The Orchard is a cosy and inviting establishment with a laid-back, ambient atmosphere. Every dish on the seasonal menu is cooked to perfection from the tiny but bustling open kitchen. Go for the juicy steak and an enormous serving of rustic, hand-cooked chips, and stay for an expertly crafted gin bramble cocktail. Reclining on one of the large armchairs amongst fish tanks and shelves stacked with old books is the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.
The Orchard, 5 Harefield Rd Brockley, London, UK, +44 20 8692 4756
Antonello Serra first moved to London from his native Sardinia, after founding Michelin-starred restaurant Il Faro. His latest venture, Le Querce, is a family-owned, contemporary Italian restaurant nestled in the leafy neighbourhood of Honor Oak Park. Le Querce prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients and a constantly changing specials board, which is recited by a cheerful waiter upon seating. Soak up the vintage decor and sample the catch of the day, which is always guaranteed to be fresh and delicious. The homemade ice cream isn’t too shabby, either.
Le Querce, 66 Brockley Rise, London, UK, +44 20 8690 3761
The New Cross House
Serving up the best pub grub south of the river, The New Cross House is a hit with arty Goldsmiths students and young professionals alike. The historical building has been a New Cross institution for hundreds of years, and its newest incarnation doesn’t disappoint. Vegetarians will delight at the menu, which serves up sloppy pumpkin chilli fries and cheddar hotdogs alongside meaty options. For a unique dining experience, venture through the beer garden and up the winding stairs of the charming outhouse. There is additional candlelit seating inside, and they even have an app which lets you order from the bar without leaving your seat!
The New Cross House, 316 New Cross Rd, London, UK, +44 020 8691 8875
Beloved by tourists, this unassuming Turkish restaurant has built a formidable reputation. You’ll be hard-pressed to find better quality food for a similar price anywhere in London. Generous servings of authentic meze dishes are made from scratch. Skewered kebabs are cooked over a huge, bar-shaped fire, and the bread served fresh from a wood oven. Meze’s real claim to fame it its fantastic customer reviews, it’s been rated as London’s 7th best restaurant, even beating the Ritz.
Meze Mangal, 245 Lewisham Way, London, UK, +44 020 8694 8099
The Perry Vale
An oh-so British bistro proud to represent London’s southeast, The Perry Vale serves up a tantalising fare of crispy squid, rabbit leg and quail’s eggs. The extensive wine list is sure to suit even the pickiest connoisseur. The Perry Vale is tastefully decorated, and, on a sunny morning, flooded with natural light. As a new addition to Forest Hill, it has given the sleepy suburb a new lease on life. And with great value (a weekday two- course lunch is a mere tenner) so you won’t find the locals griping about gentrification.
The Perry Vale, 31 Perry Vale, London, UK, +44 20 8291 0432
Though currently undergoing repairs, this list wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to Deptford’s finest. Big Red is a double decker London bus, boasting a heated top deck and irresistible pizzas and daily specials. Venison ragu? Yes, please! Part pop-up restaurant, part venue, Big Red also holds semi-regular film nights and comedy evenings. We can’t wait for our favourite London bus to return to its native Church Street in Deptford, but, until then, follow @fleischmob on Twitter for exclusive details.
Big Red, 30 Deptford Church St, London, UK, +44 20 3490 8346