Everybody knows that Indian dishes are known for having exotic flavoring, mostly due to the popular, age-old spice, curry. But there is so much more to Indian food than samosas and tikka masala, and if you like exploring new foods, this is an excellent avenue to take.
Whether you’re a health-conscious vegetarian or just into spicy foods, we have curated a list of destinations that serve the best Indian food in Chicago.
736 W Randolph St
We had the pleasure of visiting ROOH on opening night and it was hands-down some the best Indian food we’ve ever tasted. Progressive cuisine like Jackfruit Kofta, and spicy cocktails such as Pink City, put ROOH at the top of our list. If you’re in the mood for a sexy atmosphere and mouthwatering Indian fare, we highly recommend this new West Loop hotspot.
With two stores in West Ridge and Little Italy, Ghareeb Nawaz is easily one of the best Indian restaurants in Chicago. Sure, it’s fast food (with halal meat), but everybody knows that the smaller the store is, the more genuine-tasting the meals are. Plus, a cup of chai here is only 75 cents, adding samosas to your order is just 50 cents, and everything on the menu is under $7…how could you possibly go wrong?
247 E Ontario St
Luxurious, Indian dining at its absolute best, The Indian Garden serves what some consider to be the best Indian food in Chicago. Self-classified as the “Culinary Nirvana”, this lavishly decorated restaurant features a trendy bar and a vast menu of delectable dishes.
2906 W Armitage Ave
Hailing Northern Indian food central to Mumbai, the Spice Room brings Indian culture to Wicker Park. The chefs at this minimal restaurant serve up incredible Northern Indian fare for relatively cheap, so it’s always worth a visit.
2629 W Devon Ave
There’s something especially unique about this place: the walls are designed like Mumbai’s skyline, leaving you to feel like you’re settled into a little café next to the honking cars of India’s busy streets (without the noise, of course, though it’d be pretty clever if that was their playlist). Uru-Swati is the best Indian restaurant in Chicago to visit if you’re looking to try authentic Northern Indian delicacies with a hint of Southern influence.
1414 N Milwaukee Ave
By incorporating Nepalese and Indian staples, Cumin services some of the best Indian food in Chicago to patrons that are looking for spicy to mild dishes. They offer a large variety of dishes without reducing each of these distinctive cultures. Besides, they have far more Indian food available in this upscale restaurant, so it was absolutely worth including on this list.
59 W Grand Ave
Head to River North for a taste of authentic Indian. This amazing lunch and dinner buffet is cheap as hell, offering all-you-can-eat Indian food for just under $15 during the week and under $18 on weekends.
2049 W Division St
Pairing Indian fare with American beers, Pub Royale gives off an Anglo-Indian vibe you might actually have expected to experience by the name of this place. The atmosphere is classically intimate, making you feel right at home amid the warm accent pieces.
2652 N Halsted St
Another fusion restaurant, Tandoor Char House pulls influence from both India and Pakistan, as its owner, Faraz Sardharia, has roots in both countries. Many of these recipes are cultivated from the mind of Sardharia, but you’ll find some classic dishes here, too, made with halal meat.
This totally casual and modern Indian mainstay has two locations downtown—River North and West Loop—plus, a roaming food truck. This fast walk-up counter makes choosing your perfect dish easy, prompting you to select a taco or bowl, a protein, and a sauce, all very Chipotle-style.
2421 W North Ave
Rangoli serves some of the best Indian food in Chicago and is aesthetically pleasing. Everything at Rangoli is ready to be Instagrammed: the food, the walls, the decor, the vibe. It’s all a perfect blend of ancient and modern Indian culture, and it’s yours to enjoy in Wicker Park.