Enjoy Delicious Indian Cuisine in London: Guide to Finding the Best Indian Restaurants
Are you craving some delicious Indian food? London is the perfect city to explore India’s flavourful cuisine. With a mix of traditional favourites, inventive new dishes, and options for every budget (from street-food to chic restaurants), you are sure to find an amazing meal that will tantalise your taste buds.
In this guide, we will provide some tips on finding the best Indian restaurants in London so you can experience all that exciting flavours have to offer!
When Did Indian Cuisine Become so Popular in London?
Indian cuisine has been gaining more and more popularity in London over the years, ever since Indian restaurants first began appearing in England’s capital city in the 1950s. It was a booming era of immigration that brought with it a wealth of spices, curries, and other traditional dishes to tantalise the taste buds of Londoners.
Although Indian cuisine was originally seen as exotic and unfamiliar to many, due to its incredible flavour profiles and variety it soon became a hit among newcomers and locals alike. By the 1970s – as restaurants dedicated solely to Indian flavours had sprouted up around city – it was clear that Indian food was here to stay. And today it is one of the most popular cuisines in London!
How to Spot Authentic Indian Restaurants in London
Eating at a authentically delicious Indian restaurant in London is easy if you know what to look for.
Most restaurants that specialise in Indian food will feature bright décor and, of course, the tantalising aromas of classic Indian dishes coming from the kitchen.
A great way to determine authenticity is to observe what type of cuisine they serve—if they offer dishes like samosas, pakoras, curries, roti, naan, and other classic Indian mains and sides, then it’s definitely an authentic Indian restaurant.
Don’t forget to ask around too- often friends or locals have spotted outstanding eateries that can be hard to find unless you know where to go.
Do your Research on North Indian Food and Southern Indian Food
When it comes to Indian cuisine, there is a lot of variation between the different regions in India. North Indian cuisine is known for its rich, creamy curries, while South Indian cuisine is known for its spicy, tangy flavours.
If you’re looking for an authentic Indian dining experience in London, it’s important to do some research on the different types of Indian food that are available.
A Favourite for North Indian Food
One of the best places to try North Indian cuisine in London is Mumbai Maska. This restaurant is based in Chingford and serves up some of the best curries in the city. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, then you should head to Brick Lane and check out one of the many Bangladeshi restaurants. These restaurants serve up some of the spiciest food in London, so be prepared for a real culinary adventure.
If you’re looking for something a little more exotic, then you should check out one of London’s many Sri Lankan restaurants. Sri Lankan cuisine is a mix of South Indian and Southeast Asian flavours, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something different.
No matter what type of Indian food you’re looking for, London has got you covered. With so many different restaurants to choose from, there’s something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore London’s amazing Indian food scene!
Roti vs Naan
There are many differences between North Indian and South Indian cuisine, but one of the most noticeable is the type of bread that is served. Roti is a flatbread made from wheat flour, while naan is a leavened bread made from maida (white flour). Naan is typically more popular in North India, while roti is more popular in South India.
There are several reasons why naan has become more popular in North India than roti. Firstly, naan is softer and lighter than roti, which makes it more enjoyable to eat. Secondly, naan has a richer flavour and a chewier texture than roti, which makes it more satisfying to eat. Finally, because naan is made with yeast, it has a slightly sour flavour that North Indians find to be more appetising than the bland flavour of roti.
The Rise of Roti
Despite the popularity of naan in North India, roti remains the more popular bread in South India. This is mostly because roti is cheaper to make than naan, and it also has a longer shelf life. Additionally, roti can be eaten with a variety of curries and dishes, while naan is typically only eaten with chicken or lamb curries.
What is a Tandoor and Why is it so Popular?
A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven that is used for baking breads and roasting meats. The tandoor is an important part of traditional Indian cooking, and many Indian restaurants have their own tandoors on site. The tandoor cooks food by trapping heat and circulating it around the oven. This allows the food to cook evenly and quickly. The intense heat also gives the food a nice crispy crust.
A Traditional Bread Oven
The tandoor is most commonly used to cook naan bread. Naan bread is a leavened bread that is cooked in a tandoor. It has a soft, fluffy texture and a slightly charred crust. Tandoori chicken is another popular dish that is cooked in a tandoor. Tandoori chicken is chicken that has been marinated in yogurt and spices, then cooked in the tandoor. It has a spicy, smoky flavour and a crispy crust.
Unusual Indian Restaurant Food You Need to Try
Banana ketchup is a unique condiment, popular in Indian cuisine. It’s made by cooking banana slices with vinegar and spices like cumin, kalonji, and cardamom. It’s a tasty twist on traditional tomato ketchup – perfect for livening up burgers and fries!
Keralan Fried Chicken
Keralan fried chicken is another favourite – it’s full of intricate flavours from char-roasting the marinated chicken pieces in coconut oil or ghee.
Prawn Toast Scotch Egg
Prawn toast scotch egg is one of many delicious Indo Chinese dishes. It’s an unexpected way to enjoy traditional egg dishes. The eggs are secondary to these scrumptious treats – the stars being breaded prawns freshly fried in garlic-flavoured oil that bring an indescribable crunch!
Curry Leaf Mayonnaise
Curry leaf mayonnaise is always served fresh and offers a bold, yet strangely attractive addition to your meal.
Coconut chutney gives any dish an excitable texture while adding some heat as well! Those seeking something truly distinct may want to try Lobster Idli Sambhar or Bacon Naan for lunch – both provide comforting tastes and aromas.
Classic Indian Dishes You Need To Know About
Nothing quite satisfies an Indian food craving like butter chicken, chicken korma, and chicken ruby! These classic dishes have been a part of India’s culinary tradition for generations, delighting diners with their scrumptious flavours.
Butter, Korma and Chicken Ruby
Mixing butter and creamy coconut milk in butter chicken gives it a unique richness that stands out among other dishes. Chicken korma is slightly sweet with delicately spiced creamy sauce that give it its distinctive flavour. Chicken ruby has unique spices never found elsewhere, giving it its own special flavour profile.
The Perfect ending to any Indian feast is lamb chops biryani. Rich basmati rice is flavoured with aromatic spices, almonds and cashews adding to the flavour profile while the succulent lamb slices melt in your mouth!
Enjoy the best of Indian cuisine by trying these classic dishes today!
Indian Restaurants Should be your First Choice if you’re Vegetarian or Vegan
Indian cuisine is an international favourite, and with so many vegetarian Indian dishes to choose from, Indian restaurants are a great choice for those who follow a meatless diet. It’s no surprise that so much Indian cooking focuses on plant-based recipes; in fact, upwards of 90% of Indian citizens are vegetarian!
The options for vegetarian Indian food range from mild curries to spicy snacks and everything in between. Must-try items include palak paneer (a creamy spinach curry), chole (curried chickpeas) or masala dosa (a savoury vegetable crepe).
Ask your local Indian restaurant what they specialise in, and it’s almost certain they have plenty of delicious vegan or vegetarian options to choose from.
Which Wine is Perfect for you Indian Dish?
When it comes to wine pairings, Indian food can be a bit of a challenge. The flavours in Indian cuisine are often quite strong and intense, so it can be difficult to find a wine that pairs well with them. However, there are a few wines that can complement Indian cuisine perfectly.
A light-bodied red wine like a Zinfandel or Shiraz is a great option for pairing with Indian food. These wines have earthy flavours that pair well with the spices in Indian cuisine. Alternatively, you could try a fruity white wine like a Chenin Blanc or Gewürztraminer. These wines have sweet flavours that balance out the spicy flavours in Indian food.
No matter what type of wine you choose, be sure to sip slowly and enjoy the complex flavours of both the wine and the Indian food. With the right pairing, Indian cuisine can be even more enjoyable! Now, let’s dive in to the top Indian restaurants in London!
Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden
Cinnamon Bazaar is the perfect place for those looking for an introduction to North Indian cuisine. The restaurant’s colourful décor and friendly service create a warm and inviting atmosphere, while the menu offers diners a variety of dishes that showcase the best of North Indian cuisine.
From samosas and tandoori chicken to lamb biryani and naan bread, there is something to please everyone’s palate at Cinnamon Bazaar. What’s more, at an affordable price tag, this restaurant provides great value for money.
Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a first-time adventurer into the world of Indian cuisine, Cinnamon Bazaar is definitely worth a visit.
South Indian cuisine is renowned for its bold and spicy flavours, and Kutir is the perfect place to experience it. The restaurant has a modern, relaxed atmosphere and serves up delicious dishes such as dosas, idlis and curries. My personal favourite is the masala dosa, which is a crispy crepe filled with spiced potatoes and served with chutney. The food at Kutir is extremely flavourful and will leave you wanting more!
Tandoor Chophouse, Covent Garden
When it comes to an Indian barbecue restaurant, there’s no beating Tandoor Chophouse. At Tandoor Chophouse, they take pride in their on-site tandoor, and use it to create some of the most delicious North Indian dishes around. Whether you’re a fan of chicken tikka masala or lamb biryani, we promise you won’t be disappointed with their menu.
What’s more, Tandoor Chophouse offers an intimate setting that is perfect for any occasion. They’re situated in Covent Garden, so you can enjoy a delicious meal and then explore everything the area has to offer. If you’re looking for a unique dining experience coupled with some of the best Indian food around, then look no further than Tandoor Chophouse.
Gunpowder – Spitalfields, Tower Bridge and Soho
Winner of ‘Best New Restaurant’ at the 2017 Tiffin Cup Awards, Gunpowder provides diners with an authentic taste of East-India.
They provide an unforgettable culinary experience that takes patrons on a journey through the heart of East-Indian cuisine. The restaurant has a modern and inviting decor that sets the perfect tone for the amazing food to come.
The menu is packed with authentic dishes such as aloo gobi and paneer pasanda that will transport guests to India with every bite. The flavours are rich and complex, and the spices will leave diners feeling deliciously satisfied.
Whether it’s for a special occasion or just a casual night out, Gunpowder is definitely a must-try restaurant for anyone looking for an amazing East-Indian culinary experience.
Mumbai Maska, Chingford
If you’re looking for an award-winning taste of authentic Mumbai street food, then look no further than Mumbai Maska. This fantastic restaurant in Chingford serves up some of the best Mumbai street food in London, with dishes such as pav bhaji (mixed vegetables) and vada pav (deep-fried potato dumplings) on the menu.
Mumbai Maska is perfect for those who want to experience the real flavour of Mumbai street food without spending a fortune. And although the restaurant is unpretentious and caters to a budget-conscious crowd, the head chef is actually Michelin Star trained!
Imagine going to a restaurant and experiencing Michelin Star Indian food for a low price tag, now you can!
Not only is Mumbai Maska’s food unbelievably delicious, but you can have it any time of day as they’ve worked hard to create a breakfast menu and a lunch menu alongside their evening menu.
For those that are looking to discover authentic Indian family recipes, you’ll need to book a table at Mumbai Maska! You can find an array of gorgeous dishes to choose from such as murg tikka masala, coconut king prawn curry and my favourite, dal makani – black lentils combined with rich tomatoes, ginger and garlic and simmered overnight on a charcoal fire.
So if you’re feeling homesick for some good old-fashioned Mumbai street food, or if you just want to try something new, be sure to head down to Mumbai Maska – you won’t be disappointed!
Cinnamon Kitchen, Liverpool Street and Battersea
Cinnamon Kitchen is a luxurious Indian restaurant located in Liverpool Street and Battersea, London. The restaurant offers diners an exquisite experience, with flavours from India’s south-western coast. The restaurant has two live kitchens on site, which serve up traditional dishes such as Kerala prawn curry and Tamil Nadu chicken biryani.
The Cinnamon Kitchen menu is packed full of delicious Indian dishes, all of which are perfect for sharing with friends and family. The starters menu includes favourites such as onion bhaji and chicken tikka masala, whilst the main course menu features a range of mouth-watering curries, biryanis and naans. There is also a tempting selection of desserts to choose from, including gulab jamun and kulfi ice cream.
The atmosphere at Cinnamon Kitchen is warm and inviting, with stunning decor that perfectly captures the essence of India. The attentive staff are on hand to guide you through the menu and make sure you have everything you need during your visit. Whether you’re looking for a romantic meal for two or a fun night out with friends, Cinnamon Kitchen is the perfect place to enjoy some truly delicious Indian cuisine.
Veeraswamy, Regent Street
If you’re looking for an unforgettable culinary experience, look no further than Veeraswamy – London’s oldest Indian restaurant. Opened all the way back in 1926, Veeraswamy was London’s first Indian restaurant that offers diners traditional South Indian cooking techniques combined with British twists, providing a unique and memorable dining experience for all who visit.
From starters like onion bhaji and samosas to main courses like lamb Rogan josh and chicken tikka masala, there’s something on the menu to suit everyone’s taste buds at Veeraswamy. And if you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to try one of the restaurant’s signature dishes like the paneer tikka masala – a creamy dish made from cubes of Indian cheese cooked in a gravy of tomatoes, onions, and spices. Delicious!
If you’re looking for a unique and memorable dining experience, be sure to check out Veeraswamy – London’s oldest surviving Indian restaurant. With its traditional South Indian cooking techniques combined with British twists, there’s something on the menu to suit everyone’s taste buds. So what are you waiting for? Book your table today!
Kahani, set in the elegant neighbourhood of Belgravia, is undeniably one of the best Indian restaurants in London. When you step in, you’ll find a stunning modern interior that takes you to India without leaving London. Refreshing colours surround the walls making way for dining with a contemporary take done by the charming staff.
The food itself is also what makes Kahani stand out- they serve all sorts of Indian delicacies such as your classic fiery curry dish and lip-smacking Butter Chicken.
One thing is for sure- whatever dish you try here will satisfy your cravings for great Indian food! If you’re looking for an unforgettable Indian experience, visit Kahani to savour a delicious meal today!
Bombay Bustle, Mayfair
Bombay Bustle is an Indian restaurant located in Mayfair, one of the most cosmopolitan areas of London. It is a vibrant space with luxurious interiors that have been inspired by Indian royal palaces.
Here you can savour traditional Indian cuisine served with modern twists. My favourite part is their a la carte menu that offers visually pleasing dishes like spicy paneer tikka and destine chicken tikka!
Don’t forget to explore their Indian street snacks made from classic Indian recipes. Bombay Bustle is definitely worth trying out for delicious Indian food and great atmosphere!
Apollo Banana Leaf, Tooting
If you are looking for a unique Indian restaurant experience, then Apollo Banana Leaf is the place to go. Indian and Sri Lankan food lovers will be delighted by the selection of Indian street food that Apollo Banana Leaf has to offer – from classic Indian delights such as butter chicken and chicken korma to innovative dishes created with Indian flavours.
The head chefs also use traditional Indian methods of cooking and serve freshly made Indian breads for a truly authentic taste. So come down to Apollo Banana Leaf and let your taste buds soar!
Indian food is beloved all over the world, and one Indian restaurant in particular has modernized its flavours while still firmly rooted in its Indian origins. Gymkhana Indian restaurant is thriving as a popular foodies spot.
Their different menus, including a delicious lunch, menu includes an array of Indian dishes with unique twists — tiger prawns that come with turmeric masala sauce and mango-coconut curry along with classic Indian recipes such as dal tadka or butter chicken dishes.
On top of the amazing meals they serve, their Ambari cocktails will make you never want to leave! Don’t miss out on this exciting Indian restaurant experience – head down to Gymkhana today!
Tamil Prince, Islington
Indian restaurants are often a great place for food lovers, and Tamil Prince on Islington is no exception. Located conveniently in the centre of the city, this Indian restaurant has delicious dishes for curry connoisseurs to savour.
The menu offers an array of both classic Indian favourites like tikka masala, as well as lesser-known dishes from Indian-subcontinental cuisine such as thali platters and south Indian dosas.
Perfectly seasoned with aromatic spices, each plate offers a divine taste that’s sure to tantalise your senses. So, if you’re looking for an Indian dining experience like no other, look no further than Tamil Prince in Islington!
Pali Hill, Fitzrovia
Indian food lovers can now enjoy a taste of Indian cuisine in London’s Fitzrovia district at the Indian restaurant Pali Hill. This new Indian food establishment cooks up delicious Indian dishes that the whole family can enjoy, from classic curries and tandoor-grilled dishes to rice and bread specialities.
The chefs bring together Indian cooking staples with unique and creative ingredients to craft unique menu offerings full of flavour, or they’ll make custom dishes to match customers’ preferences.
With an inviting atmosphere and wonderfully spiced food representing culinary traditions from India, a visit to Pali Hill is well worth it for those looking for something truly special!
Indian restaurant Trishna in Marylebone is the place to be for Indian food lovers! Enjoy Indian delicacies from an eclectic menu offering a range of Indian cuisine with roots from various corners of the Indian sub-continent: from kababs, curries and tandoori to biryani, Indian breads and chaats.
Whether it is a quiet meal for two or a large celebration party, you will always find something that’s sure to tantalise your taste buds at Trishna.
So come take a journey through the culinary flavours of India and enjoy ever changing seasonal menus – there’s something new every time.
Soho Wala, Soho
Indian restaurant Soho Wala is the perfect spot for Indian food with a twist. Located in the heart of Soho, it brings contemporary Indian cooking that blends Indian flavours with international ingredients to create a unique culinary experience.
You will find curries, tandoori fish and lots of vegan-friendly options, all made with fresh local produce and spices for an incredibly flavourful meal.
The venue’s chic yet relaxed atmosphere means you can enjoy the delicious cuisine in comfort. Come by to taste Indian flavours like never before – you won’t be disappointed!
Don’t Forget your Incredible Indian Dessert
Although Indian cuisine is known mostly for its delicious curries and flavourful spices, it also has an impressive selection of sweet treats. Indian desserts are often made with ghee and jaggery, two key ingredients used to maximise their sweetness.
Popular favourites include gulab jamun, a fried dough ball soaked in a syrup-like sauce; jalebi, deep-fried coils of batter dunked into sugary syrup; and rasgulla, ricotta cheese balls cooked in sugar-syrup flavoured with cardamom and saffron.
While each dessert varies in flavour and texture, they are all bound together by an irrepressible indulgence that would delight anyone with a sweet tooth!
It’s Not Just Delicious Food, There’s also Heavenly Cocktails
Indian cocktails are an unexpectedly versatile way to celebrate any special occasion. From a sweet-and-sour blend of mango and yogurt to an array of exotic and savoury ingredients, there’s something for everyone who wants to add some zing to their celebration.
Some popular Indian drinks include the Lassi, Pina Colada Magaz, and Mango Mai Tai, which combine tropical flavours such as bananas and guavas with traditional spices like cardamom and saffron.
Whether you’re looking for a tropical refreshment or a cultural experience with a global twist, these unique cocktails have something to offer. Cheers!
And finally…remember to always drink water when eating Indian food!