Looking for the best Indian restaurants in London? You won't have to look far. Britain has one of the most diverse culinary landscapes in the world, with food from all over the globe finding its way here at one time or another. Of those many world cuisines, few are as popular in the UK as Indian food. Offering rich and unique flavours, alluring aromas and vibrant colours on the plate, you'd be hard-pushed to find a Brit who isn't partial to an Indian meal.
We've learnt a great deal about the diversity of Indian cuisine over the last decade - every region offers something different in terms of style and tradition. In the north, a strong Mughal influence leads dishes to feature dairy and cheese more commonly. Samosas are typical of northern India, as are breads - tandoors are very common in this part of India and were traditionally shared by a village and used for cooking breads (the concept of cooking meat in a tandoor only arrived later with the British Raj).
Head west into Gujarat and Goa and you'll discover a cuisine much more centred around seafood and vegetables. Gujarati cuisine is mostly vegetarian, and often blends with Chinese influence near the borders. Goa meanwhile has a long history as a major trade port and Portuguese colony, and Goan food reflects this - pork and beef are more common here than anywhere else in India, and the prevalence of coconut palms means that coconut milk features commonly in dishes.
Anywhere you go in India you'll find food that varies massively from region to region, based on the country's rich history and wide-ranging climate. Thankfully this diversity is reflected in the huge range of Indian restaurants in London, though that hasn't always been the case. Whether you're looking for authentic Indian street food, contemporary takes on the classics, vegetarian dishes, or just a good old butter chicken and garlic naan, the capital is the place to find it. London even plays host to a few Indian restaurants which have been awarded a prestigious Michelin star, further demonstrating the quality on offer when it comes to Indian food in London.
With such a vast array of different options to choose from, we wouldn't blame you for feeling overwhelmed when looking for somewhere to book - if you're looking for the best Indian food in London, you've got a lot of options. To give you a hand finding the perfect spot, we've put together this guide to the best Indian restaurants London has to offer. Every restaurant featured has been tried and tested by our expert team of food critics and we've also tried to cover a range of different styles and price points. Read below to help pick which one you want to visit, or make it your mission to tick them all off your to-dine list.
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The best Indian restaurants in Mayfair
London's most famous and influential Indian restaurants have long gravitated towards Mayfair - arguably the capital's most exclusive postcode. Indian restaurants in Mayfair include leading lights like Benares and Gymkhana, and our 2022 top restaurant in London, BiBi.
What: Voted into the number one spot on our list of top 100 restaurants in London for 2022, BiBi is a monumental restaurant that blends a wide array of influences to serve up dishes that are unique and contemporary, but still have the essence of recognisable Indian cuisine. Chef patron Chet Sharma spent time in development at restaurant juggernauts like L'Enclume, Moor Hall, The Ledbury and Mugaritz, so it's no wonder that this young starlet is making waves in Mayfair.
Where: 42 North Audley Street, Mayfair, W1K 6ZR
Book now: BiBi
What: The first Indian restaurant ever to win a Michelin star back in 2001, Tamarind continues to hold its own among some of London’s newer openings, thanks to its innovative menu and suave interiors. Twice the size of its original incarnation and now under the stewardship of new head chef Karunesh Khanna (ex-Amaya), this upmarket eatery in London’s swankiest district promises sensory joys, prettily presented. Try the lunch menu for a top-notch meal on a budget.
Where: 20 Queen Street, Mayfair, W1J 5PR
Book now: Tamarind
What: This highly regarded establishment has a talent for changing the way people perceive and experience Indian cuisine, thanks to its French-inspired approach to spice-based cooking. Named after India’s holy city, Benares marries tradition with modernity, both in the kitchen and with its elegant yet exotic interior, so anyone looking for a standard curry should look elsewhere. Kindly, engaging staff deliver spotless service and while prices are befitting of the restaurant’s Mayfair location, it’s well worth a visit on special occasions.
Where: 12a Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 6BS
Book now: Benares
What: It’s difficult not to reach for the superlatives when talking about this Michelin-starred Mayfair thriller, and for good reason. Gymkhana’s menu happily accommodates all palates and preferences, whether your taste is for a gently-spiced pilau or a fearsome vindaloo, and whatever you order is going to be exceptional. Gymkhana was refurbished after a fire some years ago - now it's looking swankier than ever.
Where: 42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, W1S 4JH
Book now: Gymkhana
What: Few have done as much for Indian restaurant food in the UK as Rohit Ghai - the one-time executive chef of Gymkhana has had a hand in almost every big Indian restaurant in the capital, from Benares and Jamavar to Trishna and Bombay Bustle. Since striking out on his own, he’s established Kutir and Manthan as two more essential visits for Londoners, the latter of which offers more relaxed, street-food style sharers in the glamour of Mayfair.
Where: 49 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2PQ
Book now: Manthan
Bombay Bustle, Mayfair
What: The younger sibling of big-hitting Jamavar, Bombay Bustle lives up to its lively name. Inspired by India’s dabbawala lunchbox deliveries, the menu is big on street food and chaat, while the decor is characterised by bold colours. Lovely cocktails, a sundae bar and knowledgeable staff are further pluses at this Mayfair hotspot, which also has the advantage of being more affordable than other high-end Indians this side of Regent Street. Our advice: take friends and share everything.
Where: 29 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2PA
Book now: Bombay Bustle
What: This much-lauded fine dining restaurant scores highly on everything, from décor and atmosphere to the divine food. The menu hops merrily around India’s many regions, so you’ll find dishes ranging from goat kebabs to sea bass curry, with plenty in between. Early birds can enjoy a set menu for a good price, given the quality on offer at Jamavar. Whatever you do, don’t miss the dessert menu.
Where: 8 Mount Street, Mayfair, W1K 3NF
Book now: Jamavar
What: Founded in 1926, Veeraswamy is still flying the flag as the oldest Indian restaurant in London. The plum Regent Street location means that you’ll be rubbing shoulders with a wide range of clientele, who are all there to enjoy a menu that takes inspiration from all over India, serving contemporary versions of regional classics.
Where: Victory House, Mayfair, W1B 4RS
Book now: Veeraswamy
The best Indian restaurants in Marylebone
If Mayfair is the traditional glitzy heartland of cutting-edge Indian food, Marylebone is the smart, laid-back cousin - see Marylebone Indian restaurants like Trishna and Jikoni, which capably blend great food with relaxed service and Instagram-friendly interiors.
What: Sitting pretty in the heart of London’s Marylebone Village, Michelin-starred Trishna exudes a sociable neighbourhood dining atmosphere, particularly in the summer when its terrace doors are flung open onto Blandford Street to create a semi-al fresco ambience. The prevailing breeze might not be coastal, but the chefs make up for it by delivering a contemporary taste of Indian seaside cuisine alongside an extensive wine list that focuses on emerging regions and fine wines from niche producers and boutique wineries from all over the world.
Where: 15-17 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 3DG
Book now: Trishna
What: A cute little spot in fashionable Marylebone, furnished with scatter cushions, fabric lampshades and a smart marble bar, Jikoni has a charming ‘dinner at an insanely talented friend’s house’ vibe going on. Owned and run by award-winning chef Ravinder Bhogal, it’s a unique restaurant with an east African-cum-Indian-cum-British-inspired menu to match. We particularly recommend giving the prawn toast Scotch egg served with banana ketchup a try!
Where: 19-21 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 3DH
Book now: Jikoni
What: Chourangi, named after a historic district of Kolkata, serves a menu of traditional Bengali dishes from India’s east coast, including machher jhol, a traditional spicy tomato-based curry; kosha mangsho, a rich mutton curry; and plenty of luchi – Kolkata’s signature deep-fried flatbreads. Sweet treats play a large part in Bengali dining too, so don’t miss out on saffron and coconut chomchoms, or mishti doi - a famous Bengali dessert made from fermented sweetened yoghurt.
Where: 3 Old Quebec Street, Marylebone, W1H 7DL
Book now: Chourangi
The best Indian restaurants in Soho
As ever, Soho is a hotbed of young, exciting food talent, but the best Indian restaurants in Soho for our money is a fan-favourites that has become a veteran of the scene - Kricket on Denman Street.
What: We love this Soho branch of the legendary Brixton pop-up, both for its buzzy atmosphere and incredible eats. The concise menu features a core list of Kricket classics, such as bhel puris and Keralan fried chicken with curry-leaf mayonnaise, plus a few seasonal specials, while the drinks list contains gems such as rum-spiked masala chai. Part of Kricket’s charm is the counter dining set-up, though there are larger tables in the basement for groups.
Where: 12 Denman Street, Soho, W1D 7HH
Book now: Kricket
The best Indian restaurants in Covent Garden
You can't talk about Indian restaurants in Covent Garden without talking about Darjeeling Express; Asma Khan's homely restaurant was a Soho stalwart for years before making the move eastwards. Don't miss out on Dishoom either - the Covent Garden branch has had a refurb and looks all the better for it.
Darjeeling Express, Covent Garden
What: Having recently relocated to Covent Garden, Darjeeling Express continues to serve an exquisite menu of Bengali and North Indian dishes with Asma Khan at the helm alongside her all-women team. However, it now boasts a far bigger dining room, meaning that punters might not have to book quite as far in advance as they used to.
Where: 2a Garrick Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9BH
Book now: Darjeeling Express
Dishoom, Covent Garden
What: There’s a good reason for the near-constant queues outside the flagship restaurant of this now UK-wide micro-chain of Bombay-style cafés: Dishoom’s reliable all-day menu that includes an aromatic biryani dish of chicken berry Britannia, and ever-popular naan rolls filled with things like bacon and eggs. The drinks list keeps up the good work, with lassis and craft beers, plus exciting cocktails to enjoy in the basement bar if you’re waiting for a table. The Covent Garden branch has been more recently updated with all new decor too, so it looks bang up to date.
Where: 12 Upper St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, WC2H 9FB
Book now: Dishoom Covent Garden
The best Indian restaurants in East London
London's most recent culinary upstart, East London Indian restaurants have plenty to say. Check out a Spitalfields favourite in Gunpowder, JKS Restaurants' Indian drinking den Brigadiers and the ever-present Tayyabs in Whitechapel.
What: Located on a backstreet behind Spitalfields Market, the original branch of Gunpowder (there is a Tower Bridge outpost too) may come across as low-key, but the food is explosive. Rich in rustic Indian sharing dishes inspired by family recipes, the menu features the likes of pork ribs with crunchy tamarind kachumber, Goan grilled prawns, and spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut. Décor is simple, but who cares when the food is this good and prices are reasonable?
Where: 11 White's Row, Spitalfields, E1 7NF; 4 Duchess Walk, Tower Bridge, SE1 2SD
Book now: Gunpowder Spitalfields; Gunpowder Tower Bridge
Brigadiers, City of London
What: An Indian barbecue restaurant and sports bar, pitched in mood midway between the cheap thrills of Hoppers and the flashiness of Gymkhana, Brigadiers is particularly well-suited to group dining. With half a dozen menu sections to choose from, including ‘beer snacks’, ‘sizzlers and kebabs’ and ‘rotisserie and wood oven’, it’s best to round up as many friends as possible and order the lot. Failing that, be sure to try the barbecue butter chicken wings and chilli-cheese naan – two outstanding dishes.
Where: 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, City of London, EC4N 8AR
Book now: Brigadiers
What: You might recognise Attawa’s Arbinder Dugal from his time on MasterChef: The Professionals in 2019. After his time on TV, Arbinder turned his attention to his own restaurant on Dalston’s Kingsland Road, where he serves Punjabi dishes taken from his own family recipes, but given a contemporary twist. It's more than worth a visit if you're near the foodie mecca of Dalston.
Where: 6 Kingsland Road, Dalston, E8 2JP
Book now: Attawa
What: Legendary among Londoners, this Whitechapel institution has been going strong since the early seventies and, judging by the huge queues out the door each night, shows no signs of slowing down. As popular with families and students as it is with rowdy City parties and mates on the town, Tayyabs remains one of London’s favourite low-budget eateries thanks to its famous lamb chops and BYOB policy. Quick service is guaranteed, which is just what you want when you’ve waited an hour for a table.
Where: 83-89 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, E1 1JU
Book now: Tayyabs
The best Indian restaurants in West London
Often home to London's classier establishments, Indian restaurants in West London are no different. Check out Kutir in Chelsea, for example - Rohit Ghai's unique, glamorous take on modern Indian cooking.
What: Boasting shiny surfaces and a ‘theatre’ kitchen at the heart of the sleek dining room, this glamorous venue has star quality written all over it. Luckily, Amaya’s menu keeps pace with the clever design spec as the chefs fashion succulent and creatively spiced Indian-style tapas from their array of tandoors, tawa hotplates and sigri grills. Regulars confirm that the Michelin-starred restaurant’s premium prices are fully justified, but that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt to get the bill.
Where: Halkin Arcade, Belgravia, SW1X 8JT
Book now: Amaya
What: Rohit Ghai's original solo venture, the smart, glitzy dining rooms at Kutir make an entrancing setting for modern Indian cooking. Inspired by India’s vast and rich heritage and wildlife, Kutir offers diners the opportunity to enjoy traditional flavours in refined dishes such as lamb with black cardamom, and black lentil dal, followed by sweet creations like rhubarb Falooda - a cold milk-based dessert - with kulfi and saffron.
Where: 10 Lincoln Street, Chelsea, SW3 2TS
Book now: Kutir
Light of India, Kensington
What: Light of India boasts a lovely location in a quiet, residential part of Kensington, as well as an expansive menu that takes in authentic dishes from every corner of India. The restaurants caters for all comers, with a variety of set menus, tasting menus and pre-theatre menus for vegans and vegetarians as well as meat and fish eaters. Finish your meal with something off the wonderful royal dessert list, then walk it all off around nearby Kensington Gardens.
Where: 67/69 Gloucester Road, Kensington, SW7 4PG
Book now: Light of India
The best Indian restaurants across the rest of London
There's no escaping Indian food wherever you go in London - these restaurants are our pick from the rest of the city.
Spice Village, Tooting and Southall
What: While Spice Village is primarily a Pakistani restaurant, it actually offers a huge range of food, including Indian and Afghan cuisines. Dishes here are homemade, pure comfort food. Start off with poppadoms, before choosing from the plentiful starter options, including chilli paneer, spicy lamb tikka or tandoori king prawns. Vegetarians and those who prefer meat or seafood are all well catered for at Spice Village, with lots of choice for each. Even the bread has lots of choice, with every possible type of naan as well as rotis and parathas on offer.
Where: 185-189 The Broadway, Southall, UB1 1LX; 121 Upper Tooting Road, Tooting, SW17 7TJ
Book now: Spice Village Southall; Spice Village Tooting
Pahli Hill, Fitzrovia
What: Having opened up in the building which for over 50 years was the home of Gaylord Indian restaurant, Pahli Hill certainly doesn’t disappoint. Serving up sharing plates inspired by the food of Mumbai, the flavours here certainly aren’t shy. Make sure to order the slow-cooked Chettinad-style veal shin and plenty of the amazing flatbread to mop up the leftovers. Downstairs cocktail bar Bhandra Bhai is the perfect place to finish the evening.
Where: 79-81 Mortimer Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 7SJ
Book now: Pahli Hill
Chutney Mary, St James's
What: This opulently-appointed Indian restaurant and cocktail bar has it all. Sumptuous interiors, small plates of spicy street food followed by seafood from the tandoor grill, show-stopping desserts and a well-composed wine list make Chutney Mary one heck of an experience. If you think Indian puddings aren’t for you, try a mixed sampler of Chutney Mary’s show-stopping desserts including tiny versions of a chocolate bomb, ice cream, halwa, kulfi, gulab jamun and spiced berries.
Where: 73 St James's Street, St James's, SW1A 1PH
Book now: Chutney Mary
The Cinnamon Club, Westminster
What: Set within a galleried, book-lined room (formerly the Old Westminster Library), this famous institution established by acclaimed chef Vivek Singh is a must-visit for anyone who’s serious about Indian food. Beautifully-spiced dishes on offer at The Cinnamon Club are made even more tempting by perfect presentation, which is all part of the well-heeled package here. Portions are petite and prices are steep, but professionalism and quality such as this doesn’t come cheap. Look out for guest chef dinners, which are always enticing.
Where: The Old Westminster Library, Westminster, SW1P 3BU
Book now: The Cinnamon Club
Want to search for Indian restaurants by area, price point, or ambience? Check out our full list of Indian restaurants in London!