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Photograph: Willy Barton/Shutterstock
Photograph: Willy Barton/Shutterstock

The best of Brixton, picked by locals

From Nour Cash & Carry to the Black Cultural Archives, youth organisers Shiden Tekle and Mel Da Silva Pinto share their favourite things in the neighbourhood

By Kemi Alemoru
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In our new series, we ask cool Londoners to tell us what’s good in the area they know best. This week: Shiden Tekle and Mel Da Silva Pinto, youth organisers with Brixton-based activism group the Advocacy Academy, share a guide to the district. 

1. Nour Cash & Carry

Mel ‘Nour has been a Brixton institution for decades, supplying our communities with everything from teff to plantain to indomie. Thankfully they stayed open over lockdown! Nour was recently threatened with eviction, but thanks to local activists Save Nour Save Brixton they can continue to supply us with the goods. They have the best service, so skip Sainsbury’s and go to Nour.’

2. Black Cultural Archives

Shiden ‘BCA is one of the most important places to visit in Brixton. This national heritage centre has exhibitions, a library and an archive of African and Caribbean history in Britain. It’s a place I can always find positive representations of myself in history and culture.’

3. Brixton Market

Both ‘We’ve grown up shopping in Brixton Market with our parents and we love it with all of our hearts. As Brixton becomes consumed with new, more mainstream shops and overpriced restaurants, it’s important to remember how big a part markets have played in Brixton’s culture.’

Photograph: Eat of Eden
Photograph: Eat of Eden

4. Eat of Eden

Mel ‘This vegan hole-in-the-wall restaurant is inspired by Caribbean ital and acts as a community hub. They always cater our campaign meetings! They have the best food in town (get the sharing platter), but get there early if you want a seat.’

5. Windrush Square

Shiden ‘My dad would always take me to Windrush Square and tell me about Black British history. It’s a place that reminds us of what has come before, and how important it is to honour the legacy of the Windrush Generation who made Brixton what it is.’

6. Hootananny

Mel ‘I’ve been going here for years. It’s a chill place and perfect to go with friends. They give back to the community and won’t empty your pockets! Try the food from the booths inside – £8 jerk chicken wrap and chips? Yes, please!’

7. Saba’s Taste of Ethiopia food stall 

Shiden ‘Growing up eating injera, seeing more people get excited about Ethiopian and Eritrean food makes me smile. It’s vital that we support local businesses to ensure they continue to thrive – and there’s nothing better for lunch than a takeaway box from Saba’s.’

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