• 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. • Get the details and unbiased reviews of the best places, from KaoSarn to Honest Burgers.
Bellantoni's video introduction
Dario Bellantoni and his staff bring some sunshine to the market with a selection of own-made pasta and an all-Italian wine list.
Brixton area guide
In case you failed your GCSE French, ‘bon vivant’ means ‘good living’. And there’s no doubt: the staff at this French restaurant in Bloomsbury definitely want you to have a good time. It wasn’t overly busy when I arrived on a Saturday night, but it quickly filled up. The staff were rushed off their feet but made an effort to ensure everyone was enjoying themselves, with one staff member seamlessly switching between languages to different groups of out-of-towners. The menu is French-inspired, including a mix of classics like fish soup as well as some more unusual plates. A starter of foie gras was bold and punchy, paired with rhubarb and cacao. But the sea bream main course that followed it was over-complicated: though well cooked and teamed with a zingy salsa, it was also confusingly served with tortellini, which wasn’t listed on the menu and seemed an odd match. Much better was the duck, served with black pudding and crunchy hazelnuts. Desserts change daily but do grab the chocolate-and-salted-caramel torte if it’s on: mine tasted like a Werther’s Original (which is a good thing). Bon Vivant is probably not a place to go out of your way for, but it’s handily placed for both Euston and King’s Cross stations and is a decent spot if you’re in the area.
Venue says: “Steak and wine for £12 – come down to Bon Vivant and bag yourself a boozy steak every Monday night.”