Over the past few decades, London’s dining scene has become a rival to any other city in the world. Whether it’s street food, casual retreats or Michelin-starred cuisine, the capital has experienced a true foodie renaissance – especially when it comes to ethnic cuisine. London is now filled with restaurants serving authentic international cuisine, often with some innovative twist, from around the globe. Catering to the country’s love of subcontinental cuisine, Indian restaurants have been at the forefront of this culinary rebirth.
Indian restaurants in London have come a long way from the traditional curry houses. Top Indian restaurants can be found everywhere from the suburbs to Soho to the city center. If you like to eat the best Indian food in London, we’ve picked 20 of the best Indian restaurants, which vary in price and regional style.
Inspired by elite Indian clubs and decorated in the style of a British colonial sports club, this Mayfair restaurant is a far cry from the local curry restaurants. The restaurant is all black oak paneling, plush leather seating and old-fashioned steamers, and the food is more than Michelin-starred. An innovative cocktail incorporates classic recipes with Indian flavors and indulgent spirits like Hendricks, Jasmine and Clary Sage liqueur. There’s an a la carte menu, but it’s worth checking out the tasting menu, which offers exciting and innovative dishes such as wild bird triangle dumplings, truffle pate, and saffron pistachios for pudding.
The Indian Club
Located on the second floor of the austere Marina Continental Hotel, the Indian Club is unlike any other restaurant in London. It was built in 1946 and was once frequented by civil servants and diplomats from the nearby Indian High Commission. Today, it has a more diverse clientele, but the decor and menu remain largely unchanged. Hearty egg curries, traditional eggplant aubergine and lamb bhuna are some of the menu highlights, along with cheap and tasty vegetable triangle dumplings for a few pounds. This is the history of living in the heart of Holborn.
Women’s Name Women’s Name
This glossy Marylebone restaurant caused quite a stir when it opened in 2014, celebrating the cuisine of southwest India’s coastal region. Its sister restaurant is arguably Mumbai’s most famous seafood restaurant. The decor here is paired, but the food is certainly not. The menu features Michelin stars, with plenty of seafood, tamarind and coconut, paired expertly with the unexpected; crab meat with smoked tomato chutney, adderall lamb curry as well as coastal spices. Ordering from the menu isn’t cheap, but the lunch and breakfast menus are very reasonably priced. Or, if you want a long evening of conversation, order the six-course Koliwada menu.
For a small restaurant with a small menu, Gunpowder is incredibly powerful. Situated on a side street in Spitalfields, it’s always busy and always vibrant. It boasts a Michelin bespectacled gourmet and a menu inspired by dishes from all over India. While the dishes are home-cooked, they’re also full of personality. Take the golf ball-sized venison and fan doughnuts, which look like a small hedgehog, or the rasam kebomb, a spicy soup with chili, mustard and tamarind. The menu is
exciting, but not because of the novelty, and I’m glad you can afford it.
Mayfair’s Benares is large, bold and expensive. One of the first Indian restaurants in London to receive a Michelin star, Benares combines modern Indian cuisine with the best British ingredients. With passion fruit chutney martini and Manhattan concoction
There’s Anrut Indian Whiskey you can go to Benares for cocktails alone. But that would probably be silly, because then you’d miss the lobster risotto, blue cheese tikka, grilled scallops with coconut curry and pancakes. Save room for pudding and try the rasmalai lasagna with a mango and mascarpone cheese sandwich.
Founded in 2015 in a 20-seat shipping container in Pop Brixton, Kricket has since expanded to a series of modern Indian restaurants across London. The latest additions, Kricket Soho and Kricket White City, also have a double-door oven that produces pillowy Indian cakes at an impressive rate. Described as “Indian style cooking”, Kricket’s is a sharing restaurant. Small plates are inexpensive, and best-sellers include sea ponzu and Keralan fried chicken, but you can’t go wrong with the refreshingly short menu.
First opened in 1995, Tamarind started a new trend of upscale Indian cuisine in London, and in 2001, the restaurant received its first Michelin star. Nevertheless, the selection of classic dishes is innovative and respectful
The inclusion of rabbit seekh kebabs stuffed with sundried tomatoes and raisins on the menu created an Internet uproar. While dinner prices are tops here, the lunch set is surprisingly cheap – a rarity in these upscale areas.
Inspired by Indian restaurants, Brigadier brings Indian grill to the bank. It has a Gymkhana-like sports character with the addition of flat-screen TVs for major sporting events and a designated billiards room. The restaurant also boasts a whiskey mixer, a bar that serves cocktails and craft beer. Stop in for some mite chicken skin or masala-roasted duck triangle dumplings and an old-fashioned cocktail before heading to your main meal. Popular menu items include the much-talked-about buttered chicken wings, beef fat and bone marrow paneer.
Female Name Female Name
This upscale Indian restaurant is the first to open in London by The Leela, a luxury Indian hospitality group. named after the intricate and vibrant shawls of 16th century Kashmir, Jamavar’s restaurant is as luxurious as the food. The spicy small plates are diverse and inspired by the different regions of India – from the royal kitchens of the north to the southern coast. Some of the most popular dishes include stone perch and Old Delhi butter chicken. It’s an expensive affair, but worth every penny.
Veeraswamy is an iconic institution. It’s London’s oldest Indian restaurant, opened in 1926 by a retired British Indian officer whose father was a British general and whose mother was an Indian princess. With its lavish Raj-style decor and traditional recipes, Veeraswamy is a restaurant that customers return to again and again. The local menu offers dishes from all corners of India, from Kashmiri Rogan Josh to spicy quail in the Keralan style.
Female Name Women’s Name
Zaika is the sister restaurant to Tamarind in Mayfair, which sits on the edge of Kensington Gardens in what was formerly a bank building. The menu is strictly North Indian, inspired by the flavors and traditions of Adwadh. Along with the classic Gosht Dum Indian spiced rice and creamy yellow dahlias. Opened in 1999, this popular restaurant has changed hands many times and is now back to its former glory. The cuisine is expertly prepared and there is plenty to choose from.
It’s worth the hike to the edge of the Fourth Ward just for the Regency Club wings. Founded in 1991, this restaurant was originally opened as a members’ club with only a few items on the menu. Over the years, the restaurant has grown significantly in terms of menu and staff, and is now among the best Indian restaurants in London. The cuisine tends towards curry house staples such as karahi lamb masala and butter chicken, but has a Kenyan influence that reflects the roots of its founders.
Until Woodlands came along in 1981, London’s Indian dining scene was dominated by Punjabi and North Indian cuisine. Instead of butter chicken and parathas, Woodlands served fluffy dosas and uthappam – thick rice and white lentil pancakes. It was also London’s first Indian vegetarian restaurant. Today, there are three locations to choose from in Marylebone, Piccadilly and Hampstead. Popular dishes include crispy vadas (lentil doughnuts) and hot snacks such as bhutura (hot fried bread) served with channa masala. Small plates start at 5 and hearty curries start at 8.
This self-styled Bombay café caused a sensation when it opened in Covent Garden and became so popular that it now has several cafes in London and elsewhere in the UK. Inspired by the old Irani cafes that peaked in the 1960s, Dishoom offers all-day dining for customers of all budgets. A no-booking strategy for children under four means queues every time, but it’s worth the wait. The restaurant is popular for its much-loved bacon pancakes and creamy, home-made black cream sauce dressing. The cocktails are also worth a try, preferably with a chili cheese toast.