Whether you live in San Diego, have just moved to town, or plan to visit the city to take advantage of all it offers, here’s a look at the best Indian restaurants in San Diego. Also known as “America’s Finest City,” San Diego has over 300 gloriously sunny days per year, with weather ranging from pleasant to absolutely perfect. There’s no shortage of outdoor activities and amenities to enjoy.
It also boasts some of the finest Indian food restaurants with authentic fare, reasonable prices, and delicious cuisine to help satiate your hunger after a weekend of exploring and enjoying the clear ocean waters.
India Palace Banquet & Catering
3960 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Located in the heart of San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood right on Fifth Avenue, India Palace Banquet & Catering is a laid-back yet delicious place to grab a bite to eat after work or before a show. Close to the San Diego Bay, the Convention Center, and the airport, it is the perfect place to take friends and family from out of town when gathering in a group.
Written about in the New York Times and Travel Holiday with a high Zagat rating, India Palace Banquet & Catering offers delicious menu items including vegetable samosas and pakoras, mango chutney and cucumber salads for those wanted to eat light, and mouth-watering curry based in an array of spices for warming up on cooler evenings.
There is something for everyone to feast on with meat, vegetarian, and vegan options at India Palace, and it won’t break the bank.
3146 Midway Dr, San Diego, CA 92110
Tandoori House is a very casual and laid-back restaurant on Midway close to the Midway air base in San Diego. It is known for its specific Punjabi Indian food and is easy to access by car with its private and spacious parking lot.
This restaurant is as perfect for take-out as it is for a quick meal, with orders done at the counter before choosing a comfy seat. Tandoori House is for you if you don’t feel like dressing up and want to grab a delicious and authentic meal.
Tandoori House receives praise for its well-cooked and melt-in-your-mouth butter chicken, whether ordering to-go or sitting down to snack. For vegetarians, they offer Tikka Masala over basmati rice and vegetable samosas for alarmingly low prices.
The food portions are large, hot, fresh, and encompass the best of what casual Punjabi Indian food has to offer.
329 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101
Voted the best Indian food restaurant in 2019 by the San Diego Union Tribune and its readers, Royal India is a gem located in the heart of downtown San Diego. It is close to nightlife, theaters, San Diego Bay, the airport, and you can access it by both trolleys and some bus routes.
The restaurant’s vibe is classy and luxurious, decorated in bedazzled Indian saris, and waiters wear traditional Indian clothing. It is the perfect place for a romantic date or anniversary celebration, as it is open for both lunch and dinner.
With a current rotating lunch special and gift certificates available, it’s easy to find a reason to come to Royal India. They offer private dining, a banquet room, and specialized menu options for events. Their lunch buffet offers an all-you-can-eat option in a glamorous setting. Their general menu includes high-quality chicken and vegetable dishes like the tandoori chicken leg marinated in yogurt and herb spices or the garlic naan with spinach cream-based saag paneer.
7918 El Cajon Blvd P, La Mesa, CA 91942
Himalayan Cuisine is a casual, trendy, and authentic Indian restaurant in La Mesa within walking distance of great shopping and sports arenas. Though their lunch service is on hold, they offer a full dinner menu with options for hosting large groups, gatherings, and even fundraisers for schools, churches, and other organizations.
The restaurant serves traditional Indian, Himalayan, and Nepalese cuisine, and I highly recommend opting for their incredibly flavorful vegetarian dishes. Try the aloo kerau potatoes and green beans, featuring peas and potatoes cooked in an onion and tomato-based sauce with Himalayan herbs & spices. Follow it up with a delicious sweet treat like their mango or pistachio ice cream dessert.
3023 Juniper St, San Diego, CA 92104
Curryosity is a bright, airy, vibrant, and fun restaurant right next to Balboa Park with its Japanese Garden, art museums, and San Diego Zoo. Trendy and sleek, it is decked out in wild colors and offers indoor and outdoor street dining with a super eccentric flair.
Though the decor is rather flashy, you can also opt to dress down for a fun night on the town with friends or get fancier for an energetic first date. With super affordable prices, why hold back? I highly recommend opting for a few different sharing plates like the fried chicken, pakoras, and Indian latkes so that you get to try a little bit of everything.
For your main course, go for the Nirvana vegetarian curry or fresh tandoori chicken followed by gulab jamun Indian fried rose sugar syrup donut for dessert.
4705 Clairemont Dr g, San Diego, CA 92117
Bombay Coast is an unassuming restaurant in the center of Clairemont offering high-quality Indian food in a casual and laid-back setting. Close to the San Clemente Trailhead parking lot, it’s a great place to stop by after a hike in your workout clothes for some filling lunch foods.
Created and run by Chef Zubin, Bombay Coast is truly a local affair. After learning to cook from his mother in his home of Mumbai, India, Chef Zubin decided he wanted to share his gift for making delicious Indian food with the world. I recommend the healthy and flavorful veggie kabob, the basmati rice side bowl, and the delicate honey lemon tikka straight from the traditional tandoor oven.
Located in the UTC La Jolla area near the University of California San Diego, and with a second location in Sorrento Valley between Mira Mesa and Miramar’s airbase, Punjabi Tandoor is easy to get to and offers convenient parking.
It is casual and laid-back and offers take-out as well as dine-in options for lunch, buffet, and dinner. The restaurant also provides group catering for special events. A no-nonsense family-owned establishment, the menu is easy, straightforward, and simple. To prove this, it has combo options numbered 1 through 9.
The shrimp saag cooked in spinach will give you a unique flavor pallet to experience, or try the tandoori mix for a little bit of everything. Pair with a mango lassi yogurt drink and ras malai, a sweet cheese dumpling in sweet milk, for dessert.
1433 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
World Curry is one of the most laid-back curry joints and one of the best Indian restaurants in San Diego. Its casual vibe comes from its location in Pacific Beach, a notoriously funky college town full of students, bars, and pipe shops.
That might be one of the things that make World Curry so delicious. It lacks pretension but serves up some yummy snacks that can be grabbed on the go or enjoyed on the makeshift patio on Garnet Ave. The green basil curry at World Curry is one of the most popular items on the menu. Pair this entree with garlic naan, a side of edamame, and add some vindaloo if you’re still hungry.
The prices are reasonable, and the portions are large, so don’t forget to save room for a dessert, like banana fritters or coconut ice cream. Wash it all down with a cold Indian beer or mango lassi.
9484 Black Mountain Rd Ste H, San Diego, CA 92126
Phone Number: (858) 566-7300
Chennai Tiffins offers delicious Indian cuisine right off Black Mountain Road. Created as an all-vegetarian Indian restaurant, Chennai Tiffins offers traditional Indian comfort foods without the meat. Located conveniently off the 15 interstate in Miramar, this laid-back and casual eatery is easy to get to and offers spacious parking.
Those eating at Chennai Tiffins should try the basmati rice starter, and chef’s special poori bajji served with sauce and spices for lunch. ‘ Opt for a dal fry curry with garlic naan and mango lassi for dinner. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, the dishes here are crowd pleasers for everyone.
859 Hornblend St, San Diego, CA 92109
Spice Lounge is a sophisticated, upscale, boutique-like restaurant serving traditional Indian fares and street foods. Located in the heart of Pacific Beach, it’s a trendy spot for taking a date or having a fancy night out before celebrating a birthday on the beach.
Conveniently located near Sail Bay and the Pacific Beach boardwalk, you’ll feel the ocean breeze as you make your way inside. Even though Spice Lounge serves Indian food, the cuisine tends to have a contemporary flair. Try the oven-baked dynamite wings if you are feeling adventurous, or opt for an authentic karma soup with naan.
With primarily vegetarian options, Spice Lounge has something for everyone and even offers take-out so you can enjoy your dinner on the beach while watching the glorious sunset.
Surati Farsan Mart
9494 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126
The Surati Farsan Mart is an authentic Indian food mart offering dine-in, take-out, and online orders for prepared Indian dishes and culinary supplies. A special Diwali market located in Northeast San Diego County off of Black Mountain Road, Surati Farsan Mart sells bulk rose badam pista rolls, sugar-free chevo rice puff, and more fun Indian snacks.
The menu at Surati Farsan Mart includes only sweets and snacks like pani puri shell balls made of gluten, butter biscuits, and masala peanuts. The khakhra is similar to tortillas, and you can use it to wrap any Indian food ingredient into a tasty samosa-like bundle.
Urban India Restaurant & Bar
750 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Located within walking distance to the Petco Park stadium and right next door to the Balboa Theatre, Urban India Restaurant & Bar is a classy, upscale bar-like eatery featuring dark corners, stools, and deliciously sophisticated Indian fares.
This restaurant is the perfect place to go after a date or to pregame with a few beverages before the big sports game. If you’re in town for Comicon, you won’t want to miss a chance to eat here. After dinner, take a walk down to the marina and enjoy the sunset views.
I recommend trying the masala fries and gobi manchurian cauliflower as an appetizer. For your entree, opt for the chicken tikka pizza or the warm saag paneer if you’re feeling a little more traditional. The cocktail menu also includes a detailed list of fruit-inspired beverages to enjoy in the comfort of the dim and romantic restaurant lights.
Charminar Indian Restaurant & Catering
6755 Mira Mesa Blvd #113, San Diego, CA 92121
Located in a shopping center off of Mira Mesa Boulevard, Charminar Indian Restaurant & Catering is an excellent place for families to enjoy after a movie, bowling, or running some errands. Casual and laid-back, the food comes fast, and the staff is friendly whether you want take-out or to dine-in on a weekday.
Patrons love the Dum Ka chicken or the tikka masala, but if you are ever feeling unsure of what to order, don’t hesitate to ask the chef! He will gladly point out any of the popular items on the menu, such as chili paneer or the chicken kabob, and even modify items to your specifications to ensure the best dining experience possible for you and your loved ones.
Himalayan Palace Restaurant
3760 Sports Arena Blvd #5, San Diego, CA 92110
Himalayan Palace Restaurant is an Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan restaurant offering high-quality dishes in a sophisticated and upscale atmosphere. Voted one of San Diego’s best restaurants, Himalayan Palace is in Mission Valley, just across the freeway from Mission Bay Park and Fiesta Island Park.
Perfect for a birthday celebration, anniversary, or date, consider stopping by for dinner before heading over to the bay for a romantic evening stroll. I recommend trying the chicken tandoori and malai kofta, and don’t miss out on the lunch special available every day except for Tuesdays and holidays from 11 am to 3 pm.
The dishes arrive warm and inviting, and the romantic atmosphere will have you feeling warm and at home in no time.
Curry N’ Kabab
9272 Miramar Rd #20, San Diego, CA 92126
Phone Number: (858) 527-0045
Located conveniently in a Miramar shopping center, Curry N’ Kabab is appropriately known for serving two main delicious dishes: hot curries and fresh fried Indian samosas. A laid-back yet sophisticated vibe offers comfortable indoor dining with take-out options for those on the go.
I recommend their vegetable samosas and dry chicken tikka followed by saag aloo served with potato cubes for those with a bigger appetite. Try the cheese, keema, or onion naan if you’re feeling adventurous, and follow it up with a sweet mango milkshake.