The taco man is a forerunner of the alternative scene called Brixton.
In South London is this gem of a food market that gets you the moment you walk in through its portals. Brixton Village Market ain’t your corner if you are looking for posh dining and drinks. It has a homey vibe and is the kind of place where you where you relax with friends, browse in boutiques, eat, walk, browse some more and nosh to your heart’s content from a potpourri of cuisines.It ticks off all the essential ingredients that make a food market piquant. A cornucopia of colours, whiffs from kiosks and eateries enticing you with edible promises and just enough street fashion to keep the style diva in you hooked. It is a sensory experience in every sense of the term.
On the first sunny Saturday of December, we went into this neighbourhood in the southern borough of Lambeth with a friend. It is after all the happy month when everyone seems to be in the mood for some Christmas lovin’. Warm coats, boots and snoods, steaming cups of hot chocolate, spiced up coffees, red noses and big smiles – life is rosy in December. Nothing sits better in this frame of mind than a saunter into a food market. All you have to do is worry about which stall you have missed out and make a mental note that you’ve got to get back to it the very next weekend.
Brixton is a story of revival and survival. In the ’80s and ’90s, it was rife with racial tensions and economic problems and hardly anyone would think of venturing into the area for the day like we were doing now. But it has been turned around and the proof of it is in the popularity of the market with foodies on a budget.
As you get out of Brixton Tube, you turn right and walk straight till you hit the railway bridge. Take a right into Brixton Road Market and another right into Pope’s Rode Market. Or, like us, you do it the short way. Just turn right into Atlantic Street once you get out of the tube.
You will find this small arcade entrance.
Then we turned into Electric Avenue, one of the first streets to have electric light and hence the name. Before WWII, it was covered with iron canopies but those were damaged during the bombing of London and taken off. We walked past the street market that goes back to the year 1880 and came across a rectangular structure, iridiscent with neon hues. Pop Brixton.
Now, why should you go to Brixton, right? What got me was the informality of the affair. Because Brixton cuts through pretentiousness and gets down to business. The business of good food and fun.