The 17 Best Indian Restaurants In NYC

New York City offers some of the most incredible food and dining experiences in America. Naturally, this also makes it a hot spot for some of the world's finest Indian restaurants.

Indian food is a brilliant phenomenon in its own right. This type of cuisine is massively popular in many areas all over the world and is definitely considered a mainstay in America. Culinary enthusiasts from far and wide have an appreciation for this unique food category that focuses on spices, sauces, and inventive flavor combinations. Additionally, Indian food and how it's meant to be enjoyed is a hot debate with several right answers. For one, the cuisine of India as a whole varies greatly, with almost unrecognizable differentiations from region to region. Additionally, the experience of enjoying Indian food fits a range as well. From affordable takeout to fine dining, Indian food can be many different things.

So many factors have gone into choosing the city's must-visit restaurants, including regional types of Indian cuisine, location, ambiance, and more. If you're looking for the best Indian food in New York City, you'll love these featured restaurants!

17. Semma

Semma highlights Southern Indian cuisine in a playful and elevated way. This restaurant is a superb example of the region's unique flavors, standing out from what is typically found in mainstream Indian cuisine.

Chef Vijay Kumar is the force behind Semma's fascinating flavors, with restauranteurs Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya aiding in its overall concept. As seen on the menu, the restaurant features incredibly unique dishes that combine creative innovation with honored traditions of the region. Using exotic ingredients such as Telicherry peppers, venison, and mung beans, Semma is a culinary treat as well as a cultural experience.

Semma ranks slightly lower due to its higher price point, limited reservations, and newer presence. However, the restaurant has received many honorable accolades from Zagat, Bon Appétit, The New York Times, and more. All in all, it's worth stopping by Semma, especially if you're interested in the offerings of Southern Indian food, history, and culture.

16. Bengal Tiger

Bengal Tiger is a casual NYC favorite found in a charming hole-in-the-wall location. If you're looking for uncomplicated Indian comfort food, this restaurant meets that need on many levels. From its cozy atmosphere to its straightforward menu featuring all of Indian food's star players, Bengal Tiger is a great go-to for New Yorkers in the mood for Indian.

This restaurant falls a little behind due to its first come, first serve policy, making it a tricky pick for tourists looking to plan their trip. Bengal Tiger is more of a dine-and-dash spot than a dining destination, especially in comparison to the city's other choices.

However, from a different perspective, Bengal Tiger's business model, affordability, and emphasis on takeout are the reasons why this establishment shines. Considering that Indian food is one of the most popular takeout cuisines in America, this selection represents an essential niche.

15. Baazi

Baazi, meaning "to bet," takes Indian cuisine as we commonly know it and spins it on its head. From the creative food menu to its fun drinks list and extending throughout its overall ambiance, the vibe of Baazi is playful and exciting.

Baazi doesn't confine itself to one region of Indian food. In addition to drawing inspiration from several Indian regions, Baazi's offerings borrow from Moroccan influences as well. The culinary team impressively and proudly hails from various backgrounds, both in personal heritage and cooking experience. The result is an amalgamation of extraordinary and distinctive tastes.

Baazi had a bit of a rough start finding its bearings amidst the pandemic, so it took the promising restaurant time to gain momentum. Baazi has risen to the occasion despite these factors and is backed with considerable interest and support. Given that the same quality and passion remain steadfast, the future looks bright for Baazi.

14. Moti Mahal Delux

Moti Mahal Delux is more than just an Indian restaurant — it's an establishment with roots in rich Indian traditions. This restaurant and its founders are associated with the origins of tandoori chicken, one of the most iconic expressions of Indian cooking. "Tandoori" means clay oven, referring to the preparation of this dish and other iterations.

The first Moti Mahal Delux opened in 1975 in South Delhi, quickly taking the world by storm and claiming its spot as a tourist destination. After many years of consistently high praise, Moti Mahal Delux gained a New York location in 2012.

To this day, Moti Mahal Delux stays true to Mughlai cuisine and continues to highlight the dishes that first put them on the map. Its NYC location sports a relaxed sophistication enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. Overall, this restaurant is a solid selection. Moti Mahal Delux has received mixed reviews in recent years; however, its longstanding success in the cutthroat restaurant scene of NYC is an ultimate testament to its value.

13. Adda

Adda's mission is clear and concise, with its name translating to "a place to hang out." The restaurant features canteen-style dishes and highlights classic Indian flavors that most know and love. There's a certain hominess and familiarity that's found in the friendly concept, shareable plates, and relaxed atmosphere.

Although Adda is incredibly approachable, it also boasts an impressive foundation that's definitely worth mentioning. This concept comes from restauranteurs Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya, the duo also known for the highly acclaimed restaurants Semma and Dhamaka. These two names are well-known for transforming how we view and value Indian cuisine.

Adda's creations may be slightly less imaginative than those of other NYC restaurants. However, these simple yet delightful dishes are executed incredibly well. Overall, the no-frills aesthetic and comfort food mission makes Adda "favorite restaurant" material — if you're lucky enough to be a local.

12. Pippali

Among prestigious NYC restaurants, Pippali earns its seat at the table for its expert catering presence and large party accommodations. Located on East 27th Street, Pippali serves up delicious Indian cuisine in an atmosphere that's elegant, comfortable, and perfect for outside-the-box dinner occasions. This restaurant gracefully accommodates weddings, work functions, and even seminars on a regular basis.

Pippali is also known for its extensive and well-executed catering program, making it a great takeaway option for special events elsewhere. In short, if you're planning a special event in NYC, Pippali is a fantastic option to keep in the queue. Your guests will welcome the departure from monotonous catering standards with these delicious spices and flavors.

Pippali's menu and atmosphere may be a bit old school, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you're looking for a tried-and-true upscale Indian restaurant in NYC complete with crowd-pleasing dishes and excellent service, Pippali is it.

11. Sapphire

Sapphire is a classic choice for Indian dining in NYC. Located on the Upper West Side, this longstanding restaurant presents a slew of colorful and delicious dishes that exemplify several regions of Indian cuisine.

If you're setting aside time to go for Indian, it can be hard to decide where to head. Indian food varies dramatically from region to region, making it difficult to decide on an establishment without a history lesson on Indian cuisine. Sapphire: Cuisines of India solves this problem by providing an array of snacks, main dishes, desserts, and drinks exemplary of India's culinary gems as a whole. Sapphire even has a popular prix fixe dinner menu, making it even easier to make a well-informed decision on dinner.

If Sapphire piques your interest, know that indoor and outdoor seating can be limited. A reservation will most likely be necessary; however, if you can plan ahead, Sapphire is definitely worth a visit.

10. Dhaba

Serving up classic Indian dishes like butter chicken and murgh tikka, Dhaba hones in on Punjabi cuisine and executes it deliciously.

When it comes to Indian food, Dhaba is the real deal. It's also associated with Malai Marke, Sahib, and Chote Nawab — three other notable restaurants that make up this mini-Indian food empire. New York natives need no introduction to Dhaba or its other counterparts due to its earned reputation as a consistent contender. For those visiting New York, this restaurant is a fantastic option for straightforward Indian food that feeds the soul.

Dhaba ranks midway in our picks for a couple of reasons. For one, it's more of a casual spot than an ambiance-filled experience. Secondly, it features a jam-packed menu with dishes that don't hold back on the spice level. All in all, if you're on the prowl for the best flavors, willing to take the heat and roll with the punches, Dhama could be a food destination to remember.

9. Saar Indian Bistro

Nestled in Midtown Manhattan, Saar Indian Bistro is highly acclaimed for several strong reasons. First of all, it's important to introduce the person at the helm of the operation. The star of this show is Hemant Mathur, Saar Indian Bistro's executive chef and the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin Star in America.

Prior to Saar, Mathur was involved with a plethora of incredibly impressive experiences. The chef first made a name for himself in Delhi before moving to New York and becoming involved with restaurant aficionado Danny Meyer (via Michelin Guide). Since his move in 1994, Mathur has helped with the fruition of several Indian concepts, thusly aiding in a key cultural shift that celebrates Indian food in America.

Saar is a modern yet elegant bistro that aims to attract regulars. It boasts stellar reviews, fantastic gluten-free and vegetarian options, and a prime location in the theatre district. This restaurant doesn't quite beat out other Indian dining experiences in New York, but only because it sports a more casual vibe and focuses on more approachable flavors. However, if this is what you're after, then Saar could be a clear winner.

8. Indika House

Indika House is our pick in the category of if-you-know-you-know noteworthy Indian restaurants.

In true New York City fashion, part of Indika House's allure is its elusiveness. Mystery aside, the buck doesn't stop here — this restaurant deserves plenty of praise and accolades. Indika House features Indo-Chinese food, providing snacky options like chicken lollipops and various types of flavorful naan. To add, its menu includes tons of creative and comforting no-meat options, making it a perfect pick for vegetarians and vegans.

This restaurant is located outside of the city in trendy Bushwick and doesn't even have a website. Additionally, it currently only offers takeout, meaning a sit-down experience is out of the question. Yet, Indika House is still very much worth the slight inconvenience. From sag paneer to satisfying samosas, this place delivers a very memorable meal.

7. Jaz

Jaz Indian Cuisine inhabits a stunning location in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City. The restaurant features authentic Northern Indian cuisine, presenting dishes such as tikka masala, chicken vindaloo, goat curry, and more. For the full experience, Jaz's three-course prix fixe menu for lunch or dinner is a foolproof choice.

In terms of atmosphere, Jaz Indian Cuisine exudes luxury and elegant ambiance, making it the perfect location for an intimate date night or special occasion. It even provides a beautiful wine list that includes selections from all over the world.

Overall, Jaz communicates and delivers clear expectations of great service, fantastic food, and a welcoming atmosphere. If you still need more convincing, check out the reviews for this mainstay — they're stellar.

6. Utsav

Utsav is a restaurant enterprise that surprisingly boasts many locations in Tokyo. Utsav Indian Bar and Grill in New York City is the first to land in the States and has since garnered a great reputation since its arrival in 2000.

Utsav Indian Bar and Grill is a great pick due to the playful creativity infused in the areas of culinary execution and atmosphere. For starters, this restaurant exhibits a bold yet beautiful interior design with the color theme of deep violets and gorgeous greens. The atmosphere alone is transportive.

Of course, Utsav's ambiance merely sets the stage for an even more magical food and drink experience. This restaurant's massive menu includes both familiar and inventive dishes, making it a perfect destination for a group with mixed preferences. Indo-Chinese is the main regional influence at Utsav, which can be seen through dishes like Szechuan fried rice and hot garlic prawns. If you're looking for festive and fun, Utsav is the one.

5. Dhamaka

Dhamaka describes itself as "unapologetic Indian." The bold statement sets the tone for this incredible restaurant known for its explosive and dynamic flavors.

Dhamaka goes above and beyond providing out-of-this-world Indian food. The restaurant bravely chooses rare ingredients and plays with unusual flavor combinations to create dishes that are not only tasty but dually innovative and inspiring. What's more, Dhamaka's concept hails from Indian food restaurateurs and masterminds Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya, practically guaranteeing its successful execution.

Dhamaka is not only known for its evident culinary prowess but for its long list of impressive accolades as well. The Michelin Guide even has a close eye on this culinary force. If your New York trip calls for experiences you can't get elsewhere, Dhamaka is worth considering.

4. Atithi

Atithi is charming, homey, and unassuming, from its tasty culinary offerings to its welcoming space. The mission of this restaurant presents Indian food as soul food, with its flavors brilliantly matching this hard-to-master status.

This restaurant nails a quality of approachability on levels of taste, price, service, and atmosphere. Still, this Brooklyn-based restaurant is by no means boring or unremarkable. Atithi's menu features recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, infusing a certain magic that's hard to replicate.

Atithi is a little way out of the city in trendy Williamsburg. However, reviews and the overall buzz encourages Indian food enthusiasts to run, not walk. This thoughtful restaurant proves that sometimes the best culinary experiences exude a feeling of coziness and a lack of pretension.

3. Spice Symphony

The name says it all — Spice Symphony is a harmonious reflection of Indian food at its finest.

This restaurant focuses on and celebrates the creative and masterful use of spices in Indian cuisine. It stays true to the authenticity and rich history of familiar dishes while adding playful and elevated elements. For example, the tandoori spicy chicken wings are a fan favorite, oscillating between traditional and modern Indian cuisine. Each dish pushes the limits of flavor and spice combinations in the most innovative and delectable ways.

Additionally, Spice Symphony brings a contemporary and exciting edge to its plating, presentation, and atmosphere. If you're looking for an entertaining night out in New York exploring the new and old tastes of India, Spice Symphony is an excellent option.

2. Tamarind Tribeca

If you're looking for an elevated NYC dining experience that explores the quintessential flavors of India, Tamarind in Tribeca is an obvious choice that won't disappoint. Backed by celebrity fans, hard-to-beat write-ups, and a Michelin star, Tamarind meets at a crossroads of New York City elegance and Indian allure. 

Tamarind takes the most elevated ingredients available and applies them to traditional and contemporary Indian recipes. Beyond its undeniably delicious upscale offerings like lobster masala and malai halibut, Tamarind is aesthetically beautiful in addition to being incredibly tasty. From its stunning plating to its imaginative architecture designed by Wid Chapman, Tamarind is top-tier in every sense of the word. If you'd like to experience New York's finest Indian dining, make sure to secure a reservation at this popular destination.

1. Indian Accent

Indian Accent wins our pick for the best Indian restaurant in NYC because it's unlike any other in New York. In fact, in our opinion and many others, Indian Accent is one of the best restaurants in the world, period.

This restaurant boasts a highly innovative menu designed by brilliant and renowned chef Manish Mehrotra. Mehrotra is known for his long list of high culinary accolades spanning several years and vast experience in both America and India. This beautifully curated menu is everchanging, consistently rotating progressive and imaginative dishes highlighting hard-to-find ingredients.

With so many incredible Indian restaurant options in the running, Indian Accent stands out from the crowd due to its consistency in these three areas; taste, innovation, and acclaimed recognition. All in all, Indian Accent is more than a delicious Indian meal; it's an experience to remember.