London Restaurants - South London
Franzina Trattoria began its life in a shipping container in Pop Brixton. This husband and wife team then found themselves a permanent spot a mere stone’s throw away from their original home. Passionate about food from their hometown Palermo, this restaurant takes you through Sicily’s culinary traditional dishes and more - try their panelle, arancini and sfincione. Finish with cannoli or their Sicilian doughnuts with cinnamon, fresh ricotta cream and chocolate.
Adam Byatt's Clapham restaurant is a super neighbourhood restaurant that's also well worth crossing town for. They say their food is seasonal and inspirational, countless loyal customers agree.
Critic reviews - total score 7 out of 10
BAO has opened their third restaurant in Borough and this time, they're promising something a little different. There are the same bao buns you've loved, but more dishes as well as downstairs karaoke.
Critic reviews - total score 7.5 out of 10
A menu with some Irish influence menu is on offer at Robin Gill's next restaurant Darby’s, inspired by his father. It's an all-day restaurant and bakery just opposite the US Embassy and they'll also be serving food at the development’s incredible Sky Pool 10 stories up.
Critic reviews - total score out of 10
Named after the lesser known coastal area of Tuscany, a wife and husband duo opened this rustic Italian neighbourhood restaurant in 2019. Its interior is light and stylish and the place focuses on simple and seasonal regional specialities with fresh pasta and gnocchi made daily and meat and fish cooked on a charcoal grill. The wine lists boasts many that have not been represented in the UK before.
This Taiwanese restaurant moved into Brixton Village Market back in 2018, specialising in BAO and Asian BBQ food. Lots of small and sharing dishes are the vibe here - BBQ chicken wings and Jerusalem artichoke chopsticks with truffle ponzu, and baos aplenty, including tofu and kimchee, pork belly with peanut powder, shitake mushroom with yuzu.
A totally unique cocktail bar and restaurant, this offers some truly creative and mind-blowing cocktails. A Bloody Mary arrives as a clear drink (they make their own clarified tomato juice), and many others come with a taste-enhancing accompaniment while other drinks are presented with smoke, fizz, or have flashing icecubes. The kitchen has changing residencies, currently Donnelley’s, where you can experience an eclectic range of dishes with influences from all corners of the globe.
Not so much of a restaurant as a take-out with the option to sit in, this is the flagship premises of the fried chicken chain. Perch on the high stools and watch the bustle of Brixton through the glass arch as you choose from six different burger options, including garlic butter mayo fried chicken with parmesan and pickles. There is a vegan option, and sides include vegan dirty tater tots with “bacon” bits and ranch sauce.
Okan has three outposts in total, and with two of these in SW9 Brixton folk feel rather spoilt. The locations feel different in atmosphere and serve different dishes, so it's worth checking both out. Head to Brixton Market for Osaka-influenced cooking with sizzling hot plates of teppanyaki, omuyaki soba or okonomiyaki. Round the corner is their Coldharbour Lane site, where the fare is Izakaya style tapas with mum’s ramen and donburi in a calmer setting.
Fun, bright, and a bit bonkers, this restaurant is the brainchild of Tim Anderson - the youngest ever winner of Masterchef back in 2011. Nanban means “southern barbarian” and Tim’s cooking style is to mash up Japanese soul food with international flavours from Brixton Market. Ramens all come with a twist, like the lazy goat ramen topped with Scotch bonnet-pickled bamboo shoots. Other dishes include Japanese inspired burgers.
A hidden gem, and one for dedicated sushi lovers, this 6 seater set up specialises in Yoroppa-Mae style Sushi Omakase. There is no menu, the chef serves up to 18 inventive courses with the freshest fish he can source that day. The chef graduated from Tokyo Sushi Academy and the restaurant focuses on Japanese techniques while also taking influence from his Colombian and Thai heritage. An intimate and unique experience.
The character of Brixton comes from the diversity of long-standing independent businesses and Caribbean community, and this Jamaican restaurant offers staple Caribbean food that many locals will queue for. The no-frills site on Electric Avenue cooks up salt fish, callaloo, chicken and beef patties, dumplings and more. They also bake fresh Jamaican hardo bread on site daily and there is seating on two floors if you want to take your time.
Can’t afford a flight to the Caribbean? Close your eyes, take in the reggae vibes, order a rum Ting and you are halfway to being there at this laid back, well-known corner spot in Brixton Village Market. Food is unfussy, delicious and flavourful with the home made chilli sauces packing a punch. Local owner Brian hails from Trinidad and gives credit to his grandma for inspiring delicious dishes such as codfish fritters, reggae wings slathered in sticky chutney, rotis and a banging jerk chicken.
Well known within the South American community, this Colombian restaurant often has a queue outside its doors. Located on the Coldharbour Lane Village entrance, this simply furnished space offers a cosy setting with a largely meat based menu. Known for substantial portions, often served with a drink and banana on the side, diners can choose their famous hen soup, empanadas, beef in creole sauce or frijoles with rice and fried plantain. The food is traditional, rustic, and reasonably priced.
A crisp, refreshing beer with an Indian is a fine thing and Booma’s USP is to match its selection of craft beers, ales, stouts and ciders to the dishes you choose on the menu. Think wine pairing but with beers. Booma offers 1/3 and 2/3 pint options so that you aren’t limited to what you can taste and match to your dinner. The staff are super knowledgeable, helping to choose what’s right for you.
This family-run business opened its second location on Coldharbour Lane, bringing authentic Vietnamese cuisine inspired by their grandmother's cooking.
Traditional dishes such as fragrant summer rolls, crispy mini Banh Khot prawn pancakes and lemongrass beef in betel leaves are great for sharing, while there are lots of heartier larger dishes and a great vegetarian offering too. Make sure to try the Bhan Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) on their weekend menu.
Beb's is a bring your own, café-style Indian restaurant specialising in Goanese food. Generous portions and a wider variety of well known Indian dishes are also available, making it a staple for many locals. Green masala curry lamb, a fragrant dish with spinach, or xacuti chicken cooked with coconut, star anise and nutmeg draw the regulars back in time and time again.
This all-day bistro is set in a former Edwardian laundry - stylish and grown up with a New York feel to it. The terrace will be fantastic in the summer as few places offer outside drinking and dining in this area. Food is seasonal, with a chalk board noting daily sharing dishes. With the same owners as The Wine Parlour in Pop Brixton, a lot of time has been spent on the drinks menu, with wine also available to take out.
Run by the Raclette brothers, this shipping container in the middle of Pop Brixton offers up a short, seasonally changing menu. Melted raclette is scraped at your table on to potatoes, pickles and crispy pancetta and there's also tartiflette with wild mushroom and gungy rebloucon, fondue with a choice of either gruyere or Lincolnshire poacher and more. Let's face it, you aren’t going to walk away hungry. All that and an informed wine list too.
Critic reviews - total score 8.5 out of 10
The second restaurant by Nicholas Balfe of Brixton’s Salon, Levan opened in November 2018 with an emphasis on sustainability and seasonality. The effortlessly cool interior features an open kitchen serving food European-inspired food with the odd nod to East Asia, all matched with natural wines. Their house-cured sardines are a firm favourite, as are the Comte fries.
Simon Whiteside originally opened Hook in Camden and now he's bringing his seafood expertise to Pop Brixton with his own restaurant, Roe. Expect sustainable seafood on an ever-changing menu that showcases his Irish influences.
Critic reviews - total score 8 out of 10
Successfully luring Londoners away from Nando's, this Algarvian restaurant is cooking its chicken on a wood fired grill. Oh, and there's also a secret bar worth checking out.
Critic reviews - total score 8 out of 10
Best known for their fishmongers in Islington, South Kensington and East Dulwich, this is a restaurant adjacent to their East Dulwich operation. Expect a seafood menu that makes the most of that location.
Another Brixton success story (it started at Pop Brixton), locals were thrilled that they chose to open a prime site near its humble origins. it takes up two arches - the first arch offering a space to sit at the bar, have a snack or wait for a table in the second arch. There's a seasonal, ever-changing Indian inspired menu, including a wide range of vegetarian dishes alongside their famous Keralan fried chicken.
Critic reviews - total score 8.5 out of 10
This cosy pan-Balkan restaurant serves delicious plates of food from this otherwise relatively under-represented part of the world. There’s always a buzz here, with tables packed in tight for a taste of the daily-changing menu of dishes that take you on a journey. Thankfully, they often revisit some of their favourites that have achieved near-cult status, such as their courgette fritters and their grilled quail.
This former multi-storey car park plays host to everything from yoga studios to clothes retailers but its 6th floor is about the food. At the time of writing, notable are Zephyr Burger – gorgeous California-style smashed patties using dry-aged meat from Nathan Mills at The Butchery. Also great is Hao Hao Chi who serve delicious dumplings. Their Spicy Sesame Noodle Salad is superb.
One of the oldest pie & mash shops in London, this branch of the Manze empire opened in 1927. Still in the original family’s hands, it’s renowned for its pies, mashed potato and liquor, as well as their jellied or stewed eels. Walking inside feels like stepping back in time with chilli vinegar on the table and white-clothed friendly staff.
Housed in Peckham Rye’s former ticket hall, this listed building looks great – check out the toilets - but the food is even better. Their robata-grilled meat is a delight and their Sunday roast is legendary. They’ve also started doing breakfast. Special mention goes to the Peckham Fatboy–a deliciously indulgent dish of potato hash, Ogleshield, beef fat mayonnaise and crispy onions.
Ask anyone for the best suya (Nigerian BBQ) in London and chances are they’ll suggest Angels Bakery. As its name suggests, it serves beautiful baked goods but come lunchtime the coals are lit to knock out takeaway boxes of the West African grilled meat staple. Choose from chicken, beef or lamb, seasoned beautifully and cooked with just the right amount of char.
Persepolis, a café-cum-shop, should come with a warning –it’s easy to lose yourself for hours amid its shelves stacked high with obscure and otherwise hard-to-find Persian and middle eastern ingredients. The small restaurant out back celebrates these ingredients in their vegetarian menu which can nearly all be made vegan. The fattet with garlicky tahini sauce is stunning.