Guide

Ten of the best Indian restaurants in the North-West

Here in the UK, Indian food is an honorary national cuisine thanks to the huge number of immigrants from the region that have shared the jewels of their kitchen cupboards with us.

But there is not just one homogenous ‘Indian food’. India is a vast country comprising many different regions and it’s subcontinent extends to surrounding countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal. This results in a colourful and diverse mosaic of flavours, dishes and cooking styles. Traditionally, North Indian food has been the most popular on our shores. But as our fervour for heat, adventure, and layers of spice has grown, so, joyfully, has the diversity of our restaurant culture.

Amongst the rich offerings here are the crispy, stuffed dosas and coconut-rich seafood dishes of the South, traditional Gujarati vegetarian thalis, Kashmiri stone-cold classics like rogan josh, crispy, colourful and creative street food from all over India, and for the more experimental diner, how about a tasting menu of Michelin starred British-Indian creations, or even a venison samosa?

Here are some of the best Indian restaurants in the region –

  • Book Now Manchester

    Amma’s Canteen

    Indian subcontinent

    Passionate Keralan-Indian-Brit fusion. A great place to eat can make the back end of nowhere worth visiting – and (largely) Keralan restaurant Amma’s Canteen, on the outskirts of Chorlton, feels like a destination. Located opposite Southern Cemetery on Barlow Moor Road, the area is defiantly residential, yet with its jaunty trompe de l’oeil wallpaper and feature filaments, Amma’s is a joy. Keralan-Brit chef Saju Ravindran cooks with a rainbow of freshly toasted spices.

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  • ashas-2
    Book Now Manchester

    Asha’s

    Indian subcontinent

    Asha’s, near the library end of Peter Street, has decided to go high-end with proper posh Rogan Josh nosh. The eponymous global restaurant group is part-owned by Bollywood singing star Asha Bhosle (as in ‘a brimful of…’) who, as well as being cited in the Guinness Book of Records as ‘the most recorded artist in music history’, is also an excellent cook.

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  • Bundobust food
    23 Book Now Manchester

    Bundobust

    Indian subcontinent

    Veggie Bollywood blockbuster serving small plates and the best in beer. Bundobust is a huge beer hall serving tens of craft beers from a massive bar in the heart of Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens. It also happened to win Restaurant of the Year at the 2017 Manchester Food and Drink Festival awards.

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  • Book Now Manchester

    Chaat Cart

    Indian subcontinent

    Top notch Indian street food and small plates in a vibrant setting. Former street food vendors, Chaat Cart have set up permanent home in Marple, under the auspices of founder Aarti Pandey. The venue’s interior, as colouful as the food on offer, has been designed by Soo Wilkinson. Flavours are multi-dimensons and portions are small (which is reflected in the price). In short, Chaat Cart is an excellent reason to visit Marple – plus there’s an atmospheric ‘secret’ gin garden out the back for fair weather visits.

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  • Book Now Cumbria

    Hrishi

    Indian subcontinent

    Michelin-starred British-Asian in modern surrounds.

    An antidote to the chintz of other Lakes venues, Gilpin is a getaway with two distinct hotel experiences to choose from, each as chic as the other. Overlooking the rolling hills, chef duties have changed hands a few times but are safe for now with Roux scholarship winner and Michelin star chef, Hrishikesh Desai. Desai’s experience includes Les Maison de Bricourt and French Laundry; expect seamless British-Asian fusion.

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  • Book Now Cheshire

    Indian Tiffin Room

    Indian subcontinent

    Indian Tiffin Room is doing something quite different to your average Anglo-Indian flock wall-papered curry house. They specialise in serving restaurant versions of the typical street food you’ll find across India. The ‘grazing or starters’ represent the fact a huge proportion of India is vegetarian, although carnivores can chew their way through a marinated chicken lollypop or an Indo-Chinese chilli chicken. What they don’t know about combining rice and lentils isn’t worth knowing; giant pancake dosas, uttapam and passarattu are uniformly excellent.

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  • Book Now Manchester

    Lily’s

    Indian subcontinent

    Basic, vegetarian curryhouse, serving some of the best South Indian food in the UK. Lily’s is an unassuming Indian vegetarian café in Ashton. It looks like a simple diner, a locals-only type establishment. But there’s cooking going on here that puts much of the Curry Mile to shame.

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  • Book Now Manchester

    Mughli

    Indian subcontinent

    Confidential readers are likely to be familiar with Mughli; the contemporary, social media embracing, second-generation Curry Mile restaurant that paved the way for the likes of Indian Tiffin Room, Amma’s Canteen and Dishoom. Obviously, this sort of thing is standard now, but Mughli was one of the first Indian restaurants to steam off the flock wallpaper and refresh their menu by adding authentic Indian street food dishes to a menu of British curry house classics.

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  • Book Now Yorkshire

    Prashad

    Indian subcontinent

    Award-winning veggie south Indian cuisine. Prashad is a Gordon Ramsey-rated thrill for anyone craving Gujarati vegetarian food. Since starring on Ramsey’s ‘Best Restaurant’ show, the team have made the most of the exposure. Expansion, relocation and even a Sunday Times top 40 rated cookbook followed.

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  • Book Now Leeds

    Tharavadu

    Indian subcontinent

    This unassuming Keralan restaurant has charmed everyone from celebrities to the inspectors of the Michelin, Hardens and Good Food Guides. Cooking tends towards home-style dishes; seasonal Meen Koottan fish curry served with paratha and a rich, chicken Pedappan Kozhi. Sides, snacks and starters are worth visiting time and again.

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