The 6 best Indian restaurants in Vienna

June 7, 2017

Guide to
The 6 best
Indian restaurants
in Vienna

June 7, 2017

Vienna Würstelstand's says

Vienna’s still an experimental teenager when it comes to Indian cuisine. Few restaurants go beyond neutered curry, dull Dal and tame tandoori and mango lassi. But, we’ve binged on spicy curries and naan on our mission to bring you this list of the city’s Indian restaurants whose food is exciting as a Bollywood blockbuster.

Indus – Best Indian

Where: Radetzkystraße 20, 1030 

Opening times
SUN–FRI: 11:30am–2:30pm & 6pm–11pm
SAT: 6pm–11pm

Smoking: No
Garden in summer: at the Summer Stage, and a beautiful courtyard at the rear.
Takeaway: Yes, pick-up only

Indus is owned by a guy who’s been its number one customer since 1981. It was after he bought it, then sold it, then bought it again and injected the impressions from his travels into the place’s design when it became the place it is today. The edgy interior is modelled around the name of the place – the Indus river.
‘You’re eating under the waves of the Indus,’ owner, Ifti, tells me. I look up and notice the wonky roof – they’re the waves. The atmosphere of the place is like warm concrete, which the warm lighting, the concrete bar and polished concrete floors are responsible for.
The feisty menu has traditional roots, yet a modern spin. The curries made here have a pull factor – you dream about them when you think ‘I haven’t eaten Indian for a while.’ But beware – if you order scharf (spicy), you’ll get it … and perhaps even cry like a baby who needs their nappy changed. The signature dish here is Murgh Mango curry, while the most popular is the Tikka Masala (We’ve tried both and give our thumbs up to the Indian Gods). Don’t skip on the Naan (smoky and delightfully doughy) and the samosa as a starter. The spice magician in the kitchen draws his inspiration from Northern India and Pakistan. Your order will take time here, as all quality, freshly made food does. ‘It’s slow food,” Ifti aptly puts it. Indus is in a class of its own as far as Vienna’s Indian cuisine goes.

Dialogue with the waiter
“What would you recommend?”
“The Murgh Mango curry,” the waiter answers without a moment’s hesitation.
“But mostly girls eat that dish,” he adds, smirking.
“Well, I’m feminine in many ways – make it spicy.”
“How spicy?”
“Spicy, but not spicy enough to make me cry.”

Atmosphere:
Service:
Food:
Value for money:
Vegetarian friendly:
Mango Lassi meter:

House speciality is… Murgh Mango curry, Chicken Tikka Masala and the spice bomb, Lahore Kerahi Gosht.
We also tried… Malai Kofta – poo brown in colour, superior in taste.
There are… 11 Vegetarian options on the menu.

Price guide
Plain Naan = 2.80 €
Mango Lassi = 2.90 €
Murgh Mango Curry = 11.90 €
Samosa = 2.90 €

Website: www.restaurantindus.at

Indian Pavilion – Best Indian

Where: Naschmarkt, 74–75, 1060 

Opening times
MON–FRI: 11am–6:30pm
SAT: 11am–5pm
SUN: closed

Smoking: No
Garden in summer? Yes. Beautiful atmosphere amongst the chaos of the Naschmarkt 
Takeaway: Yes. Pick-up only. Party orders also possible.

The Indian Pavilion is the kind of place you walk into and know you’re onto a good thing. The smell is the first thing to give it away – you’re instantly aware there’s some serious spicing going on here. The scene here is of tourists lucky enough to stumble across it, and Indian food aficionados who have purposely hunted down the place in search of authentic Indian cuisine.

It opened in 1996 when Indian cuisine was as common as three-nippled elephants. And I’d be surprised if the interior has changed since. The poky place only has stool seating and space for about 20 people max – and even then it would be like a mosh pit at a Bollywood concert. But that is part of its charm. The owners, Ashok and his wife Sonja, make it personal. It’s such an intimate affair here that the staff are part of the table conversation and the banter between customer and staff over the Beisl-looking bar is brilliant.
Uniquely for an Indian restaurant in Vienna, every curry has its own personality – spiced in its own way. And if you stop for a moment and contemplate with the exotic Indian music playing in the background, you’ll taste every single spice – all having been hand-ground and mixed as house blends each morning.
And don’t skip on the homemade sauces placed beside you. The curry-packed menu (all made fresh daily with ingredients from the surrounding market) is small, but authentic and made with care and Sonja’s natural talent for cooking. We wouldn’t be surprised if kardamom would turn up if she had a blood test.
Ashok and Sonja make me want to smile like a 10-year-old child just pinched on the cheeks by grandma, every time they smile. I feel like they’re my parents when they stand out the front waving as they send me off upon leaving, full of the delicious food, dizzy and ready for a sleep.

Atmosphere:
Service:
Food:
Value for money:
Vegetarian friendly:
Mango Lassi meter:

House specialty is… Thali variety ala Indian Pavilion plate if you have the time. The Mulligatawny or Dal soup if you’re on the run

Also known for… their Kardamom tea

Price guide
Soups = from 3–5€
Main dishes = 9–13€
Thali plate =12.80€

Tulsi Indian Cuisine – Best Indian

Where: Fluchtgasse 1, 1090 

Opening times
Daily: 11:30am–2:30pm & 6pm–11pm

Smoking: Yes (separate area)
Garden in summer: Yes
Takeaway: Yes, pick-up only

Slightly disconcertingly, the white tiles that make their way from the floor, up the walls reminds me of my Nonna’s kitchen. But there’s a romantic atmosphere here after dark.
The menu is geared for one and all – from those that like western neutered curries like the sweet Murgh Makhani (Butter chicken) to those that like to sweat while eating. But if you like firey curries, be sure to ask for them to spice it up.
“We decided from the beginning that we’ll make what we do well,” the owner, Sharma tells me, who is constantly standing up to farewell one of the raft of regulars this place has already earned itself since it’s opening in 2012. He also slips into the kitchen now and again for some quality control.
The neatly ‘white-plate and copper dish’ presented curries consist of the rasas (tastes) of any healthy Hindu diet – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent, rather than zingy – but that’s the price for balance, I guess. This is the Indian restaurant you go to when you don’t know if your blind date likes it spicy. The whiskey and the wine list are extensive and worth working your way through.

Atmosphere:
Service:
Food:
Value for money:
Vegetarian friendly:
Mango Lassi meter:

We recommend… also trying the Tandoori, prepared and cooked in a traditional style.

Price Guide
Murgh Makhani = 12.90€
Garlic Naan = 3.80€
Mango-kardamon Lassi = 3.50€

Website: www.tulsi.co.at

Nam Nam Restaurant – Best Indian

Where: Webgasse 3, 1060 

Opening times
MON–SUN: 11am–2:30pm & 6pm–11pm

Smoking: No (a smokers area is in planning)
Garden in summer: Yes, a beautiful one, as a matter of fact
Takeaway: Yes, pick-up or delivery

We fall in love with the bright space, the colourful wooden floor, the funky art on the wall by Tex Rubinowitz and Bernd Püribauer and the carefully placed lamps and cushions as soon as we walk into Nam Nam (or, as we fondly call it, the „Bobo-Inder“). The family-run restaurant serving North Indian cuisine succeeded in trying to be different from other Indian restaurants by creating a Berlin/London inspired, modern atmosphere.
The dishes on the menu range from traditional, to more modern adaptations, with a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes. As we are digging into our Tandoori-Mint Chicken and Navratan Korma (vegetable curry with home-made fresh cheese), I can’t help but wonder if the name Nam Nam derives from people trying to say „yumm yumm“ with their curry-filled mouths.Don’t miss out on trying one of the home-made Naans – they are delicious and still warm as they are baked in-house in a traditional tandoor oven.

Plus: Nam Nam also offers lunch menus – for 7,50 € they include a soup, rice and Naan.
Tip: If you prefer ordering your Indian treats or have them as take-away, check out Nam Nam Deli and Nam Nam Dabba as well.

Atmosphere:
Service:
Food:
Value for money:
Vegetarian friendly:

Price guide
Tandoori Mint Chicken = 11.90€
Plain Naan = 2.50€

Website: www.nam-nam.at

Natraj – Best Indian

Where: Neustiftgasse 50, 1070

Opening times
MON–FRI: 11am–2:30pm & 6pm–10:30pm
SAT–SUN: 12pm–10:30pm

Smoking: No
Garden in summer: Yes
Takeaway: Yes, pick-up or delivery

Online ordering is also possible Looking for a place to still your cravings for truly authentic North Indian food? Let me tell you about our newly-found little Indian secret. Natraj is a family-run business just off Neubaugasse that opened up about a year ago. At lunchtime, the small restaurant is filled with chatter and the adorable sound of people digging happily into their Dals and Curries, and slurping their lassis.
The lime-green colour scheme isn’t really our thing, but seriously: who really cares when the food you get is so damn good?! Apart from the delicious dishes, the true magic of Natraj is its owner, Sukhwinder. Being used to the special charm of Viennese waiters (ahem), we can’t get enough of watching Sukhwinder smiling at his guests, joking around with little kids and praising his brother’s cooking skills. Having filled our bellies with Tarka Dal (yellow lentils with ginger and garlic) and Murgh Malai Curry (chicken with almonds and cashews in curry-cream sauce), we roll out of the door with the deeply satisfied feeling that only good food can give you.

Atmosphere:
Service:
Food:
Value for money:
Vegetarian friendly:

We love… that you get Papadam with a variety of sauces (mango chutney, mint-yogurt and green chili) when you order of the menu. We love even more that the sauces stay on the table for your main course.

We recommend… you try the lunch menu. There are always two vegetarian (6,50 €) and two non-vegetarian (6,80 €) options that come with soup, rice and Naan.
You can also… order takeaway delivery online.

Price guide
Tarka Dal Channa = 8.50€
Garlic Naan = 2.50€
2 x Samosas = 3.90€

Website: 1070.natraj.at

Rani – Best Indian

Where: Webgasse 41, 1060

Opening times:
Daily: 11:30am–2pm & 6pm–11pm

Smoking: No
Garden in summer? No
Takeaway: Yes, pick-up only

Rani was one of the first Indian restaurants to open in Vienna, and has become one of the most beloved ever since. But they’ve definitely earned the loyalty from the locals. Through that little window in the wall between the smartly dressed waiters behind the bar and the bustling kitchen, Thali plates (a mixed curry plate) fly out one after the other. But what sets them apart here is the wood clay oven in which they cook up one of the best Tandooris in town – amongst other things.

They’ve gone for the sultans palace look here – if the sultans palace were to have a bar smack bang in the middle and a dark red and gold colour scheme. The roof is pink, the murals on the wall are telling traditional Indian stories and so is the North Indian cuisine being cooked up in the kitchen.

The most popular dish here is the Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken) yet we would recommend not going past the selection of grilled meats. It’s hard to find a tandoori in this town that isn’t as dry as aunt Thelma’s feet, but here it’s smokey, succulent, perfectly spiced and tender – everything you want in your tandoori, and your Kama Sutra partner.

Mango Lassi meter
Atmosphere: (it’s kitschy, but warm)
Value: (cheap considering the quality and the size of the portions)
Food:
Service:
Vegetarian: (11 options on menu)

Price Guide
Lasan (Garlic) Naan = 2.50€
Tandoori chicken = 10.50€
Mango Lassi = 2.50€

Website: www.ranirestaurant.at

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