10 of the best Indian restaurants in Edinburgh

Mother India Cafe, Infirmary St, Edinburgh.
Mother India Cafe, Infirmary St, Edinburgh.
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As a country, Scotland has had a love affair with great Indian food stretching back hundreds of years.

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Shezan Edinburgh

Shezan Edinburgh

However, while Glasgow is often categorised as the curry-mad capital of Scotland, Edinburgh’s own flavour for authentic Indian cuisine is often disregarded.

But as our list below proves, the capital has more than a few quality eateries on offer to satisfy your Indian craving:

Navadhanya

(88 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5LQ, 0131 281 7187)

Branching out from their original premises in Cambridge, Navadhanya has brought with it a quality slice of authentic Indian cuisine to the capital.

A relative newcomer on the scene - it opened its doors in late 2015 - the restaurant has quickly established itself as one of the best in the city thanks in part to a team of award winning chefs, one of whom was previously on the books of michelin-starred London favourite Tamarind.

With a varied menu, including a highly recommended railway lamb curry, and distinctly artistic decor, Navadhanya brings a touch of class to Edinburgh’s Indian offering.

Read our review of Navadhanya here

Tuk Tuk

(1 Leven Street, Edinburgh EH3 9LH, 0131 228 3322)

Serving up a vibrant and colourful homage to Indian street food, Tuk Tuk has been a firm favourite since first opening its doors in 2012.

With dishes arranged in tapas-style portions - which rarely cost more than around a fiver each - diners are encouraged to order four or five at a time, but trust us, it’s well worth it.

A delectable combination of authentic indian dishes and locally sourced ingredients creates an irresistible menu with plenty to suit all palates.

The quality is so good that it would be easy to say every dish is a standout, but in particular, we loved the gholgappa as well as the railway lamb curry.

Kismot

(29 St. Leonard’s St, Edinburgh EH8 9QN, 0131 667 0123)

Proudly boasting to be the home of Scotland’s hottest curry, known as “The Kismot Killer,” this family owned Indian/Bangladeshi fusion restaurant has earned national media attention.

Diners will be awarded their meal for free if they can finish the entire dish, which contains five of the hottest chillies in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Be warned though, as anyone attempting the challenge must sign a disclaimer exempting the restaurant from responsibility for “bodily functions.”

For those of us who can’t handle the nuclear heat though, the restaurant offers a fantastically diverse menu including a curry made with Irn Bru.

Mother India

(3-5 Infirmary St, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 1LT, 0131 524 9801)

Mother India first made its name on the fanatical Glasgow curry scene, before expanding its offering to the capital with similar results.

Their tapas-style offering places heavy emphasis on sharing, making sure everyone at the table has a quality dining experience.

Dishes are usually slightly bigger than tapas, but don’t cost that much more, meaning Mother India can add superb value to its welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff.

Dine in a group and you’ll get close to experiencing the whole menu, with the Lamb Saag and Keema Samosa impressing on our visit here.

Kalpna

(2-3 St Patrick Square, Edinburgh EH8 9EZ, 0131 667 9890)

Offering up a unique take on Indian cuisine by only serving vegetarian dishes, Kalpna became a quick favourite after opening 1982.

The restaurant’s logo is an elephant said to symbolise the idea that not eating meat can still lead to growing up big and strong and with a selection of hearty dishes that will appease even the most carnivorous of diners, we find it hard to disagree.

The menu takes inspiration from Punjabi, Gujrati and South Indian cooking with the signature dish Dam Aloo Kashmeri – Potato barrels filled with mixed vegetables, paneer and nuts – and Shahi Sabzi among the highlights.

Khushi’s

(10 Antigua St, Edinburgh EH1 3NH, 0131 558 1947)

Khushi’s has existed in the capital in one form or another since 1947, claiming to be the first Indian restaurant in the capital. Originally known under the slightly drab title of “The Lothian Restaurant,” it rebranded in 1974 and has been a firm favourite with the city’s diners ever since.

The menu is extensive and often deliciously prepared using locally sourced ingredients, however the price tag more accurately reflects the traditional and homely style of the restaurant.

There are few bad options to choose from the hugely varied menu, but our pick of the bunch was the fantastic South Indian style Kodambakkam Curry.

Tanjore

(6-8 Clerk St, Edinburgh EH8 9HX, 0131 478 6518)

With its Tamil inspired menu and homely, cafe like setting, Tanjore is hidden gem amongst a clutter of more formal options.

The family owned and operated restaurant is a staunch believer in its family setting, meaning eating a meal there feels like being welcomed into someone’s home.

The authentic and wholesome menu has been created from a range of family recipes specialising in cuisine from the Tamil region of Southern India, while the healthy portion sizes means it’s also great for money.

Shezan

(25 Union Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3NQ, 0131 557 5098)

The family-run restaurant has been a staple of the capital’s Indian offering for more than 30 years and has a string of awards to show for it.

Serving up a fine range of Indian and Punjabi cuisine, the restaurant was named the best in Edinburgh two years running in 2014 and 2015 by the Scottish Curry Awards.

Considering its location opposite The Playhouse, an excellent pre-theatre menu is on offer. Expect generous portion sizes and a warm, friendly atmosphere without breaking the bank at this Edinburgh favourite.

Bombay Bicycle Club

(6 Brougham Pl, Edinburgh EH3 9HW, 0131 229 3839)

Specialising in traditional Indian fayre, Bombay Bicycle Club changed hands in November 2016 and has received rave reviews ever since.

A favourite with Tollcross locals, as well as the theatre crowd heading to the nearby King’s or Usher Hall, BBC has a reputation for good, hearty food at affordable prices.

While the classics - jalfrezi, vindaloo, madras etc. - are all well prepared here, it’s worth casting an eye over a few of the lesser-known dishes on the menu.

A trout masala may sound like an odd combination, but trust us, it’s well worth trying out.

Pataka

(190 Causewayside, Edinburgh EH9 1PN, 0131 668 1167)

With its small interior and short menu, Pataka has a much more local feel than many of the larger restaurants on this list.

However, stumbling across this hidden gem tucked away from the bustling nearby area of Newington is well worth your time.

The unique Rennie Mackintosh-esque interior adds to the fusion of Scottish and Bengali culture and the menu, while not extensive, is expertly prepared in what is one of the city’s best kept secrets.