The Best Curry Houses in and Around Brick Lane

Brick Lane street signs
Brick Lane street signs | © James Cridland/Flickr
Christina Dean

Brick Lane is known as London’s curry mile thanks to the numerous Indian restaurants that line the street. While there are a few decent curry houses on the street itself, some of the best Indian food is actually to be found in the rest of Spitalfields, Whitechapel and Shoreditch. Here’s our pick of the best.

1. Brick Lane Brasserie

Restaurant, Indian, Bangladeshi

One of the better options actually on Brick Lane itself, Brick Lane Brasserie serves a mixture of Indian and Bangladeshi food, including fish specialties, shatkora chicken and lamb ureebisi gatta, as well as a large range of traditional curries. The two-course midweek meal deal is good value for money, making Brick Lane Brasserie an excellent lunch option.

2. City Spice

Restaurant, Indian, Bangladeshi

Thanks to the recent accolades it has hauled in – including London restaurant of the year at the 2016 Bangladesh Caterers Association Awards – City Spice bills itself as the ‘King of Brick Lane’. The menu is a mix of Mughal, Bengali and classic Indian dishes with tandoori roopchanda (a skate-like fish from Bengal), chana makhoni and curryleaf chicken among their award-winners, so pay special attention to this section of the menu for a true taste of what City Spice is all about.

3. Meraz Cafe

Restaurant, Indian

Just off Brick Lane on Hanbury Street, Meraz Café has been in operation for over forty years and is better than ever thanks to a recent refurbishment. The menu is full of crowdpleasing dishes but the biryanis are particularly good here and like most Indian restaurants in the area it’s BYO.

4. Lahore Kebab House

Cafe, Restaurant, Pakistani

As you can work out from the name, Whitechapel-based Lahore Kebab House is a Pakistani restaurant and their Punjabi food is much beloved by Londoners. The tandoori dishes are the real draw of this place although the curries, many of which feature meat on the bone, are by far some of the best in the area and their soft naan breads are great too. The décor is simple to say the least, but all the excitement is on the plate.

5. Gunpowder

Restaurant, Indian

Gunpowder is a modern take on an Indian home-style kitchen rather than a traditional curry house, so don’t come here expecting to find curries, rice and naans, or lots of space for that matter – this Spitalfields spot only has 28 seats. What you will get is bold and vibrant small plates like spicy venison doughnuts, sigree grilled mustard broccoli and wild rabbit pulao. The food here is a real demonstration of how exciting and diverse Indian food can be.

6. Cinnamon Kitchen

Restaurant, Indian

Another restaurant in Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon family (the others being Cinnamon Soho and Westminster’s Cinnamon Club), Cinnamon Kitchen brings modern Indian food to the capital. There are a few curries, such as Goan style pork cheek vindaloo with masala mash and Tanjore style king prawns with ghee rice, on the menu, as well as a strong dessert offering – chilled guava soup with tropical fruits and coconut sorbet makes for a great palate cleanser. If you’re after drinks, head to the Anise bar for an innovative, spice-infused cocktail.

7. Dishoom Shoreditch

Restaurant, Diner, Indian

Dishoom offers visitors a variety of tantalising brunch dishes
© Stephen Joyce
Dishoom has undoubtedly become one of the most popular Indian restaurants in town, helped in part by locations in Covent Garden, Carnaby and King’s Cross, and their Shoreditch site is still extremely popular. The signature dish here is lamb raan (spiced and flame-grilled lamb leg, which also comes burger-style in a sourdough bun), while the house black daal, pau bhaji and breakfast bacon naan are also much-loved.

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