Welcome to the vibrant culinary world of NYC Indian restaurants, where delicious flavors and aromatic spices take center stage. If you’re on the hunt for some of the best Indian food in the U.S., look no further. This guide will lead you to the most mouthwatering, authentic Indian dining experiences in the area.
From vibrant vindaloos to divine dosas to tender tandoori dishes, New York City and New Jersey are two of the best places in the U.S. to try Indian food. With their prominent Indian-American communities, it’s no wonder these destinations are some of the best places in the U.S. for authentic Indian cuisine. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Curry Hill or venturing into the neighborhoods of Jersey City and Edison, the options are seemingly endless.
After my five trips to India between 2018 and 2020, I began seeking out the best Indian food in America. My journey brought me to New York City and New Jersey, which offer some of the best Indian food I’ve had outside of India.
After dozens of spots, I’ve compiled a list of my absolute favorites. These incredible spots will transport you straight to the streets and kitchens of Mumbai and Delhi. These are my top NYC Indian restaurants—the best you’ll find in New York and New Jersey!
One of the most NYC Indian restaurants is Temple Canteen in Queens. This eatery is located in the basement of a Hindu temple in the city, and offers a variety of favorites from the Subcontinent. Among them are various dosas, idli, vada, pongal, lassi, masala chai, and kulfi.
Their rich, tomato-based sambar is so heavenly, it’s good enough to drink. I also highly recommend their fresh coconut chutney. But the stars of the show are the dosas. The Mysore dosa is spicy and the perfect balance between crispy and doughy. And their Pondicherry dosa contains a tangy red chili chutney, a crispy chaat, and onions.
If you like buttery dishes, be sure to dive into their phenomenal ghee roast dosa. It’s a plain dosa doused with ghee, a type of clarified butter that’s extremely common in Indian cuisine. They roll it into a cone shape and pairs well with the sambar and coconut chutney!
If you find yourself in the trendy East Village in Manhattan and want some authentic Indian food, you’re in luck. In the area, you’ll find Punjabi Grocery & Deli, a mini-grocery store that also offers freshly prepared Indian favorites that you can eat in the store!
They have several prepared dishes to choose from, including chana, aloo samosas, veg pakoras, aloo tikki, aloo parathas, and more. I recommend their combo platters. Mine contained a creamy chana masala, an earthy palak mushroom containing spinach and mushrooms, flaky roti, black lentils, and a fresh cabbage sabzi. No list of NYC Indian restaurants is complete without this place!
One of the most popular food vendors in all of New York is the Dosa Man. Named Thiru, he works out of a cart called NY Dosas in Washington Square Park. He serves typical South Indian fare including dosas, idli, uttapam, and dosas.
His Pondicherry Dosa is a beautiful mix of the crispy lentil-and-rice batter, masala, potatoes, and vegetables. But my favorite was easily his Family Recipe Dosa. Made using his grandmother’s recipe, this dosa adds coconut shavings, which enhances the flavor of his incredible coconut chutney. Don’t miss his hearty sambar, which contains greens, tomatoes, and potatoes!
One of my favorite breakfasts on the planet is a typical South Indian breakfast. When you’re looking for a good option among all the NYC Indian restaurants, consider Saravanaa Bhavan on Murray Hill in Manhattan.
From the delicious Karnataka filtered coffee to the vada, chana bhature, and idli, there’s no way to go wrong with their menu. But the real stars of the show are their dosas. Their paper dosa is flaky and crispy, with a bit of doughiness on the inside.
I adored their spicier and doughier Mysore masala dosa, which contains aloo and a spicy masala mixture. If you like onion, try their crispy onion rava dosa with sambar, mint chutney, tomato chutney, and my favorite, coconut chutney!
One of the most popular NYC Indian food restaurants isn’t a sit-down restaurant at all—it’s actually a food truck! Called Fuska House, the famous neon green truck sells fuchka (or fuska), a South Asian treat also known as puchka, golgappa, and pani puri.
Fuska House is the first fuchka food truck to open in the United States. The street food favorite consists of a crispy, fragile, and hollow rice flour ball called a puri. The vendor then stuffs it with a mixture of aloo (potatoes), chickpeas, onions, masala (spices), and a spiced water called pani.
They also sell a version called dahi puri, which swaps the pani with a creamy yogurt. You can also try an incredible chaat called jhal muri, which contains puffed rice, green chilies, and masala. It’s one of the best places in NYC to get a taste of authentic South Asian street food!
One of my favorite cities I’ve ever visited in India is Lucknow in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This north Indian city is famous for its tunday kababi. These tender mincemeat patties are one of my all-time favorite Indian dishes. After visiting several NYC Indian restaurants, I found some incredible ones at Chote Nawab in Manhattan.
The mixture of coriander and garam masala in the meat is beyond incredible. Pair it with their herbal mint chutney for the ultimate burst of flavor. In addition to the tunday kababi, I highly recommend the smoky kakori kabab, the yogurt-marinated salmon tikka, the goat biryani, and butter paneer.
Of course, you can’t have a delicious north Indian meal without bread, so get some flaky lachha paratha. This amazing flatbread works well with the kebabs, raita, and a tomato-and-peanut curry called mirchi ka salan. It makes Chote Nawab one of the best NYC Indian restaurants, for sure!
After exploring NYC Indian restaurants, take a trip across the Hudson River to Jersey City. This city has a thriving South Asian population, and it’s reflected in the restaurants there. One of my favorites is the incredible Honest Restaurant.
Honest Restaurant is famous for their exceptional pav bhaji. This thick, tomato-based vegetable curry was one of my favorites I tried at CSMT Train Station in Mumbai in 2018. The one at Honest Restaurant contains tomatoes, potatoes, chilies, and green peas.
This delicious, stick-to-your-ribs curry is comfort food for the soul. You eat it with fluffy, buttery buns, using them to scoop up the vibrant curry. It’s honestly the best pav bhaji I’ve had outside of India and may just be the best I’ve ever had, period!
While you’re in Jersey City, I highly suggest you enjoy a delicious South Indian breakfast at Sri Ganesh’s Dosa House. This incredible spot has been open for nearly 20 years and is one of the best places in town for an authentic taste of Indian food.
Among the favorites there are the typical South Indian favorites: idli, uttapam, vada, and various types of dosa. Their paper dosa contains a delicious aloo mixture, while the rava dosa is crispier and airier.
The idli are essentially steamed cakes made from rice flour with a more neutral flavor. Vada, on the other hand, is a savory donut-shaped item with a crispy exterior. All of the dishes pair perfectly with their sambar and coconut and tomato chutneys! Trust me, while you’re exploring NYC Indian restaurants, don’t forget to hit up Jersey City!
Edison is a city in New Jersey that’s well known for its high South Asian population, so it makes sense that you’d find exceptional Indian food there. One of my favorite spots is Desi Galaxy. The popular spot sells a wide array of Indian favorites, but I recommend heading there for their snacks.
I loved their fiery pani puri, which is quite possibly the hottest variety I’ve ever had in my life. They contain a small amount of aloo (potatoes) and lots of flavorful pani. If you need to cool your mouth off afterward, try their falooda or rose lassi. The rose lassi is floral and thinner, but is still the perfect milky drink!
Authentic Indian food is one of the best cuisines on the planet. But every now and then, it’s fun to try Indian fusion foods like the ones they serve at Moghul Express in Edison, New Jersey. Here, you can get Indian-inspired pizzas!
They have a phenomenal butter chicken pizza that combines the rich, velvety texture of butter chicken with a crispy crust, delicious cheese, and fragrant herbs. Finish your meal with some creamy rasmalai or a decadent and sugary gulab jamun. After you’ve explored NYC Indian restaurants, finishing up in New Jersey is a great way to end your tour!
Great NYC Indian restaurants are a dime a dozen in the New York area, so this list barely scratches the surface. But if you ever find yourself in the Big Apple and are looking for some amazing Indian food to try, I highly recommend starting with this list.
Whether you want a sit-down meal of pav bhaji or tunday kababi, or street foods like fuchka and dahi puri, you’ll find it all in NYC. Every single one of these spots will transport you to India with their vibrant flavors and commitment to authenticity. Book a trip to NYC today to experience some of the best Indian food in the country!