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.
Four to Eight
Aldwych is a funny old corner of London. I’ve been there hundreds of times, and seem to navigate it differently on each visit. Is this Drury Lane? Oh no, it’s the next one. What’s this one, then? Catherine Street. Never heard of it. Businesses must worry about repeat trade here, in case you never find them again. For restaurants, it’s probably academic: so much of their custom is from tourists and theatregoers in the world of the long-running musical. Four to Eight is on one of the spokes radiating from the gyratory’s north side, as you head up towards Covent Garden. In a handsome, wedge-shaped space, it’s light and glassy: it looks vaguely ‘contemporary’. And maybe that’s its problem. Four to Eight promises ‘beautiful, simple food’, which is a noble pursuit. Most of what we ate managed one or other, but rarely both. A small plate of slow-poached egg with chicken-skin crisp, cod roe and broccoli was mostly successful. It was certainly beautiful, with a delicate rosemary crumb. But the taramsalata consistency of the roe wasn’t that nice. Bottarga would have delivered a bit more punch, or maybe just leave it out altogether? Courgette flower with goat’s cheese was better: both pretty and straightforward. A main of black ink linguine with clams and cuttlefish was over-oily, which made the pasta slovenly. Though there were clamshells aplenty, their former inhabitants proved more elusive, shiftily skulking around the edges and unable to account for the whereabouts of half their n
Venue says: “Serving cocktails, wines, steaks, pastas and modern Italian fare all day, every day till late. Join us in the heart of the theatre district!”