Indian food is one of the most popular cuisines worldwide with countries far and wide serving dishes from the subcontinent. Known particularly for its reliance on spices and big bold flavours, Indian cookery has given us everything from the onion bhaji to the humble curry and as a result it’s a type of food that practically everyone will have tried at some point or other. Being such a popular cuisine, it’s therefore unsurprising that you can now find great Indian restaurants in most big cities, serving everything from the classics to contemporary Indian dishes, and that includes Dubai.
Due to being relatively close to India geographically, Dubai has strong links with the subcontinent, meaning that Indian food has always been a big part of the city’s rich and varied food scene. In fact, there are a whole host of fantastic Indian restaurants in Dubai to choose from depending on what you’re craving. From all-you-can-eat vegetarian spots and buzzy Indian brasseries to restaurants from Michelin-starred chefs, Dubai has something for every occasion when it comes to Indian food. What’s more, a lot of these restaurants have the swanky edge to them that Dubai is famous for, with extravagant décor a plenty and stunning views of the city’s famous skyline.
Obviously there are a lot of things to consider when deciding which Indian restaurant in Dubai is the right one for you, like how much you want to spend, how traditional you want the food to be, and whereabouts in the city you want to eat. That’s why we’ve put together a guide below to the best Indian restaurants Dubai has to offer, taking into account all of these factors. We’ve included spots in all parts of the city, covering all price-ranges and styles, so that next time you’re craving Indian food in Dubai, you know where to look.
What: Serving up classic Northern Indian cuisine in a grand setting, Amala at the Palm Jumeirah is a restaurant that's all about not overcomplicating or modernizing the traditional dishes. Highlights on the menu include the selection of biryanis and the tandoori chicken tikka while there are also plenty of vegetarian options available. Dine inside underneath Amala’s high ceilings or venture outside to the beautiful garden area for an al fresco banquet.
Where: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah
Carnival by Trèsind
What: If there was one word to describe Carnival by Trèsind it would definitely be fun. The colourful and creative plates of modern Indian food are at the centre of what Carnival does, but the lively interiors and impressive drinks menu, which features a fantastic array of cocktails, only add to the restaurant's party-like ambience. Indulge in dishes from the a la carte menu such as caramel pepper prawns and artichoke masala, or go all out and opt for Carnival's tasting menu.
Where: Burj Daman 312, Al Mustaqbal Street
What: Found up on the 15th floor of the Dukes hotel, Khyber is the place to go if you're looking for incredible views across Dubai Marina while you eat your Indian food. This is the only outpost of the restaurant apart from the original in Mumbai and that shows in the authentic flavours of Khyber's dishes. The elegant dining room which features ornate tapestries and pillars provides the ideal setting to enjoy plates such as slow cooked spiced leg of lamb alongside some more classic Indian staples.
Where: Dukes The Palm, Palm Jumeirah
What: Benefitting from a stunning open kitchen, you can watch the chefs as they prepare your food at Bombay Brasserie. The menu mixes the ultra-traditional such as bamboo chicken biryani and samosa chaat, with some more contemporary Indian dishes such as an Indian interpretation of a ribeye steak which comes served a cloud of clove smoke. As if the impressive food at Bombay Brasserie wasn't enough to tempt you already, the exquisitely decorated dining room only adds an extra level of magic to the restaurant.
Where: Burj Khalifa Street, Business Bay
What: Dubai's Asha's is the original restaurant in what is now a worldwide chain, with spots in five countries across two continents. The flagship outpost is based in the impressive WAFI Mall and serves beautifully presented dishes from North-West India including daal makhani and Keralen chilli garlic prawns. Wash down your food at Asha's with one of its intriguing cocktails, many of which are infused with spice.
Where: WAFI Mall, Oud Metha Road
What: Masti is anything but your traditional Indian restaurant, as rather than serving classic Indian dishes it instead offers a wide range of Indian-inspired sharing plates which also take cues from a number of different Global cuisines. Quirky combinations range from a butter chicken pizza and spiced lamb croquetas for appetizers to saag paneer lasagne and yellow pepper roasted salmon for mains. Head to Masti in the evening to take advantage of its brilliant selection of drinks and listen to live music.
Where: Street 2A, La Mer South
Little Miss India
What: For Indian fine dining in vibrant surroundings, Hotel Fairmont's Little Miss India is bang on the money. The colourfully decorated restaurant leads out onto a gorgeaous terrace area which looks out over Dubai Marina. Little Miss India's menu covers plenty of ground with a mixture of kebabs, curries, biryanis, traditional desserts and more on offer. Vegetarians are also well catered for here with standout dishes including cauliflower stir-fried with ginger and turmeric, and okra tossed with raw mango and cumin.
Where: Hotel Fairmont, Palm Jumeirah
Mint Leaf of London
What: Offering breath-taking views of the Burj Khalifa, Mint Leaf is the sister restaurant of the highly regarded London original. Come here for beautifully presented Indian dishes, made using only the highest quality of ingredients. Mint Leaf's fine dining menu sees classics given the odd contemporary twist and includes dishes such as Nilgiri venison served with beetroot rice, and foie gras galouti with a hoisin biscuit.
Where: South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC
What: Amritsr's Punjabi-inspired menu is so long that you might feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to ordering at this traditional Indian restaurant in Dubai's Al Karama district. However, take the time to read through all the delights on offer here and you'll discover some unusual Indian-Chinese dishes, such as Bombay-style chicken chow mein, as well as the selection of more typical Indian dishes like butter chicken and lamb rogan josh.
Where: Al Attar Center, Al Karama
What: Founded in India in 1939, Calicut Paragon first opened in Dubai in 2005 and since then has become known for its incredibly affordable Keralan street food. The restaurant's South Indian menu is particularly well known for showcasing some fantastic fresh seafood with its must-try range of prawn curries being a highlight, but there plenty of other options to, including a selection of meaty dishes cooked in clay pots.
Where: 20 B Street, Al Karama
Indya by Vineet
What: Simply put, Indya by Vineet serves some of the finest Indian food in the whole of Dubai and who would expect anything less from Michelin-starred chef and owner Vineet Bhatia. Expect to pay a fair whack for the experience but in return you’ll get to try a whole host of creative, flavour-packed Indian tapas dishes. The lively restaurant’s menu is split into four sections - from the earth, from the land, from the sea and sweets. Order a few dishes from each for a full-on Indian banquet.
Where: Al Falea Street, Dubai Marina
What: Ravi Restaurant, known affectionately as Ravi’s, used to be somewhat of a well-kept secret but these days it’s a lot busier than it was when it first opened in 1978. That doesn’t mean that the food at this unassuming Indian-cum-Pakistani restaurant is any less good than it used to be though, and the prices are still remarkably low. Make sure not to miss out on what many have called Dubai’s best butter chicken.
Where: Al Dhiyafa Road, Al Satwa
What: The Grand Millennium Hotel's Hitchki is the only outpost of the restaurant outside of Mumbai, which is always a good sign when it comes to Indian food. Traditional Indian flavours are given a modern spin with dishes taking influence from across the globe. Hitchki's colourful dining room always has a fun feel to it but head here for Friday brunch to see it at its most lively, while enjoying an array of quirky dishes such as paneer dim sum.
Where: Grand Millennium Hotel, Al Barsha Heights
What: Nestled away in the heart of Jumeirah's Souk Madinat, Ushna, which means 'warmth' in Hindi, has been serving up contemporary dishes inspired by centuries-old Indian recipes since 2005. The stylish restaurant benefits from a small terrace area, which is lit up by lanterns in the evening and is the perfect spot to indulge in luxurious dishes including tandoor lobster thermidor and ginger-marinated lamb chops.
Where: Souk Madinat Jumeirah, ing Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street
What: It doesn't come more glamourous than eating an Indian meal from the tallest building in the world, does it? Armani/Amal, based inside Armani's Dubai hotel in the Burj Khalifa is as swanky as restaurants come and the menu has a hefty price tag to boot. However, there's no doubt that the innovative Indian food on offer here is something rather special. You can either opt for one of the fixed priced set menus or choose from dishes including masala black cod and a Goan prawn curry on the a la carte.
Where: Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard
Prefer food with a little less spice? Here's our guide to the best British restaurants in Dubai