Bombay Chowpatty offers a clever alternative to Little India’s ubiquitous buffet-style restaurants. The restaurant’s name originates from Mumbai’s Chowpatty Beach, an area known for its many street food vendors and food stalls. This casual fast-food-style restaurant is also a video store, selling stacks of Bollywood DVDs, which meanwhile provide the soundtrack for the meal. Dishes such as the ‘Bombay Burger’ – a pan-fried potato patty topped with chickpeas, red onions, tomatoes, and a choice of chutneys – showcase the restaurant’s creativity in presenting Indian street-food favorites. All dishes are vegetarian and the restaurant is open late, making it a great spot for satisfying midnight cravings.
Gautama offers a wide selection of Indian dishes in an elegant, upscale environment. The interior features warm woods, crisp white linens and large windows overlooking the bustling streets of Little India. The restaurant is also home to one of the few outdoor patios in the neighborhood, where diners can sip Kingfisher beers all summer long. The moist chicken tandoori legs marinated in homemade yogurt, ginger, garlic and Indian spices are one of the restaurant’s most popular items. They are always eagerly scooped up by diners the moment a fresh plate hits the buffet.
Lahore Tikka House is a Little India institution, known equally for its Pakistani and North Indian cuisine as for its welcoming atmosphere. When the restaurant first opened in 1996, meals were served in a cluster of simple trailers. Over the years, the restaurant has become a gathering place for Toronto’s South Asian community. Seating is offered in a dining room furnished with kitschy street-style decor, or under a tent erected in the summer months. The restaurant is particularly well-known for its sizzling kababs, which are cooked in a charcoal-fuelled clay oven, and its house-made almond kulfi ice cream.
Opened in 1976, MotiMahal claims to be the oldest Indian restaurant in the city and it’s certainly a long-time Little India favorite. The restaurant’s interior features no-frills fast-food-style decor. The affordable prices and tasty dishes ensure a large and loyal customer base. In a neighborhood packed with Indian restaurant choices, MotiMahal is consistently one of the busiest spots in the area. Channa Bhatura is the restaurant’s speciality – two pieces of deep-fried bread served with potatoes and fresh chick peas. The menu also offers an excellent selection of desserts, such as the gulab jamun sweet treat.
New Haandi 2000 is known for its affordable lunch and dinner buffets and great selection of à la carte items. The restaurant takes its name from a ‘haandi,’ a traditional pot used in Indian cooking. The buffet features a rotating selection of seven vegetarian and five non-vegetarian dishes, along with desserts, sides and crisp salads. From the a la carte menu, opt for the butter chicken – boneless Tandoori chicken cooked in a tomato, butter and cream gravy, served alongside the restaurant’s fresh, house-made naan.
Regency Restaurant offers budget-friendly buffets featuring Indian staples. The buffet features fresh, carefully prepared dishes such as tandoori chicken and goat curry, along with diverse vegetarian options ranging from saag paneer to veggie pakoras. The buffet also includes a small salad bar and desserts like kheer, gulab jamun and ice cream. Most of the dishes are quite mild, making this restaurant a great option for those who enjoy their food flavorful but not overly spicy. Regency Restaurant’s interior is simple, clean, spacious and able to accommodate the large crowds that typically arrive during the dinner-time rush.
The sister restaurant of Gautama, Siddhartha Pure Vegetarian serves Northern and Southern Indian dishes both a la carte and buffet-style. As the restaurant’s name suggests, the menu items are exclusively vegetarian, including numerous vegan options that servers are happy to highlight for diners. Go for the paneer tikka masala – cheese cubes baked with green and red peppers marinated in garlic and spicy Indian gravy. Or, choose the malai kofta, which consists of balls of homemade cheese and khoya that have been deep fried and cooked in a special gravy of Indian spices.
The Famous Indian Cuisine is a modest restaurant known for its value-for-money buffet and excellent service. The restaurant features a la carte options, but the lunch and dinner buffets are its most popular offerings. The buffet selection is a small but diverse spread of daal, naan, butter chicken, channa, saag, aloo gobi, and kebabs, along with daily specials and plenty of vegetarian options. Naan is available free with the buffet, prepared fresh for diners and served hot at the table. The restaurant’s attentive service and down-to-earth food create the ambiance of dining in a relaxed, family home.
Udupi Palace specializes in vegetarian South Indian cuisine. Named for a city found on the south west coast of India, the restaurant is set in a basement furnished with casual, banquet-style tables that are perfect for families and large groups. The restaurant is particularly well-known for itsdosas with more than a dozen different types to choose from, all served with home-made sambhar and chutney. Aside from the popular dosas, the menu offers a selection of curries, uthapams, chaats, and South Indian appetizers. Service is fast and friendly and there are a number of vegan and gluten-free options available.