Neighbourhood guides: Live like a local in Brixton, London
25 May 2022
Situated smack bang in the centre of South London, Brixton is a melting pot of cultures, and a go-to haunt for foodies, clubbers, and artists alike. A strong sense of community is evident to those who have walked through Brixton Village or Electric Avenue, spotting the locals having a ‘bevvy’ outside the Ritzy cinema. And if you haven’t, this is where to start.
Brixton’s party vibes can be felt all through South London, and many come from all over the city to see the acts performing in the neighbourhood’s famous venues such as the Brixton Academy and Hootananny. But that’s not to say Brixton is only an after-dark destination – there’s plenty to see, eat and do all-day long.
Here are our favourite spots:
LOST in Brixton
LOST is the rooftop bar that is hidden on top of Brixton Village – the indoor market destination. You will find a Latin American-inspired cocktail menu featuring a 16-strong spritz collection, and fresh beer from neighbours, Brixton Brewery. FYI: using the Tablesnapper app, you can order from the village shops below, and have your food delivered to the rooftop terrace.
From the logo all the way down to the names and flavours, Brixton Brewery is a proud product of the South London neighbourhood it’s named after. And as you’d expect, Brixton Brewery’s taproom sits in the very heart of the area under the railway arches.
Born out of pure passion for both coffee and Brixton, Stir’s motto is “good vibes matter”. If you want a friendly face to serve your morning mocha, then this is the spot – the owner can often be found manning the coffee machine and chatting away to customers.
Craving Italian? Head to Maremma. It’s all about showcasing produce, particularly game and seafood – and wine – from the Maremma part of Tuscany. That’s the southwestern portion by the coast, FYI. Much of the wine list hasn’t been seen in the UK before, so if you fancy yourself an early adopter, this is the late-night spot for you.
Melanie Brown, the woman behind The New Zealand Cellar in POP Brixton, also runs an all-day bistro and wine bar, The Laundry, just the other side of Brixton Village on Coldharbour Lane. The menu is full of comforting classics with an Antipodean twist – think beets with apple aioli, prawn cocktail, and chicken kiev with caesar slaw.
Temaki, London’s first authentic hand-roll bar, is overseen by restaurateur A.M Dupee and chef Shaulan Steenson, who gained his experience at some of Japan’s most coveted sushi joints. If you get overwhelmed by choice, the unagi (BBQ eel), otoro tuna with spring onion, and crab with egg yolk and white soy are excellent. The laid-back and friendly atmosphere make this spot great for solo dining, which is handy since you really won’t want to share.
Wood and Water
April Jackson flipped her cocktail bar Three Little Birds into the now Wood and Water restaurant, combining modern British food with “Jamaican soul”. Expect to find dishes such as pan-seared duck breast served with a jerk glaze, rum soaked plums and huge king prawns with spicy scotch bonnet and lemongrass. The cocktail list is heavily Jamaican influenced too, including Corn & Oil, a rum and corn liquor number served with corn crackers on the side.
Weigh and Pay
Hate plastic? Fancy yourself a conscious consumer? Well, Weigh and Pay is the only zero-waste shop in Brixton Village, selling organic and plant-based wholefoods, household goods and cosmetics. They stock products from local businesses like natural deodorant maker Elsa’s Organic and skincare company Suneeta London.
Black Cultural Archives
The Black Cultural Archives explores and chronicles black cultures from all over the world and gives an unparalleled insight into people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain. It’s here that you can discover interactive exhibitions, animated films, and photography that documents the journeys taken, difficulties faced and love stories lived.
The sign at the entrance says: ‘Hippies use side door’. But Bookmongers has been run by bespectacled bohemian, Patrick Kelly, for more than 20 years. Be prepared to rummage through its stacks of second-hand books – they have everything from Simpson manuals to copies of Charles Bukowski’s Women.
Brixton Art Club
Brixton Art Club opened in 2021 as a way to provide a platform for emerging artists and musicians from the local area. From street-style art by Steve McCraken and multimedia pieces by Pilar Camino Alcon, to sets by DJ Soulprovyder and DJ Nancy Noise – it’s home to a multidisciplinary community of creatives.