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Restaurants and cafés in Brixton

Brixton is bursting with great food from almost every cuisine the world has to offer

Sure, it's still hard to resist the jerk chicken, but Brixton's got a lot more to offer in terms of culinary excellence than it used to. Join the queue for Franco Manca's original outlet, tuck into an excellent Honest Burger or watch the south London world drift by from behind a Federation Coffee. Got a better idea? Share it with us in the comments below, or send us a tweet.

Franco Manca

Critics' choice

With its top-notch, UK-sourced (when possible) ingredients, speedy and friendly service, and rapid turnover, the original Brixton branch of Franco Manca remains, for our money, the best pizza joint in London. Both indoor and outdoor seating overlooks the bustling market arcade. Here you can sate a craving for genuine, Neapolitan-style pizza, with a flavourful slow-rise sourdough crust and a variety of traditional and innovative toppings.

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Brixton

Honest Burgers

Don’t be alarmed if this tiny burger joint is packed when you arrive – simply give the friendly, efficient staff your number to key into their iPads and wait for them to text you when a space is free (you can follow your queue status online too). That will give you time to pop off for an aperitif in one of Brixton Village/Market Row’s numerous other buzzing businesses, or to grab a carryout from the off-licence, listen to street music (there’s always something going on in Brixton Village) and generally soak up the atmosphere in these covered streets. 

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Brixton

KaoSarn

There’s no shortage of well-priced eateries in Brixton Village Market, but KaoSarn is one of the biggest crowd-pullers. The place is regularly packed inside and out with a mix of stalwart Brixtonites of all ages, and young hipsters soaking up the Market’s vibe – and it deserves to be busy. The food is not only cheap, but bursting with authentic Thai flavours. As at many of the surrounding dining venues, the decor is basic, with mismatched furniture and much of the seating ‘outside’, spanning both sides of a corner site at the edge of the market.

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Brixton

Casa Morita

It’s a good thing Casa Morita’s menu is so brief – the potent cocktails don’t do much for your reading comprehension. Like the food, they’re tasty and remarkably cheap (just £5 for a smoky mezcal margarita). The bargain prices suit the setting, even if this is no longer any old indoor market thanks to the arrival of a plethora of interesting eateries over the past few years. Taco appetisers used good, chewy corn tortillas; the version with chicken mole was a little dry, but it packed a decent chocolate hit.

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Brixton

Okan

Critics' choice

Cheap eats abound in Brixton Village Market these days, and Okan delivers on this front. Specialising in the Osaka street-food staple, okonomiyaki, the menu may be small, but it’s perfectly rounded – fried noodles, edamame, a little grilled aubergine and the all-important Osaka-yaki, all included. As the name suggests (okonomi means ‘as you like it’), you can put pretty much anything into your batter mix, but pork, squid or kimchi are popular choices.

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Brixton

Fish, Wings & Tings

Situated on a corner spot in Granville Arcade, Fish, Wings & Tings is a great place to check out some lesser-known Caribbean treats, beyond the Jamaican norm. Despite its short, to-the-point menu, this laid-back café does a good job of persuading you to indulge in a little more adventurousness in the Caribbean culinary department. Trinidadian chef Brian Danclair might suggest changing your beer order from Red Stripe (Jamaican) to Carib (Trini), for instance.

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Brixton

Federation Coffee

People come to this attractive corner spot inside Brixton Market’s covered arcade to work on their computers, eavesdrop, watch the world go by, or chat with friends. Grab a perch with a view on to the market if you can. But be warned: this isn’t a spacious venue, and it’s very popular. All Federation food is made right here, with sweet and savoury baked goods to the fore. Not complicated, but not expensive. 

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Brixton

Koi Ramen Bar

Koi might be the word for carp in Japanese, but as any sushi master will know there’s more than one way to fillet a fish, so here it means something completely different. The owners of this street stall in Brixton are convinced the UK is about to fall head over heels for the Japanese version of noodles in soup, so they named their stall ‘in love’. But that’s enough carping on about names, let's talk noodles. 

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Brixton

Etta's Seafood Kitchen

Brixton Village Market (formerly Granville Arcade) has become a prime dining destination thanks to the many cafés and restaurants that have opened among the fruit and veg, household goods and bric-a-brac stalls. Decor at Etta's is simple: white walls, plain wooden tables and more tables ‘outside’ in the covered market. The short but appealing menu of fish and shellfish dishes runs from cod and chips to lobster, and includes succulent, fresh-grilled shell-on prawns, and crispy, deep-fried whitebait. There’s a couple of vegetarian dishes too.

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Brixton

Mama Lan

This no-bookings, cash-only Chinese café is an offshoot, a second branch of the original in Brixton Village Market. It’s typical of a new wave of restaurant entrepreneurs who have moved from running a supper club to setting up premises with little experience or capital, spread the word by social media, and built up a loyal following. The experience gained at the first branch has paid off.

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Clapham
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Comments

15 comments
Medhin Gebry
Medhin Gebry

Meskerem Ethiopian in South London has the best Ethiopian food in the city...it's between Vauxhall and Stockwell and blows the tourist trap places in Brixton out of the water with genuine hospitality from the management and fresh cooked food

Eva
Eva

Can't believe nobody has written about Courtesan yet. Defo one of the top dim sum in London. Devoted regular :)

Ale
Ale

What about the Brixton Bar and Grill....must have for Sunday fry up, or the delicious grilled Sea Bass with deliciously homemade chips?

J.V.King
J.V.King

Yes, what about Courtesan, fairly new and just round the corner from the market. The Dim Sum is brilliant every time, definitely deserves to be on the list. Fantastic for a good wine also.

Mike
Mike

Curry Ono are overdoing it a bit on the review side, I don't doubt it is a great place but some of these comments don't really ring true.

ayla
ayla

what about Courtesan, the DIM SUM restaurant on Atlantic road? Best chinese for miles!

Tish
Tish

How can curry ono be missed on this list? It is criminal not to have them. Just tried Courtesans dimsum, yet another fantastic Brixton restaurant. Brixton is probably the planets most exciting food destination and so glad it is.

Mike
Mike

I have eaten at Curry Ono several times in the past year. They serve consistently delicious food especially the very good, mild and fruity curries. My favourite starters include tofu with ginger and spring onions and the seaweed salad. The beef curry and prawn curry meals are excellent main dishes. The pickle served with each curry is great. The ice cream is a very nice way to complete a meal. As you eat 'people watching' the Brixton Market shoppers can be fascinating. Go along and enjoy.

James
James

I certainly agree about Curry Ono being an excellent Japanese restaurant. We shared an array of tasty starters and I had a superb beef curry for my main, all washed down with a very nice sauvignon blanc, in an extremely friendly setting. Green tea ice cream was delicious. Fantastic food and service with a genuine smile - I can't recommend this place enough!

Trevor
Trevor

Curry Ono is an excellent Japanese restaurant in the heart of Brixton. I was introduced to this restaurant by a friend and was pleasantly surprised by the tasty dishes on offer. It is somewhere I wouldn't have picked myself but I am now a definite convert and look forward to returning (even though I live in north London).

Paulette North
Paulette North

Having written for many years for the Time Out Good Food Guides in the 1990's it was great to be able to visit London and sample amazing food at Curry Ono in Brixton Market. The decor is stunningly simple, the service is immaculate and the generous portions faultless. My friend and I shared as starters fresh Edamame with a dusting of sea salt, delicious melt in the mouth Kara - age (fried chicken marinated in a light soya sauce) and a light, tasty Miso soup. To follow my pork Katsu curry was gently spiced. My vegetarian friend had the robust roasted vegetable curry which he declared was flavoursome with a good variety of vegetables. To finish the Green tea ice cream was perfect. The House Red Chilean wine was as it said a medium bodied wine - bursting with fruit and a hint of spice. An excellent accompaniment to the curry dishes and a very reasonable £14.80.

John
John

Yes, Curry Ono is one not to be missed. Definitely five stars for its curry and a memorable place to discover, and to return to sample the interesting choice of dishes on offer. It is tucked away down Market Row but easy to find. Fine dinning at affordable prices!

Roland
Roland

Like the two others below, I have also enjoyed a good few meals at Curry Ono. I particularly like the "tapas" range, so you can have a good selection of small plates and sample different flavours and textures without breaking the bank! In fact, even when I have had a starter, main course and a couple of beers, I have spent well under £20. Try the spinach salad, pork gyoza or delicious chicken katsu curry!

Hamish
Hamish

Curry Ono on Market row serves the best Japanese curry in London and interesting Japanese home foods. The prices are reasonable.

Brett
Brett

Curry Ono on Market Row do the best Japanese katsu curries in town.