If you love Indian food, Vancouver is the place to be, perhaps because the population of the Greater Vancouver region consists of over 250,000 ethnic Indo-Canadians (as of 2014). From highly-acclaimed Indian fusion to traditional tandoori and butter chicken—a regional favorite—the top Indian restaurants in Vancouver have something for everyone and every budget.
Although there are plenty of Indian restaurants in South Vancouver's Little India and Punjabi Market neighborhoods, some of the best Indian food is found in the city itself. Many of these restaurants have vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, so no matter what your dietary restrictions are, you'll still be able to enjoy some high-quality Indian food.
When traveling to Vancouver, keep in mind that you'll need to exchange American currency for Canadian dollars, but most banks and even some ATMs will allow you to make the exchange for a fee.
Any list of Top Indian Restaurants in Vancouver will include Vij's, an internationally-acclaimed foodie destination that has been called the best Indian restaurant in North America located at 3106 Cambie Street.
The flagship (and first) restaurant of Chef Vikram Vij, one of Canada's biggest culinary stars, Vij's is not a typical Indian restaurant. Instead, it's Indian-fusion where Indian spices, flavors, and cooking techniques are combined with fresh and surprising ingredients to create one-of-a-kind taste sensations.
Vij's is immensely popular but does not take reservations. The restaurant opens at 5:30 p.m. and is first-come, first-served, but you will often see a line begin to form at 5 p.m. Although there's usually a wait to get in, visiting this unique and tasty restaurant is definitely worth your time.
Located in the heart of Vancouver's downtown shopping district at 755 Burrard Street, the cosmopolitan Salam Bombay makes this list both for its authentic Indian cuisine and its commitment to gluten-free and other allergy issues—the Salam kitchen uses separate pots for gluten-free bread and separate pots and pans for preparing peanuts and other allergens.
Owned and operated by a native Indian from the southern Indian state of Kerala, Salam Bombay's food is traditional, including lovely curries, Biriyanis, and a special in-house gluten-free naan as well as a fantastic wine list.
Located at Kingsway and Knight Street in East Van, House of Dosas is famous in Vancouver for not only serving tasty, cheap dosas (around $5) but for serving them 24 hours a day, making it the place to go for 3 a.m. dosas.
Dosas are South Indian crispy pancakes served with a variety of savory fillings, including vegetables and rice, rice and lentils, meats, and other vegetables. Although traditionally on the smaller side, House of Dosas prepares their signature dish extra large, so your little bit of money will go a long way here.
Located in the eastern Commercial Drive neighborhood of Vancouver, Siddhartha's restaurant offers some traditional Indian soul food prepared with fewer fats and salts to make for healthier yet comforting meals.
Using locally-sourced ingredients, Chef Siddhartha creates beautifully presented and truly innovative Indian dishes either in the restaurant or delivered to your accommodations. If you go into the restaurant, though, you might actually get to meet this fascinating character, which is entirely worth the trip in itself.
With two locations—one in the Kitsilano neighborhood and one in the South Main neighborhood—East Is East has become a local favorite over the past few years. In fact, the Kitsilano location just relocated a few blocks down to a newly renovated building.
Offering a fusion of Indian, Middle Eastern, and Afghani food, East Is East is a great place to stop in for a relatively inexpensive meal with all the tastes of Southern Asian cuisine.