The Serious Eats Guide to Indian Food in New York City

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: The Serious Eats Guide to Indian Food in New York City

Here's something we hear often: "I like Indian food, but I don't eat it enough." If you're one of those people, and you're looking to grow your Indian culinary knowledge, consider this your guide. We combed through the Serious Eats: New York archives to put together this glossary of Indian food in New York that we love, from street snacks to fine dining, and from downtown Manhattan to outer Queens.

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Snacks

Manhattan

Spicy Buradi Roll and the Pune Roll at Biryani Cart

Kati rolls at Biryani Cart.

  • The Chicken Kati Roll at Roomali combines chicken with potent Indian pickle paste (achar).
  • Need a quick, cheap snack in midtown? Hit up The Biryani Cart for some tender and well-spiced chicken or lamb buradis.
  • Spicy and sweet Lamb Bhuna kati rolls served on two kinds of flatbread at Desi Galli in Murray Hill. If you get there early, be sure to sample the Omelet Kati Roll, an Indian take on the classic egg sandwich. Also try the Palak Patte Ki Chaat, a colorful medley of fried spinach leaves and sev (chickpea threads), that could battle the best chaats of Jackson Heights for Indian-snack-supremacy.
  • Try the Sheek Kebab Kati Roll, the closest thing to an Indian gyro at Curry and Tandoor Corner.
  • At Delhi Heights, the chicken Kati Roll with mint chutney and tamarind sauce is a sure winner.
  • We like pretty much everything at the Biryani Cart, but we can't get enough of their kati rolls.
  • Thelewala has a unique peanut masala that is actually quite a hefty dish. The bhel por is also a strong order.
  • Thelewala also has a crisp, and flaky paratha stuffed with various fillings called "The Famous Nizami Roll".
  • While you're there, check out Thelewala's okra kati roll as well.
  • At the Kati Roll Company, the undo aloo and achari paneer are the way to go. The chicken and spicy mutton aren't bad either.
  • Masala Times offers a Paneer Bhurji Roll, which spices up mild, fresh paneer.
  • N.Y. Dosas is about as well known as a food cart can get. We love the Special Pondicherry Dosa and the utthupam.
  • Locations change frequently for the Desi Food Truck, but the Chicken Anda Kati Roll and the Paneer Masala Kati Roll stay reliable.
  • The Punjabi Deli has standards like samosas with chickpeas, but they also offer a twist on the classic deli sandwich: the veggie sub, which can be topped with alu tikki, a potato pancake.
  • Roti rolls and fried calamari dusted with "Indian Spices" are addictive staples on Bombay Frankie's menu.
  • A reliable and completely satisfying dosa at The Hampton Chutney Co. is the Masala Deluxe.
  • We go back to the Hampton Chutney Co. for their Thali Special.
  • $1 samosas aren't always great, but Lahore Deli has them fried to perfection. There is also lentil soup, which is showered with cilantro and fried onions.

Queens

Special Hyderbad Dosa at Ganesh Temple Canteen

Special Hyderabad dosa at the Ganesh Temple Canteen.

  • A fried samosa sandwich? Yes please.
  • Though the name may be misleading, Rajbhog Sweets offers fried, mashed samosas doused in chickpea curry that are an excellent savory snack.
  • If you're a die-hard pani puri fan and have been searching for this treat, head to Bombay Chat in Jackson Heights for a fantastic puffy pastry filled with chickpeas.
  • Indian grilled cheese reigns supreme at Usha Foods & Sweets in Floral Park.
  • Indian New York style pizza might not be the most common thing, but you'll find it at Tower Pizzeria and Indian Food.
  • The Original Gola Kebab at Kebabish is a pile of soft beef made fiery with chilies and other Indian spices. It's served with a huge naan, which is used to scoop up the meat.
  • The Ganesh Temple Canteen is the cafeteria associated with the Ganesh Temple, one of the oldest Hindu worship sites in the U.S. The menu is all vegetarian, and includes our vote for the best dosas in New York.

The Bronx

  • Be sure to check out Starling Coffee Shop for chaat and other snacks.
  • Sample the Bangladeshi dainties of Neerob in the Bronx. Chickpea Bharta and the sweet Bhapa Pitha will definitely tickle your South Asian fancy.

Sit-Down

Manhattan

Eggplant Chaat at Junoon

Eggplant chaat at Junoon.

  • Seek out the eggplant chaat and vegetarian thali for the best deals at Junoon, the fine dining restaurant in the Flatiron.
  • An excellent spot to take a date in midtown, Amma serves up paneer tikka, Manchurian cauliflower, and apricot-stuffed lamb fillets that are sure to satisfy.
  • Chote Nawab, Shiva Nataarajan's latest addition to his restaurant mini-empire, features rare Indian specialties such as , a delicacy of Lucknow. The allepy pappas and kori gassi curries pack serious flavor, too.
  • Though the menu at Benares if full of Indian classics, we feature the vegetarian options. The Mathura Se and Achari Bhindi stand out. If you just need a quick snack, try the Mix Pakora, a vegetable fritter that is most delicious if smothered in any combination of their signature sauces.
  • Curry Row can be overwhelming, but the vegetarian offerings at Malai Marke, a newcomer to the Indian thoroughfare, are nothing short of delightful.
  • Try the Chana Saag and Navaratna Koorma at Chennai Garden, a classic Curry Hill spot that has maintained its high quality over time.
  • A review about the front lounge at Junoon, Patiala.
  • Craving Indian food and need a romantic night out? Anjappar is the place to go for Chettinad cooking and a great date.
  • Vatan is a quirky and fun date night spot. $31 for 21 courses of vegetarian Gujarati cooking.
  • While Indian Row in the East Village can be daunting, we consider Banjara the best of the lot, and it's vegetarian friendly! Seek out the Phool Aur Aloo Ki Subzi, a delicious cauliflower and potato dish in a spiced tomato sauce.
  • Chennai Garden in the famed Curry Hill is a fantastic place to get a meal for two for under $40. Behl Puri is definitely the first thing to order.
  • While not brand new anymore, Bhatti Indian Grill's all-you-can-eat $8 vegetarian / $10 non-vegetarian lunch option is still a great deal.
  • Think you can take the heat of the spiciest curry ever? Try your hand at the Phaal Challenge at Brick Lane Curry House.
  • Tiffin Wallah is a great place for Indian on the cheap ($6 for all-you-can-eat!).
  • Saravana Bhavan has 57 locations all around the world that specialize in Southern Indian cuisine. Their massive dosas are the best in Manhattan.
  • Tamarind Tribeca has a three-course $24 prix fixe lunch, which is perfect if you want nicer sit down spot. Check out some photos here.
  • Tamarind Tea Room is the sister restaurant to Tamarind Tribeca and, as the name suggests, they have tea pairings for all dishes, including the naan wraps.
  • After a very brief closing, Devi has reopened. Check out a previous review here.
  • Try the ever-creative Jehangir Metha's Graffiti for Indian takes on bar bites.

Queens

Lollipop Chicken at Tangra-Masala

Paneer pakora at Tangra Masala.

  • Delhi Heights serves up more Indian Chinese fusion and some amazing Kathi Rolls.
  • Longing for an effective combination of Chinese and Indian cuisines? Look no further than Tangra Asian Fusion. This upscale Queens joint provides many traditional chinese preparations of dishes with Indian spices. The Chow Mein with a tandoori twist is real tasty.
  • Samosas are the star here at the Five Star Punjabi Diner.
  • Merit Farms has changed its name to Merit Kebobs, but that hasn't changed the Indian/Nepali food that can still be found here. Momos are a must.
  • Indian Chinese fusion restaurants might not be the norm, but Tangra Masala treats it right. Lollipop chicken and paneer pakora are must-order appetizers.

Brooklyn

  • Bukhari's most expensive menu item is a luxurious goat curry, well worth the $6 it costs. Best of all, it's open 24/7.
  • In Downtown Brooklyn you'll find Govinda Kitchen, the canteen of a Hare Krishna temple with great, cheap vegetarian meals.

The Bronx

Banana Bharta

Banana Bharta at Neerob.

Sweets

Manhattan

20120507-205180-tamarindtearoompayasam.jpg

Payasam at Tamarind Tea Room.

Queens

  • Rajhbog Sweets has some great snacks, including these fenugreek flavored Methi Para.
  • Do you know what gulab jamun is? All you need to know is that they're sweet and delicious and we have the best from Jackson Heights and Elmhurst.

Indian Culinary Guides

Spices at Kalustyans

Spices at Kalustyan's.

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