Do you enjoy going out to dinner for a delicious korma, tikka masala, butter chicken or a speciality curry from a region in India? Indian food is a favourite cuisine for many, with a wide range of spicy flavours which are complimented with even tastier breads, chutneys and accompaniments on the side. The whole dining experience is an adventure and is usually punctuated with hits of chilli - which can be a pleasure for your tastebuds or explode them completely!
Every person who lives in Canberra and loves Indian food will have a favourite Indian restaurant to dine in, or pick up a takeaway to enjoy at home (and make their house smell delicious for days!). You really can't go wrong with any of the tantalising options around the city, however, the following options are my personal favourites that keep me going back for more. Unfortunately I haven't tried all of the Indian restaurants, street food stands or takeaway outlets in Canberra, so if you have a favourite "go to" place that you absolutely love, please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your curry "hot spot" - the hotter the better!
Tikka Take is one of my family's personal favourites in the city as it has great music, plenty of tables, a casual vibe and the best garlic naan and Butter Chicken in the city! The extensive menu has photos of many of the dishes and street food options, so you know what to expect when you order. For us, it is the ideal place for a lunchtime curry, as we can each choose if we want rice, pappadums or naan on the side. There is also a bar at the back of the restaurant, so it would also be a social place to meet friends for an affordable dinner before a night on the town. The ordering system with buzzer is a bit of fun too! See here for details.
A wide range of Indian street food choices and curries at Tikka Take. Image: Tikka Take Facebook
The World Curry Festival is a popular event held every July in the city centre and is designed to warm people up from the inside on a cold winter weekend! The festival begins on Friday night and covers lunch and dinner over the whole weekend, so locals and visitors don't have to try just one curry - they can return back and keep trying them all! The beauty of this event is that it is not just Indian curries on offer - wander the food stalls and choose from other types of curries from all around the world. If you manage to get to the front of the line at local favourite Tikka Stand, you will find a delicious combination of Indian street food combined with tikka rolls, curry combinations and Indian-spiced loaded chips! As well as searching for the best curry at the festival, visitors can also enjoy cultural music and take part in the annual chilli eating competition - if you dare! See here for details.
Search for Canberra's best curry at the World Curry Festival, in the city centre each July. Image: Original photos from the City Renewal Authority
Daana restaurant is located in Curtin and has a unique range of flavours and taste sensations from every region. What I personally like about Danna is that they have an ethos of giving back to the community and believe the more you give, the more you get back. The word "Dana" in Sanskrit means "generosity" or "giving" and Daana embodies this in name and spirit, with events called Karma Kitchen throughout the year which give back to the community. This restaurant has an extensive menu which makes you feel like you are taking a trip through different regions, with each dish you try. The menu changes seasonally so each time you go there are even more dishes to try and more surprising flavours to experience. In summer the Kori Gassi was our absolute favourite! See here for details and here for a full article.
Taste your way around the Indian region at Daana, Curtin
Ramas is a Fijian-Indian restaurant located a short distance away in Peace, which has been a local favourite for over 25 years - which says a lot about their food. As soon as you walk in the door of this cosy restaurant you are welcomed by the friendly owner and your mouth starts to water at the amazing smells that come out of the kitchen! This is one of those restaurants where everything you pick on the menu is divine, however, I would recommend the Mango Chicken as an exceptional dish. See here for details and here for a full article.
These are my personal favourites in the city centre and in the south of Canberra, however, if you would like to add to this list - particularly if you have north side options - please leave a comment at the top of this article. The joy of searching for the best Indian Curry in Canberra is discovering all the different range of flavours, accompaniments and passionate restaurant owners along the way. By tasting different flavours and curries of India, you learn a little more about the culture of this fascinating region. Enjoy the journey!
Curries, colour and a sense of community at Ramas, Pearce