The top 10 best Indian restaurants in Melbourne

Traditional, tasty dishes, like this butter chicken from Kahaani Modern Indian, can be found at Melbourne’s best Indian restaurants. Credit: Kahaani Modern Indian

Melbourne’s stellar Indian restaurant scene features some of the most sought-after dining destinations in the city. From crispy samosas to rich curries and plenty of meat and vegan options, there are restaurants with focus on a particular region, and some encapsulating the breadth of what Indian cuisine has to offer.

Found in spacious converted warehouses and narrow dining halls down Melbourne’s busiest streets, each restaurant has its own unique vibe.

Whether you’re looking for a new lunch spot or are searching for somewhere to host a very special celebration, read on to find out what sets the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne apart and find the best butter chicken in town.

Don’t miss out on the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne − book your spot on OpenTable today.


The best Indian restaurants in Melbourne – read on for a guide

 

For creative cocktails in a warehouse-style hotspot – book at Bhang in Brunswick

A large plate with several smaller dishes surrounding a bowl of rice at Bhangs, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Bhang

If you head to Bhang for lunch, consider the thali option, where you can try the range of flavours on offer. Credit: Bhang

A few dishes including naan and skewers at Bhang, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Bhang

Soft, fluffy naan is always a perfect side. Credit: Bhang

The interior of Bhang, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Bhang

Bhang’s funky, eclectic vibes are the perfect backdrop for your next night out. Credit: Bhang

Movie posters and wine bottles line the exposed-brick walls at Bhang, a lively, warehouse-style hotspot just off Sydney Road. Bring your friends and enjoy Indian flavours through inventive dishes and creative cocktails. Try the chilli chopra (strawberry, chai and chilli) or knock back a Colaba Causeway (burnt orange, turmeric and soda). On the food menu, you can find a range of street food including housemade samosas and kerala fried chicken. Share dishes like two-way chicken tikka or order your own creamy butter chicken. There are four types of naan, or you can get a tasting platter with the three most popular. For the most electric atmosphere, head there for Happy Hour, between 5 pm and 6 pm from Tuesday to Saturday.

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For one of the best Indian restaurants near Melbourne’s CBD – head to Kahaani Modern Indian in Carlton

A table laid out with several dishes and drinks at Kahaani Modern Indian, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Kahaani Modern Indian

Kahaani Modern Indian’s unique menu showcases some of India’s best dishes. Credit: Kahaani Modern Indian

An array of dishes at Kahaani Modern Indian, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Kahaani Modern Indian

Try something new at Kahaani Modern Indian. Credit: Kahaani Modern Indian

A potato and other vegetable dish, among other dishes from Kahaani Modern Indian, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Kahaani Modern Indian

With vegetarian and vegan options, it’s easy to find something for everyone at Kahaani Modern Indian. Credit: Kahaani Modern Indian

Kahaani Modern Indian’s menu is built by handpicking dishes from across India’s different regions to tell the story of the country’s culinary history. Try smoked Himachal chicken from Himachal Pradesh kale chaat from Punjab and dal pakwan from Mumbai. In order to truly tell the story of Indian cuisine, Kahaani prides itself on traditional flavours and long-established recipes. Diners regularly feel that each dish transports them to the region it came from. The goat curry is a regular stand-out, promising mouth-watering textures and bold flavours. Unique, industrial lighting and an exposed-brick wall bring a funky, modern feel to this narrow dining hall at the Carlton end of Lygon Street.

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For fun cocktails and mouthwatering chapati – try Chapati Fairfield in Fairfield

A dish with meat and salad at Chapati, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Chapati Fairfield

Chapati is one of the best restaurants in Melbourne to try some classic Indian street food. Credit: Chapati Fairfield

A red-sauce dish at Chapati, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Chapati Fairfield

Each flavour-packed dish at Chapati feels like a home-cooked meal. Credit: Chapati Fairfield

A few dishes at Chapati, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Chapati Fairfield

The welcoming atmosphere at Chapati makes it easy to enjoy a hearty meal with friends and family. Credit: Chapati Fairfield

Chapati Fairfield is the sister restaurant to the popular Chapati Carlton. With a menu rooted in home cooking and street food, it’s the perfect place to eat comfort dishes among friends and family. Its floor-to-ceiling windows will draw you off the street and into the bold, artistic interior with large pastel murals. Before you know it, your table will be stacked with dishes of crispy bhel pur (puffed rice), dal tadka and prawn coconut chilli. Diners love the food, but it’s also the friendly, personalised service that keeps them coming back (and keeps tables booked). One of the main points that sets Chapati Fairfield apart from its sister restaurant is the bar, where diners can try creative cocktails, like the whiskey-based Tamarind Parade. Plus, there’s always something new to try, with seasonal cocktails, a wine of the week, and various beers on tap.

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For seasonal flavours – visit India @ Q by DDs Kitchen in Kew

At India @ Q by DDs Kitchen – Indian & Fusion, you can find traditional Indian cuisine served with a contemporary flair. Take a seat at one of the white-clothed tables in the immersive dining space and let the friendly service staff guide you through your meal. Sourcing ingredients from local farmers’ markets, every dish is fresh and seasonal. Try the coconut rice (served in a coconut shell) or one of the aromatic curries (methi murgh with chicken and fenugreek leaves is a particular highlight). Don’t forget the fluffy butter naan or soft aloo paratha on the side to mop up all the leftover sauce when you’re done. If you’ve got an extra special celebration to plan, consider booking out The Secret Room, the restaurant’s elegant private dining space.

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For one of the best Nepalese-Indian restaurants in Melbourne – book at Aagaman in Port Melbourne

Serving up Indian and Nepalese cuisine, Aagaman uses fresh ingredients to create dishes rooted in traditional techniques and flavours, but with a modern twist. Not far from Port Melbourne Beach and Station Pier, Aagaman is on the smaller side, creating a relaxing, familiar environment that’s perfect for a date night or a group gathering. The menu, on the other hand, is extensive and varied. Start things off with the king’s platter of kebabs, chicken tikka and lamb chops to share. Or try the momos, a popular Nepalese dumpling filled with chicken or vegetables, before digging into traditional Indian flavours with a rogan josh curry. The drinks menu includes a range of martinis, beers and local wines. In Hindi, Aagaman translates to “Arrival”, so don’t put off your arrival any longer − book your spot on OpenTable today.

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For vegetarian Indian dishes  go to Spice Art Authentic Indian Restaurant in Albert Park

The interior of Spice Art Authentic Indian Restaurant, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Spice Art Authentic Indian Restaurant

Unique art lines the walls at Spice Art. Credit: Spice Art Authentic Indian Restaurant

Genuine, traditional and homemade, Spice Art Authentic Indian Restaurant brings Indian fine dining to Melbourne. The enchanting atmosphere is enhanced by touches of greenery around the bar and unique paintings on the walls. Take your time perusing the menu, which includes plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. In fact, most vegetarian options, including the chickpea curry and the dal makhani, can be made vegan on request. For meat-eaters, try the chicken tikka served on a hot sizzler, fresh from the Tandoori oven, or for some seafood, order the malai fish curry with barramundi and coconut cream. For dessert, bite into a soft gulab jamun, a fried milk-solid dough soaked in cardamom and rosewater syrup.

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For a special occasion-worthy gem – book at Avrah in Brunswick

A colourful dessert dish at Avrah, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Avrah

Avrah is one of Melbourne’s best Indian restaurants if you want to try kulfi, a popular Indian ice cream dessert. Credit: Avrah

A soup dish at Avrah, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Avrah

Avrah’s varied menu caters to a wide range of tastes and dietary restrictions. Credit: Avrah

A painting on the wall at Avrah

The bright art on the walls at Avrah adds to the fun, modern atmosphere. Credit: Avrah

Lygon Street is known for its Italian restaurants, but you can also find some of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne here, including Avrah, a modern gem that features dishes from across India. Hand-crafted decor, deep green vines, and bold murals line the walls at this stylish Indian restaurant at the Brunswick end of Lygon Street. This restaurant is perfect for group gatherings that need to cater to a range of tastes, priding itself on the range of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options available. Try the Kerala fish curry (gluten free) made using local barramundi and rich, southern Indian coconut gravy. The aloo chole (vegan and gluten free) highlights Avrah’s house garam masala through chickpeas, potatoes and tomatoes. Plus, there’s no need to choose between mint, mango, and tamarind chutney when choosing the perfect accompaniment to your crispy papadums and samosas.

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For one of the best North Indian restaurants in Melbourne – try Punjabi Curry Cafe in Collingwood

A red-sauce dish at Punjabi Curry Cafe

Try the traditional North Indian cuisine at Punjabi Curry Cafe. Credit: Punjabi Curry Cafe

A set table at Punjabi Curry Cafe

The warmly lit, spacious dining room creates the ideal fine dining experience. Credit: Punjabi Curry Cafe

A naan bread at Punjabi Curry Cafe, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Punjabi Curry Cafe

Sides are essential at Melbourne’s best Indian restaurants. Credit: Punjabi Curry Cafe

Specialising in North Indian cuisine, Punjabi Curry Cafe offers a fine dining experience in an inviting atmosphere. The spacious dining room is split in two by a warm-orange wall with wide archways to create a more private feeling for each table. With a menu that balances classical and modern tastes, Punjabi Curry Cafe serves up traditional North Indian dishes made from fresh ingredients. Don’t miss the house special chilli chicken, made using a house-made garlic & chilli soy sauce, or the popular Punjabi kadai chicken, cooked in a traditional kadai cooking pot. If you order a tandoori dish, you can watch the chefs using the tandoor oven to prepare your naan, chicken or mushroom dishes. Finish off your meal with some milk dumplings dipped in sugar syrup or sweet milk sauce.

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For one of the best Indian restaurants in southeast Melbourne – head to Spice Mantra Indian Tandoori Restaurant in Hampton

An array of naan bread, rice and main dishes at SPICE MANTRA INDIAN TANDOORI RESTAURANT, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: SPICE MANTRA INDIAN TANDOORI RESTAURANT

Fill your table with dishes to share at SPICE MANTRA INDIAN TANDOORI RESTAURANT. Credit: SPICE MANTRA INDIAN TANDOORI RESTAURANT

A number of sauces surrounding naan bread and rice at SPICE MANTRA INDIAN TANDOORI RESTAURANT, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: SPICE MANTRA INDIAN TANDOORI RESTAURANT

Taste a range of Indian flavours at SPICE MANTRA INDIAN TANDOORI RESTAURANT. Credit: SPICE MANTRA INDIAN TANDOORI RESTAURANT

A number of dishes at Spice Mantra Indian Tandoori, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne.

Thali tasting plates are a great way to try the different flavours on offer at Spice Mantra Indian Tandoori Restaurant. Credit: Spice Mantra Indian Tandoori

This award-winning South Australian restaurant has arrived with its first outpost in Melbourne, in the coastal suburb of Hampton. With over two decades of industry experience, brothers Dashmesh and Manjeet Singh have based Spice Mantra Indian Tandoori’s menu on nostalgia and traditional recipes. Traditional music and brightly coloured decor welcome you into a lively atmosphere that’s perfect for celebrations and other group gatherings. Start your meal with some New Delhi street food, like papdi chat served with chutney, tamarind sauce, and soaked moong beans. For mains, diners can choose from an extensive selection of meat-based and vegetarian options, including smokey butter chicken and mixed vegetable masala. Spice Mantra’s signature dish is the Awadhi chicken dum biryani, which uses freshly ground spices and is cooked under a sealed lid of dough. The carefully curated wine list includes bottles from the Yarra Valley, world-famous champagnes, and a seasonal selection of boutique wines.

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For one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne for coastal cuisine – try Kochi Cafe in Glen Huntly

A dish at Kochi Cafe, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Kochi Cafe

Enjoy home-style meals at Kochi Cafe in Carnegie. Credit: Kochi Café

A dish with chapati on the side at Kochi Cafe, one of the best Indian restaurants in Melbourne. Credit: Kochi Cafe

Chapati is the perfect accompaniment to Kochi Cafe’s curries. Credit: Kochi Café

A chicken and sauce dish at Kochi Cafe

Indulge in hearty flavours at Kochi Cafe. Credit: Kochi Cafe

At Kochi Cafe, Head Chef and Owner Ajith has created a welcoming hawker-style atmosphere and a menu rooted in the flavours of India’s southwest coast. Think fragrant spices, fresh seafood, and the sweet tang of coconut in curries, vindaloos, and kormas. Kochi prides itself on home-style cooking that ticks the ‘comfort food’ box. Some of the signature dishes on offer include alleppey prawn curry with coconut and mangoes and chicken ghee roast cooked in a Byadagi chilli paste. To drink, the fruit lassi is wonderfully refreshing, and the mint buttermilk is a unique special that every diner should try. Don’t forget to ask the waiter about the dessert of the day.

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The best Indian restaurants in Melbourne can be found all over, from the coastline to the inner city. Serving up classic curries and unique regional specialities, it’s easy to satisfy a craving or try something new. Served in artfully decorated dining halls, with warm service and a personal touch, your first meal at these restaurants likely won’t be your last. 

 

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If you’re still not quite sure, check out these guides to other great Melbourne restaurants: