Edinburgh is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The town is nestled amidst picturesque medieval monuments, jagged hills, and landscapes overlooking the sea. There is no one singular way to describe this town. It is a concoction of diverse experiences – from magical daffodil-laced landscapes, carefree nightclubs, festive fireworks to a memorable gastronomical journey. You can find different explosive cuisines here. If you are looking for complex spices and unique favours from India, then this curated list of Indian restaurants in Edinburgh, Scotland is your answer.
Khushi’s was the first Indian restaurant to open in Edinburgh way back in 1947. Since then, Khushi’s has been popular for its authentic flavors and menu items. In fact, they produce their own cheese and yogurt that is used in the preparations. The BYOB offering with no corkage charges is a great attraction here. But otherwise, the mocktails served here like the mango lassi are highly rated. You should try the ‘sunhari jhinga’ (king prawns fried in spiced batter), lamb saag, vegetable pakora and garlic naan here. The portions are generous and good for two adults. The service is friendly and the interiors are clean and classy. So, if you are looking for authentic flavors with an interesting BYOB offer, Khushi is a great choice.
2. Kebab Mahal
Kebab Mahal is a small joint that houses authentic Indian and Afghani flavors at great prices. While the interiors and seating may not be posh, the flavours make up for it entirely. In fact, over the years Kebab Mahal has won multiple takeaway awards in Edinburgh. This cafe-like restaurant is always crowded and busy but the quick service is a great savior. The chicken tikka masala and the lamb tikka masala with rice are signature favorites. This place is not vegan-friendly as all the dishes (even vegetarian) are flavored with ghee. So, if you are looking for a quick takeaway packed with Indian flavors and unmatched taste, Kebab Mahal is perfect for you.
Tanjore packs in flavors from the great Chola kingdom from India. It gets its name from the Tanjore region which is the rice bowl of South India, famous for its lush paddy fields and coconut groves. The dishes are authentic and taste like its made fresh from a home kitchen back in India. The Chennai fish curry, crab curry and karaikudi are signature favorites here. Even the accompaniments like chutneys, poppadoms, and sweet mango pickle are popular here. The place offers a BYOB deal so feel free to bring in your preferred alcoholic beverage to accompany the Indian spice. The restaurant is a cash-only restaurant so remember to come prepared. Since this place gets crowded, it is advisable to book a table in advance here. So, if you are looking to be surprised by fresh flavors from the ancient ‘Chola kingdom’, Tanjore is just the right pick.
Kalpna is a family run restaurant that has been serving delightful vegan and vegetarian Indian food for the past 40 years. They have won many awards in not only Indian but also vegetarian categories. While traditionally Indian cuisine can be heavy, spicy with meats cooked in different ways, Kalpna has served comfort food that can be soothing. The ingredients are authentic and some are locally sourced. They also introduce new dishes on the menu based on the season. So, if it is freezing in Edinburgh, you can choose to dive into some soothing Indian curry like ‘Saam Savera’ or daal makhani. The lunch buffet and thali are quite popular here too. The choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to compliment the meals are great too. So, if you are looking for vegan/vegetarian Indian food that will soothe your soul then Kalpna is the place to be.
5. Bombay Bicycle Club
The Bombay Bicycle Club is a local favorite for Indian flavors and takeaway. The menu is extensive and includes different Indian cuisines – Parsi, Goan, South Indian and more. The king prawn dishes are particularly popular. The portions are large and hearty. The restaurant is cozy, overlooks the busy street with a homely vibe to it. So, Bombay Bicycle Club is a great choice if you are looking to experiment with new kinds of Indian dishes.
6. Mother India’s Cafe
The Mother India’s Cafe is a quaint joint with explosive Indian flavors. With reasonable prices, you can easily try out three to four small dishes for two people. The service is great and the tapas style dishes make the whole experience memorable. The interiors are modern, clean with textured wallpapers and a very 1920’s style lighting. The daal makhani, chili chicken dosa and fish pakora are signature specials to try out here. If you are looking for authentic flavors with a cozy setting, head to Mother India’s Cafe.
7. Punjabi Junction
Punjabi Junction is a social enterprise run by an all-women powerhouse. Near the foot of Leith Walk, this popular Indian cafe is filled with aromas of explosive Indian flavors. As you walk in, the place is airy, bright with light background music, and gives a very homely vibe. The dishes taste like home-cooked food and are packed with an authentic taste. The aloo paratha and thalis are highly rated and the lassi is a must have. Gulab jamun with mango ice cream is a signature dessert here. So, if you crave Indian flavors and wish to be served in a home-like set up then Punjabi Junction is just the right choice.
8. Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food
As you walk into Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food, you will be immediately transported from the freezing cold streets of Edinburgh to the bustling streets of India. The dishes are true to the flavors, colors and fragrances inspired by Indian street food. The place is done up with interesting Bollywood posters and the music is upbeat, making for happy vibes in the restaurant. The chicken lollipops, samosas and railway station lamb are signature favorites here. Interestingly, this place also offers BYOB with no corkage fee. And so, you can enjoy a carefree night with authentic food and drinks of your choice. Make sure you book a table in advance as it can get crowded from evening onwards. So, if you are looking to be transported to the streets of India then head right to Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food.
Located on St. Andrew’s Square, Dishoom is a well designed Indian restaurant with explosive flavors. The bottomless chai is a big hit here. If you are looking for alcohol to accompany the spicy food, this place has a good bar including well-aged cocktails in little-sealed jars. The bartenders are great and the service is friendly too. The signature favorites include keema pau, murgh malai, sali boti, roomali roti, and spicy chicken liver. Interestingly, the breakfast menu is also quite extensive. Overall, Dishoom is a great Indian restaurant to celebrate occasions with the complexity of Indian flavors and exquisite interiors.
Navadhanya is a popular twist to Indian flavors in a fine dining set up. This place prides itself of award-winning chefs and staff who come from Michelin Star hotels. The menu is innovative and unique, the interiors are grand and the flavors are refreshing. This place successfully combines Indian heritage with modern manifestations in its presentation. The chicken chettinad is a signature favorite. The 7-course tasting menu is highly rated here. So, if you are looking for a fine dining experience with modern Indian flavors, then Navadhanya is a perfect choice.
Explosive Indian flavours in Edinburgh
The complexities of spices, the soothing aromas of coconut and the unique taste of the subcontinent make Indian cuisine a memorable experience. Make sure you find your fix for Indian cravings from these Indian restaurants in Edinburgh, Scotland.