Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Balham
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Balham restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 17 restaurants in Balham and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Balham restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Balham Restaurants
1. Chez Bruce British, Modern restaurant in Balham 2 Bellevue Rd - SW17
“Still peerless as a neighbourhood restaurant delivering exquisite, modern French cuisine” – Bruce Poole’s immaculate “mainstay of South West London”, by distant Wandsworth Common, was – for the 15th year in succession – the survey’s No. 1 favourite restaurant, and “well worth the trip south of the river”. “Whether you are going for a celebratory meal, or just a casual lunch or supper”, “its consistency is astonishing, and comes at fabulously reasonable prices” (especially given the “little extra touches like Parmesan biscuits at the beginning of a meal, and chocolate truffles and palmiers at the end”). “What’s brilliant about the seasonal cooking is its perfect, pure – not gastronomic – tastes and palate: classics are flawlessly cooked, and there is innovation without it being bound in any way to the latest fads and fashions”. And “although there must be heaps going on behind the scenes, the set-up manages to be effortlessly elegant in an unpretentious style that feels like it comes easy to them”, with “engaging” staff who are “professional without being obsequious”. IF there’s a gripe, it’s that the “bright and compact” room that most reporters feel is “delightful” and “fitting for pretty much any occasion” (especially a romantic one) is, for a small minority, too “cramped” and un-fancy.
2. The Avalon British, Modern restaurant in Balham 16 Balham Hill - SW12
“A great pub!” (part of the Three Cheers Pub Co) down Balham way, with smart interior and gorgeous, big outside garden, and where steaks and ‘artisan pizzas’ are mainstays of a comprehensive menu: “even if the pub was boring, I’d come back time and again for the fantastic food!”
3. The Red Duck Chinese restaurant in Balham 1 Ramsden Road - SW12
Opened during Lockdown #3 in Balham, this Cantonese operation comes from an Alan Yau protege, Chi San. Operating initially as takeaway only, it hopes to open as a sit-in restaurant once lockdown restrictions are eased: 2th April for their terrace, 17th May for indoor dining. The menu is focused on Chinese classics, free from flavour enhancers or additives. Also, low intervention and organic wines.
4. Dynamo Pizza restaurant in Balham 16-18 Ritherdon Road - SW17
“Lovely wood-fired pizzas and imaginative salads” make this “friendly cycle-themed coffee shop” in Putney (and its Balham sibling) a “great place for brunch on the way back from a cycle round Richmond Park”. Early rouleurs will find breakfast from 7.30am, and there’s “ample bike parking”.
5. Megan’s on the Hill British, Modern restaurant in Balham 43 Bedford Hill - SW12
“Affordable and with a nice vibe” – these good-looking, all-day hang-outs major in brunch, but make reasonably-priced options for a relaxed meal at any time. This year, they added Kensington High Street and Islington to the stable and spread beyond inner London to Surbiton and St Albans.
6. Milk Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in LONDON 20 Bedford Hill - SW12
For a top breakfast or brunch, a good number of Balham residents still tip their favourite Antipodean café as the best way to go locally; no bookings, you just rock up (and expect to queue at the weekend).
7. Arlo's Steaks & grills restaurant in Balham 1 Ramsden Road - SW12
2018 Review: “It ain’t the only restaurant in town offering quality steak at an affordable price” but fans say this Balham yearling “stands out for its simple, limited menu of unusual British-sourced cuts, plus nine or ten sides cooked exactly to order”. One or two incidents of poor preparation are also reported however, hence the middling grades.
8. Brinkley’s Kitchen, Brinkley's Restaurants International restaurant in Balham 35 Bellevue Rd - SW17
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