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10 Best Indian Restaurants in Metro Phoenix

Khyber Halal's filling goat biryani
Khyber Halal's filling goat biryani
Lauren Saria

You don't have to go out of the country or even out of town to find great, authentic Indian food. In fact, there are plenty of places around the Valley that specialize in a range of Indian cooking styles, whether you're looking for great Southern-style vegetarian dosa or Northern chaat. With a variety of options -- including buffets, upscale sit-down spots and even grab-and-go eateries -- the Indian joints around town can cater to any occasion with spicy, aromatic, and mouthwatering curries, mixed grills, and more.

See also: 10 Best Restaurants for Brunch in Metro Phoenix

Pani puri from Little India
Pani puri from Little India
Lauren Saria

Little India

There aren't many places in the Valley that offer the Northern Indian snacks called chaat -- but Little India in Tempe does. The cafe is tucked into the back corner of an Indian market and requires you fill out a menu checklist to place your order. There are options like pani-puri, fried hollow puri you fill with flavored water, and aloo tikki chaat, which features grilled potatoes patties smothered in yellow peas, yogurt, tamarind, cilantro, onions, and other spices. But no matter what you order, don't skip the samosas. The triangular pillows enclose a wonderful filling of spiced potatoes and peas that only gets better when dipped in the side of tamarind chutney.

A giant dosa from Woodlands
A giant dosa from Woodlands
Heather Hoch

Woodlands

As families pack in and out of this modest vegetarian Indian restaurant, you'll quickly notice that if you didn't order a dosai, you didn't do Woodlands right. Though this mostly undecorated spot in the middle of a Chandler strip mall might not gain any points on ambiance, the authentic food, friendly service, and plentiful selection of dosa (like the hot mysore masala or the cheesy paneer dosai) will surely have you coming back again. Plus the complimentary chutney bar with pickled veggies, tamarind chutney, yogurt sauce, mint chutney, and coconut chutney makes for a new experience with every bite.

A plate of selections for Karaikudi's lunch buffet
A plate of selections for Karaikudi's lunch buffet
Lauren Saria

Karaikudi Palace

We've got a lot of love for this Scottsdale spot, where three culinary school friends opened an exceptional Indian restaurant. Karaikudi Palace serves boldly flavored South Indian cuisine, including dishes such as kadai bindi masala that features okra, onions, bell pepper, tomato, and fresh ginger. If you want to explore the menu on your own terms, you'll want to make sure you hit dinner since the restaurant only offers a buffet during lunch, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. On the other hand, the buffet is a nice way to ease into Indian cuisine, since you can taste a wide variety of dishes including grilled meats, curries, and even dessert.

 

Gobi 65 and butter chicken will satisfy from New India Bazaar in Phoenix.
Gobi 65 and butter chicken will satisfy from New India Bazaar in Phoenix.
Heather Hoch

New India Bazaar & Cuisine

With a full menu of Indian fare tucked behind the market portion of New India Bazaar, the restaurant portion pleases with creamy gobi 65 and spicy butter chicken served with basmati rice and hot, crisp naan. However, the real winner at New India, which is located on Seventh Street just south of Thomas Road, is the option for buffet to go. If you work downtown and are craving Indian cuisine, New India's by-the-pound pricing for the lunch buffet is a fast, easy, and cheap way to get your fix without running late. We will warn that service is rarely even cordial at New India Bazaar, but if you order to go like we do, you won't have to worry about that at all.

Khyber Halal's samosa.
Khyber Halal's samosa.
Lauren Saria

Khyber Halal Restaurant

If there's one thing this Central Phoenix restaurant has going for it -- besides the good food -- it's that you can have foods from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India in one place. As far as the Indian options go, you'll see standard picks like tikka masala and paneer, the homemade Indian cheese. We prefer to dig into a giant platter of goat biryani, a rice dish that features sizable pieces of tender goat meat and heavily spiced basmati rice. We also love the fact that Khyber Halal is clearly a family-run operation, with the restaurant staffed by family members of all ages.

Alluring, aromatic curries aren't the only thing to love at Curry Corner.
Alluring, aromatic curries aren't the only thing to love at Curry Corner.
Heather Hoch

Curry Corner

Regardless of whether you've already eaten your meal at Curry Corner or not, every time a new dish rolls out of the kitchen, it's like being transported away to a place that pretty much smells like different parts of heaven. Aromatic and lightly sweet makhani curry or acidic, spicy achari curry paired with crispy, chewy naan bread or rice make for a satisfying meal. However, if you want to get the real Curry Corner experience, you have to get the joint's most popular dish -- the mixed grill platter. This sizzling skillet of tasty tandoori and other spiced meats is a total sensory package that's as much about the crackling audio and rustic visual as it is about the delicious smell.

Meaty and abundantly spiced, Chettinad cuisine hails from a remote region of the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India.
Meaty and abundantly spiced, Chettinad cuisine hails from a remote region of the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India.
Jackie Mercandetti

Chennai Chettinaad Palace

Though you can get all your favorite go-to dishes in this recently opened North Phoenix Indian joint, what truly sets Chennai apart is bartender Anthony Felsianes' cocktail menu. The flavored martinis and new twists on classic drinks have one thing in common -- a heavy influence of Indian flavors such as mango, coconut, and rose that pair nicely with spicy dishes. Plus, at $6 per drink, Felsianes' cocktail concoctions are some of the most affordable drinks around.

 

Copper Kettle's mixed grill
Copper Kettle's mixed grill
Lauren Saria

Copper Kettle

Copper Kettle has moved locations more than once since opening in 1998, but it recently resettled in Tempe. The new restaurant's proximity to owner Syed Abbas' sister's restaurant caused family drama, but it doesn't seem to have affected the quality of the Indo-Pak cuisine. Copper Kettle serves a nice range of styles including Tandoori, Punjabo, and Balti cuisines. The mixed grill is a good way to go, with a platter of flavorful meats arriving at your table sizzling with a side of naan or rice.

India Oven's shrimp korma.
India Oven's shrimp korma.
Lauren Saria

India Oven

India Oven has been serving an extensive menu of Indian specialties for years. The restaurant -- which also operates as a banquet hall -- offers lunch and dinner buffets, as well as traditional dining. And with more than a dozen vegetarian menu items, there's likely to be something for everyone. We enjoy the flavorful chicken tikka masala as well as the mild, creamy shrimp korma, which features tender plump shrimp swimming in a buttery sauce full of Indian spices. With a side of freshly baked naan, you'll be in a satisfying meal. It's just a bonus that the service at this Mesa spot is alway friendly, attentive, and fast.

Lamb Vindaloo at the Dhaba
Lamb Vindaloo at the Dhaba
Heather Hoch

The Dhaba

Two words: Lamb vindaloo. Sure, The Dhaba masters a playful balance of classy dining and Punjabi street food where you can have your pick of many curries, puris, and pakoras, but that spicy, hearty lamb vindaloo is what made us regulars when we first tried it years ago. Combine that with other house specialties like and the upscale, ornate dining area with fancy copper cups and plates and you have an Indian dining option perfect for a fancy date night or one-of-a-kind business dinner. If you're feeling confident, you can even go next door to India Plaza's market to get some spices and other ingredients to try your hand at Dhaba's dishes at home.

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Related Locations

miles
Little India

1813 E. Baseline Road
Tempe, AZ 85283

480-730-7770

www.littleindiaaz.com

miles
Woodlands Vegetarian South Indian Kitchen

4980 W. Ray Road
Chandler, AZ 85226-6223

877-834-3672

www.woodlandsaz.com

miles
Karaikudi Palace

8752 E. Shea Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

480-998-6006

www.karaikudipalaceaz.com

miles
New India Bazaar & Cuisine
miles
Khyber Halal Restaurant & Catering

4030 N. 24th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85016

602-954-5290

www.khyberhalal.com

miles
Curry Corner

1212 E. Apache Blvd.
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-894-1276

currycornertempe.com

miles
India Oven

1315 S. Gilbert Road
Mesa, AZ 85204

480-892-3333

www.azindiaoven.com

miles
Chennai Chettinaad Palace
miles
Copper Kettle

1250 E. Apache
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-967-4365

copperkettleaz.com

miles
The Dhaba

1872 E. Apache Blvd.
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-446-2824

www.the-dhaba.com


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