Effra Social wasn't always the tucked away nightspot of choice for many a Brixton local and pub raver. Once upon a time, it was a Conservative social club, where Tories gathered for over 100 years to discuss right-wing politics over pints of beer and cocktails made from the tears of the poor... maybe. But now, Effra is one of south London's most unique hotspots for late-night dancing, and whatever you think of their policies, the Tories can build a bloody good building. Part-working men's club complete with gloriously tacky decor, head down there on a weekend to find DJs spinning disco classics and guilty pleasures, or simply get lost in the many, many hidden rooms that lie within its walls. Behind the stage there's a hidden restaurant too, serving pub grub staples and decent ales.
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Dogstar has many a hangover on its hands and it's easy to see why. With a 4am weekend license, a weekly selection of stellar club nights and an always-up-for-it crowd, its become renowned for basically being the last-stop on any wild night out in this patch of South. Look beyond that and you'll find your typically average stone baked pizzas, pool tables and cocktails. But lets be frank - this place is about the late night dancing. This three-floor, sprawling 20-year-old pub (and London's first DJ pub) has become a Brixton staple, fuelling many a dancefloor romance along the way.
Notting Hill is the spiritual home away from home for London’s Caribbean community, and with its beach-shack vibes, penchant for spiced rum and bangin’ jerk, Rum Kitchen might well become yours. A legendary spot around these parts, recent refurbishment has seen a popular restaurant take itself to the next level. Cocktails here are absolute fire: the Zombie blends three (!) rums with passion fruit, comes in a glass skull, and is (actually) lit. Come here and do the right thing: chicken jerk bowl, complete with ‘slaw, rice & peas, watermelon and pineapple. So real. The dessert menu is full of treats too - the rum & raisin ice cream is well worth checking for. Healthy brunch options on the weekend and cocktail-fuelled parties in the members only Rum Cellar to boot (open ‘til 2), you might not leave.
We can't all be glamorous - this might not be the pearly gastropub we're accustomed to finding on our corners these days, but Hootananny is a legendary local boozer. A real live music pub, expect events here most days of the week, from reggae to afrobeat nights. A Brixton stalwart, don't be surprised to find locals shooting pool inside or watching the game on the projector. There's plenty of character about this joint, and since it's open pretty late Thurs-Sat it's definitely ideal for a drink, a smoke and a dance when the night comes.
The Mall Tavern
Serving up seasonal pub grub in a cheery, modern setting, The Mall Tavern is a classic boozer updated for the modern, food-conscious Londoner. If you're looking for a week-night feast, the braised lamb shank with roast chestnut salsa verde is a real winner, while the "classic" pub menu – burgers, pies and fish 'n' chips – features home-cooked, high-quality favourites. With a range of craft ales on tap, it's as good for post-work drinks in the beer garden as it is for a cosy dinner inside with friends.