Best restaurants in Brixton
Check out our favourite restaurants, cafes, bars and foodie spots in this vibrant area of South London. Try spicy squid noodles, the ultimate jerk chicken, elderflower bellinis and more
Looking for Brixton restaurants? Here are our favourite restaurants in Brixton. Check out our ideas for eating and drinking in Brixton, from Brixton Village to Pop Brixton and beyond...
Bottle + Rye, Market Row — for a slice of European café culture
This intimate wine bar and restaurant from Robin and Sarah Gill brings a slice of European café culture to Market Row in Brixton Village. The team behind Sorella, Bermondsey Larder, Darby’s and Rye by the Water took the classic Parisian bistro as their starting point for the interiors, dominated by an elegant marble, brass and walnut bar. Nab a seat here to watch the kitchen and bar team whip up cocktails and plate dishes.
A menu of simple, deftly executed Gallic classics delivers. Succulent, well-seasoned pig’s head brawn terrine comes with cornichons, delicate rings of pickled onion and hunks of sourdough, and a luscious dollop of creamy smoked eel brandade is served with Pink Fir crisps for scooping. Veggie dishes also shine – especially summery pea and broad bean ragu and a salad of green beans and leeks with crunchy hazelnut praline. Don’t miss out on dessert – a beautifully made blackcurrant and fig leaf choux éclair on our visit.
A mostly European list of minimal intervention wines includes plenty by the glass (try Judith Beck’s delicious Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch rosé) as well as natural ciders from the likes of Little Pomona, Brixton Brewery beers and a succinct cocktail list including a peach and jasmine americano. bottleandrye.com
Temaki, Market Row — for Japanese hand rolls
Temaki, standing for, Te (hand), Maki (roll) has an intimate yet lively feel to it, hosting only 18 covers at a time indoors. The open kitchen brings a sense of connection between the diner and the skilled, humorous chef (Shaulan Steenson) who multitasks, eloquently chatting through the menu while crafting the Temaki. There’s a prevailing joyful atmosphere as the waiting staff are brimming with enthusiasm and knowledgeable about the menu and even more excited to explain about the drinks. We were recommended the Sumi clear Junmai sake which was light with a savoury finish, followed by a sansho peppercorn gin which was topped with filtered lime juice — a sweet yet tangy dream. On to the hand rolls, there are eight to choose from, made fresh to order, alongside meticulously plated small plates. We loved the yellowtail sashimi, which was fresh and tangi from the ponzu with chillies sourced locally from the markets in Brixton. A standout was akami tuna temaki with a nikiri soy filling — not to be missed. If you’re in south west London, or are in the market for a new, fun experience to dive into an interactive Japanese cuisine, Temaki is the place to visit. instagram/temakihandrollbar
Salon, Market Row – for small plates and wines
Book ahead if you want the five-course set menu at this bistro and wine bar in Brixton Village, or perch at the downstairs wine bar and dig into monthly-changing snacks and sharing plates. Dunk moreish ’nujda croquettes into silky aïoli, or crispy veggie tempura in yogurt dip, and peruse the shelves showcasing funky bottles from independent producers (try South African orange wine, Lebanese merwah or Australian riesling, perhaps).If you’re dining à la carte, order a couple of larger plates to share between two, from buffalo burrata topped with seasonal ingredients (think puntarelle in winter and blood orange in spring) to chunks of charred squash with house-made ricotta. For dessert, those with a sweet tooth should order the salted caramel brownie with tangy crème fraîche, while olive oil ice cream gives a savoury note to clementine and almond sponge.
If you get there before 7pm, order the pasta of the day (that may be tagliatelle with leek, Stichelton and buckwheat; or farfalle with artichokes and anchovies) plus a glass of wine for £12. Weekend brunchers shouldn’t miss the warm banana bread with heaps of homemade chocolate hazelnut spread.
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18 Market Row: salonbrixton.co.uk
Maremma, Brixton Water lane – for Italian neighbourhood vibes
The small space of this Tuscan bistro has a distinctly neighbourhood vibe – vases of dried flowers sit on tables crammed in alongside stools at the pale sage counter overlooking the busy open kitchen and aperitif-bottle-lined bar.Large, almost life-size illustrations of wild boar and octopus on exposed brick walls reflect dishes on the menu – the former in a hefty cut of pepper-crusted cutlet and belly with balsamic figs and wispy Italian spinach, and also combined with Tuscan herbs and fennel seeds to make a ragu tossed through glistening folds of homemade pappardelle.The menu is dedicated to produce from the Maremma region of south-west Tuscany. Highlights of our visit were a starter of super-soft octopus neatly arranged in a bowl with crushed new potatoes, all doused in Tuscan olive oil and lemon juice. Another was the tortelli Maremmani – yolk-yellow pasta parcels stuffed with creamy ricotta, spinach and a hint of nutmeg, topped with crispy sage. Skate wing wasn’t on the menu on our visit, but we’ve heard from reliable sources it’s another standout.
Wines all come from Maremma – the brancaleta sangiovese/malvasia nera blend provides an elegant, aromatic accompaniment to the boar dishes, while chardonnay from the same vineyard is intense enough to hold up to most options on the menu. The cocktail menu also showcases spirits from the region – Seven Hills gin, infused with juniper and herbs from Maremma, is used in the negroni and a rosemary old fashioned, while the Mi-To (Milano-Torino) cocktail mixes a new Maremma-born vermouth with Corsican grapefruit aperitif, Pampelle.
Thunderbird Fried Chicken, Market Row – for fried chicken
Matt Harris has been tinkering around with fried chicken for years, experimenting with hundreds of batches of wings. After manning his American street-food truck, BBQ Lab (in locations such as Dinerama), Matt now focusses solely on fried chicken at a permanent site in Brixton’s Market Row (and most recently at the O2). Exposed brick and pipework interiors are brightened up with electric blue paint, pops of orange and Thunderbird’s neon logo, which disguises a chicken wing as a lightning bolt.Matt’s Chipuffalo Wings won the top award at Wing Fest a few years ago, and they’re definitely still living up to the title – tender wings are cooked in a pressure fryer then quickly splashed in an open fryer to ensure the contrast between crunchy coating and succulent centre, before they’re slathered in a mildly spicy chipotle sauce with an extra dollop of thick blue cheese sauce on the side. The comforting Thunderbun chicken burger is spot on in all its parts – crunchy golden chicken with tender centre and a squidgy bun, complete with a homemade smoky burger sauce and juicy gherkins. Cajun fries come with secret smoky "Awesome sauce", or go all out with molten jalapeño cheese fries with charred pepper aïoli.Funky Brixton Brewery beers match Thunderbird’s décor, particularly the hoppy, light Low Voltage session IPA and crisp, citrussy Reliance pale ale, or there are milkshakes for the full diner-style experience.
Kricket, Atlantic Road – for Indian small plates
Contemporary and cool, Kricket specialises in Indian small plates using local vegetables and fish and meat sourced within the British Isles. Kricket is a collaboration of fresh seasonal British produce and traditional Indian flavours and spices all set out in an informal environment. Kricket first opened in a small shipping container in Pop Brixton, before opening up in Soho and a permanent site back in Brixton on Atlantic Road.Looking for London's best Indian restaurants? Check out our top Indian restaurants here41-43 Atlantic Road: kricket.co.uk
Duck Duck Goose, Pop Brixton – for Cantonese cuisine
One of Pop Brixton's newer arrivals draws inspiration from the roast meat shops and traditional canteens of Hong Kong to present a modern take on classic Cantonese cuisine. Oli Brown, former head chef of Le Café Anglais and The Continental Hong Kong, aims to bring the style of the democratic and affordable eateries he discovered in the far east back to London.The restaurant’s name gives a clue as to what’s on the menu—namely roast fowl, and lots of it.Read our full review of Duck Duck Goose here.
49 Brixton Station Road: duckduckgooselondon.com
Nanban, Coldharbour Lane – for Japanese soul food
Tim Anderson’s ramen joint brings Japanese soul food to South London. The team puts Brixton Market’s global stamp on popular Japanese dishes – crunchy chicken karaage is served with honey miso mayo, market tempura coats “whatever looks good in Brixton Market” in light tempura batter, and seafood sawdust combines Japanese katsuobushi (dried, smoked tuna) with West African smoked prawn powder.After a pick and mix of small plates (padron peppers in spicy, citrusy ponzu; roasted aubergine topped with sweet miso; and panko-crusted plantain in katsu curry sauce) there are seven ramen varieties to choose from. The signature sees slow-cooked boneless goat leg bathing in a rich Indo-Caribbean curry sauce with thick noodles, Scotch bonnet-pickled bamboo shoots and tea-pickled egg in a true Japanese-Caribbean mash up. Other twists include the Leopard’s rich chilli-sesame pork broth with garlic chips and pork belly; and light, aromatic tom yum in which king prawns, mussels and squid swim in a lemongrass, galangal and lime leaf-infused salmon broth.If you’re not a fan of noodles, there’s fried rice studded with king prawns, bacon, egg and salmon caviar; crispy chicken wings in Scotch bonnet honey ponzu butter sauce; and a vibrant tuna poke livened up with wakame, macadamia nuts, yuzu-pickled radish and crispy gyoza pastry. If you’re hungry, order the Sasebo burger – two aged beef patties loaded with pork belly, American cheese, Korean chilli burger sauce and a choice of plenty of extra toppings.
To drink, Japan’s famous Nikka Coffey whisky sits behind the funky bar alongside the likes of yuzu sake, sweet plum wine and a range of Japanese teas.
426 Coldharbour Lane: nanban.co.uk
Mama's Jerk Station, Pop Brixton – for street food
It now has permanent sites at Deptford Market Yard and Pop Brixton, but the roots of Mama’s Jerk Station go back generations, to Jamaica. There, in her kitchen garden, owner Adrian Luckie’s great grandmother, Mama Charlotte, used to grow the ingredients that went into her jerk marinade, a secret family recipe which today puts the sweet, aromatic heat into Mama’s 48-hour marinated BBQ chicken wings or its chicken wraps with fried plantain and tropical mayo.A jerk marinade usually includes fresh thyme, allspice berries and scotch bonnet chillies among other ingredients, but Mama’s goes that extra mile in its barbecuing, by mimicking the pimento tree wood that is the traditional BBQ fuel in Jamaica, “We add pimento flavour to the coals and wood in the drum smokers to give the food an even more authentic flavour,” says Adrian. Mama’s also cooks at Street Feast’s Model Market, Lewisham, London SE13. Dishes £3-£7. Looking for the top UK street food stalls? Check out our guide here.
Deptford Market Yard & Pop Brixton - 49 Brixton Station Road: mamasjerk.com
Champagne + Fromage, Brixton Village – for cheese and wine
Champagne + Forage, in Brixton Village, does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a marriage of two companies: Frenchbubbles specialises in carefully sourced, limited production grower champagnes (those where the wine is produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards), and the cheese is looked after by Une Normande à Londres, a family-owned company dedicated to bringing the best artisan cheeses, cured meats and preserves from France to London.The menu is made up of cheese and charcuterie boards, baked cheeses, salads, tartines, and a small selection of desserts. Everything is designed for sharing. This isn’t a typical sit-down meal; it’s more a place to go if you want to linger over a few glasses of champagne and lighter bites while you catch up with friends.There are over 50 different cheeses on offer, which could be daunting. But the staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and forthcoming in their suggestions. Plus you’re encouraged to go to the counter to taste and build your board. The charcuterie was all high quality so you can’t go wrong - the blueberry saucisson (although it sounds strange) was particularly good...
Unit 10-11 Brixton Village: champagneplusfromage.co.uk
Written by Ellie Edwards, Alex Crossley and Hannah Guinness
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