Indian food in South Florida use to mean sad buffets teeming with questionable spicy dishes that all pretty much tasted the same way. Thankfully, times have changed and the Magic City and its neighbor to the north now offers bright, inventive, and varied Indian fare. Here’s the nine best places to find Indian food in South Florida.Read More
The 9 Best Indian Restaurants in South Florida
Turn up the heat
1. Arun's Indian Kitchen
This no-frills spot wedged inside a nondescript suburban strip mall focuses on Northern Indian food. The menu is a generous balance of chicken and lamb dishes like chicken tikka masala and lamb korma, and vegetarian items like channa masala, aloo gobhi and mushroom mutter. There are also seafood options such as shrimp curry with warm naan to scoop up all the sauce. Diners can order at the counter and hope to snag one of the handful of tables, or can ask for the meal to-go and join the battalion of delivery guys entering and exiting the small space.
2. AIK Taco Masala
Indian-style tacos are all the rage at this Lauderhill counter-service spot where diners get to build their own meal choosing from proteins like chicken tikka masala, lamb curry, or the vegan friendly chana masala, then go to town with toppings like pineapples, cilantro, purple cabbage, mozzarella cheese, mint sauce and hot sauce. All of this is nestled in three warm roti breads or on a bowl of saffron rice.
3. Zaika Indian Restaurant
This quiet North Miami Indian restaurant housed inside a strip mall specializes in southern Indian fare. Expect generous portions of classic dishes like chicken tikka masala, samosas, yellow dal, butter chicken, and garlic naan, plus a popular lunch special with items for just $8-10, which includes two sides, that has people lining up daily to get a seat.
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4. Maska Indian Kitchen + Bar
Chef Hemant Mathur is best known as the first Indian chef in the U.S. to be awarded a Michelin star. His latest eatery, Maska, is an expansive, modern space befitting of Miami’s swanky vibe. The menu is broken down from small to large plates with dishes such as octopus masala, crab tadka dumplings, lamb chops, lucknowi galouti kebab, and Maska chicken. And make sure to grab a nightcap at the selfie-worthy bar while ordering cocktails like the Maska Mule.
Sharing a wall with its more formal sister Maska, CHOTU highlights the casual — yet equally diverse — world of Indian street food. Flavors vary depending on regions, from northern region dishes like lamb samosas and crunchy onion fritters, frankies (India’s equivalent of a burrito) from Mumbai, and dosas, crispy rice crepes filled with the likes of mashed potatoes, lentil and coconut curry from the South. Drinks are a big a part of India’s street food scene, so give beverages like the mango lassi, masala chai, or falooda, a dessert drink made with rose petal syrup, a try.
6. Ayesha Indian Fine Dining
At this Indian standout — with three locations throughout Miami — diners can opt for chef specials like fish infused with a ginger, coconut curry sauce, chole bhature, garbanzo stew served with fried bread, and nilgiri lamb khorma, a green curry lamb stew. There are extensive offerings here for vegetarians such as idly, steamed rice, and lentil cakes served with a variety of chutneys and sambar, a lentil-based vegetable stew.
7. Akash Miami Beach
This modern Indian restaurant in the heart of South Beach might be a bit hard to find, but is worth seeking out. Serving elevated Indian cuisine like tandoori lamb chops, dal tadka, and chicken lollipops, alongside cocktails from a full bar, it even boasts the rare free parking on Miami Beach, making it a neighborhood standout.
8. Bombay Darbar
The popular Coconut Grove eatery just opened their second location on Ft. Lauderdale’s trendy Las Olas Boulevard. Both outposts share the same vibe with nightclub lighting, statues, and artfully presented food and drinks. Offerings include tandoori chicken wings, mango chicken curry, and Saag Gosht, a lamb cooked with spinach, garlic, onion, tomato and spices.
9. Ghee Downtown Dadeland
Ghee’s Niven Patel has played a critical roll in redefining Indian cuisine on South Florida’s stage, sourcing the restaurant’s ingredients from local farmers and from Patel’s two-acre property nicknamed Rancho Patel. The menu rotates often and features Indian-meets-Miami cuisine like backyard pakora with pickled onions and tamarind chutney, turmeric marinated black grouper with coconut curry, and smoked lamb necks with chickpeas and herbs. Plus, there’s a second location in the Miami Design District (3620 NE 2nd Avenue) helmed by chef Pushkar Marathe for those who don’t want to travel too far south.