Time Out's odd sensationalism continues. Don't get me wrong - I live in Brixton, I love the market, and shop there several times a week. But for quality (or even value), it doesn't compare to Borough Market. Take a look at the butchers on Atlantic Avenue. Seems authentic, from the outside; whole skinned lambs hanging from the hooks. Step inside, and you'll find nothing more than a bunch of untrained guys with a hacksaw. It's not the real thing, though it would fool a white person. Same thing down the row. The secret: ask any good restaurant - and there are many - in Brixton Village - where they source their ingredients. A hint: it isn't the market, in 90% of cases (the successful ones). The result is a sensationalist dream, a market that looks like a foodie's paradise, but isn't. Reject the dream, and go elsewhere that has real ingredients. Borough market isn't bad, for a starter (though there are other places as well.) Sad, but true. Don't be a dupe, don't be a hipster. Look at it with a sceptical eye, and demand better.
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Nov 30 1999
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).
Brixton Market Electric Avenue, Pope's Road, Brixton Station Road