Brixton Village Market has become the destination for budget eating in south London. Take Time Out’s video tour of the covered market’s restaurants and cafés and get acquainted with its friendly faces. Hopefully you'll feel inspired to pay them a visit yourself.
If you feel you've exhausted the options in the Village, you might like to try somewhere from our list of Brixton's best restaurants.
Once a rundown arcade, Brixton Village Market is now home to more than 20 new cafés, restaurants and takeaways and has become Brixton's culinary and cultural hub. On Thursday and Friday nights the market is open late and to the delight of customers there is live music and a wide selection of international cuisine on offer, as well as a warm, community atmosphere.
A very concise menu is served at this tiny Pakistani café, which is run by Imran Bashir: own-made samosas, curries, three types of thali (minced lamb, chicken or vegetable). The dishes are home-style, and the thalis served on a segmented stainless steel plate, in the Subcontinental way. The dahl is rich and thick, the keema (mince) delicately spiced and with just the right amount of ghee, the raita creamy. The masala chai is exemplary, and the prices for all dishes very low.
SW9 may now have a Starbucks, but this little coffee shop, hidden away in Brixton Village Market, continues to serve those who want to support local businesses instead. And it’s easy to see which is the more intriguing – it’s a funky, if small, space that serves Nude Espresso coffee and a range of pastries, cakes and brownies.
Salad Club hostesses Rosie French and Ellie Grace have taken their monthly supper club to the next level by giving it a permanent home in Brixton Village Market. French & Grace serves a small selection of Mediterranean dishes, notably salads and wraps. The tiny eatery has space for only three tables inside; a handful more are placed outside, in the covered arcade.
This family-run Thai restaurant is the most conspicious as you enter from Coldharbour Lane, as it has alfresco tables on the market’s forecourt. Mr Pee Noi and his team cook up terrific spicy Thai dishes, despite the handicap of no gas in the kitchen (it’s all done on electric cookers). Maitre d’ Giselle handles front of house. Booking essential.
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.
Forty Dean Street
Located in the heart of bustling Soho, this family-run restaurant has been serving up hearty Italian fare for nearly 20 years. The decor is slightly dated yet charming, with a cosy candlelit atmosphere in the evening.The menu includes the usual Italian staples of pizza, pasta and seafood. A starter of panfried tiger prawns was served piping hot and cooked to juicy perfection, while the gnocchi main – complete with wild mushrooms, smoked mozzarella and about five litres of truffle oil – proved a tasty way to sabotage one’s waistline. A generous portion of lobster ravioli was equally as filling, if a bit dry. And for those craving more, there are a variety of homemade desserts available, from a zingy lemon tart to a silky-smooth vanilla panna cotta.But the real star of the show here is the set menu. Available all day, every day, it offers filling Italian fare at great value (the price differs by the day – go early in the week), making Forty Dean Street an ideal destination for hungry Londoners on a budget.
Venue says: “Join us for a festive lunch with our new look interior and classic dishes. Catch up with friends over good food, wine and atmosphere.”