Much of India’s rich history can be observed through the lens of regional cuisine. Influenced by nine major religions, a range of geographic landscapes, trade routes, and colonization, there’s more to India than vindaloo and naan (although those dishes are undeniably popular for good reason). The D.C. area is a hub for Indian immigrants, with many choosing to share their memories and family recipes in professional kitchens. From nationally lauded, modernized fine dining venues to fast-casual counters, these 10 businesses package up a range of Indian options for takeout and delivery.Read More
10 Indian Restaurants to Try for Takeout or Delivery Around D.C.
From posh plates that riff on regional cuisines to kebab house staples
This family business pushes a modern approach to classic Indian dishes. Get playful with a child pleaser for kids an adults alike: the chicken cheese kebab. Boneless chicken breasts are marinated in cream cheese and yogurt, cooked in a clay oven, and served with fenugreek leaves. Don’t miss the gobhi pecorino kulcha, a leavened bread stuffed with cauliflower, cheese, cashew, almonds, raisins, and jalapeno.
2. Bombay Street Food (Multiple locations)
Mumbai was still known as Bombay when restaurateur Asad Sheikh was growing up in India. At his Columbia Heights restaurant, he shares the thriving street food vendor scene from his childhood through favorites like Bombay palak chaat (a mixture of crispy fried spinach with spiced yogurt and chutney), bhel puri (puffed rice mixed with a medley of raw onion, tomato, and chutney), and vada pao (spiced potatoes with ginger, garlic, and cilantro chutney served with a roll). Follow up these snacks with the Bombay thali for two: an assorted platter that includes curries, vegetables, bread, and rice. Bombay Street Food 2 in Capitol Hill is offering the same menu.
3. Jyoti Indian Cuisine
A fixture in D.C. for almost two decades, Jyoti highlights a wide spectrum of Indian food. In particular, its fish section explores dishes from West Bengal and Kerala. Try one of their fish curries to get a taste of Goa — a most popular beach state full of Portuguese influences — or a spiced red snapper that’s roasted whole in a tandoori oven.
4. Butter Chicken Company (Multiple locations)
Butter Chicken Company is a sibling to Bombay Street Food that is devoted to a best-seller at Indian restaurants all over the country. Each day, 300 orders of chicken are simmered in a tomato sauce thickened luxuriously with butter. These orders come with a choice of two sides (vegetable biryani, channa masala, saag paneer, chicken tikka masala) and naan. Once they’re sold out, the restaurant is closed for the day.
5. Punjab Grill
After making national headlines for its opulent take on Indian fine-dining, Punjab Grill is offering more than just takeout and delivery during the pandemic. A grocery shop offers assorted butcher and produce boxes, along with staples like eggs, milk, flour, oil, and sugar. For meals, consider a “Now and Later” deal: buy one entree and get the second half off. A Date Night option comes with a three-course meal for two. Signature dishes are also available a la carte.
6. Rasika (Multiple locations)
Ashok Bajaj’s award-winning modern Indian restaurant in Penn Quarter is offering lunch and dinner for takeout or delivery seven days a week. Reservations are normally hard to come by, so to-go orders offer a good chance to try executive chef Vikram Sunderam’s cauliflower Bezule (with mustard seeds, green chilies, and curry leaves) and chicken tikka masala. An “Ayurvedic special” kichadi (rice and lentils) is a traditional cure for the common cold.
Co-owners and Eater Young Guns (‘18) Sahil Rahman and Rahul Vinod started this local fast-casual brand to introduce Indian food to a broad audience. Choose from one of eight premade bowls highlighting chicken tikka, lamb kebab, shrimp, spiced beef, sweet potato tikkis (a vegetarian-style cutlet), and more. Customers can also build their own, choosing from a base of vegetables or rice and adding mains, veggies, and toppings. End the meal on a sweet note with kulfi pops made out of a dense, creamy version of ice cream found in India.
8. City Kabob and Curry House (Multiple locations)
Both locations, in Arlington and Northeast D.C., offer a 100 percent halal menu for carryout and delivery. With daily specials and meals for two, it’s an affordable spot worth revisiting for spot to grilled meats or creamy sauces.
9. Kohinoor Dhaba Inc.
A mix of traditional and modern, Kohinoor Dhaba highlights the best of North Indian food right by Crystal City. Try the fragrant goat biryani or keep it simple with one of its tandoor options. There’s also an extensive vegan menu.
10. Namaste Jalsa
For decades, a Chinese population has migrated to India for economic and spiritual reasons, and Indo-Chinese food has gained popularity worldwide. In Alexandria, Namaste serves gobhi Manchurian (fried cauliflower tossed in a spicy Manchurian sauce) and vegetarian chili momos (Nepali-style dumplings). Namaste also has all the Indian classics and an impressive naan list.