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Saag and makki ki roti at Rita’s Chilli Chaat Corner in Southall
Harkaran Gill

The Top 10 Places to Eat in Southall

The place to experience Punjabi cuisine in London

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Saag and makki ki roti at Rita’s Chilli Chaat Corner in Southall
| Harkaran Gill

Welcome to Southall — the large zone 4 suburb in deep west London often referred to as “mini Punjab.” It is a region made up largely of British Asians and Indians identifying themselves as Sikhs of Punjabi descent. Migration since the late 60s and early 70s has made the area famous among its community in the UK and abroad. As the area changes, new communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia have added to the vibrancy of Southall and its restaurants. Southall is only 15 minutes from Paddington via National Rail or 5 minutes from Ealing Broadway on the Central line.

This list is made up of family favourites, snack spots and hidden gems. Be prepared to experience a more relaxed type of service and expect no gimmicks. Join the locals as they tuck into their dishes.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Nothing comes closer to Punjabi home cooking than Roxy — one of the oldest restaurants in old Southall. Formerly known as Sagoo & Takhar, generations have been coming here. A Punjabi brunch is a must. Pick from a range of excellent paratha (roti breads): aloo (potato), methi (fenugreek leaf), mooli or gobi with yoghurt, butter and a cup of masala tea. Fancy something comforting and indulgent? Then chole bhature (fried bread made from maida flour with chickpea curry) is the tip. A little less calorific, but no less delicious: saag makki di roti (spinach with corn bread) is a winter classic. Snacks: samosa chaat will hit the spot. Broken pieces of samosa with chickpea curry, yoghurt and imli (tamarind sauce). £15 per head will satisfy most appetites. Be patient with the service.

Roti at Roxy’s, one of the best north Indian restaurants in London
Roti at Roxy’s
Harkaran Gill

Delhi Wala

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Delhi Wala is a down to earth spot for snacks, sweets, deserts and comfort food. Don't be fooled by the shabby and tacky interior. Service is speedy and the food comes out fast. Best here are the starters and specials on the menu. The Punjabi samosa (DW specialty) is a must. Possibly one of the best samosas in the UK. Perfectly soft and crispy on the outside with a warm and well seasoned interior. Two for £1.50, can't go wrong. For the same price dahi wada chaat (soft lentil dumpling with yogurt and imli) is a cooler option to line the stomach. Grab the chilli paneer for £5.50 mixed with capsicum, onions and spicy tomato gravy. Finish up with rasmalai, a rich cheesecake without a crust resting in creamy milk.

Samosa and dahi wada chaat
Harkaran Gill

Mehfil Restaurant Indian Fine Dining

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Mehfil is the most up-market restaurant and priciest on this list. A traditional 'Indian' with good service and a cosy interior. Serving all the Punjabi classics, and known dishes such as chicken madras and chicken tikka. Amritsari Machchi is a must: A famous street food from the holy city of Amritsar and home to the Golden Temple. Amritsari fish is often a white fish coated with mixed flour and spices. It is fried to achieve a crispy texture giving it that unique taste of northern India. Follow that up with butterflied kesari king prawns cooked in a slow fire charcoal oven. The unique taste comes from saffron and hung yoghurt. For a meat version try the murg malai kebab. Finish up with a gajrela tart, made by reducing fresh carrots in milk and ghee.

Amritsari Machchi: crisp, coated fried fish
Harkaran Gill

Chini Chor

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Chini Chor (sugar thief) is one of many pure vegetable and sweet establishments in Southall. These types of places are great for a cup of masala tea and mini meals. Emulating the streets of Punjab these fast food joints offer all the traditional favourites from chaats to barfis (milk based sweet). Aloo tikka chaat and Punjabi samosa chaat come highly recommended. Take advantage of up to seven variations of pakora along with a tandoori paratha served with chickpeas and butter. As for the barfis, gajar (carrot), kaaju (cashew) and pista (pistachio) are favourites among the locals. For those with a extra sweet tooth, gulab jamun is the ultimate indulgence — £1.75 for two pieces. Expect to see plenty of takeaway sweet shops along Southall Broadway, with Royal Sweets and Ambala the most popular and established.

Harkaran Gill

Jalebi Junction

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As the name suggests, jalebi is the specialty here. Are these the best jalebi's in west London? Jalebi is made by deep-frying maida flour batter in circular shapes and soaking in sugar syrup. Grab three circular pieces for £1 at the counter. Either eat while walking the streets of Southall or take home to enjoy.

jalebi waiting for their syrup at jalebi junction, southall, one of London’s best bakeries
Jalebi
Harkaran Gill

Rita's Chilli Chaat Corner

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Open since 1968, Rita's is as authentic as it comes. And boy does it live up to its reputation. Packed from lunch times onwards, there’s a real buzz from the moment one sets foot inside. If there's one restaurant that encapsulates what 'Indian' food is then it's Rita's: Authenticity and quality of the food bring all the local communities together in one place. Take a pick from the seven signature dishes. Highlights include dahi puri, chole bhatura, saag and makki ki roti, and Amritsari kulcha. Away from the signatures dishes, Rita's offer an extensive range of chaats. Definitely the best place for chaat in London.

Saag and makki ki roti
Harkaran Gill

Desi Tadka

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Desi Tadka is the epitome of Punjabi culture. The front of the restaurant pays homage with three statues of Punjabi women adorning traditional dress. The interior is a visual history of cultural icons including freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, Sikh gurus and photos of rural Punjab. Saro da saag (slow cooked spinach), dal makhani, sweet butter chicken and black pepper chicken are highlights. The latter is cooked in a black pepper sauce, flavoured with creamy yoghurt. Perfect with either butter or garlic naan. Fans of dry chicken dishes must try the tandoori chicken. Best restaurant for hearty home style Punjabi food. And its BOYB.

Butter chicken with naan
Harkaran Gill

Raunka Punjab Diyan

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Similar to Desi Tadka, Raunka’s bare brick walls decorated with Punjabi ornaments, Indian trucks and women spinning cotton. There's also a Royal Enfield motorbike towards the back of the restaurant. Rajma chaal (kidney beans with rice) is a household favourite, simply satisfying, filling and hearty. Bhindi Masala (okra with onion and peppers) and baingen da bartha (fresh aubergines cooked in pickled sauce) are stand out dishes not often found in restaurants. For meat and fish eaters tandoori bhad shah, tandoori fish tikka and jeera chicken wings will go down well. Best for classic vegetarian dishes and Punjabi desserts.

Harkaran Gill

Gifto's Lahore Karahi

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Gifto's is a meat eaters heaven. A Pakistani restaurant with roots in Lahore, which was the former capital of Punjab, pre-partition, until 1947. The largest restaurant on the list has a modern decor. Service is quick and efficient. The succulent and meaty lamb chops here surpass those of Tayyabs and Lahore Kebab House in east London. Definitely the best mixed grill in Southall despite plenty of competition from similar Pakistani grills on the Broadway. Great value for money as the chicken grill (10 pieces) is only £9 and mixed grill (16 pieces) only £13.50. Don’t leave without trying the mango lassi. However the grill is trumped by the tava lamb (curry), best eaten with tandoori naan.

Grilled lamb chops
Harkaran Gill

Prince of Wales

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Away from the main streets of Southall is the Prince of Wales, a hidden gem. It’s a cult classic with the locals. A Punjabi pub with a drinking and eating area. An upbeat and bustling atmosphere with plenty of seating. Televisions at every angle so you don't miss the football and cricket. Bhangra and Punjabi music bounces off the walls of this recently refurbished establishment. A unique experience. Sixteen-piece mixed grill costs only £13.50. Go for the obvious favourites such as onion bhaji, veg samosa and tandoori chicken for starters. Lamb curry, chicken curry, daal, yogurt and naan for mains. Wash it down with some Kingfisher. The best South Asian pub in London.

Curry and rice at the Prince of Wales, Southall
Official

Roxy's

Roti at Roxy’s, one of the best north Indian restaurants in London
Roti at Roxy’s
Harkaran Gill

Nothing comes closer to Punjabi home cooking than Roxy — one of the oldest restaurants in old Southall. Formerly known as Sagoo & Takhar, generations have been coming here. A Punjabi brunch is a must. Pick from a range of excellent paratha (roti breads): aloo (potato), methi (fenugreek leaf), mooli or gobi with yoghurt, butter and a cup of masala tea. Fancy something comforting and indulgent? Then chole bhature (fried bread made from maida flour with chickpea curry) is the tip. A little less calorific, but no less delicious: saag makki di roti (spinach with corn bread) is a winter classic. Snacks: samosa chaat will hit the spot. Broken pieces of samosa with chickpea curry, yoghurt and imli (tamarind sauce). £15 per head will satisfy most appetites. Be patient with the service.

Roti at Roxy’s, one of the best north Indian restaurants in London
Roti at Roxy’s
Harkaran Gill

Delhi Wala

Samosa and dahi wada chaat
Harkaran Gill

Delhi Wala is a down to earth spot for snacks, sweets, deserts and comfort food. Don't be fooled by the shabby and tacky interior. Service is speedy and the food comes out fast. Best here are the starters and specials on the menu. The Punjabi samosa (DW specialty) is a must. Possibly one of the best samosas in the UK. Perfectly soft and crispy on the outside with a warm and well seasoned interior. Two for £1.50, can't go wrong. For the same price dahi wada chaat (soft lentil dumpling with yogurt and imli) is a cooler option to line the stomach. Grab the chilli paneer for £5.50 mixed with capsicum, onions and spicy tomato gravy. Finish up with rasmalai, a rich cheesecake without a crust resting in creamy milk.

Samosa and dahi wada chaat
Harkaran Gill

Mehfil Restaurant Indian Fine Dining

Amritsari Machchi: crisp, coated fried fish
Harkaran Gill

Mehfil is the most up-market restaurant and priciest on this list. A traditional 'Indian' with good service and a cosy interior. Serving all the Punjabi classics, and known dishes such as chicken madras and chicken tikka. Amritsari Machchi is a must: A famous street food from the holy city of Amritsar and home to the Golden Temple. Amritsari fish is often a white fish coated with mixed flour and spices. It is fried to achieve a crispy texture giving it that unique taste of northern India. Follow that up with butterflied kesari king prawns cooked in a slow fire charcoal oven. The unique taste comes from saffron and hung yoghurt. For a meat version try the murg malai kebab. Finish up with a gajrela tart, made by reducing fresh carrots in milk and ghee.

Amritsari Machchi: crisp, coated fried fish
Harkaran Gill

Chini Chor

Harkaran Gill

Chini Chor (sugar thief) is one of many pure vegetable and sweet establishments in Southall. These types of places are great for a cup of masala tea and mini meals. Emulating the streets of Punjab these fast food joints offer all the traditional favourites from chaats to barfis (milk based sweet). Aloo tikka chaat and Punjabi samosa chaat come highly recommended. Take advantage of up to seven variations of pakora along with a tandoori paratha served with chickpeas and butter. As for the barfis, gajar (carrot), kaaju (cashew) and pista (pistachio) are favourites among the locals. For those with a extra sweet tooth, gulab jamun is the ultimate indulgence — £1.75 for two pieces. Expect to see plenty of takeaway sweet shops along Southall Broadway, with Royal Sweets and Ambala the most popular and established.

Harkaran Gill

Jalebi Junction

jalebi waiting for their syrup at jalebi junction, southall, one of London’s best bakeries
Jalebi
Harkaran Gill

As the name suggests, jalebi is the specialty here. Are these the best jalebi's in west London? Jalebi is made by deep-frying maida flour batter in circular shapes and soaking in sugar syrup. Grab three circular pieces for £1 at the counter. Either eat while walking the streets of Southall or take home to enjoy.

jalebi waiting for their syrup at jalebi junction, southall, one of London’s best bakeries
Jalebi
Harkaran Gill

Rita's Chilli Chaat Corner

Saag and makki ki roti
Harkaran Gill

Open since 1968, Rita's is as authentic as it comes. And boy does it live up to its reputation. Packed from lunch times onwards, there’s a real buzz from the moment one sets foot inside. If there's one restaurant that encapsulates what 'Indian' food is then it's Rita's: Authenticity and quality of the food bring all the local communities together in one place. Take a pick from the seven signature dishes. Highlights include dahi puri, chole bhatura, saag and makki ki roti, and Amritsari kulcha. Away from the signatures dishes, Rita's offer an extensive range of chaats. Definitely the best place for chaat in London.

Saag and makki ki roti
Harkaran Gill

Desi Tadka

Butter chicken with naan
Harkaran Gill

Desi Tadka is the epitome of Punjabi culture. The front of the restaurant pays homage with three statues of Punjabi women adorning traditional dress. The interior is a visual history of cultural icons including freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, Sikh gurus and photos of rural Punjab. Saro da saag (slow cooked spinach), dal makhani, sweet butter chicken and black pepper chicken are highlights. The latter is cooked in a black pepper sauce, flavoured with creamy yoghurt. Perfect with either butter or garlic naan. Fans of dry chicken dishes must try the tandoori chicken. Best restaurant for hearty home style Punjabi food. And its BOYB.

Butter chicken with naan
Harkaran Gill

Raunka Punjab Diyan

Harkaran Gill

Similar to Desi Tadka, Raunka’s bare brick walls decorated with Punjabi ornaments, Indian trucks and women spinning cotton. There's also a Royal Enfield motorbike towards the back of the restaurant. Rajma chaal (kidney beans with rice) is a household favourite, simply satisfying, filling and hearty. Bhindi Masala (okra with onion and peppers) and baingen da bartha (fresh aubergines cooked in pickled sauce) are stand out dishes not often found in restaurants. For meat and fish eaters tandoori bhad shah, tandoori fish tikka and jeera chicken wings will go down well. Best for classic vegetarian dishes and Punjabi desserts.

Harkaran Gill

Gifto's Lahore Karahi

Grilled lamb chops
Harkaran Gill

Gifto's is a meat eaters heaven. A Pakistani restaurant with roots in Lahore, which was the former capital of Punjab, pre-partition, until 1947. The largest restaurant on the list has a modern decor. Service is quick and efficient. The succulent and meaty lamb chops here surpass those of Tayyabs and Lahore Kebab House in east London. Definitely the best mixed grill in Southall despite plenty of competition from similar Pakistani grills on the Broadway. Great value for money as the chicken grill (10 pieces) is only £9 and mixed grill (16 pieces) only £13.50. Don’t leave without trying the mango lassi. However the grill is trumped by the tava lamb (curry), best eaten with tandoori naan.

Grilled lamb chops
Harkaran Gill

Prince of Wales

Curry and rice at the Prince of Wales, Southall
Official

Away from the main streets of Southall is the Prince of Wales, a hidden gem. It’s a cult classic with the locals. A Punjabi pub with a drinking and eating area. An upbeat and bustling atmosphere with plenty of seating. Televisions at every angle so you don't miss the football and cricket. Bhangra and Punjabi music bounces off the walls of this recently refurbished establishment. A unique experience. Sixteen-piece mixed grill costs only £13.50. Go for the obvious favourites such as onion bhaji, veg samosa and tandoori chicken for starters. Lamb curry, chicken curry, daal, yogurt and naan for mains. Wash it down with some Kingfisher. The best South Asian pub in London.

Curry and rice at the Prince of Wales, Southall
Official

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