In South London, just off the Victoria line, there’s a one-stop-shop for all your boozing and dining desires. But unlike Borough, this isn’t a market from which you walk, wait in line, and then eat while standing and walking and waiting some more. Rather, this is a cluster of small restos and bars all huddled in a pseudo-mall of sorts, their “garage doors” opened to the public, serving sit-down-and-dine cuisines to suit any fancy: Thai, Mexican, Italian, Indian and more. What’s more, even though there’s a “roof,” most tables are technically outside—and no matter how cold it is, Londoners will still sit and nosh under heated lamps. Some of the most talked-about London restos are here, including Franco Manca for pizza, Honest Burgers for (you guessed it!) burgers, and Seven at Brixton’s for ginger beer mojitos. Yum. It shuts down around 11:30/midnight, but the fun don’t stop ‘til closing time.
Caribbean Flavor at Brixton Village
Made famous in the song “Electric Avenue” (about the 1981 Brixton Riot), nowadays Brixton is a vibrant, bustling neighborhood known for its African and Caribbean population. Brixton Market, and the covered shopping/dining arcade Brixton Village, are a pleasure to stroll and browse through on a rainy day. Enjoy jerk chicken and Caribbean specialties (or familiar fare like crepes and pizza), sample the wares at gourmet food shops, and pick up unique imported gifts for friends back home. On Saturdays there are themed outdoor street markets in Brixton Station Road, and Sundays there’s a local farmers’ market. Easily reached via the Tube, this is an afternoon outing that will transport you far away from the usual tourist spots.
A Taste of Jamaica in Brixton Market
As bustling and vibrant as London’s more famous markets, Brixton Market has the good fortune of also being more under the radar than its counterparts. You won’t see many guidebooks poking out of backpacks here, or a flurry of cameras framing a postcard view. In fact, there’s a good chance you won’t even see a line for food at lunchtime. Given this South London neighborhood’s strong Jamaican community, there are plenty of stalls and restaurants selling the island’s cuisine. Start with a ubiquitous beef patty, a turnover pastry filled with spicy meat, and then move on to plantains and jerk chicken. Once you’re done eating, peruse the other Jamaican finds on hand – like reggae records – or buy some fresh mangoes to go. Even when it’s cold out, you’ll get a taste for the Caribbean.