Second only to music, food dominates Nashville’s cultural scene. While most people know that Tennessee’s capital serves classics like barbeque and hot chicken, fewer may be familiar with the vibrant food scene represented from other places around the globe.
During my trip to Music City, I not only sought out regional dishes but also explored the Indian food scene in Nashville.
I was surprised and delighted at both the number of options and the quality of Indian food in the city. Since India is a large country, many meals are prepared in different regions.
Distinct spice blends and vegetable-forward dishes are two common elements of Indian cooking. Thankfully, I could sample a little of everything at these best Indian restaurants in Nashville.
Chauhan Ale and Masala House
123 12th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203
In the North Gulch area of Nashville, diners head to Chauhan Ale and Masala House for a mix of flavorful fusion created by Chef Maneet Chauhan.
The most visually appealing restaurant on the list, Chauhan decorates their older dining room with Indian accents and modern touches.
In my opinion, Chauhan has not only the best look but also the most unique food. Chauhan combines Indian classics with global cuisine. Nashville hot cauliflower pakoras create the perfect blend of Indian and southern flavors.
The tandoori chicken poutine was another favorite. There are also classic Indian dishes on the menu for those who want something more authentic.
457 Donelson Pike, Nashville, TN 37214
On the southern edge of the Donelson neighborhood, Sindoore offers a low-key atmosphere to enjoy northern Indian food. Despite the relaxed vibe, the restaurant has some upscale elements.
The lighting fixtures were unique and paired well with the dining room’s various art pieces. Overall the ambiance here was elevated but fun.
For me, what made Sindoore one of the best Indian restaurants in Nashville, was their perfection of simple dishes.
The butter chicken here was one of my favorite renditions I’ve had. The chicken was perfectly moist, and the creamy tomato curry was perfectly balanced.
Taj Indian Restaurant
3943 Nolensville Pk, Nashville, TN 37211
Taj Indian Restaurant operates in southeast Nashville, an area it shares with the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. The zoo isn’t the only nearby landmark, Plaza Mariachi hosts live music events just steps away from the restaurant.
Taj has an upscale interior with modern lighting and a rich jewel-toned color palette. Everything at Taj was tasty and flavorful with just the right amount of spice.
Though it was difficult to decide, my favorite dish of the evening was the chicken korma. Taj’s take on the Indian classic resulted in tender, tangy chicken in a rich sauce.
Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
3415 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203
In Nashville’s Hillsboro West End, Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine sits a short walk from small but popular Love Park.
Inside Woodlands, diners experience a sleek, modern look complete with low lighting for ambiance. Art lines the walls of this establishment, making for an interesting place to eat.
Though most Indian food places offer many vegetarian choices, Woodlands provides only meat-free meals. For those with diets excluding meat, this place is a must.
Compared to other establishments, there are twice as many options at Woodlands. As for my recommendations, everything was great, but the dosas, stuffed crepes traditional in southern India, were my favorite.
2912 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203
Bombay Palace is only a few blocks from Centennial Park with its replica Parthenon. The restaurant serves fine Indian cuisine in an easygoing setting.
Inside, the restaurant looks almost akin to an old-style diner, but small touches in decor reinforce the Indian theme. Red is used frequently in the dining room, creating a warm look.
What the restaurant lack’s in style, it makes up for in flavorful Indian food. On my visit, I ordered the shrimp vindaloo.
The hot curry sauce paired with sour flavor from the vinegar and lemon made for perfectly seasoned shrimp! Also worth mentioning are the selection of Indian loaves of bread baked on site.
Saffron The Indian Kitchen
Assembly Food Hall, 5055 Broadway Pl, Nashville, TN 37203
In the heart of Downtown, people head to Saffron The Indian Kitchen for a casual place to dine with lots of options. Saffron is at the center of things in Downtown Nashville on the first floor of the Renaissance Hotel, and it’s across from the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Though the atmosphere is relaxed, the dining room looks very upscale. The location isn’t the only reason to stop by this casual restaurant.
Saffron serves Indian food classics like biryani and daal. My favorite dish of the evening was the chicken tikka masala, which was tangy and spicy.
Sitar Indian Cuisine
116 21st Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203
The Midtown neighborhood of Nashville hosts multiple colleges and universities. Unsurprisingly, it is also one of the hottest areas for nightlife in the city.
Sitar looks standard from the outside with dark green exterior paint. Inside, the restaurant utilizes bright colors, creating a welcoming space to eat.
Sitar stays open a little later than other restaurants on this list. So if you’re looking for some late-night Indian food, this is one of the best places to consider.
I’d heard sag paneer was one of the best dishes here by word of mouth, and it didn’t disappoint. Part of what made this creamy spinach so delicious was the homemade cheese!
900 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208
Directly across from the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, locals and tourists flock to Nashville’s Farmers’ Market. The year-round market sprawls inside and out, but hungry guests head inside to check out the food stalls.
Swagruha is one of the most popular spots to pick up a plate of delicious Indian food. Though Swagruha serves a small menu, nearly every option stands out for its delicious quality.
Since this spot offers counter service, heat level customization isn’t an option at this spot. If you do like spicy foods, I highly recommend goat curry. There are plenty of less spicy choices, too.
Best of India Nashville
5815 D, Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209
One of the best Indian restaurants out of the central city, visitors come to Best of India Nashville for its cozy atmosphere as well as the food.
Live plants decorate the restaurant’s storefront, and multicolored lights inside and out add to the vibe. Located in the Charlotte Park neighborhood, Best of India may be some distance from downtown, but it’s worth the trip.
On my visit, I ordered several dishes though they also offer a buffet option for folks who want to sample lots of Indian cuisines.
The vegetable samosas crisped nicely in the fry without becoming too statured in oil. The seasoned filling contained just the right amount of spice paired with perfectly cooked potatoes and peas.
Whether you need a break from barbeque or just appreciate Indian cooking, exploring the capital of Tennessee yields excellent results.
Check out my picks for the best Indian restaurants in Nashville if you’re craving something tasty and spicy! You have quite a few options for authentic Indian food in this city.
Check out the city’s hottest spots for soul food as well while you’re here!
If you have more recommendations, let us know in the comments below. We’ll try it out, and you might see your favorite spot on an updated version of this list!
Best Indian Restaurants in Nashville
- Chauhan Ale and Masala House
- Taj Indian Restaurant
- Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
- Bombay Palace
- Saffron The Indian Kitchen
- Sitar Indian Cuisine
- Best of India Nashville