Indian food is a sensation with the most complex mix of flavors to embellish every stew, skewer, chutney, and pastry. As we become more and more globalized, these delectable cooking practices have spread across the world.
With such intricate dishes, it’s best to leave the cooking to professionals. I always want to go out to eat something hard or labor-intensive to cook at home, so it’s little surprise that Indian restaurants tend to be amongst my most visited destinations.
When it comes to Indian restaurants, I am often on the lookout for authenticity, a comprehensive menu, and, of course, the highest quality of dishes possible.
In my travels, I have been fortunate enough to eat at numerous outstanding locations. I have used that experience to compile a list of the best Indian restaurants in the US for you to pencil into your itinerary while traveling or to put on your regular rotation of tasty spots if you’re lucky enough to live near one.
633 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Rasika is a great choice for individuals who enjoy sophisticated dining.
They have two menus; one that has all of their regular dishes and another that contains their weekly specials. As such, guests are provided with plenty of variety.
The chefs at this restaurant aim to introduce the flavors of India to each dish that they make.
They also encourage those that are dining in groups to select a few different dishes which they can enjoy together.
31-31 Thomson Ave, Queens, NY 11101
This canteen-style restaurant serves up some Indian favorites in a funky but relaxed setting. The walls are decorated with newspapers to emphasize the rustic appeal.
The owners of this establishment pride themselves on offering a place for people to hang out whilst feasting on some authentic Indian dishes.
Their menu consists of snacks, grilled items, curries, and sides. Why not complete your meal with a glass of wine or a pint of beer?
You also have the option to order online if you are craving some Indian food but don’t have the time to dine inside.
3. Bollywood Theatre
2039 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
Bollywood Theatre has restaurants in two locations; one on Division Street and another on Alberta Street.
Rated as one of the best Indian restaurants in the Portland area, it certainly isn’t going to disappoint. The owner and chef Troy Maclarty really embraces Indian culture and this is reflected in the dishes that he creates.
After a visit to the country, Maclarty fell in love with the cuisine and this is where his inspiration for most of his dishes came from.
Whether you are local to the area or a visitor looking for somewhere to dine, Bollywood Theatre is the place for you.
4. Indian Accent
123 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019
Indian Accent has restaurants located in New York and New Delhi.
This upscale restaurant offers some of the greatest tasting Indian dishes that you are likely to have tried. Whilst maintaining the traditional elements of the dishes that they make, they also try to explore new ideas.
They have meat-based and vegetarian appetizers and main dishes. If you are feeling particularly peckish, you can opt for a mid-course to tuck into between your appetizers and main course.
You can also choose from a selection of sides to accompany your dish and their menu also lists an impressive variety of desserts.
108 W 2nd St #104, Los Angeles, CA 90012
This Indian Gastropub is located very close to the Grand Central Market in Downtown LA.
Their menu lists a range of delicious sounding items from Indian-inspired street foods to burgers. Along with their restaurant in LA, they have another establishment in Hollywood.
A great thing about the menu is that it is quite varied and they also offer sauces and condiments as well as a selection of fresh bread.
Just like many restaurants nowadays, Badmaash offers an online ordering function where you can order what you want before having it delivered to your door. Alternatively, you can order over the phone or visit the restaurant to request a takeaway.
6. Vik’s Chaat Corner
2390 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710
Vik’s Chaat Corner has been a beloved Berkely California haunt since 1989 when founder and Mumbai-born Amod Chopra opened a traditional Indian snack market in the warehouse district.
Chaat’s specialty is Indian street food that traditionally comes wrapped in fresh leaves sold from roadside stands or mobile carts.
Chopra successfully brought this to the streets of Berkley, garnering city-wide acclaim.
Today, Vik’s Chaat Corner sells a wide variety of snacks as well as full meals with wonderful daily specials.
Snacks include dosas, samosas (which were consistently well-made), and pani puri. I visited at lunchtime, giving me the chance to try out a sumptuous lamb biryani.
1414 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Winner of the Michelin Bib Gourmand eight years running, Cumin is a modern Nepalese and Indian bistro located in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.
Cumin offers authentic dishes in a polished and modern atmosphere with a full bar.
Nepalese and Indian culinary traditions overlap in cooking methods, both using a complex spice mixture to create savory stews.
However, Nepalese cooking traditions omit dairy products like cream that Indian dishes use in abundance.
Thus, Cumin has a menu divided into Indian and Nepalese food sections. I like to mix and match to try traditional dishes from both countries.
When I last visited, I ordered a tangy Indian-style chicken vindaloo with the Nepalese side dish aalu tamar a bodi.
This is a starchy dish of potatoes, bamboo shoots, and black-eyed peas, and a must-try in my opinion.
19 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010
Located in New York, this restaurant has recently reopened boasting a new aesthetic and concept.
The chefs at Junoon create authentic Indian dishes with a modern twist. As the recipient of multiple Michelin stars, you will receive an excellent standard of food along with great service.
Their wine program has received an ‘Award of Excellence’ catering to the palettes of novices and wine drinking enthusiasts.
They also have a cocktail program that uses a blend of herbs and spices to create a unique taste.
9. Ghee Indian Kitchen
8965 SW 72nd Pl, Kendall, FL 33156
Ghee Indian Kitchen is a Miami restaurant that offers traditional dishes with a seasonal and contemporary spin.
The restaurant has a homely feel and you will be greeted with the aromas of the ingredients as soon as you enter. The owner, who is also a chef, was inspired by the flavors of these dishes and uses local ingredients to emulate the flavors in the dishes that he and his team create.
You can either dine-in at the restaurant or you can order it before taking it away to enjoy at home. The varied menu consists of snacks, curries, bread, tandoori dishes, steamed rice, and several chutneys.
132 State St, Los Altos, CA 94022
Aurum is a high-end, modern fusion restaurant in a beautifully designed space in Palo Alto.
Executive chef Manish Yagi was the executive chef at a longstanding Indian restaurant in San Francisco before opening Aurum in 2020.
It was an instant success, with colorful and beautifully presented dishes combining Chef Yagi’s knowledge of tradition and innovation.
Aurum’s unique menu of chaat and entree dishes integrates Indian flavors with different culinary traditions.
I was impressed by Aurum’s Rockstar offering, a curried lobster dish that left me wanting more.
11. Chai Pani
22 Battery Park Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Chai Pani specializes in Chaat, an assortment of Indian Savory Street snacks, along with homemade platters.
Located in Asheville, the name of this restaurant translates to tea and water and essentially refers to the act of going out for a cup of tea and a bite to eat. The found is affordable and the decor is fun – what more could you ask for?
Along with several street food dishes, the menu also lists a variety of sandwiches, wraps, crepes, and thalis. If you’re not quite full after eating your main course you can opt for some rice pudding.
Those fancying something alcoholic can indulge in a beer, cocktail, or a glass of wine.
12. Bombay Chopsticks by India House
1568 W Ogden Ave #148, Naperville, IL 60540
Bombay Chopsticks by India House is a hip, fast-paced cocktail lounge and Chinese and Indian fusion restaurant with locations in Hoffman Estates and Naperville.
Owners and accomplished chef duo Jagmohan Jayara and Joti Jayara have been successful restaurateurs since opening their first restaurant in India as teens.
The menu is a unique combination of traditional dishes with completely different flavor profiles.
It fuses Chinese, Thai, and Indian flavors into distinctive twists and traditional regional dishes.
I particularly loved the fusion of Chinese and Indian cuisine, with the Szechuan pepper paneer being a highlight of my time.
35 W Main St # A, Ventura, CA 93001
Located in Ventura, California, Himalaya is one of the best Indian restaurants in the US.
It’s a friendly, casual eatery decked out in traditional Himalayan Mountain décor with colorful walls, paper lanterns, and mid-century modern furniture.
Just as the Himalayas traverse Nepal, Tibet, and India, so too does the cuisine at Himalaya.
Offering a variety of rich, vegetable-filled stews, curries, and meat dishes, Himalaya uses fresh herbs, roots, and seasonings along with Green Certified produce.
I have never had more delicious naan in my life, especially their saag naan, stuffed with healthy and creamy spinach dip.
14. Tamarind Tribeca
99 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013
Tamarind Tribeca is another restaurant that delivers an upscale, fine dining experience.
The interior of the restaurants is open, spacious, and modernly designed. As a prestigious restaurant, it is also the recipient of a Michelin Star which also indicates that the food is going to be of the best quality.
Their dishes represent the culture of India, although they do have a contemporary touch too. From appetizers such as chaat, samosas, keema, and scallops to soups, salads, seafood, and curry, you are bound to find something on the menu that caters to your preferences.
They also have several vegetarian specialties for those with dietary requirements.
15. Spice Room
3157 W 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Spice Room is a laid-back and inviting neighborhood Indian eatery in Denver, Colorado that offers a variety of healthy vegetarian, vegan, and meat dishes.
Opened by three friends from India and Nepal, Spice Room strives to offer authentic home-style Indian cooking that showcases an extensive knowledge of spice blends.
The dishes are commonly found in streetside eateries around India and Nepal.
The Spice Room has family-style meals. I recommend their vegan options, with the wonderfully-textured aloo bhindi bhujiya being my standout favorite.
11800 W Broad St suite 910, Richmond, VA 23233
For those looking for an Indian restaurant in the area of Richmond, Lehja is definitely a place to try.
The modern interior is stylishly designed and the room is illuminated by colorful lights. During warmer weather, you can make use of the outdoor seating.
As an award-winning restaurant, they only serve up the best quality food. Their menu consists of traditional dishes that have an innovative and contemporary twist.
If you are not in the area, you will be pleased to know that Lehja has three sister restaurants at other locations.
1247 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Rasa is a fast-casual Indian restaurant chain in Washington D.C. from founders and best friends Sahil Rahman and Rahul Vinod.
Rasa was a long-time, high school dream that now has three successful locations, serving budget-friendly, modern takes on Indian food in a trendy atmosphere.
The menu consists of Indian-inspired grain, meat, and veggie bowls with a long list of classic Indian sides.
I adored the Aloo Need is Love, particularly its irresistible sweet potato tiki and coconut ginger sauce. Its endearing name only added to the experience.
18. Indeblue Restaurant and Bar
65 Barclay Farms Shopping Center, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Philadelphia based but located in Cherry Hill NJ, the Indeblue Restaurant and Bar is ranked as one of the best Indian restaurants in the US.
This modern restaurant offers a tasting menu so you can familiarize yourself with a few different dishes. You can enjoy a weekend brunch every Saturday and Sunday and they also have a daily happy hour between the hours of 4 and 6 pm.
If a group of you are going to be trying the tasting menu, you will be able to choose one starter course followed by two appetizers and three entrees.
You can also complement your meal with some bread or side dishes. The dishes are also available for delivery or take out.
19. Saravanaa Bhavan
Founded by Indian native P Rajagopal in 1981, Saravanaa Bhavan is one of the largest Indian restaurant chains in the world, with locations in the US, Canada, the UK, Sweden, Singapore, India, and Australia.
In the US, Saravanaa Bhavan has multiple locations in Texas, New York, California, and New Jersey.
They offer traditional vegetarian Indian cuisine and lunch buffets, making every dish with quality ingredients steeped in decades of experience in Indian culinary customs.
On the weekends, you’ll have the chance to sample regional specialties. I recommend the Adai Avial, a Kerala dish that was an absolute delight from start to finish.