Afternoon tea, French·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Balthazar

Silver Award

 According to one reader, Balthazar could be “the best brasserie in London for atmosphere and service". Elsewhere, abundant praise for the lively buzz and "happy, friendly staff" is proof that this London outpost of Keith McNally's upscale bistro lives up to the reputation of his NYC original. By and large, the food wins approval too, with particular mentions for the "delicious afternoon tea" and "just the best dauphinoise potatoes".

Order them alongside wickedly rich duck confit or coq au vin, preceded by chicken liver parfait, steak tartare or garlicky escargots. The all-day offer also includes delectable pastries, omelette Arnold Bennett for brunch, plateaux de fruits de mer from the seafood bar or eggs mimosa followed by roast hake with bouillabaisse soup on the prix fixe. "It's a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner and business meetings" concludes one ardent admirer; another simply says “sit back, enjoy the buzz and don’t worry about your wallet”.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Afternoon tea, French
Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Traditional, Unique
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Late night dining, Lunch
Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic
Food Hygiene Rating

About Balthazar

The original Balthazar was opened in the spring of 1997 by Keith McNally in New York City. This London-based sister site can be found on the corner of Russell Street and Wellington Street, right in the heart of Covent Garden. 

The French-inspired menu offers all-day brasserie dining and menus are available for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The weekend brunch menu takes influence from American-style breakfast, with steak and eggs, New York pancakes served with fresh banana and maple syrup, alongside your choice of Mimosa or Balthazar Bloody Mary.

No matter the time of your visit, there will be a menu for you, the late evening bar menu served from 9.30pm offers savoury bites to satisfy any late night hunger, including a Croque Monsieur on sourdough, smoked salmon tartine and marinated vegetables served with avocado and hummus in a brioche bun. A children's menu shows off the restaurant’s family-friendly credentials, while the dinner menu is where you see the French-inspired dishes at their best, highlights include lobster spaghetti and the classic steak frites.

Balthazar in Covent Garden is open all day, seven days a week. Read our review and browse photos to learn more.


4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5HZ

020 3301 1155


Opening Times

Mon-Sat 7.30am-12M (Sat 9am- ) Sun 9am-11pm


Share your thoughts with other diners

Write a review

49 Reviews 

Michael T

31 July 2018  
Superb Paris-style brasserie. Delicious and generous dishes, with a strong emphasis on seafood - not cheap but absolutely worth the money for a treat.

Sara G

31 July 2018  
Perfect for a casual bistro meal or larger group; delicious relatively simple menu, great service whether for long evening or pre or post theatre. Always reliable.

Malcolm K

28 June 2018  
Buzzy atmosphere, charming and professional staff.

Jeff P

27 June 2018  
A lively import from New York which has quickly fallen into tragic decline. The food, the mood - gone. The service not rude but waiters not well trained enough to deliver the goods without repeatedly being reminded.

Flora H

27 June 2018  
It definitely feels like you've stepped into a french bistro here and the beef wellington is lush!

tim D

02 April 2018  
Amazing small plates Portuguese restaurant. Food and wine offering is unreal. Open kitchen. Really makes you feel like you're in Porto.

Sara G

15 June 2017  
Great atmosphere, like being in Paris. Noisy but adds to the atmosphere here. Desserts especially popular with my family.

Emily H

09 May 2017  
Not a place to visit if you are watching your calorie intake, but for a lavish comfort food experience, this is my favorite. I usually go for the Moules Frites, as you simply cannot go wrong. The whole experience is just fantastically French!

Natalie W

07 June 2016  
Atmosphere is great, the food is delicious. It's a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner and also for business meetings which is perfect near work.

Martin B

15 February 2016  
Food & Drink 3
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 2
Great atmosphere, so-so food
Balthazar could be the best brasserie in London for atmosphere and service. It's lively, buzzing, the staff are wonderful, and it serves lunch till 4pm, plus a limited menu after that for late-late lunchers. Sadly the food is so-so; on our visit the regular Wednesday special, Coq au Vin, was dried up, dull and over-cooked. Wine is expensive, with barely a bottle under £30, most are £40 - £60 and upwards. There's some house carafes at £19 for 500ml (2/3 of a bottle) if you're not too thirsty, though their wonderful American barman creates great cocktails. An indulgent lunch for two can head towards £200, more if you start exploring the wine list. Sit back, enjoy the buzz and don't worry about your wallet.
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