The Best Indian Restaurants in Halifax, Nova Scotia

If you love Indian food, you wont miss out in Halifax
If you love Indian food, you won't miss out in Halifax | Courtesy of Red Chillies Flavours of India
Doug ONeill

Dishes from northern India have long dominated menus at the best Indian restaurants in Halifax, Nova Scotia, serving rotis, samosas, tandoori chicken, palak paneer and chicken tikka masala. However, dishes from southern India – spicy stews, rice, lentils and coconut-infused curries – are fast gaining popularity. Here’s our round-up of the best Indian restaurants in Halifax, serving up regional dishes to suit a range of culinary tastes.

1. Dhaba Casual Fine Dining

Restaurant, Indian

Faizal and Salma Junus opened the award-winning Indian restaurant in the Bayers Lake neighborhood in 2011, serving both Northern and Southern Indian cuisines. Diners can expect tandoori oven chicken, biryanis, curries, piquant vindaloos and paneers. Cautious diners can opt for mild butter chicken or chicken tikka masala. Eager to chow down on hotter fare? Order a hot vindaloo. The popularity of Dhaba’s desserts prompted the owners to open the Dhaba Sweets & Spices Shoppe next door, where customers can buy Indian, Sri Lankan and Nepali foods and baked goods.

2. Curry Village Indian Restaurant

Restaurant, Indian

Customers choose from a lengthy list of curry options, biryanis, roti, breads, saag and other traditional dishes. Curry Village is known for its biryani, a Northern dish that combines basmati rice fried with meat or vegetables that is then simmered in rosewater, fried onions and raisins. Equally popular is the Indian-British-inspired mulligatawny, a curry-spiced soup made from creamy red lentils, carrots, apples, and coconut milk. Lots of beef, goat, chicken, fish and lamb are available in small shareable dishes.

3. Rasa: Flavours of India

Restaurant, Indian

Rasa Flavours of India, Indian restaurant, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Courtesy of Rasa: Flavours of India

Owners Deeksha Bhaskar and her father, Bijay Sharma, were inspired by the restaurants in their native Gurugram, India, where dining out is a family affair. Expect to see lots of groups at this stylish eatery tucking into dishes like the Maharaja platter, which includes chicken tikka hariyali, malai chicken, machhli tikka and lamb seekh kebab. Dishes fresh out of the clay tandoor oven have resulted in a steady stream of regulars. A must-try: tandoori broccoli, tender broccoli flowerets marinated in cream cheese and cashew-cardamom paste.

4. A Taste of India

Restaurant, Indian

The best Indian restaurants in Halifax aren’t always the fanciest. A Taste of India, for example. has operated out of the food court at Scotia Square Mall since 2001. If you’re looking for a leisurely dining experience, take a pass. But if you’re hankering for a quick (easy-on-the-wallet) fix of vegetable and chicken samosas, idli (savory rice cakes) with chutney and sambar spice, lentil stews or other Southern and Northern Indian dishes, pull up a chair. Ideal for a tasty lunch while sightseeing in downtown Halifax.

5. Passage to India

Restaurant, Indian

Bulbul Sethi and husband Sunny Sethi emigrated to Canada in the 1990s and opened their first Indian restaurant in Halifax in 2010. For the last several years, they’ve been operating Passage to India at Dalhousie University, offering basic Indian dishes. In the summer of 2020, the couple opened a second location at Granite Springs Golf Club in a space large enough to accommodate a tandoori oven, enabling them to offer a full menu featuring tandoori chicken, tandoori fish, Indian street foods and butter chicken. Gluten-free and vegan-friendly options are available.

6. Tawa Grill

Restaurant, Indian

Kudos to Tawa Grill for creating an Indian version of an iconic Canadian dish: butter chicken poutine. Diners can wash it down with an equally iconic Canadian beer just down the street at Alexander Keith’s brewery. The restaurant specializes in Himalayan, Nepalese Indian and Pakistani cuisines. Traditional vegetable curries include channa masala (chick peas) and palak aloo (potato and spinach stir-fry). Among the non-vegetarian options: butter chicken, tandoori chicken, mutton, lamb and shrimp curry. Tawa also serves the much sought-after mango lassi (a creamy-sweet mango-yogurt drink).

7. Red Chillies Flavours of India

Restaurant, Indian

Red Chillies Flavours of India, Indian restaurant Halifax, Nova Scotia
Courtesy of Red Chillies Flavours of India

Red Chillies has a modern vibe. In addition to signature Indian dishes such as tikka masala, biryani, prawn masala, jalfrezi (Bengali green chili dish), tikka masala and biryani, Red Chillies, in the Bedford neighborhood, offers a few contemporary twists on traditional dishes. For instance, customers can order garlic oregano cheese naan, mango habanero wings and cheese chili naan. A traditional favorite is Amritsari Chane: chick peas simmered in tomatoes, onion, ginger, cilantro and onion sauce. For seafood lovers, there’s machhli tikka – fish marinated in yogurt, ginger, garlic and lemon.

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