Brixton Village Market: Redefining London ‘Street Food’ and Franco Manca

When I mentioned in passing to a friend that I had yet to visit Brixton Village Market she looked at me with a frown that suggested I was a foodie fraud. With my head hung low in shame I made a mental note to right the culinary wrong and shake it on down to Brixton Market to see what all the talk’s about.

Housed in the Granville Arcade, a 1930s indoor market in South London, it’s based just a couple of minutes from Brixton Tube Station.

You could even pause to do your weekly shop en route at the street markets that line the road, picking up a pack of saltfish or a pound of tomatoes.

The market features some 15 different cafés, bars and restaurants, with offerings including Thai, tapas, tea and tipples.

Whilst you could argue that the Brixton Market isn’t strictly ‘street food’, we here at strEAT believe that the focus on food rather than furnishings, and the ramshackle nature of the arcade means that the atmosphere is similar to that of a market, rather than an established string of chain restaurants. The Street Food website run by NCASS (the Nationwide Caterers Association) gives a pretty detailed account of what street food is if you want more info.

Franco Manca

The hype around the Pizzeria is huge, with critical acclaim from William Skidelsky (The Observer/The Guardian), Metro, The Independent and Time Out London.

A lot of Franco Manca’s ingredients (and wine) are organic and there is an emphasis on using artisanal produce. You can count the menu’s contents on two hands and there are just a couple of red and white wines to choose from. The pizza is of the Neapolitan variety, made from slow-rising sourdough and baked in a wood-fired oven.

When strEAT arrived at a quarter to seven there was already a pretty lengthy queue. FYI ‘Ole Franco doesn’t take reservations so prepare to experience a good 15 minutes of food envy while queuing (see pic below). Two pizzas, two glasses of red wine and a wee tip later the bill was just £20 for two.

Neapolitan v Roman Style

  • Neapolitan pizza is of the thick, doughy variety. A good Neapolitan pizza should still be light and airy.
  • Roman pizza is of the skinnier variety, with a crispy base. It’s usually of a larger circumference than its southern sister.

The Important Bits

According to their website, Brixton Village and the other market arcade, Market Row, are open Mon-Wed 8am till 6pm, Thurs-Sat 8am till midnight, and Sundays till 5pm.

In case you find yourself in desperate need of more cheese-laden carbs outside of Brixton, Franco Manca also has restaurants in SW11, E20 and W4.

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Your resident foodie friend,


(Images courtesy of Chloe Cann)