Hungry to discover a new favorite restaurant in your neighborhood? Spice up your life with our top picks for Indian cuisine around the city—it’ll guide you toward the best chicken tikka masala, lamb tandoori, and other taste bud-alighting dishes in every neighborhood of town. We’ve gathered up a few spots that recently caught our eye, and updated our existing list of superlative standbys with their availability in COVID-times
Should you find yourself on a scenic day-trip to historic Lexington, check out this lovely, contemporary Indian offering from the Kapoor family, who are also behind Masala Art in Needham. The lovely little brick-lain patio is a fine place to tuck into grilled salmon over spicy rice cakes, or chili-dusted mango and avocado with a tangy tamarind chutney.
1666 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, 781-674-2990
An entirely vegan enterprise near Somerville’s Union Square, Dosa-n-Curry lives up to its name: There’s plenty of dosas (rice pancakes) wrapped around fillings like curry leaf-spiced onion masala. But the menu covers pretty wide ground—including a variety of breads, from kulcha to naan, as well as Indo-Chinese specialties such as Manchurian-style gobi, or fried cauliflower.
447 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 617-764-3152
Vaisakhi Indian Restaurant
Its name refers to a traditional harvest festival, and this Brighton spot certainly brings a bounty of Punjabi cuisine: chaat, biryani, and tandoori specialties, to name a few. There’s lots of lamb, in particular, used for korma-, vindaloo-, and saag-style preparations.
157 Sutherland Rd., Brighton, 617-487-8941
Halal Pakistani and Indian cuisine await at this Best of Boston-worthy restaurant that merits a trip to Medford. Spicy fried tilapia? Check. Mutton haleem? It’s here. And there’s even a few fine desserts—like gulab jamun, syrup-soaked fried wheat and milk balls—to end things on a sweet note.
42 Riverside Ave., Medford, 781-391-1200,
The 15 Best Indian Restaurants in Boston
You know ’em, you love ’em—and they’re back in action. Here’s our recap of the best places to find Indian cuisine in Boston, with details on the availability of takeout, delivery, and on-site dining. Watch this space for more update
This West Roxbury institution has helped define what Nepali and Indian dining can be in Boston, with a breadth of fresh roti breads, dosa, addictive fried pakora and plump momo, and other Himalayan comforts. In late 2018, the owners expanded into Newton Center with a second restaurant called House of Tandoor.
1735 Centre St., West Roxbury, 617-325-3500
There are plenty of Indian eats and then some at this Union Square storefront, where generous helpings of goat biryani, tandoori tangri chicken, and house-made momo are available alongside steak tips, barbecue chicken, baby back ribs, and by-the-slice pizza. Skip the palak paneer pizza, though, in favor of the Indian fare and cross-continental mashups, like the fire-roasted Punjabi-style wings with mint and fiery chili sauce.
40 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville, 617-623-9068
A Central Square landmark for nearly 40 years, this spot has had ample time to hone its North Indian entrées. You can taste that devotion in dishes such as the lamb vindaloo, chicken korma, or just about anything served during the daily lunch buffet.
17 Central Sq., Cambridge, 617-547-7463
This North Indian spot is tucked a few steps underground in Kenmore Square, serving up numerous lunch specialties ranging from beef bhuna (a thick curry with onions and tomatoes), to deeply savory goat curry (just watch out for bones!). Save room for sweets like milky kheer pudding, and house-made kulfi ice cream.
484 Commonwealth Ave., Fenway/Kenmore, 617-267-4499
After a fire shuttered this sparkling spot for most of 2015, the team bounced back and have continued to dish out tandoori specialties and vegetarian fare. The second-story view of Harvard Square and the ornate Indian décor continue to draw crowds—as does the stacked daily lunch buffet, and the full bar with drinks like rum-spiked mango lassi.
57 John F. Kennedy St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-547-2757
This halal haunt is cash-only, tiny, and a tad unassuming from the outside. But once you bite into a fresh and flaky samosa, or get a whiff of the curries the kitchen is cooking up, you’ll see why Eastie locals continue to flock to this Jeffries Point gem.
329 Sumner St., East Boston, 617-567-1900.
The South End spot has no shortage house-made breads, vegetarian options, and modern specialties like pork vindaloo, and the vegan-friendly subz panchmael, a cardamom-scented stir-fry of peppers, artichokes, asparagus.
578 Tremont St., South End, 617-859-4805
Passage to India
A large selection of snackable pakorasset the stage for house specialties like goat madras, cooked with potatoes and ginger; and the bhindi masala with okra. If you find yourself up North, opt to visit the restaurant’s other outpost in Salem.
1900 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge, 617-497-6113
Punjab Indian Restaurant
This comfortably elegant Arlington dining room offers a view into the open kitchen, where the staff is preparing Punjabi classics like a mild and creamy malai kofta, and tandoori lamb chops. But the South Indian-style dosas are also a draw.
485 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-643-0943
There’s plenty of North Indian fare here, from vegetarian and meat curries, to house-made paneer with a spicy chili sauce. Spice-seekers, take note: this spot will hike up the heat if you ask. Make your order, then pull up a chair and catch a Bollywood flick on one of the restaurant’s TVs.
109 Brighton Ave., Allston, 617-254-1500
Indian food cart-style trays heaped with steaming vindaloo, assorted chaat, stuffed parathas, and more make it easy to see why this small Inman Square spot is always so busy. The unpretentious eatery—a sister spot to stalwart India Pavilion—serves up some of the city’s finest Punjabi-style snacks, curries, and breads.
225 Hampshire St., Cambridge, 617-547-8272