Updated November 2019
London has had a love affair with Indian food for over 200 years now. It’s rumoured that the first official Indian restaurant opened in London way back in 1809. Restaurant owners also served curries alongside traditional British dishes in coffee houses long before that.
What’s more, curries were being cooked in kitchens all across the British Isles since the founding of the East India Company in 1600 when spices started to become more readily available.
Nowadays in London you can barely walk from one street corner to another without encountering a handful on Indian restaurants.
And, with great choice comes great difficulty in deciding on where to eat. No matter what it is that you’re searching for, we’re here to help. With our guide, you’ll find the best Brick Lane curry or the best vegetarian Indian restaurant London. You name it, we’ve thought of it.
So, whether you’re a paneer masala kind of person, you crave a spicy beef vindaloo on the daily, or you just love stuffing your face with samosas, pakoras and bhajis, read on for our picks of some of the best Indian restaurants in London.
We’ve covered some of the best Indian restaurants in Scotland too.
Indian Room, Balham
This South London Indian restaurant is a cut above the rest because the skilled team here use only the finest locally-sourced ingredients in their signature dishes. Vegetarians will especially love this spot because the Indian Room has an extensive veggie section bursting with options such as kalidall or paneer makhani with black lentils simmered in tomato sauce and butter with a kiss of spices or the Bengal pumpkin with tomatoes, chopped onions, peppers and fenugreek. A delicious time awaits at Indian Room Balham!
The Rajdoot Indian Restaurant, Marylebone
Having been on the scene since 1964, tradition is stitched into the very fabric of The Rajdoot Indian Restaurant. You will find colourful dishes bursting with flavour at this Paddington Street Indian restaurant, with prices that won’t break the bank either. The staff at The Rajdoot Marylebone go above and beyond to ensure you receive only the friendliest of service, and that is but one of the many reasons why we keep on coming back time and time again.
Indian Ocean, Chigwell
If you’re as obsessed with thalis as we are, you’ll simply adore Indian Ocean. Never one to decide what to order? Thalis are the one for you because you can taste a little bit of everything, mixing and matching textures and spice levels. The portions are big, the options are plentiful and the fantastic flavours of each and every dish will create a taste explosion in your mouth.
Ryath Indian Tandoori, Paddington
You’ll find food fit for a king, a maharajah or an emperor on offer at Ryath Indian Tandoori. This is the kind of place where you should head with people who like sharing their food – the best way to enjoy authentic South Indian cuisine, dont you think? The deluxe menu for four is the stuff that dreams are made of, just make sure you come armed with your biggest appetite and enough bravery for some spicy dishes.
Light of India, South Kensington
This vibrant eatery is like a beacon for curry lovers in South Ken. But we’d be lying if we said that it’s not full to the brim with foodies who come from all over London for a taste of the incredible Indian cuisine on offer. You’ll find some intriguing specialities on the menu which you’ll likely not find anywhere else in the city. This is one of our absolute faves, and we can’t recommend it more.
Karnavar, South Croydon
One of the most striking things about Karnavar is just how perfect the presentation is. Too often restaurants with fantastic presentation serve up food which doesn’t doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of flavour, but let’s just say that Karnavar is more than up to scratch! Incredible flavour combinations, beautifully plated food and staff that simply cannot do enough for you, are but a few of the reasons that we have a big place in our heart for Karnavar South Croydon.
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Haweli of Belmont, Belmont
Expect sultry purple lighting, refreshing cocktails and a menu that’s fit to burst with mouthwatering dishes made using only the highest quality fresh herbs and spices at Haweli of Belmont. We simply couldn’t pick a favourite dish, but we highly advise checking out the excellent fish and seafood options which are out of this world. The Goan fish curry with cubes of fresh cod in coconut spices and the Malabar sea bass marinated in ginger and garlic are both well worth a look.
Rams Restaurant, Harrow
The dosas at Rams Restaurant are absolutely mind-blowing and they come with all manner of different fillings suitable for vegetarians and people who can’t handle too much spice. Very often Indian restaurants have limited dessert options, but at Rams you’ll find authentic sweet treats such as gulab jamun of saffron-fried fine wheat flour balls served with a sugary syrup and shrikhand, a beautiful dessert made from sweetened curd cheese and sprinkled with nuts. Oh, we are getting hungry just thinking about the feast that awaits at Rams Indian Restaurant Harrow!
Preem, Brick Lane
You thought we’d forgotten Brick Lane, didn’t you? Never fear… We couldn’t compile a list like this without giving a shout out to one of the best spots for curry in the city. Nor could we leave out one of the oldest curry houses in London, Preem Brick Lane. Located just minutes from the Liverpool Street tube, we literally have dreams about their lemon chana made from freshly chopped lemons, fragrant herbs & chickpeas. One of the best Indian restaurants Central London has to offer, a reservation is absolutely necessary as Preem tends to get rammed pretty quickly.
Book a table at Preem