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21 Things to do in Brixton, London – by a local (2023)

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Situated at the southern end of the Victoria line, bohemian Brixton is a wonderfully vibrant and diverse London neighbourhood with many things to do including an array of awesome street art, foodie delights from all over the world and many lively markets.

A little more authentic than the usual tourist cliches such as overcrowded Covent Garden, Brixton has bags of flavour and grows on your more with every repeat visit.

Here is our top things to do in Brixton guide:

Things to do in Brixton

1. Electric Avenue Brixton Market

One of the first places to visit after leaving the Underground station, this is an ideal place to start your Brixton adventure. Situated in an elegant Victorian crescent, the area is teeming with life and awash with various market stalls selling the best of Caribbean, African and Asian fare. If you are a cassova connoisseur, you won’t have to ‘root’ around far to find it here.

Electric Avenue Brixton Market

As featured in the eponymous Eddy Grant song of the same name, it is also worth keeping an eye around Electric Avenue for the wonderful Brixton street art around here.

On the day we visited, there was also a huge queue lining out onto the street at Healthy Eaters, a Brixton tradition and supposedly the best patties in Brixton.

YOU MIGHT LIKE – 10 best markets in London

2. Brixton Village and Market Row

Every time we visit the area, we always head to Brixton Village as the food and drink choices here are fantastic and bar none.

Brixton Village
Brixton Village

An eclectic epicurean experience, we often nom-nom okonomiyaki at Okan – there are two branches in Brixton with the Brixton Village one specialising in Osaka street food dishes such as Okonomiyaki and Yaki Soba (dishes are around £8 to £12).

Brixton Village

There are foods from all over the globe from the sancocho of South America to Ghanian gourmet gems, numerous stalls selling fresh fruit and veg (plus cock soup!) plus clothing and gift shops.

There are 100 traders in Brixton Village and given it is all undercover, you could quite happily spend a whole day here, rain or shine, hopping from one place to another, eating all manner of goodness.

Brixton Village
Brixton Village

3. POP Brixton

A local community space, full of shipping containers and temporary office space, Pop Brixton features lots of local businesses, from bars to barbers and radio stations to restoration specialists.

The food options are incredible – Koi Ramen is always popular and Baba G’s Bhangra burger looked gut bustingly beautiful. S11 Bar also has a nice beer garden as you enter the Pop compound, with several large alfresco tables bedecked with hanging baskets.

Open all year round, Pop Brixton also hosts a regular events schedule offering everything from tai chi and yoga sessions to vintage jumble sales.

pop - Top things to do in Brixton, South London
pop - Top things to do in Brixton, South London

4. Brixton Beer Trail

You may have heard of the Bermondsey Beer Mile and maybe even the Blackhorse Beer Mile or Leytonstone Beer Mile, but how about the Brixton Beer Trail? Actually, given the others, maybe it should be called the Brixton Beer Mile.

Consisting of 6 breweries, the Brixton Beer Trail is well served by Stockwell and Brixton Tube TFL stations and Loughborough Junction railway station.

Craft Metropolis Brixton
Craft Metropolis Brixton

The 6 breweries, bars and taprooms along the Brixton Beer Trail are Affinity The Grosvenor, London Beer Lab, Ghost Whale Brixton, Dogs Grandad Brewery, Friendship Adventure Brewery and Craft Metropolis Brixton (we aren’t sure why Brixton Brewery itself isn’t a part of the Brixton Beer Trail – maybe this is more about focusing on smaller, local breweries). 

Read more about which of Brixton’s breweries and taprooms make our ‘best London brewery’ list here >

Friendship Adventure Brewery  Brixton
Friendship Adventure Brewery

5. Brixton Brewery Tap Room

Although it may not win points for the originality of their name, South London’s Brixton Brewery does win awards for its beer has been around for several years, founded in 2013.

Brixton Brewery Tap Room
Brixton Brewery Tap Room

Their core range are all unfiltered (their Electric IPA is particularly recommended) and they have been such a success story that they moved to bigger premises in 2018.

Their taproom is open Wednesday to Sunday (5pm to 11pm weekdays; 12pm to 11pm Saturdays; 1pm to 9pm Sundays as at 2023). Brixton Brewery usually has around 10 lines on tap. 

Brixton Brewery Tap Room

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6. David Bowie Brixton memorial

RIP, David Bowie – the world still mourns his loss and this mural, created by James Cochran in 2013, became a makeshift shrine immediately after Brixton boy Bowie’s untimely death in 2016, with many candlelit vigils being held here.

David Bowie Brixton memorial - Top things to do in Brixton, South London

The drawing depicts Ziggy Stardust from the album Aladdin Sane and is located directly opposite the Brixton Underground station exit. It has proved so popular that the council have had to install plexiglass over it to try and stop the tide of graffiti.

7. Brixton O2 Academy

One of London’s best known concert venues, this historic grade II listed building has been known by many names over the years.

Starting at the Astoria in the 1920s, it has been called the Academy since the 1980s and played host to all manner of huge stars, from Coldplay to Madonna – we also saw Future Islands here recently and they were incredible.

Brixton O2 Academy

The 02 Academy Brixton regularly hosts club nights and comedy evenings when there is no live music on.  Note that as of February 2023, The O2 Brixton Academy has had its licence temporarily suspended pending a review.

8. Ritzy Picturehouse Cinema

An awesome arthouse cinema that dates back from the 1910s, the Ritzy Picturehouse Brixton has five cinema screens, cafe bar (slightly pricey) and one of the most beautiful interiors of any London cinema (check out the ‘gold’ seats and plush red material in the main screen).

Ritzy Picturehouse Cinema Brixton

The Ritzy Brixton is renowned for its special events like Director Q&As, themed late screenings and kids’ cinema clubs. Spend a silver screen afternoon here enjoying the latest blockbuster or international documentary – the line-up can be quite eclectic.

9. Ghost Whale

Brixton’s best bottle shop and craft beer store, Ghost Whale is a nice, neighbourhood beer shop with an incredible array of beers, both on tap and also in the immense chillers and fridges that line the store.

Ghost Whale craft beer bottle shop in Brixton

We visited Ghost Whale Brixton one Sunday afternoon and were spoilt for choice in terms of their range. Draft beer prices were reasonable and out back, they had a cosy beer garden. Get in early to grab one of the coveted window spots so you can watch the world go by as you sup craft beers from local and UK breweries.

Ghost Whale also have another store – Ghost Whale Putney, but the Brixton one is their original branch.

Ghost Whale craft beer bottle shop in Brixton

10. Lost in Brixton

Located in Brixon Village with an entrance appropriately hidden away in the corner, Lost In Brixton is a covered, roof-top bar and entertainment venue, with live music and DJs at night and boozy brunches during the daytime at the weekend.

Whilst not a huge venue compared to other rooftop bars, the lush, tropical interior decor is welcoming and there is ample seating – expect big beats, huge queues and colossal stilettos at the weekend.

Lost in Brixton

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11. Canova Hall

Once a sumptuous department store, Canova Hall was transformed and reopened in 2017 as an all day restaurant and cafe complex, with lush white-tiled interiors and a centre-piece island bar.

Canova Hall - Top things to do in Brixton, South London

We visited Canova Hall during February half-term and it was heaving – very popular with families in the daytime. Canova Hall also hosts weekend bottomless brunches and cocktail making classes, plus an impressive array of beers on tap, alongside their very own gin distillery – nice. 

One of the most popular bottomless brunches in Brixton, this is a fine foodie place with much to enjoy.

12. London Beer Lab

Ever fancied making your own beer? If not, seriously why not? The London Beer Lab is a Brixton microbrewery that makes your hop-infused dreams come true, allowing you to concoct your very own craft beer, following 5 different beer recipes in a 5 hour brewing session.

London Beer Lab Brixton

Afterwards, ale’s well that ends well as there is also a taproom onsite, with 14 lines available (which to be honest, will most likely taste better than your own beer-making efforts!).

13. The Brixton Courtyard

Big beats and outdoor eats come to Brixton with this new alfresco bar set-up from the brains behind Brixton Jamm. A beer garden and dining terrace by day and dance venue by night, some of London’s top DJs spin the decks on the terrace at the weekends.

The Brixton Courtyard comprises three bar areas (including ‘The Beach’ – but no sign of Leo DiCaprio) with new street vendors each week.

14. Brixton Black Cultural Archives

The UK’s national heritage centre for Caribbean and African people’s histories (including detailed information about the Windrush scandal), the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) is open Thursdays to Saturdays with free entry for the permanent exhibitions (charges may apply for the temporary exhibitions).

Brixton Black Cultural Archives

With a huge archive and collection plus regular events and educational activities, the Black Cultural Archives Brixton are very much invested in the local community and preserving the history of African and Caribbean immigrants.

15. Brockwell Park and Lido

A lush, large Lambeth park, Brockwell not only boasts one of London’s greenest spaces but an incredibly popular outdoor swimming pool, Brockwell Lido.

Apart from an ideal place for picnics or outdoor events, Brockwell Park’s views of the city and downtown London take some beating and lunch on the terrace outside Brockwell Hall is one of the capital’s hidden gems.

16. The Blues Kitchen

Brixton’s beloved BBQ hang-out and late night bar with a Cajun class all of its own, The Blues Kitchen has been around for years serving sublime soul food and hearty meals to the tune of rock and roll. What is not to like?

From ribs to wings and manner of things, arrive at the Blues Kitchen hungry and you won’t go home disappointed.

17. Brixton Windmill

Alas, this is London’s sole surviving operating windmill (there are others such as Putney Heath but they aren’t operational still) and you can visit the inside of Brixton Windmill by booking a tour.

Over 200 years old (but not looking a day over 100), the windmill also has a pop-up cafe and volunteer millers are often on hand to show you how bread is made  – use your loaf and start planning a visit soon.

Just so you don’t get confused, there is also a famous live music venue call the Windmill in Brixton so if you are meeting someone at either venue, make sure you clarify which first (although both have been known to involve some form of grinding so all good).

18. Dogstar / The Atlantic

Named after Keanu Reeve’s infamous band (not true but we like to think it is), Brixton’s Dogstar bar is a hoppy hangout that has recently undergone a massive refurbishment (and possibly is due to be renamed to the Atlantic in the near future) – gentrification eh?

Whilst there is less character and the DJ booth seems to have been eradicated, this is a nice Brixton boozer to hang out working your way through the many draft and craft beers on tap, in close proximity to Brixton Village.

Dogstar Brixton

19. Brixton Street Art

As well as the Electric Avenue street art and David Bowie mural mentioned earlier, Brixton has a sublime (and often subversive) street art scene. 

Street art in Brixton

From the huge Brixton ‘sign’ mural under the railway arches (surely the best looking signpost in London?), to the community led murals along Brixton’s Beehive place and new artworks in Electric Lane, there is much to see.

Best of all, as with all the best street art in London, it changes ever time you return to Brixton.

Street art in Brixton

Things to do near Brixton, London

20. Herne Hill Sunday Market

Located along the main Herne Hill high street (and handily located right outside Herne Hill train station), this south London market near Brixton has a local, village atmosphere with over 50 traders selling locally-produced foods, arts and crafts, vintage clothing and records.

Given the close proximity of all the stalls and incredible selection of independent food stalls, we can hand on heart say this is one of the most aromatic and best smelling (and probably best-selling) Sunday markets we’ve encountered.

Herne Hill Sunday Market

We’ve visited Herne Hill’s Sunday Market several times now and each time we go, we see new food stalls as well as random sites. For instance, on our last visit, the local salsa school were putting on an impromptu performance to a rapturous crowd.

The market is open every Sunday from 10am-4pm, and the nearest tube station is Brixton (a 20 minute walk away). It is also located right next to Brockwell Park so you can take all your yummy street food and eat it there!

Herne Hill Sunday Market

21. Canopy Beer Co, Herne Hill

2023 update: Canopy Beer Co is permanently closed

A short walk from Herne Hill station and neighbouring Brixton,  the Canopy brewery taproom is located in a corner of a small but incredibly busy industrial estate (Bath Factory Estate).

This concrete playground may not look much from the outside but the range of core and guest beers at Canopy along with pretty good prices make this a rather pleasant pub like atmosphere, with a nice railway arch set-up (think Five Points in Hackney or Boxcar brewery in Bethnal Green).

We particularly liked Canopy’s taproom as the interior is cosy, as you sit amongst the brewing vats but the choice of beers is great. We also noticed it is a popular spot for all the weekend football teams who play football in nearby Brockwell Park.

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