Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Kingsway's Dosa Trail: Restaurants offering authentic South Indian flavours beyond Burnaby

Move over bar hopping, who's ready for dosa-hopping?
Masala Dosa at 7th Taste (Ananda Bhavan) on Kingsway. The restaurant is one of five serving up South Indian food on Kingsway's "dosa stretch."

A fresh aroma: The distinct fragrance of ghee (a.k.a. clarified butter) disperses in the air, dominating the space. A sizzling sound erupts from the kitchen as drops of water touch the surface of the burning plate on the stove and then, some crackling.

Shortly after, a beautiful, steaming, golden, paper-thin, crispy dosa is put in front of me, all ready to be devoured.

As a South Indian, I grew up eating dosas of various kinds all my life. For those uninitiated to dosas, they are a fermented lentil and rice crispy crepe-like South Indian staple, served with sides and sometimes potato or other fillings.

The golden crispy dosas (also made thick like pancakes) are a favourite all-day breakfast meal for many across the world, and I, for one, could keep eating them.

On such days when I get hankerings for the golden crispy dosas, I’m often left longing, as options in Burnaby are few and far between.

With the exception of Chettinad Dosa Palace on Canada Way and Manjal South Indian Kitchen in Edmonds, Burnaby residents’ options are slim — and dosa fans will have to drive to Surrey or Vancouver for the more traditional options.

Just across the border from Burnaby in Vancouver along Kingsway, is a stretch where many dosa restaurants have popped up — so many that it should almost be named “the dosa street.”

Here are five restaurants on the said dosa stretch of Kingsway for you to cross Boundary Road for — all within two kilometres of each other:

7th Taste (Ananda Bhavan) — 10 minutes from Swangard Stadium

The first stop along the Kingsway dosa stretch is this tucked-away, homey restaurant that boasts of traditional “Tamizh culture” interiors and dishes.

It was a love affair for cooking that led Burnaby resident Santhi Ravichandran to opening 7th Taste (Ananda Bhavan) in Vancouver more than nine years ago. After arriving in Canada in 2008, Ravichandran was, many a time, left disappointed at the lack of authentic South Indian cuisine in the area.

So she decided to take matters into her own hands — opening an authentic South Indian restaurant, staying true to its roots, in an accessible part of Vancouver “with underground parking!” she exclaimed.

The goal, to this day, is to provide “homestyle” South Indian cuisine to the residents of the area. Health is most important, Ravichandran told the NOW in a conversation. Which is why she wanted the meals prepared free of preservatives, GMOs, monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking powder and artificial colours.

“It should be prepared and taste like home food,” she said in Tamil.

At the helm, in the kitchen, is chef Kathiravan, who was flown in from a small town in Tamil Nadu, India, to help carry the authentic taste of South India in Canada.

In Tamizh, there’s a concept called “aru suvai,” which translates to six tastes that dominate the palette, and Ravichandran said a visit to the restaurant to savour some of these traditional dishes from South India — be it dosa or biriyani or parotta — will help people unlock a “7th taste” and be content.

  • Where: 2269 Kingsway, Vancouver
  • When: Open 7 days a week, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Famous Dosa Indian Grill & Thalapkatti Biryani House — 15 minutes from Swangard Stadium

The next stop is this Famous Dosa restaurant, which not only offers more than 30 variations of traditional dosa but also claims to be “Vancouver’s only” restaurant serving authentic Thalapkatti biriyani. What it thalapkatti biriyani, you ask? Thalapakatti literally translates to wearing a turban, but the story of this thalapakatti biriyani has its origins in many places.

However, the distinct taste of the famous biriyani is hard to miss and has a dedicated fan following of its own. Say thalapkatti, and the homesicks’ eyes will light up from afar — and this is the restaurant to hit up if you’re in the mood for “the biriyani.”

  • Where: 1625 Kingsway, Vancouver
  • When: Open 7 days a week, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.

House of Dosas — 15 minutes from Swangard Stadium

As the name suggests, this stop at the corner of Kingsway and Knight in Vancouver is a one-stop destination for all South Indian foods — from kothu parotta to idly to, you guessed it, dosas.

The popular eatery has been around for more than 16 years, earning a loyal fan-base among Vancouver foodies — getting a makeover just recently. The casual dining spot has enough comfortable seating options to accommodate dosa lovers at any time, as it is one of the only dosa restaurants in the Vancouver area to be open 24 hours every day.

So you have late-night dosa (or just about any South Indian dish) cravings? This spot will welcome you, your friends and your cravings with a warm heart and a delicious spread.

  • Where: 1391 Kingsway, Vancouver
  • When: Open 7 days a week, 24 hours

Dosa Factory — 16 minutes from Swangard Stadium

Dosa Factory, steps away from House of Dosas, is more a modern “South Indian” restaurant boasting urban, fine dining-like interiors with familiar authentic flavours of South India.

The restaurant was established in 2016 and has since been serving the neighbourhood with more than 100 varieties of dosa, as well as Indo-Chinese, North Indian and Tandoori dishes.

  • Where: 1345 Kingsway, Vancouver
  • When: Open 7 days a week, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Dosa World — 17 minutes from Swangard Stadium

A short walk from Dosa Factory will lead you to the steps of Dosa World, a world in which you can experience the taste of South India in peace — if you haven’t already, given all the options above.

Whether you’re craving vegetarian dosas, non-vegetarian dosas like butter lamb dosa or seafood varieties like fish vindaloo dosa, you can find everything at this hidden spot.

  • Where: 1150 Kingsway, Vancouver
  • When: Monday — 3 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Wednesday — 12:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Tuesday, Thursday and Friday — 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday — 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.