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 | £££
The second restaurant from Nicholas Balfe, Levan is a little slice of Paris in Peckham, serving up beautifully executed French fare in a low-key, stylishly appointed warehouse space…
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 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.
Also fantastic: Their latest addition to the family, Kudu Grill, is nearby and focusses on braai dishes.
Details: 119 Queens Road, SE15 2EZ | Open for dinner Wed-Sun, plus lunch/brunch on Fridays and weekends
Mambow | ££
Michelin-trained rising star chef Abbey Lee has arrived in Peckham – at the entrance of Copeland Park – bringing a small but flavour-filled menu of Modern Malaysian dishes, finished off by an absolute show-stopper of a dessert.
Details: 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST | Open for lunch and dinner all week
The Tapas Room | ££
Joining the ever increasing hub of restaurants near Queen’s Road Peckham, is The Tapas Room, a wine shop, tapas bar & delicatessen from the folks behind Donostia Social Club. It’s actually one of what has quickly become five incarnations. However, don’t let that put you off. The Tapas Room Peckham is as a good as any stand-alone neighbourhood restaurant, serving artfully plated Spanish small plates – king prawns with chilli, garlic, and paprika salt; duck breast with spring vegetables and sherry membrillo; and Iberico presa with golden beetroot, spring onion, and gazpacho aioli alongside an excellent list of Spanish & Basque wines. They also do brunch on weekends – octopus crumpet with citrus salsa (say what?) – with a bottomless option (free flow-ing cava, wine, and beer) for just £40.
Details: 119 Peckham High Street, se15 5se | Tues-Fri, 5-11pm; Sat, 11am-11pm; Sun, 11am-5pm
Ganapati | ££
Purveyors of incredible, home-style southern Indian food (with dishes like smoky swordfish curry and spicy aubergine masala), colourful Peckham restaurant is 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.
Details: 38 Holly Grove, SE15 5DF | Open for lunch and dinner Tues-Fri, Saturdays 12-10.30pm and Sundays 12-10pm
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).
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.
Details: 293 Rye Lane, SE15 4UA | Open for lunch and dinner Tues-Sun
Peckham Bazaar | £££
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.
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.
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…
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.
Details: 161 Bellenden Road, SE15 4DH | Open for lunch Tues-Sat, dinner Mon-Sat, and Sunday all day
Feeling thirsty after touring the best restaurants in Peckham? Take a look at our guide to Peckham’s best bars
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