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…
Peckham Cellars | ££
Brought to you by a trio of Peckham locals, who – before this – cut their teeth at the likes of ROVI, Marcella, Bao and Quo Vadis, Peckham Cellars is a super slick restaurant & wine bar, serving mostly Mediterranean-inspired sharing plates, alongside over 150 bottles of small-producer wines. Their 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 ‘sunset bench’ perfectly positioned for watching the day melt away. READ MORE
Details: 125 Queen’s Road, SE15 2ND | Open Tues-Fri 4-11pm, Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12-6pm
Funkidory | ££
Also brought to you by Peckham residents Sergio and Anna, Funkidory is a coffee shop and natural wine bar by day and cocktail bar by night. The space is 70’s styled – lime green walls are offset by wooden tables and chairs, and a gorgeous, wooden-slatted bar. White globe lighting hangs form the ceiling and the shelves are stacked with records. As for the drinks, Sergio has crafted a list of ten or so signature cocktails – some classics with a twist, others totally unique. Stand outs 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 blush pink scoop of deliciousness, arguably better than many desserts.
Details: 42 Peckham Rye, London , SE15 4JR | Tues 5-11pm; Wed-Thurs 9am-1pm and 2-11pm; Fri-Sat 9am-1pm and 2pm-12am; Sun 9am-1pm and 2pm-4pm
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.
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
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
Peckham Riviera | ££
Peckham Riviera is 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 (thank you their daily 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
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
The CLF Art Lounge And Roof Garden | ££
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-yet-unusual Dominican food. For a good night out, it’s tough to beat. READ MORE.
Details: 4a Station Way, SE15 4RX | Open Weds-Sun
Peckham Levels | ££
Conveniently placing some of the best bars in Peckham in one handy, accessible car park, Peckham Levels combines multidisciplinary arts spaces with live music, seven street food traders, independent shops, crazy golf, and – most importantly for this list – craft taproom Godiva and retro cocktail cave Near & Far Bar.
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
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
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: 21st January 2021 | Main Image: Peckham Levels
Feeling, ahem, Peckish? Find our guide to the best restaurants in Peckham right here…