Whether you know your Paratha from your Paneer, or you are yearning to spice up your life (at mealtime, at least), Metro Vancouver is brimming with tantalizing options for exploring the many flavours of Indian cuisine.
Indian food varies vastly from region to region–and from household to household; everyone’s Garam Masala has its own ratio of spices–though, of course, in 21st century Vancouver, you’re apt to find a lot of modern liberties and even fusions at some restaurants.
If you need some help choosing where your next Indian restaurant meal is coming from, here are our picks for 15 places in Metro Vancouver worth giving a try.
This contemporary Indian restaurant in Downtown offers diners a taste of Bombay, and “a culinary pilgrimage within India.” Their large all-day menu includes vegetarian options, Tandoori oven dishes, as well as plentiful lamb and seafood choices. Salam Bombay also offers a daily lunch buffet from 11:30 am to 3 pm for $19.95.
Address: 755 Burrard Street, Suite 217, Vancouver
Truly a Vancouver legend, Vij’s continues to draw crowds after several years in business, and a move to a brand new location in late 2015. Still serving up signature dishes like the “Lamb Popscicles” and other contemporary takes on traditional Indian recipes, this dinner-only no-reservations restaurant remains a perennial must-try on the Vancouver dining scene.
Address: 3106 Cambie Street, Vancouver
What’s a dosa, you say? It’s a traditional South Indian pancake that wraps around a variety of fillings, and if you want to get to know dosas, the House of Dosas is where to go. As a bonus, they have great specials (like $6 dosas all day Mondays) and they’re open until 2 am daily, so you can satisfy a late night craving here easily. PS: They are pretty epic in size.
Address: 1391 Kingsway, Vancouver
Self-proclaimed as Vancouver’s first East Indian roti shop, Indian Roti Kitchen on Cambie specializes in the traditional flatbread with fillings, like Channa (chickpeas slow cooked in spices), Shrimp curry, Lamb Vindaloo, and many more.
Address: 2961 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Known for its humble, simple dishes and affordable prices, this small Indian-Pakistani spot on The Drive is a favourite for locals for take-out and delivery. Definitely modest in ambiance, this homey spot is great for big portions for staple dishes, like Lamb Korma, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Veggie Pakoras.
Address: 1439 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Tandoori Fusion aims to satisfy your craving for dishes like Butter Dishes, or bend the rules a bit with more modern takes, like Tandoori Halibut, a Mixed Grill platter, and Paneer Tikka.
Address: 2872 West Broadway, Vancouver
Known for their killer take-out, Crave India makes a crave-worthy garlic naan, along with other favourite dishes for savouring at home (or, if you simply can’t wait, in their small restaurant).
Address: 1019 Granville Street, Vancouver
For a taste of a more fine dining approach to Indian fare, Kitsilano’s Indian Oven is a popular destination. They bend towards fusion with things like an Indian Quesadilla, sure, but they also have a legit tandoor oven turning out fish, prawn, lamb, or chicken Tikka dishes, and more Northern Indian fare.
Address: 2006 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
A great neighbourhood choice if you’re looking to grab a delicious lunch combo or take-out/delivery dinner, Curry Zone is known for their delicious renditions of favourite Indian dishes, from Butter Chicken to Lamb Curry. Veggies will appreciate the plentiful options, as well as the ability to request dairy-free on those dishes, too.
Address: 2671 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
For modern Indian eats on four wheels when you’re on the go, hunt down the Holi Masala Truck. Launched this spring, Holi Masala’s rotating menu includes Kathi Rolls (a.k.a. Bombay Frankie), unique takes on the traditional Samosa, authentic Indian Paratha (flatbread stuffed with the choice of paneer, potato, lentils, or chicken), and various curry bowls served with naan, as well as Masala Sliders.
Address: Seymour Street (just north of Georgia Street)
Vikram Vij (of Vij’s fame) has established himself in South Surrey at My Shanti, his own creative interpretation of traditional Indian fare in a fresh, modern, setting. Boldly establishing himself as one of the city’s chefs to foray into the ‘burbs, Vij keeps things fun at My Shanti from the decor to the drinks to the dishes.
Address: 15869 Croydon Drive, Surrey (Morgan Crossing)
North Delta’s Tasty Indian Bistro is the kind of suburban restaurant to which many will make a pilgrimage. In addition to regular menus showcasing multi-regional Indian fare, Tasty Indian Bistro has a separate Indian Street Food menu with dishes like Pav Bhaji (buns with crushed vegetables and spices) and Bread Pakora (Bread filled with spiced potatoes, mint and tamarind sauce, battered with chickpea flour and fried).
Address: 8295 120th Street, Delta
If you are in pursuit of Indian fare and are in Port Coquitlam, The Bombay Restaurant is a must-visit. From traditional dishes spiced as hot as you like it, to a satisfying daily lunch buffet, this spot is a favourite in the Tri-Cities. (Just a heads up, they are closed on Tuesdays.)
Address: 2748 Lougheed Highway, Suite 20, Port Coquitlam
Boasting a lunch and a dinner buffet, Saffron, in Metrotown, is a great option for Indian food in Burnaby. Owned and operated by an India-born husband-and-wife duo, Saffron’s menu is based on the dishes from India they love. Additionally, the award-winning restaurant has a full menu of vegan options.
Address: 4300 Kingsway, Suite 5, Burnaby
The North Shore’s go-to for reliable, affordable, and tasty Indian eats is Indian Fusion on Lonsdale. They’ll serve up a fiery hot vindaloo, or go modern with dishes like their Onion Bhaji to showcase a bit of fusion flair, and offer great lunch specials.
Address: 2045 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver