Peckham has an energy unlike any other neighbourhood in London. In the past it was stereotyped as a rough area, however, as it attracted more investment and became home to a lively creative community, it was branded by some as “the new Shoreditch.”
Peckham is packed with creativity, culture and great places to go out and have fun. But the area doesn’t really fit into a simple definition and comparisons’ don’t really do it justice. Peckham is home to a wide spectrum of people, and even if you don’t move there, it is well worth exploring for a day or an evening to see what all the fuss is about.
Being “south of the river,” some friends in North London will grimace when you ask them to meet you in Peckham. But actually, Peckham is not so far south: it’s about 15 minutes from London Bridge by overground, and there are countless buses that will take you anywhere in the city day and night.
Best places to eat
Peckham has loads of great restaurants. From mid-week pasta & wine for £10 at Forza-Win to creative concept food. If you just want a bite to eat on a budget, you have tonnes of choices. But the area has also attracted a slew of innovative restaurants in recent years making it a major destination among foodies too.
Forza-Win is a pared-back Italian restaurant set in a converted warehouse, a few minutes walk from Peckham Rye station and in the shadow of the iconic Bussey Building. The restaurant's friendly staff serve up delicious and simple dishes with a smile, at reasonable prices. Check out the special deal on Wednesdays with pasta and a glass of booze for just £10.
A grey car-park from the outside, a buzzing collection of restaurants, street-food stalls, bars and nightclub from the inside. Peckham levels is an awesome place to go with friends or take a date. It provides everything from brunch to dancing, and there’s even a play area for the kiddies!
JB’s Soul Food
Generous portions, low prices and hearty soul food. This straightforward takeaway has been a feature of Peckham for years and is a great spot to pick up your midweek supper.
27A Peckham High Street
Mr Bao serves Asian-inspired steamed buns with creative fillings. It’s earned a strong reputation in a short time and is well worth a visit. Plus they serve great cocktails. Check it out!
293 Rye Lane
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Persepolis is a much loved Persian shop, cafe and restaurant in Peckham. They serve a fantastic vegan menu (so good even meat-eaters will enjoy it) and they always serve it with a smile. The prices are really reasonable given the quality, and it always seems to be busy.
28 - 30 Peckham High Street
For a Drink: The Best Bars in Peckham
The Four Quarters
If you sometimes feel like a child in a grown-up's body, you will love The Four Quarters. It’s a locals favourite, packed with retro arcade games including space invaders, Pac-man and Time Crisis. Friday and Saturday they open up more space including upstairs where there are 10 retro consoles and a downstairs cocktail bar/club. Disclosure: this is my favourite bar in Peckham.
This laid-back boozer is a great meeting location come rain or shine. It’s got ample selection of local beers and ales, and it’s even got a 30-seater cinema playing independent films in the back!
Brick Brewery Tap Room
A Peckham area guide wouldn’t be complete without a mention of a micro-brewery. If you like craft beers and delicious burgers, this place is perfect for you.
This pared-back spot feels a little bit like an art-school dorm room. Highlights include getting to choose your own mug from the wall when you buy a cup of tea. They run a regular knitting class on Tuesday evenings, a regular supper club, and serve £6 pizzas and £2.50 cans of beer. What more could you want?
92 Peckham Road SE15 5PY
Fun and Going Out
Peckham has an amazing nightlife. It boasts two amazing rooftop bars, a number of clubs and live music venues plus a great selection of pubs and bars. Past 10 pm on a Friday or Saturday night in Peckham feels a bit like an edgy version of Clapham. The streets fill with students from the local art school and early twenty-somethings wearing vintage clothes.
Bussey Building is an institution. The former cricket-bat factory was saved from demolition by an activist group called Peckham Vision. Now, it’s a space dedicated to the arts; championing music, film, animation, art, theatre and dance. It houses the CLF Art Cafe and a fantastic rooftop bar which also houses Rooftop Cinema Club in the warmer months!
133 Rye Lane, Peckham
Head to the top of Peckham Levels car park and you’ll find one of the coolest rooftop bars in the City. Frank’s Cafe is a popular spot among locals and those who troop across London to enjoy the atmosphere, music and amazing sundown views across London.
This must be the cheapest cinema in London (and perhaps the only 24-hour one). A ticket here will set you back just £4.99.
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