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Any "hole-in-the-wall" Indian restaurant near the Loop that costs at most 20 dollars per person?

irenegpark Sep 19, 2012 01:53 PM

Looking for an Indian restaurant near the Loop but is willing to go out of the Loop as long as the subway (CTA) runs near the location.

Heard that "hole-in-the-wall"s are better bets than big franchise restaurants in order to get the homey taste.

Budget of less than 20 dollars.

  1. b
    Bodhrani Oct 4, 2012 08:04 AM

    Real "hole-in-the-wall" ethnic eateries in Chicago are generally patronized mostly by cab drivers and are as authentic as they come. Some Indo-Pak standouts:

    Tabaq: 1245 N Clybourn

    Pakiza: 1011 N Orleans

    Baba Palace: 334 W Chicago

    A very useful review site for precisely these kind of unseen cabbie hangouts (many sporting prayer rooms in back):

    1. q
      Querencia Sep 21, 2012 04:41 PM

      Does this meal have to be evening dinner? OP didn't say. India House, on Grand a block from the Grand stop of Red Line, has a lunch buffet for about $10. Also an easy walk from the Loop. HOWEVER, two points: 1) Rents downtown are pretty high for holes-in-the-wall---not really a fruitful area for finding them. 2) If you want Indian food and will do CTA, why not just go on up to Devon Avenue and go crazy. Take the Red Line to Loyola, emerge from station on Sheridan, and wait there for Devon 155 bus. Ask driver to call Western Avenue. Get off and walk in same direction bus was traveling and you will be in Mumbai, if not Lahore.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Querencia
        nsxtasy Sep 21, 2012 05:09 PM

        >> Take the Red Line to Loyola, emerge from station on Sheridan, and wait there for Devon 155 bus.

        Note that, from downtown, you'll be heading northbound on the train, but you'll want to catch the 155 bus heading SOUTHBOUND (i.e. wait for it on the west side of Sheridan). It turns onto westbound Devon a block south of the el stop.

        1. re: Querencia
          Willa Sep 21, 2012 07:40 PM

          India House is okay. I have been to the buffet many times for lunch, but I don't love it and it would never be my first choice. A lot of times the meat curries are pretty picked over, except the chicken, and it's hard to find the meat. The chicken curry is usually the chicken tikka masala, which is pretty good but I like to try new things. There is a fish curry, speaking of fish, and a vegetable curry. Neither do much for me. They also have saag paneer (spinach with cheese curds) that is okay. You will receive a starter plate of tandoori chicken, sizzling on a platter, that comes with the buffet. That's good and it starts to fill you up so you don't starve if you don't like the buffet items.

          If you go to Devon, you can find the original Hema's among dozens of other choices. Go for it! Or, cab it to Curry House or the Clark Street Hema's.

          I have noticed some Indian restaurants that might be new, over by the old Cabrini Green. I think t hey are on Orleans street just a few blocks south of Division. Those look interesting......maybe someone else here knows about them.

        2. c
          celstrial Sep 19, 2012 07:31 PM

          In the west loop is Jaipur which is not hole-in-the-wall but prices aren't too out of this world either. They have a GREAT seated lunch buffet (where they serve you at the table, not overheated dry leftovers under a heat lamp) that is a great value and tons of great food for $15, although lunch only.

          1. w
            Willa Sep 19, 2012 03:46 PM

            I loved Chicago Curry House! The chicken curry on the bone (don't remember the name but the bones are important) was great great great. I think it was nepalese but it was very much like the chicken curry that my brother-in-law makes. He's an Indian chef. Hema's kitchen on Clark Street just north of Fullerton is very very good. You can take the El to Fullerton and walk to Hema's. I've walked to Hema's from the Loop, but it is a bit of a stroll. A couple miles? If you go to Hema's, stop in after dinner at Molly's cupcakes across the street. OMG.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Willa
              nsxtasy Sep 19, 2012 04:16 PM

              >> Hema's kitchen on Clark Street just north of Fullerton is very very good. You can take the El to Fullerton and walk to Hema's. I've walked to Hema's from the Loop, but it is a bit of a stroll. A couple miles?

              Wow! That's some walk! Google Maps says it's 3.3 miles from State and Madison. In addition to the el (which is a 12-15 minute walk away), you can take the #22 Clark Street bus (the Loop portion runs northbound on Dearborn, southbound on Clark).

              1. re: Willa
                camusman Sep 19, 2012 06:40 PM

                +1 on Hema's. You can get there faster than the place I suggested above.

                1. re: Willa
                  jbw Sep 21, 2012 11:03 AM

                  Let me put in another good word for Curry House, particularly if you stick to the Nepalese specialties. But it's not a hole in the wall, and be prepared to pay at least $20/head if you want more than a single entree.

                2. nsxtasy Sep 19, 2012 01:55 PM

                  There are no "big franchise" Indian restaurants in Chicago, LOL! They're all family-owned, even the handful that have more than one location.

                  Chicago Curry House is good. It's just south of the Loop, and you can easily walk to it from much of the Loop. If you're on the el (subway), it's two blocks south of the Harrison stop (CTA Red Line), two blocks north of the Roosevelt stop (Red/Orange/Green Lines).

                  Chicago Curry House
                  899 S. Plymouth Court
                  Chicago IL 60605

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: nsxtasy
                    camusman Sep 19, 2012 02:40 PM

                    Curry House is good and bills itself as Indian/Nepalese cuisine.
                    If you are feeling adventurous and want to try an Indo/Pak hybrid, take the Red Line train to the Berwyn stop and walk a few blocks to Shan. Definitely a hole in the wall.

                    1. re: camusman
                      violin Oct 4, 2012 10:50 PM

                      Shan?!? How is it?

                      1. re: violin
                        camusman Oct 5, 2012 06:13 AM

                        It leans toward Pakistani cuisine. I've enjoyed the aaloo gobi, mutton biryani, and nehari. Braver souls rave about the mughuz masala.


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