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Best Indian Food in Berkeley?

What is the best Indian in both the "cheapo category" and the "Fancy-Schmancy Category"

What are you votes? I nominate Vick's Chaat Corner for the cheapo category.

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  1. Ajanta wins "Fancy-Schmancy," nothing else comes close.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Morton the Mousse

      I'd give Indus Village (Pakistani, however) the cheapo prize.

      1. re: Morton the Mousse

        Not only "fancy" but a more interesting menu than most, with rotating regional specialties, and tandoori portobellos-mmmm. And a wonderful wine list (yes, wine list!!)

      2. I think the new House of Curries on Solano is quite good at the cheap end. I think they use less ghee than most. If you haven't already, try it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Curmudgeon

          I second this. was just there ealier today it's my newest fav cheap eats. the quality is very good for the price and quantity of food you get.

          1. re: Curmudgeon

            Good lamb vindaloo and they actually deliver on the heat.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Udupi Palace definitely worth a visit on the cheaper side of things. Their Thali platter is a great deal.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I totally vote for Vik's and Udupi Palace for cheap, too. They're so different that I couldn't really pick one over the other.

                1. re: coolbean98

                  Easy choice after 6pm, since Vik's closes so early.

              2. Even though it's a chain, Naan n Curry is still my fave! And cheap too...perfect for our budget back when we were in college!

                1. Naan N Curry for the cheapo category. Don't wear anything expensive in there though, it's practically impossible to get the tandoori smoke out of your clothes =)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Merdy

                    That's no different than most Pakistani places.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      True, but he asked for cheap and this is always a safe bet.

                      1. re: lj2899

                        Agreed. I prefer the former Naan 'n' Curry on College, which is now called House of Curries but otherwise seems unchanged. Food's pretty much the same as at the Telegraph branch but the space much nicer.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I know Naan 'n Curry's chicken tikka masala. I was friends with Naan 'n Curry's chicken tikka masala. You, House of Curries are no Naan 'n Curry. But at least your prices are low.

                  2. I'm not sure if it's in Berkeley or Oakland (it's right over one line or other on College Ave), but the new Flavors of India has really impressed me in the two times I've eaten there (or, more accurately, gotten take out).

                    1. Did anyone else try Chaat N Curries on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley near University?
                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/359091

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: rworange

                        I had a chaat craving and I tried the Chaat n Curries on San Pablo at University. I got the samosa-chhole as well as one of the yoghurt based chaats whose name and taste I am blanking out on. I also did a chicken biryani takeout (yes the same day and no I did not eat it all at one go!!). The samosas were ok - the chhole or the biryani were really not very good. I remember thinking that with Indus Village a block away there was no reason to get the biryani from here at least. I have not tried anything else on the menu so can't comment. Its a Nepali palce I think and was quite busy the day I went. Service was very helpful.

                        As far as the OP goes - my vote is for Indus Village. Vik's and Udupi fill their own niches and Mehak is my favorite cheap buffet.

                        1. re: jhinky

                          Is Mehak's buffet lunch only or have they added one at dinner?

                          I noticed Monday night that the little Khana Peena branch on Oxford had a $6 dinner buffet.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Mehak's buffet is lunch only I believe. It has much fewer dishes in the buffet but the food is quite consistent in quality. I have had trouble with the consistency of food at Priya's buffet though they have a lot of choices. I have also done takeout form Mehak for dinner though I guess I order Indus Village's Achari Murgh (extra spicy) and Aloo naan (for the boyfriend) and Chicken biryani and raita for me so often that they can tell its me when I call it in.. sigh...
                            Should try the Khana Peena dinner buffet, hmm.

                            1. re: jhinky

                              I just went back to Mehak's lunch buffet after a long hiatus. Where I would have previously agreed that Mehak is consistently good for a lunch buffet, it has seriously gone downhill, at least in regards to the $7 lunch buffet. Today for instance, the butter chicken and some of the veg dishes were really salty and one dimensional. The goat curry was unbelievably salty. Gotta love that premade naan bread, not to mention the sad, watery kheer. Never going back.

                              -- just a note, it's been steadily going downhill in the last year but it's now dived into really bad.

                              --i forgot also to say that these days we go to Naan & Curry on Solano for lunch. Not a buffet, but much prefer N&C now.

                      2. I love Breads of India on Sacramento. I think they're a nice in between

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: foodlove

                          I don't think Breads of India is much cheaper than Ajanta, which is better and nicer in every aspect.

                        2. Has anyone tried Kabana on University near San Pablo? I've heard good things about it from one of my customers, but I haven't tried it yet.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: nicedragonboy

                            Kabana's Tandoori catfish for $9 is one of the alltime great dishes. They have lunch specials with entree, salad and naan starting at $5. They close between lunch and dinner (closed from 3-5 pm).

                            1. re: nicedragonboy

                              Some of Kabana's dishes are made with the traditional cup or two of ghee, which can be great or horrible depending on your appetite etc.

                              1. re: nicedragonboy

                                Very good, but also very greasy. Their food is very similar to what you would find at House of Curries on Solano. Great tandoori fish and goat curry.

                                1. re: nicedragonboy

                                  Kabana is Pakistani. The aloo mater--vegie curry--is excellent, a great lunch special for 5.00 and includes nan. I've really enjoyed this place over the years.

                                2. We've had some positive reports on the food at the new Flavors of India in the old Buttercup space:

                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/338014

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    I posted about that place in this thread -- I ate there this week for the second time, and I've really enjoyed almost everything I've gotten there. The lamb vindaloo was excellent, the naan was superior to most naan I've had, and the chicken makhani and saag paneer were both good. The samosa was pretty good, but not great.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      Went to Flavors of India last night for the second time and had a fine meal. Everything was very well prepared. It was quite full by about 7:30 so reservations are a must. It's "been discovered". They were also doing a good takeout business

                                      We had saag paneer, lamb rogan, bindhi (okra), and tandoori fish (mahi-mahi); the latter was superb.

                                      Everything was nicely seasoned but not spicy -- we asked for "medium", not my choice. The lamb was rather salty, but tasty and tender.

                                      With two naans, two rice pilafs, some apps, the total for dinner for 6 was $64 (before tip, and includes one $7 corkage fee).

                                      The room got quite loud when it was full up.
                                      The service was very good. All of the servers were Asian but not Indian. We spoke with one waitress who is from Mongolia.

                                      Flavors Of India
                                      3211 College Ave
                                      Berkeley (just at the Oakland line, between Alcatraz and Claremont)
                                      510-658-3461

                                      1. re: Joel

                                        We liked Flavors of India as well. Just to continue the menu review: lamb saag was fantastic, naan was very good. The CTM was a little chalky in texture -- good flavor, but wouldn't order again. I liked the fish pakora as well with their chutneys -- it was a huge order for the price (definitely share it).