As I said, I’ve separated my Camberwell and Peckham food and drink guides and I’m updating both. The Peckham one has taken much longer because of all the new openings. I’ve really done my best to make sure this is up to date, and I’ve eaten at most of the places recently. As ever, if you’ve got suggestions, or you agree, disagree, whatever, then do let me know in the comments. I’ve left all the comments from the old post here, so there may be some about Camberwell too. Just in case you were feeling confused.
So here we go, in no particular order…
Restaurants, Cafes and Street Food
1. Asian Takeaway
This place does simple, cheap and ace food from a little hut with a tandoor in the back. On the counter rest vast silver trays containing richly coloured curries, a couple of kofta ready to be cooked (chicken, lamb), rice, dhal, a yoghurt and coriander sauce. A gent stands in front of the tandoor, calmly knocking out naan after naan. We ate a lamb kofta which came wrapped in that excellent fresh bread, with salad and sauce. The spicing is simple in the way that means every flavour is distinct. They also make a mean lamb samosa and serve egg and chilli parathas in the morning.
As I stood with my friend, shovelling down the kebab and mopping up the fall out, the owners kept ducking in and out with freshly cooked kebabs and bits to share with surrounding traders. We nicked a bit of the ‘special’ from the end of a long gleaming skewer; it’s that kind of place.
In charge of the tandoor
Indian takeaway, opposite Rye Lane station, just to the side of Ali Baba Fresh Vegetables (opposite Afro Foods). There’s a sign saying ‘Asian Takeaway’ on Rye Lane. It’s approx 133 Rye Lane, according to street view.
2. Peckham Bazaar
This restaurant on the Peckham/Nunhead border serves food from across the Balkans, much of it grilled over charcoal. Fay Maschler gave it 4/5 stars, and so should you.
Peckham Bazaar, 119 Consort Road, SE15 3RU (see website for opening times and weekly changing menu)
3. The Begging Bowl
Good Thai restaurants in London are few and far between so what are the chances we’d get one in Peckham eh? Eh? EH? Okay so the heat levels at TBB might not be ‘authentic’ but hell, the food is tasty and the dishes are interesting. The betel leaves in particular are spesh and I have a special spot for those fish cakes. Read Lizzie Mabbott’s review for an idea of what to expect.
The Begging Bowl, 168 Bellenden Rd, London, Peckham, London SE15 4BW
Vegetarian street snacks – my favourite starter at Ganapati
Ganapati is a South Indian vegetarian restaurant; the smell of curry leaves and mustard seeds whacks you around the chops as soon as you walk in. They often have curd rice on the menu which I adore; yoghurt is stirred through cooked rice and finished with a sizzling hot oil, mustard seeds and glistening curry leaves.
Update: 7th Feb 2014 Ganapati now has a separate takeaway (delivery) place.
Ganapati, 38 Holly Grove, London SE15 5DF
I’m a regular at Anderson’s, particularly for their award winning sandwiches (surprise). They nail them simply because of the quality of the ingredients; farmhouse style ham pulled off the bone in chunks, well dressed salad leaves, Dijon, Brickhouse bakery bread (some of the best loaves in London, which they also sell to take away). Can’t argue with that. They also open some evenings and occasionally host pop ups with local cooks like Sally Butcher from Persepolis (see ‘shops’).
Anderson’s, 139 Bellenden Rd, London SE15 4DH
6. Il Giardino
Okay so the Italian food at this family owned restaurant isn’t going to win any awards, and it really isn’t the sort of place one would travel across London to visit, but for local people, it has other charms. Eating there is like eating in someone’s living room. The walls are crammed with trinkets, the toilets are to be found up the tiniest windiest wooden staircase; the whole place seems stuffed to bursting with memories and history and warm fuzzy feelings. Young boys who look about 10 get trained on the job while a proud family member listens in; just everything about it is so incredibly old school and charming. The pizzas won’t be giving Pizza Pilgrims or Bravi Ragazzi a run for their money any time soon, but it’s more about the ‘experience’.
Il Giardino, 7 Blenheim Grove, London SE15 4QS
7. The Gowlett
This is a pub but I’ve put them in the restaurants section as they make an OKAY pizza. It’s not very nice as a pub. Sorry, die hard Gowlett fans.
The Gowlett, 62 Gowlett Rd, London, Greater London SE15 4HY
8. Peckham Refreshment Rooms
This place has been rammed since Rayner went but to be fair, was full from day one anyway. I tend to go for drinks rather than food but charcuterie and other simple dishes are available. The drinks selection is good: they’ve got Kernel beers, Foreign Extra Guinness and Breton cider. I haven’t had a chance to get down with the wine yet. I do have one major gripe with the place though and that is the seating; it’s unbelievably uncomfortable and needs to be changed asap.
Update: June 2015. PRR now has a full on restaurant since their expansion and they do regular tasting events in the evening. Check out their website for details.
Peckham Refreshment Rooms, Unit 4, 12-16 Blenheim Grove, London, Greater London SE15 4QL
One of the oldest pie and mash shops in London blah blah etc. etc. If pie, mash and liquor is your thing then you know where to go. You might not know WHEN to go however, as they have very odd opening times which clearly cater to a certain generation (hint: you’re not a member of it).
Manze’s, 105 Peckham High St, London, Greater London SE15 5RS
This slick Italian on Bellenden Road is owned by chef Jack Beer (ex Clove Club and Peckham Bazaar). Dishes like ox heart with salsa verde and artichokes with bagna cauda are expertly made and the pasta is as silky as it comes – I only wish it came in me-sized portions. Then again, I’m not sure the public should see how much pasta I can put away.
It tends to be booked up most evenings, but tables are reserved for walk-ins early doors, so rock up at 6ish and you’ll be dandy.
Photos: Chris Pople
Artusi, 161 Bellenden Road, London SE15 4DH
Lerryn’s is a little cafe with big personality. Go there for friendly faces, sandwiches, brunch, and general good vibes. They also open in the evenings Wed-Sat when they serve gin and Ting (who doesn’t want gin mixed with Ting? For the uninitiated – that’s a soft drink like Lilt but better) and Big Apple hot dogs. What, is not, to like?
Lerryn’s, 200 Rye Lane, SE15 4UR
12. Forza Win
Forza Win used to pop up all around London but now have a permanent space in Peckham. Aren’t we lucky, eh? They’ve got some massive wood fired grills in there, some giant long tables and a whole lot of really great food, generally including large chunks of excellent (Ginger Pig I think) meat for sharing. You buy tickets via their website for the set menu, and on Wednesdays they do something called ‘Awesome Sauce’ where you can walk in and get a bowl of seasonal pasta with a glass of wine for a tenner. Can’t argue with that.
See their website for opening times, location and tickets. Photos: Forza Win.
13. Pedler Peckham
The creamed corn toastie with scotch bonnet at Pedler (needs more scotch bonnet)
Pedler gets absolutely rammed for brunch at the weekends. I dunno how I feel about it really, because I’m the kind of person who wants to hide if I go out for brunch. I want to be able to slink out in my joggers and put away a sandwich without worrying about getting brown sauce on my face. Pedler is more the kind of place people go to be seen. It’s very styled. They have glasses that were made to look like jam jars, with handles on. That said, they do put very good bloody marys in them.
Pedler Peckham, 58 Peckham Rye, Peckham, London SE15 4JR
14. Miss Tapas
This little tapas place occupies the space where Southerden used to be (Mel moved her patisserie to Bermondsey Street). I’ve only been once, so I can’t really make a fair assessment. We had some ham croquettas that had a huge amount of nutmeg in them. Not enough to make us hallucinate, but I would say pushing that threshold. I digged them though. Their ‘Spanish fried chicken’ needs work however. Still, like I said, I can’t really make any judgements. What I can tell you, is that they serve plenty of lovely sherry. That alone is reason enough to pay a visit.
15. Obalende Suya Express
I’m recommending this place again, even though it is hit and miss. You have to try suya anyway, and when this place is on form, it’s fantastic. Read my original post here.
Obalende Suya Express, 43 Peckham High Street, SE15
15. Yada’s Kurdish Restaurant
This charming little Kurdish place is new and very welcome indeed. Check out my full post about it here.
To find it you need to walk past Ali Baba’s Fruit n Veg, up past Ali Baba Juices, and around the corner. It’s under a railway arch.
Yes, you will also find Persepolis in the food shops section, but Sally now runs a lovely little cafe out the back which serves, amongst other things (such as mezze and toasted sandwiches), some spectacular ice cream sundaes with Iranian flavours.
Persepolis, 28-30 Peckham High Street, London SE15 5DT
17. Banh Banh *** Banh Banh is no longer at Rye Wax***
Photo: Banh Banh
These guys are running a Vietnamese food joint in the basement of The Bussey with the Rye Wax record shop and bar. The banh mi (above), is fresh, light and perky as hell – definitely worth your £5 for sure. I feel for them, being stuck in that basement. It’s kinda dark down there and it’s hard to find them. Also, no matter what you think about Instagram and Twitter, shares on social media can grow a small business and spread the word; a dark basement site isn’t helping matters.
Banh Banh x Rye Wax, CLF Arts Cafe/Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
18. JB’s Soul Food and Jerk Chicken
Some decent jerk chicken in Peckham! Well I never. Here’s an article I wrote about it for The Peckham Peculiar. I haven’t been recently.
JB’s Soul Food and Jerk Chicken, 27A Peckham High Street, SE15 5EB
19. Cafe Spice
For all your Nigerian snack needs. Go here for moin moin (steamed bean pudding), puff puff (like Nigerian doughnuts), meat stick (does what it says on the tin) and other classic, larger dishes.
Cafe Spice, 88 Rye Lane, SE15
This street food truck serving North African food can be found opposite ASDA on Rye Lane. This guy serves up frankly huge wraps in lovely flatbread flavoured with cumin and fennel, which he makes himself. His falafels aren’t bad, and there’s a selection of hummus and pickles. I think he could trim down the selection and focus a little on making fewer items but hey, the wraps are large, tasty and extremely good value at £4.
21. Blackbird Bakery
A branch of Blackbird has opened up in one of the railway arches next to Queen’s Road Station. I haven’t been in but it looks quite large and apparently they are also doing pizza in the evenings. Open until 10pm. Anyone been?
They don’t seem to have updated their website with the Peckham branch yet so here is the Facebook page which is more useful.
Noted omissions: I’ve never braved Cafe Viva because it’s always so crammed with buggies. Sorry, Cafe Viva. I’m not really into Petitou because they always seem so standoffish and it really ain’t all that, and I’ve yet to check out Kitchen 54. Anyone been?
Bars and Pubs
1. The Montpelier
I used to practically live in the Monty when I was further up that end of Rye Lane. When I moved I had to say goodbye but we had an intense and full on relationship while it lasted so I don’t mourn the loss too badly. What I like about the Monty is that it’s very laid back, they don’t cram too many seats inside and it just has a calm atmosphere. They show films in a room at the back and have live music occasionally. The beer isn’t even that good but they do at least have Mean Time and
that stealthy bitch, Old Rosie cider. They no longer serve Old Rosie, sadly. Apart from weekend lunch times it doesn’t get taken over by parents with young children, which is a miracle considering its proximity to East Dulwich.
The Montpelier, 43 Choumert Rd, SE15 4AR
2. Bar Story
Bar Story is pretty scrotty but nevertheless gets away with it, probably due to its location under the railway arches. Frequented by art students, they have a gallery in the back and the whole place has an air of creativity about it. They also do cool pop ups like the recent Thai grill with Andy Oliver.
3. Frank’s Cafe and Campari Bar
The outrageously popular rooftop bar returns every year between the months of July-September. With reasonably priced cocktails, a kick ass view and a great atmosphere, it’s definitely worth climbing an ammonia scented stairwell for. Or you know, take the lift.
Frank’s Campari Bar, 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-Story Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
4. The Bussey Building
Man, have I had some nights in The Bussey. I shall say no more. See their website for details of upcoming events. They’ve now got a rooftop bar I believe, although I haven’t been up there.
The Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
5. Ali Baba Juice Bar
This place is simply AWESOME. You may not think you could ever get excited about juice and trust me, I didn’t think I could either, but they honestly make the most delicious combinations. The kale, apple and basil (again, trust me) is excellent, as is the mango pickle. Oh and they put baobab in their lemonade (it’s sort of like a sherberty African fruit thing). They also have a snack bar. Yeah! Go.
Ali Baba Juice, 125c Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
6. New Opening: Dead Doll’s House (launch weekend 19th-21st June)
I’ve put this into pubs because it’s on the old Clayton Arms site (you know, that exceptionally manky old pub that just wouldn’t close down) and it will be a bar, although it will also be a restaurant. This is a sister venue to the established Dead Doll’s Club in Islington which is a cocktail bar, restaurant and live music venue in a Victorian Townhouse.
Dead Dolls Peckham, 1 Clayton Road,Peckham,SE15 5JA
7. Brick Brewery
Our very own brewery, right on Peckham Rye! I love how this place is all like “this is a brewery but we’ve slung a few seats outside so you can have a drink if you want to”. It reminds me of the craft beer places in San Diego. The beer is great, the people are friendly and they have a street food pitch at the front which has a different stall every week or so.
Brick Brewery, Arch 209, Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL
Everyone’s favourite yellow corner shop. Go here for all your Persian ingredient needs. If you can’t find that unusual grain needed for the latest Ottolenghi recipe, don’t worry, Sally will almost certainly have it. The most important purchase you can make at Persepolis however, is obviously MY JERK MARINADE!
Persepolis, 28-30 Peckham High St, SE15 5DT
The awesome old Khan’s sign – ‘walk in and see the variety’ – sadly now replaced.
Everyone knows I have a lot of love for the ramshackle temple of random that is Khan’s Bargain Ltd. The veg is usually really cheap and fresh – I say usually because they do have the occasional off day. The beans, pulses and grains section is second to none, they stock the best flat breads EVER and you know where to go if you ever want a plastic animal. Read my full post about Khan’s here.
Khan’s Bargain Ltd, 135 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
3. General Store
General Store is a relatively new addition to Peckham, in the Bellenden area, which is known as the ‘posh bit’. This shop could not be more Bellenden if it tried; suitably expensive, but also full of high quality stuff including a small cheese selection and some more unusual veg – this is the place to go for your fractal-tastic romanesco cauli or samphire. Like I said, it’s the posh bit.
General Store, 174 Bellenden Road, SE15
4. Flock and Herd
We are stupendously lucky to have this butcher on Bellenden Rd. Opened by ex-ginger pig manager Charlie, it has gone from strength to strength and now queues out of the door are a familiar sight. Peckham Jerk Marinade may well be stocked there soon. W Bunting is also pretty good, right at the other end of Peckham.
Flock and Herd, 155 Bellenden Rd, SE15 4DH
5. Veg and Meat on Rye Lane and The High Street
If General Store is in ‘new Peckham’ then this place is very much ‘old Peckham’ or ‘proper Peckham’ as I like to call it; this is where the energy lies. Basically the deal with the greengrocers all along Rye Lane and the High Street is that they sell a lot of the same stuff, but you just need to single out your favourite. I will go to different shops for different vegetables. E.g. I always go to the place by the station for spinach and corn, as it’s usually freshest. I will go to Khan’s for herbs. And so on. United Meats is the only place I will buy goat in Peckham. All the other butchers aside from Flock and Herd = avoid. Fish is a total no-go I’m afraid, you’ll have to go to Moxon’s in East Dulwich which I rate over Soper’s in Nunhead.
United Meats, 62 Peckham High St, SE15 5DP
If it’s African ingredients like dried shrimp, fish and every single Maggi product under the sun that you want, then any of the shops will sort you out. The African land snails are available from a place about halfway up Rye Lane every year. No I haven’t yet tried them.
6. Wing Tai
This isn’t the biggest Chinese/Asian supermarket in the world but boy, do they cram it all in there.
Wing Tai, Wing Tai Supermarket, Unit 11a The Aylesham Centre, Rye Lane, SE15 5EW
7. Kim Lien Mini Market
This is another Asian Supermarket. I found out from the Ali Baba juice guys that they have these steamed pork buns and glutinous rice balls under the counter ready to go. Also, they apparently do their own banh mi but I haven’t managed to come across one yet. A very occasional occurrence I think which makes me want one even more.
Over to you!