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Ben's Canteen

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2 courses & a drink: £15

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This all-day café in Battersea is a simple, plain white space with tables outdoors on the pavement (one of the main draws). The menu’s of modest ambition – fry-ups, burgers, salads, club sandwiches.

The coffee is a significant draw, as it's Rob Lockyear of Brewed Boy (the name of the coffee cart he used to run in Soho's Rupert Street) pulling the shots. The cortado is like a half-sized coffee in a glass, and ours was smooth and rich – but full-size options include the usual lattes and flat whites, among others.

Service on our visit was painfully slow and forgetful, if well-meaning. We’re not entirely convinced it was worth the half-hour wait for our Full English, or the £9 charged, even though decent quality ingredients had been used.

In the evening the menu stretches to the likes of charcuterie boards, grilled swordfish or mushroom stroganoff at restaurant prices. The bottled beer list is particularly imaginative, with BrewDog Punk IPA, Little Creatures Pale Ale, and Old Engine Oil stout among the options.

During the first weeks opening hours are still subject to change; the website is updated regularly though.

Venue name: Ben's Canteen
Address: 140 St John's Hill
SW11 1SL
Transport: Tube: Clapham Junction rail or Wandsworth town rail

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

We visited Ben's Canteen after wandering down St John's Hill looking for something to eat. A 20 mintue wait for a table on a Friday was a good sign and left us time for a quick drink at the bar. Service was friendly and reasonably prompt. They seemed really busy - you are unlikely to get the same person all night but it suits the vibe and it looks like they are having fun doing it. The important bit... The food. We really rated it - Mexi burger was great (patty could have been too rare for some but perfect for me), good fries, tasty fish tacos and the pulled pork tacos were a massive hit. Will be back.


Overpriced. Small portions. Uninspiring food. Walk across the road to Urban Gourmet where prices are fair, portions are decent and menu is interesting and tasty! Ben's canteen does do good coffee though.

Mrs W

Excellent Flat White here and scrummy mushrooms on toast. Nice destination on St Johns Hill with a quirky vintage vibe going on which I love.


What is that picture! I don't think you can find anything like that at the canteen I went to! The place I went to is right by where my girlfriend lives and has probably prolonged our relationship by at least a year! The Burger there rivals the dead Hippy from Meat Liquor. A good place. 2 stars you're havin me on!


Starters and cocktails fine, mains awful. Instant fish and chips, gloopy tough stake, uninspiring menu. Service patchy. Attitude haughty. Might be OK for some things, but for us it was all rather dire.

Celine Spinks

I went there for the first time for a goodbye party of a friend, I really loved it. It's very strange to me to see this two star rating with a picture of some food that looks nothing like anything we saw people eating.


Really unimpressed with this place; out of stock of a load of drinks, scotch egg was OK, burger was AWFUL with really weird pink patches in, the chef couldn't explain it either! How can a burger be brown in the middle with pink patches near the edge?! Waitress was nice but overall very dissapointed.


I went there in January for my friend's birthday. There were 12 of us. The place was about 80% full. I'd really recommend it. The waitress was excellent - very engaging despite a large table. The food was superb in terms of what you'd expect from a Gastro Pub. I'd recommend the Scotch Eggs for the Starters which I note another user, Brace (9 March), has mentioned as well. There was also an appealing selection of beers and ales. Overall, a really good experience.


Went there tonight with my brother. Thoughts: a. you HAVE to get the scotch egg. b. we had venison pie and the beef and ale stew with mash and veg. Both seriously tasty, not too salty, good portions. c. I'm not joking about the scotch egg, it's runny! and the meat round the side is something else. d. great presentation and attention to detail. Thought it'd be good but didn't expect it to be this good.


We went to Ben's Canteen for dinner last weekend. The atmosphere was great and staff were welcoming. There was 6 of us and we had a great night. the full english breakfast scotch egg was a big hit! I loved the British Beef Board which was amazing. I am a local and had never ventured down st john's hill that far. I am so glad that I did, I will be back!! Time out should really revisit this hidden treasure!


food was amazing, great beer/wine selection, service was relaxed but attentive. lovely lovely feel to the place. will definitely be going back.

Shaun m

Just been to ben's canteen & have left heavy hearted after expecting much better. We had a party of 6 & since entering we're left for massive periods of time with no hello Nor help. The food on the whole was average, most of our party were left dissapointed with starter and main. My scotch egg was good but incredibly oily whilst my main of beef stew & dumplings was a huge disapointment. Something expecting to be rich & filling was thin & not really a stew. I wanted to enjoy this place but sadly must agree with the poor review & say there are a lot better in the area so go elsewhere.

Adam R

Bens canteen is lovely. such a bright, airy and nice place. my girlfriend and I often stop in for the odd drink (she lives nearby) the food is nice too.

Jeremy Channon

I discussed this with some friend's and we all agreed that we thought it a little unfair that the review was conducted quite so soon after opening. True, you shouldn;t open unless you're ready but there's only so much preparation you can do and opening to the public for the first time is only ever going to throw up some unexpected problems that throw a spanner in the works. I appreciate that various "chain" restaurants probably have this process "down pat" but this isn;t a chain restaurant. It's an independent local restaurant which is supplied by local businesses and provides a product tailored to the local community. It would be nice if Time Out could give Ben and his team the beneift of the doubt and the chance of a fair review by going back at some stage. The two star review is a blatent injustice to a fantastic new restaurant. I respect Time Out's independence though and hence highly value their reviews. I hope they will do the right thing here.


Totally agreed with the below comments. I think this review is a little out of date. I went as soon as the place opened and have been back a few time since. As they've settled into things the service has no problems, the menu has expanded and Ben's Canteen is rapidly turning into a great little place. They've just started doing a pop up pulled pork bap place outside their butcher's, Dove, which are delish! Highly recommend checking this place out. They're all so friendly too!


I love this place - bright, breezy, great service (teething problems aside) and superb food and coffee with great value prices. What's not to like?


I concur with previous comment, all teething problems have been solved. I live just off St John’s Hill and this addition to the neighbourhood is excellent and that’s not just for house prices. The Hill was calling out for something like this. Atmosphere is brilliant, food is excellent (Ben source’s his food from his hero suppliers. Dove the butcher on Northcote Road is one of them which is another plus) and the booze is top quality (we had a smashing white for a very reasonable £22). I also regularly pop in for a solid Big Ben breakfast and a Brewed Boy coffee (by far the best in the area) on the weekend and with all those papers you can sit there for hours. Hope my enthusiasm has come through on this comment – pop down there and enjoy everything Ben has to offer.

Dave F-T

Yeah this review's from pretty early after opening and true it wasn't great initially and we, locals who wanted it to suceed, were pretty disappointed actually - but there were some obvious teething probs and now I'm happy to say it's filled a hole in the area for a decent gaff with a nice atmosphere and lots going for it so... this review was right, but I dunno if it is so much now?