For many years, Chicago’s Indian restaurant scene has been nearly synonymous with the name of one street. Instead of saying you’d like to go out for Indian food, you could simply say, “Let’s go to Devon.”
And for good reason. The neighborhood of West Ridge (sometimes referred to as West Rodgers Park) in northern Chicago has been a major hub for Indian immigrants and entrepreneurs. To this day, the stretch of Devon Avenue between Damen and California avenues is lined with Indian and Pakistani restaurants, grocery stores and clothing shops. In fact, Patel Brothers, the largest Indian grocery store chain in North America, opened its first store on Devon in 1974.
But as we hope you’ve noticed from our coverage this month, Devon couldn’t hope to contain all of the great Indian restaurants in the Chicago area in 2019. Some of the city’s trendiest new restaurants in the West Loop and Logan Square just happen to serve Indian food. And, after three weeks of searching and eating, some of my favorite Indian restaurants happen to be in the suburbs.
[RELATED: A new wave of Indian restaurants, from street food to fine dining, is changing Chicago’s scene]
All you need to do is follow the opening of new Patel Brothers grocery stores. While it started on Devon, you can now find outlets in Naperville, Schaumburg, Hanover Park and, since a few weeks ago, in Niles. A couple of restaurants that started on Devon have also opened second locations in the suburbs, including Annapurna and Udupi Palace. In what might be a sign of things to come, Egg-O-Holic started in Schaumburg, before opening a second location in Chicago.
There are so many Indian restaurants in the suburbs that after three weeks of daily eating I gave up trying to visit them all. What a glorious problem to have. While this list isn’t even close to comprehensive, here 10 places I’m most excited to try again next time I’m driving around the burbs.
Bawarchi has a lunch-time buffet, but what you really want is right there in the title. But how to choose when there are approximately 20 biryani options listed? While I certainly didn’t try them all, the Hyderabadi chicken dum biryani ($11.99) is the most popular and an excellent place to start. Juicy chunks of marinated chicken are layered in a pile of saffron-scented rice. Scoop some on your plate, and garnish with tart raita (a yogurt, herb and cucumber sauce) or spicy mirchi ka salan (a nut and chile mixture). The dish is a sizable meal for two, though you also probably should order the samosa chaat ($5.99), in which two samosas are smashed on a plate and then topped with a creamy chickpea masala and tamarind, yogurt and mint chutney. 855 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg, 847-524-3007, bawarchischaumburg.com
Mantra by Indian Garden
Mantra refers to itself as a “culinary nirvana,” which may or may not be true, but it is one of the better Indian restaurants I’ve found in the Chicagoland area. I’ll certainly be back to try the lamb peshawri ($17). The generous pieces of meat are coated in a feisty but creamy sauce made with onions and sesame seeds, among many other ingredients. I also loved the methi aloo ($12), which is a mix of soft potato cubes cooked with aromatic fenugreek leaves. Even the light and crackly naan is top notch. 9438 W. Irving Park Road, Schiller Park, mantrachicago.com
In the same strip mall as the Patel Brothers store in Schaumburg, you’ll find this India-based chain. It’s best known for bhaji pav ($8.99), a very popular meal in Mumbai that consists of a couple toasted rolls with a side of mashed vegetables mixed with tomatoes, ginger, garlic and lots of fragrant spices. It sounds simple, but the vegetarian mixture brings real heat and complexity to each bite, and the rolls are soft and supple. Some limes on the side add much needed acidity. Honest also serves some incredible dosas, the plate-dwarfing thin and crispy rolled pancakes. And don’t forget about the chaat, even if your table is too full at that point. 835 Higgins Road, Schaumburg, 847-594-4145, honestrestaurantsusa.com
Plenty of Indian restaurants offer a lunch-time buffet, but few are as enticing and generous as this Morton Grove stop ($13.99). Sure, you’ll find items like butter chicken on the line, but you can also snack on chole bhature (fried bread paired with a creamy and spicy chickpea mixture) and crispy onion pakoras (sliced onion coated in gram flour and fried until golden). While you chow down, a waiter will even bring you a sizzling platter of bright red tandoori chicken, which is tender, juicy and delectable. 7172 Dempster St., Morton Grove, tavadining.com
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Until recently I had no idea that India had such a vibrant sandwich culture, but you can experience it yourself at this cafe across the street from the enormous Patel Brothers grocery store in Schaumburg. Try the Bombay sandwich ($5.29), a wild triple-decker layered with vegetables, green chutney, red masala and a generous showering of shredded cheese. Or you could try the masala vada pav ($5.89), where a crunchy and creamy fried potato patty is housed in a soft and steamy roll. 1069 W. Golf Road, Hoffman Estates, 847-466-7069, themumbaicafe.com
Dalicious Indian Restaurant
This welcoming quick-service concept in Naperville offers a range of vegetarian snacks, including a version of papdi chaat ($6.99), a crunchy tangle of fried wafers mixed with tangy yogurt, soft potatoes and a seriously spicy chutney. But the restaurant is mostly focused on a Chipotle-style menu, where you pick protein, sauce, dal, samosa and type of bread ($9.99). Considering there are loads of options in each category, there was no way for me to try them all, but I was extremely happy with the tender braised lamb in a savory khadai sauce with creamy dal makhani, crispy veggie samosa and soft roti on the side. 1413 S. Plainfield-Naperville Road, Naperville, mydalicious.com
Thalaiva’s Indian Kitchen
Thalaiva’s Indian Kitchen does brisk lunch business in Park Ridge, where most people seem to crowd in for the filling thali. This large platter arrives loaded with an array of tiny dishes and sauces in cups, along with rice and bread. It’s a wealth of different flavors, textures and spice levels. Since the exact dishes included change daily, each visit will be a surprise. Although you can get the thali with meat, the vegetarian thali ($9.99) seems to be where the kitchen has the most fun. 116 Main St., Park Ridge, 224-585-6034, thalaivasindiankitchen.com
Deccan Spice is named after the large plateau that covers parts of southern India, which explains why so much of the menu at this Naperville spot focuses on traditional southern Indian dishes. The Hyderabadi goat dum biryani ($13.99 at lunch) arrives to your table in a gleaming copper-colored pot, with a large boiled egg plopped on top. Among the white and red-stained (thanks to a pinch of saffron) patches of rice, you’ll find tender chunks of goat, bathed in a spicy and aromatic sauce. Some yogurt on the side provides cooling relief. 192 W. Gartner Road, #124, Naperville, 331-701-7105, deccanspice.com
Annapurna Simply Vegetarian
Annapurna is one of the very best vegetarian restaurants on Devon Avenue, so it’s great news that a second location opened in Schaumburg. On my last visit to the original location, I was particularly taken with the dahi puri ($5.99), where squat and crackly fried puri are topped with creamy chickpeas, sweet tamarind, tangy yogurt and bright green chutney. Make sure to savor each cooling, crunchy and invigorating bite. 721 W. Golf Road, Hoffman Estates, 847-278-0760, eatannapurna.com
The name is no joke. I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered a restaurant where eggs play such an all-encompassing role. Some dishes feature eggs in the sauce and the filling. You can even order a plain boiled egg on the side if you want to cast all caution aside. Obviously, many of these dishes are filling and heavy. If you want to go straight for the heartiest dish, why not try the lachko ($10.99)? Though made with shredded chiles, it only has a gentle burn. But thanks to the mix of cheese and, of course, lots of eggs, it has a thick and almost viscous texture. I tried this dish at the shop’s outlet in River West, but the original location in Schaumburg has it on the menu, too. 829 W. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, 847-565-4105, egg-o-holic.com
What are the best Indian suburbs in Chicago? ›
Within the metropolitan area, the towns of Oak Brook, South Barrington, Lincolnwood, Hoffman Estates, and Glendale Heights have the five highest concentrations of South Asian Americans. Chicago, Naperville, Schaumburg, Aurora, Skokie, and Hoffman Estates have the highest absolute numbers of South Asian Americans.What Indian food should I order if I don t like Indian food? ›
8 Indian Dishes To Try When You Don't Like Curry
- Saag Paneer. takeoutkit. ...
- Chicken Tikka. brumcraft. ...
- Pakora. socialoffline. ...
- Dal Makhani. tanusrecipes. ...
- Aloo Tikki. ...
- Dosa. ...
- Papri Chaat. ...
- Dhamaka – New York City.
- Dosa – Oakland.
- Junoon – New York City.
- Lehja – Richmond, Virginia.
- Rasa – Burlingame, California.
- Adda – Long Island City, New York.
- Buffalo Grove.
- Oak Park.
Little India has been a Chicago staple since the 1970s and is known by locals as a multiethnic corridor. Located in the West Ridge neighborhood, Devon Avenue is bustling with Indian and Pakistani culture.Is it rude to decline food in Indian culture? ›
As you are eating, don't be surprised if your host or hostess urges you to have some more and "not be shy." Most times, even when you gently say you've had enough, you will be coaxed and cajoled to have "just a little more." Try not to refuse, as that is considered rude.What is the most loved Indian food? ›
Curry. Curry is one of India's most popular and well-known dishes. Tomato-based curries are known as the ultimate comfort food in India, and countries all over the world have adopted this opinion too.What is a good first Indian dish to try? ›
For picky eaters, try samosas or parathas. Samosas are fried triangles that are stuffed with lightly spiced mashed vegetables. These are a common favorite with young people. Parathas are a simple Indian flatbread that you can also order stuffed.What Indian food should I try for the first time? ›
- Samosas. ...
- Tandoori Chicken. ...
- Butter Chicken or 'Murgh Makhani' ...
- Channa Masala or 'Chole' ...
- Basmati Rice. ...
- Naan (Indian bread) ...
Tomato-based or dry curries like tandoori, madras, jalfrezi, rogan and bhuna dishes; plain rice, roti, poppadums.
Which city in USA has most Indians? ›
India Square in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States, is home to the highest concentration of Asian Indians in the Western Hemisphere, and one of at least 24 Indian American enclaves characterized as a Little India which have emerged within the New York City Metropolitan Area, with the largest metropolitan Indian ...What is the biggest Indian buffet in the US? ›
We are Tandoori Flame Restaurants, recognized as North America's Largest Indian Buffet & Restaurant. Featuring 12 Live Cooking Stations, guests can enjoy up to 150 items with unmatched ethnic taste, delicious Craft cocktails and street food that's to die for.What is the safest area in Chicago? ›
- Edison Park. Edison Park is the safest neighborhood in Chicago thanks to its low crime rate, which is 77% lower than the rest of the city. ...
- Norwood Park. Another one of Chicago's safest neighborhoods is Norwood Park. ...
- Forest Glen. ...
- Lake View. ...
- Mount Greenwood. ...
- Westmont. ...
- West Lawn. ...
- Rogers Park.
Gold Coast & Near North Side
The rich Chicagoans followed his idea and built their home in the same manner. Today, this place is one of the most fancy in the country and home to the elites. Anyone interested in investing in downtown Chicago must look at this rich neighboring area.
- Oak Brook.
- South Barrington.
- Glendale Heights.
Rogers Park not only is one of Chicago's most diverse neighborhoods.What Indians live in Chicago? ›
- Potawatomi/Bodéwadmiakiwen (Citizen Potawatomi)
- Ojibwe. Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Lac Courte Oreilles band. Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. St. Croix Chippewa.
- Odawa. Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.
Using language along the lines of “see you later” is preferred, or simply namaste. Elders should be treated with marked respect. Show patience and refrain from displays of anger. Public displays of affection are discouraged, though you may see members of the same sex holding hands in a friendly manner.Why do Indians handle food with hands? ›
The thing is, eating with your hands is also considered a respectful gesture in India. The other reason eating with your hands is considered a respectful gesture is that in Hinduism, the right hand is considered the clean hand. Because of this, it is not considered polite to eat with your left hand.What time do Indians have dinner? ›
On an average, in an Indian household, the preferred dinner time can stretch anywhere from 7 PM to 9 PM. Where 9 PM stands to be a late dinner time.
What is table etiquette for Indians? ›
The etiquette of Indian dining and socializing varies with the region in India. All Indians wash their hands thoroughly prior to dining, then eat with their fingers, with the use of minimal cutlery (practice followed in some parts of India, in other parts cutlery use is common).What is the main food of Indians? ›
Staple foods of Indian cuisine include pearl millet (bājra), rice, whole-wheat flour (aṭṭa), and a variety of lentils, such as masoor (most often red lentils), tuer (pigeon peas), urad (black gram), and moong (mung beans). Lentils may be used whole, dehusked—for example, dhuli moong or dhuli urad—or split.What is the staple food of most Indians? ›
What makes up the staples are rice, wheat, millets, pulses, dairy, vegetables, and fruits. However, carbohydrate consumption from wheat and rice is prominent in the north and south of the country, respectively.What is the Indian national dish? ›
India: Due to its diverse culture and cuisine, India does not have a specific national dish. Rather, individual regions of India have their typical regional dishes. There were rumours that the government of India was planning on designating khichdi as a national dish but it was later denied by the government.What is traditional Indian breakfast? ›
A typical breakfast in India varies depending on region, but is often quite similar to a lunch or dinner. A breakfast plate in India might include roti (flatbread), dosas (thin crepes made of lentils) or idlis (steamed rice-dough pancakes), and different dips and chutneys, as well as spiced potatoes.What helps after eating Indian food? ›
What helps settle your stomach after eating spicy food? Ice cream, milk, cottage cheese, and bread or another starchy food might help settle your stomach after eating spicy food. 3 A small amount of peppermint oil may help reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.What is a tasty Indian dish? ›
Biryani (Spiced Rice with Meat)
Biryani is an all-time favorite food amongst Indians. This is because there are approximately a hundred types of biryani and every one of them tastes heavenly. Biryani is a combination of rice, spices, a variety of vegetables, meat, nuts, dried fruits, or paneer.
- Samosas. PIN IT. Photo by Amanda Damon. ...
- Chicken Tikka Masala. PIN IT. Photo by Eunice Choi. ...
- Naan. PIN IT. Photo by Elizabeth Snyder. ...
- Butter chicken. PIN IT. Photo courtesy of zomato.com. ...
- Biryani. PIN IT. Photo by Kendra Valkema. ...
- Mango Lassi. PIN IT.
So, having scoured the full list of applicants, we have crowned kale as the number 1 healthiest food out there. Kale has the widest range of benefits, with the fewest drawbacks when stacked up against its competitors.What is the healthiest Indian snack? ›
1) Besan Khandvi. This popular Gujarati snack is made from natural ingredients like chickpea flour, yoghurt, sesame and mustard seeds. Khandvi is steamed and tempered with various seasonings. A single serving of khandvi is about 100 grams which contains about 200 calories.
What is the oldest Indian restaurant in the USA? ›
Ceylon India Inn: The Oldest Indian Restaurant In The US, Was Run By A Sri Lankan. Ceylon India Inn was fairly popular and was frequented by many of the Indians living in the vicinity, especially the dock workers and factory workers who lived in boarding houses nearby.What is the number 1 rated restaurant in the US? ›
The French Laundry in Yountville, California, made its debut in this year's awards as the #1 Fine Dining Restaurant in the U.S. With over 1,100 “excellent” Tripadvisor reviews, this 20-year-old French restaurant is called “bucket list” or “life changing” by diners who visit.Why does Indian food taste better in restaurant? ›
Indian food is lauded for its curries, mouth-burning spices and complex flavor pairings. With its use of cardamom, cayenne, tamarind and other pungent ingredients, the resulting taste combinations are unlike anything found elsewhere around the world.What state has the most Indians? ›
Alaska, Oklahoma and New Mexico have the highest population share of American Indians and Alaska Natives, according to new census figures. Nov. 26, 2021, at 7:30 a.m.What is the average salary of Indian in USA? ›
According to the latest US Census data, the Indians now have an average household earning of $123,700, i.e a little over ₹1 crore, PTI reported. The median earnings of the Indians there is nearly double the nationwide average of $63,922.Where do more Indians stay in USA? ›
To begin with, the vast majority of American Indian food is based off of North Indian food, primarily from Punjab (a state in North India).How do I eat healthy at an Indian buffet? ›
- Opt for a Salad Appetizer. ...
- Stick with Chicken or Seafood. ...
- Avoid the Fried Food. ...
- Choose Meats Cooked Tandoori Style. ...
- Skip the Soup. ...
- Order Roti Bread Instead of Naan. ...
- Go Light on the Rice. ...
- Order from the Lunch Menu.
So, Is Old Country Buffet Closing? With only 17 Old Country Buffet restaurants open in the United States in 2022, most likely, the restaurant won't be around forever.Which is the best place to live for Indians? ›
Top 10 Countries to Migrate to from India
- New Zealand.
Where do most Asians live in Chicago? ›
This historic neighborhood is a thriving hub for Chinese culture and community in Chicago. The area, centered around Cermak and Wentworth Avenues, was developed more than a century ago and has grown into one of the largest Chinatowns in the country.
|State||Asian Indian population (2010 Census)||% change (2000–2010)|
Native people live throughout the Chicago area with the highest concentrations in Edgewater, Uptown, Rogers Park, and Ravenswood on the city's North Side.What does Chicago mean in Indian? ›
The most-accepted Chicago meaning is a word that comes from the Algonquin language: “shikaakwa,” meaning “striped skunk” or “onion.” According to early explorers, the lakes and streams around Chicago were full of wild onions, leeks, and ramps.Is Chicago named after an Indian tribe? ›
The name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the Native American word shikaakwa, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum, from the Miami-Illinois language. The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir.What is the most interracial city in America? ›
1. Houston, Texas. The fourth largest city in the country, Houston, comes out on top as the most diverse city in the U.S. With a 100 score being the most diverse across all five metrics, Houston scored a 71.87.What is the biggest minority in Chicago? ›
Race & Ethnicity
The largest Chicago racial/ethnic groups are White (33.1%) followed by Black (28.8%) and Hispanic (28.7%).
Residential sorting of Black middle class families
These include communities such as Austin on the far West Side, and Roseland, Auburn Gresham, and South Shore on the South Side.
5 Best States In USA For Indian Students
- New York.
- Saudi Arabia. Indians living in Saudi form 9.8% of their overall population, thus being the highest expatriate population in the country. ...
- Malaysia. There are 2.4 million NRIs residing in Malaysia. ...
- United Arab Emirates. ...
- United Kingdom. ...
- South Africa. ...
- Canada. ...
- Myanmar. ...
Which Indian state is the most friendly? ›
Kerala Is India's Most Welcoming State.