International Eats

The 10 best Indian restaurants in Austin, from authentic to fusion

The 10 best Indian restaurants in Austin, from authentic to fusion

G'Raj Mahal Austin restaurant Indian Rainey Street
Customizable curries are the crowd favorite at G'Raj Mahal. G'Raj Mahal/Facebook
The Clay Pit Austin restaurant vegetarian thali
Get a small taste of everything with vegetarian thali at the Clay Pit. The Clay Pit/Facebook
Whip In Austin restaurant burger
A fusion dish paired with a craft beer is the way to go at the Whip In. Whip In/Facebook
G'Raj Mahal Austin restaurant Indian Rainey Street
The Clay Pit Austin restaurant vegetarian thali
Whip In Austin restaurant burger

From authentic creations to fusion fare, Austin boasts no shortage of Indian hot spots. Here are 10 favorite restaurants for Indian cuisine, serving curry, samosas, and everything in between. 

Asiana Indian Cuisine
Don’t let the strip mall location in Far South Austin fool you. Asiana's varied menu is like a map of India's many flavors, from traditional southern dishes to Indo-Chinese plates. Lunch features an extensive buffet, while dinner is served a la carte. A to-go menu is nearly as varied as the in-house selection.

Chicken Lollypop
This hidden gem in North Austin is best known for its namesake dish, an Indo-Chinese appetizer of frenched chicken legs brined, marinated, fried, and tossed in a sauce. Other standouts include the naan wraps, fried rice, and sweet and sour paneer. Order from a takeout window or sit inside at a cluster of tables.

The Clay Pit
Billed as contemporary Indian cuisine, the Clay Pit is arguably the fanciest restaurant on this list due to its low-lit atmosphere and higher price points — but the cost is worth it. You'll find everything from curried goat and tandoori chicken to a vegetarian menu. If you like spice, ask to dial up.

G'Raj Mahal Lounge & Cafe
G'Raj Mahal is a Rainey Street staple that has gone from food truck to full-blown restaurant specializing in family-style dining. The curries are a crowd favorite, as you can choose your sauce, protein, and spice level. You can also order a tasty meal to-go.

Nasha means "to crave" in Hindi, and Nasha is exactly where you need to go the next time you're craving Indian food. This east side joint serves up an all-Indian menu with a hint of Tex-Mex, from classic masala curries and biryani plates to tacos, enchiladas, margaritas, and weekend brunch. Those with vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free proclivities will rejoice in the amount of options.

Saffron is the only restaurant in Austin to claim a Nepalese menu, which is complemented by a great Indian selection. Think of of it as a taste of the Himalayas on Far West Boulevard. The daily lunch buffet is the way to go, but purists will enjoy the traditional, albeit pricer, "Tandoori treasures" such as jinga angare or murg malai kabab. There are also tons of plates for vegans and vegetarians.

Swad Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the lineup at Swad. Indulge in all the spices, flavors, and essences of the country without the meat. The thali, which means platter, is a great place to start if you want to try a selection of Indian delicacies at an approachable price.

Tarka Indian Kitchen
This homegrown fast-casual chain has four convenient locations around town, each of which features a customizable menu of Indian favorites, including curries; biryanis; and naaninis, a play on panini.

Love meat? Then you'll love Teji's — both lamb and goat have their own sections on the menu, which includes a wide variety of naans; appetizers; and lassis, a traditional yogurt drink. The original restaurant and grocery combo up in Cedar Park is wonderful, but there are also outposts in Round Rock and Central Austin by the UT campus.

Whip In
This decades-old institution off I-35 is part Indian restaurant, part craft beer bar, part convenience store, and part music venue. The lineup features a collection of burgers, salads, appetizers, and brunch items, each with Indian flair. Pair your entree with the queso con chutney and something from Whip In's excellent brew selection, and you have one scrumptious meal.