Our quest for the best burger took us today to Brixton Village Market, to try Honest Burgers. It’s drawn raves from The Observer’s Jay Raynor, Metro and TimeOut, among many others. In the olden days, before children, this is the kind of place I would have strategised to visit with my friend R. before the first magazine or newspaper write-up. These days, we’re lucky to get someplace while it still has the aroma of coolness wafting through.
Scroll down for my Brixton Village Market gallery
It’s been years since I’ve been to Brixton and this is my first time to Brixton Village Market. As we walked ’round I kept thinking, Where have you been all my life? The entire Market is a combination of old-school fruit and veg stalls and fishmongers – selling some things I’ve never seen before in my life – and cool eateries. It’s been called London’s most vibrant restaurant scene.
At Honest Burgers, the short menu includes a few burger variations, all made with Ginger Pig dry aged beef, a chicken burger, plus some specials. They have gluten-free buns and gluten-free lager (!), which made us think of CafeBebe. It was jam-packed with families and packs of young friends wearing stylish jackets and good hairdos.
We joined the queue, and a server came out and took drink orders while we waited – the homemade lemonade is fresh and a little fizzy, served with an eco-friendly cardboard straw. We ultimately didn’t eat here because a hungry child and queues don’t see eye to eye. We decided to come back earlier another day and wandered off to choose from the glut of other options. A few I can’t wait to try:
* Franco Manca – mouthwatering-looking pizzas
* French and Grace – the Mediterranean salad and wrap place opened by the Salad Club hostesses
* Mama Lan‘s Beijing street food – the people eating seaweed fascinated our 8-year-old; all the dishes looked amazing
* Brixton Cornercopia – it takes reservations!
* Okan – Japanese street food
We went round the corner to the Thai cafe KaoSarn. I had pad thai – not the best I’ve ever eaten but tasty; my husband had spicy green chicken curry that he declared in his top 2 ever, and the 8-year-old happily tried everything we ordered, save the spicy curry. Other dishes that have won raves are the massaman lamb curry and larb gai. I want to try the fried chicken served with sticky rice.
Everywhere in the market was bustling. It all felt very child-friendly, with babies sitting on parents’ laps and children eating rosemary-dusted hand-cut chips or, in our case, egg fried rice with spring rolls and chicken satay. This is a place for families who are tired of the chicken-nuggets kids’ menu, and the loose and easy atmosphere makes trying new things exciting. Then you can top off lunch with coconut juice drunk straight from the fruit or a gelato at Laboratoria Artigianale del Buon Gelato aka LAB G.
We can’t wait to come back – with other families, with out-of-town friends (even New Yorkers will be impressed) or by ourselves to eat our way through the Market. I’ll let you know what we discover.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
What you need to know:
- Take cash. I didn’t do an exhaustive survey but many places don’t take cards.
- Some places are BYOB. Some places used to be BYOB but now serve beer and wine. Check before you rock up with your six-pack.
- There’s not loads of room for strollers in the walkways and virtually none inside the cafes and restaurants. You’re better off with a sling or backpack for babies.
- If there’s a particular place you want to try, go early at lunchtime, while the hipsters are still in bed recovering from last-night’s party at the underground music club, or whatever.