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Restaurants, Contemporary European Balham
4 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
© Guy Dimond

Time Out says

A gastropub in Balham.



Address: 16 Balham Hill
SW12 9EB
Transport: Tube: Clapham South
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Users say (13)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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

I came here for dinner & have only great things to say- service was quick and friendly, menu choice was varied and had something to please everyone, portions were very generous and it was great value for money (they even accept Tastecard). If you're a cheese lover (why wouldn't you be?!) I'd strongly recommend the baked camembert in delicious!


It's a decent pub, I make no excuses about that. However if you wanted to pop in and sit outside in what used to be one of London's best beer gardens, you no longer can. One must book to drink outside. In conclusion, good pub no sunny walk-ins.


This cosy pub on Balham Hill is often busy over the weekends, showing big sports matches on their large TVs, and with a pretty, sheltered beer terrace out the side. The atmosphere is buzzing, however, there is a more secluded restaurant area for those wanting to dine with a bit more class. However, the roast is the same whether you are on a sofa or on a high backed chair and thankfully it is delicious.

The beef was juicy and pink with tasty blackened edges and the roast potatoes were fluffy and crispy. The vegetables, usually the least exciting prospect of a roast, were amazing and all cooked to perfection. They had braised red cabbage AND kale, one brassica is not being enough- be still my beating heart! And then, of course, the Yorkshire pudding- crispy, light and airy on the outside, with a satisfying level of stodginess on the inside- soaking up the unctuous, shining gravy. It really was an accomplishment of the highest degree.

Perfect for a chilled out Sunday afternoon, The Avalon has the best roast in the area to round up your weekend. I am already planning my return to try the chicken and pork belly. 


Went here on Friday for lunch with some girlfriends and had a mixed experience. On the positive side it's really big and beautiful inside and clearly has some lovely outdoor spaces which sets it apart from other venues in the area. Food was also pretty good although I only had a fish finger wrap so hard to get that enthusiastic about it but that's my fault not theirs. 

On the negative side of things, the service was a bit hit and miss. I finished my food first as I was having a small wrap compared to larger meals and the waiter...i mean I'm not sure how to say this without it sounding totally bonkers but...the waiter crawled under the table and when asked what he was doing said he was 'looking for the dog under the table that had 'wolfed' my food down so fast'. Thanks pal - way to make a girl feel good about herself. 

Also we tried to used tastecards at the end of the meal which was greeted with a fair few eye rolls from the staff and some heated discussions in our earshot about how much discount they had to give us, despite the fact we had made them aware of this at the beginning of the meal. As a result we also didn't feel inclined to pay the whole of the £40 service charge they added on, opting only to pay half of that which resulted in another heated discussion as we awkwardly waited to pay. 

So yeah, ups and downs. I reckon I'd come for drinks that i'd order myself from the bar but skip the food!


Very much a place of contradictions. Avalon stands out in Balham - a large, grand Victorian gastropub with 'secret garden' in an area full of small cafes and bars and no gardens.  Everyone was very friendly, but it did seem like the staff was made up of half and half very experienced staff along with a bunch of new staff having their first day on the job, with no variation. We started with an Aperol and soda and they mistakenly gave me an Aperol Spritz, which wasn't a big deal but when I pointed out the mistake our server actually argued with me about what an Aperol Spritz was, which was kind of irrelevant because the point was I hadn't ordered one. Eventually they did make me a new drink and refunded the difference and then apologised far more than necessary. For dinner we ordered steak & frites with a side of greens. I had the flat iron steak, which to be fair was described as more of a thin minute steak but was still very dry and tough and only luke warm. At £17.50 could have been hot, and moister. On the other hand my boyfriend's steak was great. So erratic service, hit and miss food, but catch it on a good night and you'll have a good time.


The good bits - great space, nice vibes, good crowd (not too rowdy, but not too quiet!), lovely beer garden, 2mins from the tube 

The bad bits - erratic service and overpriced food.... but that's it! 

All in all, this is a great pub that is perfectly suited to the local crowd. 


This place is HUGE! Outdoor seating out the front on the main road, bar stools, big tables inside the pub area, a dining area and then another two outdoor seating areas. The large area at the back (you have to go through the dining room!) was the best, with outdoor heating, a bar, big tables and smaller booths and also when we went they had a BBQ and a beer festival with plenty of London ale selections for a very reasonable price of £10 for 6 half pints. Lovely to try them all - not sure about their normal beer selection. Dinner menu looked good however didn't try and didn't get to see anyone's order. Also show the sport on big screens. Would love this to be my local!


This is a favourite amongst Saaaaf Londoners because it’s big, buzzing and has an awesome beer garden. However I have found the service to be a little erratic - the staff haven’t been trained to deal with a busy pub which seems silly considering the place’s reputation. Meals tend to arrive at different times, drinks have a tendency to arrive wrong and you may be left waiting a while just to be shown a menu. However when it’s less busy, it’s difficult to find a fault with this place, and it offers and pretty brilliant pub quiz on a Monday.

Great food, a varied choice of drinks, the best Sunday dinner in Clapham/Balham. What more could you want from a local pub? Oh and they have the football on the TV too on a Sunday afternoon - bliss!

Went for drinks and had the most appalling service. The staff were unfriendly, unwelcoming and did not smile or say thank you to any customers. When I mentioned this all they just disagreed with me and walked off! Not the way to handle a complaint and I won't be back.

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