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Peckham stands proud in South London, a marvellous melting pot of authentic and inexpensive international cuisine, arty alley-ways and cool rooftop spaces.
The repurposing of Peckham’s industrial enclaves has been a game-changer with Peckham home to some of the best dive bars and breweries in London plus creative, community spaces.
From Peckhamplex to Peckham Levels and retro arcades to colourful parades, here are the top things to do in Peckham, south London in 2023.
Things to do in Peckham
Right now, Peckham’s rooftop scene is off the charts, renowned for its range of roof raves (try saying that after several cocktails), all with stunning views of the London city skyline.
Easily one of the things to do in Peckham in the summer months, the best rooftops include:
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1. Frank’s Cafe – Bold Tendencies
The original and most popular rooftop bar and social space in Peckham, Frank’s (Cafe) is situated outside on the top floor of a car-park building. Whilst this may not sound like a prime Peckham pastime, the views and bar set-up at Franks speak for themselves – just awesome!
Not a lot has changed at Franks since it opened in Peckham in 2009 other than its popularity; visit Peckham on any sunny summer afternoon and you’ll be hard pushed to find a spot to sit at Frank’s, such is its appeal.
With an island bar, cool views and a smattering of seats (plus ample tarmac), enjoy a cold beer or nifty negroni at Frank’s for one of London’s best sunset sessions.
2. Bussey Rooftop Bar
We love the Peckham Bussey Rooftop building set-up with its 360 degree views and highest viewpoint.
Whilst sometimes seen as a plan B destination if nearby Frank’s Cafe is too full or crowded, Peckham’s Bussey Rooftop Bar has a character all of its own and if anything, the vista here is better. You can also see everyone enjoying the sunset at nearby Franks with views of Peckham and south London.
Alas the Bussey Rooftop Building bar isn’t open all year round so do check their website before venturing out, if you are visiting Peckham especially.
3. Skylight Peckham
Hoping to rival Franks and the Bussey building as the most radical rooftop and hip hang out in Peckham, Skylight is open all year round, with igloos at Christmas and alfresco floral decks in the summer months.
From bottomless brunch weekends to live music and performances plus hot desking and co-shared workspaces in the week, Skylight has it all (plus they have a sister site at Tobacco Dock in Wapping).
4. Brick Brewery
One of South London’s most popular and well-known tap-rooms, Brick Brewery (near Peckham Rye station) has a wide range of craft beers with an outdoor seating area and a smaller indoor area.
Founded in Peckham in 2013, Brick Brewery has over 20 of their own (and guest) beers on tap, this taproom used to be their brewing operation but has since moved down the road.
We’ve been to Brick Brewery in Peckham a couple of times and it has always been heaving, particularly in the summer when the beer garden at the front has been full of friends and families. Brick Brewery also have a Greek street food stall in the garden – Mikos Gyros.
Peckham’s Brick Brewery is one of our top London breweries and taprooms >
5. Kanpai London Sake Brewery & Taproom
2023 Update: Kanpai London Sake Brewery & Taproom has now permanently closed and will shortly be relocating to the Bermondsey Beer Mile
A little taste of Japan in the heart of Peckham, we first discovered Kanpai (‘cheers’ in Japanese) London Sake Brewery taproom one Saturday afternoon in the summer, managing to grab the last remaining tables outside.
We weren’t sure what to expect at Kanpai London Sake Brewery as we don’t really drink sake, but they also have Japanese beers on tap.
Founded in 2016 by a husband and wife team after a trip to Kyoto and billed as the UK’s first sake brewery, Kanpai taproom in Peckham is located on an industrial estate near the Bussey building.
You can’t miss Kanpai – just look for the striking street art outside the main doors.
Kanpai sake brewery tours are also available on Saturdays and selected Fridays.
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6. Peckham Riviera
2023 UPDATE:Peckham Riviera is now permanently closed
Based between the bridges of Peckham Rye station, Peckham Riviera brings a spot of sunshine to South London. With a green as oasis of a courtyard and an awning to ensure all weather drinking is on point, Peckham Riviera has the feel of a work-in-progress garden centre that does a sideline in serving craft beers and cocktails.
Fancy the flicks or catching up on your cinema releases? Peckhamplex in Rye Lane is one of the cheapest cinemas in London (independent as well), with tickets starting as low as £4.99 for the earlier sessions as at 2023.
Opened in the early 90s and with 6 screens and up to 15 different movies a week, you can clearly see why the locals love Peckhamplex so much. Head to Peckham and grab some popcorn at Peckhamplex!
8. Peckham Levels
A space for the local community, artists and independent sellers, Peckham Levels is a bustling, seven storey building (part of a car park), home to numerous stalls, pop-ups, bars and restaurants.
Half the fun at Peckham Levels is exploring as you never know what to expect around each corner. Just pick a floor at random when you jump in the lift (although levels 5 and 6 are where most of the fun happens).
Home to over 100 small businesses and eateries, Peckham Levels street food highlights include Indian street food from Boxwallah, middle eastern fare from Nadine and juicy as joy from Plantain Kitchen.
Every time we go, we discover something new from Plonk Crazy Golf (now sadly closed down) to new tattoo or yoga studios.
The newest additions to the Peckham Levels street-food scene who opened new kitchens here in February 2023 are Senegalese soul food favourites Little Baobab and popular sourdough pizza peeps, Well Kneaded.
9. Copeland Park and the Bussey Building
A creative community hub of buildings, studios combined with bars, restaurants and street-food start-ups, Copeland Park and the Bussey Building are home to some of the best things to do in Peckham.
Every day of the week, you’ll discover events, activities or drop-ins aimed at all ages and abilities.
One of the highlights is Holdron’s Arcade, an alleyway of assorted stalls, shops and pop-ups (they bill themselves as Peckham’s ‘corridor of wonders’ – cute!).
The Bussey Building Rooftop bar also sometimes has a pop-up cinema with sublime sunset views of south London to accompany the silver screen.
10. The Four Quarters Peckham – Retro arcade
With three London locations (Peckham, Hackney Wick and Elephant and Castle) plus Bristol and Newcastle, sites the combination of vintage arcade and gaming machines with craft beers is definitely on trend and ‘game on’’ – ‘.
Peckham Four Quarters was the first, and London’s original arcade bar. With over 15 gaming machines dating from the 1970s to the early 2000s, enjoy a pint with Pacman or an ale with Asteroids – just don’t put your glass down or it might get Tekken etc…
11. Peckham Salvage Yard
Housed in the Copeland Park and Bussey Building industrial estate area, the Salvage Yard is South London’s largest indoor flea market selling all manner of retro and vintage fare.
With between 40 and 50 stalls selling an amazing array of furniture, homeware, collectables and clothing, have a rummage and go home with a bargain.
Markets at the Salvage Yard generally happen on selected Saturdays and Sundays.
12. Cinema at The Montpelier pub
What is better than a Peckham pub? A Peckham pub with its very own 30 seat screening room – welcome to the Montpelier on Choumert Road.
As well as fine British fare and craft beers galore, the Montpelier has its own Back Room Cinema – we wonder if they do pub themed showings like Ale’s Well That Ends Well or The Hangover?!
A local backstreet boozer that prides itself with an organic and locally sourced menu, time to pop in for a pint at the Montpelier pub next time you’re in Peckham.
13. The Begging Bowl (Thai fusion restaurant)
Tucked away on a leafy street just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of central Peckham lies this hidden gem of a Thai restaurant.
Named after the alms pots (or begging bowls) that Buddhist monks carry, the Peckham Begging Bowl serves creative Thai inspired food with a modern spin.
The Begging Bowl Thai menu has around 14 small plates options that are designed for sharing (they recommend ordering 5 dishes between two people) and has an excellent range of vegetarian and vegan options.
You can order unlimited jasmine and sticky rice at The Begging Bowl in Peckham for just £3.50 per person which is a nice touch (prices correct as at February 2023).
We loved the flavours and textures from the vegan banana blossom dish which is served with white asparagus, enoki, peanuts and chilli jam dressing, and we also enjoyed the fresh and zingy cured cod, green mango, lemongrass and citrus chilli dressing plate.
The Pandan Daiquiri cocktail is worth a try and has hints of fresh Thai basil and lemongrass.
Service is super friendly and we highly recommended booking ahead as The Begging Bowl is always packed!
14. South London Gallery
A free to visit contemporary art museum in Peckham with displays, exhibitions, performances and screenings, the South London Gallery’s emphasis on new work by emerging international and British artists often by those who have yet to open a solo show in London previously.
Established in 1891 on its current site on Peckham Road, the South London Gallery has expanded in recent years to include Art Block – a space for community art on the Sceaux Gardens estate and the Fire Station gallery (also on Peckham Road).
15. The Kiln Rooms
‘Pot-ty’ about Peckham? Well, we all know ceramics are cool so why not combine your south London adventure with a trip to the Kiln Rooms.
Primarily located at Copeland Park, with several ceramics studios and classrooms (also at Bellenden Road Arches and Peckham), the Kiln Rooms are aimed at all different abilities from newbies to experts.
With a strong community spirit and well loved by Peckham locals, The Kiln Rooms has a big impact on the local arts scene and several times a year, exhibitions of members’ work are also held across their various sites.
16. Peckham street art
London has some of the best street art in the world and Peckham is no exception.
Recently, Japanese art trio Fate, Imaone and Suiko created a huge vivid and vibrant mural on the side of the Copeland Park and Bussey Building, near to the aforementioned Kanpai brewery street art mural.
In October 2021, French born London based street artist Zabou also painted an incredible mural of local legend Leanne Pero, which can be found at Peckham Levels.
All around in Peckham, particularly around the High Street, Peckham Levels and Bussey, awesome street art is abound so keep your eyes open when you visit.
17. Peckham Bazaar restaurant
An inexpensive culinary gem located on Consort Road, Peckham Bazaar offers the best Middle Eastle fusion of Turkish, Greek, Iranian and Albanian dishes all home cooked over an open charcoal fire.
With marvellous mezze and a menu that changes daily, combine your meal with their legendary Peckham Negroni which includes Greek vermouth.
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