South London adventures
August 19, 2012 12:27 PM   Subscribe

What should we do and where should we eat in Brixton, UK?

My boyfriend and I are staying at a friend's flat for a few days next week. Interested in green spaces, good breakfast, places to go when it's raining. We'll be staying between Brixton and Clapham North stations. We'll also be up around Clerkenwell/Shoreditch, which we are fairly familiar with, but if there's something great we should see or imbibe in that part of the world let us know.

Less clubbing or dancing and more strolling, people watching, sitting and eating, browsing, and other general laziness-based activities are good. If there's any specially good exhibit anywhere in London we'd be interested in that as well.

Also contemplating traveling to Lorrimore Square to see where my Nana grew up- anything interesting around there?
posted by oneirodynia to Travel & Transportation around London, England (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Eat at Brixton Village! It's great. Here's a review.
posted by shibori at 12:44 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yup! Brixton Village is ace. Try Honest Burger for burgers, Franco Manca for pizza, or (last night's discovery) Heritage Deli for pulled pork buns and chicken wings. All amazing, and all dirt cheap.

Negril on Brixton Hill is really good for Caribbean food, too.
posted by dudekiller at 1:42 PM on August 19, 2012

Yeah, Granville Arcade (OK, Brixton Village) for sure. You could also try Kaosarn for Thai. The Arcade is only open Thurs, Fri, Sat evenings, other days during the day as well.

If you've got a bit more money to spend, Upstairs on Acre Lane/Branksome is good. There's a coffee/cake shop below that's not too bad.

Green spaces: Clapham Common is close by, of course. I much prefer Brockwell Park in Brixton, there's a lido, playground, tennis and volleyball and bowls games, etc. And the lido cafe is pretty good too.

You might find some interesting activities (not just films) at the Ritzy.

You could always call a meetup, too....
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:28 PM on August 19, 2012

The Village has been mentioned already (though I'll put in a good word for Bukowski. Franco Manca is well known and really busy of an evening, lunchtime is a better bet if you don't want to queue). There are some interesting food places in Clapham. I've never had breakfast at Gastro, just dinner, but the breakfast looks like it would be worth a wander over from Brixton from some morning.

I had delicious ackee and saltfish from Negril for breakfast this very morning. They also do very good coffee.
posted by corvine at 4:01 PM on August 19, 2012

I opened this thread to mention Brixton Village and Brockwell Park Lido but dudekiller & Infinite Jest beat me to it with very good specific recommendations... so, back outside of the Village I suggest San Marino for coffee, breakfast panini & people watching, The Phoenix cafe on Coldharbour Lane if you fancy a traditional greasy spoon style fry-up, or the Duck Egg (roughly opposite) for a more fancy twist. Oh and the Funchal Bakery on Stockwell Road is also worth a visit.

There's loads of activities and events happening around the SouthBank Centre all Summer, including the World Food market each weekend. If the weather is fine, a coffee or bottle of wine by the Serpentine in Hyde Park at dusk is simply beautiful.
posted by dirm at 7:14 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've really been digging this place: Seven. It's a very cool cocktail & tapas bar in one of the markets (not Brixton Village, the other one), opposite the famous (and always crowded) Franco Manca pizza place.

Brixton Village market is really buzzing right now, only open late on thurs - sat, but there's a great vibe. In particular I dig Okan for Japanese tepayaki, but here's a Timeout overview of what else is there.

Or, for a different take on Japanese, I like Curry Ono (in the same market as Seven), specialising in Japanese curries.

For breakfast, I recommend the Duck Egg Cafe, on Coldharbour Lane. They do a great fry up with the gimmick of swapping the hen egg for a duck egg, should you want to.

If all the new gastro places seem a little too gentrified for you (as some Brixton residents like to complain), then for something more authentic, why not try Asmara for Eritrean?

For people watching, dependent on weather, The Ritzy cinema's bar / cafe has seating outside on the square (there's also a nice roof terrace bit). The Ritzy is a great cinema too, screen 1 is a lovely auditorium over a hundred years old, and screen 5 upstairs is charmingly tiny with luxury reclining seats. Go in the weekday daytime when there's hardly anyone there and it's awesome, like having your own private screening room.

Do you like books? If so, check out Bookmongers opposite the Duck Egg for a great second hand bookshop packed with interesting bits and pieces.
posted by iivix at 2:33 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nthing Brixton Village and Negril. Hard to go wrong at either. Negril is bring your own booze, a plus if you are on a budget. A 10 minute walk further up the hill from Negril is Lisboa Grill, a little Portuguese place that serves the best Portuguese style chicken and chips in London.

Ichiban for Japanese. Small, not that well known but long established. My Japanese friend swears it's the best Japanese food he has got in South London. I like it too.

If you are hungry, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can try the Saltoun Supper Club, perhaps the best known of the London supper clubs. It's in Brixton. You will need to be very lucky or directly related to Prince William to get a booking.

Another Brixton mate raves about Upstairs. It's a more expensive, date night sort of place. Infinite Jest has also mentioned it above too, I see.

For things to do, Brixton Blog isn't a bad place to poke about.

If you were to venture to Camberwell, Angels and Gypsies is supposed to be great.

FYI - on Landor Rd, halfway between Clapham North and Brixton, is the Old Post Office Bakery. Get your bread and croissants and whatnot there. They also sell mighty fine chelsea buns. Recommended.

Clapham is more gentrified, whiter, more gay(friendly) and more homogenised than Brixton. It also tends to be full of the braying hordes on Friday and Saturday nights. Bodeans is a respectable texmex chain that does a lot of business. Belgo is part of a chain that does reasonable Belgian food and has a very strong selection of continental beers. There are a fair number of nice little coffee places, including Breads etc, which allows you to toast your own bread at toasters at the table (there's also a branch in Brixton Village).

The Falcon pub, just by Clapham North, is a perennially popular pub with a lot of outdoor seating. If you are the Clapham Old Town side of Clapham Common and having a promenade what what then Nardulli sells very fine ice creams. Just across from there is what I reckon to be the finest restaurant south of the river. If you're budget busting and what a fantastic British meal, you would be hard pressed to do better than The Trinity. The chef has also opened a cheaper place still within easy reach of where you are staying, called Bistrot Union.

More Stockwell/Vauxhall way, I'd highly recommend the Canton Arms and for traditional Spanish, Rebato's.

Clerkenwell - I've listed many of the better places in this thread. The place is chock full of good bars and restaurants. Since then, 28-50 has opened up on Fetter Lane and I'd recommend that too. It's more Holborn/Clerkenwell.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:01 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I work near Clerkenwell. If you're into beer, I hear good things about the Craft Beer Co on Leather Lane. On Theobald's Road is the ace cake shop Beas of Bloomsbury, and what's mean to be the best chippy in London, the Fryer's Delight. Bit further down is Banh Mi Bay, which has cheap tasty Vietnamese food (about half my colleagues get their lunch there).

Tip: if you see a pub in that part of town with blacked-out windows and/or bouncers on the door, it is probably a strip pub. You'll be expected to pop a pound in a pint pot and watch a girl slide up and down a pole near the bar. If you don't particularly care for that kind of ambiance, avoid. Especially The Griffin.
posted by mippy at 1:02 PM on August 20, 2012

> If you were to venture to Camberwell, Angels and Gypsies is supposed to be great

I can vouch for this - I've eaten in there a number of times and it's consistently awesome, if you like upmarket and creative tapas. Only thing is that I'd recommend booking, it's surprisingly busy all week.
posted by iivix at 1:50 PM on August 20, 2012

Excellent, thank you all for the suggestions! This is an overwhelming amount of information, I'm looking forward to exploring. Sitting in SFO right now feeling extremely hungry after reading all these responses. We'll only be in town a few days before hopping on the ferry to Hoek van Holland, so I think we are well fortified with options. :)
posted by oneirodynia at 1:55 PM on August 20, 2012

The Craft Beer Co is good. Pricey though. Great place to go if you like trying craft beers from London. It does get busy, but mostly with an after work crowd thins as the evening goes on.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:24 PM on August 20, 2012

« Older Chess Pie for Dummies   |   Charging and loading a Kindle abroad Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.