, messy and tasty. Check the twitter feed for the next appearance.
Station Road, Staurday Market
Chilled out bar offering a range of food options
The Lounge is a great place to relax with a decent breakfast, brunch or lunch away from the Village crowds. There are often other things going on here, such as film screenings and live music, as it does up the tempo ever so slightly once night falls.
58 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PY
020 7733 5229
LOVE CAKE CAFÉ
Patties & Cakes
The place to collect your freshly made patties as you leave the Granville Arcade, although they do a selection of sweet cakes too.
4 Granville Arcade SW9 8PR
African restaurant that turns into a party at night
If you love your meat and lots of the stuff, Majestic could well be worth the trip down Coldharbour Lane. Serving traditional African fare like cow’s foot and other meat curiosities, this isn’t a place for vegetarians to tarry. The staff are friendly and if you want to work off some of their generous portions, there’s usually live music until late in the night at weekends.
330 Coldharbour Lane SW9
020 7274 6676
Born from a supper club, this tiny cafe is the place for Beijing street food, with the dumplings worthy of the high praise received, this is a great lunch or snack option.
18 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
Centrally located pub food option
The food on offer in this pub is pretty decent, even if the prices don’t go down quite so well, and it lives in a good spot. The burgers in particular are healthy, although there’s no reason to shout too loudly about the food here, but you can of course accompany the meal with some good ales.
443 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LN
020 7095 9443
MARKET ROW WINES
Brixton’s first specialist wine store has, as you would expect, a tidy selection. Expect to pay between £8-£12 for a bottle, with decent deals for multiple buys often on offer. They also have BYO nights (food, of course).
20 Market Row, SW9 8LD
0207 274 2463
MTK offers authentic African food to eat in or take away. If you know your Ogbono from your Dodo Ganise then this could be the place for you.
91 Granville Arcade SW9 8PS
079 4668 0978
The often heavy crowds testify to the great tasting jerk chicken here.
Include on any jerk chicken ‘to-do’ list; the sauce is spicy, the plantain tasty, and seats are available. You can bring your own booze here too, although there is a charge.
132 Brixton Hill, SW2 1RS
020 8674 8798
Rough round the edges but charming Portuguese hang out
Always a fine sign to see a restaurant filled with the people of the cuisine, as is O Cantinho. The atmosphere is as good as the gamut of food and the imported Sangres beer. Perfectly placed for if you’re due to visit the Brixton academy.
137 Stockwell Road, SW9 9TN
020 7924 0218
Another option in the corner of the crowded Village
This small Japanese street food café specialises in big hearty pancakes from Osaka called Okonomiyaki, which translates to ‘as you like it’ and they come with yummy umami-rich toppings and fillings.
39 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS
Relaxed and light little coffee shop half-way up Acre Lane
Probably not worth a special trip but if you are passing and in need of a quiet coffee, juice and nibble then the café below Upstairs is a pleasant pit-stop.
89 Acre Lane SW2 5TN
020 7737 1414
ORACLES ORGANIC JUICE BAR
Vegan and ‘raw food’ juice bar that serves salads, sandwiches and cakes
A %100 vegan menu, offering raw food treats, brings some relief amongst the meat-heavy surroundings. The range of juices and smoothies should satisfy even the most fussy or adventurous people with a thirst.
Shop 60, Granville Arcade SW9 8PS
Traditional cafe on Coldharbour Lane
When feeling anything less than tip-top, head directly to long-established Brixton institution Phoenix Café and order a full English, marvel at the toast and promptly head out re-born like a, yep, Phoenix from the flames. Worth noting the Phoenix is closed on a Sunday.
The cafe has moved a short way east along Coldharbour Lane while the original building undergoes major reconstruction works. We have to say that we like the bright, ultra-shiny lines of the current restaurant a lot less inviting than the original cafe.
395 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LN
0207 733 4430
PRINCE OF WALES
Recent re-fit has extended restaurant area
The huge pub next to KFC corner has had more facelifts than Joan Rivers and has now switched the focus downstairs to food. The menu looks promising, so hopefully we’ll have the chance to sample the food here before too long, but in the meantime if anyone would like to share their experiences, please do drop us a note either in the comments section below or via our contact page.
Click here for a feature on the recent re-launch.
467-469 Brixton Road, SW9 8HH
020 7095 1978
Decent, simple Tapas. Often less busy than some neighbours, resulting in a friendlier service
A straight forward, simple Spanish tapas bar and none the worse for it. In the ideal setting for settling down with a group and sharing the whole menu, be careful as the Sangria goes down almost a little too easily.
21 Market Row, SW9 8LB
Very popular jerk take-away point
Refill always has a heaving , slightly ramshackle, queue once night falls.
Conveniently placed opposite the underground station, and seemingly never closed, the curried goat and the jerk chicken are widely savoured.
500A Brixton Road
020 7274 5559
Downstairs café serves wide selection of meals, plus an upstairs bar
The Ritzy is of course foremost a cinema, but you can grab food and drink in either the not so cosy but decent working space of downstairs (free wi-fi) or to the more comfortable upstairs bar area. The food isn’t the cheapest and you don’t have to travel far for better but it is decent nonetheless and, to point out the obvious, handy for pre-film group eating.
Please note there is currently a call from striking Ritzy staff for everyone to boycott all Picturehouse cinemas in support of their campaign for a London living wage, more of which you can read about here.
The Ritzy Cinema, Coldharbour Lane, SW2 1JG
ROSIE’S DELI CAFÉ
Chilled out option for tea & cakes with a vague vintage feel
Everyone knows Rosie’s; her Café-deli hybrid is so homely you could hang around here all day, idly picking your way through the various food that is served up, or eating cakes with endless cups of tea. Well worth picking up a jar of the chilli jam that’s on sale here to have with your own scrambled eggs.
14e Market Row, SW9 8LD
Salon is the upstairs part of Canon & Canon, so much of the menu is sourced from below. This means the menu is kept simple yet fresh. Quibbles include the lack of choice (it is a set menu), the décor and the prices (£7 for the cheese supplement), but Salon offers something slightly different and some tranquillity in this increasingly rowdy little row.
18 Market Row, SW9 8LD
020 7501 9152
Traditional cafe that provides everything you need; clean tables, good food, friendly staff, massive portions and affordable prices. It’s a no fuss kind of place, and all the better for it. Highly recommended if the idea of somewhere that does the simple things well appeals to you. Read a full review here.
174 Acre Lane, SW2
020 7274 4215
Good value family run Italian coffee house on the High Street
San Marino is not really a quiet haven from the hectic High Street, usually being loud inside too, but this does make it a great place to be entertained through watching the world go by and the coffee itself is pretty good.
401 Brixton Road SW9 7DG
020 7978 8417
Typical Colombian food with epic portions
Although the menu is pretty varied, grilled meat does dominate, as you might expect from within a South American venture.
Santafereno has more of a family feel than many of the newer establishments around, and is great place to grab some good value authentic food, that comes in huge portians.
60-62 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
020 7733 0864
This restaurant also has a bar, with a lounge area, with a hefty array of cocktails. Food-wise it is authentic Indonesian and Malay cuisine, all at a reasonable price – plus there’s a happy hour until 8pm – in what is usually a friendly atmosphere.
447 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LP
0844 474 6080
Traditional greasy spoon popular with local workers
You’ll find this unpretentious cafe around the back of Loughborough Junction. Not only is there a decent selection of food, including for vegetarians, it is all at bargain basement prices and served with speed and friendliness. Also has the added interest of wearing a painted mural externally and displaying an assortment of odd artefacts and artworks on the inside walls. Click here for some interesting images.
37-39 Padfield Road, SE5 9AA
020 7737 5834
Worth trying if you have a crepe sized hole in your stomach
The delicious savoury crepes and galettes that Senzala serve up do not have a bland filling in sight. Best to get here when there’s some space outside, a good lunch or brunch option.
41-42 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS
020 7274 2211
Tapas/cocktail bar in gentrifying market space with hideously slow service.
Bringing a bit of Bilbao to Brixton, Seven serves tapas, bocadillos &pinxtos (tapas on a stick), accompanied by some experimental cocktails. The eating area is set amongst much mis-matched furniture and five upstairs rooms are used as an exhibition space for local artists. Painfully slow service and right in amongst the hipster visitors means Seven remains a mixed bag but the cocktails are a firm favourite.
7 Market Row, SW9 8LB
0207 998 3309
SIA COMMUNITY ARTS CAFE
Creative space and a small cafe rolled into one
This licensed cafe serves up hot and cold snacks, meat and veggie lunches, tea, coffee and cakes, and when we were there (click here for full review), there was a huddle of knitters busy being creative. A welcome addition to Loughborough Junction, the SIA is a lovely, friendly, unfussy place with a laid-back, arty feel.
Studio5 , 209A Coldhabour lane, SW9 8RU London
Multinational coffee chain brings little to the heart of Brixton
Apparently now capable of creating a drinkable coffee, this corporate outpost can be found adjacent to the tube station steps. Given there’s so many better independent alternatives within yards, we can’t find anything to recommend it.
Brixton Underground Station London SW9
020 7274 7979
A Brixton stalwart, SW9 offers the full range of breakfast, mains and cocktails
Being slightly off the beaten track may contribute to the relaxed, mellow vibe that persists any time of the day, and it is also worth noting that it has a generous array of vegetarian options.
11 Dorrell Place, SW9 8EG
020 7738 3116
Roti’s previously served from a blue caravan, now set up under the Railway stationThe blue caravan that lived on Station Road and had become a much loved part of the Brixton culinary experience, was moved on by the council after 8 years of serving up deliciously warming roti’s. Luckily there is a new set up hidden under the Railway station arches. Similar in taste to Indian food, the curries are full of flavour and perfect inside a warm roti.
ULTIMATE JERK CENTRE
Kind on the wallet jerk chicken option
The queues are testament for yet another decent Jerk chicken option. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for up to date deals, steals and ‘mini meals’.
397 Coldharbour Lane
0207 738 3701
UPSTAIRS – CLOSED SEPTEMBER 2014
Top notch food worth seeking out for a bit of a treat
Discover Upstairs, tucked behind the doorway of a Victorian corner house, and realise why it is worth both booking ahead and spending a touch more than usual. The modern French cuisine is always seasonal, and always divine. A genuine Brixton gem.
89b Acre Lane (entrance via Branksome Road), SW2 5TN
Fairly standard café option on the hill, with Portuguese pastries
The Vera Cruz referenced here is the Portuguese one, although the original owner has moved on. A decent fry-up, snack or coffee option, it lives on Brixton Hill opposite St Matthew’s church.
2 Arlington Parade SW2 1RH
020 7733 4810
VERANDA – CURRENTLY CLOSED
Expensive food in a bit of an odd, sometimes unfriendly, setting.
More Carrabean cuisine, this time in a more gourmet style. Veranda doubles up as a nightclub so don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a bar, although the cocktails are worth sampling.
30 Acre Lane, SW2 5SG
020 7733 2335
Highly rated wheat and gluten free restaurant.
As the home of the Czech lager Celia, the menu features beer in just about every dish (including desert), but as long as that doesn’t put you off this tiny place is well worth sampling, especially if you happen to be allergic, terrified of or non-disposed to either wheat or gluten.
26 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
Wide selection of Wheat And Gluten free food.
Freshly baked goods not solely for those with distinctive dietary needs (WAG = Wheat And Gluten), although it is worth noting that they do supply WAG-free pasta, granola and muesli here. However, the brownies and other baked treats should be top of your list when passing.
26 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR
020 7274 6267
THE WHITE HORSE
Decent Sunday roast option
Sat a little way up on Brixton Hill, the White Horse is a fine option for a Sunday roast as the food is great and there is also the friendly pub dog George to keep you company.
94 Brixton Hill, SW2 1QN
020 8678 6666
Café & Bakery
Pricey but fantastic organic bread
The bread here is a treat, and although it is at treat prices, it is organic and all that. Definitely worth a nose as you pass, and possibly a pause too now that decent dinner’s are being served.
11a Market Row, SW9 8LB
020 7737 4410
THE WINE PARLOUR
Another upmarket addition to the Brixton food scene
The Wine Parlour is a wine shop, but you are able to sample the – apparently exclusive – range beforehand, alongside artisan cheese and charcuterie. The wine tastings are £25 a pop, to give you a rough idea of whom you would be mingling with in here.
1 & 3 Vining Street, SW9 8QA
0800 612 4742
Another fine Thai option
Yum-D is a cosy café (and mini Deli, with fresh Thai ingredients on display) where you can re-taste the authentic, fragrant flavours of Thailand. Earns the Yum of it’s name, especially through the soups and noodle dishes.
14d Market Row, SW9 8PS
020 7274 8824
Updates , discussion and your feedback!
Check out this thread on our bulletin boards for updates, opinions and reviews on restaurants and cafes in and around Brixton, and feel free to add your own opinions and recommendations in the comments box below.