The 15 best Indian restaurants in NYC

From fine-dining temples to grab-and-go food trucks, these are the best Indian restaurants NYC has to offer
Filip Wolak
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Sure, you can order another round of tikki masala from takeout and delivery, but why stay in when you can spend a night out at some of the best Indian restaurants in NYC? Explore the country’s many regional specialties, found in fancy restaurantscheap eats favorites or handheld snacks. Put down the phone and go out to the best Indian restaurants NYC has to offer.

RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best restaurants in NYC

Best Indian restaurants in NYC

1
806tamarindtribeca04
Restaurants, Indian

Tamarind Tribeca

icon-location-pin Tribeca

Beyond the requisite chicken tikka masala (one of the best we’ve had), dishes delight at every turn at this stunning spin-off of the Flatiron District's Tamarind. But the most consistent pleasures come out of the twin tandoor ovens, visible from the main dining room: superlative lamb chops that are tangy, spicy and tender, and moist sea bass slathered with thick yogurt and a subtle blend of roasted spices that enriches the flaky fish without overwhelming its delicate flavor.

2
Indian Accent
Restaurants, Indian

Indian Accent

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Indian Accent at Le Parker Meridien New York is the first international outpost of Rohit Khattar and celebu-chef Manish Mehrotra’s South Delhi blockbuster, previously India’s sole representative on the S. Pellegrino list of world’s best restaurants. On looks alone, Indian Accent edges closer to fine-dining than fun-loving, all inoffensive grays and sculptural plating—the only similitude of Indian flash is one gold-leafed wall—and its menu is stuffily organized into prix-fixe options and a chef’s tasting menu. But then arrives an amuse bouche of warm naan imbued with, what is that, blue cheese? Yes, it’s a funky core of sharp Danish blue. Amuse, indeed. 

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3
Babu Ji
Restaurants, Indian

Babu Ji

icon-location-pin East Village

Babu Ji, a south Melbourne import from husband-and-wife team Jessi and Jennifer Singh (from Chandigarh and New York City, respectively), is comfortably middlebrow. There’s a reasonably priced tasting menu, a thoughtful wine list but also a fend-for-yourself beer fridge. Silver-haired dadimas are parked on sleek black banquettes next to ball-capped millennials as taken with ’gramming the meal as eating it. And those picturesque plates are heartily accessible but more pristinely garnished than your hole-in-the-wall curry house.

4
The Bombay Bread Bar
Photograph: Teddy Wolff
Restaurants, Indian

The Bombay Bread Bar

icon-location-pin Soho

Designed by the film-set decorator and Wes Anderson collaborator Kris Moran, the space is a circus for the senses. A Monday night feels like a Saturday, buzzing with the din of voracious crowds chasing crunchy, chickpea-battered onion rings or stir-fried chicken and chilies. Naan is the gateway drug—puffed, buttery and pocked with char—but the kulchas, pillowy griddled flatbreads stuffed with chicken and split chickpeas or bacon and cheese, are the truly dangerous addiction. 

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5
Punjabi Grocery and Deli
Restaurants, Delis

Punjabi Grocery and Deli

icon-location-pin East Village

Don't save this one for your Instagram. Sloppy, mushy but downright delicious, the large plate of rice comes with your choice of three authentic Indian vegetarian options, such as chana masala (chickpeas) and saag paneer (creamed spinach) for a cheap meal.

6
Saag Paneer at Junoon
Photograph: courtesy Junoon
Restaurants, Indian

Junoon

icon-location-pin Flatiron

The heart and soul of this luxe Chelsea eatery is its glassed-in spice room, where the team hand-grinds and mixes house blends each morning. Seven whole spices, including star anise, cloves and cardamom pods, are deployed in a pungent, burgundy-hued curry that coats a lamb shank, slow-braised until the meat nearly slides from the bone. Other evidence of the room’s sorcery fills the region-hopping menu, organized by traditional methods of Indian cooking—not just tandoor and handi (pot cooking) but also tawa (cast-iron), sigri (fire pit) and patthar (stone).

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7
Brick Lane Curry House
Restaurants, Indian

Brick Lane Curry House

icon-location-pin East Village

Specializing in phal, a habanero curry that’s popular along London’s Brick Lane restaurant row, Curry House issues a how-hot-can-you-go challenge to every diner. The nine types of curry are ranked by burn level. Because the menu warns that phal, the hottest, is “more pain and sweat than flavor,” nonasbestos palates should go with gentle but bouncy jalfrazi sauce, which is excellent over lamb.

8
<p>Sunchoke Vada at Rahi</p>
Restaurants, Indian

Rahi

icon-location-pin West Village

Consider it yet another spin in NYC’s revolving-door restaurant scene: When Tapestry shuttered in March in the West Village, owner Roni Mazumdar was quick to put another modern Indian restaurant in its place. The restaurateur tapped Junoon alum Chintan Pandya to reinterpret regional Indian food with local New York ingredients: Bhuna bhutta features corn on the cob dressed with reduced whey and turmeric; a dish of corn bread, mustard greens and jaggery butter plays on saag roti; and a shepherd’s pie nods to the subcontinent with ground lamb and cumin potato mash. 

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9
Saravana Bhavan
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Ali K.
Restaurants, Indian

Saravanaa Bhavan

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

Upper West Siders can snack on dosas at the second New York location of this respected Southern Indian chain, which has branches in 10 countries. Twenty-five versions of the thin crêpes, offered with fillings like spiced mashed potatoes or fiery chutney, are on the menu. 

10
849.fd.benares24.jpg
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Indian

Benares

icon-location-pin Midtown West

The region-hopping bill of fare includes a robust selection of seafood and vegetarian dishes. The restaurant takes its name from a city in the northeastern state of Uttar Pradesh, an area known for its veggie-based specialties. Of the latter, we loved the lauki ka kofta, hearty green-squash dumplings smothered in cumin-laced paneer and a buttery, tomato-based makhani sauce. 

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