But only if you get really lairy.
Ladies and gentlemen – we present to you The Nudge’s pick of the best bars in Peckham…
Peckham Cellars | Wine & Small Plates
Brought to you by a trio of Peckham locals who cut their teeth at a hitlist of top London restaurants including ROVI, Marcella, Bao and Quo Vadis, Peckham Cellars is a casually slick restaurant & wine bar. Their Mediterranean-inspired sharing plates are seriously delicious, but as Peckham’s preeminent wine bar they also stock over 150 bottles of small-producer wines. The lists are broad-ranging, regularly updated, and arranged by flavour profile, so perfect for novices and aficionados alike. They also have a whole load of outside seating, including a couple of ‘sunset benches’ perfectly positioned for watching the day melt away.
Details: 125 Queen’s Road, SE15 2ND | Book here
Funkidory | Cocktails & Natural Wine
Also brought to you by Peckham residents Sergio and Anna, Funkidory is a coffee shop and natural wine bar by day, and louche cocktail bar by night. The space is 70s styled: lime green walls are offset by wooden tables and chairs, and a gorgeous, wooden-slatted bar. As for the drinks, Sergio has crafted a list of ten or so signature cocktails – some are classics with a twist, others totally unique. Standouts include their Persian Daiquiri, perfectly balanced by a cube of Turkish delight slotted onto its side; their Holy Negroni, made with tulsi kombucha, giving it a fresher and much more immediately drinkable taste; and their Frozé Paloma, a blushing pink scoop of deliciousness, arguably better than many desserts.
Nearer Camberwell? Check out their sister bar, Mama Funki.
Details: 42 Peckham Rye, London, SE15 4JR | Book here
Jumbi | Vinyl & Caribbean Cocktails
Jumbi is a party spot with an absolutely stunning music set up. It’s the work of a pair of local musicians, Nathanael Williams & Bradley Zero. The venue they’ve put together is a huge, brick-walled church of music, with a double-height ceiling and a vaulted roof stretching up to the heavens. It’s got scattered chairs, sofas, and a long bar along the side, as well as a terrace spinning out at the front. But sitting in the place of the altar at the front of the venue is a giant wall of vinyl, stacked with 12″ records almost to the rafters (apparently it’s literally Bradley’s entire music collection). Behind the bar they’re shaking up signature cocktails like the Rum Raisin Espresso Martini alongside vegan natural wines and cans of Red Stripe, while resident chef (and Bando Belly founder) Well Fed Naz lives up to her name with some stellar Caribbean cooking.
Details: Unit 4.1 Copeland Park, 133 Copeland Road, SE15 3SN | Book here for dining
Bar Levan | Natural Wines & Mezcal
Don’t cry because Larry’s is gone, smile because it happened. Then get borderline ecstatic, because the team have seen fit to replace their corner diner with a Parisian-inspired wine bar, designed as a kind of naughty little sibling to the restaurant Levan next door. Naturally there’s some well-picked vino on the list, spanning the continent… but this is 2023, so you’ll also find aperitivi and specialist mezcal cocktails.
Details: 12-16 Blenheim Grove, London, SE15 4QL | Book here
Jazu | Music-Focussed Date Spot
After a wildly successful pop-up in Camberwell in 2022, the Jazu team went on to unveil a bricks-and-mortar space in Peckham. But to be honest, ‘bricks and mortar’ doesn’t really do it justice – it’s more of a ‘smoothly plastered & wood panelled’ space, with jet green floor tiling and a pair of handsome bespoke horn speakers which gently put out an all-vinyl soundtrack to your drinks. And as for those drinks? Expect brilliantly executed (and reasonably priced) twists on classics like Watermelon Palomas and Yuzu Gimlets.
Details: 133a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | Book here
Beer Rebellion | Rebellious Beers
A stone’s 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 cool of them.
Details: 129 Queens Road, SE15 2ND | No bookings
Forza Wine | Rooftop Italian
Unlike other beloved rooftop spritz bars in Peckham (more on which later), Forza Wine has the distinct advantage of being open all year round. Which means you can come here in summer for frozen negronis and a cone of their famous soft serve (in flavours like salted olive oil caramel), and return in winter for Michael Lavery’s mouthwatering Italian small plates (ox cheek with polenta, cauliflower fritti with aioli) and the bar’s signature Custardo (it’s basically coffee eggnog, and that’s much better than it sounds).
Details: 5th Floor, The Market, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | Book here, or just walk in
Peckham Arches | Ideal For Groups
Calling Peckham Arches ‘a bar’ would be doing it a slight disservice, as it’s two bars, encompassing a sprawling 500 sqm space under the railway arches of Peckham Rye station, along with greenhouse-style garden terrace, and, somewhat unexpectedly, an art gallery. Talking solely about the bar aspect here, there’s natural wines to drink, as well as agave cocktails including grapefruit margaritas and passion fruit mezcalitas.
Details: 22a Blenheim Grove, London SE15 4QN | Book here
Social | Al Fresco Pints
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 generous happy hours. But come the winter, their mezzanine, skylit lounge ticks some pretty serious boxes too.
Details: 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | Book here
The CLF Art Lounge And Roof Garden | Live Music, Comedy & More
Not to be confused with the CLF Art Cafe (which is a far more tub-thumping club space and, frankly, nothing like a cafe at all) the Lounge is actually a lot like a lounge. The kind of extremely cool, speakeasy-style lounge that makes you feel like you’re stepping into a ’20s detective novel. One with a roof garden. Both levels have their own cocktail bar and live music space, and both of them serve comforting Dominican food. For a good night out in Peckham, it’s tough to beat.
Details: 4a Station Way, SE15 4RX | See what’s on and book here
Frank’s Café | Spritzes on a Car Park Rooftop
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 bucket list of London, let alone Peckham bars – means that said glass will be filled with Italian refreshers like Negronis and Aperol spritzes. Though usually not at the same time.
Details: 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-storey Carpark, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | No bookings – open summer only
Four Quarters | Arcade Games & Craft Beers
Four quarters makes a whole… lot of fun.
It’s a vintage arcade and craft beer bar at the top of Peckham’s Rye Lane. As well as a dozen beers, they’ve got 15 vintage arcade games, and 10 different retro consoles, all available to play. They’ve also got 2 for £15 cocktails, DJs 2x a week, and a whole load of veggie and vegan junk food to keep you chugging along. That’s some good maths.
Details: 187 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4TP | Book here
Brick Brewery | Keg-Fresh Taproom
Part of Peckham’s budding production circuit, Brick Brewery is a craft microbrewery housed under an industrial railway arch. Their taproom bar and terrace now boasts 20 taps, which spout guest brews alongside their own suds and saison specials, perfect for sipping alongside Afuego Burger’s Latin American street food.
Details: Arch 209, Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL | No bookings
El Vermut | Cosy Vermouth Bar
Inspired by the vermuterías of Barcelona, this Peckham bar 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. And thankfully unlike most authentic vermuterías, they have room for more than ten…
Details: 28 Nunhead Green, SE15 3QF | Book on 02077322338
A couple of Peckham pubs worth noting too…
The Montpelier | Live Jazz & Roasts
The Montpelier really is the full monty: alongside the pub essentials like an excellent Sunday roast, cask ales & local beers, and a weekly pub quiz with a cash prize (Wednesdays), they also have Negroni happy hours on Thursdays followed by laid-back Balearic DJs; dancing on Saturday nights; and live jazz on Sundays – all of which you can enjoy with a slap-up nose-to-tail feast from Whole Beast.
Details: 43 Choumert Road, SE15 4AR | Book a table
The Angel Oak | Beer Garden of Dreams
Beer gardens are often pint-sized. But The Angel Oak (formerly The Rye)’s is a pretty impressive affair, stretching far back behind the pub and sporting a heated & covered terrace area, a BBQ, and a separate garden bar to keep you watered.
Details: 31 Peckham Rye, SE15 3NX | Book a table
The White Horse | Rotis & DJs
A beer garden. A snooker table. A kitchen residency from local hero Michael Chaplin and his Caribbean BBQ cooking. The White Horse pub in Peckham already had a pretty full bingo card, but they’ve added ‘rollicking good times’ in there as well thanks to a weekly knees-up that sees the tables pushed back for dancing, accompanied by a DJ and disco ball.
Details: 20–22 Peckham Rye, Peckham, SE15 4JR | Book a table
Feeling, ahem, Peckish? Find our guide to the best restaurants in Peckham right here…