Brixton has always had one of the strongest identities when compared to other districts of London.
Its rich, vibrant heritage of Afro-Caribbean descendants is good part of that personality, but this also acts as a magnet for many other cultures.
This is especially reflected in the diversity and originality of the menus in the many restaurants.
Best Restaurants in Brixton
El Rancho De Lalo
- Address: 1 Buckner Rd, Brixton Hill, London SW2 5BY
- Phone: 07759 226156
The ‘Lalo’, in El Rancho de Lalo, is Colombian founder Carlos Zuluaga, who started the restaurant in 2010. His mission is ‘to bring honest and humble food to the community’. From his reviews and repeat custom he certainly seems to be making the right impression.
The restaurant is unfussy, homely, and welcoming. Starters kick-off the menu with Empanadas, as well as cornbread and fried plantain dishes. There are also delicious avocado variations and fried pork belly.
Main courses are complex and traditional, such as Bandeja Paisa, consisting of grilled steak, Colombian sausage, fried pork belly and numerous other ingredients. There are 11 main courses on the menu, so you’re bound to find something you like.
To drink there are Colombian natural juices, lemonade made with sugarcane and soft drinks.
- Address: Unit 9 Market Row, Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8LB
- Phone: 020 3915 1198
Enthusiast and Nigerian-born, Adejoké Bakare, started her restaurant, Chishuru, in the ever-popular, covered market, Market Row at the end of 2020. She started it off as a supper club but the popularity of her West African dishes, soon transformed it into a small, full-time restaurant.
The lunch and dinner menus at Chishuru are set, offering original and authentic starters such as Ekuru, steamed and blended beans, served with Pumpkin Seed Pesto and Scotch Bonnet Sauce. If you like experimenting with flavours then you’ll love Chisuru – every dish has an original element that makes it stand out.
Main courses range from slow-cooked Goat Shoulder to Seabass served with a banga soup, made from palm fruit. There is an additional charcoal grill section where you can choose from Bavette Steak or Chicken Thighs served with Black Sesame Sauce, and Pink Onions.
Dessert is short and to the point with a Moringa Mousse, a caramel flavoured with black sesame. On the drinks menu, a selection of signature cocktails is complemented by bottled beers and a short selection of mostly European wines.
- Address: 28 Brixton Water Ln, London SW2 1PE
- Phone: 020 7274 7796
Naughty Piglets describes itself as a buzzy little bistro, serving sharing plates along with wines that are grown organically and made ethically. It’s on the small side with only 29 covers, so booking is essential.
The interior of the restaurant is homely and rustic with an open-plan kitchen, so you can really feel part of the action.
Sharing starters include Ham Croquette or just a simple but delicious Burrata served with Tuscan olive oil. The main courses are affordable for London and include original ideas such as Duck Kyiv, served with wild garlic butter and shimeji mushrooms.
You can also choose from Steamed Cornish Turbot and BBQ Pork Belly. The desserts are resolutely nursery style, including chocolate mousse, creme caramel or milk ice cream with strawberries.
The restaurant no longer publishes its wine and drinks list, and so it asks customers to have confidence in the in-house team to choose appropriate drinks for your meal.
- Address: 18 Market Row, London SW9 8LD
- Phone: 020 7501 9152
Salon has become a permanent feature in Brixton’s Market Row for several years now. It started out as a pop-up above a cheese shop and then gradually evolved into the popular, full-time restaurant of today, along with a growing Wine Store next door.
The decor is very simple with turquoise-coloured walls and banquette seating.
The menu has a modern European theme and in contrast to the décor, the presentation of the food is always colourful, elegant and served on stoneware crockery.
There is a six-course set menu with accompanying wines extra or you can make your selection from the à la carte menu. Starters such as Fried Mussels with paprika complement main dishes including Lamb Merguez, Barbecued Grilled Chicken and Cornish Cuttlefish, with smoked pork, and peas.
With a Wine Store next door, you know you won’t be short of choice, so you can choose from over 130 styles of low intervention, organic and biodynamic wine from across the world.
- Address: 395 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8LQ
- Phone: 07802 473444
Husband and wife team, Pietro, and Stefania Franz, are proud of their intimate knowledge of Sicilian cuisine they serve. They can often identify the exact origin of their dishes from their homeland.
Inside, Franzina Trattoria, is simply furnished with wooden tables and chairs, rather in the style of, well a Trattoria! It’s good to see original Italian dishes on the menu. For some reason many Italian restaurants seem to default to a similar range of pasta and pizza dishes.
When it comes to sharing plates, or Piattini, the Sicilians are way ahead of us. Luckily you can now share the good news with recipes such as Arancina, risotto balls with mushroom and tuna fillings. With 10 sharing plates to choose from, including prawns and octopus, it’s going to be very easy to order too many.
There are separate sections for salads and tagliatelle, while being Sicilian you can imagine the desserts are thoroughly indulgent with gelati, cannoli and babà to eat in or takeaway.
- Address: 140 Acre Ln, London SW2 5UT
- Phone: 020 7733 3150
The team at Khamsa have transported their collective knowledge of Algerian cooking to create an authentic reflection of recipes that are both traditional, as well as usually handed down through families from the mother.
The decor is authentic as well with plenty of rich tones, red rugs, swag curtains and Algerian musical instruments on the wall. The service is very attentive but discreet, allowing you to get on and enjoy your meal.
The menu starts with salads, starters, and soups, often with ingredients that are alien to the average English person but sound delicious when put together. Starters include,
Zalouka, with grilled aubergines, sweet peppers and walnut puree served with Algerian homemade bread.
For mains, tajines and couscous take centre stage, with salmon, chicken, or lamb meatballs as the main element. Main courses are served with spiced couscous or rice.
Khamsa doesn’t have an alcohol licence, but you are welcome to bring your own wine, beer, and champagne, where there will be a £2 corkage charge.
Black Bear Burger – Brixton
- Address: 11, 13A Market Row, London SW9 8LB
- Phone: 020 7737 3444
At Black Bear Burger their ethos is pared back just about as far as you can go, ‘Simple, done well’. Courtesy of the slower but more reliable word-of-mouth promotion, BBB has gradually become the go to brand for great burgers in London.
Great ingredients are key, so they use beef that has been grass-fed and aged on the bone. They use a selection of cuts to give optimum flavour and juiciness. The Brixton restaurant is the first ‘eat in’ diner BBB has opened. The meat lovers’ menu starts with sides and sharing plates, such as Brisket Spring Rolls, Wings, and a Smoked Pork Taco.
A lot of thought has gone into the taste and texture of the burgers, to achieve that elusive combination of superb flavour and bite. Burgers are listed as original, with beer-braised brisket or with blue cheese. For something lighter you can choose between a chicken burger or a vegan burger.
All burgers are served with cheese, smoked bacon, onion jam and garlic mayo, which by all accounts really makes the finished dish.
To accompany your burgers there are tap lagers and ales, cocktails, and a selection of wines available by the glass and bottle.
The Clink Restaurant Brixton
- Address: HMP Brixton, Jebb Ave, Brixton Hill, London SW2 5XF
- Phone: 020 8678 9007
As part of an established project to reduce reoffending the Clink Charity operates four restaurants alongside prisons in the UK.
Selected prisoners work full-time in the professional restaurant gaining experience and studying for City & Guilds NVQs in food preparation and food service. The restaurants routinely receive five-star feedback on Tripadvisor, including The Clink Restaurant Brixton.
The elegant restaurant is in the Old Governor’s house on the Brixton prison site, which dates to 1819. The decor is reserved but elegant using browns and tans, as well as plenty of exposed brickwork.
If you’re feeling cautious about the quality of the food or service at The Clink, then there really is no reason to worry. You’ll be pleasantly surprised from start to finish with the professionalism of the service staff and the creativity from the kitchen
The food is modern European with an à la carte menu at lunch and a set three-course dinner menu with an amuse-bouche and petit fours to finish. To start you can choose between Salmon Ceviche or Pork Rillettes, while for main courses examples include Pan Fried Sea Bream and Za’atar Spiced Poussin.
For dessert there are home-made ice creams and sorbets, as well as French inspired dishes such as White Chocolate and Apricot Parfait with grilled peach, and toasted pistachios. The Clink offers non-alcoholic drinks including cocktails, sodas, and teas.
Adam’s Ethiopian Restaurant
- Address: 86 Brixton Hill, London SW2 1QN
- Phone: 020 8678 8004
Adam’s Ethiopian Restaurant is housed in the premises of an old bakery, where it is family run. Ethiopian diners attest to the menu’s authenticity, which is qualified as using traditional spices and recipes. Even the interior of the restaurant has been decorated to reflect the traditions of the country.
If you’ve never tried Ethiopian food take a chance and allow Adam’s Ethiopian to introduce you to a whole selection of new textures and flavours, which will have you coming back for more.
The menu starts with soup, samosas, hummus and Injera, a fermented flatbread served with chilli ghee or olive oil. These are followed by a selection of reasonably priced main courses, listed as chicken, lamb, beef and vegetarian and vegan.
Main courses include Zilzil Tibs, which are tender beef strips sautéed in a blend of onions and Ethiopian herbs. There is also a range of combination dishes, which serve two, and can be ordered as meat only, veg only or a combination.
- Address: 126 Acre Lane, London SW2 5RJ
- Phone: 020 3659 8915
Beb’s Kitchen is a relaxed café-style restaurant serving Indian dishes and specialising in Goanese cuisine. The portions have a reputation for being generous and the welcome and service from the couple who run the restaurant are frequently described as heart-warming.
The styling inside the restaurant is simple and unfussy. The menu is lengthy covering traditional Indian cooking style such as Tandoori, Naga, Balti, Sagwala and Biryani.
Goan specialities include Xacuti Lamb, which is roasted with coconut and spices and Green Masala Curry Chicken, served with fresh coriander and spices.
Desserts extend to Mango and Pistachio Kulfi, as well as Banana and Pineapple Fritters. The restaurant doesn’t have an alcohol licence, but you can bring your own bottle.
Wood & Water
- Address: 412 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8LF
- Phone: 020 3910 1870
The flamboyant frontage of Wood and Water gives a hint about the stylish interior inside. The lighting is discreet, and the decor restrained but stylish, giving a welcoming air.
This is the second restaurant that April Jackson has conceived. This one offers a modern British restaurant with plenty of Caribbean flavours and Jamaican soul.
To start there are nibbles followed by an extensive array of small plates which make up the main course. These include dishes such as Goat Loin with apricots and lentils or Salt Cod, with ackee and bammy. It’s an ideal menu for a group of friends to spend a lazy lunchtime or evening catching up.
Desserts are typically Caribbean, for example, the delicious sounding Sweet Potato with rum and ginger ice cream or Pineapple with rum and coconut. The wines at Wood and Water are predominantly European and several are available by the glass.
Baz & Fred Brixton
- Address: Brixton Village, Unit 71-72, Grandville Arcade, London SW9 8PS
- Phone: 020 4511 3366
New kids on the block, Baz & Fred, have ably stamped their mark in Grandville Arcade offering authentic pizza to a local Brixton crowd.
Michelin starred chef, Giorgio Locatelli, praised their efforts in a recent taste test: ‘They are making Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza, cooked really hot, so it really works. See this is it, real pizza!’
The restaurant occupies a corner position with several tables outside. Appetising sharing plates kick off the menu, including Jamon Croquettes and Calamari with garlic aoli.
The pizza flavours are original with vegan and vegetarian options, as well as more exotic ingredients such as guindilla peppers, honey, and truffle oil. You might imagine the prices would reflect this, but the most expensive pizza is only £13.00!
You can add an additional range of toppings, as well as sauces to complete your dish.
There is a short Italian wine list, as well as beers and cocktails.
The range of cuisines Brixton offers is truly amazing. It spans from West Africa to Algeria, from England to Italy and Sicily, as well as from Colombia, Jamaica, and India.
Several of the featured restaurants offer BYOB, where you can either save on the cost of your meal or buy extra-special wine to make a memorable evening.