The Best Spots for Indian Food in Lisbon


 

Does the sound of fragrant spices, naan breads dripping in garlic and fresh chopped sambals get your heart rate up? Me too.

Thankfully Lisbon is just another city in the world where Indian food has made a strong appearance. Lisbon has a broad migration pattern from the Middle East and South Asia, which has in turn given way for Lebanese, Israeli, Persian and Indian cuisine to become prominent dining experiences within the Portuguese capital.

by Pille-Riin Priske – Unsplash

There are hundreds of Indian eateries throughout the city; some inexpensive and others more upmarket. Here are the ones that I personally enjoy frequenting.

Tamarind in Lisbon

If you’re a big fan of the classics like butter chicken or korma curries, then Tamarind will exceed your expectations. The menu is prepared following the most traditional of Indian recipes.

Naturally there are also ample options for vegetarian and vegan diners, this is something you can count on in every Indian restaurant in Lisbon. Try their jeera rice with whatever your curry preference.

Tamarind is located just above Chiado and Bairro Alto, in a pleasant and quiet outlying part of the city center .

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 12pm to 3pm // 6:30pm to 12am
ADDRESS: Rua da Glória 43, 1250-115 Lisboa, Portugal
Metro STATION: Rossio-Lisboa

Zaafran in Lisbon

My ideal dining experience involves multiple dishes and flavors, and anywhere I can use bread in place of cutlery.

All of these criteria are met at Zaafran, as they offer authentic Indian thali on their menu.

A thali is a tray of curries, rice and dhal that usually offers a range of different dishes made by the restaurant. One can choose between a vegetarian or meat thali, depending on personal preference.

by Lior Shapira – Unsplash

Zaafran’s thali’s are fabulous and so generously portioned. You’ll have to order naan bread as a side… enjoy ignoring knives and forks entirely when dining here!

Zaafran is in Santa Cruz, Lisbon’s student town, so prices are extremely reasonable.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Saturday – 12pm to 3pm // 7:30pm to 11pm
ADDRESS: Largo Dona Estefânia 7, 1100-092 Lisboa, Portugal
Metro STATION: Saldanha

Gandhi Palace in Lisbon

Chiado wouldn’t be Chiado without a restaurant option for virtually every cuisine on earth.

Ghandi Palace is a gem right in the heart of Lisbon’s busiest district. Between the shoppers, street performers, tourists and free guided walking tours you’ll welcome a break for food in this Indian dining hall.

by Pille-Riin Priske – Unsplash

Everything on the menu is authentic to the cuisine and surprisingly well priced considering the nature of the area. They get full in the evenings around dinner time, but other than that there should always be a table for you on arrival!

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 11am to 3pm // 6pm to 11:45pm
ADDRESS: Rua Douradores Loja 167-169-171, 173, 1100-205 Lisboa, Portugal
Metro STATION: Rossio-Lisboa

Chutnify in Lisbon

Judging an Indian restaurant on it’s appearance is as bad (and inaccurate) as doing it to a book. Even the most opulent of spaces can still get the cuisine very, very wrong, and so one of the best things to do with Indian food is go where the Indians go.

Chutnify wins, on all accounts. There are always Indian families dining here and a lot of Lisbon locals as well (another sure sign of good food nearby).

Chutnify in Lisbon – by Chutnify – Sourced from their Facebook

The food is authentic south Indian. Their paneer curries are their most popular dishes.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 12pm to 11am // 7pm to 11pm
ADDRESS: Travessa da Palmeira 44, 1200-311 Lisboa, Portugal
Metro STATION: Rossio-Lisboa

Maharaja in Lisbon

Indian food is one of the best cuisines for sharing. The dishes are usually served in individual trays alongside your choice of sides, which makes for a great taste testing experience when there is more than one diner.

Maharaja in Lisbon – by Maharaja – Sourced from their Facebook

Maharaja is a beautiful restaurant in which to share an authentic Indian dinner amongst friends. It’s tucked away in a hidden street that escapes the busy main roads of Chiado nearby.

Lisbon’s center is high energy, Maharaja is the escape you didn’t know you needed.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Tuesday to Sunday – 12pm to 3pm // 7pm to 11pm
ADDRESS: R. do Cardal de São José 21, 1150-088 Lisboa, Portugal
Metro STATION: Avenida

Indian Food in Cascais

Okay, bare with me for a second. I’m sure you didn’t come to Lisbon just to travel 40 minutes out of the city in search of Indian food, but I’m going to let you in on this anyway.

Cascais is the beach town situated a 40 minute train ride out of Lisbon, starting at the Cais do Sodre station in the center.

Cascais is your beach getaway, but also features a really vibrant little town filled with restaurants and island style eateries. It’s a summer vibe through and through, and this was the last place on earth I expected to find Indian restaurants in Portugal.

Cascais – by FouPic – Wikimedia Commons

Cascais’ main restaurant strip is filled with Indian restaurants. Don’t ask me why, but it is, and they’re good! Even in forty degree heat you’ll find them filled with diners scoffing down Bombay Aloo like they haven’t seen it in years.

A lot of people frown at the thought of eating a hot curry straight off the beach, myself included. But if you can find yourself in Cascais around sunset or later in the evening, in search of somewhere satisfying and hearty to eat, then any of the many Indian curry houses will be pleasantly surprising.

Consider it an idea for an interesting date in Lisbon; even an unusual first Tinder date, if you will.

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