As we all know, Chicago is a very culturally diverse city which means there are a wide variety of cuisines to choose from. One cuisine that many are usually hesitant to try, at least I know I was, is Indian. I must say though, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the dishes I tried, and I feel qualified to recommend some of my favorites to all of you. Here are my top 5 picks for the best Indian restaurants in Chicago.
Ghareeb Nawaz - West Rogers Park
Ghareeb Nawaz located in West Rogers Park also known as Little India and or Little Pakistan, is a hole in the wall curry joint that members of the community rave about. You can get delicious and authentic Indian food here for a bargain! That’s one thing I’m always down for, delicious food for a cheap price.
A few must haves on the menu are the Chili Chicken Biryani, Frontier Chicken, and the Chicken Tikka. If you’re unfamiliar with biryani, I suggest trying it tonight! You will not be disappointed. It is a south Asian mixed rice dish that is to die for. Ghareeb Nawaz mixes a majority of its protein options in with their biryani. Ghareeb Nawaz also has excellent naan that will likely be larger than your hand, who could ask for more?
Want Indian Food, but also want to participate in meatless Monday? Have no fear, Ghareeb Nawaz is here! Their menu has a large variety of meatless options including a whole section dedicated to vegetarian curries. My favorite vegetarian option is the Dal Palak Curry which is spinach and lentil beans in a delicious curry sauce.
Naansense - Loop
Number 2 on the list is Naansense which is basically an Indian Chipotle located in the heart of the Loop. I love the system Chipotle uses because it allows you to take classic things such as a taco, but allows you to customize it and make it your own. Naansense does exactly that!
First you choose your base from a naanwich, salad, rice bowl or quinoa bowl. Next you pick your protein whether it be chicken, paneer (farmer’s cheese), lamb or roasted veggies. Then you pick your sauce: tikka, madras, korma or vindaloo. Last but not least you pick your toppings from a wide variety. Available toppings are pickled onions, cabbage slaw. Tomatoes, cucumbers and cilantro. My favorite toppings are the cabbage slaw and cucumbers. Any pairing you make is sure to be delicious, at least in my experience I have yet to be disappointed.
Naansense is also great because it has a wide variety of vegetarian options. My go-to is a roasted veggie naanwich with tikka sauce, cucumbers, cabbage slaw and tomatoes. It is delectable and makes me look forward to meatless Mondays. Along with plenty of vegetarian options, Naansense has vegan and gluten-free options.
Cumin Chicago - West Loop
Cumin Chicago in the Wicker Park is next on the countdown. It’s a casual sit-down Indian restaurant that’s one of the few located in Wicker Park. Cumin Chicago has a HUGE menu, making it a great place to go to with a large group. Some dishes they are known for are the Chicken Tikka Masala and the Garlic Naan, both of which are amazing! They also have a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options which again helps when going out with a large group of people. The last time I went I tried the vegetable samosa for an appetizer and the Lamb Curry for my entree. Both were amazing and I’ll be going back soon.
India House - River North
India House, located in River North, has some of the best Tandoori Chicken I have ever had. It is seasoned perfectly, not too spicy and not too bland. I also love the Paneer Pakoras which are homemade cheese fritters. They are my favorite thing on the menu!. While the Chicken Tandoori is a must have at India House, so is the Palak Paneer which happens to be a vegetarian option. India House has a huge variety of vegetarian options that are to die for.
Sultan’s Market - Wicker Park
Sultan’s Market in Wicker Park is has some of the most best Indian cuisine I’ve had in the city. It is truly delicious! One of my favorite items on the menu is the Baked Spinach Pie. Their Hummus is also great, nothing beats homemade hummus and naan. As one could figure, Sultan’s Market has plenty of vegetarian options. In fact, the two menu items listed above are vegetarian and my favorite items on the menu!
That caps off my list of the top 5 Indian restaurants in Chicago. Stay tuned for more recommendations coming soon, and search our site for all your delivery needs in the meantime!