Balham’s Best Restaurants

South-West London has some awesome things to see and do, and Balham is one spot well worth a visit. Balham has had people bustling through its busy streets since Saxon times, and although unsurprisingly the landscape has changed quite significantly since then you can still learn plenty of interesting historical facts if you decide to visit this particular area of the capital.

A vibrant district favoured by families and young professionals, Balham is anchored by Balham High Road, which features a mix of casual eateries, chain stores, and independent shops. The nightlife scene is bustling, with an array of bars, traditional pubs, and the popular Banana Cabaret comedy club. The Exhibit venue, known for its boutique cinema, adds to the area’s entertainment options. Nearby, Clapham, Wandsworth, and Tooting Bec Common provide ample green space for walking and picnicking.

Of course, the reason we are here today is to discover the best places to get some grub and whet your whistle, so enough of the below-average history lesson from myself and let’s take a look and some spots to grab a munch.

Megan’s on the Hill Restaurant – 41-43 Bedford Hill, London SW12 9EY, United Kingdom

We are going to kick things off with a trendy Mediterranean spot located on Bedford Hill. One thing that’s ace about this place is it’s a dog-friendly location, so you can bring your furry friends to dine with you if you wish. Megan’s has a few locations in London now. and they started life as an antiques shop and then made the transition into a restaurant. The chain has taken a strange path to becoming an eatery, to say the least, but it’s a path I am glad they have travelled.

They pride themselves on using only the highest quality and freshest ingredients and this is apparent when you taste their dishes. The menu was designed by Turkish head Chef Sercan, who clearly has a passion for his craft. This place is wonderful if you fancy a bargain as well as from Sunday to Wednesday from 5 pm you can get two courses for £16 or three courses for £20. In London, that’s an absolute steal.

Balham Social – 2, Station Parade, Balham High Rd, London SW12 9AZ, United Kingdom

If curry is the cuisine your tastebuds are yearning for Belham Social a one-stop shop for top-tier Indian Nosh. Balham Social offers a fresh twist on the traditional curry house, featuring Indian dishes and cocktails in stylish, Instagram-ready settings. Located just a short walk from Balham Station, this restaurant is carving out a niche in the trendy dining scene with its delicious food and inviting atmosphere, including many plant-based options for you lovely none meat-eating folk.

The restaurant is led by chef Imran Mansuri, who trained at Michelin-starred restaurants Jamavar Mayfair and Tamarind (so this guy knows a biryani from a bhuna), the menu is an exciting culinary experiment that delivers excellent results. The menu is divided into vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections and features a variety of different chaat, a popular Indian street food snack made of fried dough and potatoes. A standout item is the burrata papdi chaat, which combines creamy burrata, papdi crackers, and assorted chutneys.

Appetisers include chicken kempu, a crispy chicken breast with a spicy coating served with samphire and a kaffir lime dip; grilled octopus paired with sweet potato, asparagus, and salad leaves; and diced chilli paneer with spring onions, peppers, and chilli garlic sauce. Main courses range from classic butter chicken curry to chana masala and kheema rajputhani, minced lamb cooked with onions, tomatoes, and green peas.

Balham Social is fully licenced so sorry folks, bo bring your booze policy at this joint. They do offer a brilliant wine list tailored to complement the bold flavours and spices of their dishes, along with mocktails for those who don’t or don’t fancy a boozy drink. They also feature bottomless brunch, a tiffin menu, and happy hour deals, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Gurkha’s Diner – 1, The Boulevard, Balham High Rd, London SW17 7BW, United Kingdom

We are making the journey from India to Nepal next to this trendy little Nepalese spot located on Balham High Road. The owners here take great pride in their restaurant’s name which is taken from the Nepalese regiment of soldiers that have fought for the British Armed Forces for over 200 years.

Since its debut in 2003, The Gurkha’s Diner has solidified its status as one of London’s premier Nepalese restaurants. Renowned for its delicately spiced, aromatic dishes crafted with fresh ingredients free of artificial colourings and preservatives, the restaurant also has some of the finest services I’ve experienced in London.

The menu is the furthest thing from boring that’s for sure. The concept of the menu is to represent major Nepalese regions so you can try different cuisines from several parts of the country. Again like most places, we recommend a standout feature is the use of fresh ingredients, and the use of in-house prepared herbs and spices is something that I feel elevates this place above other places.

For those who are heat seekers and enjoy spicy food, Gurkha’s Diner will more than tickle your fancy. The Gurkha’s Diner offers a carefully curated selection of wonderfully flavoured meals that epitomize the finest in Asian dining. Customisation options are also available (which is great for those of you who don’t like spicy food) and you can tailor a dish according to your personal preferences.

My must-try treat here is the Pahadi Lamb, this one will blow your socks off so be warned but the taste of the dish still shines through even with that added kick. It’s spicy, but not so overpowering that you can’t taste all the flavours of the dish. The dish consists of tender pieces of lamb cooked in onions and tomato sauce, green chillies and curry leaves. Simple ingredients, but prepared exquisitely.

The Avalon – 16 Balham Hill, London SW12 9EB, United Kingdom

If you are familiar with my writing then you will know that the quickest way to get me onside is to recommend to me a decent gastro-pub. The Avalon ticks all the necessary boxes on the subject matter so I suppose I best explain why.

First of all, they have great deals on select nights, which is even more of a reason to shout about in the current cost of living crisis. Half-price Tuesday is the standout discount night for me, although Monday’s Pie and a Pint night come a close second. They, of course, have a wide range of beers on tap and also feature guest ales regularly. Cocktails and a selection of whiskeys are also available.

The Avalon partners with some of the best small producers across the British Isles. Their Sunday roasts feature free-range meats, their fish is responsibly sourced, and even their vegan and vegetarian options are designed to impress even the most devoted meat lovers. The upstairs Blue Room is perfect for private parties and when the sun is out, the place has three (yes three!) exquisite gardens, which also have the distinction of being voted the best in London by Time Out magazine. Not too shabby.

Well, that brings us to the end of our list of places to grab a bite in Balham. With summer approaching and things getting a little less gloomy in the British Isles we here at Heart On Home hope you wonderful readers manage to take some time to relax and go and explore the best of what Balham has to offer. Just give it a go!