- Sahmi Chowdhury
11 South Asian Restaurants in New York City You Have to Visit
New York City is known for its diversity and plethora of restaurants where you can find authentic cultural cuisine. The city has restaurants that feature foods from every inch and corner of the globe. For South Asians, New York City is food heaven and below are 11 different restaurants that will remind you of your last visit to the Indian subcontinent.
1. Cafe Himalaya ($$) 🇳🇵
Have you ever sat down and wondered what food Nepal has to offer? What do they eat near the Himalayas? Well, to find your answer, look no further than Cafe Himalaya. Cafe Himalaya is a Nepalese and Tibetan restaurant that serves flaky parathas and traditional Nepalese dishes like ruthang momo soup, steamed or pan fried dumplings stuffed with juicy chicken and flavorful herbs and spices. This is a very well-priced option for a unique cuisine that is a rarity in New York.
2. Lakruwana ($$) 🇱🇰
Like many Sri Lankan restaurants, Lakruwana is located in Staten Island in Little Sri Lanka not too far from the Sri Lankan Art & Cultural Museum. Did you figure it out already? This place breathes Sri Lankan culture and the restaurant's decor and food is no different. As you walk in you see beautiful sculptures and Sri Lankan murals that foreshadow the authenticity of their food. The food ranges from heat packed red chili lunu miris chutney to delicious deviled chicken. Two highly recommended options for anyone in search of some great Sri Lankan cuisine.
3. Aladdin Sweets and Restaurant ($) 🇧🇩
Aladdin is one of the best Bengali hotspots. Located in the heart of Astoria on 36th Ave off the N/W train. The restaurant is well-known around the Bangladeshi community for their authentic traditional food like the kachi biryani and beef tehari, tender pieces of meat that sits on top of a bed of savory spiced rice. The spot also serves up fresh naan and roti for you to enjoy giving it a very homey feel. You cannot leave without trying the famous Bengali sweets as well.
4. Indian Accent ($$$$) 🇮🇳
Most of the restaurants on this list are places that are specific to New York City, and Indian Accent is no exception. The well-known Delhi restaurant made its way to the U.S. in 2016 and has continued to charm those that eat there. The beautiful plating and unique menu items cemented this place as a top spot. The restaurant serves South Asian dishes like keema, a minced beef dish, made with plant protein served with soft buns. Traditional food can be found here too—remember to ask for the butter chicken stuffed butter kulcha. If you find yourself at Indian Accent, you cannot leave without getting the makhan malai, a saffron flavored silky velvet-like whipped cream finished with rose petal brittle. It’s easy to get “too full for dessert” when eating at Indian Accent, so if need be, order it to go.
5. Sigiri ($$) 🇱🇰
If you’re in search of some authentic Sri Lankan food, look no further than Sigiri. Sigiri is a cute little spot found in East Village that can serve all your Sri Lankan cravings. Their flavorful string hopper kottu or chicken lampreys, served in a banana leaf, are some of the best dishes in the neighborhood. These dishes will take you back to the island. This vibrant gem also serves up great banana fritters and watalappam, a spiced up coconut custard pudding, for dessert. This is a must visit if you are craving or just want to get a taste of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.
6. Sybil’s Bakery & Restaurant ($) 🇬🇾🇹🇹
Family owned and operated since 1976, Sybil’s is your one stop shop for freshly made West Indian/Caribbean cuisine. Located across Queens, you can take a trip to their Liberty Avenue location in South Richmond Hill, affectionately known as Little Guyana. Boasting a menu of traditional Guyanese dishes, you can’t go wrong with an order of oxtail/pepper pot with puri on the side. Wash it down with an old fashioned lime rickey and enjoy a slice of black cake for dessert.
7. Korai Kitchen ($) 🇧🇩
Korai Kitchen is the one spot on this list that is not in New York City, but gets featured because it is just that good. This Jersey City spot serves up authentic Bengali food for cheap. The spot is BYOB, which is perfect for a great night out with friends. The Bengali spot only offers a dinner and lunch all-you-can-eat-buffet priced at $15 for lunch and $20 for dinner, we recommend stuffing yourself with their bhorthas, mashed anything—usually vegetables—or meat curries. The wide range of dishes here will definitely make you smile ear to ear. Just be prepared to go back home and pass out.
8. Adda ($$) 🇮🇳
Adda is a chic restaurant perfect for any group of people looking for good food and welcoming ambiance. Adda loosely translates to “hanging out” and the place is perfect for just that. This Long Island City spot is perfect to grab some double cut chops with buttered rolls and mango lassi with great friends. We highly recommend this spot for your Indian cravings.
9. Chola ($$) 🇮🇳
Chola adds to the Indian food scene in midtown with a beautiful selection of well priced Indian items in its buffet. The popular lunch spot is ideal for those that live or work in the area and need their Indian fix. The lunch buffet is relatively inexpensive and the large menu specializes in foods found on the North and South Indian coastline. This is definitely a spot for those who are interested in trying a wide array of foods that hits every corner of your palette.
10. The Gully ($$) 🇮🇳🇧🇩🇵🇰
The Gully is a desi urban spot that introduces a new wave of indowestern fusion for everyone to enjoy. This charming spot in Queens offers great decor and a wide array of food items to choose from. We would recommend starting with the classic fuska and getting a chicken tikka mac-n-cheese to share. They also offer traditional South Asian dishes like biryani and butter chicken for customers to enjoy. Then, wash it down with a mango lassi and top it off with their delicious velvety rasmalai tres leche topped with rose petals. The meal will take your taste buds back to the motherland, but with a western twist.
11. Haandi Restaurant ($) 🇵🇰
Haandi serves up some of the best chicken karahi and lamb or goat gosht in the city. The traditional spot is also known for its fresh tandoori menu and soft and fluffy homemade naan. Definitely a good spot for some of the traditional Pakistani dishes that can be difficult to find.