Compared to the culinary homogeneity of Borough market et al, Brixton is a sensory fiesta. The air is thick with the sizzle of jerk chicken stalls, tinny reggae riddims and yam-based price disputes while the multi-coloured hues of exotic fish displays glimmer like a whiffy rainbow. And for every hipster rammed into one of the (justifiably) rave reviewed eateries in the newly trendified Brixton Village (that's the covered arcades), a stack of bargain basement exotic produce still teeters like a nutritious Jenga set. The days may be gone where traders plunged fists into a tank of squirming catfish and decapitated them on the spot, and a lot of stalls marine offerings aren't the freshest, but Dagon's in Brixton Village offers seafood that's as bright-eyed and cheap as you like. For quality Borough-rivalling, European produce, there's the fromagerie and baked offerings of Atlantic Road's Continental Delicatessen.
At lunch time, you can grab a taste of old Brixton Market at busy little Colombian spot Restaurante Santafereno, whose faded decor and gut-bustingly large portions of meat, rice and plantain predate the Brixton Village revamp. And no visit is complete without the manic energy of the rammed little corridor of a shop that is Nour's on Electric Avenue. Check out the impossibly cheap, bouquet-sized bunches of herbs and interesting middle Eastern produce. A word of advice, though: steer clear of the chaps selling herbs outside the tube. They might help pep up your lasagne, but it's your pasta you want baked, not your guests.
On the weekends, the weeday food market is joined by an alternating market on Sation Road. Head here on Saturdays to catch the rotating monthly vintage clothes flea, craft market, and bakers market (10am-5pm). On Sundays, the road turns into a farmers' market (10am-2pm).