Eating, drinking and dressing up in New Cross

Hot on the heels of Laura’s piece on why South East London is cooler than Shoreditch and Iso’s Local’s Guide to Peckham, I thought it was time to give New Cross some love.

I’ve lived in New Cross for just over five years now and in that time it’s certainly changed. Not quite perhaps as dramatically as Peckham, but things are definitely different to when I first moved south. With Goldsmiths college slap bang in the middle of NX, there was always a healthy student influence on surroundings but now it’s more noticeable than ever – even when they all pack their bags in August.

I love living here and while there might not be *quite* as much to do on the doorstep as Shoreditch just yet, there’s plenty to keep you occupied on the cheap. There are a million things I’ve not mentioned (well, maybe) but here are my picks for fun stuff do in SE14.

Places to eat in New Cross

Smokey Jerky – hands down the best jerk chicken in South East London. And that’s a big claim.

Cummin Up – not quite as dreamy as Smokey Jerky, but nearer my house so… there’s that.

The Hill Station – this community cafe at the top of Telegraph Hill does a mean breakfast. It gets a bit family-heavy at the weekends for me, but it’s still a lovely spot with fresh and interesting options. They also do quite a lot of events in the evenings so keep an eye on their Facebook page.

The London Particular – this cafe caused a right old stir when it opened. Proper coffee in New Cross!! Good bread! YOGHURT BAKED COD? This is the closest we’ve got so far to a Hackney-style fancy caff and it’s a hugely welcome addition.

Chai’s Garden – round the back of Skehans Irish pub is this secret Thai restuarant, in a beautiful garden complete with treehouse-type things to sit in. Really decent local Thai and generally not too busy.

Sirius Fish and Chips – also known as Paul McCartney’s favourite chippy, after he popped in for a pickled egg. There’s a sign and everything. London fish and chips are all rubbish to this northerner, but the staff here are dead nice and if you’ve had a few drinks it’s not a bad spot for a bag of chips.

Places to drink in New Cross

The Royal Albert – The Albert isn’t our nearest pub, but we end up walking the extra five minutes nearly every time anyway because it’s just so good. Fantastic beer selection both on draft and bottled and really awesome food, that’s pretty different to your usual pub grub. The steak is amazing and the music is nearly always brilliant.

The New Cross House – Previously The Tavern (RIP), this was the venue where Meatwagon first popped up, bringing New Cross more attention than it’s had in years. Now it’s the New Cross House, which is an undoubtedly beautiful pub with hiiiigh prices. Still, really good food and a way better than average beer garden. Service used to be spotty but they seem to have improved vastly lately.

The Telegraph at the Earl of Derby – this place is well hidden in the residential backstreets of New Cross, which perhaps explains why it’s often quiet. It’s a lovely spot though and they do great food – worth hunting out!

The New Cross Inn – SE14’s resident rock pub. A little rough around the edges and kind of on the empty side in terms of interior – it’s wood floors, tables, not much else – but always an excellent an raucous night. Some really interesting music too, including the odd punk band from my youth that makes do a baroo-head tilt as I walk past.

The Hobgoblin – god bless the Hob. Right opposite the station and within a short crawl of my front door, it’s a proper student pub (in fact surrounded by halls) with cheap beer and an excellent beer garden. I’ve not eaten there for ages, but they do decent Thai food from memory and bargain burgers in the garden.

The Amersham Arms – I’ve not been to the Amersham much since the New Cross House appeared. If I want great food, I go to the Royal Albert. If I want a beer nearby I go to the Hob or New Cross House. This is right inbetween, on all counts. Good music night though and I do really want to go back in and check out how they’re doing as I used to spend many hours here. Sigh.

Things to do in New Cross

The Allotment – another step to the fancification of New Cross, this fresh fruit and veg shop is another welcome addition. It’s almost like I enjoy the fancification of New Cross. Everything is fresh and local and organic so it’s not particularly cheap, but their bread is incredible and they have all sorts of fancy and weird groceries too. They also do veg boxes.

New Cross Learning – who needs a library when you can have a cultural community space? What was New Cross Library is now a ~learning space with books, for sure, but also classes, talks, walks, events and more. Thumbs up for transforming and saving this spot.

Cafe Crema – technically a cafe, but this goes in the Things to do category for its events schedule and free film screenings. Haven’t been down here in a while but they’re always up to something interesting and are true SE14 stalwarts.

Dig This Nursery – Another reason that the Hob is a great pub is because it comes complete with its own garden centre. There’s been a garden centre of some sort there for a long time (it’s where we always get our Christmas tree) but in the last few months it’s really come into its own. As well as selling plants and cut flowers, you can also get fruit and veg and, recently, vinyl. Obviously.

Prangsta – also known as ‘the place where Natalie Portman once bought some fancy dress’, this theatrical costumiers is another NX institution. Their window displays are a sight to behold and it appears as though they’ve recently styled Kate Moss which is obviously music to my fan-girl ears.

My friend Ellen made this video for Goldsmiths about SE14 – if you’re not already convinced, give it a watch:


5 thoughts on “Eating, drinking and dressing up in New Cross

  1. It’s also worth checking out the Common Growth Community Garden on Sandbourne Road. It’s a really magical and friendly space for everyone to enjoy and where we grow veg, fruit, herbs and flowers! We also host regular gardening workshops for kids and adults, and often share food on our Souper Sundays. The garden is run by volunteers and is open on Sunday afternoons from 2-5. Email:

  2. They sell vinyl in the Hob garden centre?
    Excellent snippet, this.
    And did you hear that Shia Laboeuf was once found having an argument over a hat in the Hobgoblin?!
    Love New Cross – I have been known to descend from the hill where I live in leafy Brockley 🙂

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