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13 Things You Need To Eat In Brixton Right Now

The south London suburb has become a food-lover's paradise but still retains its charm as a cultural melting pot. Here are the places you need to go.

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1. Casa Morita, Brixton Market (aka Market Row)

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Wahaca recently opened its latest branch on Atlantic Road, but if you'd like a chain-free Mexican experience, try this delightful Brixton Market stalwart, founded in 2011 on Mexican Independence Day, which serves food "cooked by a verified Mexican".

Tacos and quesadillas are three for £6 – the best of which is the taco de Cochinita pibil, pork marinated in orange juice then slow-cooked – and there's an inviting cocktail menu too.

2. Fish, Wings and Tings, Brixton Village (aka Granville Arcade)

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This Brixton and Caribbean food is serious business. Trinidad-born chef Brian Danclair brings the spirit of his homeland to his delicious rotis, codfish fritters, and prawns in Red Stripe tempura. When the sun is out and you're sat here, you could for a moment forget you're in England.

And if it's not hot enough for you, Danclair makes his own hot sauce. Not for the faint-hearted.

3. Seven at Brixton, Brixton Market

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Come for the cocktails, stay for the tapas. One of the best (and cheapest) cocktail menus in town is matched by a menu of Spanish favourites, including gambas, whitebait, calamari, tortilla, and a charcuterie board...as well as fuller options such as the "full Spanish breakfast", which includes chorizo and morcilla de Burgos (a delicious Spanish black pudding).

Beer drinkers should note that Seven has a full range of Spanish Alhambra beers, including the deep, rich-tasting 6.4% ABV Reserva.

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4. Negril, 132 Brixton Hill

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If you want to escape the hipster throng of Brixton's markets, up on Brixton Hill there's this neighbourhood spot serving Caribbean favourites with a wholesome, homemade vibe. The jerk chicken is good, the curries are excellent, and it's one of the best spots for breakfast in the area. Plus it's BYOB so you can get your own Red Stripe from the shop. But don't expect to get a table on weekend evenings without booking.

5. Lido Cafe, Brockwell Park

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Tables here are highly prized on sunny spring mornings, especially ones looking out over the 1930s art deco lido. There aren’t many places where you can watch people swim while you stuff your face. And that’s something worth doing at what is one of the best breakfast places in the area.

There’s lunch and dinner to be had too – and there’s more space at night, once the baby buggies have gone. There’s everything from burgers to more high-faluting dishes such as glazed salmon with potato rosti, with prices to match. There’s also a grown-up wine list too, starting at £4.50 for a small glass of Portuguese red, as well Meantime beer on draft and bottled, locally brewed Brixton beers.

6. El Rancho De Lalo, Brixton Village

In amongst all the trendy "dude food" Brixton has to offer is this traditional South American family restaurant serving homely, great-value food. At weekends the queue includes Colombian and Latin America families who know it's worth the effort for the empanadas, the soup-and-main-course set-menu deal, and the guarantee of a comforting meal.

As with many places in Brixton Village and the market, it's cash only.

7. Carioca, Brixton Market

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After a different kind of breakfast? Why not try Carioca's favela de rossa, a deconstructed sandwich of plaintain, mozzarella, tomato, poached egg, and hollandaise sauce (above).

It tastes as good as it looks, and this Brazillian/Latin American place also has feijoada (slow-cooked meat and black bean stew) and spicy chicken as part of its formidable lunch and dinner menu.

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8. The Prince Regent, 69 Dulwich Road

Opposite Brockwell Park, this pub has a beautiful interior and a good selection of wines, real ales, and lagers. If you're after something a bit fancier at good prices, this could be the place.

There's a big, satisfying burger that comes with good quality skin-on chips (which can be hard to find), steaks, and veggies dishes – as well as an ever-rotating list of seasonal specials.

9. Elephant, Brixton Village

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A sign of a good restaurant is one that has very few things on the menu, but does them well. This cafe, which has been serving Pakistani street food since it was set up by chef Imran Bashir in 2011, is insurmountable proof. The never-changing menu offers a selection of three thalis – veggie, chicken, or lamb mince – and each is as delicious as the next, offering a main curry, salad, naan bread, and some delectable red lentil daal, all for under a tenner.

That’s if you have room after gorging on the crisp samosas or veggie pakoras and mango lassi.

10. Mama Lan, Brixton Village Market

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The dumplings here are not just good, they are ridiculously good, whether king prawn and water chestnut or pork and Chinese leaf – the perfect mixture of bite and flavour and around £5 for five.

But that’s not all this tiny place – which evolved from a supper club in 2010 – has to offer. Big bowls of spicy noodle soup (chicken, beef, or tofu) go well with mega-hot chicken wings and Tsing Tao beer, or a mocktail.

11. Franco Manca, Brixton Market

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The original branch of this ever-expanding sourdough pizza empire, this now legendary spot still has queues every weekend for two reason: The pizzas are excellent and they’re (still) cheap.

Cooked in a stone oven, the dough is crispy and chewy at the same time, and the perfect canvas for simple, seasonal toppings. There’s always a meat special and a veg special and, as in Italy, a few of the pizzas don’t feature tomato.

Franco Manca, of which there are now 12 branches across London, has just been bought for £27.5 million by a big restaurant investment company that also owns the Real Greek franchise. Pizza fans will be hoping the new owners don’t mess with the formula.

12. KaoSarn, Brixton Village

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The best Thai restarant in south London? This is not a far-fetched claim. All the Thai dishes you’d expect – piquant and satisfying curries among them – are here as well as some you might not: The larb salad, with minced meat and roasted rice, is dangerously moreish. And the prices are lower than at places serving food not half as good.

It's due to reopen after refurbishment for the Easter weekend, so if you can get a table here, do.

13. Lab G, Brixton Village

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As if anyone needed an excuse to get some Italian gelato, there is this fine parlour selling it right in the middle of Brixton. It's not all that cheap – £3 for two scoops – but the craft and care that's gone into making the dreamy, creamy flavours, which are always changing, is obvious. The salted caramel is a real delight.

And there's some nice sorbet too.