Washington, D.C. is full of vibrancy and diversity not only in the population, but in food.
With a plethora of dining options, where you start is a big decision! Indian restaurants are a great start on your culinary journey. With menus that some find difficult to navigate, keep reading for top recommendations for Indian restaurants that will blow your mind.
Take a look at some of the best Indian restaurants in Washington, D.C. Be prepared to fall in love with each and every one!
427 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Located in downtown D.C., Punjab Grill is an incredible, well known Indian restaurant. They are often referred to as one of the fanciest Indian restaurants in D.C.
The vibe and atmosphere at Punjab Grill is upscale and ideal for a dinner date. Ordering Indian food from Punjab is as entertaining as it is delicious. They are known for their vegetarian and vegan dishes that are consistently mistaken for meat filled. The Vegan “Goat” Biryani is made with jackfruit, and the naan parda is opened tableside with a flourish. Get ready to take your videos and photos!
Punjab Grill is known not only for their food, but giving back to the community. Throughout the Covid pandemic, it was found that they were feeding hundreds of those struggling with homelessness and poverty daily. This effort was not advertised until their beloved chef, Jassi Bindra, was spotted personally delivering meals.
Bombay Street Food
1413 Park Rd NW, Washington, DC 20010
Bombay Street Food is an Indian restaurant that is so popular, there are three locations around Washington, D.C. – in Capitol Hill, Adams Morgan, and most recently, Dupont Circle.
The Thali for two is an excellent choice for a sampler platter at this casual Indian restaurant, with the decor reminiscent of Bombay. They have extensive choices that are gluten free and vegetarian, as well. The Shrimp Vindalo with extra spicy curry is a menu item not to miss.
A native of Bombay, restauranter Asad Sheikh not only brought the flavors of street food of the city to Washington, D.C., he is personable and ensures all customers are fully satisfied.
DC Butter Chicken
601 2nd St NE, Washington, DC 20002
DC Butter Chicken has three locations throughout Washington, D.C., and they are opening up two additional locations. They are conveniently located, including in the Downtown area, as well as a few short blocks away from Union Station.
The owner, Asad, shares that he had worked on perfecting his infamous butter chicken recipe for years prior to opening DC Butter Chicken. This is the obvious menu choice on the menu. However, there are vegetarian options available, including Vegetable Biryani and Channa Masala. The vibe is casual and is perfect for a lunch with friends.
DC Butter Chicken is one of the most popular and unique Indian restaurants in D.C. They operate on a “300 and done” strategy – customers know they have to get in line early to score some of the best butter chicken in D.C., as there are only 300 servings made per day.
243 K St NE, Washington, DC 20002
If you are looking for an Indian restaurant that serves up large portions in the NoMa area of Washington, D.C., you have to try Indigo!
The menu at Indigo is rotated on a regular basis. Offering outdoor dining, grabbing a seat at the picnic style tables on their patio feels inviting and festive. The Aaloo Paalak is incredible, as is their Spicy Saag.
Indigo is family owned and operated, and began as a pop up stand in Union Station. They offer daily specials and have a dog friendly patio.
3512 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
Indique has been a staple in Washington, D.C. for years. This is an Indian restaurant in Cleveland Park not to miss.
Located close to the National Zoo, Indique is a perfect Indian restaurant for a casual dinner with friends. They have an excellent assortment of Chaat appetizers and their Bagara Baingan is some of the best in the city. Their cocktails are also not to be missed – the Mumbai Mule is a refreshing and tasty option.
Indique is currently offering dining exclusively outdoors on their front patio or quaint balcony. Of course, Indique is available for take out orders as well.
1190 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037
With locations in both the West End and Penn Quarter, Rasika is an Indian Restaurant that is a fan favorite indeed.
Rasika is an upscale Indian restaurant that is perfect for a date or night out with friends. Their Penn Quarter location is quite close to museums and theatres, and serves as an obvious choice for dinner after such cultural activities when Covid restrictions are lifted. Do not miss their Palak Chaat. They have also recently started selling their homemade sauces in jars to take home!
Rasika is well known not only for its delicious meals but also for their chef winning the 2013 James Beard for best Chef in the MId-Atlantic Region. They have also received many accolades for outstanding Indian Restaurant by The Washington Post for multiple years. A reservation is usually required for dining.
Himalayan Heritage Restaurant
2305 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
If you are looking for a fantastic restaurant in the Adams Morgan area of Washington, D.C., Himalayan Restaurant is one to try.
Featuring North Indian and Nepali cuisine, Himalayan Heritage is as eclectic in their menu options as they are in their decor. They have several booths that are donned with large, colorful pillows, with stunning fabrics draped overhead. Himalayan Heritage is not only instagrammable and beautiful, diners always have a choice of spice level for all dishes ordered. The Samaya Baji is highly recommended.
The service at Himalayan Heritage is exceptional, and they have opened their doors to regular charity efforts in the past.
1317 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Are you looking for a fantastic Indian Restaurant in the Logan Circle area this weekend? Pappe DC is an exquisite marriage of fantastic food and excellent service.
Decorated with a flourish of colorful fabrics and whimsical decor, Pappe DC is colorful, bright, and fun. Their food and cocktails are mouthwatering. Their small plates are unique and perfect to share with friends. You cannot miss their Vegetable Samosas, Prawn Ambi, and Crab Pav. While they offer signature classics including Tandoori Chicken, consider trying unique dishes including the Fish Chettinad.
Pappe DC offers indoor and outdoor dining in a comfortable setting. Paper DC is one of the few Indian restaurants in Washington, D.C. that offers brunch on the weekends.