Chat to two local rowers while they sit on their rowing boat in the middle of ...
10 Top Indian Restaurants in Cape Town
A selection of the best places to get curry, tandoori, biryani and other Eastern-inspired food in the Mother City
A selection of the best places to get curry, tandoori, biryani and other Eastern-inspired food in the Mother City
Cape Town’s culinary scene is eclectic, so it comes as no surprise then that it is home to some of the tastiest and most authentic Indian cuisine. For those not in the know, there is a lot more to Indian food than just your run-of-the-mill spicy curry and flat bread. Indian cooking is far more complex and given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic group and occupations in India, every Indian meal varies significantly. More often than not, the various dishes comprise local and seasonal spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits to that specific Indian district making each feast deliciously unique.
Lucky for Mother City residents our pretty city is home to a variety of genuine Indian culinary experts who wish to share their dishes and cooking knowledge with us. So, no matter whether your palate favours Northern or Southern Indian dishes or your pockets run deep or shallow, there are plenty of restaurants to satisfy your Eastern-inspired food needs. You simply just have to know where to look.
For over 40 years, the Maharajah restaurant has been serving up rich and fragrant Durban –style curry to Capetonians and the thousands of international visitors who flock to our shores every summer. With a menu that boasts both Northern and Southern Indian dishes, the eatery is well- known for offering some of the best Indian cuisine in the Mother City. Some of their signature dishes include lamb off the bone, butter chicken and fish curry- all of which are bursting with flavour and satisfy the taste buds after the first mouth-full. We also recommend the spicy chicken korma and delectable chicken and prawn curry. All of the dishes comprise expertly combined spices such as cumin seeds, cardamom and coriander powder, which means the food smells as good as it tastes. Not to mention, Maharajah sits pretty below Table Mountain and, depending on where you sit, you can catch a glimpse of the stunning landmark while tucking into the tasty dishes on offer. What’s more, the spot is perfect for a family outing or a romantic date night.
Opening Hours: Lunch: Monday – Friday: 12:30pm – 3pm; Dinner: Monday- Saturday: 6pm- 10:30pm
Cnr Kloof Nek and Woodside Roads | Tamboerskloof | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 6607 or +27 (0) 71 640 0261
Eastern Food Bazaar
This self-service, canteen-style eatery is constantly bustling with patrons from all walks of life, which makes for an electric atmosphere. With an array of halaal foodie goods to choose from starting with an extensive selection of authentic Indian cuisine and then moving on to Turkish kebabs, Cape-style biryanis and real tandoor dishes – the whole spice spectrum from Bombay to the Bo-Kaap is covered behind the counter. Not to mention, customers can even enjoy a bit of Chinese food or pizza should Indian not be their choice of cuisine that day. Other much-loved snacks such as masala peanuts are also available as well as lassi yoghurt drinks and homemade Indian ice cream. The best thing about the Eastern Food Bazaar though is the price range. It is possible for guests to feast on a (very) generous helping of gorgeous butter chicken curry or Tandoori chicken for around R30 to R50 a meal.
NOTE: No alcohol is available or allowed on the premises.
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9am – 10pm
The Wellington | 96 Longmarket St. | City Bowl | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 461 2458
With two restaurants, one situated in Muizenberg and the other Plumstead, this cosy Northern Indian-inspired bistro has been said to boast some of the best Indian food, namely curries and naan breads, in the Mother City. Their menu hosts a wide range of available curries (both vegetarian and meat – lamb, chicken and seafood options), all of which are served with basmati rice and cost between R60 and R105 a portion. The eatery too serves various biryanis’, which are served with raita and sambals where you will pay between R70 and R110 a meal. Not to mention, Bombay Chilli also offers various roti rolls with potato, vegetable, chicken and lamb fillings as well as the opportunity to order a quarter, half or full chicken tikka for R45, R85 and R150 respectively.
Opening Hours: Muizenberg:Monday – Tuesday: 5pm – 10pm | Wednesday – Sunday: 1pm – 10pm | Plumstead: Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 9:30pm
Muizenberg Restaurant: 46 Beach Road | Muizenberg | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 788 2052
Plumstead Restaurant: 140 Cranmere Road | Plumstead | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 762 9435
NOTE: Plumstead has of yet to secure their liquor license, however guests are able to bring their own wine. Currently cash only.
The Indian Chapter with Prim Reddy
In 2012, it was Prim Reddy’s vision to create a restaurant environment with wonderful food, great ambiance, laughter and a place where everybody knows each other’s names – and so The Indian Chapter was written alongside a culture of uniqueness, respect, honesty and commitment. Since then, this family-style restaurant has definitely made a name for itself with its warm, cosy atmosphere and delectably authentic Indian cuisine. Taking customer service very seriously, Prim Reddy is often on hand to interact with guests personally, contributing to The Indian Chapter’s family setting and environment. Their menu is comprised of both vegetarian and meat dishes, where appetizers will cost anywhere between R30 and R110 and mains between R60 and R150, depending on the dominant ingredient. We suggest you try the Onion Bhaji – a traditional, world famous Indian snack made from fresh onion rings dipped in specially prepared homemade gram flour, deep fried to a crisp and sprinkled with a unique Indian chapter spice. Simply delicious!
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 12:30pm – 10:30pm
2 Carnaby Centre | Marine Circle | Bloubergstrand | Table View | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 557 5524
Taj Mahal Restaurant
Located in Hout Bay, The Taj Mahal Resturant aims to gives their guests freshly prepared authentic Indian meals, as well as specialising in uniquely South African dishes such as bunny chow. Their menu comprises many classic Indian favourites such as rogan josh, vindaloo and chicken tikka masala, to name but a few. Starters range between R49 and R159 a dish, whereas mains range between R85 and R225 a meal. Their various seafood dishes come highly recommended. For those not in the know, the actual Taj Mahal, or “crown of palaces” is a white marble mausoleum located on the southern bank of Yamuna River in the Indian city of Arga. The building was originally commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 12pm – 9:30pm (Do note: On Fridays, the spot opens at 2pm).NOTE: The restaurant is strictly halaal and no alcohol is served on the premises.
44 Victoria Avenue | Hout Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 790 4711
Located on Long Street, Masala Dosa provides our pretty city with a distinctive and flavoursome splash of South Indian cuisine. For those not in the know, Masala Dosa is actually a popular Southern Indian breakfast dish consisting of a rice and lentil pancake (or crêpe) traditionally served with a potato curry, coconut chutney and a spicy vegetable and lentil broth, namely sambar. At this hotspot, guests will find an array of delicious and unique dishes, including the eatery’s namesake dish – a definite must-try. Described as a “glimpse of Bollywood” against the backdrop of the energetic street life, Masala Dosa’s style and ambiance certainly has its own modern and funky (think Bollywood-inspired posters showcasing their menu on the walls, giant puppets and even an upside-down cow) feel to it. Guests can expect to pay between R38 and R50 for starters and between R55 and R95 for mains. In addition, Masala Dosa also hosts exciting and interactive cooking classes to teach others about the colourful and flavourful world of Indian cuisine. Check out their website for more information.
NOTE: Masala Dosa also hosts functions as well as caters for various events. Check out their website for more information.
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 10:30pm
167 Long Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 6772
Bombay Brasserie Restaurant
Situated at the luxurious 5-star Taj Cape Town Hotel and winner of a 2015 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, Bombay Brasserie brings together modern fine dining and contemporary Indian cuisine for an elegant dinner experience. Offering set menus and separately priced items as well as vegetarian and meat dishes, guests can expect an array of traditional Indian meals artfully blended with an eclectic mix of classic and unconventional ingredients. Through their various plates, Bombay Brasserie aims to create new renditions of authentic preparations in a contemporary style. Visitors can expect to pay between R75 and R150 for starters and R110 and R185 for main meals.
NOTE: Children under the age of 12 years must be seated between 6pm and 6:30pm latest. No children will be accepted after this time.
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (dinner only): 6pm – 10pm
The Taj Hotel | 1 Wale Street | City Bowl | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 819 2000
Bihari Indian Restaurant
Located at the Southern Sun Hotel in Newlands, Bihari Restaurant offers diners and curry lovers alike a brilliantly prepared dining experience. Offering an extensive menu that is said to be prepared in authentic Indian style in the restaurant’s tandoor ovens on hot open coals, Birhari aims to provide guests with rich and distinctive flavours. Guests can expect to pay between R45 and R125 per a starter and between R90 and R185 for a main meal. Not to mention, Bihari also has quite the dessert selection, and although may not all be traditional Indian desserts, we suggest that you try at least one (or two) anyway!
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 12:30pm – 3pm (lunch) | 5:30pm – 10:30pm (dinner)
7 Main Road | Newlands | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 674 7186
Although this elite open-plan kitchen specialises in Northern Indian cuisine (think curry and tandoori), they too are proudly South African cooking with a variety of indigenous meats such as ostrich and springbok transforming this city centre eatery into a rare multi-cultural dining experiencing. Housing restaurants in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Johannesburg and since its launch in 1995, Bakhara has aimed to set a new standard in South Africa Indian cuisine, taking the eating culture away from the ‘corner curry house’ to an upmarket and modern interpretation through high-class design, ambience and of course, great tasting products. Bakhara, situated on the Mother City’s Church Street, is the group’s flagship restaurant and guests can expect to find a wide selection of tandooris and curries available as well as various dosas, breads and rice. Expect to pay between R64 and R109 for a starter meal and from around R109 upwards for a main meal depending on your choice of filling – chicken, lamb, fish, prawn and crayfish are all available, as well as various vegetarian options.
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 12pm – 3pm (lunch); 6pm – 11pm (dinner)
33 Church Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 0000
Situated in one of Cape Town’s oldest suburbs, this strictly halaal Indian and vegetarian eatery offers a unique and traditional regional eastern experience. Established in 2007, the restaurant’s interior aspires to replicate India’s exotic, romantic and intimate atmosphere, not to mention, offering an array of authentic northern and southern Indian dishes. Chandani takes pride in their ingredients, so much so, that their spices cannot be sourced locally and are therefore only imported from India. Starters range between R50 and R108 a dish (or platter), whereas mains range between R45 and R140, alongside a large selection of roti and naan breads. Chandani also offers a small yet satisfying dessert menu. What’s more, Chandani was awarded as the Best Indian Restaurant in South Africa by the British Airways in-flight magazine.
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday (lunch): 12pm – 3pm | Monday – Saturday (Dinner): 6pm – 10:30pm
85 Roodebloem Road | Woodstock |Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 7887
Jewel of India
Sitting pretty along Green Point’s Main Road, the Jewel of Indian restaurant, which can be found in The Cape Royale Hotel, prides itself on facilitating an authentic Indian dining experience. This elite Eastern-eatery offers an extensive menu where all meals are freshly prepared on order and patrons have a wide variety of tandoors, curries and biryanis to choose from. Not to mention, Jewel of India also has a small, yet satisfying dessert menu including Kheer – a traditional Indian dessert of rice and cream. Guests can expect to pay between R50 and R120 for starters/platters and between R55 and R145 for their main meals.
NOTE: Jewel of India also caters for various functions as well as outdoor catering and franchise restaurants.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 12am – 10pm (weekdays) and 10:30pm (weekends)
Cape Royal Hotel | 47 Main Road | Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 434 2116
Or perhaps you are looking exclusively for the yummiest taco in town? Then be sure to take a peek at our pick of the Best Mexican Restaurants in Cape Town.
Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smartphone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!
Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City!