Connect to Balham Food Festival

The Food and Drink of Balham

Peter Harden:

Congratulations to Balham and to its residents for supporting its continually improving restaurant and eating out scene.

Balham is well represented in Harden’s annual London restaurant guide, boasting for example Lambert’s: one of the most consistently excellent neighbourhood restaurants in London.

And just two weeks ago – at our inaugural London Restaurant Awards 2016 – Balham was one of the few boroughs outside the West End and East London to win recognition, when Milk in Hildreth Street carried off the award for Best Brunch in the Harden’s London Restaurant Awards, recommended as “Hands-down the best breakfast in SW London”.

Both restaurants are just two examples of the dozen or more Balham favourites on our site, whether you want a bistro, pizza, Persian, a good pub or a prime steak. In the 26 years in which we’ve been producing our guides, grassroots events such as the Balham Food Festival have helped to transform London at a neighbourhood level.

Events like this have encouraged us all to wake up to the fact that it is only by supporting independent bakeries, wine shops, craft beer shops and delis that we can avoid over-reliance on the chains – however good some of them
are – and stamp some personality on our own backyard.

So bring the family, check out the discounts, and make sure you take the opportunity to discover everything Balham has to offer.


For 26 years Harden’s have run an annual diners survey and published a guide and review site on the basis of its carefully curated results. Hardent’s London Restaurants 2017 (“Gastronome’s Bible”, Evening Standard) is published in October. Sign up to the free newsletter at

John Torode:

Balham is a fantastic place to live and it’s only last year that I’ve moved on to pastures new. Balham’s community is one of the warmest I’ve known and I’ll miss it: people talk to each other here.

Having access to good ingredients and places to eat out is, as you’d imagine, hugely important to me, and I doubt very much I’d have been living in Balham for the past 13 years if it hadn’t been such a great location for an unrepentant foodie like me.

In addition to having wonderful independent food shops such as Chadwick’s, I would always be able to find a good place to eat out with family and friends in Balham. The variety is fantastic: French, Nepalese, Indian, Fine Dining, British, Italian, Caribbean, Chinese… everything you could want. And the quality is excellent too – two of my favourites being Gazette and Ciullos.

I’ve seen Balham change a huge amount since we first moved here, not least in the last year or so with the regeneration of the town centre and the rebirth of Hildreth Street as a food and drink destination and café (mocha?) mecca.

A food festival is the perfect way to celebrate the diversity, quality and exciting direction that Balham is taking. I recommend you take the opportunity presented by the week of Festival discounts to get a real taste of what Balham has to offer.


John Torode’s book ‘My Kind of Food’, published by Headline, is priced at £25.