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If you’re looking for a fantastic Indian restaurant, Edinburgh has plenty to offer. While we often talk about going out for an Indian meal, though, the country’s cuisine is incredibly diverse, with ingredients, cooking methods and serving styles varying hugely depending on where in the country the dish is from. In Edinburgh, you can enjoy everything from a fiery Goan vindaloo to the West Bengali ball-shaped sweets known as laddu: the choice is endless. But where to enjoy these traditional dishes? Here’s our selection of top Indian restaurants in Edinburgh.
This informal, lively cafe near the Festival Theatre has become renowned for its tapas-style dining, which we love: sharing dishes means a chance to try more of the menu! It’s a buzzing, popular place (be sure to book, as it fills up quickly), and the staff are spot on with their recommendations. We love the chilli chicken dosa pancakes, the lean and tender lamb saag, and the peshwari pitta which is perfectly baked and packed full of coconut.
Mother India’s Cafe, 3-5 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT
Inspired by the old Irani cafes of Bombay, the New Town branch of Dishoom is known for its Indian-inspired breakfasts, its evening sharing options, and its truly fantastic service. Don’t miss the spicy lamb chops with their juicy pink centre and chargrilled exterior, or the rich and intense house black daal, which has an amazing complexity of flavours. Head downstairs to their Permit Room after your meal too, and you’ll find some amazing cocktails - some with their own Indian twist.
Dishoom, 3A St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 2BD
Kalpna is a mainstay of Edinburgh’s Indian restaurant scene, and has been serving up delectable vegetarian dishes in Newington for over 25 years. Step inside and you’ll be wowed by the mosaic-style designs on the walls, fashioned from shards of mirrored glass, and you’ll love the menu too. If you’re finding it hard to choose, try a thaali where you’ll be served a range of dishes all on one platter: the vegan selection is out of this world.
Kalpna, 23 St Patrick Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9EZ
Head to Haymarket for a truly modern Indian dining experience, courtesy of a team with Michelin starred and five-star hotel backgrounds. In the sleek, white dining room you’ll be able to enjoy a choice of a la carte or tasting menu dining, with a menu that oozes sophistication at very reasonable prices. From the a la carte menu, we can’t get enough of the tender railway lamb curry with its growing chilli heat, while the Navadhanya dessert platter is a great introduction to delicious traditional Indian sweets, which are often neglected.
Navadhanya, 88 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5LQ
While it may look more like a simple cafe than an Indian restaurant, Tanjore in the Old Town is the place to be for those looking to enjoy hearty, wholesome South Indian dishes. There’s a real focus on dishes that are healthy and wholesome without compromising on flavour, and there’s plenty of choice for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners. We can’t get enough of the savoury stuffed rice and lentil flour pancakes known as dosai (especially with the paneer filling), which are served with some truly fantastic chutneys.
Tanjore, 6-8 Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9HX
This friendly neighbourhood curry house in Newington is sumptuously decorated with its amazing Charles Rennie Mackintosh interior. Its claim to fame is being featured in two Ian Rankin novels - and if you’re lucky, you may dine there on an evening when the man himself is visiting. There’s plenty of experimentation in the menu, which we love: while you could choose a classic bhuna, madras or dhansak, it’s a great place to try something different. Our favourites include the pungent and fiery North Indian garlic chicken, and the spicy, ginger-spiked vegetarian sabzi chilli dall.
Pataka, 190 Causewayside, Edinburgh, EH9 1PN
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