12 Spots for Fiery, Festive and Fabulous Indian Cuisine in New York

Where else can you find the spirit of the bustle of Mumbai to the hustle of New York City, with contemporary Indian cuisine for times like Diwali and Holi and more. Did you know Diwali will be a public holiday in New York starting in 2023?. There are the traditional favorites, along with contemporary twists that are so alluring they merit repeat visits.

Restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya bring homestyle cooking to the plate with delectable flavors worth waiting (and traveling) for. From the Lucknow dum briyani to cheese and chili naan, creamy prawn curry to kale pakoda (crispy chickpeas fritters) this is one hearty, tasty bite.

Internationally inspired cuisine inspired by the travels of Chef Gaurav Anand, taking inspiration from Jaipur, the north of Morocco, or the middle east to give a continental and transatlantic take on Indian gastronomy. From Goan cornish hen to koliwada fish to a jalebi sandwich, come indulge.

With a lunch buffet for the day, Dhaba serves authentic North Indian food and kababs from the tandoor. But the curries from the "British Curry House" setting are what take the cake with their satisfying flavors and varieties. 

Meaning explosion, the tagline goes "This is the other side of India, the forgotten side of India." Regional and gamey specialties from all over India include very rare to find meats and rustic flavors, like goat kidneys orthat a whole yogurt-marinated rabbit inspired by a Rajasthani hunting dish or goat belly seekh kebab or  tender goat kidneys and testicles served in a fragrant onion and tomato gravy alongside ghee-shimmering pao.

A bi-level Gramercy hotspot has festive, and colorful decor with vintage Indian artwork and posters. A classic group dining spot with shareable plates, the name translates to chit-chat and conversation in a vibrant atmosphere. Executive chef Gurpreet Singh mixes traditional staples like chicken tikka and saag paneer with Turkish aleppo chili and broiled asparagus. Don't miss the delectable mixology with a whimsical names like the ayurvedic jackass and winnie the pooja. 

A gastronomical hotspot, Indian Accent explores progressive ideas in Indian cuisine while maintaining traditional integrity. Chef Manish Mehrotra reinterprets nostalgic Indian dishes and serves them in a delectable tasting menu, or one of the hottest high end prix fixe lunches in the city. Don't miss the seasonal specials and takes on Indian 'mithaai' for times like Diwali.

Junoon, “passion” in Hindi, is Rajesh Bhardwaj's ode to share his love for the food and culture of his native India. As a recipient of a prestigious Michelin star the year it opened for 8 years in a row, its where artful food meets purest traditional and regional cuisines.

Eggless ice cream made with little air marries with the founder Pooja Bavishi's South Asian upbringing. So we have with strongly spiced flavors at a food festival vendor-turned-Cobble Hill parlor. From gulab jamun ice cream sandwiches (groundbreaking!) to masala chai, Turkish coffee, carrot gajar halwa, and hibiscus chaat masala are the mouth-watering options you are guaranteed to not find anywhere else. For the holidays, don't miss the Diwali box with fan favorites like ghugra ice cream!

Smack center in Theater District is the hotspot by renowned chef Hemant Mathur, who is the first Indian Michelin-Starred chef in America. Besides inventive modern Indian dishes, don't miss the cocktails, especially the Saar Bourbon Sour, or one of the only Indian pre-theatre menus. 

Michelin star winning South Indian cuisine, what more could one ask for? Heritage Southern Indian Cuisine by Chef Vijay Kumar promises decadent flavors of the South, try the meen pollichathu, Dindigul biryani and snail based nathai pirratal for an unapologetic, as its founders describe it, taste of rustic regional cuisine. Plus, they have the dosas!

Michelin star in its hat, Tamarind is is white tablecloth and fancy (they only allow children above the age of six) with North Indian food served up tastefully and artistically.  And one of the only spots that serves a high end executive lunch, alongside a host of cocktails, gastronomical desserts and even high tea!

For 22 years, Utsav (1185 6th Ave.), the renowned Indian and Indochinese restaurant in the heart of Times Square has been a staple in the NYC culinary scene. For cuisine that is founded in tradition, Owner Nandita Khanna has been able to adapt and create dynamic dishes that encapsulates what makes Utsav so unique. To celebrate 22 years of business, Utsav has unveiled a new Indochinese menu just in time for Diwali. Highlights  include Honey Chili Lotus Root, Salt and Pepper Prawns, Konjee Crispy Lamb, Garlic Coriander Fried Rice complemented by an extensive wine list, imported ales, and an array of cocktails served with an Indian twist. Nandita’s homemade desserts are also not to be missed such as her Mishti Doi, which is passed down from a coveted family recipe. 

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