Let's get one thing straight - Brixton Village Market is the other covered market in Brixton, the one that doesn't contain Franco Manca. And it's been the subject of some regeneration projects recently, which has garnered forth a plethora of interesting new places to eat (lunchtimes only).
Yesterday I tried the pasta at Bellatonis, a tiny café run by a bonafide Italian (Dario), who makes all his own pasta, Italian preserves, cakes and bread. The choice is limited - yesterday he was doing a vegetable lasagne and a pasta bake with mushrooms, potatoes and scamorza. But he makes the pasta himself on the premises (you can buy it to take away as well) and it's a bargain at only £4.50, including salad, bread and water. You can also get an antipasto plate of Italian cheeses and home-made pickles, which we didn't try.
I had the pasta bake and it was delicious on a cold day - the pasta perfectly al-dente, the sauce unctuous and rich with plenty of shitake and oyster mushrooms (porcini being out of season). Really gorgeous. Nice bread too - homemade raisin bread and I bought some of his rosemary and thyme bread to take away for a bargainous pound. Highly recommended.
Afterwards, we popped round the corner to Federation Coffee for the best latte I've had in some time. It's run by Kiwis (of course) and the coffee was outstanding - an expresso blend that was rich and slightly fruity. They also do a flat white, and some nice looking cakes, which I was too full for.
Other places that have opened which I haven't tried yet:
Etta's Seafood Kitchen - Caribbean
The Islander's Kitchen - Filippino (rated by the guys in Federation Coffee)
Cornucopia - sells homemade preserves and jams made by locals, and soup etc. Does a three-course lunch for a tenner on a Saturday
A Moroccan place which I can't remember the name of
A Colombian place (I think) which I also can't remember the name of
Punta e como - rib-sticking Colombian fare which is too heavy for me but J Fores likes it
D's Roti Hut - I had a good chicken curry and exceptional roti from here a couple of months ago
Take Two - Carribean food again - the jerk chicken isn't bad
Places to buy food:
Colombian butcher - sells outstanding fresh chorizo and a good place to buy all things porky, including offal.
Fish - there are two fish places. I rate the one near the Colombian butcher, which is good value and has been there for forty years or more
There are also a few places to buy African ingredients, some vegetable stalls and an African/French market which is where I buy my fruit cordials and dijon mustard!
It's all pretty quiet during the week, but on a Saturday the place is buzzing, as there are lots of art/community projects going on at the moment, as part of the regeneration effort, run by these people: http://spacemakers.org.uk/
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