9 Best Indian Restaurants in Indianapolis

Have you ever found yourself wandering the streets of Indianapolis, craving something exotic, something that tantalizes your taste buds with a burst of spices and aromas? If so, you’re in for a treat. The city’s Indian restaurant scene is a hidden treasure trove of culinary delights, waiting to be explored.

Let’s embark on a storytelling journey through the bustling streets of Indianapolis, discovering the best Indian restaurants that promise not just a meal, but an experience.

A Culinary Adventure in the Heart of Indianapolis

The Allure of Indian Cuisine in the Midwest

Indian cuisine in Indianapolis is like a secret garden of flavors, hidden in plain sight. Each restaurant is a doorway to a world where spices dance and flavors sing, offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Indian culture.

Discovering the Best Indian Eateries: A Guide for the Epicurious

1. Shalimar Indian Restaurant

Shalimar Indian Restaurant Indianapolis

Shalimar is like a warm embrace of flavors and hospitality. It’s a place where traditional Indian cuisine is served with a touch of homeliness. The restaurant’s ambiance, reminiscent of a quaint Indian home, sets the stage for an authentic dining experience. Here, each dish tells a story of India’s rich culinary history, making it a favorite for both Indian food aficionados and curious first-timers.

  • Ambiance: A cozy, inviting space that feels like a piece of India in Indianapolis.
  • Price for Two: Approximately $30.
  • Must-Try Dish: The Butter Chicken, a perfect blend of creamy tomato sauce and tender chicken.
  • Avoid: Overlooking their vegetarian options, which are equally delightful.
  • Rating: 4.5/5.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekend evenings for a lively atmosphere.

2. Aroma Indian Cuisine & Bar

Aroma Indian Cuisine Bar

Aroma is where sophistication blends seamlessly with the rustic charm of Indian cooking. This restaurant is a canvas where chefs paint with spices, creating masterpieces that delight the senses. The modern decor, coupled with a menu that’s a fusion of traditional and contemporary, makes Aroma a go-to spot for a chic dining experience that doesn’t compromise on the authenticity of flavors.

  • Ambiance: Modern and chic, ideal for a classy dining experience.
  • Price for Two: Around $40.
  • Star Dish: Kadhai Paneer, a spicy and tangy paneer delicacy.
  • Caution: The spice levels can be high for some dishes.
  • Rating: 4.6/5.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekday dinners for a more intimate setting.

3. The Little India Restaurant

The Little India Restaurant

The Little India Restaurant is a gem tucked away in the heart of Indianapolis. It’s a place where simplicity shines, and flavors speak for themselves. The restaurant’s ambiance is a colorful nod to India’s vibrant culture, offering a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Here, every dish is prepared with care, reflecting the rich tapestry of Indian cuisine.

  • Ambiance: Quaint and vibrant, reflecting the colors of India.
  • Price for Two: About $25.
  • Signature Dish: Lamb Tikka Masala, rich and flavorful.
  • Note: Portions can be generous, so order accordingly.
  • Rating: 4.4/5.
  • Best Time to Visit: Lunchtime for a quieter experience.

4. India Sizzling II

India Sizzling II

India Sizzling II is where hospitality meets the heart of Indian cooking. The restaurant exudes a warm, inviting vibe, making everyone feel at home. Known for its diverse menu that caters to all palates, it’s a place where both traditional and modern Indian dishes are celebrated. The Sunday buffet here is a feast for the senses, offering a taste of the vast array of Indian cuisine.

  • Ambiance: Warm and welcoming, with traditional Indian decor.
  • Price for Two: Roughly $35.
  • Top Pick: Garlic Naan and Vegetable Samosas.
  • Advice: The buffet is tempting, but explore the a la carte for hidden gems.
  • Rating: 4.5/5.
  • Best Time to Visit: Sunday buffet for a variety of options.

5. Tandoori Flame

Tandoori Flame

Tandoori Flame is a celebration of the tandoor, an iconic element of Indian cooking. This restaurant is where the magic of marination and the art of grilling come together, creating dishes that are smoky, succulent, and full of flavor. The unassuming exterior leads to a world of aromatic and delectable dishes, making it a hidden treasure for those seeking authentic tandoori cuisine.

  • Ambiance: Simple yet authentic, focusing on the food.
  • Price for Two: Approximately $30.
  • Best Bet: Any tandoori dish, especially the chicken.
  • Heads Up: The exterior is unassuming, but don’t let that fool you.
  • Rating: 4.7/5.
  • Best Time to Visit: Evening for the full tandoori experience.

6. Bawarchi Biryanis Indian Cuisine

Bawarchi Biryanis Indian Cuisine

Bawarchi Biryanis is a culinary ode to one of India’s most beloved dishes – the biryani. This restaurant is where rice, spices, and meats or vegetables come together in a harmonious blend, creating biryanis that are a feast for both the eyes and the palate. The elegant ambiance adds to the dining experience, making it a perfect spot for those who appreciate the finer nuances of Indian cuisine.

  • Ambiance: Elegant with a touch of Indian sophistication.
  • Price for Two: Around $40.
  • Highlight: Their variety of biryanis, each a unique flavor journey.
  • Tip: Check out their weekend specials.
  • Rating: 4.6/5.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekends for special dishes.

7. India Cafe

India Cafe

India Cafe is the epitome of casual dining with a touch of Indian flair. This restaurant is all about enjoying the simple pleasures of Indian cooking in a relaxed and friendly setting. Known for its buffet and a la carte menu that features a wide range of Indian dishes, India Cafe is a place where every meal is about savoring the flavors of India in a laid-back atmosphere.

  • Ambiance: Casual and friendly, perfect for a relaxed meal.
  • Price for Two: About $20.
  • Recommended Dish: Veggie Platter, a vegetarian’s delight.
  • Reminder: The buffet offers great value but explore the menu for more.
  • Rating: 4.3/5.
  • Best Time to Visit: Lunch for a quick, satisfying meal.

8. Hyderabad House

Hyderabad House

Hyderabad House transports you to the royal kitchens of the Nizams, offering a dining experience that’s rich in flavors and history. The restaurant’s contemporary setting, infused with traditional elements, sets the stage for a menu that’s a tribute to the culinary wonders of Hyderabad. Known for its South Indian specialties, it’s a must-visit for those looking to explore the depth and diversity of Indian cuisine.

  • Ambiance: Contemporary with a hint of traditional charm.
  • Price for Two: Roughly $30.
  • Must-Experience: Mysore Masala Dosa, a South Indian treat.
  • Note: Can get busy, so plan your visit.
  • Rating: 4.5/5.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekday evenings for a quieter dining experience.

9. Chapati

Chapati Indianapolis

Chapati is a celebration of one of India’s most basic yet beloved food items – the chapati. This restaurant is where this simple bread becomes the star, accompanied by a variety of dishes that showcase the diversity of Indian cooking. The intimate setting makes it an ideal spot for those seeking a personal and heartwarming dining experience, where the focus is on the joy of sharing a meal.

  • Ambiance: Intimate and cozy, ideal for small gatherings.
  • Price for Two: Approximately $25.
  • Don’t Miss: Their namesake Chapati, soft and flavorful.
  • Caution: The dessert menu is tempting but leaves room for it.
  • Rating: 4.4/5.
  • Best Time to Visit: An early dinner for a more personal experience.

The Spice Trail: A Tapestry of Tastes and Textures

Mastering the Art of Spice

Indian cuisine’s magic lies in the mastery of spices. Each restaurant in Indianapolis weaves its own spell, creating dishes that are a harmony of flavors – spicy, sweet, tangy, and everything in between.

A Feast for Vegetarians and Carnivores Alike

Indianapolis’s Indian restaurants cater to all. Whether you’re in the mood for a meaty kebab or a comforting dal, you’re in for a treat.

More Than Just a Meal: A Cultural Experience

These eateries are not just about food; they’re about sharing a piece of India. They’re places where stories are told, and traditions are celebrated, all through the universal language of delicious food.

FAQs: Navigating the Indian Culinary Landscape in Indianapolis

What sets apart Indian cuisine in Indianapolis?

It’s the authenticity and the sheer variety. Each restaurant brings a piece of India’s culinary diversity to the Midwest.

Are there good options for vegetarians and vegans?

Absolutely! Indian cuisine is renowned for its vegetarian and vegan delicacies, and Indianapolis’s restaurants are no exception.

Is Indian food in Indianapolis beginner-friendly?

Definitely. The restaurants are welcoming to newcomers, with staff often ready to guide you through the diverse menu.

Are there family-friendly Indian restaurants in Indianapolis?

Many Indian restaurants in Indianapolis are perfect for families, offering milder versions of dishes and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Where can I find Indian street food in Indianapolis?

Several eateries offer street food favorites, giving you a glimpse into India’s vibrant street food scene.

In Conclusion: A Feast for the Senses and the Soul

Indian cuisine in Indianapolis is more than just a meal; it’s an exploration of a rich culinary heritage. Each restaurant is a chapter in the story of India’s diverse and flavorful cuisine. As you embark on this spice-laden journey, remember, you’re not just savoring dishes; you’re partaking in a cultural experience that’s as vibrant and diverse as the city of Indianapolis itself.

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