Fortunately for Indian food lovers, you don’t have to take a 12-hour flight to get a real authentic taste of India. Sydney has some delicious restaurants right here on your doorstep. See below our top ten choices (in no particular order) for the best places for Indian cuisine, from upmarket establishments to cheap eats.
Located in Darling Harbour, this stunning waterfront restaurant is an ideal dining location for a date night with a special someone. Manjit’s describes itself as being “The Future of Tradition,” and it’s easy to see why. With authentic curries and tandoori dishes being served in a refined dining style environment, eating at Manjit’s is a decadent experience. Manjit’s was founded by none other than the inventor of the incredibly popular dish, butter chicken. So we definitely recommend trying it here! Another meal you cannot miss is their ‘Kaju ki sabzi,’ which is made with cashews and caramelised onions. You can also choose from a wide selection of cocktails to accompany your meal. With mains costing around $25, it isn’t the cheapest place on the list. But, it is definitely worth treating yourself to!
Indian cuisine has some of the best vegetarian dishes in the world, so it’s no surprise that the Maya Vegetarian is such a hit with non-meat-eaters. Head over to Surry Hills to try their signature thali. For those not in the know, the thali is essentially a selection of different curries, rice, and bread for soaking up all those lovely sauces. Ideal for those who cannot decide on just one dish! They also have a wide selection of chaat, which quite literally translates to “to taste” or “to lick,” and are usually packed full of flavour with things like samosas chaat being topped with chickpea curry and drizzled in creamy yoghurt. They also have mithai, Indian sweets, for those with a sweet tooth.
Faheem Fast Food
Enmore Road is home to this gem of a cheap eat restaurant. The Indian/Pakistani fast food place is a no-frills establishment, letting the food do the talking. Here you can find all of your favourite classic dishes. It is evident how great the food is here- by how busy this late-night spot frequently is!
Residents of Barangaroo are lucky e wnough to have Spiced by Billu’s in their neighbourhood. This is actually the second restaurant of this name, which was opened following the success of its big brother in Harris Park. Spiced by Billu’s is another beautiful modern waterfront venue where diners can enjoy the Instagram worthy meals. You can enjoy a banquet for groups of four or more, which comes with three entrees, four mains, unlimited rice, naan, pappadams, and a dessert for $55 per person.
If you are ever in McMahons Point, then the Zinger Taj is a must. Watch in fascination as the chefs prepare your meal in the open kitchen. Zinger Taj has all of your favourites and a few of their own signature dishes you won’t see elsewhere. For something a bit different, we recommend trying the almond pumpkin lamb curry or pistachio chicken. For $19.90, you can also get a lunch special of curry, rice, and naan. As if you didn’t need any more incentive, they also have beer and wine for only $4.50 in their all-day happy hour.
Sadly Aki’s closed its doors for good in July 2020. Fortunately, there is another place you can get your curry fix for those heartbroken fans of this place. Abhi’s is owned by the same people and is just as good. Just like Aki’s, they have beautifully presented classic dishes. They currently aren’t allowing walk-ins due to covid, so make sure you book ahead to get a spot here!
As the name might suggest, the meals here are the real home comfort food. Their chicken tikka with curry sauce wrapped in garlic naan is the ultimate hangover cure, and you don’t even need to leave the house to enjoy it as they offer takeaway! If you want to head out to eat there, it’s located in Paddington in an unassuming diner. Prices are super reasonable here also.
This Sri Lankan and South Indian inspired restaurant brings a modern twist to classic village dishes. If you’re feeling hungry, then why not order one of their feasts where you will be given a whopping ten different dishes to try from for $60-80. Stand-out dishes with twists on classics include their 48-hour slow-roasted lamb, red lentil daal, beetroot and lime raita, and spiced carrot cake with coriander icing. The exposed brickwork and industrial style features give the entire place a trendy vibe, while soft lighting prevents it from feeling too cold or unwelcoming.
This entire street is chock full of fantastic Indian restaurants to choose from. The brightly coloured road and divine smells coming from the restaurants allow you to step into another world, and you feel like you have been transported to India. A popular place here is North Indian Mughlai inspired ‘Gingers’. Stepping into the cottage with its white picket fence, you feel as though you are being welcomed into someone’s home. With guests claiming that ‘Gingers’ is the best place for Indian in Sydney, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Formally known as Indian Palace, this eatery has rebranded to a more sleek vibe. Inside, the red and black decor lends itself towards an intimate yet relaxed atmosphere with soft lighting. As you might have guessed, they do more than curries alone- you can get your favourite dishes too. For those of you who have young children, they also have the “Little Champs” menu with kid-friendly meals like chicken nuggets and chips on offer—interested in going? They have two locations, one in Harris Park and the other in Balmain.