The Best Butter Chicken in Toronto
The best butter chicken in Toronto, surprisingly, ain't about the butter. In fact, at most of the places on this list, butter is a no show and at only a handful, it's more of an afterthought - kind of a "well it's got butter in the English title" so I suppose I should put some in. In fact, according to many of chefs at these restaurants, the aforementioned "butter" component of the title is more a reference to the consistency of the chicken and how it should almost melt in your mouth like butter when eating the dish. Cool, huh?
What's also cool is that many a butter chicken start out their lives as chicken tikka and then magically morph into a creamy, decadent tomatoey goodness just at the very end of their lives.
But regardless of whether it's avec or sans butter, tandooried or not, it's still, by a large margin (and I do mean exponentially large) the most frequently ordered dish in Indian restaurants in Toronto - sometimes with an astonishing 90% of guests ordering it...so kudos to all of the following restaurateurs for indulging our raging taste buds with some gorgeous variations of this indulgent dish.
Here are the 10 best butter chicken dishes in Toronto.
Right next to Christie Pits Park in what looks like it could’ve been a 7/11 many moons ago, Banjara keeps the local populace happy by churning out incredible food. The butter chicken is soft, delicate, and just plain yummy and goes incredibly well with Chef Raj Veerella’s all organic naan. The portions are large and get even larger when you do takeout. No wonder it’s numero uno. More »
An empire in the making with its 7 locations from food courts to elegant restaurants and a line of sauces and naan available at Pusateri’s, McKewans, Longos and Metro alike, one would expect quality to suffer, but boy does it not. The colour of sunset, the aromatic cinnamon hits you first, but the taste is wonderfully layered, delicate and complex. Magical. More »
On Queen West for the last 8 years, this family business is a mainstay that got a wicked redesign in 2008 by Commute Home. Chef Parveen Singh’s butter chicken is beautifully presented and has a rich creamy burnt orange colour and knock-out deep flavour that perfectly complements the long grain basmati rice you won’t find anywhere else. More »
Currently tearing it up in the Junction (although it’s been here 9 and half years), the colourful decor and spice dictionary that greet you are immediately supplanted by the incredible smells emanating from the open kitchen. The butter chicken recipe is a secret Chef Anant Singh won’t share but is straight from the neighbourhood in New Delhi where his family grew up. So if you want authentic, here’s a good bet. More »
Chef and owner Avtar Singh has been serving up his incredibly loyal clientele some of the best and biggest butter chicken around for the last 15 years. Using 35% cream, no butter and adding potato to the mix the only improvement one might make (and it’s his suggestion) is to mix a little of his mint chutney in with the butter chicken adding another layer of flavour and the tiniest touch of heat. Namaste. More »
With the ambiance of an English Colonial library this Annex resto has a decidedly upscale feel, a wonderful solarium and lots of vegetation that really sets the mood for a sub-continental meal. The butter chicken has a fabulous consistency that’s creamy but retains the taste and texture of the tomato base. Combine the sauce with juicy chunks of all white chicken and a hint of ginger and you have a winner. More »
One of 2 Bayview reps on the list, Kamasutra is a large open space with a huge bar and patio. It’s grain fed chicken is not tandooried, but baked and finished North Indian style with fenugreek, house masala, butter, light cream, and all local Ontario tomatoes. With 90% of all customers ordering it, something smells good! More »
Chef PK is a man who loves his food and it shows. Using organic chicken that’s been marinated for 24 hours in garlic, sundried fenugreek, and 5 spice mix, it’s then sealed in the tandoor and finished 3 different ways using blanched and ground tomatoes, cream and love. Topped with garlic chives and strawberries that add a wonderful splash of acidity, it’s an elegant dish that’s complex and ridiculously tasty. More »
Open for two years, this cavernous space on Augusta is one of the few that uses butter when finishing the dish. Chef Kishore uses nice big chunks of all white meat along with bay leaves, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, cinnamon, cardamom, chilli powder, salt and sugar for his red sauce that’s a little less creamy than some, but no less tasty. Best in Kensington, hands down. More »