Indian YMCA

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
Critics' choice
2 Love It

Authentic curries at school-dinner prices are the order of the day in this cut-price Indian dining hall.

On this site for 60 years, the Indian YMCA sees little need to change a formula that has successfully fed generations of Indian students newly-arrived in the UK. The concrete and glass post-war modernist building looks institutional but is an institution, though these days you are more likely to share your table with a bargain-hunting British office worker than an trainee doctor from the Punjab.

Queue canteen-style at the counter, while checking off the low prices on the pegboard  menu above; ‘tin fruits 75p’ is typically succinct.

We recommend the freshly-prepared dishes: the curries (fish, mutton, veg, chicken) are all cooked home-style and sensitively spiced. The dahl is a comforting version, the turmeric-coloured toor dal giving body to the dish. Mounds of rice soak up the sauces; be warned that the pilau rice uses generous sprinklings of vivid food colourings.

Although most of the dishes are North Indian in style, a soothing South Indian breakfast snack of dahi wada is a lentil rissole swathed in a heavy, palliative yoghurt.

A sink for washing your hands afterwards is discreetly concealed behind a glass screen, not on public view in the Indian way. The Y’s better for lunch than dinner.

Venue name: Indian YMCA
Address: 41 Fitzroy Square
Opening hours: Breakfast served 7.30-9.15am Mon-Fri; 8-9.30am Sat, Sun. Lunch served noon-2pm Mon-Fri; 12.30-1.30pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 7-8pm daily (set menu)
Transport: Tube: Great Portland Street or Warren Street
Price: Main courses (lunch Mon-Fri) £3.50-£7.50. Set meal (dinner) £7. Unlicensed; alcohol not permitted.

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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1 of 1 found helpful

Great food at a great price.... the best thing is you can choose your food at the serving counter and pay only for what you want to eat.

Excellent taste and clean environment, Mutton curry and Fish curry are excellent.

Highly recommended.

Wain L

For the price you pay the food is worth it. Not the best curry but pretty authentic. Don't make the mistake that everyone makes that i bring there and over order because it's so cheap! 

The fish curry is a particular fav of mine and I've never managed to try the egg curry, they are always sold out, perhaps because it's so popular. Friendly staff in a slightly canteen style setting. 

S Shah

Best Indian food in central London... Prices are affordable and authentic taste. Canteen is very clean, staff is polite and eversmiling...Best part is that they do TAKEAWAYS. But the portions are very good when you eat there.... Can't go wrong if you want to eat some nice Indian food without the central London prices.............

vetti koo

Been there a few times. This is just for the undiluted experience of genuine indian food. Not for the ambience or expensive or "modified" indian food. The choice is restricted but a great tummy filler and value.

R. Selvaraju

It is an YMCA in every sense of the word. It epitomizes the Village People's YMCA song. When you are short on dough, this is the place to go. They are not claiming Cordon Bleu cuisine. If you want to fill your stomach with delicious Indian food for less than 5 bucks, where else can you go?