The 50 Best Restaurants in India

This story was originally published by Condé Nast Traveller India.

The list of India’s best restaurants of 2023 is out, and Indian Accent at The Lodhi, New Delhi has yet again taken the crown. This makes it the third time that Indian Accent has ranked #1 at the Condé Nast Traveller Top Restaurant Awards–with wins at the inaugural edition in 2017 and then again in 2019. At #2 on the Top Restaurant Awards was Bomras, Goa, with Mumbai’s ingredient-forward Masque climbing up the ladder to #3.

The ranking of India’s best restaurants was revealed at a glittering ceremony on October 16 at the Taj Lands End, Bandra. The CNT Top Restaurant Awards are a definitive, authoritative ranking of India’s top restaurants. The list is tabulated after multiple rounds of voting involving 100 jurors from across the country, who vote privately in a process that is overseen by an independent auditor. The jury includes food writers, critics, creators, and other tastemakers, screened for any major conflict of interest and to ensure regional diversity. Read more about how it works here.

The Top Restaurant Awards were back this year after a three-year, lockdown-induced hiatus. The list of India’s best restaurants is full of changes, reflecting some shifts in dining patterns across India. Several classic restaurants were replaced by new ones, like the wildly popular Veronica’s in Mumbai, which made it straight to the top 10. Goa may have been expected to dominate the list with the maximum number of winners, but it is Mumbai, with 12 restaurants that have emerged on top. Close behind is Bengaluru with 11 restaurants, while Delhi has 8 and Goa 7 in the Top 50.

Here is the full list of India’s best restaurants at Top Restaurant Awards 2023:

  1. Indian Accent, The Lodhi, New Delhi
  2. Bomras, Goa
  3. Masque, Mumbai
  4. Avartana, ITC Grand Chola, Chennai
  5. Sienna Store & Café, Kolkata
  6. The Bombay Canteen, Mumbai
  7. O Pedro, Mumbai
  8. Veronica’s, Mumbai
  9. Americano, Mumbai
  10. Izumi Bandra, Mumbai
  11. Bengaluru Oota Company, Bengaluru
  12. Cavatina by Avinash Martins, Goa
  13. Seefah, Mumbai
  14. The Table, Mumbai
  15. For The Record – Vinyl Bar, Goa
  16. Le Cirque Signature, The Leela Palace, Bengaluru
  17. The Restaurant, The Bangala, Karaikudi
  18. Izumi Assagao, Goa
  19. Bhawan, Gurugram
  20. Comorin, Gurugram
  21. Edible Archives, Goa
  22. Kappa Chakka Kandhari, Chennai
  23. Lupa, Bengaluru
  24. FarmLore, Bengaluru
  25. Jamun, Goa
  26. Olive Bar and Kitchen, New Delhi
  27. La Loca Maria, Mumbai
  28. Karavalli, Vivanta Bengaluru Residency Road, Bengaluru
  29. Bar Palladio, Jaipur
  30. Falak, The Leela Bhartiya City, Bengaluru
  31. Plats, New Delhi
  32. Wasabi by Morimoto – The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
  33. Baan Thai, The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata
  34. Burma Burma Restaurant & Tearoom, Indiranagar, Bengaluru
  35. Carnatic Café, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi
  36. Petisco, Goa
  37. Noon, Mumbai
  38. Ekaa, Mumbai
  39. The Glenburn Penthouse Restaurant, Kolkata
  40. Southern Spice, Taj Coromandel, Chennai
  41. Oota Bangalore, Bengaluru
  42. Naru Noodle Bar, Bengaluru
  43. Boteco – Restaurante Brasileiro, Bengaluru
  44. Bread and Chocolate, White Town, Puducherry
  45. The Johri, Jaipur
  46. Toast & Tonic, Bengaluru
  47. Chinoiserie, Taj Bengal, Kolkata
  48. Coromandel Cafe, Puducherry
  49. Cafe Lota, New Delhi
  50. Baoshuan, The Oberoi, New Delhi

Indian Accent, New Delhi

T.NARAYAN

This is the third time Indian Accent is at #1 on CNT’s Top Restaurant Awards. #1 on the Top Restaurant Awards 2017 and 2019 list, Indian Accent reinterprets nostalgic Indian dishes with an openness towards global techniques and influences. While there is an a la carte menu for lunch and dinner, it is the six-course Chef’s Tasting menu that steals the show, with dishes that have now become iconic, like the blue cheese kulcha, daulat ki chaat and black dairy dal. It opened an outpost in New York in 2019, and, this year even opened its much-awaited outpost in Mumbai at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC). Instagram; Indian Accent, The Lodhi, Lodhi Road, CGO Complex, Pragati Vihar, New Delhi

Bomras, Goa

A dish at Bomras, GoaA dish at Bomras, Goa. Photo: Instagram/@bomrasgoa

When Bomras reopened in Anjuna, Goa in 2020, locals and tourists flocked right back to the restaurant like nothing had changed. The restaurant, among the top 5 best restaurants in India, was earlier located in Candolim and is led by chef Bawmra Jap (regulars know him as Jap), a Kachin from northern Burma. When he reopened the restaurant, all his original staff save one had returned to their hometowns. But bite into the signature tea leaf salad, tiger prawn ceviche, Kachin chicken or smoked pork fried rice and you won’t get a hint of the massive changes the restaurant has undergone behind the scenes. The food has a distinct Burmese soul but draws on and fuses influences from the golden triangle of Burmese, Vietnamese and Thai cuisines. Pair your meals with cocktails like the Rangoon Sour or Rum & Kokum, and wrap up the meal with the chocolate and carrot blondie, Manipuri black rice pudding and tender coconut panna cotta with passionfruit coulis. Instagram; Bomras, 1152, opp. Our Lady Of Health Chapel, Mazal Waddo, Anjuna, Goa

Masque, Mumbai

Masque, Mumbai

The Masque team travels far and wide, from the forests of Kashmir to the shores of Goa, to bring back hyperlocal ingredients from across the country to their restaurant in Mahalaxmi, where these ingredients undergo seemingly magical transformations before they arrive at your table. Born and brought up in Mumbai, chef Varun Totlani started off at Masque as commis chef and rose the ranks to become head chef in 2022. Along with founder and entrepreneur Aditi Dugar, the restaurant’s 10-course seasonal chef’s tasting menus marry tradition and innovation, transforming homegrown produce into fine-dining dishes. So, a Lonavala inspired chocolate fudge gets topped with kachampuli ice cream, Coorg’s pandi curry is made with jackfruit sausage, and the winter favourite Gujarati snack ponkh bhel is zhuzhed up with Goan seaweed. Instagram; Masque, Unit G3, Shree Laxmi Woollen Mills, Shakti Mills Lane, Off Dr Elijah Moses Road, Mahalakshmi, Mumbai

Avartana, ITC Grand Chola, Chennai

Avartana strikes the tricky balance between tradition and innovation, with contemporary South Indian food rooted in flavours and ingredients from the Southern peninsula. At Avartana, everything from the décor to the cuisine presents South Indian traditions with a modern twist. Think lamb brain fritters, infused tomato rasam, idiyappam with asparagus and coconut stew and fennel panna cotta! The lights are shaped like banana flowers, and there’s a mural of a Kerala canoe crafted in mother-of-pearl. The focus is on reimagining South Indian food across well thought out degustation menus, while maintaining the authenticity of flavour. Instagram; Avartana, ITC Grand Chola, Little Mount, Guindy, Chennai

Sienna Store & Café, Kolkata

Led by executive chef Auroni Mookerjee, Sienna Café calls itself a ‘bajaar to table kitchen’, placing the local markets of Bengal front and centre in their inspiration and cooking. At the fifth best restaurant in India, European and East Asian dishes make friends with distinctly regional ingredients. Bhetki fish and paccheri pasta are tossed together in seaweed butter; congee bowls feature choto maach, aloo bhaja and echor (jackfruit) bhorta; ramen bowls are topped with dheki shaak; and desserts are doodh cha caramel custard and nolen gur panna cotta. In perfect synergy with the cafe, the store also showcases Bengal, offering a fine selection of handicrafts of the state including ceramics, handmade jewellery, cloth bags, soaps and essential oils and beautiful cotton saris, all created at their workshop in Shantiniketan. Instagram; Sienna Store & Café, 49, 1, Golpark, Hindustan Park, Gariahat, Kolkata

The Bombay Canteen, Mumbai

The Bombay Canteen has established itself as one of the most exciting modern Indian dining experiences in the country. Chef Hussain Shahzad (also executive chef of O Pedro and Veronica’s by Hunger Inc Hospitality) is an alumnus of Eleven Madison Park in New York whose culinary philosophy is driven by innovation and local traditions. The menu changes seasonally but favourites include the restaurant’s signature eggs Kejriwal, ghee roast chicken seekh and chilled seabass “sev puri”. Its playful approach to food and affinity for Mumbai extends to its bar menu, with its 5th Canteen Cocktail Book featuring drinks like the tequila-based Waiting List and the citrusy Curb Side. Instagram; The Bombay Canteen, Unit-1, Process House, S.B. Road, Kamala Mills, Near Radio Mirchi Office Lower, Parel, Mumbai

O Pedro, Mumbai

At O Pedro, the drinks and food aim to transport you from the busy, commercial BKC to the sunny, tropical life in Goa. The energetic bar mixes up signature concoctions like the Pedro’s G&T, the Kokum Stings featuring kokum infused rum and the Vasco Sour with pisco, triple sec and Goan toddy. Bright colours, quirky sayings on the walls and cheery servers are as much a part of the O Pedro experience as the lipsmacking food, from the coconut-ey crab kismoor and signature prawn balchao to the fluffy poees with choriz butter and creamy, crunchy mushroom ceviche. The flakey pastel de nata (Portuguese egg custard tarts) and Aunty Li’s serradura hark back to Goa’s rich Portuguese influences and are not to be missed. Instagram; O Pedro, Unit No 2, Plot No C-68, Jet Airways, Godrej BKC, G Block BKC, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai

Veronica’s, Mumbai

The latest offering from Hunger Inc Hospitality, Veronica’s opened earlier this year to snaking queues in the bylanes of Bandra’s Ranwar Village. The all-day sandwich shop and deli has a tight menu that focuses on honest, good quality sandwiches, like the Taming The (Mu)Shroom Melt and the Avo Snob made with house-made Ciabatta, fresh pesto and burrata. The meat-based sandwiches like the generously smoked beef loaded Pass the Pastrami and Nashville-style hot fried chicken sandwich the Big Floyd are some of the restaurant’s bestsellers. Wash down the carbs with a glass of wine, or Vietnamese iced coffee. The restaurant is among the top 10 of India’s best restaurants within just a year of its opening—a testament to its quality breads, meats, fresh ingredients and easy atmosphere that pulls in diners across age groups. Instagram; Veronica’s, Waroda Rd, Ranwar, Bandra West, Mumbai

Americano, Mumbai

Since its hotly anticipated debut in March 2019, Americano has been a destination for creative cuisine and expertly crafted cocktails. Located in the arts precinct of Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, the restaurant features 20-ft ceilings and fluted glass windows, with elegant and understated décor. Head chef Alex Sanchez has trained under the likes of Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, New York, and was also behind the launch of The Table and Magazine Street Kitchen. Americano, which Sanchez launched with his partner Mallyeka Watsa, is known for its pizzas topped with braised mushrooms, smoky bacon and fennel sausage, corn ribs, and creamy handmade pastas. The Americano tiramisu has a separate fanbase. Spongy and chilled, with a hidden layer of tempered chocolate, the tiramisu is scooped out and served fresh right at the table. Instagram; Americano, 121/123 Radha Bhavan, Nagindas Master Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai

Izumi, Bandra, Mumbai

The 1,500sqft Izumi in Bandra manages to squeeze in 54 seats, a live sushi bar and what is often considered the best ramen in the country, without feeling cramped or crowded. Izumi started off as a delivery business led by head chef and co-owner Nooresha Kably, who works with bold ingredients and intense flavours with an impressive balance. Their innovative takes on dishes like the Hamachi Truffle Ponzu with Wasabi Jelly, Sashimi Salad, and the Shoyu Chintan Vegetarian Ramen, remain their biggest draws even today, five years after they opened. Instagram; Izumi, Ground Floor, Sunrise Cooperative Society, Road Number 24, Khar West, Mumbai

Bengaluru Oota Company

Climbing from #17 on the Top Restaurant Awards 2019, Bengaluru Oota Company manages to offer an intimate dining experience with a “by reservation only” system—there are just five tables in a quaint yellow-walled home in Halasuru and a Gowda-Mangalorean menu that changes everyday based on what’s fresh in the market. Once guests book their table, they can share their dietary preferences and the meal will be curated accordingly. A typical 5-course meal includes season-based drinks, traditional starters, flavourful curries, rice variations, chutneys, pickles, pachadis and the essential curd rice. Desserts and filter coffee cap off the experience. The restaurant is owned and operated by Divya Prabhakar—a 7th generation Gowda from Ulsoor with an 18-year career in hospitality—who will make sure you take extra servings of kori gassi and mutton cutlets, all while telling you about the history and preparation of the regional delicacies on your table. Instagram; Bengaluru Oota Company, 5, Cambridge Cross Road, Halasuru, Cambridge Layout, Jogupalya, Bengaluru

Cavatina by Avinash Martins, Goa

Tucked away in breezy Benaulim in South Goa, Cavatina is a modern Indian restaurant with a Goan heart. Ingredients are sourced from around the state and creative cooking techniques lead to a reimagining of local classics. Think, valchi bhaji served with mushrooms, morels and a cashew ambot tik koji, roast tongue marinated in a temperado masala and served with a refreshing tartare, and the Portuguese Serradura reimagined as a tart. The seasonal menu strives to offer diners the best of Goa’s produce, while supporting local growers and producers. Instagram; Cavatina by Avinash Martins, Mesmeric sunsets apartments, Calvaddo, Benaulim, Salcette, Goa

Seefah Restaurant, Mumbai

On the ever-crowded and bustling Hill Road in Bandra, Seefah is a haven for lovers of spice, sauce, and big flavours. A mix of Thai and Japanese cuisines, the menu features dishes like tangy raw papaya salad, crispy pork, wasabi prawns and Kao Phad Ka Prow. Cocktails include a nori-infused gin, vodka with a Thai tea foam, and yuzu Umeshu. Chefs and co-owners Seefah Ketchaiyo and Karan Bane collectively bring about 30 years of restaurant kitchen experience to the table, with their zingy ode to the street eats of Bangkok and Tokyo. Instagram; Seefah Restaurant, 2 Floor, Khan House, Hill Rd, above McDonald’s, Bandra West, Mumbai

The Table, Mumbai

In a sea of Mumbai restaurants serving globally-inspired menus, The Table stands out for its flavour, but also for its consistent farm-to-table approach for over a decade. A lot of the restaurant’s produce comes from The Table Farm a ferry ride away in Alibaug, while the fish and meat is sourced fresh in the city. The menu, which largely features shareable plates, takes inspiration from different corners of the world, from Thailand and Japan to France and the Americas. Dig into sophisticated plates—like their signature ginger glazed boneless chicken wings, the aptly named Sobo Salad with Hass avocado and greens and succulent lamb ragout with pappardelle pasta—in an easy, casual fine-dining setting, all at a stellar location right behind the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Colaba, Mumbai. Instagram; The Table, Kalapesi Trust Building, Ground Floor, opposite Dhanraj Mahal, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai.

For the Record – Vinyl Bar, Goa

Sound and flavour can be savoured together at For the Record – Vinyl Bar, known to locals as FTR. Founder Buland Shukla is an audio engineer, jazz musician and architect and opened the bar to focus on craft cocktails, local spirits and really good music. The cocktails feature Indian ingredients in all their glory. Solkadi spices are infused into coconut milk washed feni, chilli oil is emulsified in gin and orange liqueur with housemade cardamom bitters, and gin is mixed with hibiscus tea and mahua flowers. Diners can also browse through the vinyl collection and pick their favourites to take back home. Instagram; For the Record – Vinyl Bar, Jukebox, H no 49, Next to Audiophile Goa, near Maruti Temple, Fontainhas (quarter), Mala, Panaji, Goa

Le Cirque Signature, The Leela Palace Bengaluru

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This fine-dining restaurant offers its guests a luxurious culinary experience—a mashup of French delicacy and Italian piquancy. Located at The Leela Palace Bengaluru, the ambience at Le Cirque Signature is cosy yet sophisticated, which also accurately describes the Franco-Italian cuisine. There’s private as well as al fresco dining here, the latter overlooking the gardens of the hotel. Head chef Ranjan Rao, who has previously worked at The Oberoi Bangalore and One & Only Royal Mirage Dubai, plays with colour and texture to prepare meticulously crafted dishes like pan seared Atlantic scallops, butternut squash velouté and the “thousand-layered” hazelnut mille-feuille. Instagram; Le Cirque Signature, 5th Floor, The Leela Palace Bengaluru, Old Airport Road, Bengaluru

The Restaurant, The Bangala, Karaikudi

‘Authentic’ may be a much overused term in dining circles today, but this restaurant lays a fair claim to it. In the heart of Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu’s Chettinad district, the kitchen at this heritage hotel puts out a fine exposition of Chettiar cuisine. The flavours are spicy but not hot; the masalas are hand-pounded; and the menu reflects the region’s culture and history. So you will find the immensely popular uppu kari, a dish made with mutton, shallots, garlic and Tamil Nadu’s famous gundu milagai chillies. But you will also find mint and potato croquettes as a nod to the British, who left their culinary imprint on the region. Meals are taken communally at a teak dining hall and eaten from a banana leaf plate with one’s hands. There are also three- and seven-day cooking courses focused on Chettinad and South Indian cuisine, where you will learn about the history of all the dishes you’re eating. Instagram; The Bangala Restaurant, Devakottai Road, Senjai, Karaikudi

Izumi, Assagao, Goa

Izumi’s Assagao outpost opened in 2022 with expansive indoor-outdoor seating and a bar programme curated by Arijit Bose and Pankaj Balachandran of Countertop. The greatest hits from the Mumbai menu feature on the Goa menu, along with a separate yakitori bar for tenderloin, chicken wings, charred Napa cabbage and chicken tsukune. The design follows the aesthetic of their Bandra outpost, with a shibori pattern behind the sushi bar and Japanese-inspired artworks on the walls. Instagram; Izumi, 45, Mapusa-Anjuna-Chapora Road, Assagao, Goa

Bhawan, Gurugram

Restaurateur couple Kainaz Contractor and Rahul Dua are self-described street food superfans, so it’s no surprise that Bhawan, one of the best restaurants in India, pays a sweet and spicy homage to the street food culture of India. Think of timeless classics like Kanpur’s Gadbad Chaat, Banarasi Tamatar Chaat and Kutchi Dabeli and re-imagined classics like Mutton Birria Seekh Kebab, Egg Appam Benedict and Avocado Sev Puri. The Bhawan bar serves local takes on cocktails, with drinks like Gulmarg Negroni which features saffron-infused gin, Corn Hai made with vodka and homemade bhutta syrup and a plum bellini featuring sparkling wine and Himachali plum pureé. 
Instagram; Bhawan, Ground Floor, Unit 9, 32nd Avenue, Chander Nagar, Sector 15, Gurugram

Comorin, Gurugram

This modern Indian restaurant stays true to the winning formula of elevating classic comfort foods to the next level. Whether it is the Mumbai street-favourite vada pav, the banana leaf bhetki maach that West Bengal swears by, or the Punjabi sarson ka saag, Chef Manish Mehrotra has curated a menu that’s full of familiar flavours made with seasonal ingredients. Aside from the freshness of these ingredients, it’s the presentation where Comorin sets itself apart. And accompanying the grub is a solid menu of spirits and cocktails such as nitro rum punch, khus vermouth negroni and walnut sour, all made using bitters and mixers prepared in-house. In fact, even some spirits like the khus vermouth, fennel liqueur and vanilla cognac, which can be enjoyed either as cocktails or neat, are made here. The restaurant’s setting is sleek and modern. And after you are done dining, you can even shop from the curated selection of tea, coffee, serveware and ceramimcs on sale here. Instagram; Comorin, 101, First Floor, Two Horizon Center, DLF Phase 5, Sector 43, Gurugram

Edible Archives, Goa

Edible Archives was one of the Infra Projects at the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2018-19, where it showcased 30 varieties of indigenous rice in 3 months. Since then, Shalini Krishan and Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar have been cooking up a storm from a quiet Goan-Portuguese villa on Anjuna-Mapusa road and, slowly but surely, making people sit up and take notice. The cuisine-agnostic restaurant works with indigenous ingredients and encourages diners to linger, reminisce and delve into the edible archive that lives within each of us. Instagram; Edible Archives,  1301, Anjuna Mapusa Road, Kumbhar Vaddo, Anjuna, Assagao, Goa

Kappa Chakka Kandhari, Chennai

Chef Regi Mathew spent about three years travelling across Kerala, speaking to over 250 home cooks and 70 local toddy owners—some of whom are now part of his kitchen team—before setting up Kappa Chakka Kandhari in Nungambakkam, Chennai in 2018. From the northern beaches of the Malabar to the inventive food of plantation estates, and the wholesome warmth of south Kerala cuisine, Kappa Chakka Kandhari brings to the table ingredients and techniques that have been preserved across time and vanished from many modern kitchens today. There’s everything from spicy prawn ularthiyathu and kadala roast with flakes of toasted coconut, to the mellow yet flavourful kanji served with an assortment of chutneys. Instagram; Kappa Chakka Kandhari, 438, 18th Main Road, 6th Block, Koramangala, Bengaluru

Lupa, Bengaluru

Lupa marks the return of chef Manu Chandra to the restaurant kitchen after stepping away from the Olive Group in 2021. After launching a catering business, content outfit and culinary consultancy, Chandra—along with Founder-Partner Chetan Rampal—opened the 11,000sqft Lupa in February 2023. Named after the mythological La Lupa, Italian for ‘the she-wolf’, who raised Romulus and Remus, the founders of the modern city of Rome, Lupa weaves classic European flavours with contemporary flair. There’s a salumeria cum small plates bar for tapas-style bites and in-house cured meats, a ‘gelato lab’ for freshly-churned gelato, a stone wine cellar below with 2,000 bottles of wine and a raised bar in one corner for craft cocktails. The restaurant has made it to the Top Restaurant Awards 2023 list in its first year of opening. Instagram; Lupa, Ground Floor, Spencer’s Towers, No.86, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bengaluru

FarmLore, Bengaluru

This 18-cover, chef’s table-style restaurant sits within a 37-acre farm at the edge of the city. What grows on the farm makes it to the menu, and everything is cooked on the giant wood-fire oven and the pit-stove. The menu changes every month and details are only revealed when you arrive for your reservation, and on the restaurant’s Instagram after the last serving session of the month. The July menu, for instance, featured Malabar oysters and a Milagu seaweed broth, while the August menu had drumstick metil soup with tangles of metil moringa noodles, crab with scallion bread and mead apple sorbet with a floral berry consomme. Instagram; FarmLore, Survey No. 67, Mohan Raju Layout Sathnur Village, Bagalur, Bengaluru

Jamun Goa

The deep purple colour of jamuns pops up in various shapes and forms at Jamun Goa—the bright accent walls, in the signature tart jamun sour, on the sleeves of your server and the napkins on your plates. Set in a restored Portuguese villa in Assagao, Jamun comes from Pass Code Hospitality, the team behind restaurants like PCO, Ping’s and Saz across Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Kolkata. Chef Rahul Gomes Pereira presents regional Indian food in a casual yet elegant setting, with dishes like ker sangri kofte, bharwan gucchi, Palamaru chicken kebabs and beetroot, water chestnut and amaranth galouti kebabs. Apart from the ever-popular Jamun Sour, the food is best-paired with cocktails like the Jamun Old-Fashioned, Kokum Cooler (vodka, kokum, lime) and Goan Breeze (pineapple-infused rum, orgeat, coriander, egg white). Instagram; Jamun Goa, 190, Mazal Vado, Assagao

Olive Bar & Kitchen, New Delhi

At the Delhi outpost of Olive, dappled sunlight dances on the alfresco tables under the shade of a large Banyan tree, and upstairs at the terrace bar, diners can enjoy their evening drinks with the Qutub Minar glowing in the distance. AD Singh’s trendsetting restaurant did farm-to-table and degustation menus way back in 2006 and today, Chef Dhruv Oberoi continues to improvise and reimagine not just the food but the entire dining experience. The ambience perfectly complements the menu, which features mezze platters and thin crust pizzas, small plates featuring truffled sour cheese-stuffed dumplings served with salted dates, and mains like harissa-spiced butternut squash and miso-marinated sea bass. Instagram; Olive Bar & Kitchen, Mile 6, One Style, 8, Kalka Das Marg, Seth Sarai, Mehrauli, New Delhi

La Loca Maria, Mumbai

Nilesh Dhakle

La Loca Maria is an ode to chef Manuel Olveira’s mother Maria, who ignited his passion for cooking at a young age (the restaurant’s name translates to “the crazy Maria”). Olveira was born in Toledo, Spain, where he grew up cooking at his family-owned restaurant. After stints at Michelin-starred restaurants in Madrid, as well as restaurants in Dubai and Mumbai, Olveira opened La Loca Maria, a modern Spanish cuisine restaurant, with his Indian wife Pratima Tuljapurkar in Mumbai. Here, robust and vibrant flavours define every dish, with tapas like the Gambas al Ajillo featuring smoky prawns on a bed of fragrant garlic infused oil, fresh pumpkin and black bean tacos, crunchy patatas bravas and juicy, succulent Albondigas or lamb meatballs. And, of course, there’s wine and sangrias, craft cocktails, tequila, and mezcal to go with it. Instagram; La Loca Maria, Fatima villa, 29th Rd, Bandra West, Mumbai

Karavalli – Vivanta Bengaluru Residency Road

Located at Vivanta Bengaluru Residency Road, Karavalli’s menu is a collection of the greatest hits from the southern and western coasts of India over the years and features dishes like a fiery crab milagu fry, tiger prawns roast and Alleppey meen curry, among others. The focus is on clean, authentic flavours and cooking techniques, as well as a diverse selection of recipes from Hindu, Muslim and Christian coastal communities. Modelled on a traditional Mangalorean bungalow, and surrounded by lush tamarind trees, the restaurant is inspired by the architecture of homes along the the South Indian coast. The menu, curated by chef Naren Thimmaiah and his team, is a result of meticulous research, conversations with locals from the region and laborious testing of age-old recipes. Instagram; Karavalli – Vivanta Bengaluru Residency Road, 66, Residency Road, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru

Bar Palladio Jaipur

HENRY WILSON

This spectacularly deisgned bright peacock blue restaurant comes from the duo behind the much-lauded Villa Palladio in Jaipur. Founders Barbara Miolini and Indrajeet Jawli bring classic Italian food to the Pink City with Bar Palladio’s handmade ravioli, gnocchi, fresh tomato sauces, linguine, Aperol spritzes, Bellinis and martinis. Miolini is Italian herself and was inspired by the heritage and ways of living, dining and entertaining in Indian and Italian cultures when conceptualising Bar Palladio. The beautiful setting makes it a favourite among locals and travellers. 2023 marks ten years of the restaurant in Jaipur, and its first time on the Top Restaurant Awards list. Instagram; Bar Palladio Jaipur, Kanota Bagh, Narayan Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur

Falak, The Leela Bhartiya City, Bengaluru

Falak is a celebration of Indian food at its finest. The qormas, dals and niharis are slow-cooked and best mopped up with Indian breads like khameeri roti, bakarkhani and kulchas. Chef Farman Ali has about five decades of experience with Indian cooking in various countries, and retired just before the pandemic, only to be called back by the folks at The Leela to do what he does best. If you’re feeling especially indulgent, try the Dastan-e-Goi menu, a feast fit for the royals, with everything from kebabs and the Falak special tandoori chicken to lobster kali mirch, gosht dum biryani and a mithai platter with sweet treats from across North India. Instagram; Falak, The Leela, Bhartiya City, Thanisandra Main Road, Kannuru, Bengaluru

Plats, New Delhi

Plats (pronounced “plaa”) strikes the balance between refinement and comfort, with a menu that features globally-inspired dishes and seasonal produce. The regionally diverse menu features dishes like forest mushroom and truffle linguine, stuffed chicken steak, corn and ricotta tortellini, curried noodles, Mediterranean salads and more. The restaurant is led by chefs Hanisha Singh and Jamsheed Bhote, both of whom started their careers with the Oberoi group of hotels. End the meal on a sweet note with deliciously indulgent desserts including the signature burnt Basque vanilla bean cheesecake and passionfruit and vanilla tres leches. Instagram; Plats, C- 51 ground floor, Shivalik Road, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi

Wasabi By Morimoto, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

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Wasabi by Morimoto at The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai was ‘Iron Chef’ and James Beard Foundation Award winner Masaharu Morimoto’s second-ever launch under his brand name. From its location in the iconic The Taj Mahal Palace, diners can enjoy the signature white fish carpaccio, sushi, black cod miso and Wasabi crème brulee with views of the Gateway of India and the Arabian Sea beyond. The ingredients are flown in from Japan, the décor is inspired by a typical Japanese home and the bar menu features an impressive selection of saké, Japanese whisky and plum wine. Instagram; Wasabi By Morimoto, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai

Baan Thai, Kolkata

The specialty Thai restaurant at The Oberoi Grand Kolkata, Baan Thai has been serving up massaman, kai krapow and satays to locals for two decades. Hand-carved statues, wooden masks, artefacts and a life-sized Buddha adorn the space, which features intimate seating with hand-carved wooden screens that offer diners privacy. The restaurant celebrates Thai festivals like Song Kran and Loi Krathong every year with delectable special menus and pops up at sister properties across India to take their signature flavours far and wide. Instagram; Baan Thai, The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata, 15, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata

Burma Burma, Bengaluru

Assad Dadan, www.mediumandrare.in

As the name suggests, Burma Burma celebrates the cuisine, culture and cooking techniques of Myanmar (formerly Burma) in modern and eclectic ways. Best known for its mango salad, Mandalay noodle bowl, Mekong curry, crispy lotus root chips, samosa soup and steamed buns, the vegetarian restaurant digs deep into the cuisine and goes way beyond typical Southeast Asian ingredients. Desserts include a Burmese-style falooda with chilled coconut milk, sweet bread, basil seeds, black grass jelly and sticky rice, and the tagu payan, a coconut panna cotta with sago, cooked in palm jaggery. The Bengaluru outpost also has an extensive tea menu, with offerings such as oolong, chamomile and mandarin, flavoured cold brew teas, and bubble teas in flavours like matcha and yuzu. Instagram; Burma Burma, 607, 12th Main Road, 7th Cross, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bengaluru

Carnatic Café, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi

CNT AWARDS – 7

Simple South Indian recipes shine on the menu of Carnatic Cafe, which has multiple outlets across Delhi. Classics like masala dosa, Mysore dosa, idlis and vada are accompanied by Carnatic Café specials like the fluffy and crispy Malleshwaram 18th Cross dosa smeared with white butter and podi, and the Manina Maga, a fluffy dosa smeared with crushed groundnuts and byadgi chillies. The Folk Meal includes a wholesome meal with saar, seasonal vegetables, rice, gojju, papad, dessert and more. Instagram; Carnatic Café, 21, M Block Market, Greater Kailash 2, New Delhi

Petisco Kitchen & Bar, Goa

In Portuguese, petisco means a snack or small piece of food—similar to the concept of tapas in Spain. At Petisco, the curated food menu by chef Halton D’Souza features small and large plates meant to be shared across the table, such as the prawns a la plancha, pan fried mackerel, crunchy prawn toast and flakey hot fish goujons. The small eats are best washed down with ginger cosmos, grapefruit G&Ts and refreshing sangrias. Instagram; Petisco, Souza Towers, Dr RS Road, Opposite Municipal Garden, Altinho, Panaji, Goa

Noon, Mumbai

Assad Dadan

Chef Vanika Choudhary has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement in India since she founded Sequel in 2016. With Noon, Choudhary has been quietly but consistently carrying the torch forward, with ferments, foraged ingredients and regional flavours. The 10 course Chef’s Tasting menu evolves with the changing seasons and the ingredients come from Maharashtra, Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir. This year, Noon has had a slew of exciting international collaborations, with restaurants like Cenci in Tokyo, Paradise Soho, The Herball, Como Uma Paro and more. Instagram; Noon, One BKC, Ground Floor, Tower B, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai

Ekaa Mumbai

SUSHANTNIMBARE

Chef Niyati Rao has been making big waves ever since Ekaa was launched in Mumbai’s Fort in 2021. The cuisine-agnostic restaurant has a razor sharp focus on local ingredients, with seasonal offerings like oysters served with pickled Sargassum seaweed, roasted Koji ice cream with pickled blueberries, sea urchin with chilled cape gooseberry juice and trout roe with Manipuri rice and kombucha gel. The minimalist design of the restaurant showcases the heritage of the original 1890-built structure of Kitab Mahal within which it is housed. Along with Rao, the restaurant is helmed by cofounder Sagar Neve and backed by Nisa Experience—the team behind the neighbouring KMC*. Instagram; Ekaa, Kitab Mahal, 1st Floor, D Sukhadwala Road, Azad Maidan, Fort, Mumbai

Glenburn Penthouse, Kolkata

Though the nine-key Glenburn Penthouse is a luxury boutique hotel, they are as well-known for their elegant food as for their colonial-era inspired accommodations. Chef de Cuisine Shawn Kenworthy was born and raised in the UK but has lived in India since 2000. His body of work includes cooking and consulting at everything from The Park Hotels, Hyatt and Radisson to Suryagarh Jaisalmer, Sitara Himalayas, Jehan Numa Palace Bhopal and Olive Bar & Kitchen. Kenworthy’s delicate European cooking techniques work beautifully with head chef Ranjit Shaw’s training in Kolkata to make the food at Glenburn Penthouse a refreshing take on local ingredients and culinary history. While the tasting menus are constantly changing, diners can expect dishes that blend European techniques and presentation with local ingredients, such as crispy Bengal farmed softshell crab in a moilee sauce, duck kosha singara with panch phoron pineapple and a Basque-style chhana nolen gur cheesecake. Instagram; Glenburn Penthouse, Kanak Towers, 7A, Russell Street, Park Street area, Kolkata

Southern Spice, Taj Coromandel, Chennai

Jaideep Oberoi

The traditional South Indian restaurant of Taj Coromandel serves a diverse range of delicacies from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The interiors are inspired by the grand and intricate architecture of the palaces and temples of the Chola, Pallava and Pandya dynasties, and the food rests on the strong foundation of the hand-ground spices essential to Southern Indian cooking. The menu spans everything from the Malabar neimeen (seer fish) biryani and traditional Kerala mutton ishtew, to the wholesome arachivitta sambhar from Tamil Nadu, and mushrooms tossed with spicy Guntur chillies. Diners can even sample a range of vegetarian, meat and seafood rasams, and end the meal with a rich badam halwa, chilled Elaneer payasam and Kumbakonam kaapi ice cream. Instagram, Southern Spice, Taj Coromandel, Chennai, 37, Uthamar Gandhi Road, Tirumurthy Nagar, Nungambakkam, Chennai

Oota Bangalore, Bengaluru

In Kannada, “Oota aita?” (Have you eaten?) is a common greeting that implies “Should I make you something?”—a testament to the warmth and hospitality of Karnataka locals. Oota Bangalore encapsulates this warmth with its extensive menu, which spans delicacies from roadside shacks, hole-in-the-wall eateries, temple kitchens, legendary restaurants and popular khanavalis across Karnataka. Each dish is marked by region—Souji chicken curry from North Karnataka, maddur vade and chicken sukke from South Karnataka, kori curry and anjal fish fry from coastal Karnataka, and kumme (mushroom) curry and akki roti from Coorg. Instagram; Oota Bangalore, 7th Floor, 331, Road, 5B Road, Whitefield, EPIP Zone, Bengaluru

Naru Noodle Bar, Bengaluru

At Naru, you are encouraged to slurp up your ramen in six to seven minutes and tilt the bowl up to get all the broth, just like a Japanese local would. Launched in August 2022, the restaurant spans just 250sqft and seats eight at a ramen bar. Owner and head chef Kavan Kuttappa is a familiar face to local food lovers—he was previously at Olive Beach Bengaluru and the playful South Indian restaurant and bar The Permit Room. At Naru, you see the chefs boil the noodles and assemble your ramen right in front of you, and they’re often happy to chit-chat while you slurp away. All of that, if you manage to score a table. The restaurant has had fully booked seatings ever since it opened, with reservations becoming a game of fastest fingers first among hungry diners. The springy noodles are all made in-house and the menu includes vegetarian and vegan ramen options, along with sides like crunchy chicken karaage, and fun desserts like mango mochi and Thai bubble tea ice cream. Instagram; Naru Noodle Bar, 105, Kengal Hanumanthaiah Road, Raja Ram Mohanroy Extension, Shanti Nagar, Bengaluru

Boteco Restaurante Brasileiro, Bengaluru

Boteco, led by Brazilian-origin chef Guto Souza, specialises in South American and Brazilian cuisine. Grapefruit sours, Rositos and Twisted Negronis can be paired with prawn croquettes, beef carpaccio and Brazilian cheese bread. The restaurant also has its own ‘Churrasqueira’ or charcoal grill section for sizzling, smokey meat and vegetable barbecues. Look out for chef Guto’s exclusive chef’s tables, which he hosts every few months, with a six-course degustation dinner with wine pairings. Instagram; Boteco Restaurante Breasileiro, Ram Kunj, 16/3, Magrath Road, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru

Bread & Chocolate, Puducherry

Natasha Mulhall

Co-founded by chef Daniel Trulson—who is also the co-founder of Subko—and Pondicherry-based bean-to-bar chocolate makers Mason & Co Chocolate, Bread and Chocolate is a Puducherry must-visit. Fresh fruit smoothie bowls, croissants, galettes, pizzas, pancakes, wraps and more are on offer here, along with a healthy dose of chocolate in the form of bakes, desserts and beverages. The Mason & Co store is right next door, so you can grab a few bars to take back with you after your meal. Instagram; Bread & Chocolate, 6, Marine Street, next to Sri Aurobindo Ashram, White Town, Puducherry

The Johri, Jaipur

Launched in 2021, this vegetarian restaurant is housed within a lovingly restored 19th century home-turned-boutique hotel of the same name—the second property of hotelier and restaurateur Abhishek Honawar and ninth-generation owner of Gem Palace, Siddharth Kasliwal. The ever-evolving seasonal menu makes use of fresh local produce to play on well-known local and regional delicacies. Chef Sonukumar Singh’s curated menu includes delicate amaranth-crusted dahi ke kebab, tandoor gucchi ke kebab, kathal ki nihari and edamame and vegetable pulao, alongside classics like golgappe, palak patta chaat and creamy Old Delhi butter paneer. Instagram; The Johri, 3950, MSB ka Rasta, Johari Bazaar, Ghat Darwaza, Jaipur

Toast & Tonic, Bengaluru

From the team behind Olive Bar & Kitchen, Toast & Tonic is all about innovation and sustainability, taking inspiration from local ingredients and American cuisine. Dishes here are led by curiosity but remain comforting and indulgent, like their signature flatbreads, lamb turnovers, ragi chips with edamame hummus and juicy burgers with fries. Head chef Chirag Makwana specialises in Italian, French-Canadian and North American cuisines brings more than 13 years of culinary experience to the table. The housemade tonic here is as noteworthy—if not more—as the toast. The bar is best-known for its G&Ts, and offers a range of tonics infused with aromatics. Instagram, Toast & Tonic, 14/1, Wood Street, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru

Chinoiserie

The 34-year-old Chinoiserie in Taj Bengal, Kolkata, is a city favourite for Sichuan and Cantonese specialties like Peking duck, crispy spinach, lemon chilli garlic asparagus and butter chilli garlic prawns. The restaurant offers warm comfort food, with an extensive dim sum menu, hearty hot and sour soups, zingy wok-tossed vegetables, meats and seafood, and crowd-pleasing desserts like date pancakes with ice cream and darsaan honey. Instagram; Chionoiserie, Taj Bengal, Kolkata, 34-B, Belvedere Rd, Alipore, Kolkata

Coromandel Cafe, Pondicherry

Nestled within a century-old French villa in Pondicherry called La Maison Rose, Coromandel Cafe uses its locale as inspiration. The walls are pastel pink and white with floral accents, the corners bursting with foliage and sunlight streams in through tall windows. The menu is all fresh salads, creamy pastas, and perfectly plated slices of cheesecake, caramel eclairs and truffles. The weekly special menus feature dishes made with seasonal ingredients like wild gourd curry and gazpacho with mango or jamun. Instagram, Coromandel Cafe, 8, Romain Rolland St, White Town, Pondicherry

Cafe Lota, New Delhi

Cafe Lota keeps things simple and straightforward, with a focus on well-loved Indian food. There’s everything from palak patta chaat, Mahabaleshwar corn pattice and ragi vada pav to prawn fry, kathal biryani and mutton dhansak. There are also Himachali and Kumaoni thalis, and desserts like kulfi and bhapa doi cheesecake, and special menus that explore Kumaoni, Odia and other regional cuisines. Instagram; Cafe Lota, Gate No. 2, National Crafts Museum, Bhairon Marg, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

Baoshuan, New Delhi

Indraneil

Overlooking the sprawling New Delhi Golf Course, Baoshuan is the rooftop Chinese restaurant at The Oberoi, New Delhi. For centuries, Chinese treasure ships—known as baoshuan—would carry goods from China to India and beyond for international trade. In keeping with the spirit of bringing Chinese culture to the world, Baoshuan takes you on a journey across geography and time, from the Buddhist temple cuisine of the Tang dynasty and the lantern-lit tea houses of bustling Suzhou under the Ming dynasty to Shanghai’s jazz age and the cocktail hours of modern Hong Kong. The menu, crafted by chef Andrew Wong of the 2-Michelin-starred A. Wong restaurant in London, offers cuisines from specific regions in China and its 14 international borders, like the Peking Duck, Thousand-layered chicken puff, steamed spinach and prawn tobiko. Instagram; Baoshuan, The Oberoi, Dr Zakir Hussain Marg, New Delhi