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A spread of Nigerian dishes shot from above, including fried plantain; goat amayase; and egusi
Joké Bakare’s Nigerian cooking at Chishuru makes it one of the best places to eat in Brixton
Chishuru [Official Photo]

The 20 Best Places to Eat in Brixton

From Eritrean, Trinidadian, Persian, and Chinese to modern British, Ghanaian, Italian, and Portuguese — SW9 is a microcosm of London’s culinary plurality

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Joké Bakare’s Nigerian cooking at Chishuru makes it one of the best places to eat in Brixton
| Chishuru [Official Photo]

Brixton is one of London’s most-enticing food destinations — an area offering a range of cuisines, some old and some from new, new-wave operators (whose arrival certainly hasn’t been without criticism). Here’s a guide to the best places to feast in one of the city’s liveliest neighbourhoods — where diners can enjoy traditional Caribbean curries, fragrant Persian kukus, and sumptuous handmade dumplings all within a stone’s throw of each other.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. O Cantina de Portugal

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137 Stockwell Rd
London SW9 9TN, UK

O Cantina de Portugal is a lively Portuguese tapas place offering a hearty selection of grilled pork and chicken dishes alongside a traditional assortment of seafood. With generous portions and dishes like fragrant octopus salads, garlicky grilled prawns doused in olive oil, and salted dried cod flaked over thick chips — and with and a friendly community atmosphere (it’s a particularly fun place to watch European football) — this is a great restaurant for groups who want an informal and relaxed meal. Keep an eye out for the weekend specials including the whole roasted suckling pig.

2. Balance

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179 Ferndale Rd
London SW9 8BA, UK

One of the longest-established coffee shops in the area, owner Ali’s business has come on leaps and bounds with the establishment of his own coffee roastery, Perception — which now provides the beans for his cafe alongside occasional guests from the likes of nearby Assembly. A neighbourhood fixture evolving at its own speed.

3. Kuku

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49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton
London SW9 8PQ, UK

Iranian cuisine has surged in popularity in recent years and it’s the fragrances of the Persian kitchen that inspire this cafe in Brixton’s indoor market. The counter changes daily, but expect to find bright and zesty herb-heavy salads, hearty stews — infused with dried limes and saffron — and aromatic cakes scented with rosewater and cardamom. Seasonal vegetable kukus — akin to Persian frittatas — are served alongside technicolour plant-based sides, making this a great destination for the health-conscious and gluten-averse.

4. Caribe'

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49 Brixton Station Rd
London SW9 8PQ, UK

Keshia Sakarah’s Brixton spot offers a range of island cooking rooted in her second-generation perspective: small plates of saltfish accra, fried chicken with molasses, or doubles; a trio of roti; and either curry goat or curry chicken with rice and peas.

5. Mamalan

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Brixton Village
Brixton, Greater London

A cozy cafe offering delicious northern Chinese street food and excellent value. The house-made dumplings filled with king prawn and water chestnuts, pork and Chinese leaf, and spinach and mushrooms are the stars of the show, but diners could also choose noodle soups enveloped in rich and warming broths, refreshing cold noodle salads with fresh vegetables, and sides such as smashed cucumber and seaweed.

6. El Rancho De Lalo

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Brixton Village, Unit 94-95 Coldharbour Ln
London SW9 8PR, UK

One of the few Colombian restaurants in the arcade predating its regeneration is El Rancho del Lalo, where empanadas are dense as bricks, stuffed to bursting with strands of spiced pork and fried to order so the casing satisfyingly cracks and spills out its contents. An excellent rendition of the Colombian national dish bandeja paisa comes as an enormous platter of meat and protein, including standout crispy chicharron and kidney bean stew. The gentrification continues apace, but El Rancho still outflanks units selling food at twice the price.

7. Chishuru

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Unit 9 Market Row, Coldharbour Ln
London SW9 8LB, UK

Award-winning chef Adejoké “Joké” Bakare says that her debut restaurant in Brixton wants to “preserve the heart” of West African food while making it more accessible to people unfamiliar with, specifically, the spices and ingredients of Nigeria. Snacky starters feature waina — fermented rice balls, served with squash, peanut, and tamarind sauce; and grated cassava fritters paired with a coconut and lime relish, while the grill section includes whole snapper, benne (sesame) chicken, mutton skewers, and beef suya. The star of the larger dishes is a goat ayamase: slow-cooked shoulder with spiced green sauce.

8. Eat of Eden

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Unit 4, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln
London SW9 8PR, UK

At Eat of Eden, spirulina, hemp, seaweed, and moss drinks pay homage to foodstuffs that Rastas have been championing since time immemorial. The interweaving of ackee, callaloo, and plantain through the menu’s curries and wraps is the hallmark, but for first-timers who aren’t sure where to begin, jump straight into the beloved, awe-inspiring platters.

9. Fish, Wings & Tings

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96 Coldharbour Ln
Brixton, Greater London
(+44) 741-1642264
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This casual Trinidadian restaurant excels at Caribbean classics and is the perfect spot to try some of Brixton’s best curried goat, hot-pepper prawns, and jerk chicken; no visit is complete without sampling the cod fritters and spicy chicken wings. Vegetarians are well-catered for with hearty pumpkin and chickpea rotis. Enjoy the Brixton community dining with house-made ginger beer or a glass of rum punch.

10. Franco Manca

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4 Market Row
Brixton, Greater London
(+44) 207-7383021
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The original branch of this much-expanded chain is still serving up reliable sourdough pizzas at affordable prices. Neapolitan-style doughs are made with organic flours and left to slow rise for 20 hours before being flash-cooked in a wood-burning oven. Toppings are understated but all the better for it, including creamy buffalo mozzarella, cured chorizo, and wild mushrooms; the chile oil is a real treat too (it’s also for sale by the bottle).

11. Salon

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18 Market Row, Brixton
London, Greater London
(+44) 207-5019152
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Situated in a shabby-chic dining room above the bustling Brixton market, this cool space offers seasonal British fare using ingredients from the market below. Dishes are succinct and beautifully plated, with the owners focused on delivering a limited menu well. Moreish snacks include ’nduja croquettes and kale tempura before the limited set menu, which features the likes of cured mackerel with elderflower and braised shoulder of lamb with wild garlic. Regular supper clubs and events with guest chefs keep the restaurant feeling vibrant and diverse.

12. Black Bear Burger

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11, 13A Market Row
London SW9 8LB, UK

The Brixton branch of Black Bear — which also has a unit in Shoreditch — wins not just for its excellent burgers, but for a lockdown side project that is now a full-fledged breakfast menu from Thursdays to Sundays, bringing sausage, cheese, and onion patties and hash browns to the party.

13. Sarap BAon - Filipino Restaurant

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14D Market Row
London SW9 8LD, UK

Chef-founder Ferdinand “Budgie” Montoya has long resisted the pernicious idea — not confined to Filipino cuisine — that it represents some sort of “trend,” through successful restaurant residencies across the city, first at the Duke’s Head in Highgate, then at Coffee Is My Cup of Tea in Dalston, and finally at the Sun and 13 Cantons in Soho. Now with a home base in Brixton, he cranks out shattering-skinned lechon; sprightly kinilaw — the Filipino iteration of the global tradition of “cooking” fish with citrus, chile, and herbs; and a rice bowl based on sinigang, a rich soup soured by tamarind.

14. Asmara

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386 Coldharbour Ln.
Brixton, Greater London
(+44) 207-7374144

This gem of a restaurant has been a Brixton stalwart for decades, serving classic Eritrean dishes. Asmara is a great place for groups thanks to the large mixed platters (meat or vegan) that never fail to impress: Small heaps of fragrant chicken, sour and spicy lentils, and shredded mustard greens are piled onto tangy injera bread. With welcoming staff and an entertaining coffee and popcorn ceremony to end the meal, this easygoing spot makes customers feel at home.

15. Nanban

Copy Link
426 Coldharbour Ln
London SW9 8LF, UK

Masterchef winner Tim Anderson’s cooking veers between southern Japanese staples and his refractions of them — through the local neighbourhood and London at large. So alongside nasu dengaku, chicken karaage, and Kumamoto-style pork ramen, expect a curry goat ramen, “angry bird” wings laced with ponzu, Scotch bonnet, and seaweed, and an ackee-and-saltfish fried rice.

16. Kurisu Omakase

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58A Atlantic Rd
London SW9 8PY, UK

Chris Restrepo’s parents own Ichiban Sushi, serving carefully made sushi since 1999. Restrepo takes that tradition and filters it through the version of Brixton he knows as an omakase, which he has labelled “yoroppa-mae” for its deployment of European ingredients. He might smoke tuna, or cure and dry-age hamachi; or he might put CBD caviar on top of mackerel. One of the most singular sushi experiences in the city.

17. Bamboula

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12 Acre Lane
Brixton, Greater London
(+44) 207-7376633
Visit Website

This old-school Caribbean restaurant has been going for over 20 years and there’s a reason for that: It serves up unfussy Jamaican home cooking and has a convivial atmosphere, great cocktails, and a fantastic reggae soundtrack. Go for the classics such as ackee and saltfish, jerk snapper, sauteed callaloo, and ground provisions (intensely dense fried dumplings), and pair your meal with a large glass of Guinness punch.

18. True Flavours Caribbean Cuisine

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101 Acre Ln, Brixton Hill
London SW2 5TU, UK

Acre Lane, that oft-ignored stretch of road between Clapham and Brixton, contains a few noteworthy spots — among them Khamsa for Algerian and newcomer Mikos for a rare sighting of gyros south of the river. The standout is True Flavours, a relatively new (by Jamaican standards, at less than 10 years old) takeaway joint that is permanently busy whether people are inside or not. Residents in the know will phone ahead for chef Junior’s cooking, since the warm rack in the back is not for patties but a catalogue of takeaway orders. Oxtail, jerk chicken, fried chicken, fried fish, brown stew chicken — each is likely to run out after a canny phone order is placed, but there will always be another tempting option or a small wait for a fresh batch to be made in the well-seasoned cooking pots. The most popular item by far is the pepper steak, charred and singing with thyme, slow-cooked until the meat breaks down, served with rice and peas and “jerk pasta,” a massive opportunity missed by a certain celebrity chef.

19. Naughty Piglets

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28 Brixton Water Lane
London, Greater London

This buzzy, intimate bistro is tucked away from the frenzy of central Brixton on a quiet residential street. It is perfect for those seeking atmosphere: Naughty Piglets is all about relaxed dining in a beautiful space. The menu is small but eclectic, featuring standout dishes like pork belly with Korean spices, devon crab with pickled cabbage, and tender asparagus with cured egg yolk. The wine list is exceptional, and someone is always on hand to suggest pairings.

20. Maremma

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36 Brixton Water Ln
London SW2 1PE, UK

Much violence has been done to ingredients in the name of Humble Tuscan Cookery in U.K. restaurants, but this paean to the region’s coastal hinterland and beaches carries off the tribute act with some aplomb. It’s unassuming, unmessed-with cookery — pairing mozzarella with asparagus and serving cured beef next to radish — but has the confidence needed to deliver.

1. O Cantina de Portugal

137 Stockwell Rd, London SW9 9TN, UK

O Cantina de Portugal is a lively Portuguese tapas place offering a hearty selection of grilled pork and chicken dishes alongside a traditional assortment of seafood. With generous portions and dishes like fragrant octopus salads, garlicky grilled prawns doused in olive oil, and salted dried cod flaked over thick chips — and with and a friendly community atmosphere (it’s a particularly fun place to watch European football) — this is a great restaurant for groups who want an informal and relaxed meal. Keep an eye out for the weekend specials including the whole roasted suckling pig.

137 Stockwell Rd
London SW9 9TN, UK

2. Balance

179 Ferndale Rd, London SW9 8BA, UK

One of the longest-established coffee shops in the area, owner Ali’s business has come on leaps and bounds with the establishment of his own coffee roastery, Perception — which now provides the beans for his cafe alongside occasional guests from the likes of nearby Assembly. A neighbourhood fixture evolving at its own speed.

179 Ferndale Rd
London SW9 8BA, UK

3. Kuku

49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8PQ, UK

Iranian cuisine has surged in popularity in recent years and it’s the fragrances of the Persian kitchen that inspire this cafe in Brixton’s indoor market. The counter changes daily, but expect to find bright and zesty herb-heavy salads, hearty stews — infused with dried limes and saffron — and aromatic cakes scented with rosewater and cardamom. Seasonal vegetable kukus — akin to Persian frittatas — are served alongside technicolour plant-based sides, making this a great destination for the health-conscious and gluten-averse.

49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton
London SW9 8PQ, UK

4. Caribe'

49 Brixton Station Rd, London SW9 8PQ, UK

Keshia Sakarah’s Brixton spot offers a range of island cooking rooted in her second-generation perspective: small plates of saltfish accra, fried chicken with molasses, or doubles; a trio of roti; and either curry goat or curry chicken with rice and peas.

49 Brixton Station Rd
London SW9 8PQ, UK

5. Mamalan

Brixton Village, Brixton, Greater London

A cozy cafe offering delicious northern Chinese street food and excellent value. The house-made dumplings filled with king prawn and water chestnuts, pork and Chinese leaf, and spinach and mushrooms are the stars of the show, but diners could also choose noodle soups enveloped in rich and warming broths, refreshing cold noodle salads with fresh vegetables, and sides such as smashed cucumber and seaweed.

Brixton Village
Brixton, Greater London

6. El Rancho De Lalo

Brixton Village, Unit 94-95 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8PR, UK

One of the few Colombian restaurants in the arcade predating its regeneration is El Rancho del Lalo, where empanadas are dense as bricks, stuffed to bursting with strands of spiced pork and fried to order so the casing satisfyingly cracks and spills out its contents. An excellent rendition of the Colombian national dish bandeja paisa comes as an enormous platter of meat and protein, including standout crispy chicharron and kidney bean stew. The gentrification continues apace, but El Rancho still outflanks units selling food at twice the price.

Brixton Village, Unit 94-95 Coldharbour Ln
London SW9 8PR, UK

7. Chishuru

Unit 9 Market Row, Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8LB, UK

Award-winning chef Adejoké “Joké” Bakare says that her debut restaurant in Brixton wants to “preserve the heart” of West African food while making it more accessible to people unfamiliar with, specifically, the spices and ingredients of Nigeria. Snacky starters feature waina — fermented rice balls, served with squash, peanut, and tamarind sauce; and grated cassava fritters paired with a coconut and lime relish, while the grill section includes whole snapper, benne (sesame) chicken, mutton skewers, and beef suya. The star of the larger dishes is a goat ayamase: slow-cooked shoulder with spiced green sauce.

Unit 9 Market Row, Coldharbour Ln
London SW9 8LB, UK

8. Eat of Eden

Unit 4, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8PR, UK

At Eat of Eden, spirulina, hemp, seaweed, and moss drinks pay homage to foodstuffs that Rastas have been championing since time immemorial. The interweaving of ackee, callaloo, and plantain through the menu’s curries and wraps is the hallmark, but for first-timers who aren’t sure where to begin, jump straight into the beloved, awe-inspiring platters.

Unit 4, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln
London SW9 8PR, UK

9. Fish, Wings & Tings

96 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, Greater London

This casual Trinidadian restaurant excels at Caribbean classics and is the perfect spot to try some of Brixton’s best curried goat, hot-pepper prawns, and jerk chicken; no visit is complete without sampling the cod fritters and spicy chicken wings. Vegetarians are well-catered for with hearty pumpkin and chickpea rotis. Enjoy the Brixton community dining with house-made ginger beer or a glass of rum punch.

96 Coldharbour Ln
Brixton, Greater London

10. Franco Manca

4 Market Row, Brixton, Greater London

The original branch of this much-expanded chain is still serving up reliable sourdough pizzas at affordable prices. Neapolitan-style doughs are made with organic flours and left to slow rise for 20 hours before being flash-cooked in a wood-burning oven. Toppings are understated but all the better for it, including creamy buffalo mozzarella, cured chorizo, and wild mushrooms; the chile oil is a real treat too (it’s also for sale by the bottle).

4 Market Row
Brixton, Greater London

11. Salon

18 Market Row, Brixton, London, Greater London

Situated in a shabby-chic dining room above the bustling Brixton market, this cool space offers seasonal British fare using ingredients from the market below. Dishes are succinct and beautifully plated, with the owners focused on delivering a limited menu well. Moreish snacks include ’nduja croquettes and kale tempura before the limited set menu, which features the likes of cured mackerel with elderflower and braised shoulder of lamb with wild garlic. Regular supper clubs and events with guest chefs keep the restaurant feeling vibrant and diverse.

18 Market Row, Brixton
London, Greater London

12. Black Bear Burger

11, 13A Market Row, London SW9 8LB, UK

The Brixton branch of Black Bear — which also has a unit in Shoreditch — wins not just for its excellent burgers, but for a lockdown side project that is now a full-fledged breakfast menu from Thursdays to Sundays, bringing sausage, cheese, and onion patties and hash browns to the party.

11, 13A Market Row
London SW9 8LB, UK

13. Sarap BAon - Filipino Restaurant

14D Market Row, London SW9 8LD, UK

Chef-founder Ferdinand “Budgie” Montoya has long resisted the pernicious idea — not confined to Filipino cuisine — that it represents some sort of “trend,” through successful restaurant residencies across the city, first at the Duke’s Head in Highgate, then at Coffee Is My Cup of Tea in Dalston, and finally at the Sun and 13 Cantons in Soho. Now with a home base in Brixton, he cranks out shattering-skinned lechon; sprightly kinilaw — the Filipino iteration of the global tradition of “cooking” fish with citrus, chile, and herbs; and a rice bowl based on sinigang, a rich soup soured by tamarind.

14D Market Row
London SW9 8LD, UK

14. Asmara

386 Coldharbour Ln., Brixton, Greater London

This gem of a restaurant has been a Brixton stalwart for decades, serving classic Eritrean dishes. Asmara is a great place for groups thanks to the large mixed platters (meat or vegan) that never fail to impress: Small heaps of fragrant chicken, sour and spicy lentils, and shredded mustard greens are piled onto tangy injera bread. With welcoming staff and an entertaining coffee and popcorn ceremony to end the meal, this easygoing spot makes customers feel at home.

386 Coldharbour Ln.
Brixton, Greater London

15. Nanban

426 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8LF, UK

Masterchef winner Tim Anderson’s cooking veers between southern Japanese staples and his refractions of them — through the local neighbourhood and London at large. So alongside nasu dengaku, chicken karaage, and Kumamoto-style pork ramen, expect a curry goat ramen, “angry bird” wings laced with ponzu, Scotch bonnet, and seaweed, and an ackee-and-saltfish fried rice.

426 Coldharbour Ln
London SW9 8LF, UK

Related Maps

16. Kurisu Omakase

58A Atlantic Rd, London SW9 8PY, UK

Chris Restrepo’s parents own Ichiban Sushi, serving carefully made sushi since 1999. Restrepo takes that tradition and filters it through the version of Brixton he knows as an omakase, which he has labelled “yoroppa-mae” for its deployment of European ingredients. He might smoke tuna, or cure and dry-age hamachi; or he might put CBD caviar on top of mackerel. One of the most singular sushi experiences in the city.

58A Atlantic Rd
London SW9 8PY, UK

17. Bamboula

12 Acre Lane, Brixton, Greater London

This old-school Caribbean restaurant has been going for over 20 years and there’s a reason for that: It serves up unfussy Jamaican home cooking and has a convivial atmosphere, great cocktails, and a fantastic reggae soundtrack. Go for the classics such as ackee and saltfish, jerk snapper, sauteed callaloo, and ground provisions (intensely dense fried dumplings), and pair your meal with a large glass of Guinness punch.

12 Acre Lane
Brixton, Greater London

18. True Flavours Caribbean Cuisine

101 Acre Ln, Brixton Hill, London SW2 5TU, UK

Acre Lane, that oft-ignored stretch of road between Clapham and Brixton, contains a few noteworthy spots — among them Khamsa for Algerian and newcomer Mikos for a rare sighting of gyros south of the river. The standout is True Flavours, a relatively new (by Jamaican standards, at less than 10 years old) takeaway joint that is permanently busy whether people are inside or not. Residents in the know will phone ahead for chef Junior’s cooking, since the warm rack in the back is not for patties but a catalogue of takeaway orders. Oxtail, jerk chicken, fried chicken, fried fish, brown stew chicken — each is likely to run out after a canny phone order is placed, but there will always be another tempting option or a small wait for a fresh batch to be made in the well-seasoned cooking pots. The most popular item by far is the pepper steak, charred and singing with thyme, slow-cooked until the meat breaks down, served with rice and peas and “jerk pasta,” a massive opportunity missed by a certain celebrity chef.

101 Acre Ln, Brixton Hill
London SW2 5TU, UK

19. Naughty Piglets

28 Brixton Water Lane, London, Greater London

This buzzy, intimate bistro is tucked away from the frenzy of central Brixton on a quiet residential street. It is perfect for those seeking atmosphere: Naughty Piglets is all about relaxed dining in a beautiful space. The menu is small but eclectic, featuring standout dishes like pork belly with Korean spices, devon crab with pickled cabbage, and tender asparagus with cured egg yolk. The wine list is exceptional, and someone is always on hand to suggest pairings.

28 Brixton Water Lane
London, Greater London

20. Maremma

36 Brixton Water Ln, London SW2 1PE, UK

Much violence has been done to ingredients in the name of Humble Tuscan Cookery in U.K. restaurants, but this paean to the region’s coastal hinterland and beaches carries off the tribute act with some aplomb. It’s unassuming, unmessed-with cookery — pairing mozzarella with asparagus and serving cured beef next to radish — but has the confidence needed to deliver.

36 Brixton Water Ln
London SW2 1PE, UK

Related Maps