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Here's Everything South Londoners Want You To Know

Go south of the river.

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Here's where to go for brunch:

"Carioca is a Brazilian/Venezuelan lunch and night-time eating spot in Brixton Market serving Latin American comfort food, cakes, and cocktails. Get the feijoada (slow-cooked meaty Brazilian stew), the spicy chicken, or get there early for breakfast." – Patrick Smith

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Here's where to go for dinner:

"El Rancho de Lalo is a family-run Colombian place, one of several in Brixton but probably the best. Hearty, unfussy, and excellent value – you can get a bowl of soup and a plate of meat with salad for under a tenner.

"Jerk chicken is serious business in Brixton but Fish, Wings and Tings has a claim to make some of the best. Plus: delicious codfish fritters, curried goat, rotis, and cocktails in the perfect spot for summer lunch." – Patrick Smith

Here's where to go for drinks:

"The Elm Park Tavern is a well-kept secret for its fiercely loyal locals; a well-kept Victorian boozer halfway up Brixton Hill, a 10-minute bus ride from the tube, it's close to the perfect local pub. You'll receive a friendly welcome, and there's an ever-changing choice of local and UK-wide beers and lagers as well as a good selection of continental beers and single-malt whiskies. There's no food, but they'll supply you with cutlery if you order a takeaway.

"Seven is unbearably busy on weekend evenings but delightfully inviting during the day. Enjoy the tapas, churros, Spanish cheeses, and cold meats, perhaps with something off the wine or sherry list, if not something from the ludicrously cheap (£5) cocktail menu.

"The Florence is so child-friendly it has an entire soft playroom in the garden – this is yummy-mummy paradise. But it's still full of non-parents, enjoying the excellent (if not cheap) food menu and delectable beers made in the pub itself. Perfect for a pint after a walk around Brockwell Park – just look out for all the buggies." – Patrick Smith

Here's what the locals want you to know:

"Go to the top of Brockwell Park near the big house (which has a cafe) and you'll see a small walled garden which you can explore. Obviously, it's better in spring.

"No true Brixton experience is complete without a trip to the Effra. There is live music frequently at the back of the room, and the Sunday-night jam session, where local musicians turn up and join in, is great fun. If you're thinking of taking your trumpet, be warned: These people know what they're doing. (NB: not the Effra Social, which is around the corner.)

"Don't miss the Lambeth Country Show in July in Brockwell Park. Reggae, booze, bands, vegetable-carving competitions, sheep, owls, knights jousting... It's quite an event." – Patrick Smith

Here's why you should live there:

"The new and the old sit uneasily in Brixton: Its identity is a battle between its past and its increasingly trendy future. But the food scene makes it one of the best culinary destinations in the country – including the posh wine bars AND the jerk-chicken joints." – Patrick Smith

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Here's where to go for brunch:

"There is a really cute cafe right by Brockley station called Broca – they have excellent coffee which is ideal to grab before hopping on a train to London Bridge. The snacks there are tasty, and it's all locally sourced, which is a nice touch." – Rossalyn Warren

Here's where to go for dinner and drinks:

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"For a nice cocktail, try The Orchard – prices are fairly reasonable but not super cheap. You can grab dinner there too and just stay when you've finished and keep drinking too. If you want!" – Rossalyn Warren

Here's what the locals want you to know:

"Telegraph Hill Park is a short walk away – when it's sunny, it's beautiful. When it's snowy, there are children ready to attack you with snowballs. Let me warn you now that the kids take it very seriously and will throw HARD. Brockley Farmer's Market is also nearby and lovely. It's a good thing to go to and take your parents or people visiting." – Rossalyn Warren

Here's why you should live there:

"Brockley is delightful. It's super easy to get to and from London Bridge/central London, and although it may not initially scream as a hustle-and-bustle spot when you first arrive, it has hidden gems everywhere that you uncover the more you speak to people and go out. Downside is that rent is hiking up (as with everywhere in London!), but if you can nab a place there, it's worth it." – Rossalyn Warren

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Here's where to go for dinner:

"The Exhibit is an eccentric little bar and restaurant with plenty of space and a large fish tank for aquarium-gazing. They also have a small cinema upstairs with occasional screenings for film-lovers." – Matt Tucker

Here's where to go for a drink:

"Balham Bowls Club has rustic '40s-style interior decoration and low lighting, making it a relaxed place to sink a few pints, or have a Sunday roast. Plus it's open until late – no kicking out at 11pm!

"The Alexandria pub, near Clapham Common tube station, is simple, cosy, with friendly locals.

"The Grove is tucked away in the residential areas of Balham. It looks pretty unassuming on the outside, but inside it's classy, with very friendly staff, and it's dog-friendly with jars of dog biscuits for canine visitors. Plus, The Grove brew their own beer!" – Matt Tucker

Here's what the locals want you to know:

"Clapham Picture House is a great place to catch the latest releases in style, with comfortable seats and a good atmosphere, although the smallish screens might not suit some. There are also of vintage screenings of classic oldies and a cafe and bar that's perfect for popping into after your movie." – Matt Tucker

Here's why you should live there:

"I love Clapham because you don't feel like you're in London – it's green, spacious, with every facility you could want (shops, cinemas, leisure centres, bars, clubs). I've always been baffled as to why some people see Clapham as pretentious, because it's a difficult area to fault – except the rent prices, but that's London!" – Matt Tucker

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Here's where to go for dinner:

"Panda Panda do the best bánh mì south of the river, plus a huge selection of other Vietnamese favourites including summer rolls, soup, and noodle salads, mostly for under a fiver, and entirely under a tenner.

"Pizza on a bus doesn't always have to mean a Domino's on the nightbus – at Big Red you can enjoy stone-baked wonders from the comfort of a restaurant-restored No. 30, or even in the massive courtyard beside it. Either way it's best washed down with a jug of Big Red's kitsch cocktails. Look out for the regular film and comedy nights too." – Laura Silver

Here's where to go for drinks:

"The Royal Albert is a super-cool boozer that's just unfussy enough to avoid feeling like you're in a hipster theme pub in Shoreditch. Has a great selection of the many ales brewed around southeast London, delicious, reasonably priced food (including sausage rolls on the bar), and plenty of excellent music played into the small hours." – Laura Silver

Heres what the locals want you to know:

Flickr: tube1 / Via Creative Commons

"With regeneration in Deptford going at full speed, it's only time before Deptford High Street becomes a long string of Pret a Mangers and Starbucks, but for now, it remains home to Deptford Market, a genuinely old-school London group of stalls. Pick up bargain household goods, fresh seafood (sometimes live), Vietnamese groceries, and wondrous Caribbean delicacies such as jerk chicken and Jamaican patties.

"For the perfect day, eat an early lunch of bánh mì at Panda Panda before wandering down to the market to pick up cheap vegetables for dinner. Cross over to W.H. Wellbeloved (a butcher's) for a couple of well-aged steaks, and then while away the rest of the afternoon over a couple of pints in the Royal Albert before going home to cook up a storm." – Laura Silver

Here's why you should live there:

"It's a pleasing mix of old local businesses that have been there forever and a newer community of students and artists who still respect their importance. Not for long though – aggressive redevelopment plans mean that Deptford's days as a part of London that's still actually for Londoners are numbered." – Laura Silver

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Here's where to go for brunch:

"The infamous sourdough bakery Brick House has set up shop as a café just off Lordship Lane and it can't be beaten for eggs, coffee, and, of course, bread on a weekend morning. Unsurprisingly they do brilliant sandwiches, with rotating specials of home-cured meats and pickles too. Make sure you also grab one of their excellent loaves to take away." – Laura Silver

Here's where to go for dinner:

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"If you're trying to stay out of the pub for a casual weekend lunch, why not devour a plate of pad thai and other such favourites at Thai Corner, a cosy little cafe? Prices are cheap enough that you'll probably be tempted to duck into one of Dulwich's many pubs with plenty of change from £20.

"You probably don't need to be told that Franco Manca do some of the best sourdough pizza in London at this stage, but it is worth knowing that the queues at the spacious, light, and airy branch that's recently opened in East Dulwich are way shorter than at the Brixton original." – Laura Silver

Here's where to go for drinks:

"The East Dulwich Tavern is massive pub that feels like a small cosy local, meaning you can pretty much always get a seat without feeling like you're a massive cavernous space. The straight-up pub grub, including burgers, pies, and the odd salad, is cheap and reliable and their rotating selection of ales never disappointing,

"If you're in more of a glass of red than a pint of porter mood, The Palmerston's your place to go for an atmosphere that's pleasingly fancy (big restaurant wine glasses!) but also entirely casual (distressed wooden tables), and there's nowhere nicer for a drink on a sunny day in Dulwich than their benches out the front." – Laura Silver

Here's what the locals want you to know:

"You won't find a better place than North Cross Road Market to buy cheese, bread, cured meats, fresh fish, and all sorts of delicious things to enjoy over the weekend from a variety of artisan producers every Saturday. Or you could just get a burrito and nick free samples.

"Imagine if they didn't hate the customers on Black Books and you've got Chener Books, a friendly little gem of a shop on Lordship Lane. There's some alphabetised fiction on the shelves, but you're best rooting through the messy stacks in the middle to see what you'll discover. You'll leave with something different to what you went in for, and feel all the better for it.

"For a perfect day: Sample cheeses and grab a sandwich from one of the stalls down North Cross Road market before finding a great new (or old) book in Chener Books and then spending the rest of the afternoon devouring it over a pint of whatever they've got on draft at the Great Exhibition." – Laura Silver

Here's why you should live there:

"East Dulwich has a pleasant feel to it that can be welcome on a weekend afternoon in busy London, but unlike a village, there's more restaurants, pubs, and pleasant-to-lurk-around shops than you could need. In fact, there's so many pubs, you'd be a fool not to hang around for a pint." – Laura Silver

Here's where to go for dinner:

"Zaibatsu is a tiny, unprepossessing Japanese joint tucked away far from the tourist crowds in the slightly shabbier environs of east Greenwich. You’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a rundown fast-food outlet, with its grubby frontage, Formica tables, and glaring lighting. But Zaibatsu is a hidden gem – you won’t find finer sushi anywhere else west of Kōzakihana. The sashimi is as fresh as the deep blue sea and sliced with surgical precision. Every dish is plated with Michelin-style flair and served with a big smile. The sushi platters are obligatory, but don’t miss the soft-shell crab tempura, black cod in pastry, tiger prawns caramelised with buttermilk and oats, and the "storm" unagi roll with snow crab meat, avocado, and grilled eel. Sadly the secret is out ,and Zaibatsu is packed out every night – so you’ll need to book. But the good news is that the prices haven’t caught up – you’d have to try pretty hard to pay more than £15 a head and you can bring your own booze.

"The Rivington Grill manages to be charmingly simple, warm, and elegant all at once with its exposed floorboards, brass railings, and fresh white columns, without the stuffy pretention of its sister restaurant The Ivy. The food is good honest British fare – there’s an "on toast" menu including devilled lamb’s kidneys and smoked anchovies, they do a lip-smacking, gravy-drenched Sunday roast, and you can’t go wrong with the meat and fish from the grill any night of the week." – Heidi Blake

Here's where to go for drinks:

"The Pelton Arms is a perfect place to while away a lazy Sunday with a hearty roast and a succession of warm ales by the fire. Its eclectic jumble of weird tat, piano-top photos of the royals in gilt frames, and frilly lamps make it feel a bit like your nan’s living room – if your nan served beer on tap. The homey collection of leather sofas and armchairs spill invitingly out onto the heated terrace and the fairy-lit garden is an idyllic spot for summer drinking. The Pelton’s annual beer festival is a must – every self-respecting local has the T-shirt.

"Down by the wide stretch of river where the Thames begins to bend around the

Greenwich Peninsula, the Cutty Sark is a cosily ramshackle old Georgian freehouse stuffed with nautical knick-knacks which give it a pleasingly piratical feel. It boasts beautiful views of the river from the bay windows over three floors and an excellent selection of tasty ales, including a good few from the Meantime Brewery down the road. You can curl up in a leather armchair by the fire on a nippy evening or spill outside to the benches by the water for a breezy summer pint." – Heidi Blake

Here's what the locals want you to know:

"The bench at the top of Point Hill – known to Greenwichites as The Point – is the most romantic place in south London to watch the sun rise over the city.

"The historic covered market is a bustling hive of happy shoppers with stalls selling independent art, jewellery, natural beauty products, bags, clothes, and assorted antiques and collectables. It’s surrounded by independent boutiques and galleries and offers a wide array of street food from around the world. The Clocktower market out on Greenwich High Road is a little quirkier, with a jumbled array of bric-a-brac, weird military paraphernalia, records, retro signs, crafts, and vintage clothes. Just around the corner is The Junk Shop, an Aladdin’s Cave of obscure gems with a lovely little cafe out the back serving cream tea and homemade cakes for a song." – Heidi Blake

Here's why you should live there:

"With its wide stretch of water and its flower gardens, tearooms, cosy pubs, and maritime feel, Greenwich is just about the closest you can get to living in a quaint Cornish coastal village within striking distance of the bright lights of London." – Heidi Blake

Here's where to go for dinner:

"Don't be put off by Smokey Jerkey's basic decor, the three-item menu (lamb, pork, or chicken), or the plumes of smoke billowing out of the door (it did actually nearly burn down a year or so ago, only to rise again): They know what they're doing, and this is some of the best jerk you'll find in London.

"Avoid Maddy's if you like your fish 'n' chips plain and simple, but there's no better fancified chippy in London. Seasonal fish cooked in dill batter, homemade marinated chicken nuggets – they make everything they do special.

"And, further up Lewisham Way, visit Meze Mangal for fine Turkish food: A restaurant that apparently scores higher than The Ritz on Trip Adviser for customer service, it's so loved by locals it's inspired a series of viral videos." – Rory Lewarne

Here's where to go for drinks:

"The Amersham Arms may be rough and ready, but it's also atmospheric, a local landmark (with its very visible neon "Take Courage" sign), and puts on some amazing gigs and pre-Edinburgh comedy events.

"The New Cross House is big, does great pizza, has a wide beer selection, and, possibly most important for some, has a warm barn out the back where smoking is very allowed.

"The Montague Arms was long-renowned as one of London's most characterfully eccentric pubs. After nearly closing for good it's thankfully back, perhaps even better than ever, with a jam-packed schedule of bands and comedy and a decent ale selection." – Rory Lewarne

Here's what the locals want you to know:

"Dig This Nursery is a local institution, recently transplanted to its own shop off New Cross Road. It's a health food shop, a record store, and a cafe in one – so you can top up your refillable olive oil bottle, stock up with teas, seeds, and veg, and hunt for old David Essex and Shalamar LPs, all in the same place.

"From New Cross Gate station, cross the road and wander up Telegraph Hill (formerly Plow'd Garlick Hill) to the park that sits atop it. Petit, well-sculpted, with a very active community centre and views across the Southbank, it will make you feel simultaneously at the centre of things and in your own world." – Rory Lewarne

Here's why you should live there:

"New Cross combines arty student vibrancy – courtesy of Goldsmiths, the university that dominates the area – and relatively cheap living with Zone 2 transport links. Sure, it may be right on the A2, it may be scummy and weird and full of noise and drunkenness, it may feel strangely cut off from the rest of London even though it's not, but that's all part of its charm. If newcomers to rapidly gentrifying nearby areas like Peckham ask you 'where?' when you mention where you're from, you can tell them, safe in the knowledge you're paying considerably less to live than they are." – Rory Lewarne

Here's where to go for brunch:

"Go to Pedler for excellent martinis, and the confit duck rosti is like a breakfast roast. So delicious. The staff are really friendly and knowledgeable too." – Declan Cashin

"Anderson & Co does maybe the best brunch I've ever had – it's a cute cafe that's alway's packed out, with a small but perfect menu. My favourite is the çılbır, a Turkish poached-egg dish." – Jo Barrow

Here's where to go for dinner:

"On a budget, I'd recommend going to Kitchen 54, a small cafe on Queens Road that serves soul food like massive subs or chicken and collared greens – go for their Juicy Lucy though, a massive delicious burger for just over a fiver." – Jo Barrow

"I like Artusi, an Italian on Bellenden Road. Quite simply one of the best meals I've ever had in London. Wonderfully fresh ingredients, and the food is insanely reasonable (a three-course Sunday dinner is £20)." – Declan Cashin

Here's where to go for drinks:

"You have to go to Bar Story, a great cocktail bar under the arches in Peckham Rye. The best part is its open fires in the courtyard you can sit around late at night. Four Quarters is an arcade bar that's open until 2am, perfect for continuing the night on after the pubs shut. If it gets to 2am and you still want to stay out, there's Canavan's, a pool hall turned club which has made a name for itself as a back-to-basics decent night out." – Jo Barrow

"I like The Montpelier. They serve lovely food, they have a backroom cinema showing indie/arthouse cinema, and it's big enough so bring a crowd of friends. Tends to be very busy at weekends though, so don't expect to get a seat! I also love the Ali Baba Bar, tucked away in Copeland Park behind the Bussey Building. They have wonderful, experimental cocktails – the Korean G&T is delicious. They also have a brilliant, affordable Brazilian food menu provided by VagaBundo" – Declan Cashin

Here's what the locals want you to know:

"You have to visit the PeckhamPlex, it's one of the last cheap independent cinemas in London – every film they show is only £5! Also, Small White Elephant is a cute tiny little tea shop which I couldn't recommend more." – Jo Barrow

"Frank's (during the summer) isn't the only rooftop spot. The Bussey Building also does a rooftop bar with great views that might not be as rammed as Frank's! The Bussey Building always has SO much going on. On any given day/weekend you could do a yoga class, CrossFit, have a coffee, see a movie, get a religious service, have dinner and a cocktail, and shop for vinyl ALL IN THE ONE BUILDING." – Declan Cashin

Here's why you should live there:

"I love Peckham because it's small enough that you feel like you really know the area – it's got a really fantastic local newspaper that completely keeps you up to speed with all the new developments happening, which is really important for a town that's changing so fast." – Jo Barrow

"I like that it hasn't been totally gentrified (yet), that the established Peckham community has been so welcoming of blow-ins like me, and that the area has this amazingly vibrant creative buzz. People are trying different things here – with food, bars, nightclubs – in a way that I really don't see anywhere else in London right now." – Declan Cashin

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