The multigenerational and multicultural melting pot that is SW9 is, perhaps unsurprisingly, also a hive for foodies. Brixton Village Market, which dates back to the 1960s, is one of London’s most diverse markets, with over 100 independent vendors representing more than 50 nationalities. Inside its four colourful walls, you’ll discover rooftop bars, authentic eateries and tiny kitchens serving unique cuisines that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. And beyond the market? Even more small, family-run and independent restaurants are ready to impress. From Indian-inspired vegan menus to the capital’s finest hand-rolled sushi, here are the restaurants to book next time you’re in Brixton.
En Root, the popular vegan hangout in Clapham and Peckham, added Brixton’s iconic Ritzy Cinema to its portfolio last year, expanding its south London empire serving delicious vegan food. Founded by cousins Nish and Harsh Modasia, menus here are Indian via East Africa, and created with the community in mind with “fresh vegetables, wholesome pulses, and flavoursome aromatic Gujarati spices”. All three colourful restaurants serve En Root classics, such as the Raja Wrap with rainbow salad, daily dhal, pakora, avocado and rajannaise, and Don Dada Platter: the ultimate showstopper featuring golden rice, coconut curry, daily dhal, saag aloo, rainbow salad and plantain served in a traditional thali style.
Elsewhere, the Brixton outpost – which is the cinema’s first partnership with a vegan restaurant – serves exclusive movie-style small bites including the ‘poppanachos’, where India meets Mexico in a poppadom base topped with dhal, pickled cabbage, avocado, raita and spice krispies. A selection of sweet treats are also available, including a mango lassi cheesecake or a decadent gluten-free beetroot blueberry cacao brownie. We’ll see you there.
Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Lane, SW2 1JG, visit enrootldn.co.uk
Also situated on Coldharbour Lane is The Laundry: a former Edwardian steam press laundry that served its community from 1904 until 2014, when it was lovingly renovated by Kiwi entrepreneurs Melanie Brown and Sami Harvey. The all-day dining destination reopened in 2019, and four years later has become famous for its casual, filling brunches and hearty, sell-out Sunday lunches.
In the kitchen, head chef Harvey creates small bites of beef and chilli meatballs, pomodorini ragù, smoked mānuka feta and miso-cured salmon with pickled cucumber before larger plates of crab linguine, rolled pork belly in XO sauce and bavette steak in café de Paris butter. For seasonal dishes, look to the daily-changing blackboards while the adjacent wine shop means there’s also an extensive drinks menu to choose from. This is one of Brixton’s buzziest spots, and with its leafy roadside location, you can easily spend an afternoon in the sun here.
374 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PL, visit thelaundrybrixton.com
When Temaki – translating as ‘hand roll’ in Japanese – moved into Brixton’s Market Row in 2021, it wasn’t the only sushi restaurant on the block. However, in its relatively short tenure here it’s certainly built quite the reputation, serving authentic hand-rolled sushi which is quite literally handed to you by the busy chefs behind the bar. À la carte offerings include fillings of akami tuna, grilled mackerel, prawn tempura and lobster with egg yolk, while vegetarians are well catered for with pickled vegetables, miso aubergine and teriyaki mushroom. Other small plates include more traditional sushi restaurant offerings, such as yellowtail sashimi, monkfish karaage and wagyu, which are best served alongside the sake flight arranged by Temaki’s expert team.
12 Market Row, SW9 8LB, visit temaki.co.uk
Gremio de Brixton
Arrive before 6pm at Gremio de Brixton and there's a high chance you’ll bump into a member of the congregation at St Matthew’s Church leaving Holy Communion. However, the basement crypt (and outside terrace in the summer) of the Grade-II listed building is in fact home to an authentic Spanish restaurant and late-night bar, which really comes alive at the weekends. The red-brick kitchen serves the candle-lit space with traditional tapas plates of padron peppers, serrano ham, chilli tiger prawns and croquettes, alongside fresher dishes of grilled sirloin steak with onion purée and boquerones (vinegared anchovies) with parsley and olives. By 11pm, tables are moved to one side to welcome Latino DJs and live bands for a night of dancing which means only one thing: espresso martini time.
St Matthew's Church, Brixton Hill, SW2 1JF, visit gremiodebrixton.com
Having started its life in a 20-seater shipping container at Pop Brixton, Kricket has now made its home in London’s Soho, White City and, of course, Brixton. The latter outpost may have upgraded its home to a restaurant under the railway arches but its offering remains true to the original ethos: Indian-inspired dishes combining British ingredients. Kricket was founded in 2015 by university friends Will Bowlby and Rik Campbell, who still oversee seasonal menus featuring the likes of Keralan fried chicken, cuttlefish and Goan sausage ragu, samphire pakoras and cep mushroom pao bhaji. The killer cocktail list is worth staying for a nightcap too. Highlights include the Green and Blue, with cumin, light rum and blueberry, as well as the Whisky Chaiball with rye, chai cordial and soda.
41-43 Atlantic Road, SW9 8JL, visit kricket.co.uk