Best Indian restaurants

From Devon Ave. to Wicker Park, Chicago's best Indian restaurants feature samosas, curry, vindaloo and more

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  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Cumin, one of Chicago's best Indian restaurants, also offers Nepalese food.

  • Photograph: Wendell Remington

    Mysore Woodlands, one of Chicago's best Indian restaurants, offers South Indian vegetarian cuisine.

  • Photograph: Erica Gannett

    Udupi Palace, one of Chicago's best Indian restaurants, focuses on South Indian cuisine.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Uru-Swati, one of Chicago's best Indian restaurants, is known for its dosas and other South Indian fare.

Photograph: Martha Williams

Cumin, one of Chicago's best Indian restaurants, also offers Nepalese food.

Whether it's curry or samosas you crave, Chicago's best Indian restaurants have the answer. While most of the top Indian food restaurants are located on Devon Ave., like South Indian Udupi Palace and vegetarian Mysore Woodlands, Wicker Park's Cumin emphasizes Nepalese cooking. And most offer delivery, too, so you won't even have to leave the house to try Chicago's best Indian food.


RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best restaurants in Chicago


Cumin

  • Price band: 2/4

Chef Min Thapa showcases Nepalese cooking with dishes such as paalungoko saag, where he takes whole spinach leaves, sautées them with caramelized garlic and coats them in a trinity of seeds (fenugreek, mustard and cumin). Another standout, the bhutuwa (goat), is flash-cooked with bell peppers, green chilies, onions and flattened rice. Thapa is no slouch when it comes to Indian cuisine either (the peppery biryani and lunch buffet are both solid), but ignoring the Nepalese dishes here is like going to a beer bar and ordering wine.

  1. 1414 N Milwaukee Ave, (between Evergreen and Wolcott Aves)
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Mysore Woodlands

  • Price band: 1/4

Come hungry to this South Indian vegetarian spot, where portion sizes are enormous. Start with rasam, a spicy cilantro-and-tamarind soup that’s hotter than a Bikram-yoga session (a few bites of rasa vada—lentil doughnuts with an array of chutneys—temper the heat). Delicious breads—including poori (think fluffy and fried) and a fantastically crispy dosa—complement the coconut chutney and various curries of the Royal Thali sampler.

  1. 2548 W Devon Ave, (between Maplewood Ave and Rockwell St)
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Udupi Palace

  • Price band: 1/4

Carnivores seem to think that without meat on their plate they’d starve. But this 100% vegetarian South Indian spot puts an end to that theory with its famous dosa—a gigantic cumin-, potato- and onion-filled rice and lentil crêpe that comes in a dozen varieties. Other good bets include vegetable pullav (a cardamom, clove and cinnamon-laced rice dish) and the “Madras-style” okra curry that regulars swear by.

  1. 2543 W Devon Ave, (at Maplewood Ave)
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Uru-Swati

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Not sure what to order at this Devon vegetarian standout? Try the crispy, two-foot long paper dosa filled with potatoes seasoned with mustard seed and cumin; order it “masala” and get a smear of tangy chutney. Then try the Swati samosa chaat, a smashed potato pocket drenched in silky yogurt, tamarind chutney and subtly spicy “salsa.” Not sold on those dishes? Order anything and you’re bound to get fresh, flavorful, meat-free eats for a good price.

  1. 2629 W Devon Ave, (at Talman Ave)
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