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Great Indian Food in TO

pescatarian Aug 10, 2006 05:23 PM

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.


  1. a
    arugula Jan 3, 2009 03:07 PM

    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
      Montrachet Jan 6, 2009 09:03 AM

      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?

    2. s
      Spitfire71 Jan 3, 2009 09:41 AM

      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.


      1. m
        MelodySoul Jan 2, 2009 02:55 PM

        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. i
          imish Jun 13, 2008 08:58 PM

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

          3 Replies
          1. re: imish
            TheGimp Aug 2, 2008 07:02 AM

            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
              callitasicit Aug 2, 2008 10:10 AM

              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
                chaptwo Aug 3, 2008 06:01 PM

                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. s
              SocksManly Jun 10, 2008 01:43 PM

              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. p
                pookieras Jun 6, 2008 08:57 PM

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

                1. Super Nintendo Chalmers Sep 3, 2006 08:31 AM

                  Nataraj is good if you are a fan of oil.

                  1. Teep Sep 2, 2006 02:53 PM

                    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. s
                      S_K Aug 30, 2006 11:40 PM

                      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. h
                        hungryabbey Aug 30, 2006 10:10 PM

                        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. j
                          jamesm Aug 30, 2006 02:16 PM

                          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
                            TOfoodie Aug 30, 2006 06:56 PM

                            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
                              artificialard Aug 31, 2006 07:17 AM

                              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. NovoCuisine Aug 29, 2006 05:54 PM

                              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. j
                                jen2202 Aug 29, 2006 05:35 PM

                                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. pancake Aug 29, 2006 06:35 AM

                                  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
                                    wordsworth Aug 30, 2006 06:25 PM

                                    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
                                      pancake Aug 30, 2006 09:38 PM

                                      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
                                        Food Tourist Aug 31, 2006 03:27 AM

                                        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
                                          wordsworth Sep 2, 2006 12:43 PM

                                          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
                                          Teep Sep 2, 2006 02:53 PM

                                          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. Davwud Aug 17, 2006 04:55 PM

                                      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


                                      1. m
                                        ministerofkebab Aug 17, 2006 04:25 PM

                                        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
                                          Food Tourist Aug 31, 2006 03:29 AM

                                          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. Super Nintendo Chalmers Aug 17, 2006 03:17 PM

                                          Indian Cooking Classes:

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Super Nintendo Chalmers
                                            pescatarian Aug 17, 2006 03:40 PM

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

                                          2. superchick Aug 15, 2006 02:03 PM

                                            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. NovoCuisine Aug 13, 2006 05:09 PM

                                              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
                                                Nab Aug 15, 2006 02:21 PM

                                                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
                                                  Jacquilynne Aug 17, 2006 03:58 PM

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

                                                  1. re: Jacquilynne
                                                    indianchik Sep 3, 2006 02:55 PM

                                                    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. m
                                                  magic Aug 12, 2006 03:35 AM

                                                  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
                                                    xtal Aug 12, 2006 03:06 PM

                                                    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
                                                      red dragon Aug 5, 2008 09:21 AM

                                                      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. l
                                                    Lipant Aug 12, 2006 02:47 AM

                                                    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. f
                                                      foodio Aug 11, 2006 04:03 PM

                                                      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. c
                                                        Crusty Chef Aug 11, 2006 03:34 PM

                                                        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. c
                                                          cocanut Aug 11, 2006 02:20 PM

                                                          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. c
                                                            cookbook Aug 11, 2006 02:56 AM

                                                            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!


                                                            1. e
                                                              electra1 Aug 10, 2006 11:21 PM

                                                              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. p
                                                                peppermint pate Aug 10, 2006 06:45 PM

                                                                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. m
                                                                  mindyt Aug 10, 2006 06:20 PM

                                                                  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
                                                                    pescatarian Aug 10, 2006 06:30 PM

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

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