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Best Indian In NYC

What would you say is the best Indian restaurant in NYC?

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  1. It depends on what you're looking for. Junoon and Tulsi get plenty of love for their versions of Indian fine dining. The chef at Tulsi has the distinction of cooking at the city's first Michelin-starred Indian restaurant and he continues to turn out quality cuisine. At a more moderate price, there is good food to be had at Moti Mahal and Chote Nawab. Dhaba also gets a lot of accolades, though as much as I enjoy the restaurant, I think the volume of praise is more representative of how many people have had their first taste of good Indian there due to the affordable prices and favorable media coverage rather than the actual cooking.


    1. Junoon
      Moti Mahal Delux
      Saravanaa Bhavan

      1. Get the Onion Chili Rava Masala Dosa at Saravanas Bhavan.

        1. It doesn't get much love on this board but personally I think that Tamarind Tribeca is one of the best ones.
          Probably not the most authentic, but the quality and the ingredients are top notch.
          I'd called it a refined dining experience with indian flavors more than a travel to india, but it's the one I keep going back to.

          1 Reply
          1. re: alepenazzi

            One of my very good friends is indian, with out of town friends his go to is tamarind, and when on his own its punjab deli or out to the kebob place dive in jackson heights.

          2. Had some very tasty home-style dishes (sort of the complete opposite of Tamarind/Junoon) at bombay duck in the village. we actually split our meal between there and masala times two doors down, both of which put out great renditions of no-frills home/street type foods.

            1. sadly it's not a cuisine which Manhattan does well, imo...i hated Junoon and disliked most others...i had a fine meal at Indus Valley on the far UWS years ago, but can't vouch for it now...

              15 Replies
              1. re: Simon

                Indus Valley started going downhill very soon after opening. There are better options now within a few blocks, and they are far from sensational.

                1. re: Dave Feldman

                  ah, too bad...it was one of the only decent Indian meals i've ever had in a Manhattan restaurant...

                  i guess i should just stick to cooking my own :)

                  1. re: Simon

                    Simon, if you don't mind my asking, where have you encountered good or even exceptional Indian meals? I agree that Manhattan does not excel at South Asian cuisines, but there are a few restaurants here that my young Desi clique frequents and though the pooris may not be exactly like Amma's or the spicing is subdued, we've always been able to enjoy dishes here and there.

                    The only people I've ever met who can't find a single thing to like in New York have all been white people, all of whom say I have to go to London for "real" Indian cuisine which has always struck me as an ironic standard to pose since though I have fair skin and an Arabic first name, my last name is a dead giveaway for my origins outside Mumbai.

                    1. re: JungMann

                      hey JungMann, i guess i was spoiled both on an ages-ago trip to Delhi and the Kashmir, and more recently when i lived in Bangkok where there are a lot very good Indian restaurants that cater to Indian businessmen...but really, i think i was mostly spoiled by meals in friends' homes...

                      When i lived in London i thought most of "real" Indian places i tried in Zone 1 and in Brick Lane where pretty bad, with the exception of Durbur in Notting Hill, which i love...

                      Happy to try some of your NY favorites :)

                      1. re: Simon

                        Ha, good answer. There's nothing more "real" than home cooking. I'm not terribly well-versed in Kashmiri cuisine, though I do make a couple Kashimiri dishes from time to time. I'd be interested in finding a really good rogan josh here but most of my Indian dining out lately has focused on South India with friends from Tamil Nadu.

                        1. re: JungMann

                          What is your fav place for South Indian?

                          1. re: Simon

                            Take my recommendations with a grain of salt since I don't have much to compare my experiences to. I had never had South Indian until a friend introduced me to meen kuzhambu at the Setai in Miami just a few years ago. I haven't found good non-veg here, but I very much like the utthapam at Tiffin Wallah and the dosai at Saravanaas Bhavan even if the service at the latter borders on rude.

                      2. re: JungMann

                        "The only people I've ever met who can't find a single thing to like in New York have all been white people"

                        That said, the city if full of Indian (and the regional equivalents) dives serving subpar food, so it's pretty much trivial if they're serving a largely Indian (and related) clientele.

                        I don't know what's happening in Queens, but from what I can tell, you have to go to Jersey to find certain tastes, and spice profiles that even the cabbie buffets used to offer.

                      3. re: Simon

                        That looks delicious, sometimes the best food is cooked at home.

                        1. re: Pookipichu

                          thanks...scallops, chopped young kale, garam masala, shallots, garlic, chili oil, carrots, and a tiny bit of sheep's milk yogurt (everything but the chili oil from Un Sq Greenmarket)

                        2. re: Simon

                          Simon and JungMann,

                          Have you been to Newark Ave. in Jersey City? It's a nice few blocks of Indian restaurant shops, including a Patel Brothers and a few smaller grocery and produce stores. I'm very partial to Sri Ganesh's Dosa House for Southern Indian staples, such as dosa, utthapams, and iddlis (entrees and curries are an afterthought, although check for specials). I haven't found fresher or tastier carby dishes in the Tri-State area (the seasoning is beautiful). I'm also partial to Sri Ganesh's tomato chutney, which I am happy to eat with a spoon. One weak spot is their rasam, which isn't up to the quality of the rest of their staples. I love the atmosphere, which resembles my conception of what a Greyhound station would be like in Kerala.

                          1. re: Dave Feldman

                            never been...sounds fun though...i guess a field trip is in order :)

                            1. re: Dave Feldman

                              Any trip I take to the Garden State is immediately taken over by Filipino food which is woeful in Manhattan so I wasn't even aware of the South Indian scene in Jersey City. If someone organizes a chow down, I'm sure there'd be plenty of hounds interested.

                              1. re: JungMann

                                I'm going to be on the road quite a bit in the next six weeks, but maybe I'll try to organize a Chow Down early next year? It's worth walking around the neighborhood -- there are some fascinating stores as well as restaurants. A weekend day would probably be best, although it is much more crowded on weekends. It's easily accessible by PATH train or bus -- count on about an hour from Manhattan, and less by car.

                                1. re: Dave Feldman

                                  Id be interested in getting in on this.

                      4. We think the top contenders, depending on various dishes you order, are:

                        Malai Marke
                        Tamarind, East 20s location
                        Mohti Mahal

                        We find the best dosas at Saravanna Bana.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: comiendosiempre

                          +1 for Chola - not enough respect on these boards

                        2. It blows my mind that Tamarind is still even coming up in this kind of discussion. It's still coasting on a reputation that was never deserved to begin with.

                          1. I haven't tried many Indian restaurants in New York but tried Nirvana on Lexington and had a very good meal there.

                            1. anyone have recommendations for a really good keralan restaurant in NYC (including the non-manhattan boroughs)?

                              4 Replies
                                1. re: helenhelen

                                  If you're up for the trek - i think ive heard good things about this place - havent been (though i know the area is very indian)