New York Indian Food Favorites

October 16, 2010

New York is a city exploding with ethnic eats.  It can be hard to navigate through the authentic, the cheap but still good, the cheap which tastes cheap and the expensive and worth it.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions about good Indian food in New York.  I’m always hesitant to create a list of my go to’s because there are constantly new places to add.  But here goes:

*Bukhara Grill has been a favorite of mine and Rajat’s for a number of years.  It’s not cheap but the food is consistently delicious over the six or so years I’ve been eating there.  My favorites are the Dal Bukhara, a creamy and rich blackish-brown urad daal, Gobi Taka Tin, moist pieces of spiced cauliflower with red bellpeppers, Paneer Dilruba, chunks of paneer in a creamy tomato sauce and garlic naan.  For starters, try the Pudina Paneer Tikka, pieces of paneer marinated in mint and spices then cooked kebab style in the tandoor oven.  Their kheer, rice pudding, is a cooling, creamy choice for dessert.  You won’t have room for it.  But make some.

*Chennai Garden is where we usually head for South Indian food.  Like most South Indian restaurants, Chennai Garden is all vegetarian.  And this being New York, it’s also Kosher certified.  Paper dosas (crispy rice crepes) are my favorite.  Their South Indian thali is usually packed with North Indian style vegetables, so I don’t order it often.


*Saravanaa Bhavan is another South Indian favorite.  This restaurant is part of a chain of vegetarian South Indian restaurants from India.  The food is authentic and spicy.  I love indulging with their South Indian thali.

*Bhojan is a new favorite opened by the same family that owns Chola.  They serve chaat (snacks) and street foods.  Try their vada pav and pudina cheese sandwich.

*Kati Roll is as good at 1 p.m. as it as 1 a.m.  They serve buttery flatbread roll-ups stuffed with your choice of paneer, potatoes, egg and chicken among others.

*Tamarind is a beautiful, classy Indian restaurant.  They serve traditional Indian foods and then innovative dishes like a salad of paneer and watermelon splashed with balsamic vinegar.

With so many places in New York, I’m sure I missed some.  What are your favorites?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

rachna October 17, 2010 at 9:45 am

Let me add Devi and Tabla bread bar to this selection.
Devi has Malabar inspired dishes. Their dishes are flvoured with a combination of spices that is neither north indian or traditional south indian. So if you want to try out a different variation of Indian cooking, then this is a good bet. Its pricy but well worth it.
Tabla bread bar has some interesting variations of the traditional Indian cuisine.Their corn Pizza is makki roti with sarson saag topped with goat cheese. Both makki roti and sarsong ka saag are prepared in the tradional style but the goat cheese elevates the whole experience. Their kulfi is dipped in chocolate and served with some home made choclate cookies, served beautifuly and oh soo good.

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Pavani October 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

Thanks for posting this list, I’m sure I’ll be coming back to it pretty soon. We are always looking for good Indian restaurants in the city, but with limited knowledge end up eating at the same place (and that’s not even Indian, but we love this CRISP falafel place).

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Liz October 19, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Anything in Brooklyn or Queens on your list of faves?

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nithya October 22, 2010 at 11:58 pm

@Liz – I haven’t found any good Indian restaurants in Brooklyn. There are many sub-par places, and I don’t understand why there’s not just a good, solid Indian restaurant here. I had high hopes for the Baluchi’s in Park Slope. But I haven’t found any good keepers here. In Queens, my favorite is the temple canteen at the Ganesh Temple in Flushing. The dosas, dahi vadas and sweets are the best. Jackson Diner is a classic although not what it once was. We recently tried Tangra Masala in Queens for Indian Chinese and it was pretty darn amazing.

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Liz October 23, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Thank you Nithya. I used to live in JH years ago which was my first major intro to Indian restaurants and grocers. We even had Jackson Diner food at our wedding. Now, in Brooklyn, I miss ready access to all that. I do love the places around 28th and Lex so thank you for your recommendations.

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Usha January 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

First time here… My favorites or our go to Indian restaurants are Sarvana Bhavan and Chinese Mirch. Tamarind is pretty good too. I love chaat and was looking for some good chaat places in the city. Will try Bhojan next time.

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Times Square Restaurants January 24, 2014 at 9:55 am

Indian food looks perfect! this one is my sister’s favourite. Thanks for sharing

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