I've covered a ton of ground this year on food-related hotspots – so often that I've considered a re-brand to "Tea Ate Here". I haven't mentioned Brixton much, which is a shame as its markets are great places to eat, and I'm looking forward to sharing more reasons why you should head south of the river and enjoy the diversity of the area's culinary offerings. For now, here is a quick guide with some of my favourite globe-trotting-tastebud picks with a ton of polaroids to accompany.
Market Row and Brixton Village were both originally market arcades and since the late noughties (2007-) their restaurant offerings have gone from strength to strength. Although this also means the original vibe has faded – you see less and less of the butchers, random stores that sell 1001 things and Caribbean supermarkets, but that's for another blog … back to those favourites.
This is the birthplace of Franco Manca. Yep, the place with the pizza with a sourdough crust – simple, thin, crispy, and delicious. I'm a fan as they do a definitely-worth-trying 'white sauce' pizza, as in no tomatoes. They don't take reservations, so your best bet is to get there as soon as it opens, and pray (or enjoy a good queue).
Valhalla is my go to breakfast or lunch place as they do one hell of a mean sandwich. Sadly no Thor here, but their killer meatballs option is pretty much the same. Right?
If you haven't already been won over by its vegan cakes, Ms. Cupcake is where you should be. Although I'm not a vegan, I often stop by for a cupcake or cookie as they are light, not too overly sweet and perfect with a tea. If you think cupcakes are so 2013 then go for the cookie sandwich – Salted Caramel Pecan is the best tip for a cookie sandwich virgin.
Honest Burger is one of the original Brixton Market burger places, which has gone on a dramatic expansion across the city and is kind of losing its touch, but don't write it off, it's still worth trying one of their well seasoned and prepared burgers and the delicious rosemary salt chips (for that Sunday Roast potatoes vibe).
It took me a long time to get hold of a table at KaoSarn as it's usually packed – I imagine it's because of their reasonable prices and BYOD, and it was worth the wait. It's hard to recommend just one item from this Thai place, but you can't go wrong with the Gai Tod: deep fried garlic and pepper chicken, served with sticky rice and a hot dip. Perfect for setting your mouth on fire on a cold winter night.
In the 2 1/2 years that I have been wandering around SW9, the Mexican place has changed it's name more often than P Diddy – remember him? It is currently known as Jalisco, the food is very moreish and comes without the pretensions you often see at some more central Mexican places. Oh, and the mole is so good, you can just grab a spoon and down a bowl without it even touching a tortilla chip!
Put a few sea-containers together like Tetris, gather some hip street food vendors together, get the marketing ball rolling and you get Pop Brixton, a relatively new entrant to the area. It has its charm as everyone can grab whatever they want and still sit together. I recommend it for a lunch as it's super packed out in the evenings.
World of Wurst is the place for sausages obviously. The German variety though. I asked my German friend if she approves "Almost as tasty as the one my Tante Maria makes.'' So, there you have it – the unofficial stamp of approval.
One of the ultimate things on my wanderlist is a WOOFF experience on a vineyard in New Zealand. Until then I have the The New Zealand Cellar to turn to and enjoy the end product, without the 24hrs+ plane ride.
You by now know how much I love the small plates to share concept, right? Well these awesome folks at Kricket thought that too and brought us an ever changing menu of Indian small plate dishes to nibble on. The only issue I have with it? It's too hard to choose!
Have you been to Brixton and have any recommendations?