Where To Eat In Camberwell
Steaming bowls of pho, oozing pies, Kurdish kebabs, and lots more.
Camberwell is a pretty small area of London but, despite that, it’s got a huge number of places worth travelling down the road or across the city to eat at. There’s excellent Sichuan, Kurdish, Ethiopian and, well, pub food—as well as lots of other options, from Neapolitan pizza to a very good chippy. Conveniently, quite a few of them are also within a few footsteps of each other, so use our guide for anything from a big group dinner to a solo wrap for under a fiver.
photo credit: Sam Harris
A place that bookends the meal with a plate of parmesan chunks and a crème anglaise/espresso hybrid knows the value of a good time. And Forza Win certainly does. The Italian spot in Camberwell is all whitewashed brick walls, shelves lined with wine bottles, tinkling of glasses—and a good times atmosphere. Hospitality is as generous as the heap of buttery pappardelle with rich lamb ragu, and the amount of fresh olive oil drizzled over comforting braised borlotti beans. The buzzy atmosphere is the perfect backdrop for a casual date night or a group catch-up, when nights end with spoons clinking in shared bowls of boozy tiramisu. And with one of those creamy, custard hybrid coffees.
This casual Vietnamese cafe is a popular Camberwell lunchtime destination: curries with rice, bánh mì, and bún vermicelli noodle salads are all made fresh and packed full of flavour. Strips of pork sizzle on hot plates and piping hot spring rolls come shining out the fryer. One thing especially worth noting is the phở—it’s made with a broth so carefully tended to that you can only order bowls on the weekend. Their viscous and fragrant beef stew, made to be shovelled into your mouth like all the best foods are, is a must.
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photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
Nandine Camberwell Church Street
Nandine’s second restaurant is dinner-only, aside from weekends, and thanks (in part) to the introduction of a big ocakbaşi grill in the kitchen, the food is even better at this location on Camberwell Church Street. You’ve got a juicy, seven spice chicken shish with flatbread and salads, a giant stuffed meatball that wouldn’t look out of place at Lord’s, and a coconut pudding that’s a very sweet ending to any meal. It’s still a lovely and comfortable atmosphere, perfect for any night of the week where you’d like to eat some memorably good food.
The Camberwell Arms
It doesn’t matter whether the distance is 10 footsteps or 10 miles, The Camberwell Arms is an establishment worth travelling to. The front bar area has the faint ale-on-wood aroma that every pub should have, and is perfect for a few pints, some scotch bonnet on toast, and a bowl of chips. The more sit-downy back area is the place to pitch up on an overcast day or any night, and fill up on the ever-changing menu that ranges from handmade pasta to prehistoric-looking pork chops. Unsurprisingly, the Sunday roasts too are tip-top.
Smack bang in the middle of Camberwell Church Street is Silk Road, a cash-only Chinese spot specialising in Xinjiang cuisine. It’s most famous for its enormous plates of hand-pulled noodles with chicken and £1 cumin lamb skewers. Although we’re not sure it’s as good as it once was, Silk Road is still a go-to London Chinese restaurant. So if you’re in the area with friends, you want to check it out.
Lots of Camberwell’s go-to restaurants are located within a very short sprint or a very lazy stroll of each other. Which is convenient if you’re a) lazy, b) very hungry, or c) both. But you’ll want to travel away from this strip to get to Nandine, because the original outpost of this Kurdish restaurant is a must-visit. It’s a family-run coffee shop and restaurant serving a range of delicious mezze, as well as some excellent brunch dishes. If you’re into fresh dips and salads, and stuffing it all in your mouth using a warm bread vehicle, then you’ll love this place. FYI it's only open for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.
The value of a first-rate pizza restaurant, especially one that’s as good for a solo daytime panuozzo sandwich, as it is for a spritz and bufalina-filled six person dinner in the evening is, invaluable. This is exactly what Theo’s brings. We’d argue that this Neapolitan spot makes some of the best pizzas in London, and we’d objectively state that it makes the best chilli sauce of any pizza restaurant we know. If you haven’t got to Theo’s already then the only thing we can suggest is for you to stop reading this. Seriously. Stop. And go.
photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
Zeret Kitchen is inconspicuously placed on the corner of an estate, next to a newsagent. But it’s a restaurant that deserves attention. Lots of attention. Come 7pm, this buzzy neighbourhood Ethiopian spot is filled with families, couples, and friends, all of whom are artfully, and some not so artfully, sharing an enormous silver platter of injera with any number of lentil or chickpea stews. The food is delicious. It’s tangy from the bread, and spiced and smoky from the stews (or meat if you eat it), and is some of the most enjoyable and tasty communal eating you can do in London. There’s also a section of the menu for solo eating, and, frankly, the portions are enormous—just how we like it.
We like ourselves a bit of bread here at The Infatuation London. White bread. Brown bread. Rye bread. Injera. You name the bread, we eat it. If you’re anything like this, then you’ll want to know that FM Mangal, a Turkish grill spot on Church Street, has got some seriously good (flat)bread. It’s warmed over the grill and covered in a secret mixture of what we can only describe as smoke, fat, and spice. Needless to say, you’ll be eating several bowls of this. Also needless to say that it goes very well with their kofte, roasted onions in pomegranate, and whatever else you want to pile on top.
Falafel & Shawarma
Every area in London needs a place that sells freshly made, £3.50 wraps, filled with falafel, fresh salads, and the undying love of their makers. Camberwell has exactly that in Falafel & Shawarma. This is a simple place that simply makes delicious and fantastic value food, and it’s open from 10am to 10pm daily. If you’re not after a wrap or shawarma, then upgrade to the mezze plate for a quid more and be on your merry way, or grab a seat.
photo credit: Charles Flint
All we know about our neighbours is that they really enjoy listening to LMFAO at 11pm on weeknights. But, you won’t find any of that funny business at this wine bar on Church Street—only charcuterie, small plates like wild boar ravioli, and enough candlelight to make for a super romantic date night. As well as monthly wine tasting events, there’s also a quiet and casual terrace out back for drinking classic cocktails on sunny days.
Fladda Fish & Chips
Every neighbourhood needs a reliable chippie and that’s exactly what Fladda is. The batter is the kind that shatters like ice, if ice was crispy and delicious when dipped in homemade tartare sauce, and the fish is flaky as it should be. If it’s chips you’re after, we’d give these a solid 7.5/10, but it’s their bag of fish bites (cod or haddock) with chips that’s more than likely to get you in here if you’re wandering or stumbling past.
This community cafe has all the things you want from a great little coffee spot—local artists’ work for sale on the walls, breakfast, light bites, plenty of plugs for your freelance needs, and some really great coffee. They grow fresh produce out in their back garden and it’s the kind of rustic, casual place you can picture an actual lumberjack living in—or at the very least a few bearded artists with a penchant for timber. As well as your cafe classics like avocado on toast, there are also daily salads, frittatas, and sharing boards, but really, it’s the coffee and chilled feel you’re here for.