Brixton area guide

Discover everything from charming independent restaurants to late night clubbing institutions with our guide to the best of Brixton

Situated smack bang in the centre of south London, Brixton has become a go-to haunt for foodies, clubbers, artists and rockers alike. This cultural mecca is filled with a sense of community, which is evident for anyone who has shopped in Brixton Village or enjoyed a drink with local residents outside the Ritzy cinema. And for those in search of a party, Brixton’s famous live venues, including the Brixton Academy and Hootananny, draw in the late night crowds.

Brixton highlights

Shopping and style

Brixton Market

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.

Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Shopping and style

Brixton Village

This once derelict arcade is open late on Thursday nights when it becomes a hive of activity, with workshops, live music and queues of foodies lining up to sample its culinary delights.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Attractions

Brockwell Park

Locals from Herne Hill, Tulse Hill and Brixton flock here in summer to sun worship (if they're lucky), fly kites, swim in the outside pool, play football and parade a stunning array of really rather vicious dogs. It's big, diverse and interesting, with numerous areas to appeal to different tastes, from the calm, rolling meadows around Tulse Hill to the sloped football pitches by the Dulwich Road.

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Ritzy Cinema Brixton

Enjoy a drink and catch a movie (arthouse or mainstream) at Brixton's cultural hub where locals flock to experience decent prices and a good cup of coffee.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Where to eat in Brixton

Restaurants

Franco Manca

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. Purists will prefer either the tomato, garlic and oregano or the tomato, mozzarella and basil, in season. The tasty chorizo pizza comes in two versions (thick-cut and thin-cut, dried) of the rich, oily Spanish sausage; it’s reminiscent of New York’s ubiquitous pepperoni pizza. Other menu choices and daily specials include a variety of seasonal vegetable and cured meat-laden pizzas that, while of top-quality, we find a little busy. Side salads and the restaurant’s unusual lemonade (murky brown and slightly like an Arnold Palmer, thanks to a tannic under-taste) are highly recommended, being thoughtful additions to the carb-heavy pizza. Wine and beer are also available. The four other branches – in Balham, Battersea, Chiswick and Westfield Stratford – are fine, but haven’t equalled the original branch’s perfection.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants Book online

Boqueria Tapas

Setting itself apart from your average tapas joint, Boqueria offers a fresh, modern menu that merits repeat visits. The vibe is laid-back, and the L-shaped space has been thoroughly optimised, with aluminium stools along a stylishly spot-lit (and well-stocked) bar leading through into the main restaurant; downstairs is an upbeat bar area with more tables (available for private hire). References to the mother country are plentiful: flamenco on the sound system, photos of Spanish market scenes on the walls (Boqueria is named after Europe’s biggest food market in Barcelona), knowledgeable Spanish waiting staff and real-deal Iberian ingredients. A simple plate of tomatoes, garlic, parsley and olive oil – a dish that seems only to work in Spain – was packed with flavour; lightly battered calamares were cooked to perfection; suckling pig – crisp on top, meltingly tender underneath and served with a lemon sorbet – completely lived up to its high-end appearance. Boqueria combines the traditional and the contemporary to fine effect amid the hubbub of Acre Lane.  

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

Honest Burgers

Check out our video introduction to Honest Burgers here. If you are looking for the new Soho branch, click here. 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. Once you’re in, there’s no time to waste mulling over the menu. There are five simple choices – plain, cheese, ‘honest’ (with bacon and cheese), a special (manchego and chorizo, perhaps), and a vegetable fritter. Beef is supplied by Ginger Pig, cooked medium, served in a glazed bun and is just as juicy as you could wish. Honest’s signature chips are seasoned with rosemary salt. There’s a minimal wine list, ale from Redchurch brewery in Bethnal Green, and local speciality Ossie’s ginger beer. Fast food at the top of its game.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

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. The menu too is pared down, with a handful of classic curries, noodle dishes and stir-fries – all well prepared. An impressive salad of plump king prawns slicked in dark red roasted chilli sauce and lime juice (pla koong) was packed with fiery heat and citrus tang. Another of sautéed ground pork with roasted rice (laab) had been liberally laced with fresh mint and coriander; though milder than you’d find in northern Thailand, the dish still packed plenty of aromatic flavour. Soft drinks include fragrant own-made lemongrass or ginger tea, and there’s also the option to BYO. Service can be a little matter of fact, but staff are unfailingly friendly.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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More restaurants and cafés in Brixton

Great nights out in Brixton

Bars and pubs

Brixton pubs

Discover the best places to go drinking in Brixton from gastropubs to cocktail bars Brixton has established a reputation as a great place to enjoy a drink. From the affordable cocktails and buzzy vibe at Lounge to the guest ales and cosy atmosphere at the Prince Regent, take a look at Brixton's best boozers.Think we've missed out one of Brixton's finest watering holes? Let us know in the comments box below. Florence That the people behind the light, modern Florence care about beer is obvious from the phenomenal range on offer and the helpful tasting notes on all the pumps. In fact, as the copper vats just beyond the main bar show, they care about it enough to brew their own, and their fruity Dam Tasty Beaver and Bonobo beers are in no way overshadowed by the competition at the bar (Meantime Pale Ale, Duvel Green). A regularly updated menu (slow-roast lamb, white bean chilli and the like) is well matched by an imaginative wine list. Past the vats, a roomy conservatory with a table football table and an open kitchen leads to a capacious decked terrace and a separate children’s and garden room. Popular with all ages, and deservedly so. White Horse The White Horse attracts an adult, professional but as-yet-unnested clientele happy to enjoy the generous opening hours. It’s all slightly clubby yet laid-back: the dangling disco balls are embellished with sunflower petals, there are big candles and flowers on each table, the day’s papers rest on the bar

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Nightlife

Brixton clubs

Whether you're looking for a pub with a late licence or a super club where you can dance the night away, Brixton's roster of great clubs ensures that the party needn't end early. Begin your evening at London's first ever DJ bar, Dogstar on Coldharbour Lane, before moving on to the 600 capacity Jamm nightclub with music ranging from hip-hop and R&B to hard house and trance.Think we've missed out one of Brixton's best clubs? Let us know in the comments box below.

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Comments

8 comments
Tony
Tony

Near Brixton in Ferndale road, there is also the Chocolate Museum, it's free and you taste the chocolatier products, really nice. You can also try workshops but you will have to book it. http://thechocolatemuseum.co.uk/

Jazz
Jazz

There is a really exciting new gallery just opened on Atlantic Road, it's called the'Knight Webb Gallery' and they have a show which features artists from across the world!

Formatge
Formatge

It is a shame you really don't know the area, there are way better places than the very obvious ones you have mentioned. Brixton is the best town south of the river bar none

sel de meredith
sel de meredith

I didn't make it to Brixton on my last London visit, but this fall (post-Olympix-craze), I plan to go back and check this out: http://www.smart-urban-stage.com/blog/post/brixton-pound/ The Brixton pound, the neighborhood's very own currency. Had heard about the Dutch doing something along these lines, very arty sort of thing, but I am interested to see it in action, as a way to stimulate the local economy. Pretty cool.

Mark
Mark

On the 4th May Joe Le Groove and Mark Dale get together to launch this free exciting brand new night Shatter Proof, at southwest London freshest new venue Electric Social. Both Mark Dale and Joe Le Groove have been involved in London’s underground scene for over 15 years, playing in clubs such as Egg, Pacha, Ministry of Sound, The Cross, Aquarium to name a few. On this night expect all kinds of audio and visual trickery, beginning at 8pm with electronic disco funk and taking a journey all the way thought to the freshest Tech House dance floor essentials. Joining them on the night for a guest set will be superstar producer and Dj Asad Rizvi, Reverberations label front man, playing his own very special blend of House. The bank holiday weekend starts here with Shatter Proof @ Electric Social on the 4th May. Remember it’s free admission, so please arrive early because we have special surprise, electronic disco DJs to start the night with and soon to be announced.

EXPLODING CINEMA!
EXPLODING CINEMA!

The EXPLODING CINEMA 20th Birthday Party SHOW! Saturday October 29th The Dogstar, Brixton // 8pm till late • Membership £5 // Tube & Rail: Brixton // Before “Pop-Up”cinema, before Vimeo, before even YouTube, there was a place where independent filmmakers could screen their work to a popular audience without selection, censorship or submission fee. A place free from the ‘broadcast quality’ of commercial media and the elite cliques of the Art academy. A convivial democracy which first revealed the utopian secret : a short film made by an amateur with no budget and domestic technology could be better than a Hollywood feature or an Art gallery masterpiece. Twenty years after the first show in a squatted sun tan oil factory in Brixton, after hundreds of regular screenings, spectacular events in an outdoor swimming pool, a circus tent, a deconsecrated church, rooftops, pubs, squats, clubs and railway arches, after tours of Europe, after spin off groups in Brighton, Amsterdam and Los Angeles, after screening thousands of short films to thousands of people, it’s time to celebrate twenty years of the Exploding Cinema ! // Featuring: HALLOWEEN revels, short films, psychedelic visuals, performance, soundtracks... and, on two screens, classics from the Exploding vault // Special guest : the Man from Uranus www.explodingcinema.org www.facebook.com/explodingcinema http://www.antic-ltd.com/dogstar/ NO STARS NO FUNDING NO TASTE

DJ GIOVANNI
DJ GIOVANNI

this friday the Disco houstlers will be atthe Music Bar 144hill play thebest of electro house tech plus mc:s and live pa its a must see a event as the soundsystem it one of the best to apear in the notting hill carnival 2011

Catriona
Catriona

Brixton Village market arcades are now open Thurs-Sat evenings and also on Sundays.