It’s hard to pick a favourite in the city, but we’ve pulled together a selection of the best of Manchester’s Indian restaurants.
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. Open for just over a year and located in Spinningfields, Scene is quickly becoming one of Manchester’s go-to Indian restaurants. 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.
Scene Indian Street Kitchen, 4a Leftbank, Irwell Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AN
0161 839 3929
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 attracts a host of Manchester foodies and bloggers with their street food style menu. On one side of the menu is a variety of street food and snacks, designed for sharing, including Kati Rolls, Pau and Chaat, with influences from all over Asia. 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, straight from the grill.
Mughli, 30 Wilmslow Road, Curry Mile, Manchester, M14 5TQ
0161 248 0900
Fresh from winning Restaurant of the Year 2017 at the MFDF Awards, 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
One of Manchester’s newest additions to the Indian restaurant scene, Mowgli opened in the Corn Exchange in 2015, bringing with it all the charm of the original Liverpool restaurant, which is just over a year old. With food served in mini tiffin tins, and inspired by Calcutta roots, a huge selection of the menu reflects the dairy and meat free diet of millions of Indians, making this a great option for Vegan’s & those looking for Gluten free options. The tiffin style menu is designed to order a few dishes per person, with options of Gunpowder chicken, Bombay chip butties, as well as a small selection of curries from the house kitchen. While Mowgli is a great addition to Manchester’s ever expending Indian restaurants, if you’re after a proper comfort curry rather than fresh street food - this one might not be for you.
Mowgli, Unit 16, 37 Corn Exchange, Manchester M4 3TR
0161 832 0566
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 the doors to their new venue on Peter Street back in September of last year, and it has to be said the place feels a bit different from your usual curry house. With beautiful gold fittings, opulent booths and the Bolli bar downstairs it all feels rather special. Starters exciting variations on the usual favourites including guinea fowl hariyala tikka, duck seekh kebab, and venison samosas, while the contemporary main courses include salmon biryanis, duck vindaloo as well as classic curries served with naans with truffle oil. If you like the sound of enjoying dishes using some quality local meats you might not be used to, tasty cocktails and home made chutneys and desserts all in ornately decorative setting, Asha’s might just be the one for you.
Asha's, 47 Peter Street, Manchester
0161 832 5309
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.
As anyone who has ever walked down Liverpool Road will be able to tell you, Akbars is definitely one of the most popular Indian restaurants in the city centre. With a no booking policy for tables of six or less, you’re likely to always have to wait ten minutes for a table in this busy Manchester venue, and longer at the weekends. Akbars has a great atmosphere and is as popular through the week as it is on a Saturday night . The menu is exactly what you’d expect from your local takeaway, with starters including Seekh kebabs, special veg pakora, followed by old school curries such as Dopiazas and Rogan Josh, with a selection of special baltis. Akbars offers no frills Indian dining, perfect for soaking up a hangover at a reasonable price.
Akbars, 73-83 Liverpool Road, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4NQ
0161 834 8444
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. It’s number 1 on Trip Advisor for restaurants in Ashton, and for the only time ever, I agree with Trip Advisor.
Lily’s Vegetarian Indian Restaurant, 75-83 Oldham Road, Ashton OL6 7DF
0161 339 4774
Situated in the middle of Manchester’s curry mile, Ziya is more modern and clean looking than some of the other venues alongside it with an open plan kitchen, and more of a special event feel than your traditional pub curry. The food focuses on good quality meats and curries served fresh, with a real cosmopolitan feel. The Tandoori Badshah - what Ziya describe as the king of kebabs, is a solid starter choice, as well as the Peshwari lamb chops. Ziya aren’t afraid of showing that the traditional English favourites such as Chicken Tikka Masala don’t have to be so bland, and actively show what a good Indian should really taste like. If you like hot curries, the Chennai Murgh, chicken in a rich hot sauce flavoured with aromatic spices and a hint of coconut is well worth a try.
Ziya, 65-67 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M14 5TB
0161 257 2010
Zouk Tea Bar and Grill, on a sunny evening, the terrace gets packed with people enjoying a variety of flavoured shishas in the late evening sun. The tea bar & grill seems to be as much a venue for Saturday cocktails, as it is for dinner, with an extensive cocktail menu for customers to choose from. 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 were 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
0161 233 1090
An excellent little Indian restaurant in Rusholme which has been serving authentic Punjab cuisine for many years now. There was however a brief period when they closed for a refurbishment and it was one of the longest 6 months of my life. One of the best places in the city for a Masala Dosa, those big pancake things stuffed full of curry, and the ones here are not only huge but they are also absolutely delicious. The restaurant itself may look a bit like a leather chair showroom, but the service is very friendly and it's size usually means there's a great atmosphere.
Punjab Tandoori Restaurant, 177 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M14 5AP
0161 225 2960
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 property over in lovely Marple, 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 Sindhi Seyal Gosht mutton, Venison croquettes that will make you weep for more and their always welcome Gunpowder Fries.
Chaat Cart, 13-15 Derby Way, Marple, SK6 7AH