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Cheap delicious Indian chow in DC?

I was spoiled in my tiny college town, where two Indian restaurants duked it out across the one main street (called Maine Street) and provided us with a seemingly constant flow of perfect mango lassis, scrumptious naans, spot-on dal mahkani...Now, in the nation's capital, it seems to be very slim pickings unless I want to pretend it's 19th century colonial Bombay, and pay accordingly. Is there anywhere within the city limits I can go with a thin paycheck and relive those glorious tandoori nights? Thanks!

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  1. Try the White Tiger at 3rd and Mass Ave, NE. They have a $9.95 lunch buffet M - F and a $10.95 Sunday brunch special.
    The best recommendation I can put out there is that there was an official welcome party for the Indian Ambassador when he arrived in Washington. A lot of officials from the Embassy frequent it as do Members of Congress. The only Indian-American Congressman, Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, has used it for cocktail parties as has Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
    They must be do something right in additon to decent prices.

    1. Thanks, I'll check it out!

      1. My two meals at White Tiger -- years ago now -- were decidedly underwhelming. In the District proper, Indique, Nirvana and Heritage India are probably the best bets, but there have been downhill signs on this Board as to each. When I worked near there, I used to get very good, cheap vegetarian fare from Indian Delight in the Post Office Pavillion (but I haven't been since the owners opened Nirvana)

        If you're willing to go a mile outside the District, Passage to India in Bethesda is excellent. And I've been hearing very good things about Saravana Palace in Fairfax.

        1. Forgot about Aatish in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Ave, SE. http://www.aatishonhill.com/
          Another daily inexpensive lunch buffet at $8.95. Gets good reviews from the City Paper for good, cheap Indian/Pakistani food, Tandoori. Not beautiful but tasty.

          1. Heritage India is well rated and has good food.

            1. There are a lot of hole-in-the-wall Indian places in town that don't advertise and get little mention anywhere. The City Paper has a pretty complete list of restaurants of all sorts including Indian. Their reviews are very limited and, like Zagat's subjective ones, not always trustworthy but it's a good starting place since you're new in town. Not to mention on a limited budget.

              1. try jyoti in adams morgan. they have all the basics that you're looking for, reasonable prices and a delicious chicken vindaloo to keep you warm in this chilly weather!

                1 Reply
                1. re: west coast foodie

                  That place is so horridly disgusting and their food is so bad that I wouldn't reccomend it to my worst enemy.

                  One place I will suggest is Naan and Beyond- fast street style Indian food on L Street I think.

                2. Heritage India is indeed very good, but the other posters might have mentioned that it is on the pricey side (for Indian food). Your thin paycheck may not be amused.

                  1. When I worked briefly in Rosslyn I would often walk over the key bridge to Amma in Georgetown for dinner when I had to work late. Good South Indian Food, good service in a casual sit-down setting, very reasonably priced. Best bang for your buck would be one of the excellent lunch buffets in the suburbs (Minerva, Udupi Palace, etc), but Amma works in a pinch and won't put too big of a dent in your wallet.

                    1. Naan and Beyond (there are a few locations) delivers too--the combo entrees are a huge amount of food for under $8, if i recall. The selection is somewhat limited, but everything is pretty good. Nirvana (on Farragut Square) is a hit and miss buffet that explores different regions of Indian cuisine on different days at lunch--never been there for dinner, but it was my very first introduction to Indian food and I will always remember that tikka masala as the most perfect thing I had ever eaten (how had I not had curry until age 20?).

                      1. I agree with some of the earlier posts that White Tiger isn't that spectacular. I've been less than impressed with it on a few different attempts. I will say that Jyoti in Adams Morgan is truly great food and very reasonable in terms of price. I am the last person that would recommend a vegitarian meal but I had something with dal and potatos on the advice of a friend and found that I even liked that dish.

                        1. Capital Hill Tandoor grill is pretty good.


                          Avoid at all cost, the trio (?) of Indian places on Conn. Ave. in Woodley park. They are beyond bad.