Balham’s the kind of rare spot where you can get zone 1 food at zone 3 prices. Populated by an eclectic mix of cuisines, the neighbourhood’s hub – the triangular patch just north of the station – is a delicious mix of both new openings and long-standing local spots. And after assiduously trying each and every one…
…we had a very long nap.
But then we collected ourselves, and wrote this: the Best Restaurants in Balham…
Milk does brunch. An event which – any local will know – requires fortitude, determination and resilience, given the hour-long queues that form outside every weekend. Weather the wait and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best breakfast action in South London, running the gamut from Kurdish baked eggs with feta, squash and crispy sage to buckwheat pancakes with clementine leaf cream and burnt butter mille feuille. Don’t write them off as just a morning spot, though – brunch is served till 5pm, and their candlelit dinners are just as glorious. READ MORE
Details: 18-20 Bedford Hill (entrance on Hildreth Street Market), SW12 9RG | Brunch: Mon-Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 9am-5pm | Dinner: Thurs-Sat 6.30-11pm
Generous starters, soul-lifting pasta and legendary waiters, who – in between chatting to the regulars – zip around tables serving crispy wood-fired pizzas topped with pancetta and gorgonzola, goat’s cheese croquettes drizzled in honey, and choice picks from the regularly rotating, Italian-leaning wine list.
Details: 96 Bedford Hill, SW12 9HR | Open weekdays 5.30-11pm, weekends 12-11pm
Another classic brunch spot, so beloved it’s since gained a follow-up in Angel. Started by three old school friends, it bears all the marks of a place made with love – rustic wooden tables, a fairylit back terrace, great soundtrack – as well as a place with a really, really great chef. READ MORE
Details: 9 Chestnut Grove, SW12 8JA | Open weekdays 8am-4.30pm, Sat 9am-4pm and Sun 9.30am-4pm
An excellent Nepalese spot that can count Michel “three Michelin Stars” Roux Jr. amongst its fans. The place is old-school smart, with pressed tablecloths and huge floor-to-ceiling windows – a suitably refined spot in which to sample the crowning glories of Himalayan cuisine, from lamb momo (steamed dumplings) to patina patre (bread with mint), pork cooked Eastern Nepalese-style, and spicy Khorshani chicken.
Details: 1 The Boulevard, Balham High Road, SW17 7BW | Open Tues-Sat 6-11.30pm, Sun 12-10.30pm
A neighbourhood gem that was doing the whole ‘seasonal’ thing before it became hip. Dishes change even with the weather, and can range from heritage squash crumble with chestnuts and cranberries to cured duck with damson syrup. There’s English fizz, beers and cider to wash it all down with, while you sink deeper into the plush banquette seating and order the cheeseboard.
Details: 2 Station Parade, Balham High Road, SW12 9AZ | Open Tues-Sat 6-10pm (plus Sat lunch 12.30-2.30pm), Sunday roast 12-4.30pm
Last Updated: 2nd July 2019 | Main image: Brother Marcus
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