The Gay Hussar
The Gay Hussar

The Gay Hussar

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.gayhussar.co.uk/index.asp
  • Phone: 02074370973
  • Hours of Operation:
    Mon - Sat: 12:30pm - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 10:45pm
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Hungarian
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Gluten-free Menu, Private Room

Getting there

  • Parking: No
A word from The Gay Hussar
The Gay Hussar can be said, without a shadow of a doubt, to be one of London’s most famous restaurants. A long time haunt of top politicos and media types – well, it is in the centre of swinging Soho after all – this fine restaurant has been flying the Hungarian flag over the English capital for more than fifty years now. Cosy and comfortable but certainly not without elegance, The Gay Hussar’s dining room is anything but generic with higgledy piggledy rows of books lining the room and endless caricatures of notorious public figures fuelling thousands of conversations. An interesting range of authentic Hungarian dishes and matching Hungarian wines complete this unusual experience.
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The Gay Hussar reviews from OpenTable diners
135 reviews since 30 October 2013
Average Rating3.9
  • Food3.8
    Service3.9
  • Ambience3.9
    Value3.8
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
pre/post theatre (69)business meals (50)special occasions (45)fit for foodies (35)romance (31)outstanding value (30)group bookings (26)sunday lunch (15)good vegetarian options (6)brunch (6)child friendly (3)disabled access (2)afternoon tea (1)Show More
  • Old World Charm
    foodie
    Dined on 24/10/2014
    Gay Hussar is a London Institution - good hearty food with friendly service. We sat on the ground floor and space was a bit tight but fine for 4 people. Not sure if its more spacious upstairs
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • nostalgia
    Roscoe
    Dined on 21/10/2014
    A well established tradition of of fine food and service
    Special Features:
    outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Dissapointing
    speedytaunton
    Dined on 17/10/2014
    Having read a mixed bag of reviews we decided to give the Gay Hussar a try tempted by the allure of a "quirky" dining experience. We found it anything but quirky, pretty standard for an old restaurant but the political sketches added interest. The service was poor- very un-attentive , fairly unfriendly and a touch rude but it was the food that really let it down. Having eaten Hungarian before I knew what to expect and to expect tastes and flavours that are different from other dining experiences- unfortunately this was only different in as much as it was not very good at all. Very poorly presented, luke warm at best and looked as if it had been plated up some time ago and microwaved( not enough!) when ordered. Seems to trade on its history!
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • simplegirl1
    Dined on 17/10/2014
    This restaurant lives up to the description on it's website. From the time we walked through the door we were greeted with a smile and the whole experience was most enjoyable. The decor is full of character, the waiters were friendly and happy to help with questions and gave a good wine recommendation to suit our food choices. The food was very tasty and the portion sizes just right, my only issue was that having eaten a starter and main, I had no room for dessert ! Still there is always next time.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, group bookings, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memorable family dinner
    Nutrimama
    Dined on 13/10/2014
    We had a very nice family dinner with lovely traditional food & drinks, service was quick and friendly. Best Hungarian in London. Loved the atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Gay Hussars
    margareta
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    I don't suggest that you smarten up the restaurant - the ambience is a 'unique selling point' as they say, as are the characterful waiters. Menu is very varied. What I will Perhaps there needs to be a little attention to standards control as although all sounded fantastic and looked so the taste of one out of 4 dishes (chicken, and knochi with paprika) was a little bland) but for example the duck was great as was the sweet cheesy desert pancake (actually perfection).Great night which was much appreciated by the person whose birthday it was
    Special Features:
    romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Hungarian food at its best
    Gussy
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Having had a Hungarian grandmother, I was well versed in the menu available, the difficulty being what to choose. I chose stuffed cabbage and my wife had the paprika chicken - it was as if my grandmother had done the cooking, excellent. The puddings were also brilliant, poppyseed strudel and dobsch torte. Will we go back, most definitely. Even though it was quite noisy, the food was worth the noise!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • BizLunch
    Dined on 25/9/2014
    Met with an old group of friends for dinner. Great ambience, lots of character and good well made food. We had a great time and will be returning. Exceptional value with the Open Table offer.
    Special Features:
    business meals, group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Disappointing food
    Anopheles5050VIP
    Dined on 19/9/2014
    The Gay Hussar is a well-known restaurant among the political fraternity with its famous collection of political caricatures on one wall. As such it is interesting for visitors to show them something out-of-the-ordinary. We went on a Friday evening. Staff are friendly but seem slightly over-stretched as the place was full. However this time I was really very disappointed with the food. I ordered goulash and felt that I could do better myself at home. The starters were drenched in oil. The wine is good, but Hungarian wines tend to be heavy. Overall I would probably only come back if I had visitors. Not a place for foodies.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • HowardSydney
    Dined on 17/9/2014
    Third visit over 6 years and each time we have been enchanted with the restaurant. It ticks every box
    Special Features:
    disabled access, outstanding value, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great evening
    pinkwigger
    Dined on 17/9/2014
    Both food and service at the Gay Hussar were excellent. It's a lovely room - busy but with No Background Music - so we could enjoy a conversation whilst eating the delicious meal. A great evening out.
    Special Features:
    outstanding value, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Good service, dreadful food!
    FionajmacVIP
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    Our waiter was lovely & the place is quirky but, my god, the food was abysmal. The cold meat salad was like lumps of dry dog food with no seasoning, flavour or enjoyment. It was actually a bit of an insult. Don't know what the a la carte is like but the set menu was a joke.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Excellent food
    tamas
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    As a hungarian i was amazed how authentic was the food compare to other hungarian restaurants i've visited in london previously.
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tried and true
    Discriminating
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    I have been coming here for decades and am never disappointed. Splendid Hungarian food and a wonderful Continental atmosphere!
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, outstanding value, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • as always great
    foodloverVIP
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    as always great, not much to add besides if you have not eaten there yet, you should!
    Special Features:
    group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Unimpressed
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    This restaurant is tired and in need of a make over. The food is less than average. The facilities need cleaning. I would say that some of the staff are trying to do a good job under rather bad conditions. The head waiter patronising. I would not go back nor would I recommend it, there are so many good restaurants in London this is not one. It is resting on it's laurels of past times where it remains. I would say that even the other guest had been there since the good old days!!!!
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    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • MalaysianFoodie
    Dined on 30/8/2014
    Good food in a very quaint restaurant. The service could be better though.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good value Open Table deal
    JLeeVIP
    Dined on 29/8/2014
    Food & service was good. However, we were seated upstairs & the ambience is not as good as downstairs. The restaurant was half empty when we arrived, perhaps because we are not A-la-carte but on the open table deal. The deal was really good value though.
    Special Features:
    business meals, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • jim1
    Dined on 28/8/2014
    Restaurant was very good and very busy. Perhaps not quite so good as our last visit some 40 years ago! but still very good, friendly and helpful staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Soho treat
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 28/8/2014
    The lunchtime offer was excellent value. The herring starter was outstanding and the pork main dish served on a bed of vegetables was well balanced and not at all 'heavy duty'. The ample portions were duly complemented by the house Pinot Grigio.
    Special Features:
    business meals, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Not all it's cracked up to be!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 27/8/2014
    A friend and I visited this restaurant on a Wednesday evening and we were really disappointed considering the good reviews . Guests are sat too closely together which makes it awkward to get out to use the toilet facilities and makes it difficult to have a private conversation. We went with the TopTable £15 for 2 course deal and the food was nothing to shout about. There's an extra £2 supplement for the goulash and considering this was an Hungarian restaurant and goulash is one of the most famous Hungarian dishes we thought this was a bit unfair! The apple strudel cames with fake whipped cream and the strudel itself had a horrible texture and also had nuts in it which wasn't advertised on the menu. I wouldn't bother coming here again.
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    • Value
  • Good for politicos
    Anopheles5050VIP
    Dined on 26/8/2014
    I have meant to try the Gay Hussar for some years. The dining room is small but not too cosy. It is decorated with the famous set of cartoons of famous politicians and political writers, which can make it a bit of a tourist trap - several tables decided to take photos of the cartoons as they left, ignoring us as we dined beneath their smartphones. The food is Hungarian and I found it nothing special, although the herring as a starter was good quality if drowned in oil. The veal goulash was highly spiced with paprika, which was good, but the potatoes seemed to be rather overdone. The wine was good - very robust. Presentation was not one of their strong points. An interesting venue but I wouldn't go there especially for the food.
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    • Ambience
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    • Value
  • Family trip to The Gay Hussar
    DavidPVIP
    Dined on 23/8/2014
    This was about my fifth or sixth visit to the restaurant but this time I brought my mum & sister; and for the first time we ate from a set menu (2 courses for £14.95). There was a good choice, albeit two of the 5/6 mains were subject to a supplement - always slightly annoying unless one of them is steak (which in this case did not apply). However what I did have - chicken livers with paprika potatoes - was delicious as usual and yet again it was a great big portion. All in all, there is always something new to try here and the ambience and friendly service make it well worth keep coming back.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Traditional Hungarian
    Gabiofbuda
    Dined on 23/8/2014
    This tiny gem of a restaurant serves excellent food with true Hungarian flavours.. The menu offers a wide variety of options. The desserts are not to be missed!
    Special Features:
    business meals, outstanding value, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • NW3Pia
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I have eaten here on numerous occasions but this time it was disappointing. In the past I have been given a table downstairs but this time we were seated upstairs. The upstairs doesn't have the charm and ambience of the downstairs restaurant. Also the food choices were rather stodgy and uninteresting. Maybe the restaurant was having an off day. This was a shame since we were celebrating a birthday. Never mind I have enjoyed it in the past and will be giving it another chance. Hopefully it will be better
    Special Features:
    business meals, pre/post theatre, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent meal
    mummykool
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    This was not our first trip to this restaurant, and will certainly not be our last The food is absolutely delicious and with the 50% offer is extremely good value. Make sure you save room for the sweet cheese pancakes on the dessert menu! An extra waiter meant service was much quicker than on previous visits which was fortunate as we were going to the theatre and it was very busy for early on a Monday evening. Can't wait for the next trip!
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Second Time round at The Gay Hussar
    Foodiesx2
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    This was my second visit and first time for my husband. I enjoyed the food again and my husband was equally happy with food,service & surroundings.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Try this place
    Stardust
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    A good deal with the 50% offer. Portion sizes are substantial. A pity the fish dumpling starter was under seasoned. The starter of the Hungarian sausage could have been better presented. The mains of pork medallion in paprika was excellent. Service is quick but a smiling friendly face would go a long way!
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service and lovely food
    SGMGVIP
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    Well worth a visit of this Soho institution - goulash was amazing.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Delicious dumplings
    dawnage
    Dined on 31/7/2014
    Dumpling dishes are a must-have at the Gay Hussar - they are always executed well. Food is hearty, flavoursome and comes in generous portions - and the 50% deal keeps me returning (although not too often as the menu doesn't change and is limited for vegetarians, meaning that we seem to have the same thing every time). The interior is distinctive and there's a pleasant sense of the unchanging here; it's always a good option for a Soho dinner.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • 2nd Time in a month
    Hentry
    Dined on 30/7/2014
    Visited GH for the second time in a month. This time as a group, we were given the private dining room as were a party of 8 as requested. Overall it made for a relaxing and enjoyable evening. The service is attentive without being overwhelming, the food is honest and wholesome. The only remark is that going with a party of more than 6 you will not be able to book the 50% off deal- which would have ticked all the boxes.
    Special Features:
    group bookings, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Nic6
    Dined on 30/7/2014
    Reaosnable value on the offer but would be very over-priced without. At the Gay Hussar it is very much more about the experience rather than the quality of food which is average at best.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • another good meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 29/7/2014
    Ive been coming here for years..... The menu seldom changes but is extensive enough never to get bored....
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Very Good Food Wine Disappointing
    GoodvalueVIP
    Dined on 26/7/2014
    The food was excellent, especially the Hungarian hors d'oeuvres. The service also cannot be faulted. The only thing I had an issue with was the wine. We had a red and a white from the menu, and not the cheapest, about £30 per bottle. I thought it was extremely poor quality. If I go again, I shall stick the bottled bear,
    Special Features:
    outstanding value, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • wanted to try for a while
    PaulieVIP
    Dined on 22/7/2014
    wanted to try the gay hussar for a while. food was pretty good if not a little basic and not presented very well. like the ambience here. the manager was very accommodating and smiley and allowed us in last minute on open table but restaurant was busy and he asked us to come back in 30 mins which we were fine with. the staff (girl and a guy), whilst proficient were neither friendly or smiling and we did not take to either of them at all. suggest employ staff who enjoy what they are doing. wouldn't be in a big hurry to go back.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great ambiance
    Oleg
    Dined on 22/7/2014
    Great restaurant, very genuine Hungarian food, good portions.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • BirthdayGirl
    Dined on 22/7/2014
    Lovely, cosy little restaurant conveniently located on Soho square. Food was excellent, and with the 50% off food deal we got amazing value for money. Definitely worth it with a discount, probably worth it without. We were sat at the very back table and could hear the staff bickering with each other which raised an eyebrow, but in the restaurant the atmosphere was relaxed and warm.
    Special Features:
    business meals, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • comfort food for powerful people
    bettyradio
    Dined on 18/7/2014
    Great atmosphere- surely the only place in London like it? Tip- go hungry! The portions are massive and very filling. The august gentlemen (and the odd lady) adorning the walls look pretty well-fed and satisfied. What is it about the ruling elite and nursery food? It must be tough at the top, so the food has to be very comforting indeed. Had a brilliant time- will definitely go again.
    Special Features:
    group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • A Special Atmosphere
    DaveyBaby
    Dined on 15/7/2014
    The Gay Hussar is loaded with character and makes for a special evening for those who appreciate it. I'm not au fait with Hungarian food, but I would say that it was OK. The discount made it good value. Wine and service were fine. Soho is an exciting place in which to dine.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Are you Hungary?
    MKlubber
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    First time here and I would be happy to return. Nothing too posh on the menu but good solid food with generous portions. Had the Sausage starter which was very meaty but not as spicy as some 'local/village' versions you get elsewhere. Crispy duck for main was really tasty and two good pieces that were more than you get in many places. Desert of choco-nut pancakes was filling and a fine way to end the meal. Went for the house red which was certainly adequate. Service was friendly throughout. We were there early so fairly quiet but a big group arrived as we were finishing so it go a bit noisier. Overall an enjoyable experience as a pre-theatre meal at a reasonable price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, group bookings, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.