These are our absolute favourites for a curry - what do you reckon?!
Delhi House Café
A new addition to the city centre during that weird buffer period between lockdowns in 2020, Delhi House Café arrived with a bang and a glowing review from The Observer food critic Jay Rayner. The restaurant is the first UK venture for the Delhi-born owners, and they’ve managed to transport the burgeoning café and food scene over there seamlessly into the city. The menu features some truly unique and interesting dishes, alongside a fantastic cocktail menu – each one with a story or inspiration behind it.
Delhi House Café, Unit 10, The Corn Exchange, Manchester M4 3TR
The Zouk menu focuses on authentic cuisine, with individual dishes to showcase their unique style rather than traditional customer favourites you’d expect to see on an Indian menu. There are options for traditional curries including Karahis, Handis, and Biryanis, as well as burgers, steaks and special roasts, where a party could choose to order a whole roast chicken or leg of lamb.
Zouk Tea Bar and Grill, Unit 5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester, M1 5QS
Now is the time to get yourself to this great Indian street food and craft ale joint in Piccadilly Gardens. Brave the sights and you are welcomed by a fantastic space with a varied vegetarian menu of traditional Indian street food dishes. They are home to the fabulous Vada Pav, as well as the moorish Okra Fries, which I guarantee you will struggle to just eat one portion of. They also have a fantastic selection of Ales to go with your curry – even sour ones which are perfect with a bit of spice. If you’ve got some mates, or are a greedy bugger, you should get the ‘Combo for 6’ which is every dish on the menu.
Bundobust, 59 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 1RG
An NQ hidden gem, you could be forgiven for not noticing Yadgars as you walk past on your way to some of the trendier venues located nearby. This place has been open for years and there’s a clear reason for it – a reliance on top quality curries at a low price. The guy who runs this place is a bit of a character, and he has a certain set of rules for anyone that comes through the doors. First of all – don’t ask any questions, secondly – know what you want before approaching and thirdly – hold your bloody plate with 2 hands. You get these right – you’ll be tucking into easily some of the city’s best curries.
Yadgar Cafe, 71 Thomas St, Manchester
0161 831 7753
Scene Indian Street Kitchen
There’s a lot more to Scene than just meat in spicy sauce, with a selection of street food style favourites, shishas and a heated terrace overlooking the river Irwell. Scene excel at their starters and sides with tandoori grills and delicately spiced chaats prepared in the open plan kitchen. With a selection of street food and smaller Indo-Chinese dishes to choose from, as well as a huge selection of curries and grills, there’s something on the menu for everyone. If you’re feeling adventurous – try their Phall, it’s not on the menu but it’s the hottest curry that money can buy.
Scene Indian Street Kitchen, 4a Leftbank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AN
Hitting the city towards the end of 2018, Dishoom have made a massive impact and continue to thrill us Mancunians with their Mumbai style breakfast offering and range of unique Indian dishes. Their Bacon Naan is a thing of legend and everyone should try it, as is their Chilli Chicken. Dishoom also invented a brand-new dish that is unique to their Manchester restaurant – the Nalli Nihari Biryani – a lamb shank encased in pastry with gravy and a chicken liver raita on the side. It’s obviously outstanding.
Dishoom, 32 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BT
Lily’s Vegetarian Indian Restaurant
Apart from Ikea, I cannot think of any other reason to head to Ashton than to go to Lily’s Vegetarian Restaurant that offers home cooked Indian dishes without making you have to re-mortgage your house or sell a kidney. The food here is about as authentic as you can get this side of the Suez Canal with many specialities including dosas, chaats and those vibrant, lovely looking sweets that you’re too afraid to try as you walk past on the Curry Mile. They’re also now in Chorlton, and soon to be in Ancoats.
Lily’s Vegetarian Indian Restaurant, 75-83 Oldham Road, Ashton OL6 7DF
0161 339 4774
Operating out of a dark kitchen in Trafford, Jessore Road have been serving up absolutely mega curries since the first lockdown, and they’ve even started doing more events and markets around the region, so you’re likely to see them knocking about a lot more. Their authentic Indian recipes are prepared exactly the way their mothers would, with often well-known popular dishes being prepared differently than what you’re used to. Oh yeah, their Samosas are wonderful – make sure you get at least 2!
Indian Social Club
Newly re-opened down in Stretford, the Indian Social Club is home to some of the city’s most unique South Indian offerings, alongside small dishes that are designed to be shared like tapas. There are some absolute crackers on the menu, but no visit would be complete without trying their stunning Vazhai Ilai Parotta (£10), a flaky paratha flatbread which is topped with a dry spicy chicken curry, which is then smothered in a spicy chicken gravy and then wrapped in a banana leaf and then cooked.
Indian Social Club, 164a Barton Road, Stretford, M32 8DP
Located, strangely, right in the middle of a retail park in Walken, don’t let that put you off from visiting The Purple Lounge – a world class Indian restaurant with some truly fantastic food. There’s an extensive range of classics alongside some more exotic signature and house specials – many of which you won’t find anywhere else. Top of the list should be their outstanding Rack of Lamb & Keema or Kamali Duck – a unique offering that comes with stir-fried duck laced with garlic, capsicum and aromatic spices. Their Tandoori Platter is also a must – a huge plate loaded with freshly marinated and charred meats.
Purple Lounge, Ellesmere Retail Park, Worsley, Walkden, M28 3UD
If you’re heading into Rusholme for an Indian feast, then Mughli is definitely one to try. The restaurant has been open for almost 25 years, and manages to still retain a certain level of quality on a stretch of road which has seen a considerable downturn over the past few years. On one side of the menu is a variety of street food and snacks, designed for sharing, including Kati Rolls, Pau and Chaat, while on the second side of the menu, there’s curries and biryanis to choose from, as well as slow cooked stews and grills from the charcoal pit. A real highlight of the menu are the Mughli lamb chops.
Mughli, 30 Wilmslow Road, Curry Mile, Manchester, M14 5TQ
This & That
Legendary Northern Quarter curry house This & That every day offers punters a choice of a wide range of meat & veggie friendly curries to go with their lovely, fluffy rice. Expect plenty of lamb, beef, chicken, chick peas, lentils and potato getting thrown around to create some of the best curry in the city. It’s cheap as chips too, which is always a good thing now that pints cost around £6 and you struggle to get the bus for a week and still have change from a £20 note.
This & That, 3 Soap St, M4 1EW
Asha’s opened their doors on Peter Street a couple of years back, and it has to be said the place feels a lot different to your usual curry house. Not only does it look stunning, both upstairs and down, but the food here is very special – with many contemporary twists on traditional Indian classics. If you like the sound of enjoying dishes using some quality local meats you might not be used to, tasty cocktails and homemade chutneys all in ornately decorative setting, Asha’s might just be the one for you.
Asha’s, 47 Peter Street, Manchester
Indian Tiffin Rooms
When it first opened up in Cheadle, getting a table at Indian Tiffin Rooms was quite difficult – not only is it so small that it would struggle to seat a family of Borrowers, but it was also so good that everyone wanted to get involved and enjoy some top-class Indian street food dishes. Made to represent the many different cuisines throughout the country, you get dosas, curries, puris and even kebabs with about 90% of it either vegan or vegetarian. Luckily for everyone not living in or near Cheadle Village, they’ve opened up a newer, bigger restaurant on First Street, so you won’t have to get on the dreaded X57 to enjoy yourself.
Indian Tiffin Rooms, Chapel St, Cheadle SK8 1BR
also First Street, 4RL, 1 First St, Manchester M15.
We’ve all had Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi – but most of us haven’t ever really had the opportunity to explore the cuisine of Sri Lanka, apart from a select few who live in Stockport. Archchi’s is a dark kitchen concept that began in 2021 and will be heading to this year’s ample festivals, events and markets with family home-cooked recipes and dishes.
Anyone who lives in West Didsbury should have been to Namaste at least once, and in fact I believe anyone looking to buy or rent in the area must provide proof that they’ve tucked into a Bhuna in here at some point in their life before they can sign a contract. Technically serving up Nepalese grub, there’s a great mix of unique Himalayan dishes alongside the more traditional Indian favourites. You’re always guaranteed a good atmosphere in here, and the food is always flawless.
Namaste Nepal, 164-166 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 1LH
Legends of street food events, Chaat Cart have been peddling their fantastic Indian cuisines for a few years now and have even won a MFDF Award for their efforts. They’ve now managed to get themselves some permanent space in Society in the city centre, so you won’t need to sign up to their Twitter or look out for smoke signals to find out where they’ll be on a weekend. With a new, permanent menu in place, you can still find some absolute corkers including their melt-in-the-mouth excellent Kati Rolls, South Indian Curries and their always welcome Gunpowder Fries.
This Charming Naan
It doesn’t get much more Viral Content than The Smiths-inspired curries and Indian pie and mash now, does it?! The best thing is, the puns are on point and so are the curries. You can get the likes of ‘Last Night I Dreamt That Some Bhaji Loved Me’ and ‘Girlfriend in a Korma’ and they’re not just well-named – they’re absolutely banging! Currently operating out of Retro Bar on Sackville Street, you can collect or get these 100% vegan curries delivered to you gaff in no time at all.
Well-known throughout the suburbs as an excellent place for a proper decent curry, Chapati Café recently added MediaCity to it’s list of locations – bringing Rice n Three to the busy TV workers on the docks. Their cuisine is Gujurati-inspired, with a big focus on Thalis – a mixture of daily changing curries served on traditional Indian trays with accompanying rice and sides. Perfect.
496B Wilbraham Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9AS
Unit 4 The Garage, Blue, MediaCityUK, Salford M50 2TG
If any time we’ve ever put anything up on Manchester’s Finest about curries there’s always one or two blokes who comment saying ‘Where’s Sanskruti!!?’ Well, here it is. So, stop asking. They certainly deserve to be here on this list though – offering up some of the best veggie and vegan curries and dishes in the city – and easily one of the most diverse menus out there.
Sanskruti, 93-95 Mauldeth Rd, Manchester M14 6SR
Roti Food & Liquor
An Indian – Scottish fusion?! That’s never going to work! WRONG! This Chorlton (and now Sale) restaurant welcomed our food writer Tim earlier this year and he was certainly impressed with their unusual offerings. Haggis Pakoras, Masala Spiced Scotch Eggs, Fish & Chips, Indian Chip Butties, Curried Pork Belly and loads more – this place is mad but it definitely works!
Roti Food & Liquor
559 Barlow Moor Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 8AN
24 Stanley Square, Sale M33 7ZE