Best Indian restaurants in London

These top-notch Indian joints are guaranteed to spice up your life

Updated on 07 August 2019

Find the very best Indian restaurants in London with SquareMeal’s handpicked selection below. Undoubtedly the nation’s favourite cuisine, Indian food is an exciting culinary journey of colour, rich flavours and aromas. A diverse cuisine that encompasses each region of India, Indian food is shaped by the religious and cultural beliefs of each area. Whether it's a traditional Indian curry-house, contemporary flavours or authentic street-food staples on your mind, the capital is the place to find it. Read below to pick which one you want to visit, or make it your life's mission to tick every Indian restaurant in London off your to-dine list.

Farzi Café

Farzi Café

8 Haymarket, St. James's, London, SW1Y 4BP

Known for its molecular gastronomy and tableside theatrics, this popular Indian chain calls itself a ‘modern spice bistro’. What that translates to is a quirky modern Indian café where you’ll find dishes such as Udupi paneer popcorn chicken, pork belly tikka, and tandoori goat shoulder, followed by desserts such as Rasmalai ‘marshmallow’ with tres leche, and a ‘chocolate chai bubble’. Seating is cramped, but service is professional and the atmosphere is terrific.

£50 - £79
Indian
The Cinnamon Club

The Cinnamon Club

The Old Westminster Library, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BU

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 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.

£50 - £79
Indian
Masala Zone Covent Garden

Masala Zone Covent Garden

48 Floral Street, London, WC2E 9DA

We love this branch of popular chain Masala Zone’s striking collection of 350 ceremonial Rajasthani puppets that hang from the ceiling, but even more than that, we love the food. Traditional Indian street food, family-style sharing thalis and regional curries make up the bulk of the menu, though you’ll also find seductive desserts made uniquely by the restaurant’s halwais (specialist Indian dessert chefs) and mini-thalis and non-spiced dishes for kids.

£30 - £49
Indian
Cinnamon Kitchen City

Cinnamon Kitchen City

9 Devonshire Square, Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 4YL

An offshoot of acclaimed chef Vivek Singh’s flagship Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen City revolves around an open kitchen where chefs prepare a series of aromatic dishes characterised by subtle spicing. Nothing will blow your head off, but everything will make your taste buds sing. Housed in a former spice warehouse and done out in industrial-chic style, the space is ideal for City slickers, as are the set menu offers for working lunches on a tight schedule.

£30 - £49
Indian
Namaasté Kitchen

Namaasté Kitchen

64 Parkway, London, NW1 7AH

Located between stylish Primrose Hill and bustling Camden Town, this modern Indian kitchen promises healthy and delicious dishes made with the freshest ingredients. The menu reaches well beyond the curry-house favourites as chefs skilfully handle the tandoor, sigri and tawa grills before your eyes to bring you dishes such as tandoori salmon and Peshawari lamb chops (though it still does a mean lamb madras). There are also plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans, and lots of dishes are gluten-free.

£30 - £49
Indian
Indian Accent

Indian Accent

16 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4HW

Given that its New Delhi branch is currently the only restaurant in India on the World’s 50 Best list, this new London sibling had big boots to fill. Luckily, it fills them with ease thanks to a combination of on-the-ball staff, lavish surroundings, an excellent wine list and, most importantly of all, chef Manish Methrota’s mouth-watering menu. Prices are steep, but for the quality and skill involved in making food this good, it’s well worth saving up for.

£50 - £79
Indian
SquareMeal Gold List
Gymkhana

Gymkhana

42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4JH

Gymkhana is currently closed until further notice due to fire damage. Readers and critics alike regularly reach for the superlatives when talking about this Michelin-starred Mayfair thriller, and for good reason. The kitchen happily accommodates all palates and preferences, whether your taste is for a gently spiced wild mushroom, asparagus, morel and truffle pilau or a fearsomely fiery pork cheek vindaloo, and regardless of what you order, it’s going to be exceptional. Great service and plenty of excellent sips seal the deal.

£50 - £79
Indian
One michelin star
Sagar Covent Garden

Sagar Covent Garden

31 Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5JS

This modest London group has achieved something close to cult status among Londoners looking for outstanding south Indian food at ridiculously affordable prices, and for good reason. The mouth-watering menu features a variety of excellent dosas, alongside curries, uthappams and thalis, plus a healthy selection of beers, wines and softs, all for a snip of the price you’d expect to pay in central London. The interior is no-frills, but staff are always helpful and efficient, and the food really is superb.

Under £30
Indian
£30 - £49
Ooty

Ooty

66 Baker Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 7DJ

A three-in-one drinking and dining destination, Ooty is an excellent choice for pretty much any occasion. Situated in the centre of Marylebone, the space combines a dining room, basement bar, and ‘Ooty station’ – an all-day casual dining space and cocktail bar. A south Indian specialist majoring in small-portioned fine dining, Ooty lays on dishes such as kid goat sukka, tiger prawn biryani and jaggery pineapple bake in cosy surrounds. Staff are delightful, though prices reflect the area.

£50 - £79
Indian
Dishoom Covent Garden

Dishoom Covent Garden

12 Upper St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9FB

There’s a good reason for the near-constant queues outside this Bombay-style café: 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 décor in the bustling dining room is bang up to date and service is swift.

£30 - £49
Indian
Benares

Benares

12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 6BS

This Michelin-starred 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.

£50 - £79
Indian
Halal
Café Spice Namasté

Café Spice Namasté

16 Prescot Street, Tower Hill, London, E1 8AZ

Now in its twenty-second year, this culinary institution offers a seamless blend of east and west with its sophisticated and imaginative menu. Owned by Bombay-born, bred and trained chef Cyrus Todiwala – a high-profile chef renowned for championing British produce – Café Spice Namasté offers a good selection of snacks, small plates and main dishes, including a number of Goan-inspired seafood dishes. Tasting notes on the wine list are helpful for pairing and there are two tasting menus for easy dining.

£30 - £49
Indian
£30 - £49
Darjeeling Express

Darjeeling Express

2nd Floor, 6-8 Kingly Street, Soho, London, W1B 5PW

Friendly staff and a kitchen team made up of women who learnt their craft from their mothers make dining at Darjeeling Express feel like popping over to a friend’s house for a superbly-cooked dinner. The relaxed venue is no accident though as it provides the perfect backdrop for Asma Khan’s expert blend of north Indian and Bengali cooking. Don’t miss the tangra chilli and garlic prawns zapped with a tongue-popping five-spice blend.

Under £30
Indian
SquareMeal Gold List
Brigadiers

Brigadiers

1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, City of London, London, EC4N 8AR

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 beef chuck bone-marrow keema and chilli-cheese kulcha – two outstanding dishes.

£50 - £79
Indian
Raj of Kensington

Raj of Kensington

1 Abingdon Road, London, W8 6AH

Raj of Kensington might be classed as a classic neighbourhood Indian restaurant, until you try the food, which transcends the curry-house norm in a big way. Dishes such as pan-fried tiger prawns soaked in cider, and prune- and pepper-stuffed paneer kebab burst with distinctive flavours, and the usual suspect curries – rogan josh, butter chicken, lamb biryani – while less exciting, are still above par. Well-considered cocktails are another forte, though the wine list has limited by-the-glass options.

£30 - £49
Indian
Jamavar

Jamavar

8 Mount Street, London, W1K 3NF

This Michelin-starred 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 Jamavar’s star status, but those looking for an indulgent treat should book in for the ‘Royal Brunch’. Whatever you do, don’t miss the dessert menu.

£50 - £79
Indian
One michelin star
SquareMeal Gold List
Tamarind Kitchen

Tamarind Kitchen

167-169 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8WR

A less-formal offshoot of Tamarind (the Michelin-starred Mayfair Indian), this buzzing den of a restaurant in bustling Soho delivers succinct quality and cosseting vibes. The two-page menu is simple to navigate, exploring small plates and Indian kebabs before curry-dominated mains and sides, while drinks take the form of wine and sparky, fruit-laden cocktails. The pre-theatre menu is a steal at £24 for three dishes and a side, though we recommend you tack dessert on for the full experience.

£30 - £49
Indian
Tayyabs

Tayyabs

83-89 Fieldgate Street, London, E1 1JU

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.

Under £30
Indian
Halal
Veeraswamy

Veeraswamy

Victory House, 99 Regent Street, London, London, W1B 4RS

An iconic institution since its establishment in 1926, Veeraswamy continues to offer classic Indian cuisine to the hungry diners of Regent Street almost a century on. Its secret? Excellent renditions of the classic repertoire with some dramatic house specials. It’s not just the food that’s princely though; the lavish interiors have been designed to evoke the opulent extravagance displayed in the Maharajas Palaces of the twenties, so be sure to dress up.

£50 - £79
Indian
One michelin star
Hoppers Soho

Hoppers Soho

49 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4SG

Superb Sri Lankan small plates at decent prices are the main draw of this ever-popular joint in Soho, though the cosy interior oughtn’t to be overlooked. You’ll want to order the whole menu, but we’d suggest trying a few ‘short eats’ before ordering one of the eponymous hoppers (a bowl-shaped rice pancake with a gooey egg embedded in its base). Hoppers is great value for money and you’re always made to feel welcome by the lovely staff.

£30 - £49
Indian
Chokhi Dhani

Chokhi Dhani

Unit E2, 2 Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Lane, Battersea, London, SW8 5AW

Promising a multi-sensory experience both on and off the plate, Chokhi Dhani is bursting with arts and crafts like its counterpart in Jaipur. The idea here is celebrate the culture as well as the aromatic food of India so as well as colourful dishes, diners can also look forward to fortune tellers and henna artists doing the rounds at weekends. Depending on your mood (and budget), diners can choose to eat in the fine dining restaurant upstairs or the ground floor and terrace which serves street food.

£30 - £49
Indian
Amaya

Amaya

Halkin Arcade, 19 Motcomb Street, London, London, SW1X 8JT

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, the 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.

£30 - £49
Indian
One michelin star
Chutney Mary

Chutney Mary

73 St James's Street, St James's, London, SW1A 1PH

Proud recipient of a coveted gold award, 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. Prices are generally commensurate with its popularity, though there’s a set business lunch menu that includes three courses for £33, which we reckon is a bit of a bargain.

£50 - £79
Indian
SquareMeal Gold List
Little Kolkata

Little Kolkata

51-53 Shelton Street, London, WC2H 9JU

Tucked away on a street in the heart of Covent Garden, this homely Bangladeshi restaurant is a gem of a find. The décor is replete with genuine Bengali touches, from terracotta tableware to vintage flooring, bare concrete walls and splashes of deep red, but it’s the varied choice of colourful sharing dishes at reasonable prices that led to this former supper club taking up permanent residence in one of London’s most-visited areas. Don’t miss the goat curry.

£30 - £49
Indian
Jikoni

Jikoni

19-21 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London, W1D 3DH

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 (dubbed the ‘new Fanny Cradock’ by Gordon Ramsay), it’s a unique restaurant with an east African-cum-Indian-cum-British-inspired menu to match. We recommend the prawn toast Scotch egg served with banana ketchup.

£30 - £49
International
Kricket Soho

Kricket Soho

12 Denman Street, Soho, London, W1D 7HH

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.

£30 - £49
Indian
Zaika of Kensington

Zaika of Kensington

1 High street Kensington, London, W8 5NP

Dominated by high ceilings and wood panels, the interior has a whiff of Hogwarts about it while the food is definitely worthy of a start-of-term feast. Here you can dine like royalty thanks to the focus on Awadhi cuisine from Lucknow in north India, which includes dishes such as kebabs loaded with lamb, cheese and garlic, seared scallops with puffed rice, and grilled lobster with garlic and mango. Prices are high, but the set lunch and pre/post-theatre menus offer phenomenal value.

£30 - £49
Indian
Babur

Babur

119 Brockley Rise, London, London, SE23 1JP

A long-standing neighbourhood favourite among Brockley residents, Babur has everything you could want in an Indian restaurant: artfully chosen decor, superb cocktails and exceptional food. The menus have been a work in progress since this friendly joint opened its doors in 1985, and the chefs continue to experiment and innovate with dishes ranging from tandoori lamb chops to wild mushroom and pea dosa, and ostrich masala. The ever-popular Sunday buffet is a steal at £16.95.

£30 - £49
Indian
Potli

Potli

319-321 King Street, Hammersmith, London, W6 9NH

This colourful modern enterprise might be a little way out west, but it earns its keep on this list by serving up dependably excellent Indian street food. Bright interiors, super friendly staff and reasonable prices all help too and have contributed to Potli becoming an established favourite with local foodies. The weekday market place lunch menu is incredible value at £10.95 for two courses and – best of all – comes with rice and naan bread.

£30 - £49
Indian
Tamarind Mayfair

Tamarind Mayfair

20 Queen Street, London, London, W1J 5PR

The first Indian restaurant ever to win a Michelin star back in 2001, Tamarind continues to command a spot on most publications’ ‘best’ lists, thanks to its innovative menu and suave interiors. Overseen by two former head chefs from London’s other most famous Indian restaurants – Karunesh Khanna of Amaya and Manav Tuli of Chutney Mary – 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.

£50 - £79
Indian
Bombay Bustle

Bombay Bustle

29 Maddox Street, London, W1S 2PA

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.

£30 - £49
Indian
Kutir

Kutir

10 Lincoln Street, Chelsea, London, SW3 2TS

Owned and run by a former head chef at Gymkhana who also launched Jamavar and Bombay Bustle, this smart series of dining rooms is 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 cumin, and rice lentil kedgeree, followed by sweet creations like Bhapa Doi (steamed yogurt pudding) and Rabdi  Falooda (a cold milk-based dessert).

£50 - £79
Indian
Trishna

Trishna

15-17 Blandford Street, London, London, W1U 3DG

Sitting pretty in the heart of London’s Marylebone Village, 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 coastal cuisine alongisde an extensive wine list that focuses on emerging regions and fine wines from niche producers and boutique wineries from all over the world.

£30 - £49
Indian
Fish
One michelin star
Gunpowder Spitalfields

Gunpowder Spitalfields

11 White's Row, London, E1 7NF

Located on a backstreet behind Spitalfields Market, this cosy no-bookings restaurant 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, organic baby chicken char-grilled in tandoori spices, and a ‘chutney cheese sandwich’. Décor is simple, but who cares when the food is this good and prices are reasonable?

£30 - £49
Indian
Quilon

Quilon

41 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AF

A world away from the bustling Indian eateries of Soho, this South Indian specialist is a tranquil spot in which to enjoy rich, aromatic seafood. There’s plenty for meat eaters and vegetarians too, but dishes such as crab cakes gently spiced with curry leaves, ginger and chilli or giant juicy shell-on prawns cooked in an onion, tomato and coconut masala are bang on the money. A wine list carefully selected to complement the cuisine makes choosing a cinch.

£30 - £49
Indian

Naturally London is filled with some of the best Indian restaurants in the UK, from the casual curry houses of Brick Lane to the fine dining joints of the West End, so making your choice may sometimes prove to be hard work. SquareMeal’s list of the best Indian restaurants in London is an excellent guide, featuring only the best of the best. Every one of the restaurants featured in SquareMeal’s list of London’s top Indian restaurants has been tried and tested by our expert team of independent food critics as well as regular customers, so check out the reviews and book a table online. Indian cuisine also lends itself well to vegetarian dining – if that's your bag, check out our pick of the best vegetarian restaurants in London