Whether you’ve got a hankering for fluffy naan bread, a potato-filled dosa or a traditional north Indian curry, Manchester’s vast offering of Indian restaurants means you’re never far away from some of the best Indian food in the country.
The capital of the north is crammed with curry houses that are here to change the game. Instead of ordering an Indian takeaway at home, why not head to one of these restaurants which offer more than just great grub - although that’s also a given.
These places understand that ambience, décor and overall style play an important part in making a good Indian restaurant a great one. Mowgli, for example, is far removed from a formal, hushed dining experience – theirs is all about creating a vibrant, fun and relaxed atmosphere to match the vibe of its street-style food menu. It's very different from some of the more traditional family-run restaurants on the Curry Mile, but there are all sorts of Indian restaurants in the city that can legitimately be considered among the best restaurants in Manchester.
If you’re after something a little more spit-and-sawdust that offers truly authentic, family-cooked food, then make sure to check out Manchester’s famed Curry Mile just two miles south of the city centre. Although it’s not technically a mile long, the stretch plays host to an impressive number of Indian and South Asian restaurants, fast food curry houses and world food markets, with some dating back to the 60s and 70s. It’s definitely worth a visit, but there are plenty of excellent Indian restaurants in Manchester’s city centre and beyond, too.
Our pick of the best Indian restaurants Manchester has to offer varies, from authentic and old-school to hip and happening. So, whether you're wedded to a biryani or fancy trying something new and not-so-traditional, you’re sure to find a curry house in this round-up that gets it right every time.
Best Indian restaurants Manchester
Manchester city centre is home to some cracking Indian restaurants, from traditional old curry houses to new-school street food restaurants.
Wah Ji Wah
What: Wah Ji Wah is well located in Manchester city centre, but that’s not the only reason to visit - head chef Manish Mahipal has worked in some of the world’s very best Indian restaurants, and he brings his considerable expertise to Manchester here. The menu is packed full of fantastic dishes, but the Wah Ji Wah specials are especially good, including a lobster pepper fry of fresh lobster in masala sauce, and pot-roasted duck with cashew, yoghurt and coriander.
Where: 37 King Street, M3 2PW
Book now: Wah Ji Wah
What: Mowgli is a must if you’re in Manchester, although with sites across the UK including London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham and more, you’re likely never too far away from this popular spot. Tuck into a street food-style menu that includes street chaat, tiffin boxes, street meats, curry companions and dishes from its Hindu kitchen. The Mowgli chip butty, tea-steeped chickpeas and Angry Bird chicken are particular favourites of ours.
Where: Unit 16, 37 Corn Exchange, M4 3TR
Book now: Mowgli
Delhi House Café
What: This large Indian restaurant and café in the Corn Exchange serves everything from breakfast to one of Manchester's best bottomless brunches to a dedicated vegan menu. The glass-fronted space offers a rustic-chic aesthetic including hanging lanterns and pretty foliage dangling from the ceiling – a great spot for big groups that offers something to suit everyone.
Where: Corn Exchange, M4 3TR
Book now: Delhi House Café
Scene Indian Street Kitchen
What: If you’re a sucker for small plate dining, then Scene Indian Street Kitchen is the perfect place for those who like to try a bit of everything. Every plate is garnished with fresh herbs and spices to add vibrant colour, while the menu offers separate sections for chicken, fish, lamb, veggie, chaat and Indo-Chinese dishes.
Where: Irwell Square, M3 3AN
Book now: Scene Indian Street Kitchen
This & That
What: This & That has to be one of Manchester's best cheap eats and most affordable curry houses and is well-known for its ‘rice and three’ menu. Essentially, customers get a portion of rice along with three curries of their choice, all for a maximum price of £8 (it’s £6 if you go fully veggie).
Where: 3 Soap Street, M4 1EW
Book now: This & That
Sangam Manchester City Centre
What: A favourite in Manchester for authentic Indian cuisine, Sangam has moved from its old Curry Mile site to a swanky new city centre spot. The homely old dining room is much-missed, but this buzzy spot is just as good, albeit in a very different way. Meanwhile, the food is still outstanding, and the menu is filled with tandoori classics, fresh seafood and a wholesome 'healthy menu'.
Where: 98 Portland Street, M1 4GX
Book now: Sangam Manchester City Centre
What: Granted, Amma’s Canteen is a few miles outside of Manchester city centre, but what’s a few miles when you're travelling in search of great Indian food? Amma’s certainly delivers on the latter, with a fantastic menu of homely Indian cooking. This is a particularly great spot for anyone with intolerances or dietary requirements - most of the menu is gluten-free, and there’s lots of choice for vegans and vegetarians too.
Where: 285 Barlow Moor Road, M21 7GH
Book now: Amma’s Canteen
What: A relative newcomer to Manchester’s Indian restaurant scene, Arnero’s menu carefully captures the flavours of North India, and shows off exquisite cooking in a beautiful open kitchen. Tthe cooking here manages to capture the robust flavours of Indian cooking, and the menu includes everything from street food classics like bhel puri and golgappa to sizzling tandoor dishes. There’s loads of choice for vegetarians too.
Where: 25 Sackville Street, M1 3LZ
Book now: Arnero
East Z East Riverside
What: A great spot for large groups or even corporate events, East Z East is a stalwart of the north of England, with sites in Manchester, Liverpool, Bradford and Preston - four towns that certainly know what a good curry tastes like. The restaurant offers a huge menu that has something for everyone, from curries and sundries to traditional Punjabi dishes, mixed baltis, grill dishes and saffron biryanis.
Where: Blackfriars Street, M3 5BQ
Book now: East Z East Riverside
What: Another restaurant that likes to fuse words, Indique bills itself as a 'far cry from the typical high street Indian restaurant' – a statement we can second. You’ll find all the conventional curries Brits have come to expect on the menu, but these are outnumbered by signature dishes which include the likes of Malabar sea bass, spinach and paneer dumplings, and smoky lamb chops served with masala mashed potato. Elsewhere, you’ll find street food, a grill section and plenty of vegetarian dishes, plus a selection of traditional Indian desserts.
Where: 110-112 Burton Road, West Didsbury, M20 1LP
Book now: Indique
What: Like other restaurants in London and Edinburgh, this branch of Dishoom pays homage to the old Irani cafés of Bombay in sumptuous surrounds. Housed in a 1920s Grade II listed building near the city centre, Dishoom Manchester features smart banquettes, specially-commissioned artwork on the walls and stunning stained glass windows, making it an easy choice for special occasion dining. Food-wise it caters all the usual favourites, including bacon naans, charred lamb chops, and 24-hour-slow-cooked black daal, plus a special dish exclusive to this location: the nalli nihari biryani.
Where: Bridge Street, M3 3BT
Book now: Dishoom Manchester
What: Bundobust’s offering is simple: Gujarat-inspired vegetarian street food and cracking craft beer in a friendly, communal setting. The spacious restaurant near Manchester city centre features canteen and booth-style seating, plenty of natural light from a huge skylight, and an informal menu full of moreish Indian dishes. Familiar favourites, such as masala dosa, tarka dhal and pav bhaji are joined by on-trend small plates including onion, broccoli and kale bhajis, egg bhurji (Indian scrambled eggs), and okra fries, while drinks range from aforementioned craft beer to wine, cocktails and warming house chai. Fine dining this is not, but for straight-up Indian food in convivial surrounds, Bundobust is a no-brainer.
Where: 61 Piccadilly, M1 2AQ
Book now: Bundobust Manchester
Indian Tiffin Room
What: Smack bang between Deansgate and Oxford Road stations, Indian Tiffin Room is contemporary and charming, with quirky decor, booths resembling rickshaws and a bar fashioned like a shipping container. The food is pretty awesome too, with street food such as homemade samosas, bhel puri and goat keema pav to stave off initial hunger pangs and South Indian tiffin dishes (eaten at any time of the day) and mains, such as idli, dosa and curries to follow. Unlike some Indian restaurants, dishes here are made to order from fresh ingredients and chefs are less heavy-handed with spices; but that’s not to say you won’t find the authentic flavours of India. We particularly recommend the dosas and suggest you save room for a traditional sweet dessert.
Where: 2 Isabella Banks Street, M15 4RL
Book now: Indian Tiffin Room
What: This family-run restaurant has been going strong since the sixties thanks to its commitment to serving great quality traditional North Indian cuisine. It claims to be the UK’s first tandoori restaurant, but regardless of whether that’s true or not, what is clear to all who dine here is that the chefs certainly know how to handle a tandoor. A vast menu of favourites, from tikka and kebabs to chicken, fish, meat and vegetable curries and sides, means there’s plenty of choice for groups (and repeat customers), though Rajdoot does offer a separate party menu. While not the hippest of Manchester’s Indian restaurants, Rajdoot does offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of Manchester city centre and an excellent curry too.
Where: Carlton House, M2 5WD
Book now: Rajdoot Tandoori
Zouk Tea Bar & Grill
What: Buzzy, informal and fun seem to be the words most associated with this vibrant Indian restaurant in Manchester, where the open kitchen allows diners to catch all the cooking action. There’s a choice of booth and table seating plus a heated outside terrace and shisha lounge for al fresco dining in the warmer months. Forget standard starters, mains and desserts – here you can indulge in steaks, roasts and tiffin, as well as a wide range of curries, breads and sundries. Starter dishes such as tandoori mixed grill and crispy calamari give way to mains which include the likes of Goan fish curry, butter chicken and palak aloo. Zouk also does a mean Sunday roast that includes Indian-spiced roast and lobster dishes.
Where: Unit 5 Quadrangle Chester Street, M1 5QS
Book now: Zouk Tea Bar & Grill
Best Indian restaurants Manchester Curry Mile
Manchester's Curry Mile is home to some of the best restaurants in the city, with a host of quality, traditional, family-run spots to choose from. These are our favourites.
What: This hip outfit is all about mixing things up, from its east-meets-west flavours to the unique words it uses to describe them. The duo behind MyLahore – which also has sites in Leeds, Bradford and Birmingham – promises 'superlicious food in a welcomtastic place for all' which, in spite of being a little corny, is actually a good way to sum up its approach. These guys care about your experience, from the moment you step into its colourful interior to the moment you leave, likely full to bursting after a delicious meal. Traditionalists can fill up on the likes of lamb jalfrezi and chicken tikka masala, while those looking to mix things up could go for a grilled fish burger or keema and chips.
Where: 14-18 Wilmslow Road, M14 5TQ
Book now: MyLahore
What: With a keener sense of design, hospitality and modern dining than others on this stretch, Mughli would stand out even if the food were average, which it definitely isn’t. Instant comfort food in the form of street-inspired small plates such as samosas, bhajis and skewers seared over the charcoal pit abound, while main courses might be a dum biriyani, sealed under a pastry lid, or a rich curry with a side of fluffy naan. There are vegan and gluten-free sections on the menu, plus a number of tempting cocktails and a good selection of gins.
Where: 30 Wilmslow Road, M14 5TQ
Book now: Mughli
What: The first fully-licensed Indian restaurant to open on Manchester’s famed ‘Curry Mile’, Shere Khan is an old hat when it comes to serving up cracking curry-house favourites. For more than 30 years this Rusholme stalwart has been keeping locals and visitors satisfied with the likes of prawns, potatoes and halal meats on bubbly-crisp puri, and methi paneer made with homemade cheese. Handmade breads raise the game here, along with the chefs’ masterful use of the tandoor.
Where: 52 Wilmslow Road, M14 5TQ
Book now: Shere Khan
For Indian dining in the capital, check out our round-up of the best Indian restaurants in London.