Eat your heart out on an Indian food tour of East London

Sometimes pretending to be a tourist in your own city is the very best thing you could do with a handful of spare hours. If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably picked a curry house or two or three at random on Brick Lane in your day, but what if you didn’t have to play eeny meeny miny moe with what you put in your stomach? That’s where Indian Food Tours come in. Part of the Secret Food Tours line-up, this new route takes you and a group of up to 12 people (there were about 7 when On In London, got to go on the tour) from the meeting point at Whitechapel Gallery through some of the East End’s best South Asian food spots.

Over three hours, our expert tour guide, Raj, led us through a carefully planned out selection of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi restaurants, talking us through each one’s rich history. We got to try every place’s most coveted specialties, including dishes we might not typically have ordered, like piazu (a Bangladeshi fried snack), as well as more recognisable dishes like saag lamb and tarka daal (both from Eastern Eye Balti House on Brick Lane, and both amazing). We finished the tour at a super-authentic canteen-style eatery that’s meant to be a surprise, so you might just have to book your spot on the tour to find out what it is! Hint: it’s BYOB.

Between restaurants, our tour guide showed us around Taj Stores, one of the oldest and largest South Asian supermarkets in London — an absolute sweet-shop experience for the enthusiastic foodie and home cook, where we got to shop for a little while. On the tour, you’ll also see one of Brick Lane’s favourite traditional sweet shops, Madhubon Sweet Shop, where we stocked up on gulab jamun and mango barfi to enjoy at the end of the tour. We’re salivating just thinking about it.

The Indian Food Tour costs £59 per person, including alcoholic beverages at Eastern Eye (a total bargain if you ask us), and is adaptable for vegetarians and vegans.


Address: Whitechapel Gallery, E1 7QX

Written by Iris Goldsztajn