8 Spicy and Savory Indian Spots in Salty San Francisco

From Bay of Bengal to the salty Bay of San Francisco, contemporary Indian cuisine takes a page out of the traditional notebook and upgrades it to the digital age. There are the traditional favorites, along with contemporary twists that are so alluring they merit repeat visits.

Amber India

From humble beginnings in a strip mall this hotspot has an exquisite bar program in a contemporary dining room with California adapted Indian cuisine. White asparagus with spices, Monterey calamari and chilis, tikkas with figs and a plethora of herbaceous, local vegetable sourced dishes helmed with Ajay Mishra in charge.

August 1 Five

1Five is for 15, which celebrates India's freedom from colonial times. The food has nuances rarely seen in the West. From the inventive 'naanwich' to the kebabs, venture for the hearty Cali-inspired potato and fig kofta, bison keema or Mughlai shrimp curry... the options are fused cuisines that are relentlessly tasty.


Besharam means “shameless” in Hindi, and Chef and owner Heena Patel experiments with Indian cuisine in the hottest of ways. Focusing on the Gujarati region of western India, the Californian upgrades with elements like the blue cheese naan, kim chi samosa, and an array of spunkily named cocktails (also available to go!), with a plating collaboration with HateCopy adding to the spice. Picture plates labeled "Hot Chai, Cold Revenge".


Bhoga means happiness, as well as feast. Located across Castro Theatre in the Castro District of San Francisco, it is a vibrant spot with craft cocktails and progressive Indian cuisine. With sustainably sourced seafood and naturally raises meats, the bar bites and mixology alone make it worth a visit. Don't miss the murals that fit in so well into the area.

Campton Place

Chef Srijith Gopinathan's has his peacock feather placed in the Taj Campton Place, with its Michelin star status solid for years. With a Spice Route prix fixe, the foods range from meaty and gamey ducks and lambs to yogurts and basmatis from interior India, and an extensive Californian wine list to match.

Curry Up Now

Indian cuisine mash ups galore, watch out for the new TFC sandwich (tandoori fried chicken) with Bombay dust aioli and curry chutney... or other fusion favorites like tikka masala burritos and deconstructed samosas. Giving Indian street food a flair that is so, so addictive!

Indian Paradox

Street food paired with wines?! Hell yes. Sommelier Kavitha Raghavan designs a colorful cozy spot with an Indian food-truck aesthetic ballooning with colors, with a tasting and brunch menu with spicy chaat and other Indian snacks paired with wines!


Rooh meaning spirit, is from India’s Good Times Group, adds art to regional culinary cuisine by Chef Sujan. Tasting menus, outdoor dining, prix fixe and a la carte dishes are simmering with curries, meats, fish, veggies and rice aplenty. But the artistic craft is reserved for their cocktail menu inspired by the six Ayurvedic rasas.

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