Stretching from Peckham
all the way to Woolwich, South East London is home to some of the city’s buzziest areas. Once known for chicken shops and a lack of tube connections, SE postcodes have since welcomed an influx of top-notch pubs, bars and restaurants, alongside the rush of craft-beer drinking millennials that are synonymous with London gentrification. Here’s our list of hidden foodie gems that are waiting to be discovered.
Cafe, Healthy, $$$
Amongst the hustle and bustle of Deptford High Street, London Velo is an oasis of bagels and bikes. The avocado and bacon bagel has got to be a favourite, but they also offer smoothies to fuel up keen cyclists, a vegan lunch plate involving lashings of hummus, and an array of craft beers for the less virtuous. Look out for resident Frenchie, Maurice, who is such a cult favourite that LV now sell t-shirts bearing his face.
Bar, Jerk, $$$
A relatively new addition to Deptford, Buster Mantis takes up two railway arches just across from the new Market Yard Development. One is dedicated to laidback Caribbean food (we’re talking jerk chicken & Red Stripe) and the other is a gallery and event space, with the bar striking the perfect balance between community, art and reggae-fuelled parties. Keep your eyes on their social media to see what’s going down next.
The Brockley Mess
Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
Brockley has quietly become a hub of Instagram-friendly hotspots and The Brockley Mess is one of them. The vibe is laid-back and the menu is a little different from your cookie-cutter brunch spot (for better or worse, there’s no avocado on toast here). Instead, you’ll find some Mexican-inspired favourites like Huevos Bravos or a breakfast burrito. Later in the day, they serve sandwiches, pies and a short but sweet selection of cocktails, beers and wines.
Restaurant, Fast Food, $$$
Lewisham may be lacking a little compared to its more gentrified neighbours, but Rox Burger more than makes up for it. All their burgers are handmade, and some varieties come topped with Brindisa chorizo – bonus. The sweet potato fries are not to be missed, and their milkshakes are a no-brainer for dessert. The restaurant is tiny, so go early, but they do offer takeout and can also sometimes be found on Deliveroo.
Restaurant, Contemporary, Northern European, $$$
After an initial false start, a string of bad luck and a very welcome relaunch, Noak seems to have found its footing as exactly the sort of all-day dining spot that Brockley needs. In the mornings and at weekends its brunch menu is enjoyed by families, young couples and groups of friends alike, with dishes such as homemade beans & duck egg on offer alongside Scandinavian-inspired pastries. In the evenings and at lunchtimes, its a la carte menu offers imaginative, often playful dishes that change regularly to suit the season. Service is always friendly and, for now, there’s almost always a table available. Visit quick before word gets out.