Formerly a well-kept secret known as Granville Arcade, Brixton Village became increasingly popular this year, especially since Brixton local and the Guardian food critic Jay Rayner profiled it as “home to the most vibrant restaurant scene in London”. But in fact it’s much more, a perfect gem of a market that houses all a Londoner needs for a perfect Saturday afternoon: fresh coffee and juices, an Italian ice cream shop, fish stalls, Colombian butchers selling hand made sausages, greengrocers, vintage stalls…. and being Brixton, it keeps it real, multicultural, bustling and alive. Brixton Village is no Spitalfields, no sterile Covent Garden. This is where real Londoners come to eat, shop and talk.
You can access the Village through the blue arched entrances from Atlantic Road or Coldharbour Lane. And if you’re hungry, I highly recommend:
- Okan, the Japanese pancake house;
- Honest Burgers, for the real home-made variety made with 35 day aged beef;
- Elephant for their masala chai and their spicy Pakistani street food;
- Kaosarn for authentic Thai;
- Take Two for its amazing jerk chicken;
- Etta’s Seafood for their crab fritters and lemon calamari;
- Brixton Cornercopia for modern English meals;
- And Bellantoni’s or Casa Sibilla for simple yet pleasurable Italian food.
If you just want a hot drink and a chat, you can’t do better than Relay Tearoom for their spicy African chai and red velvet cake or Federation coffee for the best New Zealand flat whites in South London.
But Brixton Village is a fashionista’s haven too. Start off at United 80 for funky music, handmade leather clutches and stylish dresses made from Nigeria’s ankara fabric. Then check out Brixi for quirky unique pieces for your home, Circus for up and coming London designers, Saloon 97 and Bella West for vintage dresses and accessories as well as the Parisian run Leftovers and the 1950s vintage glam shop Rejuveante. Prices are cheaper than London’s more familiar jaunts – a vintage John Galliano dress was recently spotted at Rejuvenate for as little as £50.
With all that Brixton Village has to offer, no wonder locals long to keep Brixton Village to themselves, just a little bit longer – but if you’re a newcomer, we’ll let you off. (Words: Isioma Daniel) (Picture: Andy Broomfield )