Ah, Peckham. Easily one of London’s liveliest boroughs, it’s also a pocket of the city that has been perpetually associated with incredible food. Whether you’re sidling up to one of the many market stalls, seeking out some local favourites or hitting up one of the myriad hotspot wine bars that have opened in recent years, to dine in Peckham is representative of dining in London as a whole.

To sum up such a culturally rich and historically significant part of London in a series of restaurants is difficult, but here we have tried our best. From the modern hotspots that draw North Londoners down the Overground line like moths to a flame, to the stalwart local spots that have stood the test of time as gentrification has crept into the area – a seeming relentless inevitability in London these days – Peckham is as tasty as it is multifaceted; as exciting as it is chaotic.

Peckham Cellars

125 Queen's Road, SE15 2ND

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This wine bar quietly moonlights as one of the capital’s best restaurants. Their new-ish menu brings heavy Basque influence thanks to chef Pablo’s roots in that part of Spain. But, by and large, it’s just a menu full of pan-European influences, and absolutely banging dishes like beef cheeks with parsnip mash and pickled mustard seeds or lamb cabbage rolls with spiced labneh. Wash it all down with one of the special bottles selected by the knowledgeable wine team.



119 Queen's Road, SE15 2EZ

Specialising in South African dishes largely cooked over the braai – the South African BBQ – Kudu is a restaurant that brings bold flavours with a heavy hit of smoke for a meal you’re unlikely to forget anytime soon. The supremely sexy dining room makes this an ideal spot to impress any date, and if they don’t immediately fall in love with you, then there’s no doubt a cast iron pan full of brown shrimp bathing in a pool of melted butter all mopped up with soft, pillowy bread is sure to entice feelings of lust from even the coldest of hearts. The menu features a range of European influences to bolster the South African dishes, like a take on the braai broodjie (a kind of toasted sandwich cooked over the braai), made with agnolotti rather than bread.


Kudu Grill

57 Nunhead Lane, SE15 3TR

The younger sibling of the original iteration of this South African restaurant group, Kudu Grill is full of the same influences as Kudu, but with a slightly bolder, messier approach to cooking. Where Kudu is elegant and refined, Kudu Grill is bold flavours and dishes that might just ask you get your hands dirty, like the grilled prawns with peri peri sauce which are fiery and finger-licking good – you’ll want to scrape up every last drop of that punchy sauce.



161 Bellenden Road, SE15 4DH

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It’s hard to overestimate the joy of having a good, reliable Italian restaurant locally, and Artusi is exactly that for the people of Peckham. There are a lot of sub-par Italian joints in London, but this is not one of them. A compact menu changes regularly but features flavourful, often veg-centric starters, a couple of silky pastas and a trio of mains that may, at any given time, include dishes like cod with cocco bianco beans, pancetta and heritage carrots or beef rump with turnip, parsley root and cime di rapa. It’s the kind of restaurant you may find yourself in at least once a week, so strong is the pull of its cosy interiors and banging food.


JB’s Soul Food

27A Peckham High Street, SE15 5EB

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It’s impossible to talk about dining in Peckham without talking about Caribbean food, and the wide consensus among locals is that JB’s Soul Food is comfortably one of the best spots to get your fix. Follow the trail of jerk-spiced smoke to this compact restaurant – much of their business comes from takeout – and feast on a range of patties including callaloo and salt fish, jerk chicken and vegetables, go straight for main courses of spiced curried goat and unctuous oxtail or just go all in for the aforementioned jerk chicken, cooked until lightly charred and moreish as hell.


Forza Wine

The Rooftop, 133A Rye Lane, SE15 4BQ

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Come to Forza Wine for the views, stay for the food (and drinks). Sitting multiple floors up, this restaurant easily has some of the best views in town, with vistas all the way north to the shard and central London. Really, that would probably be enough for it to ride off of, but luckily for Londoners they’ve committed to serving some cracking food and drinks too. Don’t overlook the great selection of cocktails, but make sure to have a good go through the wine list, too. Food is designed to share with distinct European influences – a dish of braised lamb neck had a distinct St John feel to it.



133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST

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Situated in the same coworking/dining/shopping space that Forza Wine sits at the top of, Mambow Peckham far outshines its vaguely Boxpark-esque locale. Chef Abbey Lee started her career working in her family’s bakeries in Singapore and Malaysia before going on to do stints in a couple of Michelin-starred kitchens. Mambow brings the flavours of her home country Malaysia to London, combining vibrant, sometimes heat-packed dishes with a juicy wine list. It has all the ingredients of a restaurant you’ll visit time and time again – and somewhere you really do wish was round the corner from your house.



28-30 Peckham High Street, SE15 5DT

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While Persepolis may ostensibly be a corner shop, the unassuming frontage belies one of the area’s best eateries out the back. Pile into the rear of this space for heaping plates of great value Persian food. Entirely vegetarian and vegan, Persepolis serves up a whopping meze platter for just £6, the kind of pricing that seems almost unbelievable in this day and age. Heading there in the evening? They’re BYOB and the £25 a head tasting menu is absolutely whopping value for money.



38 Holly Grove, SE15 5DF

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Ganapati has been serving up South Indian food to those lucky lucky Peckham locals since it first opened in 2004. Any restaurant surviving that long is a particularly impressive feat, but especially in London where places seem to pop up and close down faster than we change Prime Ministers. Aside from the ever-changing menu which, at any given time, is packed full of moreish dishes like kanthari chicken, kairali fish curry or okra and green mango curry, Ganapati also pick one table every night from which they donate the entire profit to Adventure Ashram, a South Indian charity dedicated to tackling human trafficking.