When we talk about Indian cuisine, we are not just talking about a single cuisine. We are actually referring to the value of regional cuisines from a subcontinent which are largely influenced by geography and culture. In the north of the country, for example, you will find dishes like aloo gobi, while in the south, you can find dosas and vadas. While there are many restaurants offering North Indian cuisine, Atlanta has a lot to offer, and the last few years have brought some fun, new and more specialized offerings. Here are 10 must-see places serving Indian food in Atlanta.
Vatica is an Atlanta institution and has a bit of everything on the menu. Sample garlic naan, samosa and dahi puri, before feasting on aloo gobi, vegetable biryani and tandoori chicken sizzler. Sweet tooth? Don’t skip the gulab jamun, balls made from milk and flour solids dipped in rose sugar syrup.
West city center
Palak Patel (you might recognize her Defeat Bobby Flay) returned to her hometown of Atlanta after living in New York City. She opened a stall in the Chattahoochee Food Works where Atlanta residents can feast on her vegan meals inspired by her childhood. Must-haves include the Indian falafel stuffed with peas and coconut topped with tamarind, green and yogurt chutneys and the samosa chaat, a bowl of potato-stuffed samosas topped with chana masala and mango powder.
Midtown and Buckhead
Tabla is a reliable choice for a modern take on Indian classics. The Midtown and Buckhead Dining Rooms are chic spots for an evening of tasty food and smart cocktails like Tabla mule with vodka, mango chutney, lime and ginger. They also have thoughtful soft drinks, such as strawberry kala khatta with kale khatta syrup, roasted cumin seeds, tamarind, chaat masala, and lime juice. Go with friends and order a bunch of small plates such as samosas, bhel Brussels sprouts, and tandoori shrimp.
What the dining room lacks in frills is more than made up for by delicious food from different regions at this Decatur venue that has been around for over 20 years. Try a deluxe vegetarian thali for a few different bites at a time or the Special Chat Patti, a nacho-like dish with flour chips topped with ingredients like fried rice, pomegranate seeds, yogurt and a donut. with lentils.
Although Bhojanic had to close his popular Buckhead restaurant during the pandemic, Atlanta residents can still take advantage of Archna Becker’s creative offerings through take-out and delivery. Highlights include tandoori pizza with marinara chutney and mozzarella cheese and biryani bowls.
Northern Druid Hills
Masti means pleasure in Hindi, and it’s an apt name for this Indian street food restaurant with its splashy interior. The fun doesn’t end with the decor, with dishes like Butter Chicken Tacos and 65 Chicken Pasta.
Meherwan Irani recently shaken things up at his Decatur location in Chai Pani when he revamped the menu with dishes from the state of Gujarat. While longtime favorites are gone (so long ago, kale pakora), the new menu features rustic and intimate delicacies that elevate comfort food to a new level. Try the locho, a grain-like lentil dish with green chutney, butter, onions, cilantro, and fried green tomato pakora. Sip a lime rickey alongside your dinner for the ultimate refreshment.
Alpharetta, Reynoldstown, Decatur
Curry Up Now is a chain, but it’s worth considering if you’re hungry for some Indian street food (especially downtown Alpharetta). Highlights on the menu include ‘sexy fries’ with sweet potato fries topped with cheese and protein and the quesadillix, a version of a Punjabi treat with stuffed parantha, mozzarella, protein, pickles, chaat masala yogurt and chutney.
Old Fourth Quarter
The sister restaurant of Chai Pani offers Indian street food. Expect lots of crisp, fresh flavors in dishes like chicken tikka roll and lamb burgers with green chutney and coleslaw. An essential dish? The SPDP: puffed chips filled with yogurt, green and tamarind chutneys, potatoes and crispy noodles with chickpeas. Put one in your mouth and prepare to be blown away.
This Chamblee spot is a classic and has recently reopened for restaurant service. Come for classics like garlic naan, chicken tikka masala, and vegetable korma.
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