20 best things to do in Brixton, London

Brixton has always had an electricity and vibrancy about it thanks to its primarily Afro-Caribbean heritage, however it’s in the past ten years that it has really come into its own.  This is partially thanks to the renovation of the market space on Coldharbour Lane which is now Brixton Village – an the inviting chocolate box of shops, restaurants, fashion boutiques and galleries.  More importantly, Brixton seems to have become 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.

1.  Hootananny

Brixton has a reputation for having some of the best live music in London, and it’s hostels/venues like the Hootananny that boost that rep.  The music you will hear here is focused on one thing: getting your hips swinging and your feet moving!  The bills are diverse, varying from lolloping heavy dub to cheerful bluegrass, sweat-drenched rock and roll to super-charged gypsy punk – 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

2.  Federation coffee

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 caffeinated beverages. 
Opening Times: Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm; Saturday 9am – 6pm; Sunday 9am – 5pm. Unit 77-78, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8PS

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 disehs 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

4.  Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales
A real community hub offering clubbing, music, pub quizzes and one of the best roof terraces around. It’s 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

5.  Franco Manca

Before 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 sourdough base.  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.

6.  Bukowski Grill

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

7.  Cornercopia

This quintessential Brixton Village restaurant has an ever-evolving menu of freshly caught, homemade, locally grown and foraged produce.
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 11am – 6pm. 65, Brixton Village Market, London SW9 8PS

8.  Agile Rabbit

Agile Rabbit
Agile Rabbit have been going toe to toe with Franco Manca for the title of 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

9.  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

10.  The Brown Derby

The Brown Derby
Exuding a certain racy and debauched air, The Brown Derby has an olde worlde smartness which is just fine with us.  The emphasis is on retro style, with a jukebox and long mahogany bar. A cracking pub to hang 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

11.  Cafe Cairo

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, with an atmosphere of a North African souk, but with just enough party fizz for 21st century London.
Opening Times: Thursday 6pm – 1.30am; Friday/Saturday 6pm – 2am; Sunday 4pm – Midnight, 88 Landor Rd, London SW9 9PE

12.  Crown and Anchor

Crown and Anchor
Absolutely the best place in the area to get craft beers, the Crown and Anchor has the pedigree to be named one of The Guardian’s Top 10 pubs in Britain!  There are up to 25 taps running, a fantastic range of real ale, cider and craft beer, an open kitchen where you can see their chefs creating 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

13.  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, probably…)
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

14.  Effra Social

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 for 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

15.  Three Eight Four

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

16.  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

17.  Bamboula Kitchen

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

18.  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

19.  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

20.  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
Guest post submitted by Frugl. To find out about more fun events, deals and entertaining goings on in London you can download the Frugl App from Apple and Android.

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