Delhi street food, slow-cooked curries, spicy biryani, and more!
If you're on the hunt for the best restaurants for authentic Indian food in Toronto, then stop what you're doing because we've got you covered.
Narcity asked Chef Hemant Bhagwani — the owner of GOA Indian Farm Kitchen, Bombay Snack Bar, PŌPA, and Amaya Restaurant — to share his favourite Indian restaurants in the 6ix, and he gave us all the goods.
Here are his seven top picks for Indian restaurants in Toronto that actually serve delicious and authentic Indian cuisine.
Mantra by Host
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Address: CF Shops at Don Mills, 2 O'Neil Rd., North York, ON
Why You Need To Go: If you love trying smokier flavours, this is the place to go. Mantra by Host offers a wide variety of tandoori dishes apart from their succulent tandoori momos, which Bhagwani pointed out.
"[I] love the twist on street food with a tandoori spicy glaze," Bhagwani added.
If you want to up the ante, try their tandoori lamb chops or prawns. And if you want vegan options, they have grilled tandoori mushrooms and more.
Address: 1460 Gerrard St. E., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Bhagwani told Narcity that this is the best South Indian vegetarian restaurant in his book. "[It's] my comfort food," he added. Located right in the heart of Toronto's Little India, Udupi Palace has an extensive menu that vegetarians will drool over.
The restaurant explores South Indian cuisine beyond the classic masala dosa and flavourful vadas. They have 48 varieties of dosa, so there's something for everyone. It's also a spot for hard-to-find Indo-Chinese dishes, like Idli Manchurian and Szechuan kofta. Plus, they stock specialty bread on the weekends, like garlic naan and onion kulcha, if you're looking for breakfast or brunch options.
Leela Indian Food on Gerrard
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Address: 1386 Gerrard St. E., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Bhagwani suggested trying Leela Indian Food's Lasooni Cauliflower, which is the restaurant's signature dish of garlicky, stir-fried cauliflower tossed with the chef's spices and topped with sesame seeds.
"[It's an] Indo-Chinese Sichuan style cauliflower adapted to Indian flavours," Bhagwani said. "A delicious and fun appetizer with a nice glass of Austrian Gruner Veltliner."
From aromatic curries to finger foods and snacks, Leela Indian Food Bar has got it all. For dessert, there's kulfi — a luscious South Asian ice cream — at just $2.99, or one of its fancier cousins, the fruity falooda. Keep it hearty with a combo of butter naan and rich daal makhani, and cool off with some refreshing salted lassi.
Address: 778 St. Clair Ave. W., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: "Lamb Lollipops is their best dish on their menu," Bhagwani told Narcity. These are juicy grilled lamb chops seasoned with turmeric, mint, and fenugreek.
Pukka Toronto offers an authentic Indian dining experience and some creative culinary twists. On the menu, you'll find evergreen classics like butter chicken and tikka masala, and also some unique options, like cumin-braised beef brisket and garam masala smoked trout.
The restaurant also offers a weekly wine feature on their menu, which gives customers the option of sipping on some wine that pairs perfectly with their food.
Parathas 'n' Rolls
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Address: 2903 Derry Rd. E., Mississauga, ON
Why You Need To Go: Who doesn't love crispy fried bread? Parathas 'n' rolls has more paratha varieties than you can count on both hands — cheesy, tangy, fresh, whatever floats your boat.
"My favourite [is the] Aloo Paratha," Bhagwani shared. "[It's] bread stuffed with spicy masala potatoes served with raita and chana masala."
Plus, if wraps are your jam, they have a whole list of Kathi rolls with fillings that work for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Address: 3358 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: "I judge Indian food based on the quality of Butter Chicken, Dal Makhani, & Naan Bread," Bhagwani told Narcity.
Indilicious serves a creamy, tomato-y butter chicken and manages to upgrade humbler daal dishes. Bonus: if you love a good, filling biryani, they have vegetable, lamb, chicken, and shrimp biryani, too.
Why You Need To Go: "The Indian desserts are amazing here but the Indian [food] influenced by Kolkata is delicious," Bhagwani told us. "Try their Goat Rezala and Beef Alu Jhol."
Premium Sweets' Beef Alu Jhol is a slow-cooked Bengali curry made with beef and potatoes. Their Goat Rezala is also slow-cooked in cashew paste and infused with saffron.
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