LDNGuide

Where To Eat Indian Food In London Right Now

From white tablecloth places to canteen-style spots, these are our 21 favourite Indian restaurants across the city.
Where To Eat Indian Food In London Right Now image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Sometimes you’ll be walking around, minding your own business when—what’s that—the clouds all start looking deceptively like lamb chops and your fingers have typed lamb madras into Google of their own accord. Maybe that’s how you ended up finding this guide, in which case, welcome. We’re here to support, encourage, and enable your craving for excellent Indian food. This guide has all of the unmissable options covered, from a sensational wild muntjac biryani in Mayfair to comforting Keralan classics in Tooting. Onwards for venison keema naan, fruity kofte zardaloo, buttery keema pao, and of course, sizzling lamb chops.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Indian

East Dulwich

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdaysCasual Weeknight DinnerCatching Up With MatesDinner with the Parents
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This laid-back, welcoming East Dulwich spot is firmly in our rotation of places to go when we want to be equal parts spoiled with delicate pani puri and comforted with naans glistening with ghee. A portion of Kokum’s sweet, sticky, glazed pork ribs is a dish we immediately sent photos of to friends, with the amount of exclamation marks usually reserved for an SOS. The same goes for a spicy, fragrant biryani, loaded with lamb that's barely able to cling to a fork. The modern Indian food is excellent and the service rivals the tender beef nihari for warmth.

The Tamil Crown is on the sort of leafy street in Angel that gets Richard Curtis going. And if that doesn’t do it for you, the food at this polished, wood-clad pub-restaurant will definitely make you wish you were a local. Like its sister spot, The Tamil Prince, there are crispy-edged bhajis and curries with meat more tender than a John Legend lyric—looking at you, chettinad lamb curry. But unlike its Islington sibling, The Tamil Crown does Sunday roasts too, which is our favourite thing to get here. These rainbow-coloured plates come heaving with spiced cauliflower and crispy skin chicken, plus flaky roti which is essential for mopping up leftover gravy.

Although its name refers to a member of the monarchy, The Tamil Prince is the coming together of two other British institutions. The pub and the curry house. The Islington restaurant is on a quiet corner off Caledonian Road, but nothing about the food served at this cool, casual restaurant is paired-back. Onion bhajis are wild, flailing vortexes of turmeric-stained, deep-fried onion. Grilled tiger prawns straight off the grill glow orange while being blackened from char. The channa bhatura is a kind of delicious deep-fried UFO. Is it a pub? Is it a restaurant? It doesn’t really matter. It’s a place you should go in numbers big and small.

This functional little Mumbai street snack spot in Wembley is the kind of in-and-out rest stop we wish were all over London. A £1.50 vada pav with a cup of warming spiced chai tea is the ideal mid-afternoon pick-me-up. But really, Amols Vada Pav is good any time of day. Dishes range from variations of vada pav, pani puri, and onion and potato bhajiyas, to chocolate samosas, paneer spring rolls, and a pizza samosa wrap. It’s a vast menu—and one that’s worth exploring.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

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While Darjeeling Express has wildly outgrown its original intimate supper club roots, the Kingly Court spot hasn’t lost its homely feel. And chef-owner Asma Khan still plays host, checking on diners and bringing raita to cool the excellently spicy Bengali aloo dam. The warm, terracotta room and intimate booths turn a casual lunch into a two-hour affair, and an after-work meal into a stay-until-closing kind of night. Book a dinner for the colourful thali which is a highlight reel of Darjeeling Express’ best dishes—including a silky, orange-hued prawn malaikari that pairs perfectly with the fluffy puri. 

Most meals at South Indian restaurant Hyderabadi Spice start with ordering biryani and end with spooning leftovers into foil containers. At the low-key East Ham spot, the fragrant and expertly spiced rice dish is king. Every table ends up strewn with stray golden grains that are cooked dum-style (with a pastry lid), and served as a glorious mound on plates or in handis, layered with tender chicken, lamb, or prawns. Know that Hyderabadi Spice’s excellent biryanis are no secret and this spot gets busy in the evening, so book ahead. Make sure the rich haleem is on your order too.

The first thing you need to know about Jamavar is that there’s a right order and a wrong order. At its best, this high-end restaurant on Mount Street serves excellent Indian dishes like Keralan scallop moilee sponsored by Lurpak, and Rajasthani laal maas you’ll think about often. However, if you order lamb chops, you might leave feeling a little underwhelmed and out of pocket. So no, you can’t order blindly and expect the best meal of your life. But if you order correctly—malvani prawn curry, laal maas, and dum nalli biryani—you just might get it.

Asher’s Africana opens at 1pm every day and often has a backlog of orders by quarter past. The cash-only Gujarati restaurant in Wembley has a social club feel to it, with family and friends eager to pile into the paired-back beige room for wafer-thin roti and comforting curries. The Gujarati special thali—with five ghee-laden roti, two curries (a meltingly good aubergine and potato number stands out), daal, achaar, rice, sweet yoghurt, and two delightful little packed and fragrant samosas—is a generous and nourishing meal for one. That said, the menu deserves multiple people around the table.

This Indo-Chinese restaurant in Covent Garden is best enjoyed with hungry friends in a booth, as long as you’re a party who are partial to some of London’s best lamb chops. Across Fatt Pundit’s two always-lively floors, crackling spinach is eaten like popping candy, creamy Malabar monkfish curry is begrudgingly shared, and clean bowls of Bombay chilli prawns leave tables alongside a request for extra napkins. With its combination of four-people booths, high tables for two, and a downstairs room that could easily accommodate a large group, Fatt Pundit is a certified crowd-pleaser.

Every dish at Bibi, a high-end Mayfair spot, is exciting and innovative. Grilled lahori chicken in a cashew and yoghurt whey sauce is so tender and creamy, you’d think it was the star of the show, only to have the raw orkney scallop in a lemonade dressing make you feel things you didn’t think you could feel for a mollusc. You’ll realise that there’s no way you’ll be able to pick a favourite until you’ve tried everything. The counter is perfect for date night, but if you manage to bag one of the booths for you and a couple of friends, then you’re winning. This is one of our highest-rated restaurants for a reason.

Gymkhana is an incredibly glamorous restaurant that’s perfect for doing incredibly glamorous things like eating venison keema naan while discussing whether the stiletto or slingbacks are a superior shoe. It’s a moody, sophisticated space complete with intimate booths, exceptional service, and a wild muntjac biryani that is the single best use of pastry since the hallowed invention of the cheese straw. A meal at this Mayfair spot won’t come cheap but it’s entirely worth it for classics that will stay with you long after your final bite of the tandoori masala lamb chops.

As anyone who’s attempted to wear a playsuit on a night out knows, comfort is king when it comes to having a good time. Namaaste Kitchen is a favourite among Camden locals for several reasons. It has that distinctly ‘90s upmarket look that’s the perfect setting for getting cosy with pomegranate tokri chaat and serves an apricot kofte zardaloo that brings a whole new meaning to fruity. A great shout for vegans, vegetarians, and devoted meat eaters alike, this is the kind of restaurant you visit every time you get a craving for a Kerala fish curry alongside the soothing sound of the sizzling tandoori grill.

If you’ve tried London’s best pani puri, then you probably already know about this casual spot on The Broadway in Southall. And if you haven’t been here, then you should stop making claims that aren’t true. Rita’s Chilli Chaat Corner is a small, canteen-like spot, filled with shoppers coming from the market and families popping in for a midweek dinner consisting of excellent yoghurty samosa chaat, and refreshing, citrussy pani puri shots. Come for some of the best Indian street food you can find in London. And order plenty of chaat—there’s a reason it’s in the name.

Calling all fans of alliteration and buttery keema pao. We have a feeling you’re going to like Bombay Bustle. The Mayfair restaurant looks like a train carriage—think Orient Express rather than that 23.45 Southeastern journey—with cooking that is more relaxed than the decadent setting. Don’t get us wrong, the perfectly charred lamb chops arrive on a golden platter and the serving spoons are distinctly Anthropologie. But there’s something homely about the big portions, sharing starters, and the can’t stop, won’t stop nature of the mini poppadoms. The dals are moreish and hands down some of the best in the city.

Whenever we’re floating around SW6, and sometimes even if we’re not, we like to stop in at this top-notch Indian restaurant on Fulham High Street. Partly because it’s always a convenient spot for walk-ins, but mostly because the menu is filled with modern Indian classics done well, like buttery, tender tandoor-grilled malai chicken and telangana prawn masala packed with heat. This is a place where you can order with confidence, whether from the biryani section or the eight-course tasting menu with citrussy pani puri shots and some of the best dal makhani you'll find in a London restaurant.

A homely, relaxed restaurant on a bustling corner of Mitcham Road, Vijaya Krishna has been serving an epic masala dosai that laughs in the face of conventional plate sizes, and delightfully fiery lamb madras, since 1994. This spot specialises in dishes from Kerala and the friendly servers will take you on a personal tour through the long menu, featuring assertive pen points that mean ‘you absolutely should order this’. First stop, the chickpea-loaded chilli chana, then the life-affirming vegetable and coconut medley avial. Everyone should want Vijaya Krishna to be their local, but no matter where you’re based, that humongous masala dosai is worth travelling for.

Located on a residential corner of East Ham, Udaya Kerala is a small, welcoming spot you’ll return to again and again. As much for the excellent South Indian dishes as the laid-back atmosphere. Zone out to calming music, admire the beautiful paintings, and snack on crispy, spiced cubes of fried paneer 65. Plates of lacy, light appam, flaky barotta, fragrant beef fry, and beef roast are some of our favourite things to order here. Richly spiced Kerala prawn or fish curry should also be on your table. Moving with a group is best so you can work your way through all the dishes. Just keep in mind it’s a small space, and walk-in only.

An excellent paratha, like the one at Ganapati, is something we’d cross the city for. The cosy, South Indian-inspired restaurant in Peckham has a menu of exciting things like thaire vadai—a savoury lentil doughnut soaked in yoghurt, poppadoms with spicy garlic pickles—and our favourite thing here, the lunchtime-only thali. We’re talking, a choice of vegetarian, fish, or chicken curry, rice, poppadoms, an excellent raita, and a mung bean salad. And because we are strong believers that bread is the key to happiness, make sure you try one of their flaky parathas as well.

If the combination of the words ‘butter’ and ‘chicken’ and ‘wings’ interest you, as well ‘whisky’ and ‘vending’ and ‘machine’, then let us introduce you to Brigadiers. The Indian barbecue restaurant in the heart of The City is a straight up good time. Superb bone marrow biriyani, butter chicken wings, and superb lamb chops. Come and watch the football at the bar and retire to the pool room afterwards. Or sit in a mahogany-clad booth and crack into the martinis on tap. Whatever happens, you’re not leaving early.

Thattukada’s chicken 65 is Cheeto’s Flamin’ Hot-coloured, which is very much a compliment. The deep-fried chunks of chicken—marinated in dazzling red chilli powder, curry leaves, and more—are the way to start your meal at the popular Keralan spot in East Ham. The walls of this low-key, brightly lit restaurant are covered with images of palm trees and crystal blue water, but almost every family and group of friends are focused on the food in front of them. Fish molley, a mild, coconut-heavy curry, is a delicious Keralan speciality that belongs on your table. Make sure you also get the vegetable thali, a brilliantly pungent chicken curry, and stringy parathas.

This mini-chain has locations in Hounslow, Ilford, Wembley, and more, all specialising in vada pav. It’s a slider-sized Maharashtrian snack of deep-fried potato in a little doughy white bread bap, alongside whacks of chilli and coconut chutneys. As far as handheld, two-gobble snacks go, these are very much up there. The Harrow location, like all of them, is a colourful, casual, fast food-ish space that’s just as good for a solo lunch as it is a quick and delicious good-value dinner. If you’re after something heartier and more gravy-heavy, get the vada misal or the methi malai mutter, and be content in the knowledge that very little here costs more than £10.

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