Indian food in London

1 August 2022

Hear from Indian student, Fleur about finding Indian food on the streets of London.

Student in front of Tower Bridge

I still vaguely recollect my first month here in London; the excitement of starting the new academic year and the chaos that comes with moving to a new country alone. Very quickly, I realised how much I missed Asian cuisine. More often than not I would find myself dunking a bit of extra salt and other seasonings (that I precariously packed from India) on my food to make it more palatable! Needless to say, this added to the collective homesick sentiment and prompted me to embark on a journey of finding ways to:

  • Have tasty and healthy “ghar ka khaana” (akin to what your mum would make back home)
  • Not burn a hole in my pocket in doing so!

Being in London is expensive, but over my time here I have fallen in love with what this city has to offer – and that includes its Indian food!

So, let’s say you’ve made the move away from home and the settling down process has hit you similar to what I’ve described above! Don’t worry - Got you covered!

We are extremely lucky as university students to be located close to over 53 Indian restaurants and a few grocery stores, given UCL’s central location. Considering that not all of them might be affordable on a student budget, here is a list of Indian restaurants and grocery stores in London that are tried and tested by the Indian students at UCL and will be of help when you are homesick. Hopefully after reading this you might also be inspired to cook up a few dishes of your own!

Indian restaurants close to UCL

Not in the mood for cooking and fancy having everything done for you? Then these are the places for you.


Address: 124 Drummond Street, London NW1 2PA

Price Range: £-££

Drummond street is quite literally the city’s original “Little India.” There are quite a few Indian restaurants and grocery stores here and it’s just across the main road from the Lewis Building! Masala King, Euston Spice, Taste of India and Shah Tandoori to name a few.

However, Chutney’s in particular is your go-to short lunch break remedy when running low on time on those sans-packed-lunch days. They serve an unlimited vegetarian buffet every Monday-Thursday until 2pm for just £9.50 which also includes a drink of your choice – talk about a steal of a deal!  Apart from this, they have a la carte options as well.

Saravanaa Bhavan

Cuisine: South Indian

Address: 17 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EP

Price Range: ££ - £££

Located very close to Leicester Square station, this is a South Indian favorite of the Indian cohort at UCL. Finishing your lectures, you can either take a bus or just walk down the road from Tottenham court road to Leicester square (i.e. if you just fancy a walk in one of London’s most famous streets / want to get your steps for the day in!) It has outdoor seating and can get a bit busy but is worth the wait. Their South Indian Thali and Dosas are scrumptious. If you feel extra adventurous, you can order take out and walk down to Trafalgar Square and have your meal with a view!


Cuisine: Indian

Address: 5 Stable Street, London N1C 4AB

Price Range: ££-£££

You’ve probably already heard of this one – and for good reason! It’s a London favourite and you might have to wait in a queue, but I highly recommend trying this at least once during your time here! The lamb samosas are gorgeous, and you can top it all off with the crowd favourite – red chilly ice cream!

Beb's kitchen

Cuisine: Goan Food

Address: 126 Acre Lane, London SW2 5RJ

Price Range: ££-£££

As a uni student, you will find yourself going to Brixton pretty often: be it for kilo sales or concerts or your typical break club night! Tucked away in the heart of Acre Lane is a small family owned Goan food outlet, serving delicious homely assortment of this Portuguese inspired cuisine. Not to mention, there is also live music and you often find yourself in the middle of a restaurant wide sing song session – talk about major vibes!

Other worthy restaurant mentions: Cinnamon Bazaar, Chutney Mary’s, Gunpowder, Trisha-Marylebone.

Wembley, Ealing, Hounslow Central and Southall are other areas of London with great Indian food, albeit a little far from UCL.

Street food choice

For when you're not planning on sitting down.


Price Range: £ - ££

Address: 100 Drummond Street, London, NW1 2HN

When you find yourself craving some samosa chaat or gulab jamuns mid lecture – Gupta’s is just a hop-skip and jump away! Located at the same Drummond Street mentioned earlier, this place is truly a gem. The taste is authentic and although not an eat in, it does not fail to impress!

Grocery shopping

If you (like myself) were unable to carry your Indian ingredients from home due to the restricted luggage allowance – don’t fret! There are a few places close to UCL and numerous others just a tube ride away. Listed below are some of the worthy mentions wherein you will find an excellent selection of spices, herbs and other Indian kitchen commodities!

Plentiful Foods Indian Spice

Address: 115-119 Drummond St, London NW1 2HL

The go to shop for any Indian grocery item. You name it, they have it!

Taj Stores

Address: 112 Brick Ln, London E1 6RL

Great place to find South Asian groceries.

The Food Hall

Address: 22-24 Turnpike Ln, London N8 0PS

If you enjoy preparing your own Indian cuisine, then this place is a real delight.

Patel Brothers

Address: 187-189 Upper Tooting Rd, London SW17 7TG

A great place for fresh Indian groceries as well as spices, oils, condiments, rice (a variety of them) and lentils.

A to Z stores

Address: 175 Ballard’s Ln, London N3 1LP

Stacked floor to ceilings with spices, pulses, chutneys and other cooking ingredients as well as loads of fresh Indian vegetables and a freezer full of ready made samosas, bhajias and other delicious and tempting morsels.

Best foods supermarket

Address: 13 Ealing Rd, Wembley HA0 4AA

Good collection of Asian groceries and vegetables.

By Fleur Dias, MSc Dental Public Health