The Begging Bowl isn’t just the best Thai restaurant in Peckham, it’s one of the best Thai restaurants in London. The whole idea of taking traditional Thai dishes and putting a modern spin on them (that’s now popular via places like Som Saa) came from this cosy Bellenden village restaurant.
We’re guessing some posh locals probably hate that there’s no green curry on the menu at Begging Bowl, but what you will get here is much better: excellent Northern Thai dishes like Isaan-style beef cheek curry, or a whole salt-crusted bream with spicy dipping sauce. And the pomelo and peanut wrapped in betel leaf is a mouthful of food that you won’t want to skip.
Beyond that, the staff at The Begging Bowl are super helpful with guiding you through the menu of sharing plates, but it’s not to say it’s all serious - at the end of the day, this is a relaxed neighbourhood restaurant that just happens to have fantastic Thai food. And it happens to have influenced a lot of Thai restaurants that came after it.