India has a wide variety of regions, and that’s reflected in the many cuisines of the country. Try all of the flavors without flying 10-plus hours at the best Indian restaurants in Chicago. Whether you’re looking for a flavorful tandoori dish, or you’re looking for a curry or some spicy vegetarian dish, all of these restaurants have that and more.
59 W. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60654
With more than 200 menu items, the traditional regional Indian dishes here have spice, but they’re not overly spicy. That’s exactly why it’s the go-to lunch spot for many who work in the River North neighborhood. But this restaurant is also open for dinner and lunch every day of the week. Menu items feature every kind of regional dish you’d find in Indian too, whether you have a hankering for Bombay street fare like bhelpuri (crisp rice noodles in a chutney) or samosas (chicken or lamb), among many other options.
Indian Garden Restaurant
247 E. Ontario St., 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
Take your pick from a number of regional Indian specialties at this River North restaurant. Not only is the food traditional, but so is the beautiful decor. Many of the dishes are even cooked in a kadhai, or iron wok, in order to achieve the right amount of searing and melding of spices. Enjoy these dishes during lunch, dinner, the lunch buffet or the brunch buffet on the weekend. Can’t make it into this atmospheric restaurant? It offers take-out and delivery too.
847 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Jaipur may specialize in traditional Indian cuisine that’s packed with vegetables and spices, but it sources its ingredients locally. With so many different regional dishes, the River North restaurant tries to represent them all in its vast menu. Start with an appetizer like masala papad (deep-fried lentil wafers), and don’t overlook the spicy soups, like mulligatawny, which is India’s version of a chicken soup. There’s also entrees aplenty, including a whole section of the menu devoted to tandoori specialties.
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2543 W. Devon Ave.
Chicago, IL 60659
Udupi Palace offers both sit-down dining as well as delivery of its authentic, classic Indian dishes to the surrounding Rogers Park neighborhood. Like most traditional Indian dishes, the spice level is high here, particularly with curry dishes. Popular menu items feature masala dosa, which is a rice and lentil crepe, as well as the vegetable samosa. Even better, all dishes are reasonably priced with most entrees $10 and under.
10 W. Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60610
For Indian food with a twist, stop at this River North fusion hot spot. Combining flavors from both Indian and Latin cuisine, there’s nothing else like it in the Windy City, and that’s just one reason it’s been recognized by a plethora of publications. Bon Appetit even called it the “biggest Chicago trendsetter.” While the tandoori skirt steak is a favorite, the dinner and lunch menu offers a variety of other fusion items, whether you’re a vegetarian or not.
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Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.