Balans Soho Society Soho

Restaurants, Global Soho
4 out of 5 stars
(26user reviews)
Balans Soho Society Soho

This Old Compton Street venue is one of Soho's popular spots. Much of that is down to its flexibility - it's open for breakfast through lunch to cocktails and dinner in the evening that stretch into busy late nights and early mornings. The pavement seating and window tables prove a bit of a draw come summertime.

The all-day food menu ranges from breakfast burritos, full Englishes, kedgeree and chorizo con papas to pulled pork sandwiches, the Balans burger, rigatoni, risotto and crab linguine. The evening menu features Thai red curries, quesadillas, duck spring rolls and Maryland crab cakes alongside bellies of pork, rib-eye steaks and sea bass served with crushed new potatoes, spinach and a chive butter sauce. Many of the dishes are available late into the night, too.

Many visit just for drinks. A good selection of the global wine list is available by the glass, extending to the champagne, too. Cocktails, though, prove most popular, with frozen daiquiris and various martinis alongside an apple and elderflower collins, a passion fruit and pineapple swizzle and a monkey gland - a mix of Broker's Gin, absinthe, orange juice and grenadine. 


Venue name: Balans Soho Society Soho
Address: 60-62 Old Compton St
Opening hours: Mon - Thurs: 7.30am - 5am | Fri & Sat: 7.30am to 6am | Sun: 7.30am - 2am
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube
Price: £10-£20
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Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:2
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1 of 1 found helpful

Always a fun night! Great food, great's a fab place to hang out, meet friends and, as they say, 'abandon your plans'...

Popped in with a few friends for brunch. We were quite early for central London so was quiet to begin with, got placed towards the back of the restaurant which has a bit more of a laid back, quieter vibe so was good for nattering. Menu had something for everyone. Love that you can order a savoury main but get sweet pancakes with fruit on the side! I thought all the sides were really well priced. Portion sizes more than reasonable and food very tasty. My steak was cooked spot on.

The real highlight though has to be the staff. We received beyond fantastic service with really fun, outgoing staff making our visit even better! We didn't want to leave but they had another table booked in so they moved us to a booth out front which was fine by us! It was nice that they didn't want to chuck us out and were happy to find a way that we could stay.


I came here over the weekend with a friend and what I'll say is that it's a very chilled out relaxed venue but also one of many places one could go to for a drink in soho. Though there's nothing wrong with the place there's also nothing really to rave about. It's more about the company you're with I'd say. The seats aren't the same and it has that Alice in wonderland feel to it but it's not a bad joint at all. The service was really good Though!! We didn't wait long at all for our drinks or for someone to take care of us.

Last Saturday we went to Balans Soho Society. And it was an absolute delight. From the moment we walked in until we left. The staff is extremely friendly and the food absolutely delicious. It is certain the most quirky restaurant in the whole of London. You have to try the cocktails and mocktails, fabulous. An absolute must to visit if you life in London or just visit.


Popped in here for a quick coffee and to get some work done - which it is perfect for. Unfortunately I didn’t try any of the food; however I can vouch that the coffee is strong and the ambience is great for something simple like work meetings and the like.

Good For: work coffee meetings, small groups, casual lunch/ brunch.


My friend and I settled on Balans for a chilled Saturday brunch. The menu had lots to offer, from a variety of egg dishes, full English and pancakes, as well as the full main menu on offer. I settled for the pancakes, which were too big a portion and too dry - more maple syrup and less bacon needed. I wasn't very impressed with the service or ambience of Balans. Our waitress was constantly at our table, making us feel rushed - she even rushed past me and knocked my bag at one point. Balans was also very noisy and busy, our table was tiny and could hardly hold our tables and drinks. We were also sat very close to the couple on the table next to us. Overall I wouldn't rate Balans. It gets a lot of traffic being on Old Compton, but I'd defiantly try elsewhere for a good brunch.


This place has become an institute for the trendy soho crowd, it often hyped up by many as being a great little diner. Having had the eggs Benedict and a coffee, I was rather underwhelmed . Maybe my expectations were much too high. The food is pretty much standard, service fast and friendly but it is overpriced.


Great food, great location, great ambience. Every time I've been to Balans, I've not left disappointed. The portions are a good size, and service is also fine. A great place for a reasonably priced bite to eat in the heart of Soho. 

I was told by a friend that this was a pretty good breakfast/brunch spot. I had the eggs benedict with salmon while my friends had the linguine, pancakes, and scrambled eggs. Honestly nothing really struck me as amazing. Your typical breakfast/brunch food, that's about it. The best was probably the pancakes, although I'm biased. My eggs were also not poached to the standard I hoped, the egg yolk was not flowing it was almost as hard as a boiled egg. Not terrible, but nothing special about it either.


Not the usual place to go to eat after a drunken night out but Balans in Soho hit the nail on the head. Even at 2 in the morning the place was thriving. Having never been before I left the ordering to my friend and what delicious food we were served!! The place is decorated in a old fashioned style, with street light style lamps running down the middle of the restaurant. I recommend their Chocolate Cheesecake and their cocktails are to die for. Great for that extra special event with a group of friends or even to hide away with a special someone. 

Also stop of at their sister site further down the street. Maybe for a nightcap after your meal, watching the world go by.

The best atmosphere in London with amazing food, top cocktails and amazing staff.

I popped into Balans for coffee a few months ago, but today was the first time I tried out the food - and it was totally worth the wait. The garlic chicken was delicious and the double-cooked chips couldn't have been more perfect. I wrapped up the meal with a wonderful carrot cake - so wonderful I reckon I'll come back again just for the bad boy alone. The prices are definitely on the higher end so you could easily spend more than expected - but for great food and charming staff, Balans can do no wrong. Just try to avoid the lunch time rush. 


I always love it here! Great food, great staff. Slightly pricey but totally worth it.


I am never been disappointed at Balans, every meal I've had has been delicious. Their breakfasts are a particular favourite of mine. They have a good selection of meals and cocktails, I highly recommend their Porn-star Martini. Balans is beautifully decorated and their staff is friendly, it is our go-to place at the end of a night out (there is a £2.50 entrance fee after 12 pm) or Saturday brunches. I am pescatarian and I find the menu is not as limiting as some other places I have been to. I personally would have rated it a 2.5-3 '£' rating as the meals and cocktails are slightly above average prices. apart from that, Balans is great!  


After you have navigated through the heart of London the morning after the night before to reach Balans you will be rewarded with a fantastic breakfast selection.

As well as variations on a full English there is granola, pancakes and various breakfast muffins. 

The stealer of my stomach was the High Society breakfast which is eggs Benedict but on a whole new level.

The poached egg and muffin is as standard issue but ham has been upgraded to bacon and there is added avacado and lobster. That's right, lobster. There was nothing I didn't like about that muffin.

The pancakes also looked very tempting, large, soft and fluffy but it's unlikely that I'm ever going to ever taste them as that muffin is going to win every time.

Balans also does brunch but their alcohol license doesn't start until noon so choose your slot wisely if you're hoping for a boozy session. 


If you look up 'fabulous' in the dictionary, there is a map directing you straight to Balans. It's infamous for many reasons.... the fabulous breakfasts / brunches, the fabulous cocktails, and the very very fabulous serving staff. 

Honestly can't understand the bad reviews, as I have been coming here for years and never had a bad meal or a bad experience. In fact, I come here when I need cheering up, and it never fails to put a smile on my face. 

FACT - I once popped in for a drink on my own after a rather horrific date. I sat at the bar and drank Porn Star Martinis with the barman and a waiter who'd just finished his shift, and it was THE BEST evening. And as always, I left smiling. 

Thank you Balans. I love you.  

After midnight there is a £2.50 extra per person cover charge (even if you accompany a friend and don't actually eat) with the excuse of some mysterious Westminster regulation (TukTuk next door opens late at weekend and doesn't charge anything!), plus 12.5% service charge.

A ridiculously small £11 (!) English breakfast (1 sausage, 1 slice of bread) with the extra charges came to £18!

Food arrived after a good 20 mins wait.

Polish Manager rude and arrogant.

They are trying to go for the higher class feel but are arguing over £2.50... pathetic.

Avoid at all cost.

Staff Writer

On a night out, there's nothing worse than walking around in torrential rain with huge queues at all the places you had planned to go... fortunately Balans was to the rescue! We turned up at about midnight and they got us into a private booth straight away, amazing considering were were quite a large party. Service is great and after a few drinks earlier in the night, it's very hard to resist the lure of a burger to sober up! Great service, cheap drinks, good food and space to sit late into the night - this might just be my new go to hangout...


There’s a lot to love about this beautiful city we live in but let’s face it, there’s also a lot that tests our patience, stretches our sanity & frankly drives us to the brink of madness; regular delays on the Hammersmith & City line, dawdlers who can’t walk & text at the same time but do their best to pretend they can, M&M’s World in its sugar laden entirety, unadulterated narcissistic & over-priced pretention in bars…

Luckily there are still some spots where it’s possible to have a drink, not hand over next month’s rent as payment and enjoy an atmosphere that ticks the boxes of being a genuine, chilled and decent place in which to quench your thirst. Balans Soho Society Café is just such a spot. Sat on Old Compton St where neighbours include Burger & Lobster, Wasabi and Jackson & Rye, this branch of the small chain bills itself as ‘Restaurant. Bar. Haven for the Convivial’ and y’know what kids? It’s not wrong. When you’re told that it’s likely to be a 90 minute wait for food at nearby Sri Lankan hotspot Hoppers, the only sensible thing to do is find a place to order wine, hunker down and while away the wait which is exactly what we did here.

Despite it being 6pm at the end of the week and despite the streets outside & tables inside being full of Friday night revellers, staff at Balans were warm & welcoming and luck was on our side as they found a table for us immediately and with no concern that we only wanted drinks. Tucked inside a decent sized but not cavernous dining room, a smiling waiter materialised beside us quickly with drinks menus and then thankfully just as quickly with drinks and tap water which was topped up regularly. FYI to bars of the world; I’m much more likely to stay for another drink if you give me free water without even asking and ensure I don’t end up squiffy after the first round.

Loud enough to not feel you were sharing every detail of your post-work chat with everyone else but not so noisy that the only way of communicating was by semaphore flags, we were surrounded by couples on dates, large parties celebrating birthdays & lone diners; all were welcome here and all looked very happy with that fact. Just under £20 bought 4 small – but decently sized – glasses of wine from a list that’s not huge but definitely has enough to please everyone. Cocktails were priced between £7-9 and a checked-out-but-not-eaten-from-this-time food menu was packed with mains that spanned both the classic - fish & chips or sausage & mash – and the adventurous - soy & cola braised short ribs or black garlic roast chicken.

It’s rare to find a place that says ‘hey, it’s ok to just want a drink with a friend in a bar that looks normal’ and now that I’ve found that in Balans and told you about it here, I fully expect I’ll see you in there soon!

How tricky to refurb a Soho institution! But nicely done. A gorgeous little velvet pocket of a burlesque boudoir brasserie with a nice nod to the Renaissance. Whether 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning, Balans offers a stylish, sophisticated and well sourced sanctuary to Soho socialites, post-show performers, those wot lunch, the queers and the nearby dears. We dropped but for cocktail happy hour from 4pm and demolished an array of cocktails and a cheese and charcuterie board for the princely sum of £20! Balans is indeed a Soho Society and here to stay!


This place is a good haunt to start a night with a few drinks, or drop in for a late night meal with a diverse menu to suit a range of tastes. However, I do think it's a tad over-rated, the staff were friendly enough, but not as attentive as I would expect. The food is mediocre, I had the burger, which was cold and I had to send back. Cocktails were OK, but I would recommend going to one of the many proper cocktail bars in the area instead if that's what you're looking for.

My favourite restaurant and cafe.  Unlike some reviewers, I've never had a bad meal here and the varied menu contains something for everyone - I would heartily recommend both the Balans Burger and the pie of the Day. The staff are always friendly, even at 4am and the atmosphere is pleasant and very relaxed whenver you go.

If you are planning on being a regular diner then I would recommend the Balans Card which is one of the best loyalty schemes I've ever seen .

Very friendly and attentive staff, food was brought our relatively quickly and was to a good standard. Relatively cheap prices for London too. In a great location in soho, so would definitely recommend to anyone.

So pretentious we we're not even let in! Never been so insulted by such ignorant behaviour. Standing in line in the cold while the doormen let various "VIP's" queue jump just shows the type of place this really is.

I ate here last night - the service was great, food was amazing and the atmosphere was wicked! I had the Greek Platter (there was alot of it!) to start, followed by a really tasty Thai Red Chicken Curry. Would definitely recommend this place for a delicious, filling and reasonably priced meal.

The chef at the small Balans in Old Compton is truly amazing. He does the best Smoked Chicken/Avocado salad I have come across in London and the presentation is excellent. I have tried this dish in other Balans and the Old Compton street Cafe leaves the others trailing. Don't lose this chef!!

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