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The monsoon brick lane

The best restaurants in Brick Lane

From curry houses to bagels and posh restaurants to street food, Brick Lane’s restaurants span every continent and budget

Leonie Cooper
Edited by
Leonie Cooper
Written by
Time Out London Food & Drink

Until fairly recently, Brick Lane’s restaurant scene was known for one thing: curry houses. After newly arrived Bengali immigrants set up Indian restaurants here in the 1960s and 1970s, Brick Lane became the place to go for curry and BYO beer – and you’ll still find plenty of these old-school joints among Brick Lane’s restaurants, many offering meal deals to get passers-by through the door. But today’s Brick Lane restaurants also include taco joints and upscale dining spots as well as the street's iconic bagel shops. Get stuck in with our guide below.

RECOMMENDED: Check out the best restaurants in Shoreditch.

Amazing restaurants in Brick Lane

A Brick Lane stalwart, Sheba has been knocking out dishes from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan since 1974, and it's been in the same family all that time. The menu is typical curry house fare – think samosas, onion bhajis and tandoori lamb chops to start followed by mains of chicken tikka masala, lamb bhuna, prawn vindaloo and a number of biryani dishes. Signature dishes such as shorisha chicken, lamb noorani and king prawn malabar look interesting. 

Once two neighbouring restaurants, OG curry houses Aladin and Nazrul combined forces to serve up the best Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani bangers. Opening back in 1979, Nazrul originally launched to serve the local Bangladeshi community but has since gone on to cater for everyone. Split across two floors, this is one that's great for big groups if you book in advance. Although the restaurant is unlicensed, you can BYOB and make the most of a cheeky 20 per cent discount deal with the off licence next door. There's no charge for corkage. 


This invariably busy Brasserie focuses heavily on Bangladeshi cuisine. The award-winning restaurant is small, but if there's enough of you it's perfect for having a Curry Mile knees-up, as there's a private hire room for parties in the back.

Like many of the restaurants on Brick Lane, Monsoon serves contemporary Bangladeshi cuisine. We'd recommend trying dishes like the Sylheti Jalfrezi. Or if you fancy venturing into different territory, the epically long menu also offers up south Indian crowd pleasers like garlic chicken and dosas. 


This 24-hour bagel shop isn't *technically* a restaurant, but it's an excellent option for getting some scran if you're in the area. The cult bakery is an East End institution, and its baked and filled bagels have become the snack-stop of choice for clubbers, drinkers and taxi drivers. Don't miss the salt beef.

Beigel Bake's rival, although there's still much debate over which bagel shop is the best. This one has been there longer, and you'll find bacon on the menu which you won't at the other one. The truth is, they're both as good as each other, especially when those hunger pangs surface in the early hours and can only be satiated by a salt beef bagel. We suggest simply joining the shorter queue.


Opened in 1989, the family-run Standard serves provincial Bangladeshi and Indian food from a menu that is helpfully divided into 'medium-spicy', 'mild and creamy' and 'fairly hot', for the neophyte. Unsurprisingly, it includes all the standards, as well as popular Sylheti dishes from Bangladesh. 

This Brick Lane curry house offers an Anglo-Indian fusion menu spearheaded by Chef Niaz Caan. His signature dishes include Rajasthani hotpot, honey soured duck – and cottage cheese roll, and take inspo from English classics like Lancashire stews and see him using trad British ingredients such as gooseberries (which you'll find alongside mango pulp and almonds in his velvet chicken dish).


This curry house is one of the oldest going around these parts, having originally set up shop back in 1963. It's a big spot, too, capable of catering to 200 hungry mouths. The menu is peppered with curry house crowd-pleasers – think butter chicken, lamb korma, masala dosa, vegetable dansak and prawn jalfrezi. Keep an eye out, though, for less well-known dishes such as lemon chana lamb or chicken khaiber - a dish of half a spring chicken cooked in the tandoor then served in a tomato and fresh garlic sauce. 

An affordable modern Mexican diner, here you'll find tacos, lots of tacos, with all the favourite fillings mixed with London's love for burgers, finger food and US-style grills. So you can order things like the ‘pork bibil torta’, a toasted brioche bun filled with slow-cooked pork in a citrous Yucatan-style marinade, and comes with a spread of refried beans, sharp pickle and avocado.


The Buxton channels the vibes of a Brooklyn bar: perfectly pitched jazz music, countertop library-lamp-style sepia lighting, and all sorts of arty-looking people. This gourmet pub and hotel offers up a seasonal menu of regional British and European eats, where you can dig your teeth into juicy pork chops, expertly cooked sea bass and homemade gnocchi. And don't miss out on the doughnuts, they're pure heaven. 

This little French bistro has a big heart and some decent cooking. The menu is a short list of tried-and-tested classics, including frogs’ legs and moules marinières. The intimate setting and pretty, fetchingly haphazard decor (birdcage lampshades, lots of mirrors and candles) make this a great place for a date, though it’s every bit as popular with groups of friends for a catch-up.

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