HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >


Best Indian food Newhaven Area.....sugessions ?

I would like to know where we can get "real" Indian food. Some of my Indian clients coming next week. I don't mind driving upto 25 mts.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Darbar in Branford! Better than many of the places I've eaten at in NYC. With the caveat that I've never been to India, so my knowledge of "real" Indian food may be limited, along the lines of "good" US Chinese food vs. food in China.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hollerhither

      Seconded. Darbar is outstanding, and has a great "sampler platter" as well.


      1. re: Redstone

        Love Darbar. Pretty location on the Branford Green too.

    2. coromandel in Orange, or Zakora in New Haven by far the best

      1 Reply
      1. Thali! Coromandel comes close, but Thali owns it. It's the best Indian food I've ever had, and I've had a lot.

        1 Reply
        1. re: redfox697

          My family like indian food.I was in India for six months last year and I got a chance to visit all country and to taste each regions food too.After i came back I tried all the Indian restaurants in Newhaven area. The exact food ,same like in India i got only at one place-- Coromandel in Orange.The flavors are excellent,quality of food and service are outstanding.

          Second preference is Darbar in Branford and Thali in Newhaven.I can't recomment any other indian restaurants.

        2. Thali is far and away the best indian restaurant in the state. But you don't have to take my word for it...
          David Rosengarten — author of the popular newsletter “The Rosengarten Report” — honored Chirnomoula as “the best Indian chef in America.” In the same article, Rosengarten also named Thali his “favorite Indian restaurant in the U.S., hands down.”

          for more home-style and southern indian, Swagat in West Haven is an inexpensive option.

          1. We (two) just had lunch at Thali. I cannot recommend it enough. I think it is the best I have ever had and though I've not been abroad to India, I've eaten in Indian's homes and I've eaten it in many major cities and a few, in and around New Haven. We have not tried Coromandel or Zakora.
            We really enjoyed the complimentary tamarind sauce and chutneys. We had wine by the glass. There were about eight reds to choose from.
            Started with Gobi manchurian, (a cauliflower dish). We shared chicken tikka masala, goat, on the bone, in a thick, curry like base, saag paneer (spinach with garlic, fenugreek and cottage cheese), garlic nan (kulcha), and were given a free, large bowl of yellow, lentil soup. We brought lots home!
            We just thought the food was fantastic. None of it was oily or floating in oil like many dishes I have had at lesser restaurants. Service was spotless and after our main courses they crumbed the table. Music was jazzy, light and just the right volume. The place is very classy. They have a very pretty bar and lobby area. I saw two private dining rooms but was told there are three.
            We spent $80 before tip. Four glasses of good wine and there was food enough for at least three, if not four people. We highly recommend it!

            6 Replies
            1. re: Scargod

              As an FYI they just opened a vegatarian place behind the Yale Bookstore. I am sure it would be good as well. I like Thali, but just the same try Coromandel & Zaroka, Darbar in Branford is also very good

              1. re: mmalmad

                I've done Danbar twice and think Thali is better. I've eaten at Tandoor (out of convenience) many times and may not go back!
                Don't swat me, but I think I drove by Coromandel and thought, "this is in a strip and doesn't look impressive", so I've passed it by, so far.

                  1. re: EastRocker

                    Surprised to hear that, unless they've gone downhill recently.

                    If you're tired of New Haven and want to travel a little farther afield, 25 minutes will land you in Newtown, home to Kolam, which is where we go (as we're from north of New Haven) when we're jonesing for Indian. Friends of ours from India recommend as well.

                    1. re: hurc81

                      They changed owners. It is still perfectly fine indian food, i just feel that there are better options in New Haven (thali, sitar) and nearby (swagat, coromandel)

                  2. re: Scargod

                    Big Mistake.Chef counts far more than location-plenty of parking makes it ideal.Try the lunch buffet particularly on Fri.

              2. On 8-22-08 four of us had lunch at Thali. Our two guests said it was the best they had ever eaten. All the food was wonderfully prepared and we cannot say enough about the very good service we had. The restaurant is attractive, spacious and clean; very upscale.
                SO and I had eaten at Tandoor just two days before. There is no comparison. Thali is more expensive, but well worth it. Not that the food at Tandoor is bad, but the quality of the food, the attention to rich flavors and the thicker sauces are a major difference. Thali has a very good wine list while Tandoor didn't have the beer (on the menu), I wanted and their wines are limited to house reds and whites.

                1. Thali, Thali Too and Coromandel are best, but I'd recommend Thali Too because there's stuff on that menu you won't find anywhere else. Stylish interior as well.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: newhavener07

                    Thali and Coromandel are indeed the only Indian restaurants that will make an impression on someone familiar with the cuisine (Darbar, and to a lesser extent Zaroka, are moderately good). Thali Too is much inferior to Thali (Indian vegetarian food should be much more delicate and less oily) but fine if you're vegetarian, I suppose. Just be careful what and how you order at all of the above. As a South Indian place Coromandel makes its food HOT--what passes for 'medium' there would count as 'spicy' anywhere else. Some of their standout dishes include the Dahi Dhani Jhinga, Bagara Baingan, and Lamb Biryani (I would skip the chicken dishes). Thali's signature lamb chops are exceptional. A useful if overly simplistic guide: for sauces and value, go to Coromandel; for drier food and chic, go to Thali.

                    1. re: comma

                      Agreed. I prefer Thali to Coromandel simply because Thali covers a broader range of the diverse cuisines of India. Coromandel is delicious, however, and, to the extent of my knowledge, both are very authentic. Darbar and Zaroka are good, but strike me more as British Indian. I loved Kolam when I was younger, but haven't been there in at least five years. As I recall, it is also more British Indian (which isn't necessarily a bad thing at all).