Best Indian Restaurants for Students in the USA
It is no secret that a huge number of students travel from India to the United States to pursue courses of their choice in world-class US universities. Dining out can be a luxury when it comes to any foreign student, but once in a blue moon, it is entirely possible to escape reality and indulge in some heavenly Indian flavors and spices. After all, craving the flavor and spices that remind you of a home is something that every international student experiences.
And this is exactly where the Indian restaurants in the USA take away the prize. They are authentic, they are top-notch, and to add to the twist – they are always experimenting with Indo-Western combinations.
This article aims to put forward some of the most popular Indian restaurants in the US for Indian students.
- Adda Indian Canteen (Queens, NYC)
This is a restaurant designed for Indian cravings and situated in Queens in the bustling city of New York. From traditional Indian dishes like butter chicken to fusion plates such as chipotle-inspired Indian bowls – this place has it all. The exact location is in the middle of Long Island City. So expect some traffic on your way to the restaurant. But once you are there, you can see for yourself the authentic Indian ambiance. The flavors you smell will end up making your appetite restless for some tandoori chicken. Apart from all that, for students who are on a budget, this restaurant offers cheap options as well such as Paneer Rice Combo which must be affordable for most foreign students who are currently on a budget. And as for Indian students craving some homemade classical Indian dishes, this place is your dream destination! It has got some of the best tasting and best-reviewed classic Indian delicacies in the whole country.
Customers often opine that the reason they keep coming back to this unique restaurant is because of the quality and taste of the food. The chef, as reported multiple times, does not believe in putting an extravaganza on your plate. The restaurant tries to keep it simple and as authentic as it gets. And as a result, the lucky customers of this restaurant get to experience a wildly different side of Indian cuisine that they never experienced before this. Customers also like to point out the fact that this restaurant has several options and combo meals in case you do not want to spend much. You can still get the authentic Indian flavors in your mouth at an affordable price. In addition to these, the restaurant also offers plenty of options to the vegetarians who are willing to get that Indian food for the first time but run out of options in other restaurants. Dishes such as the lotus kofta are a rage among the vegetarian population of the Indian students in the USA.
- Badmaash Downtown (LA)
This restaurant is located in the hustling neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The name of the restaurant perfectly suits the dishes they serve around here. The signature appetizer is the flaky samosas with a twist. The twist is that the samosas contain butter chicken inside them as the stuffing. A plate of these samosas along with their fiery red chutney is the perfect evening snack for a bunch of Indian students looking to taste some homemade food in the States.
Another such combination of flavors can be found in their typical French fries mixed with chicken tikka and finished off with tandoori sauce on top of them. This dish is particularly popular with Indian students in the USA due to the combination of the crispiness of the French fries and the tandoori sauce to go with it on the top. Another specialty of this restaurant is its spiced-up mango pork which is quite an unusual appetite booster. In this case, the pork is sliced up into small pieces, then marinated with the restaurant’s secret spices, and finally served with a bit of tangy mango juice.
- August 1 Five (San Francisco)
Located in the busy streets of San Francisco, this restaurant sums up the typical Indian culture just perfectly! The main attraction of this restaurant is its name itself. It is not the foundation day that is in its name but it’s the day of India’s declaration of independence from British rule – 15th August 1947! And when it comes to bringing it to the table, this restaurant backs up its name every time.
The main dish is the classic Indian chicken tikka masala. In it, you will taste the entirety of India in a single mouthful of chicken tikka! The chicken is prepared in such a way that it just falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. The herbs and spices are perfectly authentic and seep their way into the meat perfectly. In addition to all these, they top it off with their secret masala which perfectly blends in with the herbs and spices and even better amps up the overall taste. The ambiance of the restaurant brilliantly complements the Indian culture and brings back some of the good old memories from way back home for the Indian students staying in the US.
- Bollywood theatre
Located in Portland, Oregon, the USP of this restaurant is its ambiance which transforms the space into a traditional Indian Dhaba on the roadside. And as you can guess, most of the fun comes from Bollywood itself. You can often hear typical Bollywood movie songs playing in the background. When it comes to food, this place has lots to offer both in terms of flavor and options to choose from. The restaurant boasts of a wide variety of dishes mostly based on the Mumbai food culture of the state of Maharashtra in India.
Classic delicacies such as the misal pav, the pav bhaji, and the mixed vegetables find their way into the hearts of hundreds of Indians dining at this restaurant every day. This is one of the restaurants which is said to have the same authentic taste of genuine Indian cuisine but in the US. According to the head chef, the most popular dish is the cheese pav bhaji, which is a special Indian curry popular in the Western region of India. Here, it is topped with shredded cheese which melts into the thick curry gravy giving it a sensational texture.
- The Bombay Bread Bar
The Bombay Bread Bar is the busiest of all these restaurants due to its location. It is located in the heart of New York and is open till midnight to cater to its customers. This restaurant is also famous among the youngsters for its amazing cocktails. Moreover, it brings with it a new twist in the form of potato chaat and tequila shots. Never before have the two been combined to form a deadly duo like this!
Adding further to the amp up the spice, the appetizer called the Kejriwal snack which consists of spiced bread pieces attracts most Indians in the States. Speaking of bread, all Indian varieties of bread are readily available here in this restaurant. Naan, butter naan, garlic chapatis are regular favorites of the Indian population here, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Furthermore, the aloo paratha in the main menu takes away the cake every time. This is the Indian flatbread stuffed with mashed potatoes and fried in olive oil to even attract the health freaks as well!
- Bombay Chopsticks
This restaurant is founded by the India House and is currently located in Chicago, Illinois. This restaurant boasts Indo-Chinese cuisine on its menu. Items such as classic noodles and ramen are meshed with authentic Indian spices and flavors to create brilliant combo meals! Many customers report that the Chinese here is authentic as well, it is just amped up in terms of flavors to be 10 times spicier than normal Chinese dishes. The favorites are the meatballs the ramen and the Chicken Dragon Rolls.
Apart from them, this restaurant offers multiple options like spring rolls, minced chicken, garlic fish, fried vegetables, and finally the fried chicken. The fried chicken of this restaurant is special in the sense that, it is marinated with special Indian spices unlike that of KFC or Burger King. In addition to that, this is the only place that offers Indian fried chicken in which the chicken is marinated with handmade authentic Indian spices. In the dessert as well, there is a special Indian twist. That is the saffron cheesecake that they offer. It varies from the normal version of the cheesecake although, for classic Americans, the normal cheesecake is also available.
- Chai Pani
This restaurant is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and is famous for its breakfast menu boasting several typical Indian items to kick perfectly start your day. In this restaurant, the main focus is on Indian street food and how to normalize it in a top-class restaurant like this one. For starters, everyone knows the typical Indian masala chai and breakfast- they are all ready to be served. Apart from them, there are classic street-style sandwiches, speaking of which, there is a special one named Sloppy Jai which is halal lamb meat carefully spiced up and placed between two fresh whole wheat buns.
Then there is the classic Indian samosa which is the rage among Indian students visiting this restaurant daily. The mornings are flocked by the Indians although the menu is becoming increasingly popular with the Americans as well. In addition to these, there is a special version of the masala chai, called the Iranian chai which consists of even more spices than its counterpart. Finally, there is a special combo of fries with traditional Indian pudina ki chutney which is never seen before. Indian students should try out these fries with the pudina chutney to start their day.
- Indian accent
This is one more restaurant located in the bustling streets of New York City. It has its roots in the capital of India, New Delhi. Only in 2016, it expands to set up a branch in the United States. This restaurant has Indian food like you never had before. To start with a bang, it has keema which is minced meat carefully marinated with the most flavorsome spices India can offer. One mouthful of this dish and you are out of this world! Combine this dish with two fresh buns and a cup of steaming tea, and your mornings will be worth waking up to! Each dish will arrive like a royal platter, arranged with several vegetables and salads accompanying them. One of the special items on their menu is the butter kulcha which is the Indian flatbread with butter applied to both sides. To top it all up, there is the traditional Indian favorite – butter chicken. And here the butter chicken is the favorite item even among the non-Indian population! So if you are an Indian student in the US, do try out this restaurant.
- Dosa by dosa (Oakland, CA)
To sum it all up, here is a restaurant that brings to you authentic South Indian cuisine. The dosa, a specialty in the menu, is rice crepes with lentils mixed in there. These are often served with mashed potatoes mixed with spices in between them or even as plain dosa, just like the South Indians love! Unexpectedly, this restaurant is also famous for its salad options which contain bowls of fresh vegetables and fruits mixed with real herbs and spices to kick up the flavors. The favorite among the masses is the coconut salad which reflects the South Indian love for coconuts as evident from the name itself.
The wraps this restaurant offers are also quite popular. These contain grilled roti, or Indian flatbread with a stuffing of prawns, chicken, or vegetables as per your choice. However, unlike other restaurants, all of the items are cooked in pure coconut milk only giving them that authentic South Indian taste. On the main menu, there is the South Indian traditional lemon rice along with the all-time classic – sambar and coconut chutney. For others, there is pulao along with chicken masala, which is chicken cooked in a thick gravy containing lots of garlic, and spices. Moreover, for any Indian student, this restaurant will be a great choice as it is pocket-friendly in addition to having all the other qualities.
If you are an Indian student studying in the United States, knowing the location of these restaurants can help you get that taste that you so miss from back home.