New to the area? Don’t worry. Our Brixton taxi driver’s guide has got all the best hints and tips on where to eat, drink and hang out while you’re here. Arguably now one of London’s trendier spots, Brixton has experienced a massive surge in popularity over recent years. Having been pushed out of central London in search of affordable accommodation, Londoners quickly capitalised on Brixton’s lively neighbourhood and descended to it en masse. The result is not so much a change in the landscape down here as a refreshing and enlivening of it. For years Brixton served commuters from the surrounding areas with a much needed point of access to the London Underground. And as the final stop on the Victoria Line, the station itself has always been a bit of a funnel point, particularly at rush hour. But nowadays there are just as many people looking to come to Brixton as there are heading northwards towards central London, and when you start to explore this vibrant and alluring part of south west London, it’s really no surprise. Famous for its Market and the irresistible Brixton Village; as well as dozens of terrific music venues, Brixton is alive with great stuff to do and terrific things to see. It’s no wonder so many people are choosing to come and live here. Addison Lee take absolute pride in the service we deliver. Which means providing minicabs that aren’t just comfortable and affordable, but also cars that are safe. We never, ever charge ‘surge’ fares, not even when central Brixton’s at its busiest. So you’ll always know how much you’re paying and what you’re paying for. Follow our Brixton taxi driver’s guide to the area and we’ll help you unlock the secrets of SW9 in just a few moments.
Where to drink
The Duke of Edinburgh
There are any number of good pubs in Brixton, and like anywhere one of the best ways to get to know them is usually to have a bit of a wander. But when it comes to a place like the Duke of Edinburgh, there’s a good chance you could wander for hours and never find it. With arguably a larger beer garden than it has an indoors, this place is tucked away on a side street not far from Brixton station. They have a great selection of beer, show pretty much all major sporting events and are almost always absolutely buzzing with customers. Especially come summer time. Oh and they serve up some pretty tasty burgers too.
204 Ferndale Rd, SW9 8AG
Seven at Brixton
Finding your way into Brixton Village can be a job in itself (more on that later) but once you’re inside there’s a veritable cornucopia of great places to eat and – to a lesser extent – drink. Our favourite of the lot is Seven. Sitting somewhere between bar and restaurant, Seven is an open fronted graffiti-tattooed spot which practically pulls you in off the arcade to try some of their brilliant drinks. A range of great beers to try – as well as some well known concoctions – compliment their own in-house frozen boozy smoothies that come straight out a slushy machine. The food is all tapas so you can have as little or as much as you like.
Market Row, SW9 8LB
The Florence, although technically in neighbouring Herne Hill, is an awesome pub. They are all about the real ale and knock out an ever changing range of beers from their four hand pumps. What makes them really cool though is that they have their own mini brewing kit. So they frequently have their own beers on the go too. The food here is really tasty, with any number of excellent British dishes to try that are largely centred around beef or fish. It’s right next to Brockwell park too so there’s a good opportunity to work up an appetite before you stop by.
131-133 Dulwich Rd, SE24 0NG
Where to eat
If ever there was a famous pizza place in south London, Franco Manca has to be it. Another one set in the tall corridors of Brixton Village. This Neapolitan pizzeria became popular so quickly that it felt like mere months before it spawned its successful franchise. There’s even one in the food court at Stratford Westfield. Of course, nothing compares to the original, and Franco Manca hasn’t changed a bit for its newfound fame. These beautiful sourdough pizzas are a sinful delight. Each one uses fresh British ingredients to create flavour combinations that are both simple and out of this world.
4 Market Row, Electric Lane, SW9 8LD
Shrub & Shutter
This ingenious South London bistro is a lively celebration of what can be done with fresh flavours and exciting ingredients. Set up in 2014, the Shrub and Shutter is as much a bar as it is a restaurant but we feel there’s no reason not to up the two in a whirlwind of pleasure. To call them innovative would probably be to do them a bit of a disservice as one glance at their cocktail menu will attest. But delve deeper into their food and you’ll find a list of seasonal delights that rely heavily on earthy but refined palates. They have snacks or set menus and they even occasionally have live music.
336 Coldharbour Ln, SW9 8QH
You may be wondering why we’ve included a burger joint on this list that you’ve seen on practically every trendy corner in London already. Well, much like Franco Manca before it (well, after really), Honest Burgers started life as tiny little stall in Brixton Village. The decor has been described as a “Compact setting” but we think that’s a bit of an estate agent’s glean. It’s small. But let the snug, cosy environment take nothing away from just how good the burgers and rosemary chips are. Large enough to take satisfy the really hungry. Not so greasy and unpleasant as to make you feel sick afterwards. There’s a reason Honest Burgers are everywhere these days.
12, Brixton Village, SW9 8PR
What to do
We may have mentioned Brixton Village once or twice already. But for those of you who were neither hungry nor thirsty and skipped straight to the ‘what to do’ section, welcome to Brixton’s arcade of curios. Largely made up of affordable little independent bars and restaurants (they are also some pretty great shops and stalls), the Village is the foodie arm of the indoor market. Having been little more than a derelict arcade a few years ago, today it’s an absolute hive of activity. Housing some of the best spots to hang out in Brixton. Go in and get lost for a few hours that’s our advice. You’ll love it.
10-11, 8LB, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, SW9
The Ritzy Cinema
Nothing beats a truly independent cinema. And the Ritzy is just that. Standing at the centre of Brixton, right on those iconic crossroads, the Ritzy is as much a Brixton landmark as the Electric and the Market. Restored in 1911, the cinema has five separate screens allowing them to show a broad spectrum of films; both indie and blockbuster. Upstairs there’s a bar and events space where they have yoga classes, debates, talks and parties. Like it or loathe it, the Ritzy represents the beating heart of Brixton to many of its inhabitants.
Brixton Oval, SW2 1JG
Music fans rejoice! If Brixton is known for one thing above all, it’s the eclectic music scene. Step out of the tube station and chances are you’ll be regaled by a busker or two. But hop over the road to the academy and you can expect to find some really great acts. As one of London’s best known and well-loved music venues, it’s hosted almost every major act to have graced the London asphalt in the last 30 years. Built in 1929 as a cinema and theatre, it wasn’t until the early 80s when it became a popular haunt for touring rock bands. This is a true London gem, don’t miss it. Check their website to find out what’s on now and coming up soon.
211 Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL