Frugl Local: Brixton

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Brixton has always had an electricity and vibrancy about it thanks to its primarily Afro-Caribbean heritage, however it is in the past ten years that it has really come into its own.  This is partially thanks to the renovation of market space on Coldharbour Lane which has become the inviting chocolate box of shops, restaurants, fashion boutiques and galleries that has become Brixton Village.  More importantly, Brixton seems to have become much more at ease with its identity, celebrating the food and drink of its diverse residents, not to mention its ever-present feeling of being on the edge of a party at any second.

Movimientos presents: Live music from with DAVID X Beatboxer, Vocal-Global Noga Ritter and special guests with afro-latin twist by killer skanking Ska and Rocksteady from The Big Steal. And The Fontanas are ready to stir up their soulfull Brazilian carnival flavours and latin funk. Hootananny Brixton, Feb. 28, 2015. (Photos/Ivan Gonzalez)
(Photo/Ivan Gonzalez)

1. Hootananny – Brixton has a reputation for having some of the best live music in London, and it’s venues like the Hootananny that boost that.  All the music you will hear there is focussed on one thing: getting your hips swining and your feet moving.  The bills are as diverse as some of the local restaurant menus – varying from lolloping heavy dub to cheerful bluegrass, sweat-drenched rock and roll to super-charged gypsy punk – and good times are virtually guaranteed. Opening Times: Monday – Wednesday 3pm – Midnight; Thursday 3pm – 2am; Friday 3pm- 3am; Saturday/Sunday Midday – 3am. 95 Effra Rd, Brixton, Greater London SW2 1DF

Federation coffee

2. Federation coffee – Simply the best coffee in Brixton.  Sourced from the finest roasters and accompanied by the kind of cakes and sandwiches worthy of such excellent caffinated beverages. Opening Times: Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm; Saturday 9am – 6pm; Sunday 9am – 5pm. Unit 77-78, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8PS

Carioca

3. Carioca – This place presents a festival of mouth-watering wonders and is widely acknowledged as providing the best brunch in Brixton.  There are ribs aplenty, homely rice and gorgeous mango-flecked salads which give a real taste of Brazil’s diverse culinary culture. Opening Times: Monday: 10am – 4pm; Tuesday – Thursday 10am – 4pm/ 6pm – 10pm; Friday – Saturday 10am – 4pm/ 6pm – 11pm; Sunday 10am – 5pm. 25-27 Market Row, Brixton, SW9 8LB

Prince of wales

4. Prince of Wales – A real community night out hub, offering clubbing, music, pub quizzes and one of the best roof terraces around.  Full kitted out with one of the best sound systems in town and a sprung dancefloor too, the POW packs a mighty punch for a night out. Opening Times: Monday – Wednesday am – Midnight; Thursday – Saturday 9am – 3am; Sunday 9am – 11pm.  467- 469 Brixton Rd, London SW9 8HH

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5. Franco Manca – Before Brixton Village was Brixton Village Franco Manca was serving authentic, wood-fired pizza of the highest quality.  Even without considering their delicious toppings these pizzas stand out for the excellence of their sour dough.  Add in all sorts of Mediterranean tastiness on top and you have a winning combination.  Opening Times: Monday Midday – 5pm; Tuesday – Friday Midday -11pm; Saturday 11:30am – 11pm; Sunyda 11:30am – 10:30pm.

Bukowski

6. Bukowski Grill – Named after the grizzled American author, this burger joint has just as much spikiness and attitude as its namesake.  The patties are piled high, charcoal grilled and accompanied with an array of tasty sides. Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday Midday – 11pm; Sunday Midday – 9pm. Unit 10, Market Row, London SW9 8JX

French and grace

7. French and Grace – Since opening in October 2011, French & Grace have become part of the Brixton Village food community. With a tiny budget and plenty of helping hands, they expanded elements of their supper club into a former butcher’s shop to create a restaurant serving hearty British and Middle Eastern dishes alongside gourmet coffee from Volcano Coffee Works, a small selection of local ales and amazing wines from independent producers. Opening Times: Monday 11am – 5pm; Tuesday – Friday 11am – 10:30pm; Saturday/Sunday 10am – 2230pm. Unit 19, First Avenue, Brixton Village, SW9 8PR

Studio 73

8. Studio 73  In amongst all the restaurants and coffee shops of Brixton Village nestles this delightful gallery brimful of original prints and posters from an array of local artists. Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5.30pm; Sunday Midday – 4.30pm; Mondays by appointment. 73 Brixton Village, SW9 8PS

blue jay

9. Blue Jay  Formerly known as Cornercopia, this delicious modern British boutique eatery continues the traditions that were started by its predecessor, offering up delicious seasonally sourced ingredients with inventive and sparky seasoning.. Opening Times: Thursday, Friday & Evenings 6pm – 10pm; Saturday/Sunday Brunch 11am – 3pm. 65, Brixton Village Market, London SW9 8PS

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10. Agile Rabbit – Agile Rabbit have been going toe to toe with Franco Manca for the title to best pizza place in Brixton Village.  We reckon they just edge it, as their set-up provides a meeting hub for people to drink and chat, as well as enjoy their delicious inventions. Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 11pm. Unit 24, Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8PR

Jalisco

11. Jalisco  This is our favourite place to drop into before heading to a gig at the Brixton Academy.  Simple, no nonsense South American food that packs a mighty punch and won’t hurt your wallet. Opening Times: Tuesday – Friday Midday – 10pm; Saturday 9:30am – 10pm; Sunday Midday – 9pm. Unit 1, 48 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8PR

Brown Derby

12. Brown Derby – Exuding a certain racy and debauched air, with saucy blood-red ceilings and walls contrasting against bare floorboards and a long wooden bar, Brown Derby has an olde worlde smartness which is just fine with us.  The emphasis is on retro style, with a jukebox installed and no bleeping squawking fruit machines or  blaring TVs, this is a cracking pub to wallow in all weekend. Opening Times: Monday 4pm – 11pm; Tuesday – Thursday Midday – Midnight; Friday/Saturday Midday – 1am; Sunday Midday – 10:30pm. 336 Kennington Park Rd, London SE11 4PP

Cafe Cairo

13. Cafe Cairo – If you want to inject a bit of exoticism into your night out then this labour of love bar/cafe/club is the perfect answer.  A relaxed and fun antidote to headbanging clubs, a lot of hard work has been put in to building the atmosphere of a North African souk, but with just enough party fizz to make it fit snugly into 21st century London. Opening Times: Thursday 6pm – 1.30am; Friday/Saturday 6pm – 2am; Sunday 4pm – Midnight, 88 Landor Rd, London SW9 9PE

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14. Crown and Anchor – Absolutely the best place in the area to get craft beers, the Crown and Anchor has the pedigree to have been named one of the Guardian’s Top 10 pubs in Britain!  There are up to 25 taps at any one time, a fantastic range of Real Ale, Cider and Craft beer, an open kitchen where you can see their chefs creating great pub classics with a twist, and plenty of outside seating for those who fancy it.  Opening Times: Monday – Thursday 4:30pm – Midnight; Friday 4:30pm – 1am; Saturday Midday – 1am; Sunday Midday – 11pm. 246 Brixton Rd, London SW9 6AQ

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15. Dogstar – A true Brixton institution, the Dogstar is at the heart of many of the finest things going on in South London.  Since opening their doors in 1995 musical legends such as Massive Attack, the Prodigy and The Specials have played DJ sets there.  Spread over three floors in a vintage setting, the Dogstar is perfect for a weekend afternoon chill or a banging party night out, whatever your musical preference (well, apart from opera, they probably don’t do opera…) Opening Times: Tuesday/Wednesday 4pm – 11pm; Thursday 4pm – 2am; Friday 4pm – 4am; Saturday Midday – 4am; Sunday Midday – 10:30pm. 389 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8LQ

Effra Social

16. Effra Social – In true Brixton style this former Conservative’s club has been brilliantly hijacked to create a dance hall, bar, restaurant and all kinds of nooks and cranies to hide in on a fun night out.  Head on down to experience DJs and bands, one of Brixton’s best Quiz nights, book clubs, cinema clubs, comedy & poetry all of which fill the venue each week. Opening Times: Monday 4pm – 11pm; Tuesday – Thursday 4pm – Midnight; Friday 4pm – 1am; Saturday Midday – 1am; Sunday Midday – 11pm. 89 Effra Rd, London SW2 1DF

Seven at Brixton

17. Seven at Brixton – One of a slew of cocktail and tapas bars popping up around the area, Seven is notable for it’s inventiveness and seasonal menu, plus a wide selection of specially selected Spanish alcohol and homely setting with art from local producers adornig the walls. Opening Times: Monday 9am – 6pm; Tuesday – Saturday 9am-11.30pm; Sunday 10am -11.30pm; Market Row, London SW9 8LB

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18. Three Eight Four – Even Brixton is not immune to 21st century gentrification, but if it continues to appear in this reasonably priced and classy form then we won’t complain too much.  A full meal at this smart small plates and cocktails bar will set you back a bit of the green stuff, but we cannot recommend highly enough nipping in for a cheeky chimichurri steak accompanied by a Sweet Sinnerman bourbon cocktail.  Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 5pm – late. 384 Coldharbour Ln London, SW9 8LF

windmill

19. The Windmill – An absolute gem of a live music venue, which has evolved organically over several years to be treasured by bands old and new.  It might look like a bit of a flat-roofed, off the beaten track scary pub, but once inside the atmosphere is warm, inviting and full of musical creativity. Opening Times: Monday – Saturday 11am – 11pm; Sunday Midday – 10:30pm. 22 Blenheim Gardens, London SW2 1XN

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20. Bamboula Kitchen – A mainstay of the Brixton community for the past 15 years, Bamboula is lively, cheerful and very competitively priced.  Almost certainly the best jerk chicken in the area. Opening Times: Monday – Saturday Midday – 11pm; Sunday 1pm – 9pm. 12 Acre Ln, London SW2 5SG

Fish wings and tings

21. Fish Wings and Tings – Brixton is most famous for its thriving Caribbean community and FW&T is one of the best exponents of simple, tasty West Indian seafood, with a selection of punchy rums to accompany it! Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday Midday – 10:30pm; Sundays Midday – 9:30pm. 3 Granville Arcade SW9 8PS

Khamsa

22. Khamsa – You’ll rarely hear someone utter the sentence “shall we pop out for an Algerian?” but after one meal at this delicious restaurant that’ll change.  It’s a bring your own bottle arrangement, but for just £15/head you can have three courses, with bountiful tagines, sumptuous meatballs, fresh salads and mint tea and cakes to finish. Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday 6pm – 10:30pm; Sunday Midday – 4pm. 140 Acre Ln, London, Brixton SW2 5UT

Lab g

23. Lab G – Brixton in the summer is a delight to behold, with the wobbling sounds of dub emanating through the air and the fresh smells of Brixton Village in your nose.  The finest complement to this is some delicious Italian gelato ice cream.  Opening Times: Tuesday/Wednesday 11am – 6pm; Thursday – Saturday 11am – 10pm; Sunday 11:30am – 5pm. 6 Granville Arcade, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8PR

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24. Senzala – Senzala began as a café and creperie in conjunction with The Brick Box, an arts and community organisation.  In 2013 Senzala rebranded as a stand-alone restaurant, continuing to serve French crepes with Brazilian flair, whilst being surrounded by a delightful and ever-changing array of independent art on their walls. Opening Times: Monday 11am – 5pm; Tuesday/Wednesday 10am – 10pm; Thursday/Friday 10am – 11pm; Saturday 9am – 11pm; Sunday 9am – 10pm. Brixton Village Market, 41-42 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8PS

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25. Oubliette – This is a brand new escape room which opened in January 2016, fresh from bamboozling punters in the states.  Set in the sinister Minsitry of Perception it contains some genuinely innovative twists on puzzle-solving and a much more satisfying narrative.  Not for beginners (unless yo’re really clever), but this is a brilliantly entertaining and vexing evening out.  Opening Times: Monday – Sunday – Midday – 8:30pm. Adventure Shop, 6a Acre Lane, Brixton , SW2 5SG

If you want to get your hand on our lovely featured image or one of many like it then head to http://www.carolineharper.com/, a tremendous independent design studio based out of Brixton.