1. 1135 AD, Jaipur
© 1135 AD
Named for the year that the ruling Rajput dynasty came to local prominence, 1135 AD
offers an opulent introduction to the cuisine of Rajasthan, as well as
splendid surroundings (located as it is within the Amber Fort). You can
dine beneath crystal chandeliers and gilded ceilings, or be serenaded by
musicians from a table on the open-air terrace.
2. 1559 AD, Udaipur
© 1559 AD
Another Rajasthani dining destination named in honour of an important
date—in this case, 1559 was the year that Udaipur was founded by
Maharana Udai Singhji—1559 AD
overlooks the lovely waters of Lake Pichola. Follow diners in the know
to its beautiful garden area, where you can sample from an eclectic menu
of Indian, Continental, and Thai dishes.
3. 6 Ballygunge Place, Kolkata
For an authentic tasting tour of the flavours of West Bengal, drop by 6 Ballygunge Place
in Kolkata. From rohu fish simmered in mustard gravy to coconut-laced
cholar dal, from spicy prawn curry to enchorer dalna (a seasonal curry
that features green jackfruit), the restaurant serves up bold and
beautifully traditional plates.
4. Aish, Hyderabad
© The Park Hotel
The Nizams were the ruling dynasty that oversaw Hyderabad for two centuries, all the way up until Indian independence. Aish,
housed within the city’s elegant Park Hotel, at once pays tribute to
that long legacy and borrows more than a pinch of its regal pomp. Under
an elegant carved ceiling, diners can discover the menu of classic
5. Agashiye, Ahmedabad
© House of MG
India has always been an ideal destination for adventurous vegetarians, and Agashiye
shows off the versatility of the country’s vegetable-led cookery. A
thali is the best way to sample widely, and return visits are
recommended, as the menu changes daily. Located across two sprawling
terraces within a local heritage hotel, Agashiye also serves up plenty
6. Ambrai, Udaipur
© Hotel Amet Haveli
Though you’ll be able to drink in views of the Jag Mandir, Lake
Palace, City Palace, and other top-tier Udaipur attractions from your al
fresco table, Ambrai’s
delectable cookery can still compete with the exceptional scenery.
Housed in the Hotel Amet Haveli, the restaurant excels at fiery laal
maas curry and kebab platters as well as non-Indian dishes.
7. Amethyst, Chennai
It calls buzzing Chennai home, but Amethyst
still manages to feel like a dreamy, oasis retreat. Housed in a
restored warehouse, complete with lush gardens and wraparound terraces,
the café is a magnet for see-and-be-seen types. Explore the
globetrotting menu, and go for a browse in the companion boutique.
8. Bademiya, Mumbai
You certainly won’t find crystal chandeliers or plush furnishings at Bademiya—but
for what it lacks in ambiance, the humble eatery is still one of the
best restaurants in India. Before it went brick-and-mortar, Bademiya was
a street food outlet, and its legendary seekh kebabs are still worth
crossing town for.
9. Bawarchi, Hyderabad
One of Hyderabad’s greatest legacies is biryani: a fragrant dish of
mingled rice, curried meat, fish, or vegetables, and plenty of spice.
For some of the best examples of the city’s beloved dish, it’s worth
venturing to the locals-approved Bawarchi, which serves five different
versions of the classic.
10. Bharawan Da Dhaba, Amritsar
If the food at Bharawan Da Dhaba
is delicious, you have its legacy to thank: founded all the way back in
1912, the restaurant has certainly had time to perfect its recipes. The
atmosphere here is casual—dhabas are typically roadside eateries that
serve up food to passing motorists—but the vegetarian fare is some of
the best in Amritsar.
11. Black Sheep Bistro, Goa
© Black Sheep Bistro
Wander the pretty streets of Panjim and, if luck is on your side, you’ll stumble upon the exceptional Black Sheep Bistro.
A highlight amongst Goa’s new crop of high-style eateries, the
restaurant is a destination for its adventurous Indian-meets-Western
menu, as well as its impressive cocktail list.
12. Britannia & Company, Mumbai
© tomislav medak/Flickr
Many Londoners will have encountered Mumbai’s Irani café culture
during a meal at Dishoom. But for a taste of the original, it’s hard to
do better than the storied Britannia & Company. Founded in 1923, the restaurant’s menu includes a range of classic Parsi dishes, including berry pulav and mutton dhansak.
13. Bukhara, Delhi
© ITC Hotels
Not just one of the best restaurants in India, but officially ranked amongst Asia’s finest eateries, legendary Bukhara
has been an essential dining destination for over 35 years. Located
within the ITC Maurya, the restaurant’s exquisite tandoori fare and
elegant service have made it an icon of Indian hospitality.
14. Caffé Palladio, Jaipur
© Caffé Palladio
It may sound surprising that, for a taste of marvellously prepared
Sicilian fare, one need only venture to Jaipur. But the stunning Caffé Palladio
really has perfected its pasta alla norma. Luxuriate in the exquisite
Mediterranean flavours as you while away the afternoon on the
restaurant’s shade-dappled, orange blossom-scented terrace.
15. Crystal Restaurant, Amritsar
Just steps from the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum, visitors will
discover the beguiling flavours of Crystal Restaurant. Lauded as one of
Amritsar’s best eateries, it serves up a tempting array of North Indian
classics, including the house speciality of murg tawa frontier.
16. The Embassy, Delhi
© The Embassy
Situated in Delhi’s elegant Connaught Place, The Embassy
has offered diners a rarefied atmosphere since opening its doors in
1948. Today, the timeless restaurant still attracts crowds in search of
giant samosas and the comforts of nostalgia.
17. The Fatty Bao, Bangalore
© Kunal Chandra
At Bangalore’s trendy Fatty Bao,
the baos are, unsurprisingly, a highlight. From classic char siu
(barbecue park) and roast duck to fried aubergine and spicy fried fish,
the restaurant’s pillowy buns are fabulously moreish. Once you’ve eaten
your fill, cocktails on the roof bar await.
18. Ginger House, Cochin
© Ginger House
In Cochin’s historic Jew Town district, the waterfront Ginger House
bills itself as a “museum restaurant.” What that means: prior to
dining, you’ll be able to browse the antiques and sculptures that fill
the companion Heritage Arts showroom, including a traditional carved
wooden snake boat.
19. Hanwant Mahal, Jodhpur
© Hanwant Mahal
Regal Hanwant Mahal
goes heavy on the glamour. Housed in what was once a hunting palace
used by the local Raja, the destination-worthy restaurant is located
just steps from the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The cuisine, like the setting,
comes with a lavish royal pedigree.
20. Hotel Saravana Bhavan, Chennai
© Hotel Saravana Bhavan
Vegetarians, rejoice: you’d be hard-pressed to find more satisfying meat-free fare than what’s prepared at Hotel Saravana Bhavan.
Though the restaurant was founded in Chennai in 1981, it now has
locations in dozens of countries around the world. Still, the
original—and its menu of dosas and idli—is worthy of a pilgrimage.
21. Indian Accent, Delhi
© Indian Accent
Awarded the Best Restaurant in India Award by San Pellegrino for the third consecutive year in 2017, Indian Accent
is nothing short of a gastronomic powerhouse. Chef Manish Mehrotra is
behind the menu of “inventive Indian” dishes, which mingle haute cuisine
flourishes with flavours hailing from across the Subcontinent.
Following a stint at the Manor Hotel, the restaurant will soon be
relocating to The Lodhi.
22. Indigo, Mumbai
A near neighbour of the Gateway of India—and housed within a gorgeously restored colonial bungalow—Indigo
is replete with old world charm. A favourite haunt of Mumbaikars since
opening in 1999, the fine dining destination has a wide-ranging culinary
ethos; specialities of the house range from lobster risotto to
Shiraz-braised Jodhpuri goat shanks.
23. Indique, Jodhpur
© Chi Chan/iStock
Pitched on the rooftop of the Pal Haveli—a heritage hotel in the heart of historic Jodhpur—the exquisite Indique
offers a flickering, candlelit ambiance and stunning views of the
golden-lit Mehrangarh Fort. Between admiring glances, sample the
generous thalis, kebabs, and other North Indian specialities.
24. Kewpies, Kolkata
Pungent with mustard, richly spiced, and heavy on the seafood, the
food of Bengal has a culinary identity all of its own. Few other
restaurants have mastered authentic Bengali flavours quite like the
homey, family-run Kewpies. Taste widely when you order a laden thali,
served atop a banana leaf.
25. Khan Chacha, Delhi
Since 1972, Khan Chacha
has specialised in kati rolls: a casual, street-food take on a wrap
that sees paratha flatbread stuffed with any number of spicy, fragrant
fillings. Quick, filling and utterly delicious, the eatery’s kati rolls
make the perfect snack (especially when accompanied by an order of
butter-rich dal makhani).
26. Kulcha Land, Amritsar
If you’re visiting Amritsar, don’t leave before you’ve tried kulcha. A
staple of Punjabi cuisine, this delectable flatbread is cooked in the
tandoor, slicked with butter, and often served as an accompaniment to
fragrant chole (curried chickpeas). Head to Kulcha Land to find some of the best in town.
27. La Plage, Goa
Located right on buzzing Ashwem Beach (in fact, outdoor tables will
even allow you to dig your toes into the sand), the aptly named La Plage
remains one of Goa’s must-visit addresses. Join guests indulging in the
French-driven cuisine at this fun and funky eatery (though note that
it’s closed between May and November).
28. Le Cirque, Delhi
© The Leela
Among the best restaurants in India, the elegant Le Cirque—one
of several dining options within the five-star Leela Palace New
Delhi—is where the rich and famous come to slurp truffle-laced
fettuccine and indulge in decadent French fare. Don’t leave before
you’ve explored the New York transplant’s walk-in wine cellar.
29. Lodi — The Garden Restaurant, Delhi
Few other al fresco locations can compete with Lodi — The Garden Restaurant. It helps that the restaurant—illuminated by cheery lanterns strung through the trees—is located within one of India’s loveliest green spaces. Sample from 16 different varieties of wine on tap, and nibble the eclectic, Continental dishes.
30. Malabar Junction, Cochin
© The Malabar House
Ranked among the best restaurants in Kerala, the Malabar House’s Malabar Junction
offers a heady fusion of South Asian flavours and Mediterranean
influences. Think: tandoori-roasted chicken risotto, sea bass marinated
with South Indian spices, and a Malabar burger topped with green pepper
and chilli-tomato sauces.
31. Masala Library, Mumbai
© Masala Library
First opened in 2014, the Mumbai location of Masala Library
is overseen by the esteemed chef Jiggs Kalra. His mission? To apply
of-the-minute molecular gastronomy techniques to Indian flavours. The
experiment pays off: ambitious, bold, and ever-evolving, Masala Library
has more than earned its position amongst the best restaurants in India.
32. Masque, Mumbai
Described by GQ last year as “Mumbai’s sexiest new restaurant,” as well as its most ambitious, Masque
is clearly the stuff of destination dining. Its set menu of locally
foraged fare shows it’s au fait with contemporary global food
trends—hardly surprising, given its head chef has trained in restaurants
ranging from Noma to Alinea.
33. Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, Bangalore
© Mavalli Tiffin Rooms
Founded in 1924, Mavalli Tiffin Rooms
is nothing short of a Bangalore icon (even though its locations now
stretch as far afield as Dubai). Still, it’s worth visiting MTR for its
enticing South Indian treats, from steamed rava idlis to classic masala
dosas—all washed down with a local filter coffee.
34. Monkey Bar, Kolkata
© Sanjay Ramchandran
MoBar, as locals may be inclined to call it—takes the British gastropub
concept but infuses it with an Indian twist. Instead of chips, locals
snack on Bombay vada pav and spicy paneer bhurji buns. And while beers
are on offer, it’s the cocktails that are one of Monkey Bar’s strongest
35. Niros, Jaipur
Jaipur may be a regal city, but not all of its eateries are prohibitively high-end. Relaxed, beloved Niros—a
local institution that’s been on the scene since 1949—has a unique
claim to fame: it was the first restaurant to serve Chinese food in
town. Order from its East Asian menu, but don’t forget its North Indian
36. Nizam’s, Kolkata
© Vivekpat30/Wikimedia Commons
One of Kolkata’s classic restaurants, Nizam’s
doesn’t just serve delicious food—it also claims to have invented the
kathi roll, of which there are more than a dozen iterations on the menu.
Rolls aside, be sure to sample other house specialties, from biryani to
37. Peter Cat, Kolkata
The queues outside the ever-popular Peter Cat are no accident: the
cosy little Kolkata favourite is famous for its fragrant take on chelo
kebabs, which are made of minced meat and served with buttered rice,
Persian herbs, grilled vegetables and crowned with an egg.
38. The Raintree, Chennai
© Taj Hotels
A handsome restaurant within the Vivanta by Taj Connemara, The Raintree
serves authentic Chettinad fare in an attractive setting. From
flickering oil lamps and colourful murals to open-air seating and lush
greenery, this transportative venue captures all the magic of South
39. Royal Repast, Udaipur
© Royal Repast
The Bedla family—who’ve held an influential position within Udaipur society for centuries—are behind the exquisite Royal Repast.
An elegant restaurant outfitted with regal accoutrements, it provides
the perfect introduction to the region’s traditional Mewari cuisine
(which originated in royal circles).
40. Sana-di-ge, Delhi
Named for the traditional brass lamps that are lit during auspicious occasions, Sana-di-ge
is a must for seafood lovers. From the waterways of Kerala and beaches
of Goa to the Maharashtrian coast, the restaurant’s menu showcases the
finest flavours to be found along the Arabian Sea.
41. Sheesh Mahal at the Leela, Udaipur
© The Leela
Some of the finest views of the “Venice of the East” can be had from the lovely Sheesh Mahal:
The Leela Udaipur’s bi-level, open-air dining destination, and one of
the best restaurants in India besides. Watch the stars come out over
Lake Pichola from your terrace table as you savour classic dishes like
okra curry and black dal.
42. SodaBottleOpenerWala, Bangalore
With an electric atmosphere and a playful name, SodaBottleOpenerWala—or
SBOW, for short—takes inspiration from Bombay’s beloved Irani cafes,
but infuses the concept with a design-driven, modern edge. If you’ve
enjoyed a late night on the town, its hearty weekend breakfasts are a
worthy way to wake up.
43. The Table, Mumbai
© The Table
What makes The Table
one of the best restaurants in India? Since 2011, it’s served up a menu
of inventive, globetrotting fare, from pillowy sweet potato agnolotti
with crème fraiche to Vietnamese pork ribs with fish sauce caramel. Its
local credo, and interest in seasonality, also make it a standout—as
does its eye-catching interior design.
44. Thalassa, Goa
Breezy, beautiful Thalassa—one
of Goa’s most popular seasonal eateries—offers spectacular views of the
Arabian Sea, a see-and-be-seen ambiance, and an exceptional menu of
Greek taverna-style dishes. Drink in the sea breezes, savour the
souvlaki, and toast your endeavours with a glass or two of Champagne.
45. Toast & Tonic, Bangalore
© Sanjay Ramchandran
“East Village style,” goes Toast & Tonic’s
tagline. It’s true that a New York brand of cool pervades this space.
Think: an industrial ceiling made from exposed particle board, an
ambitious cocktail programme, and on-trend cooking that skates from poke
bowls to pork belly and back again.
46. Trishna, Mumbai
With fifty years of history behind it, Trishna
isn’t just one of Mumbai’s most enduring favourites—it’s also one of
the best seafood restaurants in India. From butter-drenched crab to
coastal prawn curries, the freshness and flavour of its maritime cooking
is hard to beat.
47. Villa Maya, Trivandrum
© Villa Maya
Sprawled across a restored, 18th century Dutch mansion and its companion gardens, the Villa Maya
offers diners spectacular scenery as well as imaginative, spice-laden
fare (inspired by Trivandrum’s location on historic spice trading
routes). Whether seated inside or out, make yourself comfortable—you’ll
want to linger in its magical ambiance for hours.
48. Villa Shanti, Pondicherry
© Villa Shanti
In the heart of Pondicherry’s scenic Old Town, you’ll discover Villa Shanti:
a stylish boutique hotel with its own destination-worthy restaurant. On
sultry days, dine within the cool interior, but when Pondicherry’s
sunshine tempts, you can ensconce yourself amidst the vertical garden on
49. Wasabi by Morimoto, Mumbai
© Taj Hotels
Included on this year’s list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Wasabi by Morimoto
is a glittering fine dining destination adored by Japanese food
aficionados. The restaurant’s omakase menu offers a superlative,
one-of-a-kind culinary experience (especially when accompanied by a
glass of Japanese whisky).
50. The Water Front, Hyderabad
As its name might imply, much of The Water Front’s
charm is in its views: the restaurant is poised overlooking the
splendid Hussain Sagar, a heart-shaped lake in the middle of Hyderabad.
Alongside the panoramic views, diners can also pick from the
restaurant’s equally tempting Indian, Continental, and Chinese menus.
Source: Greaves India