Persepolis

Restaurants , Iranian Peckham
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(15 user reviews)
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Persepolis (© Britta Jaschinski)
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Colourful, crowded and charmingly bonkers café-cum-deli proudly located in Peckham.

This little café inside Peckham’s Persian delicatessen, Persepolis, is a fun place serving fun food. Sally Butcher has made it her mission to bring the flavours of Middle Eastern and Levantine cooking to South East London with her shop, and with three cookery books: ‘Persia in Peckham’, ‘Veggiestan’ and more recently ‘Snackistan’.

The vibe is colourful, crowded and charmingly bonkers. A handful of chairs and tables have been shoehorned between shelves stuffed with shisha pipes, embossed glassware, musical instruments, spices and specialist foodstuffs. They provide the setting for a liberal vegetarian interpretation of Iranian and Levantine dishes, with Peckham influences: Moroccan harissa is used with fried plantains, for example. Meze and wraps form the bedrock, with seasonally inspired fillings such as quince, halloumi and caramelised celeriac. Drinks go from Afghan green tea to pomegranate juice via date and cardamom latte.

And it’s excellent value, with a large meze costing just £5. Share one of these followed by a saffron banana split or ‘Hot Paklava Meltdown’ (all £3.50), and you won’t be hungry even by teatime. And do save room for pudding. We thought that the best dish of all was the Turkish delight sundae, which had my 12-year-old daughter in raptures: chunks of Turkish delight and slivers of halva in clouds of whipped cream, vanilla and saffron ice cream, drizzled with rose cordial and rose petals. Sounds sickly, but tasted divine.

Venue name: Persepolis
Contact:
Address: 28-30 Peckham High Street
London
SE15 5DT
Opening hours: Open 10.35am-9pm daily
Transport: Peckham Rye rail or 36 bus
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:13
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|15
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QueerVultures
1 of 1 found helpful

I only got an account to write a review but I'm doing so begrudgingly because I wanna keep it for me. I'm in love with this place. If I lived in this area, I would eat there as often as I could. We shared a delicious and carefully arranged meze, eggs, tea, and a banana split. All for 14 quid. Each bite was frakkin' exquisite, no less. You can tell the chef, red hair lady pictured above, is methodical and genuinely loves what she does and wants to share it--I'm guessing she's English. There's an older man there, her (Middle Eastern, Turkish?) husband perhaps, who is quite chatty and friendly. And the server, sweet dreamy pretty eyes and hair, an absolute doll who takes the time to explain and recommend; he did forget to bring me tap water and this basic need is usually a deal breaker for me, but it was my first time there so, we'll see if it happens again next time. Ugh--I can't say enough good things about my experience at this place. I love everything about it, the ultra delicious food, the care and careful display and arrangement in terms of flavours and aesthetic, that not many people know about it, the prices (which I hope don't go up as Peckham is transformed), the handsome server (swoon!), and the overall service and attention to detail. Go here for the best nom noms you can find. 

Jojuj
Tastemaker

An endearing, ramshackle, personal-touch Persian cafe/shop. Don't come here if you want snappy service and slick surroundings. Do come here if you like character-filled shopping/snacking. As a bonus, the abundance of decadent vegan dessert options is delightful. 

GP
Staff Writertastemaker

Such a great little deli with a perfect little café/restaurant inside.

For a start the shop has such a great atmosphere that you want to stay longer than a browse allows (although I’d happily waste an afternoon reading harrissa jars and squidging bread in here) it’s a great spot for a relaxed catch up or date, the wine is good the people around you will be having interesting conversations and the food is excellent too.

Buy loads of stuff for the cupboard on your way out, reasonably priced and you’ll get that great feeling you have every time you cook with the special sauces that you bought here that you’re supporting a truly great little indie!

Laura G
Tastemaker

As a local persian grocery turned café, this place offers very limited seating in a homey environment in the back of the shop. In a friends and family style, they serve creative vegetarian food with persian inspiration. Start with the mezze, that will bring to the table a little bit of every appetizer available. A good choice is the unusual but delicious scrambled eggs with plaintains and harissa. Service tends to be slow, go with time.

Sareta P
Tastemaker

I first came here when it was just a shop and fell in love then. I fell in love all over again when they created a cafe space. By created I mean put tables and chairs in the middle of the shop floor... but it works well in this quirky little Peckham gem. The menu is vast, and so so cheap. Like I can't believe it's not 1994 cheap. You can get a meze platter for £3.50 and really filling mains for a fiver. All veggie and loads of vegan - including a vegan knickerbockerglory that I'm desperate to try! If you haven't checked out Sally's cookbooks they are a must too!

Zoe W

I absolutely love their plantain spicy scrambled egg dish - out of this world! She is a wonderful, charming hostess. They also do fab diary free ice cream and other puds for those, like me, who sadly cannot stomach dairy.

Heather H

Homemade dishes, full of personality, and delicious food & ingredients! A staple for locals.

Jack W

Spontaneously popped in for a quick bite to eat on Saturday. I'm told we were lucky to get a table straight away. As 


I was beginning to get a little disgruntled about the half hour wait (not helped by the pretentious waffle-spouting hipsters sat on the next table) when the food arrived. It's not that often you have something that's completely unlike anything you've eaten before...and is absolutely amazing. 


The wait-time and mustachioed buffoons faded into the background as we melted into two plates from the specials board, whose names escape me. Whatever it was, it was incredible (and involved pomegranate molasses). The cheesecake afterwards was just as earth-moving. 


... writing this review is actually making me hungry.

Emma H

Wonderful pastries! Just this would make Persopolis 'go to' but then you'd be missing all the other wonderful foodie delights, homewares and incidentals. The owners are knowledgeable, friendly and so passionate about their enterprise one cannot help but be inspired.

Susie B

Fantastic - best eatery in London - wonderfully quirky and Sally and staff so welcoming.

Fred S

Tasty, affordable, healthy, slightly exotic lunch fare, and a shop full of great stuff to browse before during and afterwards.

Adam M

amazing find in South London - you have to pop in for a Meze to share and then banana split :)

Megan P

What an amazing cafe!! We went for a late lunch and enjoyed the Meze, one of the specials, 4 different and wonderful drinks and a Paklava Melt down to finish - all for £20. We'll be back!