Shipping container village Pop Brixton is far more exciting than that description suggests. Designed to showcase the best of south London’s start-ups, there are food, drink and retail options, as well as community workspaces and an events area. The venture which saw disused land turned into a creative space is an ideal platform for pop-up independent enterprises in search of a low-cost but prominent spot to launch their ideas from. 70% of the members are from Brixton and Lambeth and at least half are first time entrepreneurs.
The area really comes into its own in the summer months when people flock to spend an evening al fresco – eating and drinking from the various stalls and dancing the night away to live music and DJ sets – but it’s equally as popular in the winter months when punters can take shelter from the elements in the covered communal spots within the old shipping containers.
The initiative was originally founded by Make Shift – a team of entrepreneurs and creatives who wanted to create a dynamic spot that brought prosperity to an otherwise deprived area whilst providing space and support for up and coming businesses. Along with provision of the space itself the charitable team host regular free events and open workshops to help foster positive change in the community. As part of their membership, each of the 55 business housed there invest at least an hour each week of their time and skills into a Community Investment Scheme which lends support to local causes.
The venue has had some pretty big success stories in terms of restaurants that have grown such demand and reputation that they have been forced to wave goodbye to their temporary stalls. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen was such a hit that founder Zoe Adjonyoh is now in popular demand for kitchen residencies across London and the supper clubs she operates from her own home in East London are regular sell-out events.
Kricket is another big name that outgrew its original shipping container site and was forced to open a bricks and mortar location. The popular Indian-inspired street food vendor now has three permanent restaurant sites across London (Brixton, Soho and White City) from where it continues to serve the same style of small sharing plates that originally made it its name in Pop Brixton.
Pop Brixton opening times
The venue is open daily from 9am-11pm, or until 12am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Saturday and Bank Holiday Sundays the venue is restricted to over 18s from 6pm unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Dogs are permitted on site every day until 7pm.
Where is Pop Brixton?
49 Brixton Station Road to be precise! It’s an easy walk from Brixton Station, just head under the bridge down Pope’s Road and you’ll find the entrance on the corner opposite Brixton Recreation Centre.
Pop Brixton restaurants: Where to eat
Take a perch or eat on the hoof; there are plenty of options to choose from here with dishes inspired by cuisines around the world. Why not mix it up and create your own magical fusion feast! Explore all of the restaurants below to find your favourite before heading to Pop Brixton.
You’ll feel like you’re fresh off the slopes when you step into this alpine bistro serving Savoyard specialties. Expect melted cheese aplenty with Alpes’ signature raclettes, fondue and tartiflettes.
Baba G's Bhangra Burger
Street food veterans Baba G's takes taste inspiration from Indian spices and world dishes. Make sure to try the ‘Crazy Lamb’ jalfrezi burger – it’s a serious meaty tower.
It’s carnival vibes all year round at Caribe’. This Caribbean hotspot showcases the very best of island food – bringing the sunny tastes of the tropics to Brixton. Come rain or shine owner Keisha is determined to put West Indian cuisine well and truly on the map.
Head to Don Luigi for Italian dishes including fried calamari, arrosticini skewers (barbecued mutton with olive oil-soaked sourdough) and beef Bolognese lasagne.
Beyond Burger hit headlines when it introduced the world’s first bleeding plant-based burger. Now Londoners can taste it in the “flesh” at the brand’s vegan fast-food joint Halo Burger.
This offering is simple but effective: bowls of Japanese ramen, using house-made pork broth, fresh egg noodles, topped with pork belly slow-cooked for 10 hours.
Featuring all things French and cheesy, on offer are crêpes, galettes (gluten-free), waffles and croque monsieur at L'Amuse-Bouche. Creations include the ‘Goaty’ (red onion chutney, goat's cheese, baby spinach and plum tomatoes) and the smoked-ham raclette.
Love Churros' treats are perfect for a cheeky post-work snack or for a sweet finish to a savory dinner – what’s not to love about a pot of the freshest sugar-dusted churros coated in lashings of melted Belgian chocolate.
Looking for Caribbean cuisine? Thehse guys have you covered with a menu that includes fiery jerk chicken as well as vegetarian, vegan and fish options. Expect BBQ chicken wings, coconut and sweetcorn cakes and dumpling soup. There are also tasty sides of jerk sweet-potato fries and fried plantain.
Other Side Fried
If you haven’t seen these guys on Instagram then where have you been hiding? These local boys have made their name as the Kings of fried chicken after putting in some strong shifts at many a market across London.
Fish-focused restaurant Roe has a strong sense of its Irish roots thanks to chef Simon Whiteside. Expect a strong selection of oft-changing sharing plates.
Headed up by former sushi chef at Nobu, Noriko, this Japanese fish bar specialises in two things: salmon and rice wine. The chef's dishes go beyond sushi – using the entire salmon head to tail – all paired with carefully selected Japanese rice wines.
Share a Slice
Philanthropic pizza – what could be better? For every pizza purchased, this social enterprise make and donate another for their weekly food drives and charity partners. So with every slice you can feel guilt-free in the knowledge that your helping feed the homeless at no extra cost.
Smoke & Salt London
Operated by two former chefs from Notting Hill's The Shed, Smoke & Salt combines fine and casual dining, with its modern, seasonal dishes which use international flavours and techniques including brining, curing, fermenting and smoking.
Founders Evi and Conor couldn’t understand why this hugely popular Greek streetfood staple was so hard to come by in London, so in 2014 they decided to launch their own venture selling the authentic Greek meat-filled wraps. After 5 years of roaming they’ve finally made their home in Pop Brixton.
Studmuffin is the lovechild of two students from Leiths School of Food & Wine. Expect hot flavourful fillings all served in the humble English muffin. Move over sandwiches, there’s a new stud in town.
Started by a classically trained chef and two fellow French natives with a mutual passion for Vietnamese food, you can expect the likes of chicken pho curry, banh mi and sticky chicken satay with popcorn at Viet Box.
Pop Brixton Bars: Where to Drink?
It’s thirsty work all that eating. Thankfully you’re never far from a watering hole in Pop Brixton - here are all the bars you need to know about.
This central bar is operated from various hatches by a team of lively Brixton locals. With Red Stripe on tap and an assortment of spiced rums it’s no wonder the locals swarm in their hoards come 5 o’clock.
This wine shop is a secret hotpsot for smug south London winos who come to stock up on some of the best unsung wines from New Zealand and Australia. Pop along to a tasting event to try some of the best wines the New World has to offer and chat to their team of friendly experts.
World of Wurst
This simple concept has been quite the hit with thirsty punters who like a bite to eat with their pint. Their range of sausages from around the world (Bratwurst, Toulouse, Boerewors etc.) all come expertly paired with a selection of beer or wines.
If pop-ups are your thing we’re sure you’ll love Kerb Market at Seven Dials