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.
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The Sun Inn
One of the few Barnes boozers without a riverside plot, The Sun Inn makes up for this with a lovely beer garden and bowling green to boot. BBQs out back are very much on the cards when the sun's out, while local cask ales and bottles of Belgian brews will keep you well hydrated, come rain or shine. Food offerings come in the guise of classic pub grub - pies, steaks and burgers - and feature seasonal ingredients. We won’t act like the sound of a steak, pancetta and porter ale pie doesn’t tickle us somewhat. Get down here for the quiz on a Monday or 'Tappy Tuesdays' (all pints coming a quid cheaper than usual).
A prominent, red-bricked gastropub well worth coming to Tooting Bec for. Decked out with a chilled bar area, a "secret" garden and a dogs-are-welcome policy, there's nothing not to love here. You'll find the bar upfront serving up some quality lagers and ales with the restaurant area behind. It's spacious, has grand Victorian windows plus an open kitchen that sets the scene. A nice mix of classic pub grub with fine dining, their menu is well crafted and does not disappoint. Menu highlights include their prawns in chilli garlic, a classic Sunday roast and, if you must indulge, try out their warm chocolate Brownie for size.
This rugged pub is a community stalwart over 34 years young. With a hostel upstairs and a strong focus on live music downstairs, it’s long been a home to lovable waifs and strays. While the pub has retained its distinctly punk vibe, the performances run the gamut from hip hop, to K Pop, to metal and other left field genres that’ll jolt your ear holes. Look out for their Cinema City night, where you can hear SE’s freakiest avant-garde/alternative acts making baffling sounds. In terms of consumption, there is a decent range of brews on tap, plus a food menu featuring classic pub grub like Sunday roasts, burgers and nachos. The real draw, though, is the Birds Nest's warm atmo and community-driven ethos.
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.