Best Indian Restaurants in Lisbon
My go-to cuisine when I can’t stand the thought of swallowing another bacalhau? That would be Indian food.
It was during my first day trip to Cascais that I realized what a massive migration of Indian people there actually is In and around the Portuguese capital. I’ve you’ve not yet seen all the beach side Indian eateries on the coast, I implore you to keep an eye out!
Between Cascais and the city center, Lisbon has ample opportunity to taste India authentically. Here are my top recommendations.
Zaafran in Lisbon
I’ve only eaten here once, but I really liked Zaafran. I found the restaurant to be stylish and the service impeccable. And the food? Well…
I recommend opting for either their thalis or their combination plates. The difference in them being a thali is a helping of multiple curries served with rice and naan, while the combination plates focus more on a single main curry and come with sides of dal, salad and even biryani rice.
Both are bang for your buck, and you can even request more or less of one item if desired; I love a lot of dal, for example, and they increased this at no extra cost.
Vegans should know that any of the curries on Zaafran’s menu can be made to use coconut milk instead of cream, if not doing so already.
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Saturday — 12pm to 3pm // 7:30pm to 11pm
ADDRESS: Largo Dona Estefânia 7, 1100-092 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Picoas
Ganesha Palace in Lisbon
Funny enough, the Ganesha Palace was recommended to me by my server at an Indian restaurant I ate in in Cascais. Upon hearing I had come from the city center, he remarked that he regarded it as the best Indian in Lisbon.
I’m definitely not about to argue with someone from the land itself, and thankfully Ganesha Palace didn’t disappoint in the slightest.
No combination plates to thalis here, instead shared dining over a variety of main dishes is encouraged. One perk is that the kitchen will prepare anything on the menu without garlic or without onion if requested; this rarely happens in Europe. Chef Sonu takes everyone’s enjoyment very seriously.
Ganesha Palace offers fabulous wine pairing for all dishes as well.
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday — 11:30am to 4pm // 6pm to 12am
ADDRESS: Av. Álvares Cabral 44, 1250-018 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Rato
Tamarind – Restaurante Indiano in Lisbon
Prior to my introduction to Ganesha Palace, I had regarded Tamarind as my personal favorite spot for Indian in Lisbon. It’s next to the city’s Botanical Gardens, just north of Bairro Alto.
Tamarind are known for their seafood curries, house lamb, butter chicken and vegetable kormas. Rice isn’t included so I recommend a side of the jeera with each of your dishes, as well as their garlic drenched naan bread — wow!
Paneer lovers will appreciate that the Tamarind kitchen makes all of their own from scratch daily. I’ve not tasted it but I have a friend who won’t order anything else.
Because Tamarind is just across the street from the Teatro Politeama, booking for dinner can be essential.
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday — 12pm to 3pm // 6:30pm to 12am
ADDRESS: Rua da Glória 43, 1250-115 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Avenida
Passage To India in Lisbon
Passage to India is actually on the same street as Zaafran, the spot we looked at first. When one is full, it’s a shot walk over to the other where you’ll usually then get a table.
Passage to India is wildly authentic, fairly priced and service with a smile. Banquet dining is an option here, as their tables run wide. You’ll often find large groups of traveling families, or a collection of global strangers who have just met in their shared hostel, coming to dine here.
The menu is nicely divided into meats and vegetarian. A lot of these vegetarian dishes are unintentionally vegan, and those that aren’t can generally be adjusted to be. Speak to your server about your options!
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Saturday — 12pm to 3pm // 7pm to 11pm
ADDRESS: : Av. Praia da Vitória 45, 1000-246 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Saldanha
Gurkha Restaurant & Bar in Lisbon
For Indian dining in a mood-lit space, look no further than Gurkha.
This is one spot that gets ambiance as on point as they do their flavors. A fully authentic menu that is unfathomably affordable when you take into account the experience and service that the food comes with.
The owners of Gurkha are Nepalese, so the menu has strong influence from here as well. Everything you order also comes with complimentary rice — finally! A restaurant that just gets it!
Gurkha is central, but it’s situated just slightly further east of Bairro Alto than most people tend to walk. Because of this it is rarely packed out and you should get away with showing up unannounced, even on a weekend.
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday — 12pm to 3pm // 7pm to 11pm
ADDRESS: : R. de São Bento 318, 1200-820 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Rato
Dining Indian, or any other global cuisine, in Lisbon is an exploration of culture and diversity. This is also achieved via all of the free guided walking tours that take travelers through the city center on a daily basis. I recommend both the feast and the walk, naturally.