D.C.'s Ultimate Indian Restaurant Dining Guide ⋆ The Dining Traveler (2022)

For those who love Indian food and happen to live in Washington D.C., the good news is there is a plethora of excellent Indian restaurants. So many in fact that we at the Dining Traveler decided to come up with an Indian restaurant dining guide, to aid you in finding the best Indian restaurant for any occasion.


Best Indian Restaurants for Celebrating a Special Occasion

Rasika and Rasika West End

Rasika and Rasika West End are two of the most famous fine dining Indian restaurants not just in D.C. but around the country, which is why they are quintessential venues in the best spots for special occasions section of our Indian restaurant dining guide. Not only are both locations visually stunning with a gorgeous, ornate décor but the cuisine offered at both locations is simply dynamite. From the incomparable palak chaat with crispy fried spinach and homemade chutneys to the tantalizing truffle naan to the decadent chocolate samosas, there is nothing quite like a meal at either Rasika or Rasika West End. Come hungry, and leave more satiated than you have ever been in your life!

Indique

Indique is an iconic Indian restaurant in Washington, D.C. as its’s been opened nearly 20 years. This Cleveland Park institution should be a part of any Indian restaurant dining guide that covers D.C. The venue is inviting and cozy and the menu is full of delectable dishes. Recommendations include the mini dosa, the cauliflower chili fry, and, my personal favorite, the morel mushroom stew, where meaty, chewy morel mushrooms come swimming in a velvety, coconut milk gravy that is infused with the flavors of ginger, onion, and green chilies. Enjoy your meal with one of the restaurant’s craft cocktails.

Bombay Club

I don’t know if it’s the live piano music, the curated artwork in the dining room that features a stunning piece depicting an impressionist version of the traditional Indian Kathak dance, or the irresistible cuisine that makes dining at Bombay Club so glamorous, but there is truly no better place for a romantic dinner for two. Indian food is naturally designed for sharing, adding to the romantic dining experience. Be sure to get the daal makhani, which is cooked for sixteen hours to allow for the flavors to completely develop, and the bright, nutty lemon and cashew rice. And no special occasion is complete without dessert, so order the mango cheesecake. It’s just what your dreamy date night calls for!

Karma Modern Indian

Located downtown, Karma offers an elegant, beautifully decorated venue for fine dining with floor-to-ceiling windows, a chic dining room, and decadent Indian fare. I can never get enough of their mushroom biryani, which features several different kinds of mushrooms, the paneer pesto or the tandoori cauliflower. Their cocktails are also a dream; try the salt and pepper gimlet or the old-fashioned, which is made with housemade jaggery syrup for an Indian twist. This spot is one of the most highly recommended in our Washington, DC Indian restaurant dining guide.

Pappe

There is so much to love at Pappe: the lime soda, the thails which come full of small bowls of different curries, and the wide variety of vegetarian fare. I am currently obsessed with their kadai mushroom, a dish featuring hunks of different kinds of mushrooms that are soaked in a thick, tomato-based sauce that is infused with the flavors of toasted cumin, ginger, and garlic. Topped with fresh cherry tomatoes and cilantro, this is a dish I just can’t stop eating. The fun décor and cozy booths combined with the family-style cuisine make Pappe a great spot for dining with friends.

Daru


Everything about Daru oozes trendiness, from the globe lighting fixtures to the exposed brick to the modern Indian fare. For something unique, try the daal makhani with a sphere of rich burrata cheese or the potatoes with sumac, pomegranate, and Szechuan peppercorn. This is the newest Indian restaurant to open in D.C., and so as soon as we tried it we knew it had to be included in our Indian restaurant dining guide.

Bindaas

I love both the Bindaas locations. They both have an energetic, modern vibe with an awesome street snacks menu that is great for ordering in abundance. Highlights include the masala popcorn, the golgappas which are crunchy hollow crackers stuffed with yogurt and chutney, and the uttapam, or rice pancakes, that are regularly eaten in the southern Indian states. The uttapam at Bindaas is perfection – light, fluffy, and slightly crispy around the edges. The tomato and green onion one is a personal favorite!

Bombay Street Food

Since opening in 2019 in Columbia Heights Bombay Street Food has expanded quickly, becoming a neighborhood favorite in Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Capitol Hill, and U Street. Quick, casual, spicy, and reasonably priced are all hallmarks of this Indian food venue, and I for one immensely enjoy their street food dishes which include samosas, kati rolls, and chaat.

Best Indian Restaurants for a Casual Meal with Friends

Masala Art

Both of the Masala Art locations, Tenleytown and Southwest waterfront are warm, comfortable spots to eat classic North Indian fare. Dishes like aloo, or potato cooked with curry leaves, kofta, which are dumplings served in a creamy gravy, and baigan bhartha, eggplant that is roasted and mashed with spices, are typical Indian dishes that are warm and comforting.

Le Mirch

Le Mirch suggests that their cuisine is “Indian with a French flair” but to be honest most of it seems like traditional North Indian food. One unique dish is the jackfruit curry. Jackfruit is actually indigenous to India and used extensively in Indian food, but for some reason, you rarely find it in Indian restaurants in the US. At Le Mirch, the jackfruit is cooked and served in an onion-based curry. The jackfruit itself is meaty and filling, and chili powder adds an enticing level of heat.

Café of India


The venue is simple but the food stands out because many of the dishes taste like home-cooked Indian fare. Comfort dishes like the tadka dal, made with yellow lentils that are cooked slowly with turmeric, ginger, garlic, and mustard seeds to give it a deep, nutty flavor, are one of our favorites. It’s great with just a bowl of white rice. Cafe of India also has a creamy mango ice cream that is not to be missed!

Best Indian Restaurants for Fast Casual Indian Food


Rasa

This quickly expanding fast-casual concept features bowls inspired by the flavors and ingredients found in Indian food. There is a rice bowl with eggplant and chickpeas drenched in a tamarind ginger chutney, a noodle bowl with green beans and mango chutney, and a bowl with greens, squash cumin infused yogurt. You can also make your own bowl with your own favorite Indian ingredients. Rasa, which means flavor in Hindi, has locations in Navy Yard, Mount Vernon and Arlington.

Spice 6

Spice 6 is a fast-casual venue with locations in Chinatown, Hyattsville, and Vienna. At Spice 6 you can choose a vehicle for you dish, which includes rice, naan, or salad, and then a protein and a curry. One of the most popular combinations is the aromatic basmati rice with the spinach curry. The curry is full of aromatics like ginger and garlic along with spices like cumin and garam masala. The dish is super creamy, and will coat every grain of rice. I personally love it with tofu as my protein and a healthy drizzle of sweet tamarind chutney. Have a mango lassi on the side, it’s a mango yogurt drink that Indians love!

I hope you enjoyed our Washington, DC Indian food guide. Let us know which ones are your favorite!

FAQs

What area of London has the best Indian food? ›

The 28 best Indian restaurants in London
  • BIBI, MAYFAIR. Best Indian restaurant for: Character-packed fine-dining. Dish to order: Buffalo-milk paneer. ...
  • GYMKHANA, MAYFAIR. Best Indian restaurant for: Michelin-starred fine dining. ...
  • PALI HILL, FITZROVIA. Best Indian restaurant for: Seasonal regional dishes.
14 Oct 2021

Who is the No 1 restaurant in India? ›

1 IN INDIA AT ASIA'S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS 2021. March 25: Indian Accent, New Delhi is India's no. 1 restaurant for the 7th consecutive year at the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants sponsored by S.

Does DC have a good food scene? ›

Outsiders may think of D.C. as a city of stodgy politicos, but its food scene boasts a hotbed of creativity for the people who work, live, and travel here to enjoy.

Is Indian food in UK authentic? ›

Many people in the UK are employed by the Indian restaurant sector and the economy is kept strong. Not only do the British enjoy authentic Indian curry dishes but they have are also intrigued by the Indian street food and Tandoori cooking.

Which city do most Indians live in UK? ›

Leicester was home to the largest Indian population, with 6.6% of all Indian people living there, followed by Birmingham (4.6%) and Harrow (4.5%).
...
Local authorityPercentage of Indian people living thereNumber of Indian residents
Leicester6.6%93,335
Birmingham4.6%64,621
Harrow4.5%63,051
Brent4.1%58,017
13 more rows
28 Oct 2019

What is the most popular Indian dish in UK? ›

Chicken Tikka Masala: The most popular Indian dish in England has roasted chicken chunks in a spicy curry. The curry is very creamy, but each restaurant has its way to prepare the dish.

What is the number 1 most popular restaurant? ›

McDonald's

What is the number 1 dish in the world? ›

Pizza is the topmost liked food in the world. Today you can find pizza in almost every corner of the world. This traditional Italian dish is made of flattened round dough topped with cheese, and tomatoes, and additionally garnished with basil, olives, and oregano.

Which is the No 1 restaurant in the world? ›

World's Best Restaurant
Year1st2nd
2016Osteria FrancescanaEl Celler de Can Roca
2017Eleven Madison ParkOsteria Francescana
2018Osteria FrancescanaEl Celler de Can Roca
2019MirazurNoma
17 more rows

How much should I budget for food in DC? ›

While meal prices in Washington can vary, the average cost of food in Washington is $30 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Washington should cost around $12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner.

Does DC have Michelin stars? ›

The 12 Best Michelin Star Restaurants In DC
  • The Inn in Little Washington. innatlittlewash. ...
  • Jont. Chef Ryan Ratino, the chef behind another Michelin-starred restaurant, Bresca, has brought together several inspired chefs and creative people to bring Jon to DC. ...
  • minibar. ...
  • Albi. ...
  • Imperfecto: The Chef's Table. ...
  • Oyster. ...
  • Reverie. ...
  • Cranes.
6 Jun 2022

What food is famous in DC? ›

Destination DC, the District's official tourism site, claims half-smokes are Washington's “signature dish.” Popular among residents as well as tourists, half-smokes combine ground pork, beef and spices in a natural casing.

Which Indian dish is actually British? ›

Chicken tikka masala is now a true British national dish, not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences.

Why do British people like Indian food so much? ›

People love Indian food, and British people are among the top fans because of its rich flavour, authentic taste, and strong appeal to their tastebuds. It has been a favourite since the 18th century, and the love for the cuisine has never stopped.

What is England's national dish? ›

As well as there is no single official National Day in the UK, there is not one single national dish of Britain, mainly because the UK is made up of four separate countries, each of which have their own national dishes: Chicken Tikka Masala in England; Haggis in Scotland; Welsh Cawl in Wales; and Irish Stew in Ireland.

Where do most British Indians come from? ›

Population distribution

42.9% of people from the Indian ethnic group were born in the UK. 41.9% were born in Southern Asia and 11.1% were born in South and Eastern Africa (for example, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania).

Where do most Punjabis live in UK? ›

The Southall area of Greater London is home to a significant Punjabi population. The total population of Punjabis in the UK is estimated to exceed 700,000. Immigrants from the Pakistani province of Punjab are mainly Punjabi Muslims, with smaller numbers of Christians.

How many UK citizens are Indian? ›

In 2011, there were 1,412,958 people from the Indian ethnic group in England and Wales, making up 2.5% of the total Indian population.

What is England's most eaten food? ›

General popularity survey
  • Fish and chips.
  • Roast chicken.
  • English breakfast.
  • Soup.
  • Bangers and mash.
  • Beans, eggs and chips.
  • Pigs in blankets.

What are the 3 most popular foods in the world? ›

The 10 Most Popular Foods in the World
  1. WHEAT. Share of average daily global human calorie intake: ~ 18.5%
  2. RICE. Share of average daily global human calorie intake: ~ 18.0%
  3. CORN. Share of average daily global human calorie intake: ~ 5.3%
  4. PIG MEAT. ...
  5. POTATOES. ...
  6. POULTRY MEAT. ...
  7. CASSAVA. ...
  8. CATTLE MEAT.
14 Sept 2022

What is the number 1 healthiest food in the world? ›

Lemons. Lemons have been widely regarded in the health industry as the world's healthiest food. The sour fruit is an alkalising powerfood; they have strong anti-inflammatory qualities and can even help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

What is the number 1 dish in England? ›

The National Dishes of England

Number one on the list for many years has been roast beef and Yorkshire puddings followed closely by fish and chips.

Which country serves the best food? ›

  • Italy. #1 in Has great food. #14 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Mexico. #2 in Has great food. #33 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Spain. #3 in Has great food. #16 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Greece. #4 in Has great food. ...
  • Thailand. #5 in Has great food. ...
  • France. #6 in Has great food. ...
  • Turkey. #7 in Has great food. ...
  • India. #8 in Has great food.

Who serves the best pizza in the world? ›

See the full list of Top 50 Pizza 2022 below:
  • 1 I Masanielli – Francesco Martucci (Naples)
  • 1 Una Pizza Napoletana (New York)
  • 3 Peppe Pizzeria (Paris)
  • 4 50 Kalò (Naples)
  • 5 10 Diego Vitagliano Pizzeria (Naples)
  • 6 I Tigli (San Bonifacio, Italy)
  • 7 Francesco & Salvatore Salvo (Naples)
  • 8 Seu Pizza Illuminati (Rome)
8 Sept 2022

What is the top 5 restaurants in the world? ›

World's 50 Best Restaurants
  • Boragó (Santiago, Chile)
  • Le Bernardin (New York City)
  • Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Oteque (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)
  • Ikoyi (London, England)
  • SingleThread (Healdsburg, California)
19 Jul 2022

How can I get around DC cheap? ›

Cheapest Ways to Travel in DC
  1. Riding the Metro. The Metro is one way of saving money on traveling around Washington, DC. ...
  2. DC Circulator. Another popular, cheap way to travel around DC is by riding the DC Circulator. ...
  3. Capital Bikeshare. ...
  4. Water Taxi.
27 Feb 2020

What's a good salary in DC? ›

Average Annual Salary in Washington, DC
PercentileAnnual SalaryWeekly Pay
25th$50,000$961
Median$72,000$1,384
75th$104,000$2,000
90th$145,000$2,788
1 more row
4 Nov 2021

Is DC expensive? ›

Washington D.C. is third on the list with an average monthly bill expense of $2,767 per household, which is 46% higher than the national average. New York ranked fifth, with average monthly bill expenses of $2,674 — 41.5% higher than the national average.

Is there a 7 star Michelin? ›

Chef Yoshihiro Murata is the only chef in the world to hold seven Michelin stars.

Is Nobu 3 Michelin stars? ›

Notable citations bestowed upon Nobu's restaurants start with Matsuhisa chosen as one of the Top Ten Restaurant Destinations in the world by the New York Times (1993); Nobu awarded Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation (1995) and Three Stars by Ruth Reichl of the New York Times (1995); Nobu Next Door ...

Is there a 4 Michelin star? ›

Perhaps disappointingly, the answer is no - three is still the maximum number of Michelin stars that can be awarded to any one restaurant.

Is it worth renting a car in DC? ›

You'll likely get to see a lot of the city while you're there, but we don't recommend you rent a car in Washington DC. Washington DC is home to some of the worst traffic in the US. Fortunately for you, DC is a very walkable city with a solid public transit system.

What fruit is DC known for? ›

DC Fruit. The cherry was added as the official fruit of Washington DC in 2006 in Law 16-171, the “Official Fruit of the District of Columbia Act of 2006.”

Is DC a foodie city? ›

Wallet Hub named Washington, D.C. one of the best foodie cities in America. The District ranked number 13 on the national list comprised of 182 cities. D.C. also ranked high for diversity, accessibility, and quality but among the lowest in the country for affordability.

What is the UK's Favourite curry? ›

For years, chicken tikka masala has been not only Britain's favourite curry but the UK's national dish – it's a classic created by Indian migrants to appeal to the nation's palate and has done so successfully for decades. We defy anyone to turn their noses up at a chicken tikka.

What is the healthiest Indian food to order? ›

The 8 Healthiest Dishes to Order at an Indian Restaurant
  • Roti. This unleavened flatbread (meaning it is made without yeast) is made from whole-wheat flour and commonly accompanies other dishes. ...
  • Chana Masala. ...
  • Rajma. ...
  • Daal. ...
  • Baingan Bharta. ...
  • Aloo Gobi. ...
  • Raita. ...
  • 10 Healthy Fall Foods — and the Best Ways to Eat Them.
3 Nov 2021

Which Indian dish is not actually Indian? ›

Daal Bhat -Nepal

One of the most common dishes on any Indian dining table and yet, it is not Indian. Daal bhaat originated from Nepal. Momos belong to Tibet. They were brought to India by the Newar merchants during their trade process.

Is India cheaper than UK? ›

India is 67.4% cheaper than United Kingdom.

What is Britain's nickname for India? ›

The British nicknamed India the brightest “star in the sky," because India was the most valuable of all of Britain's colonies. The British nicknamed India the brightest “jewel in the crown,” because India was the most valuable of all of Britain's colonies.

Is curry British or Indian? ›

Although curry is an Indian dish modified for British tastes, it's so popular that it contributes more than £5bn to the British economy. Hence it was hardly surprising when in 2001, Britain's foreign secretary Robin Cook referred to Chicken Tikka Masala as a “true British national dish”.

What is a typical British lunch? ›

Traditional English Food for Lunch

For many families, a Sunday lunch of roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, pot roast pork with apples or roast lamb with green beans and mint sauce, is still a cherished tradition. If you don't fancy cooking it at home, your local pub is the place to go to for traditional English food.

What is the national veg of England? ›

The garden pea. It grows easily throughout Britain, and has done for centuries. Its name dates from Chaucer's time, when it was known as pease. In its dried form, the pea is the basis for traditional staples such as pease porridge.

What is Britain's favorite dish? ›

How Britain fell in love with Britain and Chicken Tikka Massala become the United Kingdom's official favorite dinner. In 2001 British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook called chicken tikka masala “a true British national dish.” Everyone gasped.

Which place in London is best known for curry? ›

It is often referred to by its nickname, Banglatown, and is known for having a large variety of curry restaurants, spice shops and stores selling ethnic wares. The area is also considered to be a “hotbed” of fashion, music and visual art. Brick Lane holds an annual curry festival each year.

What is the famous street in London for Indian food? ›

London's most authentic Indian food? This unassuming street in north London is the city's original "Little India" – and nowhere else captures the original South Asian experience quite like it. You could easily miss Drummond Street.

Which part of London is called Little India? ›

Known as 'Little India', Southall sits in the far west of London, historically in the region of Middlesex, before London expanded its borders for economic growth. The reference to India is owed to the abundance of South Asians occupying the district.

Where do most Hindus live in London? ›

Within London, Hinduism is found in Brent and Harrow where Hindus make up a fifth of the population, and to a lesser extent, in Southall, Hounslow, Ilford, East Ham, Croydon, Hendon, and Wembley.

Which curry invented UK? ›

One type of curry, chicken tikka masala, was created in Britain, and has become widespread enough to be described as the national dish.

What is the most eaten street food in India? ›

Chaat is the most popular type of Indian street food. The term refers to a family of savory Indian snacks, some of the most popular being samosas, kachori, dahi vadas, vada pav, and pav bhaji.

What is the number one dish in London? ›

1. Fish & Chips. There's nothing that says 'British Food' like Fish & Chips. Known the world over, this traditional British dish is on the top of any foodie list for visitors to London and the U.K.

Which city is called mini India in UK? ›

Wembley, a town in North West London, England is known as 'mini India'. Over 40% population of the city is Indian. When you enter the city, it would be difficult to imagine that you are not in India.

Which city in India looks like London? ›

Right from food to festivals celebrated, London is rich in cultural diversity and this directly corresponds with Mumbai. Mumbai has a population of over 20 million and people residing in the financial capital come from different parts of India.

Where do most Muslims live in London? ›

The top 20 local authorities in England and Wales with the highest percent of Muslims in 2011 were: London Borough of Tower Hamlets: 34.5% (87,696) London Borough of Newham: 32.0% (98,456) Blackburn with Darwen: 27.4% (38,817)
...
Demographics.
YearPop.±%
20112,706,066+69.1%
20173,372,996+24.6%
5 more rows

Where do most Pakistanis live in London? ›

Pakistani Londoners are mostly Muslims who speak Urdu and Punjabi amongst other languages. The main concentrations of Pakistani settlement in London are found in Outer London with the boroughs of Redbridge, Newham and Waltham Forest accounting for nearly 40% of Londoners of Pakistani Descent.

Which part of London has most Asians? ›

East Ham in London city is a thriving hub of Asians, predominantly south Indians. It is well known that London city has many nationalities living in it; in fact the city has the distinction of having almost every major race in the world in it.

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