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Jul 5, 2006 07:41 PM

Best Indian in Atlanta

Hi all, just moved to Atlanta from NYC and am looking for recommendations on Indian Restaurants. For those of you who have been to NYC, my favorites were Tamarind and Devi - which qualify as pretty upscale Indian. I'll take recommendations for vegetarian and non-vegetarian, with cuisines from varying regions. Thanks!!!

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  1. There are a lot of options, but probably not nearly as many as NYC. You may want to narrow down your criteria in order to generate some responses. Where are you located, for example?

    I like Panahar for Bangladeshi food: .

    There are a lot of vegetarian Indian options in Decatur. If you don't hear much back here, check out local food websites like Atlanta Cuisine and local publications like Creative Loafing food reviews online for more suggestions.

    Upscale Indian is a bit harder off the top of my head...

    1 Reply
    1. re: LizATL

      Panahar may have been good 2 years ago but the food is seriously dumbed down now. There was zero heat in any of the 6 dishes I tried.
      They do serve a dal with hard boiled eggs on weekends which I have never seen before and is quite tasty.

    2. We like Madras Saravana Bhavan and Udipi for South Indian veg.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Therese

        MSB has new owners and does not get good reviews.
        The old chef is now cooking at MGR Palace and that restaurant is supposed to be excellent.

      2. I'm moving from California to the Atlanta area later this year and am looking for great Indian restaurants. In my native Berkeley, Vik's and Ajanta were my favorites. Thanks for recommending Panahar, Madras and Udipi; will definitely check them out. Any others?

        5 Replies
        1. re: colibri1953

          Welcome to Atlanta! There are lots of good choices for Indian in Atlanta. Besides the 3 restaurants mentioned above, the lunch buffet at Sri Krishna Vilas in Alpharetta is always interesting, and Rose of India has gotten a lot of good reviews, although I haven't been there yet. I work close to Sri Krishna, so it's a convenient way for me to get an Indian fix.

          1. re: potterybliss

            I previously lived in SF and worked in Berkeley for 2 years. Dosa in SF (Mission district) arrived on the scene just as I was leaving. South Indian food is one of the few types of food I feel is better in ATL than SF/Berkeley IMO.

            In ATL, my personal faves:
            South Indian/Vegetarian- Madras Saravan Bhavan and Udipi (agree with Therese et al). Many great chaat places here too. Huge South Indian community.

            Non-vegetarain- Zyka (love it except for styrofoam plates) and Bhojanic
            Many people love Panahar, but I tend to much prefer these.

            Note, none of these are "fancy."

            Cheers and welcome to Atlanta

            1. re: Rowdy Food

              Rowdy, you must not have gotten around the south indian places in Berkeley and on the peninsula. They are better (IMO) than Atlanta. Places like Vik's, Udupi Palace, Dasaprakash, and their version of Saravana Bhavan. I think New York has both places beat though (it's been a while I must admit, not even sure if my favorites are still around) - Madras Mahal and Pongal were awesome.

              In Atlanta, I do think MSB is the best of the bunch for southern indian. And I really liked Rose of India the one time I ate there, for northern. Better than Panahar, which is solid. I avoid buffets anywhere, stick to the menu.

              1. re: biskuit



                It is quite likely that I did not get around Berkeley and definitely the peninsula as much as you. I had a hard time not eating every meal in SF.

                While working in Berkeley on Telegraph Ave. for only 2 years, I just didn't dig my South Indian experiences much. Udupi may have been my fave though. My Yahoo computer friends were always draggin' me down to Sunnyvale 'cause I would say crap like, "ATL is better when it comes to Indian food."

                No question NY has great southern Indian. I really fell for south Indian food while working briefly in London years ago and through my south Indian friend in school... who now lives down the street... talk about good south Indian grub.

                ATL also has some really nice chaat places IMO (Chat Patti, etc.).

                I will say MSB seems to be a little inferior as compared to the "grand opening" days. Global Mall (Sri Krishna Vilas) may have "slid" a bit too, and it also gets real dirty- real quick. The dishes also seem "heavier" now... maybe I am just older and slower. I still like 'em though.

                SF, in paricular, was very starved for southern Indian cuisine IMO. Dosa seemed to be starting a fire when I was leaving, but they also served meat dosas? I saw meat dosas in Berkeley too. Interesting.

                Admittedly, I think saying any particular food is better in ATL relative to SF/Berkeley is a stretch. Anyhoo, I think ATL can at least "compete" when it comes to south Indian. In my stupid head, I do prefer my ATL experiences when it comes to southern Indian.

                BTW, I refuse to eat at buffets too. Good point.

                Although a little far, I have been wanting to try India Garden, and Vatica (Gujerati food- no onion/garlic for religious reasons and served Thali style reportedly). My South Indian friend wants to check it out. She heard good things from the South Indian community. Anybody got the word on these places?


                1. re: biskuit

                  Really? I've eaten at Panahar (which i thought was quite good though not the best indian i've ever eaten) and Rose of India. I was sort of disappointed with ROI. The sauce for my dish definitely tasted like it was canned. Really wasn't good or homemade tasting. And the owner was very intent that you know that he was only going to be BYOW for another week. That pissed me off a bit. Not that they were transforming to a joint with a beer/wine license, but the way he broadcasted it. But, ultimately, it will be the food that has me not coming back.

          2. I like Zyka. I've heard that some think it's too salty, but I like it - especially the Nan and Chicken 65. It's always full of Indian diners as well, which is a good sign.
            It's a very casual place - counter service, stryofoam cups, plates and plasticware

            7 Replies
            1. re: dallen

              Potterybliss, have you tried the lunch buffet at Minerva on Old Milton? Certainly not the best indian but it's a fine buffet and they add even more options on Friday. I think it blows away Panahar's lunch buffet and the cost is about $8 if memory serves me correct. I like Panahar, but only for ordering off the menu and not the buffet. I will have to check out Sri Krishnas for comparison to Minerva.

              1. re: offtheeatenpath

                I've been to Minerva once, and it was okay. I don't eat a lot of meat, and it seemed as though there were not many vegetarian protein sources that day - lots of carrots, onions, and peas. I am game to try it again, and my co-worker really likes it alot.

                Sri Krishnas has it's ups and downs. I like that the buffet changes on any given day, so that going there is a bit of a surprise. Lately, everything I have tasted has been very spicy/hot, which I prefer.

                1. re: potterybliss

                  Vatica is ok. The vegetarian thali consists of vegetable soup, dal, rice, papdum, nan and a changing dish such as a potato, bean, chickpea or other savory stew. The seasoning is Gujerati so do not expect explosive hot stuff as you might get at a South Indian place. You can get good pickles if you ask -- chile and carrot is good and hot, the mango pickle is fine too. The host likes his own jokes.

                  Ideal Restaurant in Cumberland Circle where Daabha used to be is a straight down the middle lunch buffet place. I think the chef used to be at Haveli. All the usual suspects are there: dried out tandoori chicken, listless saag paneer, etc. The nan is pretty good. You may have better luck a la carte.

                  1. re: Rinjisherpa

                    We thought Vatica was good. I liked the host too. When we were there, the vegetable was eggplant which was very good.

                    I haven't been to MSB in a while because we kept on getting horrible service and the food tasted incredibly spicy and salty (and I am South Indian). I totally agree about MSB slipping ---- it used to be a phenomenal restaurant, but now it is very mediocre and I think that is largely due to too many people going there.

                    Rose of India is very good. Best Indian that I have had in Atlanta.
                    There is a teeny tiny place that is, I think, dying from lack of support, called Annapoorna in Tucker, which had very good food. The wife and son were very nice and it was a pleasant experience. I would suggest checking it out --- they do both north and south Indian, but they are a south Indian family.

                    I am also a big fan of Chaat Patti --- good, authentic, and spicy chaat.

                    There is absolutely no way that Atlanta's Indian food even remotely compares to New York or San Fran Indian. The problem is that many (though not all) Atlanta Indian restaurant owners try to cut too many corners, and often end up using inferior ingredients, and covering them up with salt and spice to make it taste better. Honestly, that's the reason that I've stopped going to MSB and others in the city.

                    1. re: trappedartist

                      Been a while since I've had Indian in ATL, but have fond memories of some great meals at Udupi.

                      1. re: trappedartist

                        Besides the relatively new Dosa, who also serves meat in dosas, what are your favorite south Indian restauarants in SF proper? I've had a killer time trying to find any vegetarian southern Indian restaurants in SF.

                        Thanks a ton for the help.

                        No question NYC has some serious South Indian eats.

                        Chaat Patti is my current fave in ATL.


                        1. re: trappedartist

                          Chaat Patti is authentic for sure and geared for South Indian taste.
                          The food is exceptionally oily though which ruins it in my opinion.
                          It is next to a very good Indian Grocery store.

                2. I dont understand, for Indian how did nobody say The Palace in Norcross, GA. That place has amazing food and the buffet on weekends with the huge variety of food from dosa and uttapam to dokhla and patra to pav bhaji and chat and then your main courses and desert. That place has been my favorite since it opened up in 1998. Unfortunately atlanta lacks upscale Indian restaurants.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sid384

                    My new favorite is Mirch Masala in Decatur, although I like Rose of India and Madras Saravana Bhavan (which is closed at the moment and is changing their name to something else).

                    1. re: geonuc

                      i ate at Rose of India upon recommendation of this board. The soup was very good, but the Chicken Tikka Masala tasted like it came from a pre-made mix. i've had much much better.