Seven Top Restaurants for Indian Food in London

Want to “curry” favor with clients or friends headed to London? Just offer up the best insider places to enjoy Indian cuisine! Inspired by a recent post on a Luxury Travel Advisor-operated Facebook group, London correspondent Emily Goldfischer rounded up the best Indian in London—including everything from Michelin-star dinners to Afternoon Tea, listed in alphabetical order with neighborhoods noted.


Sibling trio, Jyotin, Karam and Sunaina Sethi started their restaurant empire with another well-regarded Indian restaurant, Trishna, in Marylebone back in 2008 and have grown their company, JKS Restaurants, into a 28-establishment conglomerate in London that includes everything from bao buns to English pubs and Michelin star-worthy Indian cuisine. Brigadiers is their homage to Indian barbeque.  The tandoori grill is the heart of the operation, and to make it easy for diners to indulge, they offer a series of “feast” menus—tandoori tomahawk steak and lobster, suckling lamb or pig, and a vegetarian option. If you’re an Indian devotee or a newbie, these feasts offer a great way to sample and indulge.

Neighborhood: City, 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR

Darjeeling Express

Former lawyer turned chef-owner Asma Kahn is probably best known for being on Netflix "Chef’s Table," but she earned her stripes doing 12-person Indian supper clubs in London. Now that she’s a bit of a celeb herself with a cookbook and podcast, her restaurant Darjeeling Express draws a famous crowd, too (Paul Rudd is a fan and recently brought Dany Levy). Also of note, Kahn has a completely female-led kitchen and she is beloved for her Thali tasting menus. Currently located in Covent Garden, Darjeeling Express will move after July 4. As to where, it has not been announced yet, but try for last-minute dinners (most are sold out) or book lunch if you are coming soon, otherwise follow on Instagram to see where Darjeeling ends up next.

Neighborhood: Covent Garden, 2a Garrick Street, London WC2E 9BH


Dishoom Indian cuisine

Dishoom is something of a phenomenon with five locations in London, plus outposts in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh as well as a top-selling cookbook and merch for devoted fans. Based on the old Irani cafes in Bombay, opened early last century by Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran, they were the first places in Bombay where people of any culture, class or religion could take cool refuge from the street with a cup of chai, a simple snack or a hearty meal. Dishoom has modernized the concept and brought it to London, open from breakfast through late dinner, with delicious, high-quality food at very fair prices. When it was just one location in Covent Garden, Dishoom used to be “walk-in” only and it was normal to wait for an hour to get in; that’s how good the food is. Now, you can book at some locations, though all still offer tables for walk-ins.  Favorite dishes: The breakfasts are amazing and have won awards; from the lunch and dinner menu, the Pau Bhaji is to die for—soft, buttery buns served with delicately spiced roasted vegetables in a tomato sauce. But everything on the menu is good.

Neighborhood: Five locations all over London, Kensington, Shoreditch, King’s Cross, Covent Garden, and Carnaby. 


This is the Indian restaurant you go to when you want to impress. Like its sister restaurant Trishna, Gymkhana holds a Michelin star. Tables are booked months in advance, so do that or try last minute and feel lucky if you score, because the food and scene here live up to the hype. The restaurant is set over two floors; choose from the clubby mahogany and deep green ground floor or the ruby red downstairs, a sexier spot that sits at the end of a mirrored stairwell. On either floor, the food is impeccable. It is hard to go wrong on the menu, so I’ll just say they are famous for the Muntjac Biryani with pomegranate and mint raita, which is made of deer meat. There are also loads of vegetarian options, plus set menus and specials to choose from.

Neighborhood: Mayfair, 42 Albemarle Street London W1S 4JH


Kricket Indian restaurant in London

Kricket started in Brixton as a tiny scrap of a café inside a shipping container as part of “Pop Brixton;” it was delicious then and even better now with three swish locations across London. My local is the one in White City, but they also have locations in Soho and now a proper café in their home turf of Brixton. The scene is hip and Millennial-oriented, but the occasional family or greyhead would not feel out of place. Favorite dishes: Bhel Puri, a sweet yet fresh app with crunchy veggies and puffed rice juxtaposed with a creamy yogurt sauce; and for the main do not miss the crispy Keralan fried chicken.

Neighborhood: Brixton, Soho, White City

Taj 51 Buckingham Gate

Afternoon Tea is one of my favorite London traditions, so I was curious about an Indian version. Happily, it works! With vibrant turquoise and purples and slightly exotic decor, the room at the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate has a special occasion vibe, and not surprisingly there were several groups of festively dressed Indian women enjoying themselves, and the interesting savories—spiced cream cheese and crispy chicken tikka spring rolls, followed by the traditional Indian dessert Gulab Jamun, plus chocolate Rasmalai cups and Gulabi scones. Located not far from Buckingham Palace and Victoria, this would be a nice treat after visiting the Royal Mews or pre-theatre.

Neighborhood: Victoria, 51 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AF


When my brother came to visit he asked his Indian friends from New York where to go, and Tayyabs was on all of their lists. On the far end of East London, Tayyabs is literally the opposite end of London from where I live, so I went with him begrudgingly. Well, 100 percent worth the trip. The lamb chops that come as a starter should actually be your meal, they're so tender, well-spiced and delicious. There are tons of great options for vegetarian, too; I loved the saag aloo and the fluffy naans. This atmosphere is lively; not a posh place but a very authentic one. 

Neighborhood: East London, 83-89 Fieldgate St, Whitechapel, London E1 1JU

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