This is a sponsored article on behalf of Wembley Park.
Wembley contains multitudes. And, once you lift out the football and big-name stadium concerts that are a lot of people's gateway to the neighbourhood, it has to be the restaurant scene — a lot of it focused around Indian food of different regions — that the area's best known for.
Located in the borough of Brent in northwest London, the area's undergone substantial changes in recent years, with Wembley Park transformed into a buzzy destination in its own right — home to eye-catching public art, the Troubadour Theatre, an eclectic mix of retailers, and a whole lot of new places to eat. On top of all the restaurants, cafés, bars, there's also London's biggest BOXPARK and its huge array of street food traders.
Elsewhere in Wembley, you'll find an amazing spread of Indian restaurants and food shops to choose from, with a lot of them centred around Ealing Road and the High Road — covering a range including Gujarati, South Indian vegetarian, North Indian and Sri Lankan restaurants.
Side note that the neighbourhood and food options can look different on event days at the stadium and arena — some venues might be serving set menus only, or have different opening hours, (or be so popular and packed you'll need a booking), so check before heading out with somewhere particular in mind.
Breakfast and brunch
To ease you into your day, opt for the laidback Estadio Lounge in Wembley Park. This place does fry-ups, supremely fluffy stacks of buttermilk pancakes, and brunch classics like shakshuka and smashed avocado. But no judgement if you want to dive straight into this all-day dining destination's tapas offering (think honey whipped feta and mini pulled brisket chilli.)
For a South Indian start to your day, head to the great-value Sarashwathy Bavans or Saravanaa Bhavan, on the High Road and Ealing Road, respectively. Both Wembley outposts of international chains, you can embed with South Indian rice-and-lentil breakfast dishes like dosa, idli and uthappam, from a long menu of classics.
For a concentrated caffeine hit, opt for the Robusta Revival espresso at Wembley Park's Black Sheep Coffee, which we suggest pairing with one of Bread Ahead's famous doughnuts, which you can pick up further down Olympic Way.
If you're craving Indian for lunch, Sarashwathy Bavans and Saravanaa Bhavan (above) also make for good lunchtime pitstops. And they're both great value: at the former, the 'mini thali' (still quite damn big, with multiple curries, rice and medu vada) will set you back £5.50; at the latter, a thali with unlimited refills of the rice and curry comes in at £9.50. If you're looking for something even more expansive, our pick, at the Alperton end of Ealing Road, is large, busy vegetarian café-restaurant Sakonis. You can order from the long and excellent menu (a mix of South Indian classics, street food bites, and some intriguing-but-we've-never-tried-them Indo-Chinese dishes like hakka noodles and chilli garlic mogo), or they do a sprawling, generous lunch buffet for just under £20.
There's a lot to choose from at BOXPARK Wembley in Wembley Park, where light lunch options include sushi at Mitsuryu, or one of Island Poké’s zingy poké bowls. Vegans are also well-catered for at Viva Falafel, where the chef serves up his grandmother's recipe alongside fresh juices. Must-tries for meat-eaters include the Caribbean salmon stew and goat curry at Mama Jacq's, fried chicken at Sides (the brainchild of The Sidemen Collective), and Holy Guacamole's beef barbacoa quesadillas. Many BOXPARK traders are open till 10pm, making it a great choice for dinner, too.
Elsewhere in Wembley, check out the caff-restaurant Ecco'la Pizzeria (full English and omelettes in the morning, and adding in some trad Italian dishes from lunchtime), or East Restaurant, above Loon Fung Chinese supermarket, doing dim sum, sushi and congee, along with a mix of Cantonese, Szechuan and fusion dishes.
Gastropubs, pubs and bars
In the sunshine, head for the terrace at The White Horse: with views over the OVO Arena Wembley, it's a great spot for people-watching. They also do gastropub classics if you fancy sticking around for a dinner.
For other decent pubs in the neighbourhood check out The Preston (nearest station: Preston Road) and The Green Man (in Wembley Park and Wembley Stadium stations), with a beer garden and near the stadium and arena, so it's unsurprisingly popular for event pre-gaming.
If you're looking for something glitzy, how about Sky Bar 9 at the top of Hilton London Wembley? Sit down with a glass of Pimm's, champagne or cocktail on its terrace, and admire the views overlooking the stadium.
The Hilton's home to The Association Restaurant, an upscale restaurant serving seasonal dishes including pan-fried sea bass, chicken murgh makhani, and sweet potato and red onion tart. Wembley Park also has something special to offer the discerning diner: Masalchi. Here, twice Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar serves up an inventive menu of pan-Asian flavours. The menu is a celebration of spice, encompassing everything from fragrant curries and juicy grills to Handi, Masala and Kalia dishes.
Also in the neighbourhood, Studio Five offers a different flavour of spectacular dining. It's set within the old Foundation Film Studios at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre — making it a great choice for a pre- or post-show meal — and pays tribute to its showbiz heritage with live music to accompany your food.
Close to the theatre, Wembley Tandoori's been around for more than three decades, serving a blend of Nepalese and Indian food: there are curryhouse classics on the menu but it's the noodle sadheko and momos we'd steer towards every time. And over nearer Wembley Stadium station there's The Arch — a hotel restaurant serving modern Indian menu with a good vegetarian range, with a sideline in burgers, wings, and general Americana. Plus look out for the dishes melding the two influences — think fried chicken burgers topped with bhajis and raita, and pachos (a poppadom twist on nachos, covered with spicy ketchup, and kachumber).
And for something very family friendly, there's Pasta Remoli, where you can mix and match your favourite shapes, sauces and cheeses to create the pasta dish of your dreams (no judgement if you pair parmesan with your seafood spaghetti!)
Masti on the High Road segues from restaurant to bar to club on weekends — it's open till 2am Fri-Sat, serving up spicy cocktails, energetic dancing and Bollywood DJs. And at Wembley Park, Beatbox Bar — part of BOXPARK Wembley — stays open til 1am Thurs-Sat, with resident DJs spinning RnB, hip hop, dancehall, Afrobeats and funky house.