But only if you get really lairy.
So instead, enjoy a quiet, sophisticated, sunset-laden drink or two at one of Peckham’s finest locals, rooftop bars and railway arch haunts.
Ladies and gentlemen – the best Peckham bars…
Bar Story | £
Spoiler alert: this is a story that involves you, a few buddies, and an industrially styled bar tucked under a Peckham Rye railway arch, with an ending that – after their notorious cocktail happy hour from 6-7pm – you probably won’t remember. It’s been around for 15 years now, but the firepit out front and tasty pizzas keep it a front runner. READ MORE
Details: 213 Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL | Open weekdays 4-10pm (12am Fri), weekends from 1pm – 12am (Sat)/9pm (Sun) | Happy Hour: 2x cocktails for £7, 6-7pm daily
Peckham Springs | £
…And just down the road is Peckham Springs, a bar-cum-contemporary art gallery tucked under festoon-lit railway arches with pallet board furnishings and an al fresco courtyard (which becomes a heated, makeshift greenhouse in winter). Always busy (thanks to its equally appealing happy hour), they also serve street food from a rotating roster of traders, and often put on a little live music, too. READ MORE
Details: 22a Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QN | Open Thurs-Sat, 6pm-12am | Happy hour: Buy one cocktail, get your 2nd for £2, 6-7pm daily
Rye Wax Café and Bar | ££
Half old-school record shop… half bar with regular spoken word evenings and live music; a 2 for £10 cocktail happy hour; Camden Hells beer on tap; Old Spike Coffee on, er, the coffee machines; and food residencies from the likes of Taco Queen and Eastern Bloc. Unsurprisingly, it works.
Details: 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | Open Tues-Fri from 5pm, weekends from noon (till 5am Fri & Sat) | Happy hour: 2 cocktails for £10, 6-8pm daily
Batch | ££
A pop-up gone permanent with a penchant for Tom Cruise films, Batch is a quirky little bar with regular tasting nights and excellent cocktails. Their makeshift home – a former off-license – has been spruced up with artistic murals and an indoor pergola ceiling, but thankfully it’s retained the booze part, which you’ll find in the form of cocktails like the High Five, with single malt whisky, Acacia honey, bee pollen, lavender and ‘acid’; and the Punchy McPunchface, mixing whisky with Ancho chilli, Szechuan peppers and cardamom bitters.
Details: 56 Peckham Rye, SE15 4JR | Tues-Thurs 5-11pm, Fri 5pm-midnight, Sat 1pm-midnight
Frank’s Café | ££
Raising a glass is always easier when you’re already on a roof. And visiting Frank’s – one of the original carpark rooftop bars, and a firm fixture on any London, let alone Peckham bucket list – means that said glass will be filled with Italian refreshers like Negronis and Aperol spritzes. Though usually not at the same time. READ MORE
Details: 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-story Carpark, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | NOTE: Frank’s is currently closed for winter.
Peckham Levels | ££
Conveniently placing four of the best bars in Peckham in one handy, accessible car park, Peckham Levels – taking over the floors below Frank’s – combines multidisciplinary arts spaces with live music, street food traders, and three additional bars in the form of West (a natural wine bar), Godiva (a craft taproom), and the Near & Far Bar – a retro cave of a cocktail bar from the team behind Old Street’s Magic Roundabout. READ MORE
Details: Peckham Levels, Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4TG | Open daily
Four Quarters | ££
Four quarters makes a whole…lot of fun.
It’s a vintage arcade and craft beer bar at the top of Peckham’s notorious Rye Lane. As well as 40+beers, they’ve got 15+ vintage arcade games, and ten different retro consoles, all available to play. They’ve also got 2 for £10 cocktails, and a whole load of veggie and vegan junk food, to keep you chugging along. READ MORE.
Details: 187 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4TP | Open Mon-Wed 5.30pm-1am; Thurs 5.30pm-1.30am; Fri 5pm-2am; Sat 1pm-2am; Sun 3.30pm-11pm
El Segundo | £££
Barrel aged cocktails, sherries, Spanish wines and gin & tonics: El Segundo is that little local tapas and wine bar you’re always hoping to stumble upon down an old, cobbled backstreet in Seville…in Peckham. Plus, they do a killer bottomless brunch at weekends. READ MORE
Details: 44 Choumert Road, SE15 4SE | Open Wed-Sat 6-11pm, brunch at weekends 12-3pm
Beer Rebellion | ££
A stones throw from Queen’s Road Peckham Station is Beer Rebellion, a slightly scruffy craft beer bar, boasting 16 taps of both lager and cask ale. If you don’t do beer, they also have a few wines and spirits on offer, not to mention they let you order take-out from any of surrounding shops to eat in, which is pretty bloody cool of them.
Details: 129 Queens Road, SE15 2ND | Mon-Thurs, 12-11.30pm; Fri-Sat, 12pm-1am; Sun, 12-11.30pm
Blake’s at The Clockhouse | ££
Moonshine. You’ll rarely find it underground… Which is why you’ll need to head upstairs at this local overlooking Peckham Rye and push on a bookcase to find Blake’s, an old-school speakeasy serving up cocktails, jazz and murder mysteries to boot(leg). And if that’s not enough, there’s also regular garden parties, gin tastings and butchery masterclasses downstairs too.
Details: 196a Peckham Rye, SE22 9QA | Open daily from 11am (12pm weekends)
Two Hundred Rye Lane | £
Two Hundred Rye Lane is the youngest of its siblings (seven and three eight four, over in Brixton) – but it’s already striking out pretty well on its own. There’s a modest wine and beer selection here, but the big draw is the cocktail list, with numbers like the Rye ‘n’ Gosling (rye whisky and Gosling rum, muddled with maple syrup, Angostura bitters and cinnamon), a Pisco Flower Sour, and the Old Fashioned Wake Up Call (which combines coffee-infused whisky with chocolate bitters). Plus, there’s a garden, and a great value bottomless brunch, too. READ MORE.
Details: 200 Rye Lane, SE15 4TY | Open daily 10am-late | Happy Hour: £5 Cocktails, 5-8pm Mon-Thurs
Brick Brewery | ££
Part of Peckham’s budding production circuit, Brick Brewery is a craft microbrewery housed under an industrial railway arch. Their newly renovated Taproom bar and terrace now boasts 20 taps, which spout guest brews alongside their own suds and saison specials, perfect for sipping alongside BBQ’d meat and veg from permanent residents, Slow Richie’s.
Details: Arch 209, Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL | Tues-Thurs 5-10pm, Friday 5pm-12am, Saturday 12pm-12am, Sunday 1-9pm
Gosnells Of London | ££
One somersault away from Peckham station, a’top of Coal Rooms – the all-day cafe restaurant, famed for its meaty small plates – is Gosnells Of London. It’s London’s first meadery (a winery that produces honey wines and meads), focused on educating London-folk on honey-based booze. They have two main offerings: an ‘Original’ mead and a ‘Vintage’ Mead, and then a rotating list of experimental stuff like pink hibiscus, salted, hopped, and gooseberry. Which, if you’re looking for something a little different, and delicious, is really all you mead. READ MORE.
Details: 11a Station Way, SE15 4RX | Wed-Thurs 5-10pm; Fri 4-10pm; Sat 12-10pm
El Vermut | ££
Inspired by the vermuterías of Barcelona, this Peckham spot is rustic, welcoming, and has
an old man playing classical guitar in the corner an admirable array of vermouth stacked behind the bar. The pair of siblings behind it are riding the fortified wine’s second wave all the way back to England, serving a spread of tapas-inspired small plates along with it. Despite opening just a few months ago, they’re already making a name for themselves with locals – but thankfully unlike most authentic vermuterías, they have room for more than ten…
Details: 28 Nunhead Green, SE15 3QF | Open Thurs-Sat from 4pm, Sunday from 3pm
Peckham Cellars | ££
A stylish new neighbourhood bar & restaurant from a trio of locals who cut their teeth at the likes of ROVI, Marcella, Bao and Quo Vadis. Unsurprisingly, the food (broadly Mediterranean-inspired sharing plates) is delicious – but it’s equally worth just swinging by for a glass of wine or two. Their lists are broad-ranging, regularly updated, and arranged by flavour profile – perfect for novices and aficionados alike. READ MORE
Details: 125 Queen’s Road, SE15 2ND | Open Tues-Fri 4-11pm, Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12-6pm
Copeland Social ticks all of summer’s boxes – a sprawling al fresco patio; an airy indoor space with open shutters; long, communal tables for big groups; local brews; and flatbreads from street food duo Mike + Ollie. But come the winter, their mezzanine, skylit lounge ticks some pretty serious boxes too.
Details: 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | Open Tues-Sun, 11am-late
A couple of pubs worth noting too..
The Montpelier | ££
If your date’s not already impressed by your knowledge of local, intimate Peckham pubs serving up local brews and independent spirits, they will be when you whisk them through to the back to see an art house film screening in their secret Backroom Cinema.
Details: 43 Choumert Road, SE15 4AR | Open daily from noon
The Rye | ££
They’re often pint-sized.
But The Rye’s is a pretty impressive affair, stretching far back behind the pub and sporting a covered terrace area, a BBQ and a table tennis table. For table tennis.
Details: 31 Peckham Rye, SE15 3NX | Open Mon-Thurs 12pm-12am, Fri & Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12-11pm
Last Updated: 4th February 2020 | Main Image: Blake’s
Feeling, ahem, Peckish? Find our guide to the best restaurants in Peckham right here…