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Great Indian Food in TO

The best Indian food I've had in TO is at a friend's house - his homecooking. Does anyone have any recs on great indian food in TO, from cheap to expensive. I ate at the Indian Rice Factory several years ago. I remember it being good, but I'm sure there's better and I've also heard there's a lot of good reasonable family run restaurants in Scarborough, Gerrard and around the airport.
Also, does anyone know of any good indian cooking classes, preferably vegetarian, but not mandatory.

Cheers.

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  1. The best Indian I know of in Toronto is in the North end. There is Cuisine of India at Yonge North of Sheppard and The Indian Kitchen on Yonge, North of Steeles (at Clarke). The second was opened by someone who worked at Cuisine of India.

    Neither of these places ever disappoints and both have a great variety of food. They are far, far superior to Indian Rice Factory.

    Sorry, I don't know of any Indian cooking classes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mindyt

      Thanks, both are convenient for me and I don't doubt that they are better than the Indian Rice Factory :)

    2. Check out Bonnie Stern and dish for their cooking classes - pretty sure they both offer ones for Indian cuisine and for vegetarian cooking (not sure about both combined).

      1. George Brown College used to do one and Dish advertised one a while back where you went with the instructor to market to get ingredients and then back to dish to cook it.

        1. I've heard good things about the Healthy Gourmet Indian Cooking Classes- now offered in TO (they used to be only Oakville, ON). Their website is: http://www.hgic.ca/. I met Arvinda's daughter Preena at the Good Food Festival and Market this past year and was smitten by their Chai- SO good. The family has food in the veins!

          http://cookingresources.suite101.com/...

          1. My all time favorite is Babur on Queen West @ McCaul. The food tastes really clean and fresh and the spices are perfectly blended. Not to mention the selection is extensive and it's cheap! If you eat one thing while you are there it should be the Carrot, Pistachio rice pudding which has been infused with Saffron and Cardamom.

            1. Check out the Cooking Schools at Loblaws for Smita Chandra's Indian cooking classes. Smita is a delight and her food is fabulous!! I have taken a dozen classes with her and learned a lot. She usually makes the rounds of most of the Loblaws locations. Check out the Queen's Quay location.

              1. I like the food at Kamasutra on Bayview just North of Moore (south of Eglinton). Was there last night and had a great assortment of dishes. I especially recommend the Eggplant Bharta. May be a little pricier than other places (about $12 a dish) but it has a nice vibe to it and very friedly staff.

                Also, I believe Calphalon at King and Spadina offers classes for indian cooking, but you have to check the schedule to see when they offer them. Approx $130 a class.

                1. We ate at Indian Kitchen tonight, Yonge and Clarke, and it really is some of the best I have ever had. Just give me the naan and the butter chicken sauce and I am happy.

                  The Toronto Star Cooking School Edition comes out Sept 6th and there are always Indian cooking schools advertised in there, so if you are still looking, check that out.

                  1. The best Indian that I've had in Toronto is easily a restaurant called Little India, on Queen St. just west of Univeristy. I'm routinely on the lookout for great Indian and this place has it all. Unbelievable food and service that is so friendly and professional it's unreal. Reasonable prices too - not McDonald's cheap but not outrageously expensive either. Mainly though, it's all about their food. I won't get into specifics but anything you have there will be incredible and mulitleveled in flavour complexity. It's a party in your mouth man. For sure get the naan. Best I've had. Such a good vibe there too. Run don't walk. Now please.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: magic

                      I second this! Little India is a great place. The lunch buffet is amazing for the price. I've not had the pleasure of having dinner there, but I imagine it's just as magic describes.

                      Little India
                      255 Queen St. W

                      1. re: xtal

                        We were there for the first time on Civic Monday. Sorry this isn't in the area you mentioned Pescatarian, but we drove from Scarborough and were not disappointed. Loved it. I wrote a review on it, if you care to type Little India in the search tab above.

                    2. I've said it before and I'll say it again; Moti Mahal at Coxwell/Gerrard.

                      It looks cheap, it is cheap, but the food is anything but. Easily my favorite Indian food in the city. I'm all about a nice atmosphere when I'm dining but the food is good enough to make me forget about that. ....Or I take out enough to eat for a week ;)

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: NovoCuisine

                        Amen. Although, I must confess I haven't eaten at MM in several years, but I certainly remember it being very good.

                        I pretty much never step inside the white tablecloth Indian restaurants because there's just so much better food to be had (at less cost) in the dives. Of course, if you're looking for an ambiance, then the Biryani Houses and the like are totally appropriate, but nowhere near the "best". I find it disheartening that when this topic comes up, it's almost always followed up with a flurry of responses that mention the white-table-cloth restaurants, leaving behind a million little gems that are serving far greater food, in all kinds of varieties. I encourage you to comb through the millions of Mississauga joints. Just drive around and poke your head in one that feels right.

                        1. re: NovoCuisine

                          Any idea if the Gerrard Moti Mahal is related to the one on Warden in Markham?

                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                            moti mahal was the first location they opened 30 yrs ago! and they franchised out the one in markham, i also LOVE the food. they make their breads fresh right out of the oven when u order

                        2. indian kitchen definitely gets my vote for the north end. My 2 other choices lean towards the pakistani side:

                          Iqbals on Thorncliffe - great lunch thali, yummy kheema curry. They also have a full sweets center. Not a fancy place.

                          New Diamond @ Carlton & Sherbourne - all the cabbies eat here, variety of dishes although the tandoori is meh. Meat combo is $7+tx (1 meat, 2 veggie + rice/naan). Great value for yummy food. Again, not a fancy place.

                          1. Indian Cooking Classes:
                            http://www.indiancooking.ca/

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Super Nintendo Chalmers

                              Thanks, they sound like exactly what I'm looking for.

                            2. Check out Debu Sahars Biryani House...opposite wellesley subway. Excellent, a little pricier but the food is superb...in my humble opinion best higher end indian in the city by far.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ministerofkebab

                                I was impressed by the quality of the perfectly-cooked meat at Biryani House. It was such a nice change from the dry or lacklustre chunks of meat found at most other places.

                              2. Chef of India on Eglinton just east of Yonge on the north side. Outstanding lunch buffet and very cheap. I've heard it's a lunch place and the dinner of the menu is only good.
                                If it's in your area, it's not to be missed for lunch. Best tandoori chicken I've ever had

                                Enjoy
                                DT

                                1. Tandoori house on Yonge north of Sheppard is delicious and great for take out...you can watch them make naan through the glass. The butter chicken was great.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: pancake

                                    Yuk. Tandoori House is very poor. Agra, down the block, is even worse. With Cuisine of India just up the street, I don't understand how these places even stay in business.

                                    1. re: wordsworth

                                      I did not think it was bad at all.... The naan was nice and hot- freshly baked before our eyes, the butter chicken tender and juicy, and the service great. . . . I checked out the cuisine of india menu and did not see butter chicken on it at all. . . . It definately seemed like a nice place, but did not offer all the typical dishes, just a select few.

                                      1. re: pancake

                                        Cuisine of India excels at tandoori items (which other places usually can't do properly). Cuisine's tandoori paneer is particularly delicious. Their appetizers are good, too. I even ordered their take-out to cater a "Bollywood" party!

                                        1. re: Food Tourist

                                          I agree that you go to Cuisine of India for the tandoori. The big star is the tandoori salmon. I've had it about 20 times and it was perfect everytime, except for once. Their best dish, alas, is no longer on the menu - tandoori lamb.

                                          As for apppetizers, I disagree that they are especially good. They had excellent pakoras, but those are also no longer on the menu.

                                        2. re: pancake

                                          Yes the only way to have naan is when it's fresh! BTW did you look for the name "chicken makhani" as well, other than "butter chicken"?

                                    2. Aroma Fine Indian Cuisine on King st. is my recommendation for sure. I get this magazine called Dining Out and they're recommendations have never done me wrong! there is an online version at www.diningoutonline.com for those of u who wanna check out the mag, and here is the direct link to the page for Aroma http://toronto.diningoutonline.com/re...
                                      I had butter chicken and malai prawn with rice and naan bread, it was all to die for!

                                      1. I keep seeing Nirvana mentioned as one of the best; I was there last Friday and it totally disappointed me. The theme of the meal was overcooked.

                                        I've had a raging Indian craving for a month and apparently nothing is going to satiate it until I get to Moti Mahal. Reminder: They're closed on Tuesdays (I *always* forget that and I always end up around Coxwell/Gerrard area on a Tuesday...)

                                        1. In the Queen West-Roncessvalles area where I live, we usually get Mother India takeout, and it's been consistently good. We tried the Curryer, an Indian place behind Mitzi's Sister that delivers, and although a clever name I found the food to be overwhelmingly fragrant and all the dishes tasted the same.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: jamesm

                                            Love Mother India as well. The best garlic naan I have ever had anywhere. Aroma is my favourite buffet at lunch time.

                                            1. re: jamesm

                                              Does Mother India deliver? It'd be great to find good Indian takeout/delivery as I'm at King+Shaw. I also found the curryer to be quite mediocure despite the slick brochure. Butter Chicken was kind of sour(?!) and just didn't taste right.

                                            2. I love Sher-e-punjab on the Danforth. Every curry Ive had there has been incredible, and the warm naan was soo delicious, it just melts in your mouth. Definetly a fav place.

                                              1. Oh my goodness. Thank you for this thread, guys. I'm always looking for good places to eat. Wandering is good, but it's nice to have these places on the map if you're in a hurry.

                                                1. My fave is Nataraj on Bloor west of Spadina, though I haven't been in a while. The owners are Chinese, but they are from Calcutta.

                                                  1. Nataraj is good if you are a fan of oil.

                                                    1. Kwality Sweets in Brampton. Very good. Try the vegetable Thali.

                                                      1. I'm a big fan of the lunch buffet at Dhaba on King West east of spadina where that strip of restaurants is on south side.

                                                        1. any others more in the north-east end of markham?

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: imish

                                                            Kamasutra has great food. A very large variety and assortment of dishes. We have only been there 3 times but the food and atmosphere are great.

                                                            1. re: imish

                                                              I recently tried the buffet at Madras Palace at West Beaver Creek and I was blown away with their butter chicken, one of the best I have ever had! Unfortunately, I didn't care much for the other dishes. However, if you enjoy butter chicken this is the place to go!

                                                              1. re: callitasicit

                                                                If you are going out Brampton way, I strongly recommend the Anjippur Chettinad restaurant, which is Southern Indian. Their Pepper Chicken is out of this world and they make amazing Roti Pratas also...they have locations in Scarborough as well, and the Butter Chicken is absolute dynamite. I'd also recommend the Chicken 65, like a pakora, but with a kick...

                                                            2. Kamasutra is my favorite of the 4 Indian restaurants I've tried here so far. Great food, atmosphere and service. A little pricey but worth it. Chakra was also good but quite hot, even the mild dishes like butter chicken had a lot of heat.

                                                              1. My favourite Indian place is "Skylark" in little India. The food is always rich and fresh. The staff are very attentive and the place has been recently renovated making it the nicest (cleanest) place in Little India.

                                                                http://www.restaurantica.com/on/toron...

                                                                1. One of the most reliable Indian Restaurants I know is Shar e Punjab on the Danforth between Broadview and Chester. The quality is consistently excellent and it's clean and pleasant.

                                                                  I am not Indian, but I do have several Indian born friends. More than one has mentioned this as their favourite.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: arugula

                                                                    Agree that Chef of India at Yonge and Eglinton is a great lunch place. I just had southern Indian cuisine for the first time, in London England. Does anyone know if Toronto has this fantastic vegetarian fare?