The Best Restaurants in Balham

Balham, London | © Stephen Colebourne/Flickr
Balham, London | © Stephen Colebourne/Flickr
Balham is one of those London neighbourhoods that feels like its own village rather than part of the capital. As such, it’s not overflowing with great restaurants just yet but the tide is turning thanks to places like these.


Restaurant, Steakhouse, $$$
Arlo’s is a neighbourhood restaurant that’s simple in its approach but serious about its steak. The focus is on less celebrated cuts like bavette, hanger and deckle and they only use high-welfare British beef, so the meat is top quality. It’s all paired with simple sides like hand-cut chips, mac & cheese, zingy salads and a short but decent wine and cocktail list. Arlo’s whip up thick milkshakes that you can booze up, should you fancy it with a kick.
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Restaurant, European, British, $$$

Local and seasonal British ingredients are at the heart of Lamberts, right down to the drinks list, which features local beers and English sparkling wines. The food menu changes regularly to ensure produce is served seasonally; but could feature anything from griddles sardines with tomato and lovage, to whole roast Norfolk quail with squash and mustard chutney. Vegetables are also treated with the same care and respect here and are turned into interesting dishes in their own right.

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Restaurant, British, European, $$$
Foxlow, Hawksmoor’s take on a neighbourhood restaurant, has blossomed into a mini-chain of its own including a branch in Balham. Quality British meat and seafood is of the utmost importance here but across a much broader menu than you’d find at Hawksmoor – although they still serve a mean steak. That means you can choose from chicken in various forms and seasonal plates like plaice with samphire, lemon and fennel or spice-roasted cauliflower with chickpeas and curried aubergine sauce. They even have a small speakeasy-style bar called The Owl underneath the restaurant – ideal to continue your evening after the plates have been cleared away.
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Restaurant, Italian
Cuillo’s is a simple, trattoria-style restaurant that serves up Italian classics from meat and fish dishes to pastas and risottos. The pizza offering is particularly good though with regional varieties like Calabrese, Fiorentina, Torino, Genovese and Napoletana. Plus they all go very well with one of their artisan Italian beers. Food like this, in addition to friendly service, generous portions and all-round enjoyable atmosphere make this a real local favourite.
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Bistro, French

Like the one in Battersea, the Balham outpost of Gazette is a French bistro that offers a mix of traditional French dishes and seasonal plates; from cassoulet with confit duck, Toulouse sausage, and pork belly, to sea bream with ratatouille. Their selection of pastries, eggs, crêpes and croque monsieurs also make it a good brunch spot.

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Meal service:

All Day