The gay scene in London is legendary.
In fact, it has developed at such a rate that it is now considered the gay capital of Europe. Stroll around any one of London's gay neighbourhoods (Vauxhall, Soho, Islington, Hoxton) and you are bound to discover some restaurant gems.
If you need some inspiration however, below are some of the best.
A real institution, the Soho branch of Balans has become a hotspot for visitors from around the world. The vibe is relaxed and friendly, the food is well priced but it's the location – bang in the middle of happening Old Compton Street – that really attracts the crowd. Happily, you'll also find branches of Balans in Kensington, in Chiswick, and in Earl's Court.
First Out Cafe
A cosy and very popular restaurant in St Giles Street, the First Out Café claims to be the first gay café in the West End. As well as serving delicious vegetarian food, First Out also hosts exhibitions and party nights.
Slightly off the beaten track in Hackney, the very stylish Bistrotheque is well worth a visit. Inspired by traditional English and French cuisine, the food is superb and immaculately served. When it comes to entertainment, Bistrotheque likes to camp it up with acts that include Spanky is a Gang-Star, Lipsinkers and Baby Dee.
Coffee, Cake and Kink
The coffee is fairtrade and freshly roasted, the cakes are homemade and delicious and the kink comes in the form of exotic books, prints, art and cards. The cheery proprietor at Coffee, Cake and Kink says his vision for his café is to "provide people with the sweeter things in life."
Over the last 17 years, the gorgeous Steph's has received a variety of awards for its food and ambience. Featuring classic British comfort food, diners can expect delicacies like fish and chips served in real newspaper and homemade pie of the day served with mash. The high-kicking line of painted flamingos set the scene in the totally fabulous Steph's.
Les Trois Garcons
The interior of the gloriously flamboyant Les Trois Garcons is almost museum worthy. Resplendent with stuffed animals covered in jewels, antiques and chandeliers, this restaurant takes high-camp to extremes. It's a firm favourite with the glitterati who come not just for the décor but also for the very fine food.
The Providores and Tapa Room
Run by the superb chef Peter Gordon, The Providores provides Marylebone High Street with its very own foodie heaven. At street level, the Tapa Room offers fantastic casual dining, while upstairs the Providores dining room serves unbelievable food in slightly more formal surroundings.
Alisan is an exciting restaurant conveniently located for the new Wembley Stadium. It's named after the Alisan Mountain in Taiwan, made famous in an old Mandarin folksong. It specialises in dim sum and Cantonese cuisine and there's a mezzanine cocktail lounge serving yummy snacks and drinks. The decor is bold and contemporary with blues, purples and pinks creating a dramatic ambience.