A Travellerspoint blog

Brixton Markets London

Brixton Village & Market Row for food markets with incredible choice of cuisines

Brixton Market comprises a street market in the centre of Brixton, south London, and the adjacent covered market areas in nearby arcades Reliance Arcade, Market Row and Granville Arcade.
This bustling little corner of Brixton is a community within itself, featuring more than 100 local and independent businesses who have transformed this old arcade. Wandering through the covered walkways will reveal a treasure trove of cuisines, fresh produce, clothing, jewellery, homeware, art, and music. Honest Burgers originated within these walls and continue to flourish, here and across the city


Brixton's cosmopolitan roots are reflected in its bustling market which has a huge range of food and clothes stores, many of West Indian origin.

The market was developed outside the BR railway station on Atlantic Road during the 1870s, and ran all along Electric Avenue. After the huge wave of immigration in the 1950s, the market became an important focal point for the black community, and still serves up West Indian specialties such as flying fish, breadfruit and all manner of weird looking fresh meats.

Nowadays, the market has expanded to cover several areas of Brixton.

Brixton Station Rd
Sadly struggling, this outdoor market mainly sells secondhand clothes and bric-a-brac with some electric goods of uncertain
Electric Avenue
The original market which was once protected by extended awnings running the length of the street. Mainly fruit and veg and clothes stores.


Granville Arcade
Large covered market with an eclectic mix of shops including a tattoo studio, cafes, Caribbean bakery, several fishmongers and all kinds of unsavoury trays of animal produce. Not for sensitive veggies!

Market Row
Another big covered market with a large selection of stores including the superb Eco Pizza serving up Brixton's finest pizzas!.
Reliance Arcade
A short and narrow covered market running between Brixton Rd and Electric Lane. Stalls include children's clothes, camera/watch shop and a vacuum cleaner spare parts store!

Station Arcade
Small selection of stores leading up the druggies favourite haunt, Brixton railway station.


Tunstall Rd
New art market opposite Brixton tube.

Opening hours: Vary wildly, particularly for the outdoor markets in poor weather. Monday to Saturday, 10am till dark. Art market is open Sundays 11am to 5.30pm. Wednesday is half day closing at 1pm.

The Market began on Atlantic Road in the 1870s and subsequently spread to Brixton Road which had a very wide footway. Brixton then was a rapidly expanding London railway suburb with newly opening shops, including the first London branch of David Greig at 54-58 Atlantic Road in 1870, and London's first purpose-built department store, Bon Marché, on Brixton Road in 1877. The market was a popular attraction, with shoppers being entertained by street musicians.

Electric Avenue which is now part of the street market was built in the 1880s and was one of the first streets to have electric light. Glazed iron canopies covered the footpath, but these were significantly damaged by WW2 bombs, and finally removed in the 1980s. The song "Electric Avenue" was written by Eddy Grant referring to this area of the market.
now for dinner and there is plenty to choose from, west Indian, Indian, wine bars, creperies, but given my desire for Italian , as usual, we spotted Casa Sibilla, with a great little deli alongside this was heaven.
Casa Sibilla was an absolute gem for Italian cuisine. She also runs cooking classes and we spent a very pleasant couple of hours chatting all things Italian,

The market arcades were built in the 1920s and 1930s when road widening on Brixton Road forced traders from their established pitches.

Reliance Arcade, 455 Brixton Road (c1924) provides a narrow pedestrian route from Brixton Road to Electric Lane. It incorporates the original Georgian house and has a beautiful Egyptian tomb facade to Electric Lane; it was extended forward by Ernest J Thomas in 1931. Inside there are small shops no larger than market stalls and a glazed roof provide the light.
Reliance Arcade is Grade II listed, and was added to English Heritage's Heritage At Risk Register in October 2014.[4]

Market Row, 40 - 44 Atlantic Road was designed by Andrews and Peascod in 1928. It was built in the back yards of existing premises and links Atlantic Road, Coldharbour Lane and Electric Lane. The interior is double-height and windows in the roof provide light.
Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane was built as Granville Arcade in 1937 to designs of Alfred and Vincent Burr; the developer was Mr Granville-Grossman. It was opened by actor Carl Brisson on 6 May 1937. It has an interior of narrow covered streets called 'Avenues', and is double-height, similar to Market Row. There are over 100 shops. It links Coldharbour Lane, Atlantic Road and Popes Road.

The three market arcades in close proximity, forming an extensive network of stalls, are rare survivals and their special character is what marks out Brixton as distinctive from other suburban shopping centres: a mixture of history, interesting architecture, the variety of goods on sale and the cultural mix of Brixton, known as the symbolic 'soul of black Britain'.

Since 2011 the shops in Brixton Village and, more recently, Market Row and Reliance Arcade have increasingly converted into cafes and restaurants, serving a wide range of different cuisines. As a result, they are now open 8am – 11.30pm every day except Monday, when they shut at 6pm.


In April 2010 the Secretary of State of the Department of Culture (DCMS) announced that the government had overturned its previous decision not award heritage protection to these three arcades and declared all three Grade II listed buildings. They were listed by virtue of their cultural importance and contribution to the social and economic history of Brixton, particularly since the 1950s as one of the principal hearts of the Afro-Caribbean community in London, as well as for their architectural importance since such arcades, once more common, are now rare.

Posted by Bruco 02:49 Archived in England Tagged food markets london world wine italian farmers casa markets.brixton brixton sibilla

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint