Nestled in the streets and alleyways around Brixton train station are a chorus of market stalls catering to the broad tastes and palates that make up modern London. Next weekend or on a midweek afternoon off hop on the Victoria Line and take it to the end to get some of the tastiest and comparatively cheap food in London while browsing the numerous street stalls.
Stepping out of the tube station on a Saturday at lunch time the wide pavements were crowded with people, musicians playing live, as well as locals chatting and enjoying the sunnier weather. To start off, take a right and walk down to Station Road. Here stalls are set up along the street selling a wide variety of items. Along less than 100 meters you can find antiques, bedding, perfume and shoes. At the same time, Brixton’s Afro-Caribbean community makes themselves heard here, with music being played by a number of different sellers.
If you’re feeling like you want to keep browsing before being enticed by the various nose-leading aromas coming from the food stalls turn right again and go under the train line. Along Pope’s Road and Electric Avenue are shops selling vegetables, with their wares spilling out into the road, as well as halal butchers and fishmongers. Either pick up some cheap groceries or head down into Brixton Village and Market Row, where the numbered avenues that make up this covered market contain cafes and restaurants covering at least five different continents, as well as ethical clothing stores and rustic homewares.
However, if you’ve been blessed with some sunny weather, our pick for cheap food and drink in the sun was the Brixton Food Court. Nothing like the bland and repetitive shopping mall food courts, this one can only be found off an alley off Electric Avenue, or from behind the main train station. Sit among the brightly colored benches set on Astroturf and admire the huge street art murals that grace the high walls. Our pick here was the Foul Medames (£4), an Egyptian dish of stewed and spiced fava beans that came with three generous slices of pita bread. If you’re feeling something meatier, the South American chargrilled steak with five sides (£7) was perfect morning-after food. Either sit back and chat or have ago at either chess or the Connect Four sets lying around, while sipping on a locally brewed Atlantic A.P.A. (£2.50 for a half pint).
Finally, take a look through Pop Brixton, an architect designed collection of repurposed shipping containers that not only serve out great food, but also provide a community space and garden with record shops and vintage clothing boutiques lining the narrow spaces in-between. Pop Brixton also puts on regular events, including screenings, music and yoga and stays open until 11 p.m. or midnight, making it a pleasant place to enjoy the community vibes throughout the evening, and debate gentrification as it happens around you.