South Asian Cuisine in Surrey BC: 7 Most Delicious Stops on the Spice Trail

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Most Delicious Stops on the Spice Trail in Surrey, BC - Momos at Kathmandu Bar and Grill.
Momos at Kathmandu Bar and Grill. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

South Asian cuisine in Surrey, BC, Canada, experienced along the Spice Trail near Vancouver is a delightful way to tantalize your taste buds. If you’re anything like me, you enjoy learning about other cultures through food.

From breakfast treats, street food, and craft cocktails with house-made snacks to traditional feasts for dinner, come with me now to see the seven most delicious stops on the Spice Trail in Surrey, BC.

About Surrey

Surrey, British Columbia, is one of Metro Vancouver’s most multi-culturally diverse communities. Located in the Pacific Northwest just across the border from Washington State, this Western Canada city will soon be the largest in British Columbia.

Surrey comprises six neighborhoods–North Surrey, Fleetwood, Cloverdale, Newton, South Surrey, and Guildford. We stayed at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel and were treated to a 14th-floor room with an incredible view over the city.

Discover Surrey hosted my husband and me. However, all opinions are my own.

How to get to Surrey

Surrey is easy to reach. From the United States, fly into Seattle and drive north three hours across the Canadian border. Or fly into Vancouver, Canada, drive southeast, and arrive in Surrey in less than an hour.

This summer, we crossed the border on our road trip near Blaine, Washington, across the Port Mann Bridge, then connected to the Trans-Canada Highway, which took us to our lodging in Guildford, one of the six neighborhoods in Surrey.

We crossed the Canadian/US border at the Peace Arch Crossing on Interstate 5 when we left British Columbia a week later. That crossing took one hour in a lineup of other vehicles.

The Spice Trail

The cornerstone attraction in Surrey is the Spice Trail, and its food and drink are year-round attractions. Anchored with South Asian or regional Indian cuisine, from hole-in-the-wall samosa joints to fine dining, we experienced so many delicious meals it was hard to say which was our favorite.

Most Delicious Stops on the Spice Trail in Surrey, BC - Gol Gappe at Chacha’s
Gol Gappe at Chacha’s. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Chachas Tandoor and Grill

We began our Spice Trail adventure at Chachas Tandoor and Grill. Their specialties are North Indian, Asian, Grill, and street food. With instruction from our host, we learned one way to eat Gol Gappe. It was a fun introduction to the culture and authentic Indian cuisine.

Most Delicious Stops on the Spice Trail in Surrey, BC - The Magic Mushroom Cocktail Fable at Clove
The Magic Mushroom Cocktail Fable at Clove. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Clove The Art of Dining

The sophisticated ambiance when we walked into Clove The Art of Dining was impressive. Because we were there on a weeknight, it wasn’t busy, and we had time to relax and enjoy the enchanting Cocktail Fables. I had the Magic Mushroom because our host highly recommended it. I was not disappointed and loved the homemade chips they served with it.

Appetizers were served under a smoking dome, as was one of our Cocktail Fables. I don’t know how much the smoke flavored the food, but it made for an entertaining presentation.

We ordered the lamb to share, and it came with several side dishes that were filling and delicious.

We shared the Gulab Jamun (pistachio crumble) Cheesecake for dessert. It was the perfect ending to a delightful dining experience.

I found this to be the best Indian restaurant in the area.

Most Delicious Stops on the Spice Trail in Surrey, BC - Biscoff French Toast at Reux Café
Biscoff French Toast at Reux Café. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Reux Café

After a lesson on riding the Skytrain first thing in the morning, we made our way to breakfast at Reux Café. Inspired by Melbourne, Australia, the owners adapted their menu to the local style in Surrey.

We shared a Reux Brekkie burger, and a Falafel Waffle, and sunk our sweet tooth into the Biscoff French Toast. All were remarkable.

We added an order of Chicken Salt Fries to our meal. They are on the Dairy-Free and Gluten-Aware menus. They are amazingly delicious, and we highly recommend them if you like French fries.

Kathmandu Bar and Grill

A blend of Nepalese, Indo-Chinese, and Western cuisine is served at Kathmandu Bar and Grill. Located on Scott Road on the border of Delta, we enjoyed lunch with the locally made craft beer called Magic Malts.

Eagerly, I sampled the Butter Cheesy Momos, Tandoori Momos, and Nepali Chow Mein. Before my visit, I learned about Momos, little pockets of meat, vegetables, or cheese. They are steamed dumplings with yummy fillings.

Most Delicious Stops on the Spice Trail in Surrey, BC - Bánh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich at Chopsticks on Pho
Bánh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich at Chopsticks on Pho. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Chopsticks on Pho

The freshest Bánh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich I’ve ever eaten was served for the lunch special at Chopsticks on Pho. We also had the Curry Pho, and I followed it up with a luscious Vietnamese Coffee.

We met the owners, Steven and Linn, who love sharing their stories.

” Born and raised in two different parts of Vietnam, North, and South, they fled the country by boats with their parents and siblings at a young age…. they met each other one day in a beautiful yet cold city of Edmonton, Alberta. When they first met, he was a college student, and she was a high school teenager.”

They discovered that they both had an interest in people and food. Almost two decades later, with two young children, they started pursuing the dream of owning a restaurant. That’s how Chopsticks Pho was born. They are just a regular couple who love people and food, which is evident in their customer service.

Most Delicious Stops on the Spice Trail in Surrey, BC - Tour at Cavallo Winery
Tour at Cavallo Winery. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Cavallo Winery

Napa red grapes are sourced to Cavallo Winery to produce outstanding flavor profiles in their wines. Their slogan is, “We’re not just making wine… we’re making history.”

During our Winery Tour, Stephanie shared that a team of women, including the winemaker, operate Cavallo Winery.

We sampled five wines and came home with three bottles for our collection. That’s a testament to the quality of the wine.

Most Delicious Stops on the Spice Trail in Surrey, BC - Afghan Feast at Afghan Kitchen
Afghan Feast at Afghan Kitchen. Photo credit: Julie Diebolt Price

Afghan Kitchen

Zabi Sarwari, the award-winning owner of Afghan Kitchen, prepares and serves his mother’s original recipes. As a family-run small business, Zabi is active in the community and enjoys sharing Afghan customs with his clientele.

When we arrived, we had the choice to sit in a booth or, in the traditional manner, on the floor with pillows for our backs and bottoms at a low table. We chose the low table and admired the intricate needlework on the pillows, the crimson-painted walls, and the time-honored décor.

Our Afghan dining experience began with craft cocktails, then moved on to appetizers of sesame bread and cheese spread, greens with beets, and radishes over hummus. The entree was the Afghan Feast of Kebab, Bolani, and Mantu, served with rice. The platter was a work of art as all ingredients were carefully designed in a pattern that would make his mother proud.

The dessert was ice cream, and the traditional jasmine tea served to soothe the stomach. We appreciated the educational and cultural experience and Zabi’s attentiveness.

South Asian Dishes and Street Food Defined

  • Biryani – Introduced to India by Persians, was an iconic and royal dish. Biryani is made with vegetables, brown rice, and lean chicken.
  • Kerala – a culinary style of South Indian cuisine that uses red meat, poultry, and fish with regional spices. Known as the “Land of Spices,” Kerala traded spices with Europe.
  • Kebab – Ground or cut-up meat assembled on a skewer, sometimes with vegetables, and roasted over a fire.
  • Masala dosa – Is the most popular South Indian breakfast dish. Dosa is a crepe using fermented rice and lentil batter. It’s crisp, flavorful, and aromatic, stuffed with seasoned potatoes.
  • Naan – is considered a healthy alternative to white bread and pita. There are generous helpings of protein with yogurt, yeast, salt, and water, either plain or with garlic. Use it as a scoop for curries and stews. Garlic naan is my personal favorite.
  • Pakora – Indian street food and restaurant appetizers are crispy fritters made with onions, herbs, spices, potatoes, and gram flour.
  • Paneer – Non-melting cheese used in Indian cuisine. The most common source of calcium and protein for the vegetarian Indian.
  • Pho – a Vietnamese soup consisting of bone broth, spices, rice noodles, and thinly sliced beef. It is topped with bean sprouts and herbs.
  • Tandoori – is marinated meat cooked over an intense fire in a tandoor, a clay oven. This scorching oven is smoky and produces relatively mild flavors using cumin and paprika.

Other Nearby Restaurants and Offerings

Aggarwal Sweets specializes in Indian and Asian and is vegetarian-friendly with a takeout menu.

Apna Chaat House is a fast-food Indian restaurant specializing in Indian and Asian cuisine.

Curry Lounge specializes in Indian cuisine with vegan options and is vegetarian-friendly.

Delight Indian Bistro specializes in Indian cuisine and serves lunch, dinner, brunch, and drinks.

Maple Ridge is a community next door to Surrey across the Fraser River with several international cuisines.

Mayuri Indian Cuisine specializes in Indian food with vegetarian and vegan options.

My Shanti specializes in Indian cuisine. They are vegetarian-friendly and have vegan and gluten-free options.

Rasoi specializes in authentic Indian cuisine. Traditional dishes include tandoori dishes, curries, biryanis, and prawns.

Showshaa specializes in vegetarian Indian and veg options.

Tasty Indian Bistro specializes in Indian cuisine, is vegetarian-friendly, and offers vegan options. Tasty Indian Bistro is on the south side of Scott Road in Delta, the neighbor to Surrey.

The Samosa House is a fast-food specialist in Indian cuisine and is vegetarian-friendly. Call ahead for pick up and takeout.

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