Indian Restaurants in Covent Garden
1. Cinnamon Bazaar Indian restaurant in 28 Maiden Lane - WC2E
“Amazing Indian street food”, “in a fun, vibrant environment” – this Covent Garden café provides “a cheaper alternative to the other Cinnamon restaurants”, with “lots of small contemporary Indian dishes” that mirror the quality of its pricier stablemates. There’s a “great early-evening set menu” for theatre- and opera-goers.
2. Sagar Indian restaurant in Covent Garden 31 Catherine St - WC2
“Great-value South Indian vegetarian food at its best” is served at this long-running group with venues in Covent Garden, Fitzrovia, Hammersmith and Harrow. “Not at all your typical Indian restaurants”, they serve “food to convince that vegetarian and vegan cooking is good”, made with “fresh ingredients, lightly spiced and producing great flavours” – so “don’t let the decor put you off!”. Top Tip: “the dosas are a must”.
3. Dishoom Indian restaurant in Chinatown 12 Upper St Martins Ln - WC2
“The new Covent Garden branch of Dishoom is spectacular and the food is still ace” – our poll’s most commented-on chain continues to win overwhelmingly rapturous reviews. It helps that the “very different” Indian menu is a winner: “super-tasty” and “excellent value”, with the “out-of-the-box” breakfast options a particular fave rave (“have a bacon naan and a cup of chai, and the world feels a better place”). But, actually, the stand-out feature is the “always buzzing and fun” atmosphere at its individually designed branches; and post-lockdown, WC2 took the wraps off a successful makeover, which mines the heritage of Bombay theatres and early Bollywood talkies. It helps that service is “slick”, from “courteous and attentive staff who never push what they want to sell”. The catch? “painful and lengthy queues” for walk-ins which have, if anything, worsened since they introduced reservations in all locations.
4. Curry House Coco Ichibanya Japanese restaurant in Westminster 17 Great Newport Street - WC2H
2021 Review: Near Leicester Square tube and need a quick bite? – maybe grab a meal at this simple two-year-old: the first London outpost of Japan’s largest (1,000-strong) chain specialising in kare raisu dishes – curry and rice: over 40 different rice toppings are available, including hamburgers, scrambled eggs and fried oysters.
5. Punjab Indian restaurant in Covent Garden 80 Neal St - WC2
This Covent Garden institution lays claim to being the oldest north Indian restaurant in London, est. 1946, and is now run by the great-grandson of the founder. It owes its staying power to the “great Punjabi regional dishes” on the menu – “a friend was so impressed, he said it was nearly as good as his grandmother’s cooking” – and these days there are also “interesting vegan and vegetarian options”.
6. Tandoor Chop House Indian restaurant in Covent Garden 8 Adelaide Street - WC2
The “incredibly tasty food” at this Anglo-Indian hybrid, in “small but lovely” premises near Trafalgar Square (with a newer offshoot in Notting Hill), draws an appreciative crowd. “It doesn’t have curries, but specialises in tandoori-baked meat”. Top Tip: “you have to order the lamb chops, they’re brutal!”
7. India Club, Strand Continental Hotel Indian restaurant in Covent Garden 143 Strand - WC2
“So special and deserving to be saved” – this truly “iconic venue for a meal”, up a flight of stairs in the Strand, has barely changed since its foundation in 1951, when Prime Minister Nehru and Lady Mountabatten were among the members. Fans say the “food is reliably amazing”, but it’s as a “cheap” venue for a meal in a distinctively grungy setting that it wins such loyalty. For several years now it has been under threat of closure from a landlord who wants to develop the site as a new hotel, and in 2021 a crowdfunding campaign raised £50,000 towards legal fees to fight against eviction. The club and its bar have been run by three generations of the same family since launch. BYO from the hotel bar.
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