Indian cuisine conjures up images of regional decadence, and the aroma of spices like cumin, garam masala, dalchini, chakra phul, lavang, kadhipatta, and coriander. You may also envision butter chicken, pan-fried, grilled to mouthwatering perfection, or roasted and infused with cardamom, khoa, garlic, and tomatoes. Indian cuisine is synonymous with naan, rogan josh (curried meat), chickpea potato curry, tandoor chicken, and crunchy samosas too. Then there are traditional Indian drinks like lassi and mugs of hot masala chai tea, which complements these Indian dishes perfectly. If you’re in NYC and are craving Indian food, you may be spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting the best Indian restaurants, as there are so many establishments to choose from. To narrow down your search, have a look at some of the best Indian restaurants in NYC here.
Relish authentic Indian cuisine with a menu designed by Chef Manish Mehrotra. He invokes a sense of Indian nostalgia with his Indian cuisine, and first began his career in Mumbai at the Thai Pavilion of the Taj Hotels. He was also acknowledged as the top chef in India in 2018 in “The Economic Times.” This upscale restaurant is at 123 West 56th Street, New York.
If you’re looking to have dinner here, brace yourself for delicious appetizers like sweet potato shakarkani or some crispy okra. You can also choose phulka like jackfruit or chili pork. Mid-courses include butter-pepper garlic, sundried tomato, tofu masala, eggplant bharta cornet, or butter pao.
For a main course, choose scrumptious ghee-roasted lamb, tandoori salmon, kerala veggie stew, fenugreek cheela, roti pancakes, or roast dosa. You may complement your meal with an equally decadent Indian dessert, fit for the most discerning Indian palate too. Some of these desserts include saffron milk, sweet rice, or makhan malai.
Beverages served here include wine, champagne, and cocktails like Mughal fortification containing coriander, saffron, and bourbon. If you’re looking for a somewhat softer cocktail, opt for the Mudra punch, which comprises coconut toasted to perfection, rose sharbat, and delicious almond milk. This high-end establishment also offers a tasty cocktail called the Upsy Desi, which is essentially a blend of red bush syrup, chaat masala, and fresh lemon.
Located at 19 West 24th Street, NYC, Junoon offers a unique high-end Indian dining experience. Its menu comprises a vast array of small plate dishes, main dishes, biryani, Indian breads, lentils, and desserts. Enjoy a side dish from their small plate menu of eggplant chaat. This includes chaat masala, tamarind chutney, onion, raita, and eggplant. Their Junoon chaat comprises yoghurt, mint chutney, and other authentically Indian ingredients, such as dahi vada.
You can also enjoy an appetizer like paneer mirchi pakora. This includes strawberry chutney, cheese, shishito pepper and mint. They also offer tuna puchka, which is essentially chaat masala, some caviar, cilantro, and puri puffs. If you love pork, you simply have to try their smoked masala pork ribs, complete with masala apple. You can also sink your teeth into some delicious daal makhni, garlic naan, and roti. Or if you prefer a rice dish, delve into their pulao dish with basmati rice.
Not that many Indian restaurants offer seafood variations on their menus. However, here you can choose between a mouthwatering plate of lobster rasam for $45, or a plate of snapper moilee for $38. The lobster rasam is made with curry leaves, and the snapper with creamy coconut milk, turmeric, and Indian cooking must-have’s like fenugreek.
In true fine-dining style, enjoy a plate of lamb chops with tamarind decked vegetables for $48, or las mas, an Indian dish consisting of goat meat immersed in chili sauce. They also serve duck here, as well as tandoori chicken.
For dessert, tuck into some kulfi pops made with caramelized banana, almonds, and puffed rice. Thereafter, unwind with a refreshing cocktail like a sweet martini made with star anise, or a tea or coffee.
This Indian restaurant is located in Murray Street, NYC. They offer a range of contemporary dishes, and have a diverse and exceptionally flavorful selection. As the name suggests, foods served here are inspired by Indian dishes made in Utter Pradesh, a West Indian state in Benares. The presiding Chef Dhandu Ram, was once the chef at Tulsi. Tulsi is a Michelin-star establishment. Benares also serves as a social hub for momentous occasions such as birthday parties, school, and corporate events. They have live food stations here too.
The menu comprises brunch, appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts. You can also enjoy something from their side dish menu and wine list. If you’re looking for a good Indian brunch, try their tandoori pizza naan. Or go for something like their keema pav, or some rabri on French toast. They also have masala fries if you’re looking for something light to nibble. Or select some samosa or peanut chaat. For a brunch dessert, patrons can relish decadent sundaes, infused with rose. Or choose the halwa dessert with doodhi.
For appetizers, Benares serves a range of kebabs, smoky chicken tikka, as well as vegetarian appetizers like chili paneer and dahi kebabs. From their entrée selection, patrons can choose from dishes like chicken saag, lamb korma, and kadhai goat. In true upscale fashion, they also offer an Indian seafood selection like cheema thenga, which is basically delicious grilled prawns bathed in curry made with coconut milk. You can also relish a Goan curry made with tasty salmon at this fine dining Indian restaurant in NYC.
Their vegetarian dishes include tikka masala made with soy and saag. Also, an entire section of the menu is dedicated to tandoori meals. They offer chicken, lamb, and a mixture of grilled tandoori meats. So if tandoori style is your thing, you had better get to this flavorful Indian eatery. You can also enjoy Kashmiri soup, as well as desserts like pistachio kulfi and karonji here. They sell a range of different lassi beverages, including mago lassi.
Tamarind Tribeca is located in the center of Tribeca in Hudson Street, NYC. This Indian restaurant in NYC is often referred to as the best Indian restaurant in NYC. It was also formerly known as just Tamarind Restaurant. One can also see why this is deemed a top Indian restaurant in NYC, as it received a Michelin star too. The aesthetic of the interior here is upmarket and pristine, with an overt contemporary edge.
They have an executive lunch menu which comprises Punjab food. Some of their appetizers include soups such as amritsari machli. This soup is made with mango chutney, cumin, yogurt-infused salmon, and other spices. They also serve a kachumber salad. This salad comprises a combination of baby tomatoes, cucumber, greens, vinegar, and other ingredients.
Their entrees consist of malai jhinga, which is essentially succulent prawns in cilantro and other spices. The dish is prepared in a tandoor. You can also relish sarson ka saag here. This is basically greens with Indian spice and corn.
For dessert they serve a lovely carrot rice pudding. This consists basically of basmati rice that has been caramelized, with a topping of raisins and carrots.
You can enjoy a variety of both cocktails, as well as mocktails, if you don’t consume alcohol. A favorite cocktail here is their cucumber gimlet. This includes a tonic, some lime, cucumber, and of course the main ingredient for this concoction; Jaisalmer Indian gin. Their Midnight in Mumbai cocktail includes a concoction of curry leaves, liqueur, whisky, and port. They are truly authentic when it comes to Indian cocktails, as they serve cocktails like Cardamom Blossoms, Tamarind margaritas, and Tikhi margaritas too. Their mocktails include an eclectic blend of lassis and aamras. Aamras is lime juice, topped with mango-infused puree. They also add curry leaves and honey to make this drink super flavorful. You may also enjoy cucumber coolers in this Indian restaurant in New York. Also, if you love the flavor their mocktails have to offer, you can ask your waiter to add alcohol of your choice to the drink, at an additional charge.
Dawat is one of NYC’s finest Indian eating establishments. It was also one of the first fine dining restaurants specializing in haute Indian cuisine in the city of New York. Situated on 58th Street and open since 1986, the driving force or inspiration behind this establishment, is esteemed cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey. Some of her specials include corn chaat as a starter. If you’re looking to embark on a gastronomical trip, you should try her main dish, which comprises lamb chops, aka gurnar. These succulent chops are immersed in a marinade made with saffron, yogurt, and spices. Another Indian lamb favorite is this chef’s must-try anjeer (fig) lamb. Here the lamb is cut into cubes, and served with a sauce and some nuts and delicious figs. Madhur also serves some decadent tandoor veggies.
The restaurant has a range of other starters like veggie samosas, which essentially includes peas and potatoes. They also sell lamb pathar kebabs and onion fritters. This Indian restaurant is ideal to unwind on those chilly New York days, as they serve mouthwatering soups too. Choose from their ginger and cauliflower soup, or their mulligatawny soup. This is basically made with peas and tasty chicken.
Dawat also specializes in chicken dishes like chicken saag, which is chicken immersed in a decadent spinach puree. Another favorite when it comes to chicken dishes, is their chicken makhani. The roasted meat here is melded with tomato sauce. Their goat meals include rogan josh, where the meat is still on the bone and infused with aromatic spices like cardamom. They also serve spicy lamb dishes like vindaloo.
Another Indian establishment that serves seafood, Dawat offers a tasty selection of shrimp dishes. This includes caldin shrimp. These shrimp are decked in chili sauce and coriander. You can also select bhuna shrimp. This shrimp is made with Indian herbs. Or try some shrimp drenched in coconut sauce, such as the konju pappaas. These shrimp also contain tamarind. You can derive a strong Indian flavor from the curry leaves used to make this.
Curries are a literally hot commodity on the menu here. You can choose from a variety of vegetable curry, as well as fish curry, made with the same ingredients used to make fish curry in Goa. Then there’s their delectable chicken curry, made with ginger and a plethora of other Indian spices, and their lamb and veggie curries.
They serve an array of wonderful Indian rice dishes too. Enjoy basmati rice, biryani made with succulent chicken, goat biryani with saffron and nuts, or traditional Indian pillau rice.
Their dessert menu is a dream come true for those who love Indian sweet treats. They offer kulfi, a delicious ice-cream. They also serve cottage cheese dumplings called rasmalai. These dumpling are melded with cardamom, sugar, and rose. Then there’s of course their must-try honey and milk pastry called gulab jamun.
They have a wine list too. This comprises sparkling wine and champagne, amongst others. You don’t have to order an entire bottle of wine though, as you can order a glass or a few glasses only if you prefer.
There are several factors to consider when deciding what the number one Indian restaurant is. The choice can be based on the quality of the food served, the value for money if the establishment is pricey, and the accolades the restaurant has received. Based on this, the number one Indian restaurant for quality would have to be one of the establishments that serve a wide variety of quality cuisine in an upscale setting.
These restaurants would therefore include Dawat, as the food served here is inspired by celebrity cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey. Not only does this top Indian restaurant in New York offer a main menu, but they also have a chef’s specialty menu too, which is essentially a selection of Madhur’s favorites. Another restaurant truly worth its salt literally in this instance, is Tamarind Tribeca. This establishment has received a prestigious Michelin star, which is a lot like receiving an Oscar for those in the restaurant business. Junoon is also revered for its haute cuisine and top quality dishes.
The top 5 or the 5 best Indian restaurants in New York are Indian Accent, Junoon, Benares, Tamarind Tribeca, and Dawat. These establishments are a melting pot of quality cuisine, value for your money, prestige, beautiful aesthetics, and high level service.
The chef at Indian Accent is renowned, once even being described as the top chef in India in “The Economic Times.” The cuisine here is inspired by him, making the restaurant rather famous. Dawat was also one of the initial fine dining Indian restaurants in this city since 1986, and is pretty well known too. Junoon is popular for its prestige and top quality cuisine, which has patrons flock there too.
Junoon has a pretty pricey menu, but it’s all worth it, as their food is top-notch. They serve food for the cultivated palate, such as lobster rasam, which will cost you about $45. Another one of their seafood favorites, the snapper moilee costs $38. Their succulent lamb chop dishes cost $48.
This has got to be murgh makhani, also famously referred to as butter chicken. Many Indian restaurants serve this as one of their staples. The dish was first made in the 1950s in Delhi, India. Tandoori chicken tikka is also popular.