Wherever you go in Sydney, you won’t be far from an excellent Indian restaurant, serving spiced meats straight from the tandoor oven or rich curries packed with flavour. From the Northern Beaches to the CBD, elegant fine-dining gems, snug curry cafés and unique modern Indian hotspots are shaping the local restaurant scene with mouthwatering specialties. Many of the best Indian restaurants in Sydney showcase the country’s most iconic flavours, and others take a more focused approach to specific regions.
Find must-try classics like butter chicken and lamb vindaloo, or mix things up with some tamarind breakfast toasties, fusion tacos flavoured with Indian spices and chutney, crispy poppadoms and soft naans for the table.
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The best Indian restaurants in Sydney – read on for a guide
Australian-grown produce and spices imported from India come together in perfect harmony at The Grand Palace Indian Restaurant. Whether you head to the CBD or Mona Vale location, you’ll be greeted by a packed, palace-like atmosphere. With intricately carved chairs, chandeliers, and touches of greenery, it’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The restaurant pairs this classical decor with a relaxed, friendly ambience that’s perfect for family dinners and casual catch-ups. While the menu varies slightly between locations − the CBD Chicken 65 is Hyderabadi while at Mona Vale it’s done Chettinad style − diners will reliably find flavour-packed dishes, including a number of vegetarian options. Try the lamb korma cooked with a house blend of special Awadhi spices at Mona Vale or the chef’s special cheese butter masala in the CBD. Alternatively, let the chefs take charge with one of the banquets, offering entrees, mains, rice, bread and dessert.
📍 CBD — Check availability
📍 Mona Vale — Check availability
📍 Terrigal — Check availability
For tasty curry with rich, refreshing flavours – try Sketch Manly
Just a short walk from Manly Beach, this unique curry bar is perfect for breakfast and dinner. Start your morning with a cup of coffee and a C.A.R. sandwich (chicken tandoori, avocado and wild roquette in Turkish bread) or a bhaji toastie (house-made fritters with sticky tamarind and dill pickles). Return to Sketch Manly in the evening for baby pappadums, slow-cooked madras beef and mushroom korma served alongside soft roti and spiced rice. Small and welcoming, with a cafe vibe in the morning and a bar feel at night, Sketch Manly is one of Manly’s best hotspots for a mid-morning brunch or a post-beach dinner. In warm weather, tables spill out onto the sidewalk, so you can soak up the sun and the fresh sea air while you enjoy your meal. A big draw here is the extensive craft beer selection. It’s an ever-evolving list, but there’s always plenty of options to pair with your curry.
For one of the best Indian restaurants in western Sydney – book at Colors of India in Parramatta
Head through the archway entrance at Colors of India and into the two-storey dining area, where a large, colourful mural of peacocks and flowers decorates the far wall. Start with some street food classics like potato and chickpea-filled pani puri before moving on to succulent lamb cutlets with fresh mint chutney. Chicken or prawn, fresh from the tandoor oven, are always a big hit, and the seafood curries cooked Goan-style shouldn’t be missed. The lunch specials menu offers aromatic flavours at excellent prices, like Amritsari aloo kulcha, a leavened bread filled with potato and spices, and vada, deep-fried lentil doughnuts from South India. This is also one of the best Indian restaurants in Sydney for thali, a round platter packed with three different curries, naan and rice. For sweet tooths, try the creamy pistachio-flavoured kulfi ice cream or rasmalai cottage cheese dumplings. Wash it all down with a sweet mango lassi or masala tea.
For a creative spin on Indian classics – try The Twisted Indian in Leichhardt
As the name suggests, The Twisted Indian steps away from sticking to tradition and finds joy in putting creative twists on India’s best dishes. For those who love the classics, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of curries that are served up in the tried and true way. An exposed brick wall and hanging lights bring a pleasantly rustic vibe that’s perfect for everything from first dates to family meals. A few highlights on the menu include lemon and garlic lamb chops (marinated for 48 hours and cooked in a clay oven), desi tacos (cooked with Indian spices and served with fresh slaw and chutney in house-made shells) and chicken or lamb vindaloo (cooked in a special gravy with a medium-hot spice level). Masala fries seasoned with fresh chutney make the perfect side to any meal. Book your next group outing here and spend an evening trying new, unique twists on some of India’s best-loved dishes.
For one of the best South Indian restaurants in Sydney – visit Dhakshin South Indian in Crows Nest
Dhakshin South Indian opened in 2014 with the goal of creating a modern gourmet vibe, where diners can enjoy warm hospitality and traditional South Indian dishes. Dhakshin translates to ‘south’ in Sanskrit and this restaurant covers various South Indian cuisines, pulling inspiration from Hyderabad, Moplah and Thanjai, among others. The focus is on South India, but you’ll also find a few Northern flavours on the menu. Start things off with some plain dosa, a South Indian speciality of rice and lentil pancakes served with broth and chutney. For a hearty main, try the erachi porichathu, a Keralan lamb dish flavoured with curry leaves and cinnamon. For dessert, dip a spoon into a dish of wattalappam, a creamy dessert similar to a crème caramel. The wine list offers some local Yarra Valley wines as well as international bottles (BYO wine is also an option). For a non-alcoholic option, enjoy the refreshing flavour of a traditional mango lassi.
For some of the best Indian and Pakistani food in Sydney – head to Spice Hub Indian and Pakistani Restaurant in Surry Hills
Patterned chairs and traditional Indian artworks on the walls create a relaxing, inviting atmosphere at Spice Hub Indian and Pakistani restaurant. Here, you’ll find some of the best Indian and Pakistani food in Sydney. With so many dishes on the menu, you might find it easier to order for the table and share. Prawn tandoori and jeera aloo (spiced, sauteed potato cubes) make great starters. Diners can follow them up with a chef’s special like the bhindi gosht (okra, goat, fresh tomato and ginger) or a fan-favourite like butter chicken. The spice level is indicated on the menu, so whether you prefer things mild or hot, you can pick the right meal. While there’s no shortage of Indian restaurants to choose from in Surry Hills, Spice Hub is a reliable option that suits every taste and occasion. For dessert, try a bowl of kheer, a soft rice pudding flavoured with cardamom.
For an old-school feel at one of Sydney’s best Indian restaurants – try Ajmer’s Indian in Balgowlah
Back in 1990, Ajmer’s Indian became the first Indian restaurant in Balgowlah, and decades later it’s still one of the best spots in town. With a small dining area that never gets too crowded, book a table for two by the wall or gather with friends around a large central table. Over the years, Ajmer’s has garnered plenty of awards and accolades but it’s always stayed true to its roots: serving up North, Central, and South Indian cuisine with the same warm, friendly service that’s made this gem a local favourite. Start with entrees of Amritsari fish or tandoori chicken tikka (marinated overnight for juicy flavour) before moving on to a Punjabi-style lamb saag or a prawn vindaloo. Don’t leave without trying the homemade kulfi (mango- or pistachio-flavoured ice cream). Enjoy it all in a relaxed atmosphere, with a chic contrast between the black chairs, white tables, and large, brightly coloured paintings lining the walls.
Whatever Indian flavours you’re after, you can find them at the best Indian restaurants in Sydney. Diners can enjoy traditional dishes (with the occasional creative twist) created by passionate chefs and served with warm hospitality. Highlighting cuisine from all over India, each of these restaurants has something unique to offer.
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