London’s Best Indian Restaurants: From Bombay Breakfasts To Thalis By The Thames

Food & Drink
By Erica O'Hara | 20th February 2024
indian restaurants

When it comes to Indian cuisine, my local curry house has always had my heart. That is, until I moved to London. Here in the capital, my tastebuds were given a culinary awakening and my tikka masala-trained palette discovered an explosion of new flavours. And after eight years in this city, Indian cuisine is still top of my list for a dinner date (and breakfast for that matter… I’m looking at you Dishoom Bacon Naan Roll). 

From Bombay street food and sumptuous small plates, to Michelin star dishes and spice-packed creamy curries, London’s vibrant Indian restaurant scene is undeniably one of the world’s best (outside of, y’know, India), and the city has a wealth of delicious options to choose from. Here are some of our favourites.

The Best Indian Restaurants In London

gunpowder, indian restaurants in london

Gunpowder

Championing traditional Indian recipes with a modern twist, Gunpowder’s Soho site is one of our favourite places to go for a pre-theatre meal near Tottenham Court Road. Starters include Bengali beetroot croquettes and Gunpowder aloo chaat, before choosing from mains of beef pepper fry and tandoori saag paneer.

Two-courses are £22, or finish with an old monk bread and Butter pudding for an extra £3.

Where: Multiple Locations
Website: www.gunpowderrestaurants.com

Brigadiers

There’s a reason why Brigadiers is one of London’s best-loved Indian restaurants. From the slick interiors to the incredible food and creative cocktails, it’s the ideal place for a get-together, inspired by the army mess bars of India, where military regiments go to eat, drink and socialise.

Book in and tuck into dishes such as Afghani lamb ribeye kebab skewers, Konkani coast masala scallops, and chicken tikka butter masala. Indian barbecue never looked (or tasted) so good.

Where: 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR, United Kingdom
Website: www.brigadierslondon.com

Kricket

One place that knows how to put some epic food on the counter is Soho’s Kricket. Perch on pink stools at the counter as you tuck into small plates from kerala fried chicken and samphire pakoras to grilled butternut squash and mussels.

The extensive menu keeps the chefs busy kitchen-side, and you’re perfectly positioned to watch them work their culinary magic.

Where: Multiple Locations
Website: www.kricket.co.uk

jamavar, michelin star indian restaurants london

Jamavar

Jamavar has proudly and loudly claimed its spot on London’s enviable list of Michelin-starred Indian restaurants. Located in Mayfair, this smart restaurant is all about regional dishes and pan-Indian flavours.

The restaurant was brought to life in 2001 by Samyukta Nair with her father, Dinesh, as the first international outpost of Jamavar, which has five restaurants in India. Authentic and delicious, Jamavar is a shining beacon of Indian cuisine in London.

Where: 8 Mount St, London W1K 3NF, United Kingdom
Website: www.jamavarrestaurants.com

veeraswamy, best indian restaurant london

Veeraswamy

Founded by an Indian princess and the grandson of an English General, Veeraswamy opened in 1926 to a very different London. 

As well as gaining a Michelin star, it also holds the title as the UK’s oldest Indian restaurant, serving up a menu of fine classical Indian cuisine as well as exotic seafood dishes from the shores of India and dishes from clay ovens of the North West frontiers – the tandoors. It’s opulent, grand and a London icon for Indian dining.

Where: Victory House, 99 Regent St., London W1B 4RS, United Kingdom
Website: www.veeraswamy.com

Dipna Anand At Somerset House

From stunning interiors and views of the River Thames, to signature dishes, beautiful Thali’s and weekend brunch, Dipna Anand’s restaurant and bar is effortlessly chic and utterly delicious. 

Enter the prestigious South Wing of Somerset House and you’ll find yourself in the restaurant, where black and white photographs adorn the textured blue walls; leather booths and copper accents span multiple rooms, and signature dishes like Dipna’s Dynamite Wings and Samosa Chaat Blast are the order of the day. This is still somewhat of a hidden gem for such a prime riverside location, and a glorious find for those in-the-know.

Dipna Anand’s restaurant and bar is effortlessly chic and utterly delicious.

The riverside venture is Dipna’s second London restaurant, and the menu is a celebration of the authentic Punjabi and South Indian cuisine that’s won the celebrity chef multiple awards. Highlights include sweet-and-spicy chilli paneer and melt-in-the-mouth tandoori chicken tikka starters, and for mains, we recommend a choice of the meat or vegetable Thali to get a taste of all the restaurant’s best dishes – perfect for anyone who struggles to choose just one.

To finish, opt for the Gajar ka halwa, a classic Indian pudding made by simmering carrots in condensed milk. Rich, decadent, and surprisingly incredible (who knew a dessert made entirely from vegetables could shoot right to the top of our favourite foods list?!), it’s the perfect way to end the evening in one of London’s best Indian restaurants.

Where: South Wing, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Website: www.dipnasomersethouse.co.uk

Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea

Occupying an old spice warehouse (rather fittingly) , stepping into The Cinnamon Club’s Battersea sibling, with its industrial-chic interiors and smart-casual vibes, always means stepping into an evening of exceptional flavour and mouth-watering cocktails. 

We thoroughly recommend escaping to the restaurant on a rainy London evening and spending a few hours working your way from small plates like Madras style shrimp pepper fry with curried yoghurt, to Seared Kentish saddle of lamb with keema saag and raan sauce. Make sure to enjoy a Cinnamon Bellini or three while you’re at it – it’s a simple yet wonderful Handbook favourite.

Where: 4 Arches Ln, Nine Elms, London SW11 8AB
Website: www.batterseapowerstation.co.uk

The Curry Room At The Rubens At The Palace

Located just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace in the Rubens At The Palace Hotel, The Curry Room mixes intimate Indian dining with vibrant grandeur. Think comfortable leather booth seating, deep reds, plus hand embroidered tapestries adorning the walls. 

Flock there for a three-course menu, exceptional Thali, and flavoursome dishes such as Kerala Prawn Curry simmered in a Tomato and Coconut Sauce, and Traditional Natal Lamb Curry, all served with Basmati Rice, Chef’s Vegetable Side Dish and Traditional Indian Bread. Make sure you peruse the drinks list too for an extensive collection of old and new world wines, as well as popular Indian beers like Kingfisher and Cobra.

Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0PS
Website: www.rubenshotel.com

Heritage Dulwich

Heritage is located in seemingly quiet and unassuming West Dulwich, but the food in this South East London restaurant packs a massive punch.

Serving up some of the best modern Indian fine dining in the city, from Keralan Grilled Duck and Lamb & Prune Kofta, to Sookhe Aloo and Seared Scallops, the restaurant pays homage to India’s diverse culinary culture and puts a contemporary spin on a host of traditional recipes.

The food in this South East London restaurant packs a massive punch.

Where: 101 Rosendale Rd, Norwood, London SE21 8EZ
Website: www.heritagedulwich.co.uk

Colonel Saab

For London’s most striking Indian restaurant, look to Colonel Saab, located in the former Holborn Town Hall. Complete with museum-worthy artwork, chandeliered ceilings, and interiors inspired by the travel tales of an Army officer and his wife across India, the decor is eclectic and elegant – perfectly mixing the old with the new.

On the menu, you’ll find them serving up a range of dishes that combine the traditional with the progressive, including Memsaab’s chicken curry, South Indian soya pulao, and Purani delhi with mini samosa, masala chickpeas, orange zest and pomegranate.

 

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Where: 193-197 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD
Website: www.colonelsaab.co.uk

Chutney Mary

For bar-raising Indian food, head to Chutney Mary in St. James’s for an evening of Anglo-Indian cuisine whose original Chelsea location made a name for itself when it burst onto the London food scene in 1990.

Known as the restaurant that paved the way for Indian fine-dining in London, its newer outpost in St. James’s is the place to go, not only for its coastal Indian cuisine and array of seafood dishes, but also for cocktails served at the glamorous bar. While you’re there, make sure you try the goat biryani – it’s a signature dish and one that must be tasted.

Where: 73 St James’s St, St. James’s, London SW1A 1PH
Website: www.chutneymary.com

Tamarind

Bringing a delicious slice of India to Mayfair, Tamarind is well-known as one of the city’s best restaurants, and rightly so. The first Indian restaurant in London to receive a Michelin star, the adventurous dishes are truly unique, putting a modern twist on the flavours and textures of Indian cuisine. 

Think dishes such as Griddled Scottish Scallops in a mildly spiced red lentil & curry leaf sauce, topped with green apple salsa and caviar; Char-grilled Lamb Chops in a spiced marinade & pistachio crust; Grilled Portobello Mushroom stuffed with smoked & pickled aubergine; and Kerala Prawn Curry infused with aromatic spices.

Where: 20 Queen St, London W1J 5PR
Website: www.tamarindrestaurant.com

 

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Contemporary Indian cuisine that truly lives up to the hype.

Gymkhana

A restaurant to grace many a London foodie’s bucket list (and yet another of London’s Indian restaurants to earn a Michelin star), Gymkhana is the place to go for classic and contemporary Indian cuisine that truly lives up to the hype. 

Try their Goan Cafreal Salmon Tikka with Tomato Chutney, or Gilafi Quail Seekh Kebab with Mustard & Mint Chutney. For dessert, go for the Cardamom & Basmati Rice Kheer with Fresh Figs, or the Rasgulla Tiramisu.

 

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Where: 42 Albemarle St, London W1S 4JH
Website: www.gymkhanalondon.com

Dishoom

Can you really say you’re an Indian-loving Londoner if you haven’t dined at Dishoom at least once? Their Bombay street food is perfect for every occasion, whether it’s early morning breakfast, a light lunch of small plates, or an extravagant order-everything evening meal with friends.

Go for their breakfast menu and find Indian-inspired staples like The Big Bombay (akuri, char-striped smoked streaky bacon, peppery Shropshire pork sausages, masala beans, grilled field mushrooms, grilled tomato and buttered, home-made buns) or a Bacon Naan Roll (smoked streaky bacon with cream, cheese, tomato-chilli jam and coriander, wrapped in a freshly baked naan). And we can’t mention breakfast at Dishoom without mentioning their more-ish and refillable House Chai to wash it all down with.

 

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Where: Multiple Locations
Website: www.dishoom.com


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