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Satisfy Your Curry Cravings: 10 Best Indian Restaurants In Cape Town

best indian restaurants in cape town

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Even though Durban has been awarded the title of “Little India” in South Africa, Cape Town can give it a run for its money. The Mother City is quite literally bursting with flavour with cuisines from all over the world.

It’s definitely not lacking when it comes to tikka masala and chicken korma. We all know Cape Town is crawling with vegetarians and vegans, and the Indian cuisine definitely caters for them. Even meat eaters like me can’t resist a good paneer makhani. The food scene in Cape Town can be pretty overwhelming, so I’ve made it my mission to find the best Indian restaurant for every occasion.

I know some of us have one or two favourite dishes that we order on repeat from our local Indian restaurants. But this is a cuisine with a naan-stop variety (see what I did there) of amazing flavours and dishes that it’s honestly a crime not to explore them all.

10 Best Indian Restaurants In Cape Town

No need to spend hours online going over a million menus. I’ve done all the work for you by researching the best Indian restaurants in Cape Town and why they’re worth checking out.

You don’t need to go all the way to India to take your tastebuds on an adventure, a trip to the mother city will do the trick as well! So, if you want to know where the best Indian restaurants in Cape Town are, keep reading…

1. Best for variety: Vintage India

I can guarantee that a visit to this Indian restaurant in Cape Town will warm your hearts as well as your bellies. As I stepped into this cosy space on the corner of Hiddingh Avenue and Mill Street last weekend, not only was I impressed with the pretty good view of Table Mountain, but I felt like family as the staff were so kind and extremely welcoming.

Since the restaurant was established in 2000 by Mumbai entrepreneur, Sudhir Vichaere, he has been blessing Cape Town’s residents with a large selection of authentic and contemporary Indian cuisine.

One of the things I think makes Vintage India extra special is that all the ingredients are locally sourced, but the spices come all the way from India (so you don’t have to travel further than the neighbourhood of Gardens just to taste them).

You’re spoiled for choice with a large variety of North, South and Indo-Chinese dishes. There’s something for everyone – whether you’re vegan or gluten-free, there are loads of tasty options for you to choose from. Despite the variety, I played it safe and stuck with my usual order of a mild chicken tikka masala. And it definitely didn’t disappoint!

However, if you feel like experimenting with a few new dishes, I’d say there’s no better place in Cape Town to start spicing up your dinner orders. And if you don’t feel like leaving the comforts of home, you can get your chicken tikka masala to go!

Vintage India, Cape Town
  • Address: 10 Hiddingh Village, C/o Hiddingh Ave and Mill St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
  • Hours: Everyday, 12:00 – 15:00 & 18:00 – 21:45

2. Best for casual dining: Ninety-One

Make your way to the ultra-trendy Green Point area, a short drive from the CBD, this is where you’ll find a stylish little Indian restaurant, Ninety One. I could probably give you ninety-one reasons why you need to pay this little gem a visit, but I’ll just mention a few and give you a chance to go and find out for yourself why I think it’s one of the best in the city.

Whether you’re looking for a fun place to grab a spicy bite to eat with your family on a Saturday afternoon in Cape Town or to take your tastebuds (and partner) on a date night, you can’t go wrong with Ninety One.

The atmosphere is almost as warm and cosy as the palak paneer. And the cheesy naan is so good you’d find yourself wishing you could just wrap yourself up in it like a blanket and take a nap. Well, I wish I could.

Ninety One, Cape Town
  • Address: Cape Royale Hotel 47 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town8051, South Africa
  • Hours: Everyday, 12:00 – 22:00

3. Best for fancy night out: Bombay Brasserie

Dinner at Bombay is more than just a night out, it’s an experience. The elegant decor sets the perfect atmosphere for any date night, that’s why my curry-loving partner and I regularly visit Bombay for those extra-spicy date nights. It also gives us an excuse to dress up a little, as the dress code is smart casual.

If you’re as indecisive as I am when it comes to deciding what to order, I’d highly recommend going for the five-course set menu. It’ll cost you about R545 per person, but oh it’s worth it.

We savoured every moment as we were introduced to some of the most exquisite flavours Cape Town has to offer. My favourite dish from this fine dining experience was the Baingan Bharta (a smoked aubergine dish with tikka masala), it was mind-blowingly delicious.

At Bombay Brasserie you’ll be experiencing Indian cuisine like never before, in a setting that is as out of this world as the food. This is definitely an Indian restaurant in Cape Town worth visiting.

You even have the option to start your culinary journey with a few drinks at the Bombay Brasserie Bar. And as a whiskey lover, I really appreciated their collection of the finest whiskeys. The perfect way to start the perfect night!

Bombay Brasserie, Cape Town
  • Address: 1 Wale St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000
  • Hours: Everyday, 18:00 – 22:30

4. Best chain: MoKsh Indian restaurant

The meaning of the MosKs is to attain the highest level of satisfaction, and they definitely live up to it. I’m usually not the biggest fan of chain restaurants as I feel they start slacking on quality the more branches they open up. Luckily, this isn’t the case for MoKsh, quite the opposite. It’s probably one of the best Indian restaurants I’ve been to.

Creating a curry with the perfect blend of spices is truly a work of art. At MoKsh the chefs are knowledgeable and truly passionate about the meals they prepare. You can really taste the love and quality of their popular savoury clay oven dishes and curries.

They cater for any occasion and various spicy-food-tolerances. From mild to hot they won’t make you sweat during your meal if you don’t want to.

I don’t have the highest tolerance for spicy food, but if you’re feeling brave, definitely try the lamb vindaloo! I did and it was incredible! Even though I don’t normally order dessert, I was really happy to find that they had ice cream on the menu to help soothe my burning tastebuds afterwards.

MoKsh Indian restaurant, Cape Town
  • Address: They have 9 locations in Cape Town; Durbanville, Paarl, Somerset Wes, West Beach, Paddocks, Welgelegen and Kenilworth.
  • Hours: Definitely check the specific branch as opening times may differ for each restaurant!

5. Best for take-aways: JJ’s Indian Cuisine and Take Away

Want to try the best bunny chow in all of Cape Town? If you’re in the heart of the city, you’re going to have to go on a little road trip to Kalkbay.

After being told by multiple people how good JJ’s is, I had to make the road trip there to check it out for myself. Once I had my first mouthful of the most tender lamb and exotic flavours, I forgot all about the 30-minute drive and Cape Town traffic I had to endure to get it.

While their Durban-style curries might be a little on the spicy side, they definitely won’t be breaking the bank. JJ’s is an affordable place to satisfy your curry cravings and with their reputation of consistently serving high quality and super delicious food, it’s an amazing value for money.

As I walked into the restaurant I was immediately greeted with the most wonderful and mouthwatering aromas, as well as some of the kindest staff members. If you’re looking for a high-quality new takeaway spot for those lazy Friday nights, definitely give JJ’s a try!

JJ's Indian Cuisine and Take Away, Cape Town
  • Address: 4 Harbour Road, Kalk Bay, 7845, South Africa
  • Hours: Tue. – Sat. 12:00 – 21:00, Sun. 11:00 – 19:00

6. Best for vegetarians & vegans: Prashad Cafe

Walking into this modern cafe I didn’t expect the authentic flavours that came from Prashad’s kitchen.

Although a lot of Indian food is predominantly vegetarian already, I’ve yet to find a good veggie substitute for butter chicken curry. Well, that was until I tried the one at Prashad. The mock chicken is honestly even better than the real thing. I’m sure we all know that chicken can often be a little overcooked in a curry, but you really can’t go wrong with this juicy, flavourful substitute.

They’ll even cater for your Indian (or non-Indian) wedding! And as tempting as this is, I don’t think my future wife would appreciate the curry stains on her wedding tables, or (very) possibly my suit.

Prashad Cafe, Cape Town
  • Address: 105-113 Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa;6 Fountain Pl, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7708, South Africa;Cnr Constantia Main and, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape Town
  • Hours: Kloof: St. 12:00 – 21:00, Rondebosch: 11:30 – 21:00, Constantia: Mon. -Sun. 10:00 – 21:00

7. Best for on a budget: Eastern Food Bazaar

What about some dahl-licious curry to go? The bazaar is bustling with hungry humans and can be pretty overwhelming so most people opt for takeaways. However, there is upstairs and downstairs seating available if you feel like people-watching while enjoying your generous portion of mouthwatering tandoori chicken.

If I could give you one tip, it would be to take your containers of goodness over to the VOC Company Gardens. Enjoy your curry from a bench surrounded by nature instead of the chaos of the bazaar. I found this to be a lot more enjoyable.

You should watch out that your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach though, the food might be very well-priced, but the portions are definitely on the larger side. The bunny chow might even be enough for two people to share or for someone with a very healthy appetite.

As far as Indian street food goes, I’d definitely say Eastern Food Bazaar is well worth your time and an excellent value for your rands.

Eastern Food Bazaar, Cape Town
  • Address: 96 Longmarket Street | The Wellington, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa (Schotsche Kloof)
  • Hours: Kloof: Mon. – Sat. 11:30 – 21:00, Rondebosch: Mon. – Sun. 11:30 – 21:00, Constantia: Mon. – Sun. 10:00 – 21:00

8. Best for South Indian food: Sundoo

With two equally excellent locations to choose from, you don’t have an excuse not to try Sundoo’s South Indian street food at least once in your life. However, I promise it’ll leave you wanting more. I’m addicted to their perfectly crunchy samosas, and you’ll be too.

Go to Newlands or Seapoint (whichever is closer) slide into one of their stylish booths and prepare yourself for the best biryani you’ve ever treated your tastebuds to. I was really impressed with the quality and overall presentation of the food.

My favourite aspect of Sundoo is that it’s a tapas-style restaurant, which means you really get a chance to try a variety of dishes that have been created with an array of spices by a chef that’s from the “Land of Spices,” Kerala India.

Sundoo, Cape Town
  • Address: Dean Street Arcade Newlands Cape Town; 77 Regent Rd Sea Point, Cape Town
  • Hours: Newlands; Mon. – Sat. 12:00 – 21:30 & Sun. 12:00 – 16:30Sea Point; Everyday, 12:00 – 22:30

9. Best for North Indian food: Bihari

The upmarket neighbourhood of Newlands is just a 15-minute drive from the city centre, and that’s where you’ll find this stunning establishment.

With qualified chefs from North India, if you’re craving some lamb rogan josh, this is the place to go. The decor and ambience of this Indian restaurant complement the food perfectly. With hues of gold and red to match your paneer makhani. To me, this was a cultural experience as much as a gourmet dinner. The decor really made me feel like I’d teleported to India.

The food is a little more on the pricey side, but for the authentic Indian cuisine and excellent service, I’d say it’s well worth splashing out a little. It’s still cheaper than that flight to India, and it’s a lot more convenient driving to Newlands than it would embarking on the fourteen-hour journey to Delhi.

Bihari, Cape Town
  • Address: Ground Floor, Southern Sun Hotel, Main Rd, Newlands, Cape Town
  • Hours: Tues. – Sun. 12:30 – 15:30 & 17:00 – 21:30

10. Best family-owned: Maharajah Restaurant

Indian food is probably the most comforting cuisine to me. The warm meals that I know took so much time and care to prepare just make it taste even better. Maharajah has been owned by the same family in Cape Town for over forty years, so eating here warms both my heart and stomach. The hospitality you’ll encounter in this Indian restaurant is unmatched.

The original store in Tamboerskloof offers a cosy and more traditional ambience, while their new restaurant in Rondebosch is more on the modern side. Whichever location and atmosphere suits you best, the food quality and friendly service are consistent.

All the dishes are prepared true to the owner’s heritage and the lamb curry especially is to die for. The meat practically fell off the bone just by me looking at it.

Maharajah Restaurant, Cape Town
  • Address: Corner Woodside and Kloof Nek Rd, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, 800187 Main Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700
  • Hours: Tamboerskloof: Everyday, 17:15 – 21:00; Rondebosch: Everyday 12:00 – 21:00


What Indian food is available in South Africa?

Due to the difference in ingredients being used, not all Indian food will taste the same in different countries or even cities. Other than the difference in flavour, you’ll be able to find all types of food from the Indian cuisine in South Africa. Durban has actually become known for its incredible Indian food due to its large Indian population in the city.

What is the most eaten Indian food?

There is a large variety of dishes within the Indian cuisine, but the most eaten food is definitely between traditional curries and samosas. Both dishes are for meat eaters as well as vegetarians depending on the kind you order. They’re made with a variety of different spices to suit anyone’s tastebuds.

What Indian condiments are served with most South African meals?

There are a variety of condiments served with meals in South Africa, some of the most popular ones are:

  • Chopped tomatoes, cucumber and onion drizzled with vinegar.
  • Fruit chutneys, like mango.
  • Dried coconut and bananas
  • Pickles, including mango and lime.
  • Yoghurt

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