Balans Soho No. 60 Formerly: Balans Soho Society

99% love it
Buzzy gay brasserie
The most recognized name in casual high-definition-gay London dining, Balans caters to carnivores and vegetarians with a one-of-each-style international menu at this and other branches. It's a very lively establishment and comfortingly queer, especially for first-time visitors, with an open front conveniently looking onto gay-friendly Soho catwalk Old Compton St. The tagline is 'haven for the convivial'. However, since its 1993 debut the cooking has been considerably less than vital, and prices are not at all budget, especially given the quality on offer. But this flagship outlet reinvened itself in November 2015 with five menus (breakfast, lunch, dinner, overnight and weekend brunch) and plenty of new dishes. The restaurant is divided into three zones, featuring an open and casual café-bistro at the front, followed by slighly more plush and comfy dinning, with a boudoir-like, high-camp, banquette-only space at the back. Other Balans outlets are located in Kensington, Shepherd's Bush (Westfield shopping mall) and Stratford in east London (the other Westfield mall). There's also the recommended 24-hour Balans Soho No. 34 (previously Soho Café and before that the historically gay-famous Old Compton Café) — a one-minute walk from this Soho mothership. In 2014 Balans closed its outlet in former gay ghetto Earl's Court. In May 2020 it was reported that owing to the impact of COVID-19, the owner of Balans Soho Society (its 21st-century branding) was auctioning off all seven London sites. But as of 30 July 2020, Balans appeared to be back in business, but without the Victoria or Ealing sites, and with a tweaked name. Oh yes...and apparently Stefani Germanotta (aka Lady Gaga) ate here one night in 2009 at 2am. This hotspot is getting a major makeover November/December 2020.


    • CKDexterHaven
      CKDexterHaven Over a year ago
      Hates it

      Definitely pushes the right gay buttons, but where it really matters (the food), it falters badly (and it's overpriced).

    • listerc
      listerc Over a year ago
      Hates it

      Buzzy gay atmosphere, but without the food to match.

    • bobby54
      bobby54 Over a year ago
      Hates it

      Nice Place For A Quick Bite.
      While it's a nice place to grab a quick bite, the food is really nothing special. If you're a first time visitor to gay London this is a pretty good jumping off point, but don't expect too much as far as the food is concerned.

    • Foulques_de_M
      Foulques_de_M Over a year ago
      Loves it

      To do again
      Excellent and nice people

    • ukflyer
      ukflyer Over a year ago
      Loves it

      A fixture of Old Compton Street
      Soho is certainly well served by a number of high quality restaurants on the streets surrounding Old Compton Street. However, there's one restaurant & cafe on the street that draws a crowd of locals and visitors and you can always rely it for a friendly welcome and to get a table. The menu offers many familiar comfort dishes and the service is consistently good.

    • TerryE29
      TerryE29 Over a year ago

      Get a table by the windows as this is the best place in London for people watching

    • grahatd
      grahatd Over a year ago

      This place doesn't exist. See Balans.

    • rainbowguy
      rainbowguy Over a year ago
      Loves it

      Always on top
      Lovely food, good service

    • PinkIceland
      PinkIceland Over a year ago
      Loves it

      Always great
      Love the atmosphere, the staff, the food and the happy hour :D

    • Cal08
      Cal08 Over a year ago
      Loves it

      Great Place either for a full Meal or just a Coffe
      Which ever Balans you go into, I have never been dissapointed by the service or food, they always have special offers and always buzzing with great people.

    • jay21fr
      jay21fr Over a year ago
      Loves it

      Quite crowded but you can get a table easily. Friendly staff. International food. Nice music

    • roundupcowboy
      roundupcowboy Over a year ago
      Loves it

      place 2 b seen & seen
      friendly staff. can b fun.

      NIKILOSADA Over a year ago
      Loves it

      The food is excellent, as well as the staff
      One of only two places that I enjoyed during a week stay in London. I went to just about every bar listed. I was told to dress well, Brits are a always well dressed. But all I saw people wearing was clothing that make shopping at K mart like you were at Neiman's. The economy is really bad there. Try to decipher the bus system or pay 50 pounds for a taxi; that's around 85 in US dollars. Will write a couple of additional reviews later. O yes, I did meet this really hunky Lad from Ireland in a gay bar, later he turned out to be a straight guy with no scruples that would f*(*&^ anything not bolted to the floor for 60 pounds. How lucky can I get!!