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Best of Toronto

The Best Indian Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / December 20, 2011

best indian restaurants torontoThe best Indian restaurants in Toronto are not ranked based on ambiance. Copper Chimney, for example, the number six spot on this list, indeed looks like it was plucked from another decade. And then there's Lahore Tikka House sitting at a venerable number two, which still uses plates and forks you can throw away at the end of your meal. Unless, I've totally got it wrong and it's this irreverent charm that makes them so appealing, these Indian restaurants offer something else to earn themselves such high esteem.

And that, of course, comes down to their food. The list of best Indian restaurants in Toronto is not specific to northern or southern cuisine, yet each spot in the ranking is known for authentic flavours, unique combinations, and interesting takes on traditional fare. So keep your eyes on your dish, and not the decor.

Here is the list of the best Indian restaurants in Toronto.

See also:

The best Indian buffet in Toronto
The best butter chicken in Toronto
The best dosa in Toronto
The best samosa in Toronto
The best roti in Toronto

Photo by Kaeko in the blogTO Flickr pool

Banjara

Banjara

Just west of Christie Pits on Bloor, Banjara has the total Indian food package. Great flavours, huge portions, prompt service, and great prices. Fair warning to those who like to shop around for a place to eat. The aroma when you walk in the door will make it impossible to leave. Fantastic garlic naan, but then again, most everything at Banjara can be called fantastic. More »

Lahore Tikka House

Lahore Tikka House

A Little India fixture that could technically be called Pakistani, now with a (relatively) new dining room. Lahore serves up some delicious kebabs, butter chicken, muttar paneer, and more, much of which is doused in a righteous layer of ghee. Though, I'm sure that's what makes it taste so good. Beware those of environmental mind. Lahore uses disposable plates and cutlery. More »

Amaya The Indian Room

Amaya The Indian Room

There's obviously something to Amaya's take on North Indian cuisine, since express versions of the restaurant keep cropping up around the city. With its newest spot in the Eaton Centre's Urban Eatery and one set to open soon on Ossington, Amaya serves some delicious curries (my personal favourite) and creative plates with seafood. Worth checking out is the The Bread Bar on Yonge which is the more casual cousin to the original (and pricier) location on Bayview. More »

Curry Twist

Curry Twist

The Junction surprisingly over-indexes in Indian cuisine, but Curry Twist stands out from the pack. Its popularity probably has as much to do with its great service as its authentic curries. Well, maybe that's not entirely true, but the Junction restaurant can be counted on for incredibly friendly, fast, service. The menu reflects Northern Indian cuisine and includes dishes such as goan fish curry, aloo gobhi, and haandi chicken. More »

Little India

Little India

The name has confused first time patrons for more than 15 years (it's always best to tell a never-been when you're referring to the restaurant, not the area), but the food is simply outstanding. The buffet lunch special is a favourite option for a filling Queen West lunch, though the butter chicken and tandoori chicken is undoubtedly the restaurant's specialty. More »

Copper Chimney

Copper Chimney

Near Avenue and Wilson, Copper Chimney debunks the myth that quality Indian food in Toronto proper must be found south of St. Clair. Prices are reasonable for the North York area and the menu offers lots of variety, especially for those who are partial to to the tandoor. Copper Chimney's garlic vegetable ball appetizer is among its more notable options. More »

Maroli

Maroli

Found in Koreatown, Maroli (which is also the name for a Gujarat town) specializes in dishes from the Malabar region and state of Kerala. Nevermind the orange walls. Here you'll want to pay attention to the signature dishes which include fish vattichathu, Malabar chicken, and beef syrian. Maroli also hosts an annual Malabar food festival. More »

Hopper Hut

Hopper Hut

Some of the best hoppers in Toronto can be found at this Sri Lankan restaurant in Scarborough. Be prepared for serious seasoning and heat in Hopper Hut's curries, lampries, and more, all of which are dolled out in very generous portions. Kottu roti from Hopper Hut is an area late-night favourite. More »

Discussion

58 Comments

matttt / September 22, 2008 at 05:38 pm
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Dhaba on King is very good too. P.K. is one of the best chefs in town.
Adam / September 23, 2008 at 04:26 pm
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The Host is a little on the expensive side, but it's still the best Indian restaurant I've been to in Toronto.
Frapanese / December 7, 2008 at 01:18 pm
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If you want something north of the city you got to get yourself to Karmasutra. From their soup to unbelievably tantalizing curry and stew list, this place with give your taste buds a treat of a life time. If you get a waiter named "Eddy" he will give you the best reccomendations depending on how you feel.

Brittnee / December 6, 2009 at 04:49 pm
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How could you miss Savera on St. Clair W & Arlington.
SpicyNoodles / April 14, 2011 at 03:39 am
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I love Indian food and have tried many of the restaurants in India Baazar and downtown Toronto. A newly-discovered gem of a restaurant for me is Agra on 4850 Yonge St. I work around the area and my colleagues took me to lunch there. I was impressed with the food and service. Returned there for dinners. It's cheaper than most Indian restaurants in Toronto with comparable (or better) food and services. The butter chicken here is a must-try along with the lamb Rogan josh. My picky gf had the talapia fish and she had no complaints. I find that mango lassi goes great with Indian food and theirs is very refreshing and just the right about of tanginess and sweetness.
Mike / May 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm
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Iqbal Kebab and Sweet House in Thorncliffe Park (just north of the millwood bridge) has outdone Lahore in all categories other than "livliness".
Anonymous / June 17, 2011 at 08:17 pm
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Um, hello... what about Tabaq Restaurant? The original Tabaq used to be the restaurant right beside where Banjara now is. It has ince moved to Mississauga and expanded to Scarborough (Danforth Rd.). The best naans, kabobs, chicken biryani, chaana, etc. you'll ever eat.
N. Young / December 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm
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No Jaipur Grille?
Sarah / December 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm
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What about Kathmandu just north of Yonge and College? I absolutely adore that restaurant!

Lahore Tikki House is just incredible though, no arguments there.
Adrienne / December 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm
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AGRA at Yonge & Sheppard hands down has the best butter chicken.
Matt S / December 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm
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For once I actually agree with the top choice in this top ten, i.e. Banjara. No doubt there's better Indian food to be had in the GTA but I think it's the best balance of price, selection, quality, and convenience.

Most of the remaining places as well as most places suggested in the comments are, in my opinion, nothing special, though I'm sure they're personal favourites of some.

I am surprised that Hopper Hut was put on here. If you're only going to pick one Sri Lankan restaurant I think Sri Lankans or those that know the cuisine would easily choose Babu Catering as the best spot in the city.

Finally, surprised that Mother India/Gandhi didn't appear. It's massively popular (see Yelp for example) and offers something a little different that the majority of places on the list.

@Ruby: Mela doesn't exist anymore according to the link you posted.
Andrew / December 20, 2011 at 01:11 pm
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I'm going to suggest that Banjara's second location--on Eglinton East is actually the classier of the two and should be mentioned.

Also, Earth, a restaurant on Yonge Street north of Cummer is worth checking out: http://www.earthindian.com/index.aspx

Other commentators--please advise where you go for Indian when you are on Gerrard. I generally find myself overwhelmed by choice and underwhelmed by bad buffets. I'm curious to hear what people recommend.
j / December 20, 2011 at 01:53 pm
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Babur used to be a good go to with the lunch buffet. The service was terrible last time I went, higher prices, and it can't measure up to little india being only a few doors down.
Greg / December 20, 2011 at 03:51 pm
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Let's face it, Banjara is mediocre at best. How this spot got to No.1 in the list is a mystery. Check out 'Famous' in Little India on Gerrard. It's top shelf. Also, Waterfalls in Kensington is also pretty good.

However, this city lost it's all time best when Natarj closed it's doors. That place's flavours were out of control.
Andrew / December 20, 2011 at 05:05 pm
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Aroma!
Bill / December 20, 2011 at 05:12 pm
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Little India is great at any price. And bonus, it's cheap!
Lara / December 20, 2011 at 06:45 pm
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I'm afraid to share my favourite because I don't want it to become overcrowded but, as locals already know, Om on Queen in Parkdale Is great! They have fabulous flavours, entertaining service and good prices. Check it out.
Jane / December 20, 2011 at 07:03 pm
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they got it right this time. banjara is by far the best indian in the city. the butter chicken is unbelievable. little india should've been higher on the list. as the food is also excellent there with great service. curry twist is good in a pinch but it's overrated to me. amaya express is decent for a convenient craving but the quality isn't that great.
MH / December 21, 2011 at 03:52 am
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What about Saravana Bhavan and Udupi? Both are south Indian and vegetarian -- delicious food and reasonable prices!
Tashrin replying to a comment from Andrew la Fleur / December 21, 2011 at 09:10 am
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I must disagree, if you're considering cheap eats, can't beat lahore tikka. what they obviously lack in ambiance and service they more than make up for yummy food. BTW how come south indian gem udupi palace on gerrard did not even get a mention?
Ishtiaque / February 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm
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CMay I recommend a pakistani / IndianFood Take-out place in Mississauga called Zeerah. I have tried quite a few items on the menu and I have found each and every item better than most of the other places I have been to in GTA. There seekh Kababs, Butter chicken, Bun Kababs, Nihari and Haleem are best tasting. Sorry forget to add Biryani. I would highly recommend this plce to all Pakistani / Indian food lovers.
Shannon / February 11, 2012 at 04:27 pm
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WHAT ABOUT BOMBAY ON THE LAKE???? it's amazing and so cheap...go there;
Dale replying to a comment from Adrienne / February 20, 2012 at 06:43 pm
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Really? Agra?? Yikes....
abp replying to a comment from Greg / March 9, 2012 at 06:14 pm
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Actually Waterfalls is crap and cheesy..Banjara's on Eglinton makes some of the best AUTHENTIC, not overpriced Indian food I've ever had!!
anthony / March 21, 2012 at 03:10 pm
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so sad..the bbq hut was left off this list and as an indian food fanatic I have yet to find anywhere that compares south of sheppard..amaya is nice and if you wan to pay the extra dough you get athmosphere..but lahore tikka house..yeeech..i have been there several times and the food i find heavy greasy devoid of creative spice its all hype and no substance..kinda like "the realjerk ' of indian food restos..seriously..try bbq hut and have their butter chicken and nan..and allo gobi and you well be addicted for life
Kabir / May 10, 2012 at 02:00 am
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Another restaurant name should be here that is named India Palace. When I go to downtown area I found that with a reasonable price this is very good quality indian restaurant.
I believe indiapalacequeen.ca is their website though right now i can see the website down. Anyway, lots of indian restaurants are there and most of the names came up here are really really good.
Ann Maria / July 2, 2012 at 09:21 am
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Another restaurant I suggest is http://www.nawabindiancuisine.ca. Nawab Indian Cuisines serves all popular Indian dishes and they are really tasty. And good service too.
Pm99 replying to a comment from Phil / October 6, 2012 at 05:05 pm
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@phil are you kidding me? Babur? Over priced, cater to white folks who don't know any better? Sure I like white linen, but not when I can get a feast in little India for $15!
Ishan Ghosh / April 28, 2013 at 06:04 pm
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How come no one mentioned Kama? On King St W diagonally west of Roy Thompson Hall.
Nick / June 10, 2013 at 03:39 pm
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There is several good indian restaurants but do give this curry house a tray, those that know of it, know it well...

Its right at 1170 THE QUEENSWAY, crazy cheap beer and indian food to eat along with it!

cheers.
Sanjay / July 18, 2013 at 04:41 pm
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Hands down Moksha is the best Indian Restaurant around. Best food, atmosphere and their cocktail list is amazing.
www.MokshaNiagara.com
Ivan / September 4, 2013 at 11:09 am
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Ah, Banjara. I live a block away, and when they fire up their stoves.....that divine smell taunts me. Paloa rice - awesome, naan - awesome, vindaloo? Exquisite!! Love for Banjara.
Sumit / September 7, 2013 at 07:24 pm
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By far the best is "moti mahal ". Divine food, no comparisons.
raul / September 12, 2013 at 01:28 am
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wow i cant believe no mention of butter chicken factory anywhere. just recently opened up and boy their food is hard to beat. get in on their 10% off of all orders through their website!! these guys keep flying under the radar but yet produce outstanding food! two thumbs up
Streven / November 3, 2013 at 11:56 am
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Went last we week to Famous Indian restaurant, 1437 Gerrard E. Mixed. Chicken tandoori is one the best I've ever had, it's the only item worth praising. Chicken curry: chicken meat was somewhat tasty, but sauce watery and bland. Goat curry: is definitely the worst! Meat not fully cooked, hard, elastic. The curry sauce is also bland and watery. Waiter is openly rude.
sonique / February 22, 2014 at 07:28 pm
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Trimurti on queen west is the best Indian food I've had in Toronto. Can't say I've tried many on the list but I have eaten at Amaya and cannot believe it's on the of the best Indian in Toronto. Maybe in the to 100, but top 10? No. Not with all the great Indian restaurants you've left off. Are you guys being compensated by these places?
Damme / February 26, 2014 at 07:07 pm
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My wife and I ate at this great new Indian restaurant called Bindia, at 16 Market St. The decor was very classy and the food was excellent. The servers were quite friendly and showered us with gifts of gold and exotic jewels while the owner performed sexual favours on us. The delicious food gave us superpowers including flight and superspeed, all of my dead relatives and pets were resurrected, and we walk the earth as gods. Highly recommended. By the way, I definitely do not work there.
BillyO / March 31, 2014 at 05:49 pm
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The list needs to be updated with Pukka on it (and number one at that)
sleepy08 / April 1, 2014 at 12:08 pm
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Cinamon on Queen Street East. Amazing.
Scott / April 1, 2014 at 05:10 pm
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Mount Everest has some amazing and unique north Indian and Nepalese dishes. I always leave there stuffed and satisfied.
Ресторанти София / April 11, 2014 at 06:21 am
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Very nice list of Indian restaurants in Toronto. Will try some of them for sure when I'm there.
Hemu / April 21, 2014 at 08:25 pm
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Marigold at mount pleasant is the best indian restaurant the food is so flavor full ...service is so friendly and prices are so reasonable
Lauren / May 11, 2014 at 06:04 pm
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I don't understand why Sher-e-Punjab isn't on this list. Best Indian food in Toronto hands down! They just renovated as well and the restaurant is now gorgeous!!
indian cuisine / May 18, 2014 at 02:54 am
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At this time I am going away to do mmy breakfast, when having my breakfast coming again to read additional
news.
Anon replying to a comment from Lauren / June 9, 2014 at 11:31 am
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Tried Sher-E-Punjab a few years ago and my experience was so-so. The pakora was stunning, perhaps the best I've tried in Toronto and the tamarind chutney was perfect. But the rest of the meal was rather meh and the rice was mushy and gummy. But they could've just had an off-day. Maybe I'll need to visit again.
john / July 10, 2014 at 07:05 pm
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Must try this place as well fairly small and family run but great taste all food taste different
john / July 10, 2014 at 07:07 pm
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best food must try
Liz / August 16, 2014 at 02:35 pm
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Tried Banjara yesterday. If that's considered one of the BEST, I'm sorely disappointed.
Food was not bad, but I won't go again.

Also, far be it from me to not enjoy a large portion of food, but these portions were so unnecessarily huge that it made the whole thing unappetizing.
KP / September 15, 2014 at 01:39 pm
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TRIMURTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII = #1
MUSTAFA KALDAR / September 18, 2014 at 02:44 pm
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Dear Sir / Madam,

I am an Indian citizen currently living & working in Kuwait. I have a plan to get settled in Canada.Could your company assist me in getting a suitable job with visa.

Pls. revert back favorably.
Mohammad replying to a comment from matttt / September 20, 2014 at 06:30 pm
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It was the best !. I agree with you, in the past it was my favourite restaurant. However, in the last three months, I don't know what happen to it. The food is not the same! The butter chicken, the rice all just different!
BillyO / September 20, 2014 at 08:09 pm
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Amaya dropped a few notches (still pretty old though) after most of the former staff and co owner started up Pukka on St Clair West.

Pukka was rated best butter chicken by BlogTO readers, yet doesn't make this list. It's my pick for the best Indian in TO
BillyO / September 20, 2014 at 08:10 pm
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Sorry, meant Amaya is still pretty good
Alice replying to a comment from Liz / September 21, 2014 at 01:54 am
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Same here! I went to Banjara once to see what the hype was about and it's overpriced for what you get... Nothing special so I wouldn't go again (and haven't since).
Ash / October 15, 2014 at 07:39 pm
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Dear BlogTO and readers,

I have noticed that the label of "Indian Food" is disproportionately applied to Mughlai cuisine (originating from India during the Mughal rule). This is almost exclusively North Indian food. South Indian food is an underrepresented, but big part of Indian cuisine as well - includes dosas (savory crepe), wada (savory doughnut), idli (rice cakes), and so many more delicacies. Maybe it's generally ignored by most non-Indians due to the fact that it is mostly vegetarian, I don't know.

Beyond South Indian, there are also very different kinds of foods made in the west (states like Gujarat and Rajasthan) and in the east (places like Bengal and Orissa). There are many restaurants in the city that do prepare these cuisines that, once again, are underrepresented in Toronto.

But as residents of one of the most multicultural regions in the world, I urge you to please explore Indian food beyond just butter chicken, samosas, and tandoori; to find more authentic Indian food; to learn more about the diversity of Indian cuisine.

Sorry for the rant, but I love the fact that Toronto has so many adventurous foodies, and just hope we can create enough demand to allow more authentic and diverse restaurants to pop up in the city.

Happy eating everyone!
Vijay Photos / October 25, 2014 at 08:26 pm
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Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed
information you present. It's great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same outdated rehashed information. Great read!
I've bookmarked your site and I'm adding
your RSS feeds to my Google account.
Naresh / December 1, 2014 at 11:16 pm
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www.moksha-restaurant.com
New Indian cuisine 3022 Bathurst Street. The Best in town.

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