The Best Indian Restaurants in Cape Town

Words: Jess Spiro

Bukhara Cape TownAt this time of year, there is nothing that will warm you up quite like a curry. It really doesn’t take much convincing, with a hearty gravy, your choice of protein and some fluffy rice, a curry is the best way to fight those winter blues. And if you’re looking to leave the curry to the experts, then here are the best Indian restaurants in Cape Town.

Bombay Chilli

With two locations, one in Plumstead and the other in Muizenberg, Bombay Chilli is the ideal local curry restaurant for when you can’t be bothered to cook. The interior is simple and warm and let the traditional North Indian dishes do the talking.

Location: 54 Beach Road, Muizenberg and 140 Cranmere Road, Plumstead
Good to know: A no-fuss, simple spot to curb your curry craving.
Why you’ll love it: Their biryanis are known to be some of the best in town.
What we loved: The chicken lollipops, the best way to start the meal if you ask us.
Opening hours Muizenberg: Monday – Tuesday: 17h00 – 22h00, Wednesday – Saturday: 13h30 – 21h30, Sunday: 13h00 – 22h00
Opening hours Plumstead: Monday – Saturday: 12:30 – 21:30
Contact: Muizenberg: 021 788 2052, Plumstead:  021 762 9435

bombaychilli.co.za


Bombay Brasserie at The Taj

There’s no doubt that Bombay Brasserie, situated within the 5-Star Taj Hotel, is not your regular curry restaurant. It’s opulent decor alone will make you feel celebratory, but it doesn’t end there. The concise menu is divided into veggie and non-veggie options and comprises of traditional, refined Indian fare. There are, however, a couple of contemporary curve balls thrown in such as truffled tandoori mushrooms and a generous curried salmon steak.

Location: The Taj Cape Town, 1 Wale Street
Good to know: If you’re dining with the little ones, make sure you’re seated before 18h30, according to the restaurant’s policy.
Why you’ll love it: The showmanship, while still delivering on great flavours, is incredible.
What we loved: That you can make a real night of it by opting to do their 5-course chef’s menu.
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 18h00 –23h00
Contact: 021 819 2000

tajcapetown.co.za


Bihari

Situated in the Southern Sun Hotel in Newlands, Bihari is cosy, welcoming and the perfect place to escape the winter chills. This is the ideal spot for that last minute curry craving as they offer an extensive traditional menu, with every curry you could ever want, complete with some of the best onion bhajis Cape Town has seen.

Location: Southern Sun Hotel, Main Rd, Newlands
Good to know: The interleading lounge has a fireplace, perfect for enjoying an after dinner nightcap.
Why you’ll love it: The food is generous and honest, making for a fuss-free night out.
What we loved: The highly recommended Prawn Korma in a white sauce.
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 12h30 – 15h30, 17h30 – 22h30
Contact: 021 674 7186

bihari.co.za


Bukhara

Merely stepping into Bukhara is a treat for the senses as the warm, contrasting greens and oranges transport you right into the heart of Northern India. Having been around for 20 years, Bukhara can certainly consider themselves curry experts and we’re inclined to agree. The menu features classic Northern Indian dishes using spices sourced from India, which are hand ground by Bukhara’s chefs. There is a variety of lamb, chicken, seafood and vegetarian options all served in traditional, different ways.

Location: 33 Church street, Cape Town
Good to know: It’s slightly pricier than your average curry restaurant, so save this one for a good night out.
Why you’ll love it: The vast menu will have you struggling to choose, but you can order a couple of small plates to pick at while you decide. The pani puri and chola bhature are the ideal pre-dinner snack.
What we loved: Being able to watch the chefs through the window always makes you feel part of the action.
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 12h00 – 15h00 and 18h00 – 23h00
Contact: +27 21 424 7648

bukhara.com

Bukhara Cape Town


Indian Chapter

This Blouberg locale is almost as well known as its owner, former radio and TV personality Prim Reddy, and seems to have amassed a bit of a cult following. This is all for good reason because the restaurant is known for their unbeatable hospitality, as well as their authentic, homemade curries.

Location: Carnaby Centre, 9 Marine Cr, Bloubergstrand
Good to know: If you’re a table of two, you can book a prime spot near the fireplace.
Why you’ll love it: Eating at The Indian Chapter is like eating in Prim’s home, she’s always there checking up on your meal.
What we loved: The Lamb Rogan Josh. It’s believed to be the best in the city.
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 10h00 – 22h00.
Contact: 021 557 5524

theindianchapter.co.za


Maharajah

If anyone is an expert in perfectly made curries, it’s these guys. Having been around for 40 years, Maharajah must be doing something right. With a focus on Durban-style curries, the food on offer will ensure you satisfy that curry craving and then some.

Location: 1 Kloof Nek Road & Woodside Road.
Good to know: Don’t let the unassuming exterior deter you, the food will do all talking.
Why you’ll love it: The generous food and welcoming vibe.
What we loved: The Madras fish curry with its perfectly balanced spice and wonderfully cooked local fish.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 12h30 – 15h00, 18h00 – 22h00
Contact: 021 424 6607

maharajah.capetown


Marigold

While technically not in Cape Town itself, we had to include Marigold – part of the Leeu Collection and located in Franschhoek. It makes complete sense that the owner of the Leeu Collection, Mr Analjit Singh, would have an Indian eatery as part of his group of properties in the Winelands. Marigold ‘s menu is full of delectable and authentic dishes and flavours and you’ll be hard pressed to choose.

Location: Heritage Square, top end of the main road through Franschhoek.
Good to know: Plenty of awesome vegetarian options available.
Why you’ll love it: an awesome menu of authentic dishes, as well as a ‘Thali menu’ of smaller dishes that take you through all the hallmark flavours of Indian food.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday for lunch from 12h00 to 15h00 and dinner from 18h00 to 22h00.
Contact:  021 876 8970

marigoldfranschhoek.com

Marigold Indian Restaurant


Masala Dosa

Based on South Indian cuisine, Masala Dosa features dishes that a lot of other Indian restaurants don’t, such as their namesake dosa and vada, savoury doughnuts.

Location: 167 Long Street
Good to know: The menu is very veggie-forward, making this a good place to take the vegetarian in your life.
Why you’ll love it: The kitschy-cool decor and those famous dosas.
What we loved: The sev puri, a layered, curried legume mix with tamarind, salsa and crunchy bits.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 11h00 – 22h30.
Contact: 021 424 6772


Punjab Express

This casual eatery has a menu that features an extensive Indian curry section, along with a well-rounded Thai offering too. Of all the delicious offerings, word on the street is that their kebabs are truly special.

Location: Westlake Business Park, 10 Bell Crescent, Tokai.
Good to know: They have an extensive cocktail menu, making this a good place to celebrate with a group of mates.
Why you’ll love it: It’s a great spot to pop in for a quick curry fix or to pick up and enjoy at home.
What we loved: The laidback vibe and the butter chicken curry.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 11h00 – 21h30
Contact: 021 701 0504

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 Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal prides itself on using traditional tandoor ovens in place of any gas in their kitchens. This ensures that all their dishes have a distinctly classic layer of flavours.

Location: 44 Victoria Avenue, Hout Bay.
Good to know: They offer a buffet special at R250 on certain days. ALL YOU CAN EAT!
Why you’ll love it: The tandoor really does do something to the flavours and they’re just very good because of it.
What we loved: The whole tandoori chicken. It’s spicy, smoky and perfect for sharing.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 12h00 – 23h00. Sunday: 12h00 – 22h00.
Contact: 021 790 4711

tajmahalrestaurant.co.za


Thali

While Thali may not be the place you randomly pick up a cheeky takeaway, if you’re feeling like a fancy night out, it will tick all the boxes. Expect many courses of exciting North Indian-inspired dishes that nail the delicate flavours perfectly. Read our review HERE and see our chat with head chef John Van Zyl.

Location: 3 Park Road, Cape Town
Good to know: The food offering is very generous, don’t make the mistake of filling up on all the naan and parathas in the first few courses. They also don’t take reservations so get there early.
Why you’ll love it: The ever-changing food is always delicious and exciting.
What we loved: The dramatic arrival of the lamb kebabs. And the Indian-style fish taco.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 12h30 – 14h30, 17h00 – 21h30.
Contact: 021 2862110

thalitapas.co.za


The Raj

The Raj almost needs no introduction, with chefs who proudly hail from India, bringing with them spices and vast knowledge, you know you’re always onto a winner here. The menu covers everything you would ever want and includes a vast seafood and vegetarian range.

Location: Shop 4, The Promenade, Victoria Road, Cape Town
Good to know: There is a large function venue available for hire, making this a great place to book out for your next celebration.
Why you’ll love it: You can always rely on The Raj, everything on offer is consistently good.
What we loved: The fearless spice in the Vindaloo! Phew!
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 12h00 –22h00
Contact: 021 438 4555

therajrestaurant.com


Vandiar’s

Another Gardens local, Vandiar’s specialises in Durban curries so expect to see familiar faces like the iconic bunny chow. The restaurant itself is warm and welcoming and really is a place you can make a regular visit to. The food may not be the most traditional Indian fare, but it sure is tasty.

Location: Dunkley Square, 31 Barnett Street, Gardens
Good to know: The menu is fun and interesting so even if you’re not feeling like a curry you’ll find something exciting to eat.
Why you’ll love it: The Bunny Chows.
What we loved: The Bunny Chows. Obviously.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 11h00 – 22h00
Contact: 021 462 6129

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Vintage India

Vintage India is a stalwart restaurant and if you’re based in town, it’s one of the best places to pick up a no frills curry. The interior is richly decorated in Indo-Chinese style, with flecks of gold and plush materials that represent the style of food. While you can find your traditional North Indian curries, there is a wonderful fusion of Chinese influences in some of the dishes.

Location: 10 Mill Street, Gardens
Good to know: The mango lassi comes highly recommended to ward off any spiciness.
Why you’ll love it: The kitschy-cool interiors make it a relaxed place to settle in for some tasty food.
What we loved: That time seems to stand still here and the food is consistently good.
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 12h00 – 15h00, 18h00 – 22h00
Contact: 021 462 5106

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Want to stay in and make your own curry? Check out our advice on how to make the best chicken curry ever.

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