A previous version of this article featured an opening paragraph that caused distress to many Brixtonites. Our article was in no way intended to be racist, but we acknowledge that drawing attention to (and appearing to welcome) Brixton’s process of gentrification, however tongue-in-cheek, was unwise and caused distress, and for this we sincerely apologise.
Salon is peak Brixton, in all senses. The menu is excellent, European fare and the ’nduja croquettes are truly fabulous. They used to sell the best scotch eggs in the world (in my scotch eggy opinion). The restaurant itself, above its ‘bijou’ bar and overlooking the main thoroughfare into Brixton Market, is classic cobbled-together-chic. Market- tick, food and drink, tick tick, you have to beat the queues but it’s well worth it.
Where: 18 Market Row, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LD
Another ‘couldn’t-be-more-Brixton’ story, Kricket started life in a shipping container, obvs. The Anglo-Indian restaurant in Pop Brixton was such a hit that it’s not only shifted into bricks-and-mortar premises on nearby Atlantic Road, but opened a second restaurant in Soho. So they must be doing something right, right? Find out for yourself, the best selling samphire pakoras and Keralan fried chicken are incredibly worthwhile.
Where: Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, Brixton, SW9 8PQ
A bit of a walk from the main Brixton drag, but worth every step, Naughty Piglets is a charcoal grill small-plates restaurant from husband and wife team, Joe and Margaux Sharratt, presumably the original naughty piglets. It’s small with the sort of great atmosphere that truly decent small scale restaurants breed. The’low intervention wines’ are also worth a shoutout.
Where: 28 Brixton Water Lane, Brixton, SW2 1PE
Fish, Wings & Tings feels like an outpost of real Brixton, holding against the onslaught of Champagne & Fromage type newcomers. The Caribbean food encapsulates what makes Brixton great and, away from the fashionable market, a part of London that remains the heartland of waves of immigration and a noted cultural crucible. Managing to remain true to these roots while attracting the half-million-pound-flat crowd is impressive, and the key is in the quality of their authentic dishes.
Where: 3 Granville Arcade, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8PR
Underscoring just how diverse Brixton is, this little piece of Osaka makes its way to Brixton. Okan brings the cuisine of industrial Japan, savoury pancakes served from street stalls, and having started life as a mobile stall in East London, Okan now has permanent premises in Brixton Market. Serving traditional Japanese street food, the restaurant brings an ‘okonomiyaki’ experience to South London.
Where: Unit 39, Brixton Village, SW9 8PR
There’s something a little magical about Gremio de Brixton. The tapas dishes are tasty, but the atmosphere is also noteworthy. It’s all set in the crypt of St Matthew’s Church, which gives it a sort of vaulted feel that could somehow be set in Spain itself. That or just the borderline creepy basement of a CofE church.
Where: St. Matthew's Church, Effra Road, Brixton, SW2 1JF
Removed from the bustle of the market, Courtesan takes a step into the refined setting of Imperial China. Equally refined is the dim sum menu, created by Fengjuan Xue, who is one of only a few female DimSum head chefs. The restaurant also features a female wine and spirit list, with all the drinks featured produced or grown exclusively by women.
Where: Courtesan, 69 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU