LDNGuide

The Best Indian Restaurants In Central London

Our guide to the 11 best Indian restaurants in central London.

Outside of India, London is one of the best places in the world to eat Indian food—and we’re not talking about that chicken bhuna you heated up in the microwave the other day. You can eat at homely curry houses, noisy Punjabi grills, and incredible high-end places that’ll give anything on the subcontinent a run for its rupees.

It’s worth noting that there are loads of great places in areas like Southall, East Ham, and Tooting, but that’s a list for another day. Here, we’re focusing on the best Indian restaurants in central London. Whatever the occasion, you’ll find an excellent option below.


THE SPOTS

Bibi’s Lahori chicken is creamy, tender, and the kind of dish that will remind you why quality oil should be considered its own food group. But you should know that it’s not just the chicken that’s a must-order at Bibi, it’s everything. From the aubergine dahi to the buffalo milk paneer this place specialises in doing impressive takes on the classics in an equally impressive space. The intimate moody leather booths are perfect for mates whilst the fun red counter is perfect for dates. Especially if you’re also of the opinion that watching lobster being grilled also counts as an aphrodisiac. Plus, the meat is halal and there are plenty of vegetarian options too. 


There are two things you need to know about Trishna. The first is that it leans towards fish and seafood instead of meat, and the second is that it’s in Marylebone, so the price of admission is high. That said, a meal here is worth every penny. And while it will always be associated with its sister restaurant Gymkhana, Trishna is more laid back in appearance and service. It’s definitely one to book when you have a corporate card on hand or when that rich relative that you don’t talk to very often is in town.


The spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut at Gunpowder is a certified London restaurant legend. Which makes total sense because this go-to modern Indian restaurant in Spitalfields are experts at taking traditional Indian dishes and repackaging them into something new entirely. Something that will surprise and delight as you pass plates from one side of the table to the other and hope that your friends don’t gobble up the lamb chops before you get a chance for seconds. You should also get involved in the mutton roll, it’s excellent.


Remember in The Sims when, after typing ‘rosebud’ several thousand times and hammering the enter key, you were rich beyond your wildest dreams? Just like that, your virtual life got a whole lot more fun. A pool table? Why not. Ooh this whisky vending machine looks fun. That wall appears to be missing a giant television. There we go. Now to have a BBQ next to my 100 ft pool. Brigadiers is this in restaurant form. It has all of these things, minus the pool, as well as the best tandoori lamb chops in London. The food is spectacularly delicious, from the beef shin and bone marrow biryani to the BBQ butter chicken wings. Once you’re here it’s your whole day or night. There’s no point making any other plans, because you won’t stick to them.


Dishoom Carnaby is a 15 minute walk from its original Covent Garden location and we think that wander is a worthwhile one. The food is as reliably tasty as ever here—from that famous bacon naan in the morning to a chicken ruby at night—and the decor, based on a Bombay cafe-bar, splits proper sit down tables with a more comfortable lounge set-up. Making it as good for drinks and snacks as it is for a full slap-up meal.


While this Indo-Chinese spot on Maiden Lane has an original Soho location, we much prefer the layout and interiors of their newer Covent Garden spot. But much like the OG spot, this restaurant has an almost cult-like following of lamb chop-yielding enthusiasts claiming that their chops are some of the best in London. And we can confirm that they are indeed meaty, tender, and a cause we can 100% get behind—but that’s not all that’s impressive at Fatt Pundit. The menu, which is split into vegetarian, seafood, and meat dishes, is packed with exciting-sounding things that actually taste exciting too. So come here with a group of meat lovers, your vegetarian friend, or just alone to get a monkfish curry, and you’ll leave satisfied.


There are plenty of posh Indian restaurants in London that are pretentious or stuffy or both. And while Jamavar is certainly an upmarket Indian restaurant in Mayfair, it’s neither of those things. The service is laidback, and the music will be pumping to the point that you’ll feel like you’re eating in a bling Hindi music video. Jamavar’s seafood game is particularly strong, but make sure not to skip their butter chicken. This is an experience that’s worth gathering your mates and putting on a fresh shirt for.


Restaurants around the corner from Oxford Circus tend to be one of three things: overpriced, overrated, or—worse—both. Bombay Bustle is none of those things. It’s a seriously good restaurant. You want to come with more people rather than less, as the kind of glitzy train carriage vibe suits a group getting a bit of biryani, a bit of dosa, some chops, a curry, and whatever else takes your fancy. Bombay Bustle is an excellent option and probably one of the tastiest as well.


Sagar is a pure vegetarian Indian restaurant that specialises in the kind of food our South Indian friends would make at home, especially when they haven’t had us over for a while. The food is excellent, it’s easy to get a table, and it’s also in central London. The dosas and thalis are particularly fantastic, and order the papadi chat to share, which is a mixed salad of lightly fried bread, potatoes, yoghurt, and tangy tamarind sauce. You didn’t actually think we came here to eat vegetables, did you?


Gymkhana is London’s best Indian restaurant, and an essential restaurant to the city overall. The food is classic Indian that’s elevated, inventive, and absolutely mind blowing - but also stays true to each dish’s origins. The wild muntjac biryani is the standout from the menu, but even a simple dhal or crunchy rice bhel will be better than any you’ve had before. Unfortunately, dinner at Gymkhana is not a cheap affair. But if you want the experience and don’t want to spend loads, the £30 lunch menu is the way to go. However you do it, just do it.


If you’re into huge, meaty lamb chops, bhaji onion rings, and butter chicken-filled naan, then this dimly-lit Indian spot near Charing Cross is for you. Easy to miss hidden on Adelaide Street, this spot has booths, group tables, and bar stools facing the street. The menu is filled with North Indian-style tandoori meat and breads, with delicious starters and juicy lamb chops that’ll satisfy any grilled-meat lover. It’s quite a popular spot, so book ahead to avoid disappointment.

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