Indian food isn’t shy about bringing the flavor — its complex blend of spices, earthy stews, and acidic side dishes are what keeps its most fervent aficionados coming back for more. Most people are generally familiar with tikka masala, biryani, and curry, but the reality is that Indian cuisine encompasses hundreds of regional dishes that can vary dramatically in taste and texture. Nashville’s lucky to have several standout Indian restaurants, from a handful of long-established local favorites to hidden gems that fly relatively under the radar. Here’s where to satisfy your Indian food craving in Music City.Read More
11 Essential Indian Restaurants in Nashville
Where to find the best biryanis, dosas, and curries around town
Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
The West End’s Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Restaurant is hugely popular among vegetarians (and quite a few non-vegetarians, too). Long-time fans rave about the masala dosa, gobi manchurian dry, and the pillowy poori, but you can sample all the restaurant’s biggest hits during its daily lunch buffet.
Bombay Palace Restaurant
Another West End favorite, Bombay Palace draws crowds during its lunch buffet, which features traditional Indian favorites like vegetable korma, chicken curry, and tandoori chicken. While there’s no shortage of solid Indian restaurants on the west side of town, this strip mall gem keeps diners coming back with its consistent quality and accommodating staff.
Sitar Indian Restaurant
Sitar Indian Restaurant is located within walking distance of Vanderbilt University in the heart of Midtown, serving Indian and Pakistani cuisine for lunch and dinner in a warm, relaxing space. Don’t miss the scallop patia or chili pakora.
Head to Nashville’s Farmers’ Market and seek out Swagruha for some of the city’s best eat-on-the-go Indian fare. Owned by South Indian natives Vijay and Siva Pavuluri, count on this small, cafeteria-style stall for a quick and satisfying mix of aromatic and subtly complex dishes like spicy goat curry, chili chicken, vegetable korma, dosa, and mango lassi.
Chauhan Ale & Masala House
One of three local restaurants from celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan, downtown’s Chauhan Ale & Masala House marries traditional techniques used in Indian dishes with a nod to Nashville’s Southern sensibilities. Before diving into entrees like the masala braised lamb, make a pit stop at the appetizers for some whipped paneer (a riff on the locally popular whipped feta) and gol guppa shots.
Saffron The Indian Kitchen
Tucked into Assembly Food Hall, Saffron gives traditional Indian dishes an on-the-go twist befitting of its hectic, try-it-all-at-once location. Exhibit A: biriyani bowls loaded with your choice of chicken, paneer, vegetables, shrimp, and egg. Exhibit B: street snacks like pani puri and a variety of samosas. Wash it all down with a guava or sapota shake before setting off to brave the Broadway crowds.
Sindoore serves North Indian cuisine in an elegant space tucked into a strip mall off Donelson Pike. To start, try the chicken kati roll — an Indian street food staple resembling a burrito. Then, round out the meal with the Amritsari lamb shank and butter naan. But save room for dessert — the homemade paan ice cream is flavored with betel leaves and rose petals.
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615chuTNey - A Very Indian Affair
Bellevue’s 615 Chutney has something to feed all of your senses: there’s live music, a gallery with local art, and plenty of South Indian dishes that lean on tk-what-spices-or-flavors-can-we-note-here. Forget a traditional menu here: order your dosa, parotta, and curries from the app, and wait for your robot server to deliver your dishes. Don’t miss the lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday.
Surati Indian Street Food
Another Nolensville Pike gem, Surati churns out West Indian street food without sacrificing flavor. Place an order for a few chaat at the counter — try the sev khamani, rava masala dosa, or chole bhatura — and wait for the staff to bring the goods to your table. Surati is also located right next to Taj, so if you’re feeling extra hungry, turn the experience into a moveable feast and hit up Surati for snacks before filling up with a full dinner at Taj.
This fast-casual spot in East Nashville offers a build-your-own-bowl experience with your choice of masala rice, turmeric rice, naan, or mixed greens as the base; lamb, chicken, paneer, and chickpeas for proteins; and a variety of curries, sauces, and vegetables as toppings. You can also opt for one of Gully Boyz’s customizable kathi rolls — just make sure to follow it up with some gulab jamun (honeyed milk-dough balls) for dessert.
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Taj Indian Restaurant
Ask a local where to find the best Indian food in Nashville and Taj will likely be near the top of the list. This south Nashville restaurant recently moved from its Nolensville Pike location to newer, fancier digs nearby, but it’s still one of Nashville’s most popular places to dive into some chicken makhani, goat vindaloo, and lamb rogan josh. There’s a bit of a wait during peak dinner times, but the lunch buffet keeps things moving.