HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice

Best Indian Food in Berkeley?

BeanBoy Apr 23, 2007 07:20 PM

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.

  1. Morton the Mousse Apr 23, 2007 07:34 PM

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: Morton the Mousse
      lmnopm Apr 23, 2007 07:37 PM

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

      1. re: Morton the Mousse
        smmalloy Jun 5, 2007 10:29 AM

        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. c
        Curmudgeon Apr 24, 2007 02:09 PM

        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
          nicedragonboy Apr 25, 2007 01:26 PM

          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
            adrienne156 Apr 26, 2007 10:47 AM

            Good lamb vindaloo and they actually deliver on the heat.

          2. Robert Lauriston Apr 24, 2007 02:13 PM

            Vik's or Udupi Palace cheap, Ajanta fancy but not wildly expensive.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              grishnackh Apr 25, 2007 02:22 PM

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

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                coolbean98 Apr 25, 2007 02:25 PM

                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
                  Robert Lauriston Apr 25, 2007 02:34 PM

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

              2. l
                lj2899 Apr 25, 2007 12:24 PM

                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. m
                  Merdy Apr 25, 2007 12:28 PM

                  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
                    Robert Lauriston Apr 25, 2007 12:59 PM

                    That's no different than most Pakistani places.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      lj2899 Apr 25, 2007 05:55 PM

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

                      1. re: lj2899
                        Robert Lauriston Apr 26, 2007 08:00 AM

                        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
                          katya Apr 27, 2007 05:19 PM

                          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. JasmineG Apr 25, 2007 01:43 PM

                    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. rworange Apr 25, 2007 01:44 PM

                      Did anyone else try Chaat N Curries on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley near University?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: rworange
                        jhinky Apr 25, 2007 02:58 PM

                        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
                          Robert Lauriston Apr 25, 2007 03:07 PM

                          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
                            jhinky Apr 25, 2007 03:23 PM

                            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
                              choctastic Jun 4, 2007 03:59 PM

                              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. f
                        foodlove Apr 25, 2007 02:03 PM

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

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: foodlove
                          Robert Lauriston Apr 25, 2007 02:06 PM

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

                        2. nicedragonboy Apr 25, 2007 10:15 PM

                          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
                            zippo Apr 25, 2007 11:34 PM

                            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
                              Robert Lauriston Apr 26, 2007 08:02 AM

                              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
                                adrienne156 Apr 26, 2007 10:46 AM

                                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
                                  leoj Apr 27, 2007 11:16 PM

                                  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. Robert Lauriston Apr 26, 2007 08:01 AM

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


                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    JasmineG Apr 26, 2007 04:34 PM

                                    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
                                      Joel Apr 27, 2007 12:17 PM

                                      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)

                                      1. re: Joel
                                        jmarek Jun 5, 2007 12:31 PM

                                        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).

                                        1. re: jmarek
                                          rdabke Jun 5, 2007 02:12 PM

                                          Vik's! Discussion Closed!

                                    Show Hidden Posts