The best Indian restaurants in Sydney

There’s a lot more to Indian cuisine than butter chicken. Discover Sydney’s most delicious, innovative and unique Indian restaurants, serving up dishes from across the subcontinent.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Apr 2024 -
min read

For a late-night feed: Derrel’s 

This retro joint in Camperdown is open until 2am, so it’s the perfect place to refuel as your night is winding down. The Anglo-Indian menu features classic dishes like vindaloo and chicken tandoori, as well as chef Brendan King’s own modern spin on the cuisine, like Bombay burgers with deep-fried spiced potato patties. 

  • Must-try dish: chip ‘putti’ – chips wrapped in naan with butter chicken gravy. 

Chickpea curry at Derrels, Camperdown - Credit: Michael Naumoff

Derrels, Camperdown - Credit: Michael Naumoff

For street food favourites: Chatkazz and Flyover Fritterie 

India is famous for its street food and you can dine on authentic recreations right here in Sydney. Chatkazz in Harris Park (Sydney’s Little India) has over 200 dishes on the menu, blending flavours from both North and South India. Everything is vegetarian and it’s particularly famous for its sweet treats.  

  • Must-try dish: pav bhaji – spicy mixed vegetables served with soft bread rolls.

Friends catching up over lassi's and mocktails at Chatkazz, Harris Park

Chatkazz, Harris Park

Flyover Fritterie in Redfern has a smaller menu but the same commitment to flavour. Founded by artist Gunjan Aylawadi, she was inspired by the hardworking food vendors who set up underneath highway overpasses (or ‘flyovers’) in her native India. 

  • Must-try dishes: dosa potato jaffles and crunchy pakora (fritters).

Flyover Fritterie & Chai Bar - Credit: Alana Dimou

Flyover Fritterie & Chai Bar, Redfern - Credit: Alana Dimou

For a neighbourhood legend: Delhi ‘O’ Delhi and Abhi’s Indian Restaurant 

A good Indian restaurant can attain legendary status among the local community. Delhi ‘O’ Delhi in Newtown has done just that for almost 20 years. It’s a classic Indian flavours with white tablecloth dining experience, alongside an excellent wine list. If you’re dining in a group, the Feast menu will leave you suitably stuffed. 

  • Must-try dish: shaan e raan – whole lamb leg infused with cinnamon oil and potli spices.

In North Strathfield, Abhi’s has had the tandoor oven burning since 1990. It’s a favourite with locals as well as the Australian and Indian cricket teams, with many top players spotted dining here over the years. Their traditional menu is complex and flavourful without being heavy, and draws inspiration from northern, southern and Goan cuisine. 

  • Must-try dish: masala dosa – rice flour pancake with spiced potato filling and lentil sambar.

Interior dining space of Abhi's, North Strathfield

 Abhi's, North Strathfield - Credit: Abhi's

For unauthentic Indian and colourful cocktails: Don’t Tell Aunty and Pinky Ji 

Sometimes you want to have a little fun with your meal. Don’t Tell Aunty in Surry Hills promises unauthentic Indian, where classic dishes are given a quirky spin with unusual ingredients and influences from other cuisines. The décor inside is just as entertaining, with lots of peacock blue velvet, sherbet pink walls and oversized artwork. 

  • Must-try dish: kulfi – Indian ice cream.

In a York Street basement, Pinky Ji follows a similar theme (and was opened by the same chef). With neon lighting, red velvet furniture, floral garlands and Bollywood movie posters, it’s an over-the-top experience before you even sit down. The menu is divided into categories like snack, raw, street, wok and curry, and paired with colourful cocktails. 

  • Must-try dish: kingfish ceviche with jaggery coconut, finger limes and mini papadums.

Curry platter at Don't Tell Aunty, Surry Hills

Curry Platter at Don't Tell Aunty, Surry Hills – Credit Don’t Tell Aunty

For waterside views: Jewel on the Bay and Manjits Wharf 

Grab one of the outside tables at Jewel on the Bay to admire the yachts bobbing at anchor in the calm waters of Rose Bay while you eat. An Eastern Suburbs institution for more than 20 years, the extensive menu includes street food snacks, meats from the tandoor oven, classic curries and a whole page of breads. 

  • Must-try dish: chicken chettinaad – Southern Indian curry with coconut, red chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Looking over the twinkling lights of Darling Harbour, Manjits is a sleek and stylish modern Indian restaurant on King Street Wharf. It’s a spin-off from the original Manjits, which opened in Balmain in 1984, and served the same fusion cuisine that brings together North and South India with Western cooking techniques. It’s a popular spot for after-work cocktails paired with tasty Indian snacks. 

  • Must try dish: bhara kebab – tandoori lamb cutlets.

Interior dining space of Manjits Wharf, Darling Harbour

Manjit's Wharf, Darling Harbour - Credit: Manjit's Wharf

For innovative dishes and edgy design: Foreign Return 

At Surry Hills’ Foreign Return, the rich navy walls, gold accents, fanciful murals, grandfather clocks and vintage telephones give the restaurant the feeling of a Wes Anderson movie. In the kitchen, the chefs recreate long-forgotten dishes that you won’t have seen in any other Indian restaurant in the city. The cocktails are excellent and there’s a whole menu dedicated to gin and tonics. 

  • Must-try dish: raj kachori – crispy semolina shells with chickpeas, spiced yoghurt and chutney.

Indian dishes at Foreign Return, Surry Hills

Foreign Return, Surry Hills - Credit: Leigh Griffiths

For homestyle classics: Harshita’s Kitchen 

It’s no frills and all flavour at Harshita’s Kitchen in Waterloo. What started as a home delivery service for traditional Indian tiffin lunches has grown into a small homestyle restaurant. Harshita has been inspired by the women in her life and brings their same spirit of hospitality to every service.  

  • Must-try dish: Ama’s aloo – potato curry.

More articles by theme


You may also like...