So it may not have the most gastronomically inviting name.
Nevertheless, it continues to rank as one of London’s most exciting dining pockets, with an impressive slew of restaurants, cafés and eateries lining its streets, covering cuisines from Thai and Italian to Caribbean and South African. We’ve judiciously overeaten at each one, just to condense the very best of them into a handy guide for you, right here.
Behold, the best restaurants in Peckham…
Levan | £££
If you like the cut of Salon’s gib, then you’ll be a fan of Levan. The second restaurant from Nicholas Balfe, it’s a little slice of Paris in Peckham, serving up beautifully executed French fare in a low-key, stylishly appointed warehouse space… READ MORE
Details: 3-4, 12-16 Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL | Open Tues-Fri 8am-11.30pm; Sat 10am-11.30pm; Sun 10am-3pm
The Begging Bowl | £££
The Begging Bowl has been going from strength to strength since 2012 – during which time it’s incubated chefs like Seb Holmes, who’s since launched his very own Farang. The closest thing to Thailand in Peckham, you can expect unlimited bowls of steaming jasmine rice, salads laced with crunchy peanut, and bowls of fragrant comfort food like charcoal-grilled guinea fowl marinated in coconut, all served up in leafy, low-key surroundings.
Details: 168 Bellenden Road, SE15 4BW | Open Mon-Thu 6-10pm; Fri-Sat 12-2.30pm & 6-10pm; Sun 12-3pm & 6-9.30pm
Kudu | £££
Kudu name a better restaurant in Peckham?
Probably not, because this South African spot has hit all the right notes since opening at the start of this year, with critics and locals alike. A labour of love from former Paradise Garage chef Patrick Williams and his partner Amy Corbin (whose father is one half of the Corbin & King behind The Wolseley and The Delaunay), it’s a beautiful spot with a gorgeous back garden for the summer, and plenty of hearty dishes like pig’s head tortellini with mushroom and hay broth for winter. READ MORE
Details: 119 Queens Road, SE15 2EZ | Open for dinner Wed-Sun, plus lunch/brunch on Fridays and weekends
Pedler | £££
This well-dressed spot comes courtesy of the distillers behind Little Bird Gin, which has a way of finding itself not only shaken up in some hard-hitting cocktails, but also the food from time to time, like the steamed mussels with gin and samphire. The real centrepiece, though, is their Sunday roast – beef, pork, or stuffed red pepper – served with crispy roasties and an unlimited stream of Yorkshire puddings. READ MORE.
Details: 58 Peckham Rye, SE15 4JR | Open for dinner Tues-Sat, brunch/lunch Thurs-Sat and brunch/roast Sundays, 10am-4pm
Ganapati | ££
Purveyors of incredible, home-style southern Indian food (with dishes like smoky swordfish curry and spicy aubergine masala), Ganapati are named after the god Ganesh, who has “a particular fondness for sweets”… Which explains the other dishes like spongy dumplings in rose syrup, and spicy dark chocolate and cardamom cake. READ MORE.
Details: 38 Holly Grove, SE15 5DF | Open for lunch and dinner Tues-Fri, Saturdays 12-10.30pm and Sundays 12-10pm
Tupi | £££
Tupi, or not Tupi?
That is never the question. Rather, you’ll be stuck between the pappardelle with braised ox ragu and wild mushrooms; the muqueca (Brazilian fish stew) with chilli and coconut milk; and the roasted quail with bokchoi on this sprawling international menu. This is also the kind of place that you can get wine with your brunch: a true gem.
Details: 206 Rye Lane, SE15 4NL | Open Tues-Fri 11am-10pm, weekends 9am-10pm
Snackistan at Persepolis | ££
Snackistan, the name for the tiny café stowed away in a corner of the treasure trove of Persian crockery, craftware and ingredients that is Persepolis, sports a princely 9.5 tables. So if you do manage to get one, stock up with heaps of glorious Middle Eastern meze and Persian sweets, courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. Shopkeeper (the latter of whom, Sally Butcher, has now written five cookbooks on the stuff). READ MORE.
Details: 28-30 Peckham High Street, SE15 5DT | Open daily 10.35am-9pm
Mr Bao | ££
Take a bao.
Because you’ve just found the best Taiwanese bun spot south of the river… and it comes neatly packaged in a dinky space with whitewashed brick walls, dimmed industrial lighting, and a retro tiled bar serving up cocktails laced with yuzu and plum wine. And if you’re after some more bao, well, there’s bao s’mores for pudding – as well as bao benedict and Taiwanese spring onion pancakes as part of their bottomless brunch. READ MORE.
Details: 293 Rye Lane, SE15 4UA | Open for lunch and dinner Tues-Sun
Peckham Bazaar | £££
Credit: Celia Topping
There’s nothing bizarre about this Bazaar. Tucked right off the beaten track on the corner of Consort and Sturdy Road, it’s quietly one of the best restaurants in Peckham, cooking up market fresh ingredients on their hefty, custom-made outdoor grill. It’s pan-Balkan in theme, so expect dishes like marinated cuttlefish with braised tentacles and squid ink orzo; and Highland grouse, swiss chard and lemon borek to make an appearance on their regularly rotating menu. READ MORE.
Details: 119 Consort Road, SE15 3RU | Open for dinner Tues-Sun 6-10pm (8pm Sun) and weekend lunch 12.30-3pm
Coal Rooms | £££
Housed in the Grade II listed former ticket office of Peckham Rye station, the Coal Rooms are now offering up a very different sort of fare. Specifically, quality hunks of meat charred over a coal-fired grill by former Smokehouse chef Sam Bryant, plus a hearty breakfast offering in tandem with local coffee smiths, Old Spike Roastery. READ MORE
Details: 11a Station Way, Peckham Rye Station, SE15 4RX| Open daily from 6.30am (weekdays)/8am weekends
Made of Dough | ££
Made of Dough make the 2nd best pizza in London. Which might sting a little, had they not also been awarded 1st place. And here at their first permanent spot, they’re serving up those award-winning freshly wood-fired pizzas alongside prosecco-boosted negronis, espresso martinis and gelato milkshakes… READ MORE
Details: 182 Bellenden Road, SE15 4BW | Open daily
Artusi | £££
Gimmicks can be great. Sometimes you’ll really hanker after a café in a former operating theatre that only serves seaweed handpicked by Norwegian goats – but for every other time, there’s Artusi. Taking on the simple design du jour of Peckham eateries, it sports white walls, simple furnishings and a blackboard boasting the roster of dishes available that day – but this deceptively simple get up only serves to frame the real artistry in the lightly Italian-influenced food that’s had universal acclaim from critics and locals alike. READ MORE.
Details: 161 Bellenden Road, SE15 4DH | Open for lunch Tues-Sat, dinner Mon-Sat, and Sunday all day
Miss Tapas | ££
For the past five years, Seville native Blanca Rowe (coincidentally the Mrs. to Mr Bao) headed up this exemplary Andalusian tapas spot. Now she’s passed the mantle on to her manager Jenna, who is continuing to nurture the kind of genuinely warm atmosphere that arises organically from serving great food with top-notch service. Head next door to the sister bar El Segundo for a post-feast nightcap of sherry and barrel-aged Spanish negronis. READ MORE
Details: 46 Choumert Road, SE15 4SE | Open Wednesday-Sunday, 6-11pm, plus weekend lunches 12-4pm
Main image: Pedler | Last updated: 25th of January 2021
Feeling thirsty after touring the best restaurants in Peckham? Take a look at our guide to Peckham’s best bars