North London street that doesn’t seems completely normal but with Indian food so good it’s been dubbed ‘Little India’

When you think of the best Indian food in London, you probably think of Southall or Wembley, not somewhere in Zone 1. But just around the corner from Euston Station is a street boasting some of the longest-standing Indian shops and restaurants in the capital.

Drummond Street is affectionately dubbed ‘Little India’ thanks to the rich variety of Indian cuisine on offer. From dosas to thali, Lahori lamb kebabs to bhel poori, and samosas to jalebis – Drummond Street has it all.

Some of the street’s establishments have been standing strong for decades, such as the sweet shop Ambala, which was opened in 1965. The shop regularly receives gushing reviews from long-term customers such as this one on TripAdvisor: “Have been coming to this Ambala since the 60’s. Their Rasmalai is the stuff of dreams, absolutely delicious.”

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Nigel Martin, who worked as a science presenter before the pandemic and would often catch up with relatives over a curry on Drummond Street when staying in London, also said Ambala was a favourite of his. He told MyLondon: “I wholeheartedly agree that’s its the best curry Street in town.

“Our family originate from India so we are no strangers to a good curry! I discovered Ambala many years ago and is a favourite store.” At one time, the Drummond Street shops and restaurants drew people from as far away as Birmingham and Manchester.

Israb Miah, the manager of Ravi Shankar restaurant, which dates back to 1982, told the BBC : “People came from Wembley, Southall, even Birmingham and Manchester, before those areas got their own South Asian restaurants.”

A household name synonymous with curry sauces and chutneys had its humble beginnings on Drummond Street, too. The Pathak family opened a grocery store there in 1958 and the business exploded into the staple food brand Patak’s which so many of us know and love.

Other long-standing businesses include Diwana Bhel Poori House, which claims to be the country’s oldest South Indian vegetarian restaurant. Diwana offers a famous bhel poori buffet at amazingly low prices.

Denise Rickwood told MyLondon: “My husband and I have been vegetarian for 46 years and discovered Diwani Bhel Puri about 40 years ago. We have introduced many friends to them and although many Southern Indian restaurants have opened around London, it is still the best and so reasonable.

“Great for a pre theatre or post theatre meal as they are so quick.”

Have you been to Drummond Street? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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