Skip to content

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.

Café
$$
“A fantastic brunch spot. We recommend the Young Betty, Convict and the hash browns are to die for! Coffee is great and the orange juice with galangal is spot on. Lovely Aussie sweet treats for dessert if you still have room too! ”
  • 41 locals recommend
Pub
$$
“Keeping to the retro outfit of your local village hall, Balham Bowls Club feels like it's played host to more than a few town forays, as well as propping up the punters. Coming with bags of charm, this Bar in Balham is a haven for lounging with its living room vibes as well as hearty pub grub. ”
  • 37 locals recommend
Pub
$$
“The Bedford is back. First built in 1931, this magnificent venue has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment to create an unrivalled pub, club, restaurant, live music and entertainment venue plus 15 stunning boutique bedrooms.”
  • 34 locals recommend
Pub
$$
“You're making your way down South for one reason and one reason only, the beer gardens. So where to find a hidden gem this side of the river? Join The Wheatsheaf as their boozy garden space isn't just cosy and akin with fairy lights, there's craft beer and pub classics on the menu. ”
  • 19 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“Located 30 seconds from Balham train and tube station, the ground floor bar of The Exhibit is perfect for your stay. Large leather sofas help you relax while catching up with friends. Or perch on one of the stools and watch the world go by. Soak up the spring sun on the large terrace or get the last of the rays at the back of the newly decked garden.”
  • 24 locals recommend
Pizza Place
$
“Relaxed eatery serving Neapolitan sourdough pizza with gourmet toppings, baked in a wood-fired oven.”
  • 20 locals recommend
English Restaurant
“Really yummy food and drink, chilled vibe, particularly nice in summer as they open out the windows/doors. Only a 25 min walk / 5 min bus ride from the flat. ”
  • 17 locals recommend
Gastropub
$$
“Great beers on tap and cool locals - the beer garden in summer is great and bit of a Tardis (it goes on and on and on)”
  • 17 locals recommend
Neighbourhood
$$
“Really nice independent shops and a great supermarket, Waitrose. There is a great butchers there called Chadwicks. Milk is a hipster-y cafe with a young crowd that always has a queue out of the door but the food is GREAT. The Foxlow restaurant has a menu that focuses on meat but they also have a quite good value set lunch. There is a Gail’s near the Tube which always offers good salads, bakery items and coffee. ”
  • 7 locals recommend
English Restaurant
$$$
“There are neither boundaries pushed nor diners left unsatisfied at Lamberts, an understated neighbourhood restaurant much loved by Balham locals. Ostentation gives way to the kind of greeting only found at Zone 3 cubby holes; at this particular nook, three courses from the restaurant’s changing “market menu” will demand but £20. It’s curious that the place has not been more widely celebrated, for the cooking is majestic: steak and ale pies bring to the table a collective sigh; hake fillets are paired perfectly with tomatoes and butter beans. ”
  • 13 locals recommend
Middle Eastern Restaurant
$$
“Serving an array on traditional Lebanese dishes, Meza will transport you right to the streets of Beirut. If you want a true taste of Middle Eastern cuisine we recommend ordering a variety of appetizers to share from creamy Hummus Beiruty to handmade vine leaves.”
  • 21 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
$$
“This place does the best coffee in Balham. Great service, vibe and fantastic brunch menu”
  • 14 locals recommend
Bar
“A right gem of a cocktail bar is waiting to be unearthed on Bedford Hill. Lost & Found is a friendly, funky bar rife with live music, fun-time vibes and cocktails that'll knock your socks off. Stop by sometime soon for a minty fresh Red Haired Mojito, a sweet and velvety Candy Bar or bring your mates and share an Alice in Wonderland a blend laced with Stolichanaya Vodka served in a top hat!”
  • 7 locals recommend
Bar
“Hip bar offering DJs on weekend evenings and terrace seating, plus real ales and gastropub dishes. ”
  • 13 locals recommend
Pub
$$
“Beautiful local pub with traditional Sunday lunch. Huge beer garden with a burger shack in the summer. Fantastic vibe!”
  • 8 locals recommend
Pub
$$
“ Traditional english pub with open fire in winter, serving British food and real ales.”
  • 12 locals recommend