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Photograph: Deptford Market Yard
Photograph: Deptford Market Yard

Five spots that will make you fall in love with Deptford

Get to know this buzzing corner of south east London with our guide to its best places to go

Written by Time Out. Paid for by FREENOW.

Ah, Deptford. There is truly nowhere in London quite like it. The top of its high street is marked by an enormous anchor – a nod to the neighbourhood’s rich maritime history. (Fun fact: Peter the Great hung out here in the seventeenth century on a quest to improve Russia’s ship-building skills!) You can find nearly anything on this famous high street – great coffee, friendly barber shops, Vietnamese restaurants, Caribbean grocery shops, the list goes on – and at its end on Creek Road, you’ll find yourself at the Thames. Oh, and did we mention the epic Saturday junk market?  

It’s a neighbourhood full of surprises, which rewards curiosity. And that’s exactly what our editor Joe Mackertich discovered while recording the latest episode of our podcast, ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’, sponsored by FREENOW, the mobility super app. On this episode, Joe invites actor, comedian, writer and proud south Londoner Jon Pointing to take him on a tour of Deptford. To find out which spots Pointing picked, you’ll just have to listen to the podcast, won’t you? But first, we’ll give you a flavour of the neighbourhood with some of our top picks. 

Listen to ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’ now

One of the best things about Deptford is the diversity of its restaurants; we’re talking Vietnamese, Caribbean, West African and Italian. But for our money, there’s nothing more comforting on a chilly evening than fiery Sichuan food from JinJiang. Order widely from its extensive menu; we’re big fans of the fried aubergine, potatoes and green peppers (a famous Shandong dish known as “three treasures from the ground” and the mouth-numbing Sichuan-spiced ma po tofu. Heaven.

In 2022, we published a list of the coolest streets in the world – and Deptford High Street made it into the top 20. Cementing its enviably high place in the list was Deptford Market Yard: a relatively recent redevelopment of the arches underneath the station which is now home to everything from craft beer bars and Caribbean fare to Lomond Coffee, a specialist female-led coffee roastery.

Sometimes it pays to be organised. If you can’t leave your plans to chance, then your best bet is booking a private ride or a Black Cab ahead of time with FREENOW.

This colourful little gem is the type of spot that makes you instantly feel at home. This café/bar at the top of the high street is decked out in kitsch décor and sofas so soft and comfortable that you’ll never want to get up. It’s currently in a state of evolution, poised to start running more events and club nights, while still serving the brunch locals know and love. Watch this space!

Need to get home fast? How’s this for convenience: thanks to FREENOW, you can book a Black Cab with just a few taps of the app. The average wait time for Black Cabs on the app is just four minutes – now that’s speedy!

Could this be the most adorably-named park in London? Venture up Deptford High Street towards the Thames and you’ll find yourself navigating a curious boardwalk by a large pond, flanked by trees. This is Twinkle Park: a small but soothing patch of green a stone’s throw from the Thames.

Inside a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shopfront is some of the tastiest vegan fare you’ll find south of the Thames. The Waiting Room serves up Brick Lane bagels packed with flavour; try the ‘Spicy Maiden’, with ‘sausage’ lathered in cheese, mustard, pickles, and most importantly, the house-made ‘Deptford Death Sauce’, which has developed a bit of a cult following.

Like to keep it green? FREENOW does too! You can book an electric ride through the mobility super app.

Get there with FREENOW

We’ve teamed up with the mobility super app FREENOW to bring you ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’ every week. We love convenience and it couldn’t be easier to get to neighbourhoods like Soho than with this app, where you can choose between four different modes of transport all in one place. Don’t settle for long wait times or hailing a cab by chance, use FREENOW in cities across the UK and Europe to take the stress away from travelling.

Listen to ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’ now

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