In recent years, Peckham has established itself as a foodie hot spot in south London, with a growing number of independent restaurants and cafés that rival those in neighbouring Brixton and Camberwell. One of our favourites is Levan, an all-day bar and dining space with a strong focus on natural wines. The kitchen serves seasonal and inventive food in a relaxed setting: there’s an open kitchen, counter seating and a cosy dining room where diners can tuck into dishes like beef tartare with miso and kale, tortellini with burrata and artichokes, and its signature olive oil sorbet. The same team also owns nearby Larry’s, inspired by the corner bars and diners of New York. Deli-style sandwiches are served at lunch before a menu of sharing plates takes over for dinner. Larry’s is named after 70s dance music pioneer and DJ Larry Levan, so the venue stays open late into the night with music from its vintage sound system.
You’ll also find plenty of date-night spots around the neighbourhood. Set in the former Peckham Rye train station ticket office, Coal Rooms is a relaxed bar, restaurant and café which serves meat and fish cooked over a charcoal grill and oven. Think dry-aged duck breasts, roasted cod and 40 day-aged sirloin and rib – all served with house sauces like mead ketchup and red-eye gravy. Another favourite is Frank’s Café, the famous rooftop venue which is open during the summer months. There’s a popular brunch service until 3pm, followed by a new all-day menu accompanied by frozen margaritas and cocktail pitchers. For a romantic evening, book in at Italian-inspired restaurant Artusi which has a weekly-changing menu, or Spanish restaurant Miss Tapas for an affordable fix of authentic dishes.
Peckham is one of the most diverse areas of the UK, so it should come as no surprise that its’ the locals who have opened some of the neighbourhood’s best street food spots and eateries. For excellent Persian food, Persepolis serves authentic dishes as part of a multi-course tasting menu. Expect vegetarian mezze boards and baskets of warm bread for dipping. Elsewhere, Vietnamese spot Bánh Bánh creates dishes inspired by the owners' grandmother’s recipe book from when she worked as a chef in Saigon in the 1940s. Then there’s The Begging Bowl, a popular Thai restaurant decked out with colourful wooden furniture and indoor plants. Highlights from the menu include stir-fried aubergine with fermented yellow bean and Thai basil; seabass soup with red turmeric and ginger; and pineapple with dried prawns, kanom jin noodles and fish balls. Don’t miss the condensed milk ice-cream.