Good Indian food has long been a part of the Philadelphia food scene and these restaurants are spread around the city, so you can find quality Indian food in almost every part of town. While the majority are of the Northern Indian variety, some restaurants offer the flavors of Southern India as well as Punjabi cuisine. Many of these restaurants also offer delivery service, so if you are in a time crunch, have your biryani, dosa or chaat brought right to your home or office. Whether you are looking for an affordable casual joint or a classier place to take a date or a client, there are restaurants on this list for every style.
1.Ateethi Restaurant, Bustleton
© Ateethi Restaurant, Bustleton
Ateethi is a restaurant that celebrates the diversity of India’s many peoples, cultures, and lifestyles. Chef Ballal Hossain has had more than 16 years of experience and has worked at the popular Karavali Indian Restaurant in New York. Trained in Indian and halal cooking, he specializes in a range of traditional dishes including palak paneer, chicken tikka masala, chicken karahi, paneer tikka masala, malai kofta, and others. The menu also includes a variety of dosas from Southern India that are served with sambhar and coconut chutney. For a unique Philly-influenced bite, try the Philly cheesesteak masala dosa.
9321 Krewstown Road, Philadelphia, PA 19115, Phone: 215-698-6113
2.Biryani Bowl Indian Cuisine, Chestnut Hill
© Biryani Bowl Indian Cuisine, Chestnut Hill
Biryani Bowl Indian Cuisine specializes in authentic, Hyderabadi-style biryani. They make their biryani the same way that it has been for generations in Hyderabad – a style called dum biryani. The biryani can come with chicken, goat, shrimp, egg, paneer, or vegetables that are marinated in special spices and then cooked with basmati rice. Even though they specialize in biryani, they also have other favorites such as kabobs, chicken tandoori, butter chicken and many others. Biryani Bowl has three locations in the Philadelphia area. They offer dine-in and take-out as well as catering for corporate events, private parties, and weddings.
219 E. Willow Grove Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118, Phone: 215-967-1159
3.Cafe Spice Express, Center City
© Cafe Spice Express, Center City
It’s not often that a food-court stall gains recognition as the best food in the city, but Cafe Spice Express has earned their spot on our list by serving excellent traditional Indian dishes like korma and vindaloo. The food court at The Shops at Liberty Place has a lot of delicious food options, but Cafe Spice Express is the obvious choice for Indian food at the mall. When you are tired from all of your shopping, simply grab a seat and recharge with some chicken curry, tikka masala, or a range of vegetarian-friendly dishes. The fast service and dependably tasty food will have you coming back again and again.
1625 Chestnut Street, #f5, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: 215-496-9580
4.Chaat and Chai, South Philly
© Chaat and Chai, South Philly
Chaat and Chai is a relaxed and casual joint serving Indian street food in a colorful venue. The laidback restaurant specializes in chaat, a fried dough that can be filled with a wide range of toppings. The restaurant’s selection is authentic enough to satisfy those who have a firm grasp of Indian cuisine while also being approachable enough for first-timers. The dishes combine locally grown seasonal produce with standard Indian spices. Dishes are kept relatively mild on the level of spice. Favorites include pani puri chaat, which is a flour puff filled with chickpeas, tomatoes, and a sauce made from tamarind, or vada, which is a fritter made from lentils, or mango ginger lassi as well as a variety of tasty chai-style teas.
1532 Snyder Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19145, Phone: 215-271-1253
5.Chatkharay Indian and Pakistani Grill, Germantown
© Chatkharay Indian and Pakistani Grill, Germantown
Chatkharay Indian and Pakistani Grill offers traditional Indian and Pakistani food with an Asian influence. They use a range of basic ingredients and cooking techniques to create a diverse menu of traditional and fusion favorites. The food at Chatkharay is 100% halal and includes many vegetarian options. Some guest favorites include chicken biryani, tikka masala, korma, cheese naan, and vegetable samosas. They offer eat in, delivery, and take-out while the restaurant itself is family-friendly, so feel free to bring along your kids who will enjoy the menu and atmosphere.
306 W. Chelten Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144, Phone: 267-297-5914
6.Desi Chaat House, West Philly
© Desi Chaat House, West Philly
Desi Chaat House is a casual and colorful joint offering a wide range of chaats and fabulous varieties of lassis. The restaurant serves both sweet and savory chaats. Start your meal with an appetizer such as veggie or chicken samosa, vada paav or aloo tikki, then move on to your fill of chaats. The menu includes a section for regular chaats, such as pani puri, bhel puri, and fruit chaat. They also have several special chaats such as the crunchy Mumbai Chaat, the spicy Shahi Chaat, or the sweet and savory Bengali Chaat. They also have several options of wraps and rice dishes. Finish your experience off with some ice cream or a homemade dessert.
501 42nd Street, Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Phone: 251-386-1999
© Ekta, Fishtown
Ekta is a storefront Indian joint offering a comprehensive menu of classic Indian favorites. The restaurant has both dine-in and takeaway options. The menu is one of the largest at any Indian restaurant in Philly, so if you are looking for variety, Ekta can deliver. They have both vegetarian and meat dishes, including chicken, lamb, and seafood and you can order samosas, kabobs, biryani, tandoor, and a wide variety of naan and roti. Several flavors of lassi make the perfect accompaniment to your meal, and rice pudding or gulab jamun are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Things to Do in Philadelphia
250 E. Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, Phone: 215-426-2277
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8.Indeblue, Midtown Village
© Indeblue, Midtown Village
While Indian restaurants generally don’t have happy hours worth mentioning, Indeblue is a welcome deviation from that standard. From 5:00pm to 7:00pmpm every evening they offer deals on drinks such as imported Indian beer and exotic cocktails inspired from the flavors of India as well as small plates of Indian fusion snacks like naan pizza and samosas. The chef’s tasting menu is another popular experience and can be served with wine pairings or craft beer flights that complement the flavors in your tasting meal. The weekend brunch is top-notch and includes a traditional Indian breakfast as well as western options such as omelets and French toast. Indeblue is conveniently located near the Pennsylvania Convention Center as well as the city’s major theaters.
205 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, Phone: 215-545-4633
9.Indian Cuisine, Downtown
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Indian Cuisine is a popular spot for delivery, take-out, and dining in. They offer a large menu of traditional dishes and guests can begin their meal with a few samosas or a chicken kebab starter. Entree options offer a large variety for vegetarians and meat lovers alike. Favorites include the lamb chop tandoori, beef vindaloo, chicken achari, and the mixed vegetable curry. They also have a couple of options for kids’ meals, such as chicken nuggets and kebabs, making Indian Cuisine a solid option for family dining. Wash down your meal with a soft drink, tea, or lassi and finish it off with your choice of several desserts.
1939 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: 267-761-9144
10.Indian Restaurant, Downtown
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Don’t be fooled by this restaurant’s less-than-creative name. Indian Restaurant is a popular option for a slow, romantic Indian meal or a quicker lunch special. The restaurant strives to use only the freshest ingredients in each of their dishes. The menu includes appetizers, soups, biryani, chicken, lamb, and tandoori specials. They have a BYOB policy, where you can bring your own bottle and they don’t charge a corkage fee. If you can’t make it out to the restaurant in person, they offer delivery to your office or home, which you can even order in advance.
1634 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, Phone: 215-964-9451
11.Karma, Old City
© Karma, Old City
Karma offers traditional Indian favorites all day long, but is especially popular for their large lunch buffet, which includes popular items from their menu such as paneer tikka, tandoori breads, kebabs, and vindaloo. The restaurant prides themselves in offering friendly and quick service and has grown quite a following since they opened in 2003. They offer dine-in and take-out as well as the ability to order online in advance. They even offer a surprise lunch box where you choose between the chicken or vegetarian option and they surprise you with the day’s special. The restaurant also features a bar with happy hour and a late-night menu for night-owls. Karma also provides catering for events of any size.
246 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Phone: 215-925-1444
12.King of Tandoor, Logan Square
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King of Tandoor serves familiar Northern Indian dishes in a dressed-up dining room. The restaurant prides itself in using only the most fresh and high-quality ingredients they can source. Reservations can be made online or by phone. The restaurant serves a variety of dishes including starters, soups, chicken, lamb, and specials from the tandoor. Some of their most popular options include the grilled meat appetizer, chicken saag, tandoori mixed grill and lamb korma. If you are in a rush or can’t make it to the restaurant in person, they offer lunch boxes to-go as well as delivery to your home or office.
1824 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Phone: 215-568-0751
13.Laxmi’s Indian Grille, Manayunk
© Laxmi’s Indian Grille, Manayunk
Laxmi’s Indian Grille has a chain of Indian food restaurants across the city, with four locations in the Philadelphia area. The restaurant is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike. The menu features a range of starters, soups, and salads such as vegetable samosas, mulligatawny soup, and butter chicken salad. They also serve kathi rolls, which are white or whole wheat chapatis stuffed with chicken, seafood, paneer or keema, and served with a choice of salad or fries. Larger entree items include a variety of curries, tandoori specials, seafood, paneer, chicken, and lamb. Wash it all down with a mango, sweet rosewater, or salty lassi.
4425 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127, Phone: 215-508-2120
14.Lovash Indian Cuisine and Bar, Queen Village
© Lovash Indian Cuisine and Bar, Queen Village
Lovash Indian Cuisine and Bar serves traditional Indian fare for both lunch and dinner. The menu is varied and includes appetizers, soup, salads, tandoor specials, Southern Indian favorites, and basmati rice dishes. For vegetarians, there is a section of the menu devoted solely to vegetarian dishes such as aloo gobi, palak paneer, vegetable curry, and the Dal Special. There are monthly specials offered each month, which in the past have included the Surf and Turf Masala, Harabhara Beef, and Pomegranate Chicken Masala. They also offer a prix fixe menu for dine-in customers. Additionally, Lovash offers catering for special events and delivery within 2 miles of their restaurant.
236 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, Phone: 215-925-3881
15.Minar Palace, Center City
© Minar Palace, Center City
Specializing in Northern Indian cuisine, Minar Palace has built up quite a following at their former location on Samson Street, but after taking a 2-year break in the mid-2000s, they reopened in a new and fresh location, but with the same affordable and delicious cuisine they have always been known for. The restaurant features both a buffet option as well as a typical a la carte menu to provide a range of dining experiences. They have also added a tandoor oven, which they use to make traditional fresh-baked breads such as naan and roti. Reservations are not required and delivery is available.
1304 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, Phone: 215-546-9443
16.Mood Cafe, West Philly
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Mood Cafe is a very small cafe specializing in Indian sweets, ice creams, and lassis, with 14 varieties of lassis on the menu, ranging from the most popular choice, the mango lassi, to a traditional South Asian drink, the salted lassi. The cafe is owned by the same businessman as the ever-popular restaurants Desi Chaat House and Desi Village. Mood Cafe also serves chaat, the popular Pakistani and East Indian street food that can be stuffed with a variety of fillings. If lassis aren’t you thing, wash your chaat down with a freshly squeezed juice or a milkshake and finish your meal with shaved ice or ice cream.
4618 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143, Phone: 215-222-1037
17.Mumbai Bistro, Washington Square West
© Mumbai Bistro, Washington Square West
Mumbai Bistro is a small, intimate cafe offering a buffet that changes with each day’s specials in addition to an a la carte menu. The restaurant prides itself in offering options for guests with a variety of dietary restrictions. Many items can be made vegan, gluten, and dairy free, and most are free of nuts. Almost every dish on the menu is cooked fresh every day in house and many cooking processes have been made intentionally healthier. The buffet bar is weighted and features a rotating menu of several main entrees and rice. The day’s choices can be found on their website. It is also possible to order single servings of several items through the a la carte menu.
930 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, Phone: 215-418-0444
18.New Delhi, Spruce Hill
© New Delhi, Spruce Hill
New Delhi is the city’s oldest running Indian restaurant, opening as it did in 1988. The staple restaurant is popular among college students, faculty, and staff as well as many others, and has maintained its success over the years through a dedication to quality, taste, and service. The menu has a la carte options as well as both a lunch and dinner buffet. Menu favorites include samosas, chicken tikka, paneer masala, makhani chicken, and the shrimp biryani. Several vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available and clearly marked on the menu. New Delhi offers delivery service and catering for events and large groups.
4004 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Phone: 215-386-1941
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Royal Ashoka is a contemporary Indian restaurant offering a diverse selection of traditional Indian dishes with a modern touch. The restaurant serves dishes that are perfect for anyone, from those new to Indian cuisine right up to the enthusiast. Dishes come from a variety of regions on the subcontinent, and popular offerings include biryani, a very spicy shrimp phal, and aloo gobi. Customers rave about their signature dish, Bagari Jhinga, which comprises shrimp cooked in a tangy sauce along with fresh curry leaves and mustard. Vegetarians and vegans will not be left out as there are large sections of the menu devoted to those who do not eat meat.
13314 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116, Phone: 267-538-5601
20.Saffron Indian Cuisine, North Philly
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Saffron Indian Cuisine is a laidback, casual Indian joint. Many customers opt for the all-you-can-eat buffet, which is an affordable option for standard Indian food. Soon after you fill your first plate at the buffet, you will be served fresh, hot naan bread. The food on the buffet is quite approachable and not too spicy. The lunch spread includes two varieties of rice, tikka masala, tandoori chicken, dal, samosas, chana, and other side dishes and salad. The dinner bar includes several other items for a slightly higher, but still affordable, price. Saffron Indian Cuisine also offers delivery and online ordering for added convenience.
3240 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, Phone: 267-858-4480
21.Sitar India, University City
© Sitar India, University City
Sitar India is a great budget choice for delicious Indian food. The buffet-style option is popular among locals, especially students, who are offered a discount. Many Indian restaurants dull down the spice in their dishes to make them more generally approachable, however, Sitar India offers several spicy dishes, even in their buffet, which includes a range of curries, vegetable samosas, soup, and dessert as well as chai-style tea or mango juice. They also feature an a la carte menu with options such as chana masala and other favorites, including many options for vegetarians. The restaurant is quite popular so wait times can occasionally be long.
60 S 38th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Phone: 215-662-0818
22.Taj-India Authentic Indian Cuisine, Bustleton
© Taj-India Authentic Indian Cuisine, Bustleton
Taj-India Authentic Indian Cuisine is a small Indian joint operating from a strip mall storefront. The restaurant specializes in dosas and a selection of other traditional vegetarian dishes. The restaurant prides itself in offering fresh ingredients and every item on the menu is prepared in house each day with no additives or preservatives. The menu only features vegetarian dishes and also includes several vegan-friendly options. Some favorites are the vegetable kabobs, veggie curries, and rice dishes. Enjoy your meal with a serving of Indian-style bread, which is made fresh in house each day. They offer a BYOB policy as well as catering services for local events.
10863 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116, Phone: 215-677-4400
23.Tandoor India Fishtown, Fishtown
© Tandoor India Fishtown, Fishtown
Tandoor India Fishtown offers a straightforward menu of tasty Indian food for both vegetarians and meat eaters. The menu includes a selection of appetizers such as chat papri, samosa chat, Indian buffalo wings, and garlic shrimp. Tandoori specials include chicken malai kebab, lamb chops, tandoori shrimp, and chicken tikka. Chicken, lamb, and goat specialties as well as a selection of rice dishes round out the menu. Accompany your meal with a fresh-baked naan or roti and finish it off with one of their Indian-style desserts for a special treat. The restaurant offers online ordering and delivery in the surrounding area.
1832 N. Front Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122, Phone: 215-423-4354
24.Tiffin, Northern Liberties
© Tiffin, Northern Liberties
This mini chain by Munish Narula is one of the best options in the city for reliably delicious and affordable Indian delivery. They serve a frequently changing menu of lunches modeled after Indian street food. Traditional favorites that appear on their menu include paneer tikka masala, malai kofta, chana masala, and dal makhani, among others. They are well known for their curry pots, which include a meat or vegetable build-your-own option, where you choose your own rice, protein sauce, and spice. Tiffin has several locations spread throughout the city so you can get your fix at one of their restaurants or have it delivered smoking hot to your home or office.
710 W. Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123, Phone: 215-922-1297
25.Wah Gi Wah Restaurant, Spruce Hill
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Wah Gi Wah is a casual joint serving Pakistani, Indian, and Bangladeshi food. The eclectic menu includes highlights such as Pakistani kebabs, but the dish that keeps bringing visitors back time and time again is the chicken chargha. The dish is served as an entire chicken on the bone that is butterflied, seasoned with a spice rub, battered, and fried. The dish has notes of cumin, ginger, and garam masala curry and boasts status as one of the best fried chickens in town. Other than this popular dish, favorites include a flavor-rich tandoori-roasted chicken, tasty chicken kabobs, and delightful homemade naan flatbreads.
4447 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Phone: 215-921-5597
25 Best Indian Restaurants in Philadelphia
- Ateethi Restaurant, Bustleton, Photo: Ateethi Restaurant, Bustleton
- Biryani Bowl Indian Cuisine, Chestnut Hill, Photo: Biryani Bowl Indian Cuisine, Chestnut Hill
- Cafe Spice Express, Center City, Photo: Cafe Spice Express, Center City
- Chaat and Chai, South Philly, Photo: Chaat and Chai, South Philly
- Chatkharay Indian and Pakistani Grill, Germantown, Photo: Chatkharay Indian and Pakistani Grill, Germantown
- Desi Chaat House, West Philly, Photo: Desi Chaat House, West Philly
- Ekta, Fishtown, Photo: Ekta, Fishtown
- Indeblue, Midtown Village, Photo: Indeblue, Midtown Village
- Indian Cuisine, Downtown, Photo: Courtesy of ilolab - Fotolia.com
- Indian Restaurant, Downtown, Photo: Courtesy of stocksolutions - Fotolia.com
- Karma, Old City, Photo: Karma, Old City
- King of Tandoor, Logan Square, Photo: Courtesy of Fanfo - Fotolia.com
- Laxmi’s Indian Grille, Manayunk, Photo: Laxmi’s Indian Grille, Manayunk
- Lovash Indian Cuisine and Bar, Queen Village, Photo: Lovash Indian Cuisine and Bar, Queen Village
- Minar Palace, Center City, Photo: Minar Palace, Center City
- Mood Cafe, West Philly, Photo: Courtesy of Artem - Fotolia.com
- Mumbai Bistro, Washington Square West, Photo: Mumbai Bistro, Washington Square West
- New Delhi, Spruce Hill, Photo: New Delhi, Spruce Hill
- Royal Ashoka, Photo: Courtesy of vm2002 - Fotolia.com
- Saffron Indian Cuisine, North Philly, Photo: Courtesy of vm2002 - Fotolia.com
- Sitar India, University City, Photo: Sitar India, University City
- Taj-India Authentic Indian Cuisine, Bustleton, Photo: Taj-India Authentic Indian Cuisine, Bustleton
- Tandoor India Fishtown, Fishtown, Photo: Tandoor India Fishtown, Fishtown
- Tiffin, Northern Liberties, Photo: Tiffin, Northern Liberties
- Wah Gi Wah Restaurant, Spruce Hill, Photo: Courtesy of Fanfo - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of mitrarudra - Fotolia.com