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Guide

The best Indian restaurants in the North West

4 weeks ago

We all know that there’s not just one homogenous ‘Indian food’. As a vast country of many regions, its subcontinent extends to surrounding countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal, resulting 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 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 dishes from all over India.

Updated for 2024, here are some of the best Indian restaurants in the North West. Read on for inspiration on where to eat next.

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  • Lamb Laziz at Zouk, Manchester
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Zouk

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Zouk specialises in ‘apna’ – home-style cooking shot through with colour and heat from the spices and herbs. In recent years it has incorporated elements of global street food to its menu (Lahori wagyu sliders for example) but the main focus is still the authentic Indian and Pakistani cooking that made Zouk a success.

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  • Dishes served at Aamchi Mumbai, an Indian restaurant in Cheadle, Stockport.
    Cheadle

    Aamchi Mumbai

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Idli and dosas are as ubiquitous as chicken korma nowadays but Cheadle’s Indian street food restaurant Aamchi Mumbai still stands out from the crowd. 

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  • Inside Amma's Canteen, the much-praised Indian restaurant on the edge of Chorlton
    Chorlton

    Amma’s Canteen

    Restaurant - 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.

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  • Asha's Indian Restaurant, Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    Asha’s

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Modern Indian restaurants come with their own USPs such as street food, home cooking and regionally-specific cuisine. Asha’s, near the library end of Peter Street, has decided to go high-end with proper posh Rogan Josh nosh.

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  • Indoor seating at Bombay Brew Indian Restaurant Rochdale
    Rochdale

    Bombay Brew

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Bombay Brew brings together beer and Indian street food. Bundobust may be the kings of this combo but unlike its rival, Bombay Brew doesn’t just stick to vegetarian food with its IPAs. Instead, you’ll find everything from lamb lollypops to octopus masala.

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  • Colourful veggie and vegan small plates at Indian restaurant, Bundobust Leeds
    Greater Manchester

    Bundobust Brewery

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    A real Northern success story, the second location for Bundobust in Manchester and the fourth in the family of northern-based restaurants (Manchester Piccadilly, Leeds and Liverpool have come before), the Bundobust Brewery is a welcome addition to Oxford Street at the southern part of the city.

    With a menu that mirrors its sister restaurants, the food is a reliable selection of Indian-style vegetarian small plates. Expect to find crisp okra fries dusted with black salt and mango powder and the iconic vada pav – a deep-fried mashed potato ball in a bun, with red and green chutneys.

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  • Chaat at Chit N Chaat
    Rusholme

    Chit ‘N’ Chaat

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Chit ‘N’ Chaat is one of Rusholme’s best-loved restaurants for Indian Street food and entrees. This small-yet-cosy eatery is the perfect place for catching up with friends as you share traditional and modern South Asian dishes. 

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  • Manchester City Centre

    Delhi House Cafe | Corn Exchange

    Cafes

    This slick 2020 addition to the Corn Exchange is determined to do something different to other contemporary Indian restaurants. And it largely succeeds, bringing flair and originality to the well-worn territory of street food and small plates.

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  • The famous black dahl at Dishoom Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    Dishoom

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Dishoom is a legend in its own lunchtime and that’s exactly how it likes things. It’s not enough to serve up top-notch Indian dishes in grand surroundings; there’s a story behind the menu too. But when the food is this good it doesn’t need to hide behind tall tales.

    And the food is this good.

    The menu is bursting with small plates arriving at the table as and when, plus biriyani, curry and grilled gubbins as well as all sorts of sides and sundries. If you’re part of a big group (or obscenely greedy) it’s possible and even preferable to order something from each section.

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  • A dish at EastZEast Manchester
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    EastZEast Manchester

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Located on Blackfriars Street with views of the River Irwell, EastZEast is known for its authentic Punjabi dishes and glamorous, fine-dining setting.

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  • Hale

    GupShup

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    GupShup serves food from across India in a setting of laid-back luxury; this is Hale, after all. The menu is relatively small for an Indian restaurant, but it focuses on serving up a taste of the whole country, from the Himalayan Foothills to the Great Trunk Road, and getting the flavours spot on. Quality not quantity. In amongst mentions of Rajasthan and Lucknow, you’ll find Delchester noted as the origin of an excellent tikka pie. It’s a great cross-cultural dish and guaranteed to raise a smile.

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  • Puri grazing platter at Indian Tiffin Room Liverpool
    Book Now Ropewalks

    Indian Tiffin Room Liverpool

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Indian Tiffin Room, the successful North West independent, has brought its authentic street food flavours to Liverpool.

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  • Indian Tiffin Room restaurant manchester
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Indian Tiffin Room Manchester

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Known to its friends as ITR, the second of the three bright Indian Tiffin Room restaurants specialises in thalis (a kind of mini buffet) and south Indian tiffin dishes, putting colour on a plate with its street food inspired by the bustling stalls of different parts of India.

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  • One of the dishes served at Lily's Indian Vegetarian Cuisine in Ashton-under-Lyne.
    Ashton-under-Lyne

    Lily’s Indian Vegetarian Cuisine

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Lily’s Indian Vegetarian Cuisine is an unassuming restaurant in Ashton-under-Lyne that happens to serve some of the best South Indian food in the UK.

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  • Nepalese dumplings, momos, as served at The Little Yeti restaurant in Chorlton
    Chorlton

    The Little Yeti

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    The Little Yeti is one of the newest dining spots on Barlow Moor Rd, but from the well-oiled team behind Didsbury veterans Gurkha Grill. It’s an establishment of the ‘limited menu but executed very well’ variety, which is more common in Asia than over here, where ‘all things to all people’ is perhaps too often attempted.

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  • Ropewalks

    Mowgli Street Food Liverpool Bold Street

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    If you don’t know who Nisha Katona is, you’re not watching enough Celebrity MasterChef, but, to recap, she’s the founder of Mowgli, born in 2014 right here in Bold Street – now the flagship branch of the Indian restaurant chain of 17 restaurants nationwide and rising.

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  • A table laden with dishes from Mughli - one of the first Indian restaurants in Manchester to embrace street food.
    Rusholme

    Mughli

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Mughli is 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.

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  • The entrance to Prashad restaurant in Bradford, which is known for its vegetarian Indian food
    Bradford

    Prashad

    Bars

    Prashad is a Gordon Ramsay-rated thrill for anyone craving Gujarati vegetarian food. Since starring on Ramsay’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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  • Dining at Scene Indian Kitchen Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    Scene

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Scene was one of the first of the new wave of Indian restaurants that left the flock wallpaper and the dodgy neon behind to offer street food and authentic cooking. It’s still got it. Inside, it’s cool and contemporary but still casual, outside there’s a large terrace. The cocktail menu has been thought about carefully and the menu is full of the sort of real Indian food we’ve come to expect from our curry houses.

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  • One of the dishes at Spice City, an Indian restaurant in Liverpool
    Business District (Liverpool)

    Spice City

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    At this city centre favourite on Stanley Street you’ll find colourful, vibrant dishes that mix authenticity with a sense of fun.

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  • curries at this and that
    Northern Quarter

    This & That Cafe

    Cafes

    Everyone’s heard of NQ backstreet gaff This & That, even if they’ve not actually found it (it’s up the ginnel by Trof’s empty barrels) – renowned for its daily changing “rice and three” meal deal and winning vegan and vegetarian choices, it’s been an institution since 1984.

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  • Old Swan

    Yukti The Art Kitchen

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    The first of two Yuktis, the Old Swan restaurant opened to much fanfare in 2014 and it’s still pulling in the punters with its authentic dishes from India and beyond – Sri Lanka and Nepal included – including tandoori staples, biriyani favourites and popular thali trays.

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