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When people think of Indian food, often the first instinct is curry. While that is not inherently wrong – India is definitely known for their curries – the subcontinent has so much more to offer than one dish! With over a billion citizens and over thirty distinct regions of cuisine, it’s no surprise that there’s some variety. Within the city of London, Indian cuisine has become a prevalent option for dining. Many restaurants have opened to share the traditions, styles, and flavours of India with Londoners. Whether you’re going to experience a culture outside of your own The restaurants on this list stand head and shoulders above the rest. Whether they’ve got absolutely killer butter chicken or some knock-your-socks-off chana masala, these are the places to go to get your Indian food fix in London.

Curry’s Restaurant

Neighbourhood: Old South 118 Wellington Rd.  (map) http://curryslondon.com/
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Winner of London Free Press’s “Best Indian Restaurant” award for seven years running, Curry’s Restaurant is undeniably one of the kings of Indian food in London. Curry’s was originally opened over 30 years ago by three Western students who felt homesick, in part for the incredible food they grew up eating. Since then, Pramod and Susan Kukadia, a husband-wife team. Pramod leads the kitchen as head chef. His culinary expertise has been passed on to each member of the kitchen staff, so Curry’s will always provide a high-quality dish, no matter who makes it. Susan takes charge of the front of house. With her team of hosts and servers, Susan provides a warm, attentive atmosphere for people to relax and enjoy their food. Their menu features dishes from many different regions of India. It features popular classics, such as butter chicken and beef vindaloo.  There are also many dishes that many non-Indian Canadians would not be familiar with, like Mughlai Murgh, a cream curry filled with chicken, grilled green peppers and sweet corn. Unfamiliar dishes shouldn’t intimidate you though! The front of house staff are incredibly knowledgeable about the food on the menu and are more than happy to share their knowledge with you to help you find the perfect meal! Curry’s began as a way for three students to feel at home, and three decades later, they’re still sharing that feeling of home with Londoners. Pramod, Susan, and their team invite you to come home and enjoy some fantastic food with them at Curry’s.

Massey’s Fine Indian Cuisine

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 174 King St. (map) https://masseys.ca/
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Massey’s Fine Indian Cuisine is a London staple, serving delicious Indian dishes to Londoners since 2005. Their lunch buffet draws many in and once they get a taste, they’ll be coming back time and time again. The heart of Massey’s is head chef and owner, Patson Massey. Chef Patson started his culinary career in 1988 at the Taj Palace Hotel, a 5-star establishment in New Delhi. Chef Patson has maintained the 5-star quality of his training days at Massey’s. He personally selects, roasts, grinds, and blends the spices for his masala and curries every day. Each of the meats are cooked in a unique sauce to ensure the flavours of each dish stand out from the next. One of the best ways to get to taste everything is their daily lunch buffet. Come in between 11:30 and 2:30 to experience a wide selection of dishes, made fresh by Chef Patson and his team. Massey’s provides flavourful food to people of all dietary restrictions! They don’t thicken their sauces with flour, meaning you can still eat basically all of the dishes if you’re gluten-free. India also has one of the largest vegetarian populations in the world, so you can be sure there is a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes that are as delicious as anything meat-based at Massey’s. Massey’s provides top quality food straight from India. With Chef Patson Massey at the head, you’ll never be disappointed with a meal at Massey’s Fine Indian Cuisine.

India House

Neighbourhood: White Oaks 715 Wellington St. (map) http://indiahousefineindiancuisine.com/
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India House is a south-end restaurant serving fine Indian cuisine since 2015. Led by Pradeep Jagtap, who has over fifteen years of food service experience, India House’s goal is to provide customers with a superior experience, tremendous value, and awesome food. India House is a family-run business, and every time a customer enters their doors, they treat you as family too. They are excited to share their love of cooking with you. Their specialties are often on the spicier side, though flavours are still perfectly balanced. Don’t worry if you’re not a big fan of spice though, do give you the option for mild for most dishes which are equally delicious. To each their own, India House just prefers a good kick! The menu is full of the Indian classics you love – samosas, curries, vindaloo, and biryani. Proteins include seafood, chicken, lamb, and even goat in a couple dishes! Or if you’re more inclined to veggies, there are many meatless dishes! Everything on the menu is made fresh by hand every day with quality ingredients, from the soup for your appetizer to your dessert and everything in between. With only a few exceptions, such as the tandoor breads, all items on the menu are gluten-free. You’ll feel at home when you visit India House. The staff treat you like family, the food is great (probably even better than you can cook at home, honestly), and the atmosphere is welcoming.

Jewel of India

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 390 Richmond St. (map) https://www.jewelofindiarestaurant.ca/
When you get a craving for spicy food with rich flavour, Jewel of India’s fine Indian cuisine will always hit the spot just right. Located in the heart of downtown London, Jewel of India has been an independently-owned London business for over 35 years! Their age isn’t showing though, as it is a great spot for dining in, taking out, or getting fantastic Indian food delivered right to your door. Their menu is extensive with dishes from all over the many regions of India. You’ll find options for tandoori, korma, biryani, and so much more! The various styles of dishes have their own spice rating, so you know what you’re in for – heat seekers can get the spice they love or the gentler palate knows what is safe. They even have nine different breads made fresh in-house, from the classic naan to a stuffed paratha! The incredible flavour is due in part to the traditional clay ovens they cook with. Meats, vegetables, and spices are cooked slowly, giving the dish unparalleled moist tenderness while still getting a flavourful char. Lunch has never been easier than heading to Jewel of India. Their lunch buffet begins at 11:30 and goes until 2:30 in the afternoon running from Monday through until Saturday. For only $14.99, you gain access to a plethora of delicious dishes from their menu and you get to eat as much as you want, the best part of any buffet. Jewel of India is just that – a jewel. Traditional cooking that undeniably delicious and with a buffet to boot, Jewel of India is definitely your destination when the craving for Indian food hits.

Aroma of India

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 350 Dundas St. (map) http://www.aromaofindia.ca/
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Experts have said that the sense of smell is most related to memory. As the name of the restaurant implies, anyone that has lived in or visited India will be taken back to that time the moment they step in the doors of Aroma of India. The team at Aroma of India are self-described food aficionados. They’re driven by passion, ingenuity, and talent. With an emphasis on culture and creativity, the menu builds upon traditional dishes and flavours, evolving them into something exciting, new, and completely original. Their menu is sprawling, offering dishes from all around India, including south Indian, Tandoori, Kashmiri, and Hyderabadi styles of cuisine. The longest section of their menu, featuring sixteen distinct meatless dishes – chana masala, daal curry, and aloo gobi for instance. Their meat dishes include lamb, chicken, and shrimp prepared in a variety of ways, form the classic curry to vindaloo to rogan josh. Specify your desired spice level, from mild to hot. No matter what you choose, your meal will be prepared fresh and cooked to order. Aroma of India is open seven days a week, from 11:30 to 2:30 for lunch, then a two-hour break for dinner prep, reopening at 4:30 until a final closing time of 9:30 in the evening. At Aroma of India, tradition meets innovation. The best elements of classic Indian dining are complemented by modern dishes allowing the customer to explore the old and the new, giving you a glimpse of India and its rich, evolving culture.

Raja Fine Indian Cuisine

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 428 Clarence St. (map) http://www.rajafinedining.ca/
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Raja offers premium Indian cuisine in a white tablecloth setting. The restaurant’s regal and refined aesthetic has made it a go-to destination for romantic evenings, business lunches, and special occasions. While presenting as fine dining, Raja is still accessible to the common man – they still have take-out specials available and a lunch buffet. Winners of the Best Indian Restaurant in London 2017 according to Reader’s Choice, Raja definitely has a reputation for good food and great service. They emphasize providing the feeling of exclusivity that you won’t soon forget after dining with them. Their dishes are made with the finest ingredients, including spices imported whole from India, then ground and blended in-house. The food is prepared fresh to order, no heat lamps keeping your curry lukewarm followed by a quick blast in the microwave! Also impressive is their portion size: they’re generous to say the least. Whether you’re dining in or taking out, you’ll have a hefty meal in front of you. The menu is extensive, full of the usual suspects. Biryani, masala, and korma each with a range of proteins from chicken to fish to chickpeas. The menu itself is very user friendly, even for those not overly familiar with Indian cuisine. Descriptions of ingredients and indication of spice level accompany each dish on the menu. Raja is both premium and inclusive, offering top quality Indian cuisine in a welcoming environment and is definitely worth checking out for your next special night out.

New Delhi Deli

Neighbourhood: Downtown London Covent Garden Market, 130 King St. (map) http://www.coventmarket.com/merchants/the-new-delhi-deli/
Located in the Covent Garden Market, the New Delhi Deli is serving Indian-Caribbean fusion cuisine. Offering a selection of Indian classics like samosas, goat curry, and roti alongside Caribbean staples like jerk oxtail and Jamaican patties. The New Delhi Deli is owned and operated by Bhan Mudliar. Born in Fiji, Bhan grew up eating the fusion of Indian and Caribbean cuisines that she now serves to marketgoers. New Delhi Deli has just a few seats at a lunch counter for dining in, as it is smack dab in the middle of the bustling market. As you eat, you can chat and watch Bhan cook. She is known for being very friendly, even like an aunt to some regulars! You can also take your meal to go, should you find the counter full or if you have to run. The kitchen may be modest, but the flavours are bold. Their goat stew, only available on Tuesdays, is a customer favourite. The stew is packed with spice, full of chunks of succulent meat and vegetables, served alongside rice and salsa. The whole experience is rich, wholesome and above all, tasty. It’s not all about the meat though! Bhan prepares vegetarian/vegan dishes on the daily, from soups to curries, and of course there are always veggie samosas to be had. Dishes rotate based on the day, so ask Bhan what your animal-free options are and she’s more than happy to point you in the right direction. Next time you’re walking through the Covent Garden Market and you wonder what that delicious smell could be. There’s a good chance it’s the New Delhi Deli. Don’t let its small stature fool you, it’s packing a serious punch of flavour.