10 best Indian restaurants in Little India, best vegetarian restaurants

Whether you are local or a tourist looking for the best Indian restaurant or an Indian missing a taste of home, Little India is the place to go. Within this small, vibrant neighbourhood you will find perhaps some of the best Indian food anywhere in the world.

From vegetarian specialists to modern establishments, here are the 10 best Indian restaurants in Little India.

1. MTR Restaurant (Vegetarian)

best indian restaurants - Exterior of MTR Singapore

MTR Singapore is an award-winning Indian restaurant that specialises in authentic South Indian cuisine. This 100% vegetarian restaurant in Little India is a popular choice for tasty dishes at affordable prices. It’s easily also a contender for the best vegetarian restaurant in Singapore.

best indian restaurants - A serving of Rava Idly at MTR Singapore

One of their best sellers and, in my humble opinion, most delicious menu items is the Rava Idly (S$4). It is a steamed semolina cake mixed with yoghurt, coriander, cashew nuts, curry leaves, mustard seeds and clarified butter. Rava Idly is served with a coconut-based potato saagu that pairs perfectly with the semolina cake.

best indian restaurants - A serving of Pudi Masala Dosa at MTR Singapore

Another of our top recommendations at MTR Restaurant is the Pudi Masala Dosa (S$7). This is a fluffy pancake sprinkled with spicy chutney powder over a coating of ghee, then topped with a tantalising potato-onion mixture. It’s a spicy choice, yes, but well worth the fiery tingle in return for the reward in flavour

440 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218134
+65 6296 5800
Tue to Thu: 8.30am – 3pm & 5.30pm – 9.30pm
Fri to Sun: 8.30am – 3pm & 5.30pm – 10pm
Closed on Mon
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2. Mustard (Vegan options)

best indian restaurants - mustard restaurant
Credit – Mustard

Combining Bengali and Punjabi cuisine is Mustard, a restaurant most locals know for both tasty food and an affordable menu. It occupies a cosy spot on Race Course Road, and this location is perhaps why it doesn’t feature as prominently on many lists of the best Indian restaurants in Little India.

Mustard serves both vegan and vegetarian dishes.

best indian restaurants - A serving of Kabab e Tashtar from Mustard
Credit

However, if you are hankering for meat, the Kabab e Tashtar (S$23.90 for half) will do the trick. It is a mixed kebab platter of grilled chicken, fish and mutton kebabs. We found the meat to be moist and tender. Get it together with the Saffron Rice (S$9.90) or Cheese Naan (S$9.50) to coax out the best of each morsel. We had both!

32 Race Course Road, Singapore 218552
+65 6297 8422
Sun to Fri: 11.30am – 3pm & 6pm – 10.45pm
Sat: 11.30am – 4pm & 6pm – 10.45pm
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3. Nalan Restaurant (Vegetarian)

best indian restaurants - nalan exterior
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Nalan Restaurant is widely regarded as one of the best Indian vegetarian restaurants in Singapore. It operates two outlets, one in Little India and the other at  City Hall. They specialise in authentic North and South Indian cuisine and every dish is made-to-order using the finest ingredients.

best indian restaurants - thosai
Credit – Nalan Restaurant

The menu has a diverse selection of dishes for you to choose from. Tuck into yummy starters like Paneer Kathi Roll (S$10), Onion Pakkoda (S$8) and Gobi Manchurian (S$12). The last of those is a dish of deep-fried cauliflower with onions in a spicy marinade and if you haven’t tried it before, you are missing out, big time!

Thosai lovers rejoice for there are no less than 18 types of Thosai. The list includes Cheese Masala Thosai (S$18), Butter Thosai (S$6), and Onion Podi Thosai (S$7).

Chope Reservations

Nalan also has a City Hall branch. For contact numbers and opening hours, refer here.

82 Serangoon Road, Singapore 217987
+65 9171 8282
Daily: 11.30am – 10.30pm

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4. Swaadhisht

best indian restaurants - Exterior of Indian food restaurant, Swaadhist

Swaadhist is the place to go if you want to experience a twist on typical Southern Indian dishes in the form of Kerala cuisine in the heart of Little India.

best indian restaurants - A serving of Bamboo Chicken Biryani from Swaadhist

One of their perennial favourites is the Bamboo Chicken Biryani (S$14). Steamed inside a bamboo stem and served directly to the plate, it comes wafting a delicious variety of intoxicating fragrances.

Every serving is accompanied by long-grain basmati rice, which is the perfect accompaniment to the lightly spiced chicken. Hints of cumin and star anise elevate this otherwise simple dish.

best indian restaurants - Appam With Coconut Milk dipped in Vegetable Ishtoo

Treat a mild palate with the Appam With Coconut Milk (S$6 for two) and Vegetable Ishtoo (S$8.50). The appam is made from fermented rice flour and creamy coconut milk, giving it a mildly sour taste. Those flavours are balanced out by a refreshing hint of mild sweetness from the rich potato stew that is the Vegetable Ishtoo.

47 Chander Road, Singapore 219546
+65 9880 1680
Daily: 11am – 10pm
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5. GupShup

gupshup - interiors
Credit – GupShup

The resplendent GupShup restaurant at The Serangoon House, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel is a treat for both eyes and palate. Its Indian colonial design and custom-made porcelain chandeliers share the space with marble flooring and historical Indian landscapes on exclusive De Gournay wallpaper. Most importantly, it is headed by renowned Indian celebrity chef, Chef Jolly.

gupshup - mutton paratha
Credit – GupShup

His personal recommendation is the humble Parantha (S$9). Don’t sell this simple clay oven-baked bread short— it’s wonderful! Upgrade to the Mutton Chilly Fry, Parantha (S$45) for a fiery dish evened out by the fluffy bread.

gupshup - papdi chaat
Credit – GupShup

Vegetarians will love the Dahi Lotus Papdi Chaat (S$23). It’s a wonderfully texture-filled medley of lotus crisps, crushed sweet potato, onion-tomato mix, yoghurt and pomegranate-mint sauce.

Maah di Daal (S$29) is Chef Jolly’s take on the famed Shikari Dal Makhani. It is prepared over 48 hours of stewing creamed and buttered urad lentils.

Chope Reservations

301 Serangoon Road, The Serangoon House, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel,
Singapore 218224
+65 6797 2850
Tue to Thu: 4pm – 10pm
Fri to Sun: 12pm – 10pm
Closed on Mon
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6. Banana Leaf Apolo

Indian in Little India - Banana Leaf Apolo
Credit – Banana Leaf Apolo

With no less than 2 branches in the area, Banana Leaf Apolo really should occupy 2 spots on our list of the best Indian restaurants in Little India. (They also have another 3 branches around Singapore)

As the name suggests, food here is served on a banana leaf, an ancient Indian practice that seems more in place in our current environmentally-conscious world.

Indian in Little India - Banana Leaf Apolo Samosa
Credit – Banana Leaf Apolo

Start with the Chef’s Signature Vegetable Samosa (S$9.61). These pyramidical pastries filled with spiced potato, peas and other veggies are the perfect introduction to the menu. The Gobi Manchurian (S$17.82) works for me both as a starter or a dish to accompany rice or naan. I think I may even have this as my main course one day.

Indian in Little India - Banana Leaf Apolo Tandoori Platter
Credit – Banana Leaf Apolo

From the tandoor, you should try either the Tandoori Non-Veg Platter (S$50.65) or the Tandoori Veg Platter (S$36.72). The former comes with chicken tikka, prawn tikka, sheekh kebab, murgh malai kebab and tandoori chicken.

This restaurant’s signature dish is the Apolo Fish Head Curry (S$32.94 for Small, S$38.77 for Medium, S$43.74 for Large) and highly recommended.

For a list of locations, contact numbers and opening hours, refer here.
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7. Ananda Bhavan Restaurant (Vegetarian and Vegan)

Indian in Little India - Ananda Bhavan
Credit – Roots.gov.sg

Opened in 1924, making it a century old (!) and the oldest Indian restaurant in Singapore, Ananda Bhavan truly is an integral part of the country and community. With 4 locations in this neighbourhood alone, it easily takes a place on our list as one of the best Indian restaurants in Little India.

The rich heritage aside, it’s the great taste of its North and South Indian food, as well as the generous portions that have earned Ananda Bhavan this spot. Another thing that blows me away about this restaurant is the sheer range of menu items.

There seem to be hundreds of items, grouped in sections such as Thosai, Indian BreadSouth Indian SnacksNorth Indian & Tandoori, Special Items, ChaatBurgers & Pizzas and more.

Among the most popular with customers are the Veg Fried Rice Set (S$10)North Indian Set, South Indian Set, Veg Pulav (S$7) and ABR Veggie Pizza. It’s healthy, too, as Ananda Bhavan is also supposed to be one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Singapore.

For a list of locations, contact numbers and opening hours, refer here.
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8. Shivam Restaurant (Vegetarian)

Indian in Little India - Shivam Restaurant
Credit – Shivam Restaurant

Another contender for the best vegetarian restaurant in Singapore is Shivam Restaurant. Let me first admit, though, that part of the reason I love it is its wide selection of traditional Indian sweets. They are made fresh and contain no preservatives, meaning that you have to consume them within 12 hours. I usually need much less time but that’s another story.

Of my favourites from the sweets, I recommend the Plain Mawa Barfi (from S$4.50) and everyone’s favourite, Jalebi (from S$5.50).

Indian in Little India - Shivam North Indian thali
Credit – Shivam Restaurant

Many customers go for their 2 Bento meals, the North Indian Meal (S$11) and the Gujarati Meal (S$12). Both sets come with rice, dhal, salad and papad as well as jalebi.

That wondrous cuisine that is Indian Chinese gives you options of evergreen favourites Vegetable Manchow Soup (S$5.85) and Vegetable Hot & Sour Soup (S$5.85).

Indian in Little India - Shivam Barbeque Pizza
Credit – Shivam Restaurant

There are pizzas, too, and my mouth waters at the Sizzling Barbeque Pizza (S$13.95) and Veg Special Pizza (S$13.95). Both come laden with ingredients and make for complete meals on their own.

It’s a wonderful range if you are looking for the best Indian restaurant in Little India but want some variety, too.

87 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207666|
+65 6908 2966

Daily: 11.30am – 11.30pm
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9. Riverwalk Tandoor – Bhai Da Dhaba

best indian restaurants - riverwalk tandoor
Credit – Riverwalk tandoor – Bhai Da Dhaba

Riverwalk Tandoor – Bhai Da Dhaba is the restaurant for authentic North Indian food on Rangoon Road. One thing of note is that the menu changes every day; fortunately, it is all decided in advance and you can find the menu for the week here.

Image of sarson ka saag set

All Punjabis will recognise the iconic Sarson Ka Saag Set Meal (S$10.90). Here, the soft and unleavened cornmeal flatbread is paired with a bowl of blended mustard greens given an electrifying flavour by a mixture of spices.

best indian restaurants - Collage of tandoori chic and samosa

Our choice for the starters is the Tandoori Chicken (S$12.90 for half, S$20.90 for full) and Punjabi Samosa (S$4.90 for 5 pieces). Every morsel of the moist chicken or crispy potato-filled, triangular pastry is made to be dipped in the accompanying mint chutney. 

Some of the other popular mains are the Mutton Briyani (S$9.90), Butter Chicken (S$9.90) or Aloo Gobi (S$7.90). The vegetarian options include Malai Kofta, Palak PaneerTahu Mutter Curry and Bhindi Lach Pachi.

Chope Reservations

677 Rangoon Road, Singapore 210677
+65 6291 0275
Daily: 11.30am – 3pm & 6pm – 10.30pm
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10. Gayatri Restaurant

Indian in Little India - Gayatri
Credit – TripAdvisor

Almost 30 years old in 2024, Gayatri Restaurant has started to enjoy wider recognition of late. It is at the top of TripAdvisor’s list of best restaurants in Little India and I have seen (and tasted) why for myself.

Indian in Little India - Gayatri fish head curry
Credit – TripAdvisor

Fish is a wise choice here, especially the Pomfret Fry Sambal/Tandoori. The latter chargrilled version is not as tasty as the fiery sambal version. Another good choice is the Fish Head Curry that has snapper in a South Indian curry.

Indian in Little India - Gayatri misc1
Credit – TripAdvisor

Gayatri Restaurant has a considerable vegetarian selection as well. I like their Mock Mutton, which is made of a soy base and served in an absolutely mouth-watering masala. Another dish that’s easy to recommend is the Tahu Sambal. The bean curd is perfectly fried and comes smothered in a tangy, spicy gravy.

122 Race Course Road, #01-01, Singapore 218583
+65 6291 1011
Daily: 11.30am – 3pm & 6pm – 10.30pm
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