Where To Eat
In recent years, Peckham has established itself as a foodie hot spot in south London, with a growing number of independent restaurants and cafés that rival those in neighbouring Brixton and Camberwell. One of our favourites is Levan, an all-day bar and dining space with a strong focus on natural wines. The kitchen serves seasonal and inventive food in a relaxed setting: there’s an open kitchen, counter seating and a cosy dining room where diners can tuck into dishes like beef tartare with miso and kale, tortellini with burrata and artichokes, and its signature olive oil sorbet. The same team also owns nearby Larry’s, inspired by the corner bars and diners of New York. Deli-style sandwiches are served at lunch before a menu of sharing plates takes over for dinner. Larry’s is named after 70s dance music pioneer and DJ Larry Levan, so the venue stays open late into the night with music from its vintage sound system.
You’ll also find plenty of date-night spots around the neighbourhood. Set in the former Peckham Rye train station ticket office, Coal Rooms is a relaxed bar, restaurant and café which serves meat and fish cooked over a charcoal grill and oven. Think dry-aged duck breasts, roasted cod and 40 day-aged sirloin and rib – all served with house sauces like mead ketchup and red-eye gravy. Another favourite is Frank’s Café, the famous rooftop venue which is open during the summer months. There’s a popular brunch service until 3pm, followed by a new all-day menu accompanied by frozen margaritas and cocktail pitchers. For a romantic evening, book in at Italian-inspired restaurant Artusi which has a weekly-changing menu, or Spanish restaurant Miss Tapas for an affordable fix of authentic dishes.
Peckham is one of the most diverse areas of the UK, so it should come as no surprise that its’ the locals who have opened some of the neighbourhood’s best street food spots and eateries. For excellent Persian food, Persepolis serves authentic dishes as part of a multi-course tasting menu. Expect vegetarian mezze boards and baskets of warm bread for dipping. Elsewhere, Vietnamese spot Bánh Bánh creates dishes inspired by the owners' grandmother’s recipe book from when she worked as a chef in Saigon in the 1940s. Then there’s The Begging Bowl, a popular Thai restaurant decked out with colourful wooden furniture and indoor plants. Highlights from the menu include stir-fried aubergine with fermented yellow bean and Thai basil; seabass soup with red turmeric and ginger; and pineapple with dried prawns, kanom jin noodles and fish balls. Don’t miss the condensed milk ice-cream.
For tasty and crowd-pleasing dishes, head to Mr Bao on the famous Rye Lane which serves Taiwanese steamed buns and other street food. Sit at the bar to watch the chefs at work or order it to go to sit on Peckham Rye Common. Meanwhile, Mambow is a buzzy spot for Malaysian dishes, and Supa Ya Ramen fuses Japanese and British flavours in its generous noodle bowls. If you like the sound of typical South African dishes served in a chic dining room, Kudu comes wrapped up in bags of style. Roughly plastered walls in dusky pinks and teal velvet seating provide the perfect backdrop to devour plates of potjie (cooked in a small cast iron pot) and braai (barbecued or roasted meat).
Next week, Market Place Peckham will reopen its food hall with a new look. The 250-capacity venue will be home to local street food vendors and newer names, including Suya & Lobster, Los Tacos, Farm House Kebab, KraPow and Dum Dum Donutterie. The bar will serve drinks until late while rotating DJs will set the vibe during evenings and weekends.
Where To Drink
For post-work drinks, meet the girls at Peckham Cellars, a wine bar, shop and restaurant featuring a seasonal and regularly changing menu and wine list. There’s an extensive selection of world wines and classic cocktails, and on any given night, guests are treated to a soundtrack of soul, disco, R’n’B, jazz and hip-hop, with the music turned up a notch at weekends when the bar is open until 1am. Newcomer Peckham Arches is a cool space for group bookings or chilled evenings with friends. Here, you’ll find two cocktail bars, an art gallery hosting regular exhibitions, and an open-fire kitchen which serves Middle Eastern-inspired dishes cooked over the BBQ. Pop into Skylarking, its sister venue next door, for DJ nightss every Friday and Saturday and the pub quiz on Tuesday evenings. If craft beer is more your thing, nearby Brick Brewery is not to be missed. The microbrewery and taproom also has a spacious beer garden where locals drink the brewery’s own pints on tap, as well as brews from local brands.
Other bars we love include Funkidory (from the same team behind Nine Lives) which serves inventive cocktails, local beer from Gosnell’s Mead and Japanese sake from Kanpai; and Jumbi, one of the coolest spots in this guide. A celebration of African-Caribbean culture, guests can browse the extensive vinyl collection, order sharing plates and enjoy live music and DJ sets at the weekend. Jazu Bar London has a similar vibe but feels more laid-back. There’s a killer sound system and cocktail menu with a focus on mezcals and tequilas. The nearby Little Kudu is also not to be missed. Located under the arches by Queens Road station, the sister venue to Kudu is a tapas-style restaurant with tasty sharing plates and a 30-strong wine list.
For a coffee fix, visit Old Spike Peckham, which offers employment to those affected by homelessness. The team has its own brand of coffee beans, sustainably sourced from Colombia – you can even buy at-home pods. Nola on Rye Lane is the other spot to know, owned by pop duo Oh Wonder. Stop by for excellent flat whites and flaky pastries.
Finally, Peckham has two great pubs to know: The Montpelier on Choumert Road and The Angel Oak on the corner of Peckham Rye Park. The former is an independent boozer where Monty Bistro heads up the kitchen, serving a selection of small plates and seafood dishes. Weekends are all about live jazz, DJ nights and generous Sunday roasts with all the trimmings. The Angel Oak has a lovely beer garden where guests can enjoy cocktails and craft beers with classic pub grub.
What To Do & See
The iconic Bussey Building has a buzzy rooftop bar with 360° views of the London skyline. It’s also home to the open-air Rooftop Film Club which screens new releases and old favourites every night during the summer. Food and drink is served an hour before the screening starts, and afterwards until 11pm. Another rooftop spot worth the trip is Skylight Peckham, a great spot for post-work drinks with the girls. The venue also hosts regular R’n’B nights at weekends, with DJs and MCs who set a fun party atmosphere. Then, there’s Peckham Levels, set in a former multi-storey carpark which has been transformed into an artistic hub for gigs, exhibitions and theatre shows. You can also tune into talks and book family-friendly workshops.
For a fun evening, see a film at Peckham’s independent cinema Peckhamplex, or visit arcade bar Four Quarters which has original retro machines, like Nintendo, Sega and PlayStation. Once you’ve set a new high score, hit the bar for burgers, hot dogs and loaded fries. On Friday and Saturday nights, the bar stays open until 2am. Finally, you could easily spend a couple of hours walking around Peckham Rye Park with its nature trails and playground for little ones. This is also where Gala Festival – one of the best in south London – takes place each summer with a line-up of house, techno and disco artists.
If this has piqued your interest, we’ve rounded up four great properties for sale in Peckham…
One Bedroom Apartment, Crofton Road, £425,000
This smart apartment is set in a Victorian building and has recently been renovated to give it a light and bright feel. Close to both Peckham Rye and Camberwell, it has a kitchen/living area with modern skylights and city views, a south facing Juliet balcony and a double bedroom with bespoke fitted wardrobes. There’s also a spacious bathroom with brand-new fittings.
Two Bedroom Apartment, Woods Road, £550,000
This modern second-floor two-bed apartment has a south-facing terrace that brings in lots of natural light and open-plan kitchen/living room with floor-to-ceiling windows. The property has oak flooring throughout, with a modern Farrow & Ball colour palette that blends into the leafy backdrop outside. The main bedroom has a spacious en-suite, while the second bedroom has space for a nursery or home office.
Two Bedroom Apartment, Ivydale Road, £650,000
This garden flat has a spacious living, kitchen, and dining space and is finished to a high spec throughout. Three are two double bedrooms – one of which has access to a courtyard, a bathroom, and a private garden which includes a raised decking area for al fresco dining. There are modern interiors throughout.
Two Bedroom Terraced House, Stuart Road, £800,000
This extended mid terrace family is set on a quiet residential road near Peckham Rye Park. There’s a spacious and bright lounge that opens out onto the garden with space for a play area and outdoor seating. Upstairs, there are two double bedrooms and a large family bathroom, while the first floor has been reconfigured to maximise the bedroom space make way for easy install of another staircase into the potential loft room. Planning has already been approved.