With a slew of new restaurants popping up in the area, Peckham is fast becoming one of London’s most exciting dining destinations. From rustic Italian fare to contemporary Thai cooking, this is where to eat in SE15.
A buzzing local restaurant with a seasonal menu of modern European fare, Pedler was an instant hit when it launched in Peckham Rye in December 2014, and it continues to be among the most popular restaurants in the area. It’s particularly packed on weekends when you’ll find chattering groups chowing down hearty brunches and enjoying Little Bird Gin cocktails. Though compact, the space is bright and flooded with natural light, so it never feels too crowded.
Peckham Bazaar has become something of an institution over the past couple of years. It opened for only a few days a week in 2013 but proved to be so popular that it extended its opening hours, and the pan-Balkan restaurant now only closes on Mondays. Delicious cuisine from across Albania, Turkey, Greece and Iran is served up in a variety of small plates. The menu relies on the freshest seasonal ingredients, so it changes daily. Expect fragrant tagines, mouth-watering chargrilled meat and zingy salads, plus a great selection of Eastern Mediterranean wine.
The Begging Bowl brings the bold flavours of Thailand to Peckham | Courtesy of The Begging Bowl
On the corner of Bellenden Road is The Begging Bowl – a little ambient restaurant serving punchy Thai street food. Dishes hail from every region in Thailand, and customers are invited to share several small plates packed with bold flavours. There are classics such as a green papaya salad with dried shrimp, as well as charcoal-grilled sausage with ginger, all paired with £3 bottomless rice.
Artusi is a minimal neighbourhood restaurant that treats seasonal produce without pretension; the kitchen is more concerned with making the food delicious rather than showy. The menu isn’t long and changes regularly, but it focusses on rustic Italian dishes. There’s always fresh pasta and a selection of meat and fish for il secondo. A large chalkboard menu dominates the small, stripped-back space.
Peckham’s Rye Lane is home to Cafe Spice, an unfussy takeaway spot with a simple menu of delicious, traditional soups and stews from West Africa and the Caribbean. Food is seasoned and spiced to perfection, from the jollof to the ayamase.
Steamed bao buns are the pièce de résistance at this cosy Taiwanese restaurant on Peckham’s Rye Lane. The fluffy, larger-than-average buns come with an assortment of tasty fillings, from beef brisket to ‘drunken’ (beer-marinated) prawns, all at around £4 to £5 a pop. There’s also a handful of delightful sharing plates, including golden kimchi, pork dumplings and Taiwanese sausage.
Try the kudu bread with seafood butter when visiting Kudu | Courtesy of Kudu
With dusty pink walls, plants hanging from the ceiling and cushioned teal seats, Kudu might look like your typical Instagrammable brunch spot, but its innovative menu of South African-influenced grub is anything but average. It’s recommended to try one (beautifully presented) dish from each section of the menu, from small plates such as octopus potjie to a dessert such as malted chocolate ganache. Whatever you do, make sure you try the restaurant’s namesake kudu bread, served light and puffy with lardon or seafood butter.
A stalwart of Peckham Rye’s international restaurant scene is this great little South Indian restaurant. At Ganapati, make sure to order a thali to sample a little bit of everything. From crunchy papadums and fragrant curry to rice, dips and pickles, this traditional platter serves up all the staples of a delicious Indian dinner.