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Trip Ideas

Is This London’s Coolest New Neighborhood?

If you came here looking for Shoreditch, that ship has effectively sailed. In the last few years, Peckham has undergone a renaissance, rising to popularity as London's very own Williamsburg. For the non-NYC dwellers among us, that simply means the South London suburb (once known only for cameos in nineties Brit sitcoms) is the epitome of hip—catering to young students and artists with Victorian, Georgian, and Edwardian houses-turned-flats, unconventional rooftop bars, fashionable cafés, thriving art galleries, and close proximity to the city (just a 20-minute tube ride away). Here, we take a look at 7 of the places of that put Peckham on the map.

A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series.

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Frank’s Cafe

Every summer, Londoners make their seasonal pilgrimage to Peckham, queuing up down Rye Lane in anticipation of the opening of Frank’s Cafe. What’s all the fuss about? Every year, the legendary rooftop pop-up—which sits atop a 10-story carpark—emerges with a new look. But despite summer-to-summer aesthetic changes, Frank’s always doles out small bites, Campari-based cocktails, locally-commissioned art installations, and panoramic Peckham views.

Where to Find it: 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-Story Carpark, 95A Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST

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The Montpelier

Food, drinks, backroom indie cinema—The Montpelier has it all covered. Grab a locally-brewed pint and at least a "peckish" bite (think: salt beef, house pickles, tomato chutney, and sour dough) before taking to the pub’s tucked-away, 30-seat theater. Screenings here are all about championing the little guy, so you’ll find passion projects from local creators.

Where to Find it: 43 Choumert Road, London, SE15 4AR

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For cinephiles with low blockbuster budgets, Peckham is the place to be. Multi-screen PeckhamPlex screens the latest mainstream, art house, foreign language, and independent releases and charges just £4.99 for admission (£5.99 if you opt for 3D). Is it straight out of the eighties? Yeah, pretty much. Does it have state-of-the-art reclining seats? No. But it is a hell of a bargain for just a fiver.

Where to Find it: 95A Rye Lane, Peckham London SE15 4ST

Peckham Springs

How do you draw a trendy crowd in London (or any big city, for that matter)? With a lengthy list of fun, affordable cocktails, plenty of munchies, and a killer locale. In the case of Peckham Springs, strong drinks start at just £6, popular neighborhood food trucks are on hand to satisfy late night cravings, and the combined bar-and-gallery takes up residence under Peckham Rye Station’s arches.

Where to Find it: 22a Blenheim Grove, London SE15 4QN

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Museum of Contemporary Art London

Since opening in 1994—with no permanent building to call home—MOCA London has hosted exhibitions all around South London. While that worked for a while, in 2004 the museum decided to set Peckham roots, settling in on Bellenden Road in order to offer gallery space to artists working on the cutting-edge of contemporary art. Today, the co-op style museum welcomes guests to explore sculpture, video, painting, and photography installations from both local and international up-and-coming artists.

Where to Find it: 113 Bellenden Road, SE15 4QY

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Artusi was betting on the fact that Peckham’s star was on the rise when it opened up its Italian-inspired doors in 2014. Now, a couple years down the line, reservations are a must as the spot’s fresh pasta (hello, truffle tagliatelle), well-curated wine list, and pared-back, casual atmosphere attract eager crowds. Enjoy seasonal mains like leg of lamb with white sweet potatoes and salsa rosso, but save room for dessert; sweets like thyme ice cream and polenta cake with crème fraîche have our name all over them.

Where to Find it: 161 Bellenden Road, London SE15 4DH

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Pedler Peckham Rye

One of the spots at the forefront of Peckham’s burgeoning culinary scene is Pedler Peckham Rye. Since it hit the SE15 scene in 2015, the shabby-chic restaurant has made a name for itself with modern Brit dishes and an all-gin cocktail list. Go for a traditional meal like the slow braised lamb shank, peas, smashed spuds, mint, and broccoli, and don’t miss out on the Little Bird martini.

Where to Find it: 58 Peckham Rye, London SE15 4JR

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