Finger-lickin' Biryani joints in London

The Ultimate Guide to Biryani in London: ‘THE’ Best Places to Get Your Fix

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Biryani is not food, it’s an emotion! Whose quote is that you ask? Only every Biryani Lover in the world. An exquisite cuisine, a comfort food, or a go-to meal – call it whatever you want. With 2.28 orders per second, biryani was the most ordered item on food-delivery platforms in India consistently over the last three years.

So what does a true blue biryani lover like me do when he moves from Delhi to London? Well, he starts the process, ofcourse. Of carefully researching. Painstakingly hiking to different places of London on cold wintry nights. And starts tasting ’em. Sometimes, it’s like a science experiment gone wrong. Some other times, it’s just like Chandrayaan 3 landing on the moon – absolutely out of the world! And today, he is ready to share the outcomes of his research with y’all. Why? “क्यूंकि बिरयानी बाटने से प्यार बढ़ता है” – said another Biryani Lover who wanted to remain anonymous.

Off you go then! Get those taste buds ready, and take the next tube to these finger-lickin’-good biryani joints in London that you just can’t afford to miss.

1. Nanna’s Biryani Restaurant (Dhaka kacchi biryani)

Nanna Biryani
The famous Kachhi Lamb Biryani at Nanna’s Biryani

Nanna’s Biryani is a family-owned restaurant that serves up biryanis and other authentic Bangladeshi delicacies. The “kacchi lamb biryani“, which is cooked with tender lamb, basmati rice, and a complex blend of spices, is every customer’s favorite. The meat is raw when it goes in, but it cooks to perfection under the weight of the rice. The spices are intense, but they balance out the flavours of the meat and rice. Kacchi biryani is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, that will leave you mesmerised and make you crave it every single time you cross Whitechapel. Apart from the lamb biryani, there are other delectable options for Bengalis like “Ilish Polao” and “Mangsho Khichuri”.

Address: 14 Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1EW

2. Zaiqa (Hyderabadi biryani from India)

Zaiqa in Tooting
Zaiqa serves one of the most famous flavourful biryanis in London

The culinary journey of Zaiqa in Tooting will instantly transport you to nirvana. The zesty flavours of the masala and the fragrant rice will leave you mesmerised. The tender chicken or lamb is cooked to perfection and melts in your mouth. The biryani is heaped high with rice and meat, and it is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of palates. The chicken biryani is cooked in a sealed pot with spices and rice, and it’s incredibly flavourful and aromatic.

Address: 228 Upper Tooting Rd, London SW17 7EW

3. Yaari (Kolkata biryani)

Yaari offers one of the most authentic Kolkata Biryanis in London

Yaari is a takeaway place tucked away between the historic Angel, and the hip and trendy Shoreditch areas of London. After a long time, London finally has a place that serves up an authentic, and almost entirely, Bengali menu. And I don’t mean the gazillion Bangladeshi places masquerading as Indian curry shops! The menu boasts of beetroot “chop” croquettes (rate ’em 4.5 on 5), momos (3 on 5), kosha mangsho (4.5 on 5), and baked Mishti doi (3.5 on 5)! But the real deal is the Kolkata biryani, which is an absolute five star belter! The secret to Yaari’s delicious flavour is the mix of spices that are unearthly. The rice is cooked to perfection and the meat is tender and juicy. Kolkata biryani at Yaari is a must-try for any foodie who wants to experience the out-of-this-world flavours of Kolkata right in the heart of London.

Address: 86 Murray Grove, London, N1 7QJ

Life is short, but the list of biryanis to try is long.

Anonymous Biryani Lover

4. Raavi Kebab (Hyderabadi biryani from Pakistan)

Raavi kebab biryani
Try kebabs and biryani at Raavi Kebab for their bold spices

Raavi Kebab is a spicy little joint in Euston that packs a punch. The kebabs and haleem are to die for, but it’s the biryani that’s a clear winner. For the uninitiated, the Hyderabadi biryani from Pakistan and the Hyderabadi biryani from India are very different in texture. So, if you’re looking for a tasty and exciting scrumptious experience, Raavi Kebab is the place for you. Just bring your sense of humour, because you’re going to need it!

Address: 125 Drummond St, London NW1 2HL

5. Dishoom’s Kensington Branch (Nalli nihari biryani)

Nalli Biryani at Dhishoom
The Nalli Nihari Biryani at Dhishoom is to die for

The Nalli Nihari biryani at Dishoom’s Kensington branch is a heavenly dish that melts in your mouth. Let me elaborate a little! The Nalli or the shank meat is so tender, it falls apart at the touch of a fork. The rice is so flavourful, it would make a foodie swoon. The spices are so complex, that they’re like a symphony for your taste buds. And overall, the biryani is so good that it would make a vegan cry! Tips for cheap thrills – you can eat the naan-type bread that this biryani comes covered with. It would save you the hassle, and the money, of ordering a separate naan/paratha. Although the accompanying nihari curry (seen in the photo above) is no saalan, it is unquestionably noteworthy.

That’s not all though – Dishoom offers a variety of biryani options to cater to different tastes. From their vegetarian jackfruit biryani, to their spicy lamb raan biryani, there’s something for everyone.

Don’t forget to pair your biryani with one of Dishoom’s refreshing drinks, such as their famous mango lassi or their spicy chai. The combination of flavours will take your dining experience to the next level.

Address: Dishoom Kensington, 4 Derry Street, London, W8 5SE

6. Dhaka Biryani (Tehri biryani and Kacchi biryani)

Authentic Bangladeshi biryani
Get a taste of authentic Bangladeshi Biryani at Dhaka Biryani

Dhaka Biryani (ঢাকা বিরিয়ানী) is a Bangladeshi restaurant that serves up some of the best biryanis in London. Their chicken biryani is made with fresh chicken, basmati rice, and a blend of spices that will make your palate as well as tummy happy! They have a wide variety of biryanis to choose from, including chicken, lamb, seafood, and vegetable biryanis. The succulent mutton biryani is especially good and deserves a special mention here.

Address: 96 Mile End Rd, Stepney Green, London E1 4UN

7. Chef Karnavar At Home

chef karnavar at home for delish biryani
Take a trip to the South Indian biryani spices with Chef Carnavar

Chef Karnavar took inspiration from his rich culinary history in South India and started his venture with this takeout biryani corner in London. He takes pride in the authentic food knowledge that he learned from his mother and grandmother, which he later honed with several five-star hotel restaurants all over the world. Chef Karnavar’s biryani has all the right spices and flavours in perfect balance. It’s a great option to enjoy a delish bowl of biryani at home when you’re too tired to eat out or have guests over.

Address: 79 High Street London, England SE20 7HW

8. Biryani Kebab Chai-BKC

Bkc serves authentic awadhi biryani
You can never go wrong with Awadhi biryani at BKC

If you’re particularly a fan of Awadhi biryani, don’t miss out on the opportunity to try the biryani from BKC. Biryani, Kebab, and Chai are the three classic pillars of Indian cuisine and that’s the whole inspiration of this food joint. They serve you exactly what they promise. Authentic finger-licking biryani paired with mouth-watering kebabs with steaming cuppa chai! Every bite of their biryani is a result of handpicked spices skillfully combined with tender meat and aromatic rice that would take you to a biryani “Jannat”!

Address: 7 Edgware Road London W2 2ER

“Special Mention” Biryani Joints To Check Out

We’ve reached the final segment of our appetizing ride, introducing you to some of the most tantalizing biryani spots in the city. Before we wrap up, let’s take a quick look at some of the biryani joints that deserve a special mention:

Tayyabs: This iconic restaurant in the heart of Whitechapel brings a whole new level of flavour to the table. Tayyabs is known for its long-standing history and commitment to traditional Pakistani cuisine. When it comes to biryani, they have truly mastered the art. Every dish is a testament to their dedication to quality and authenticity. Their bold flavours, and generous portions will give you a sensory experience like no other.

Address: 83-89 Fieldgate St, London E1 1JU

Lahore Kebab House: A historic spot that serves up delicious, aromatic biryani with a side of nostalgia.

Address: 2-10 Umberston Street, London E1 1PY England

Paradise Biryani Pointe:  Before I discovered Zaiqa in Tooting, this was the go-to place for Hyderabadi Biryani in London for me. Make sure to pay a visit!

Address: 301 High St North, East Ham, London, E12 6SL

Paradise Biryani pointe
Mouth-watering biryani at Paradise Biryani Pointe

London is a melting pot of diverse cultures, and with that comes a wide variety of mouthwatering cuisines. That is true even for biryanis. From traditional Indian styles to fusion twists, the different styles of biryanis will leave you wanting for more. So, go ahead and embark on a culinary adventure, exploring these biryani spots and allowing your taste buds to tingle with delight. Whether you’re a long-time biryani enthusiast or a newcomer to this delectable dish, London’s biryani scene is sure to leave you wanting more. And if you’re an Indian expat exploring your new life in a new country, trust me, you’re going to thank me one day! Do share your own biryani experiences in London (or any other city) with us in the comment section below.

Meet you again soon, until then 

I’m not addicted to biryani, I’m just committed to it for life.

every Biryani Lover

Cover Image Courtesy: Freepik

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Arijit Ganguly
7 months ago

The first thing I did after reading this was order a plate of Biryani myself, sitting here in Delhi and immerse myself in the subject 😉 This is an amazing list. Will at least try a couple of these during my next visit,

7 months ago

A mouth watering read!! Weekend sorted! ????

7 months ago

You do sound like a “biriyani psycho” in the blog ????
I used to think I was a crazy foodie. I will take my hat off for you. Nice to meet you my friend!

Gazi mamood
Gazi mamood
7 months ago

Very well written and mouthwatering article. I have been to Nanna.. the meat is super tender and the rice is flavourful. We also had hilsa biryani. Will try the rest on our next visit. Thanks for sharing.

Nitka Mittal
Nitka Mittal
7 months ago

Did not know there is a whole world of biryani in UK. So much to try and explore

7 months ago

Great article! Love that you covered different types of biryani, not just Hyderabadi biryani which is most famous along people not from India.

Garima Paudwal
Garima Paudwal
7 months ago

What an absolutely delightful article. It just left me salivating and day dreaming about Biryani! Next time I’m in London I’m definitely going to try a couple of more joints! Thank you for this drool-worthy read!! ❤️

7 months ago

Very informative article..well done

7 months ago

Great article – as a Londoner, it’s hard to know whats truly authentic or not. Shall work my way through this list!

7 months ago

Amazing stuff. Thank you for this comprehensive list