Bronze Award
London, SE22 8HX ·Website·Call020 8299 9598

SquareMeal Review of Franklins

Bronze Award

This Dulwich veteran still looks the part after many years’ service and maintains its commitment to careful, seasonal sourcing. The menu is ‘blissfully free from affectations regarding provenance’, and with a farm shop next door ‘you know it’s good stuff’ – from spring chicken paired with quinoa, peas, salsify and broad beans to plaice embellished with samphire, fennel and saffron aïoli. Desserts are pure comfort (rice pudding with rhubarb, for example), or you can finish with something savoury such as Scotch woodcock. The gorgeous gilt-topped bar gets rammed with drinkers knocking back old-school cocktails, but things are more mellow in the downstairs dining room; either way, service copes well with the needs of boozy Sunday lunches and casual midweek suppers. Be warned that bills can stack up, especially with sides at £3 a pop.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Food Occasions
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Perfect for
Dates, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


157 Lordship Lane, London, SE22 8HX

020 8299 9598 020 8299 9598


Opening Times

Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Thurs-Sun -12M)


Share your thoughts with other diners

Write a review

8 Reviews 

Michael T

31 July 2018  
A local institution that never fails us, whether for dinner, snacks or just a drink. Lovely staff, great food, interesting wine and beer. A home from home!

Helen L

28 January 2013  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3
Atmosphere 4
Value 3
I am rather partial to a mishapen squash by way of decoration. You’ll find plenty scattered around Franklins, draped across tables or fighting for knobbly elbow room at the gorgeous, gilt-topped bar. The menu is blissfully free from obnoxious affectations regarding provenance; you just know it’s good stuff (if the farm shop next door is anything to go by). Cocktails are old-school; I’ll never complain about a sultry Black Velvet for £7. But I wasn’t wowed by my towering roast pork and crackling. Though piled high and succulent, the ingredients looked a bit beige and kinda tasted that way too. There was a distinct lack of greenery, and we’d foresaken a veg side in expectation of ‘all the trimmings’. Roast beef was tastier, and served with a pillowy yorkshire jazzed up by fresh herbs and horseradish. I was pipped to the post for the last portion of honeycomb ice cream – damn you, Dulwich children and your elite tastes – but a slice of treacle tart proved a refined (rather than rib-sticking) pud. The diminutive portion was welcome given the acres of starch we’d just polished off. The downstairs seating area was pretty and intimate, if lacking the atmosphere and almighty roar from above. The waiters and waitresses were keen and polite but somewhat harrassed, which is forgiveable given the demands of a boozy Sunday lunch crew. I can’t help but think I’m meant to love this place more than I did. It certainly looked the part and so did the diners, who largely resembled the aging cast of This Life. Fewer chinos than Chelsea, but the uniform was almost exclusively North Face with a latter-day hipster twist. I’ll come back for dinner on a weekday – it looks to be a more mellow occasion, and there’s always something tempting on the menu. But I fear my allegiances may lie with the Palmerston down the road, where you pay a little less for food that’s a little better.

Alison J

08 October 2012  
Food & Drink 3
Service 1
Atmosphere 1
Value 1
We booked this restaurant for our ten year anniversary as we wanted somewhere special but relatively local. However, we were disappointed; the tables are very small and close together, the noise level was really high and the service was really lacking. Although I ordered the vegetarian option starter I was served the wrong meal, which was a meat dish and had to wait a considerable amount of time for the order to be changed. We had to ask for the wine three times and didn't turn up until after the starter and no side plate or finger bowl with the mussels. That said, the food was actually ok and the wine was delicious but the overall experience was not to be repeated. It is such a shame as the restaurant has the potential to be great.

Ben C

02 November 2010  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
t I've been to Franklins 3 times (most recently sep 2010) and each time the food has been brilliant, easily as interesting tasty and genuinely good as the celebrated Anchor & Hope on the Cut or it's sister Great Queen Street in covent garden. Both of which I've regularly dined at…and are fantastic. The food is similar in style, British eclectic and seasonal, varing enough to make me want to return. The atmosphere friendly and informal.the price reflects the experience…(i'd ignore the review below) It's a gastro-bar with an emphasis on quality. I concur with the site review, the best restaurant on Lordship Lane.

Hugh W

24 October 2010  
Food & Drink 1.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 1
I've lived in East Dulwich for nearly two years now and had been waiting for a special occasion to visit Franklins (waiting on account of the high prices). I went last week wth a friend and have to say that despite the warm atmosphere and friendly service I can't recommend the restaurant. At £21 for a steak with no accompaniment (chips and watery cabbage an extra £3 each) I was expecting something fairly special. I tend to steer clear of dishes which I know I can cook pretty well at home and steak is one of those. What turned up was a very ordinary tasting piece of meat with little of the juicy flavour the pricetag promised. My friend had the venison which came with no sauce or gravy and didn't pack nearly enough flavour with the bland bulghur wheat accompaniment not helping the situation. The chips were very good though if that does anything to balance the criticism. Regardless of the ethical provinence of its ingredients Franklins needs to offer value for money if they are going to convince me to recommend them to anyone.

Jon M

01 September 2009  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3
Atmosphere 4
Value 2
It's certainly atmospheric, and the menu looks extremely interesting and ambitious. It's just that they can't really produce it to a high enough standard. I ordered pigeon, and it was so raw I had to send it back – not pink and juicy, just red and bloody. The girlfriend was hardly overwhelmed by her plaice either. It's not great food and not good value, but the place does have a certain charm. Maybe drinks and nibbles are the safest option…

Paula F

17 February 2009  
Food & Drink 4
Service 3
Atmosphere 4
Value 3.5
I've been meaning to eat here since moving to the area 3 years ago, as i have been told good things about it. Food & Drink /Service I went for a late Saturday lunch with my husband and mother-in-law; they serve lunch until 5pm on Saturdays (not sure about other days). Menu looked interesting and very British. The bread was soft, fresh and delicious – we asked where we could buy some – it is made at the restaturant. I ordered a Leek, Spinach and Cheese pastie, which was tasty, although probably the most expensive pastie i've ever eaten! I requested a green salad to go with this, on the proviso that it did not contain rocket (i have a serious allergy to rocket!), which the waitress said she would check and confirm. She did not come back to us on this and the salad came with rocket so i could not eat it…so i only ate a pastie. My mother in law had lamb which was perfectly cooked and falling off the bone. My husband had steak which came perfectly cooked – medium rare as requested. The accompanying chips were crisp and tasty and the new potatoes cooked well. Service Just the issue with the salad. Disregarding that, overall service was good; attentive but not overly so and i'm pleased to say no-one tried to clear any plates before we were all finished – hurrah. Atmosphere Decent decor. Modern cool mixed with traditional elements create a reasonably cosy atmosphere, and most importantly it looked clean. Value for Money It was about £12-15 for each mains. We had 3 mains with accompaniment, plus two coffees and a bottle of wine. The bill was approx £90. Overall, i would say this is definitely one of the better restaurants on Lordship Lane, East Dulwich. It's certainly the best one i've tried so far.

Lily P

12 December 2008  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 2
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 2
I have mixed feelings about Franklins. I really like what they are trying to do and how they are trying to do it. Interesting but simple menus, seasonal and properly sourced… But on the 2 occasions I have eaten there I was overall disappointed. Maybe I am too fussy as friends who also live locally think Franklins is one of the best restaurants in London. And I would agree that some of what we ate was very good, but just not quite done with enough finesse to justify the prices. Service – Didn't really feel very welcomed. I like to feel that the restaurant is happy to have me there. But a cold drafty and cramped table, stale bread and waiters/waitresses who were not really aware enough to what each table needed did not add up to a good service. Food – Menu is appealing, each dish looks great when it comes out but there was just one thing that spoilt each one. For example the Jerusalem Artichokes with fish (sorry forget what exactly) were really oily, soggy – its a butter sauce so you expect lots of butter but this was too much. The greens were delicious and the fish was cooked well. Puddings are also hit and miss, but the treacle sponge (ask for fresh custard) was so good, my boyfriend ordered it but I ate it. I want to give them another chance because it ought to be all really good.
Book a table

Call Franklins to make a booking on:

020 8299 9598 020 8299 9598

Visit their website

Sorry, you cannot spend SquareMeal vouchers here yet.

Other restaurants we like near Franklins

Coal Rooms

Coal Rooms

Frank's Café

Frank's Café

Little Cellars

Little Cellars

Peckham Cellars

Peckham Cellars

Check availability