You don’t have to go to the other side of the world to experience the spices and aromas of great Indian food. From Southern India to cuisine inspired by street food, San Francisco is your passport to a variety of culinary delights. Here are some of the best restaurants to enjoy Indian food in San Francisco.
1700 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
995 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Price: Small plates – $4 to $19, Entrees – $13 to $30, Dosa and Uttapam – $9.50 to $13.50
Lunch Hours: Wed to Fri—11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sat to Sun—11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dinner Hours: Sun to Thurs—5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fri—5:30 p.m. to Midnight, Sat—3:30 p.m. to Midnight
DOSA bills itself as San Francisco’s first South Indian restaurant, and offers food from the areas of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. The design is sleek and modern and offers guests a fine dining experience. The restaurant encourages you to order several plates and eat family style – creating a social experience that allows you to sample several dishes. If you are going to DOSA, you really must try the dish after its namesake. A dosa is a savory crepe made from rice and lentil and is served with coconut and tomato chutneys as well as sambar, a lentil soup. The quality of the food and the ambiance are top-notch, but this dining out experience won’t break the bank. Click here to make reservations.
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2034 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
Price: Starters – $1.50 to $6, Entrees – $8 to $21
Hours: Mon to Sun – 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Ashoka is a little gem in the Marina District of San Francisco. The low-lit and unassuming space is a quiet spot amongst all the raucous places in the Marina. The quaint, narrow restaurant offers a warm atmosphere, so it feels like you are getting a home cooked Indian meal. The chicken tikka masala is rich and spicy and the onion naan is a perfect complement for soaking up the delicious sauce. With quick service and reasonable prices, it is a great go-to spot for authentic Indian food. The restaurant also offers delivery and takeout, and customers can receive 15 percent off any takeout order. Click here to order online.
San Francisco, CA
Price: $8 for burritos
Hours: Lunch hours 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (hours vary per location)
Food trucks have been somewhat of a phenomenon in San Francisco. These veritable meals on wheels set up shop all over the city – often using social media to alert consumers to their location. Among them is CurryUpNow, an Indian street food truck that aims to bring San Franciscans the best street foods of Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, Chowpatty, Mumbai, New Market, Kolkatta, Nainital and Uttarkhand. Get there early, because people line up around the block to sample the offerings. Each day the menu offers a chef’s special, but many people come for the burritos. The tikka masala burrito is a spicy mixture of chicken, onions and rice all wrapped in a flour tortilla. At just $8 for a sizable burrito, both your wallet and stomach will be satisfied. Click here for Curry Up Now truck locations.
Kasa Indian Eatery
4001 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
Price: Kati Rolls $4.50 each and Thali $10.95
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Delivery after 6 p.m.
Kasa is an Indian eatery that focuses on homestyle food made from local, quality ingredients. Kasa is serving up hearty portions with the Thali (plate), which includes handmade bread, lentils, veggie salad, chutney and yogurt and a choice of one to two main dishes (Chicken Tikka, Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Curry, Turkey Kebabs and several other vegetarian options). Diners also have the option to enjoy one of the main dishes wrapped in buttery homemade bread, which is known as a Kati roll. Kasa has also taken its show on the road, and hungry diners can now get their fix from its food truck that makes appearances all about town. Click here Kasa food truck locations.
400 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Price: Appetizers – $2 to $5.25, Entrees – $4 to $15
Hours: Mon to Sun – 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Rotee); Mon to Fri – 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Rotee Express)
Rotee has transformed its dining room into something reminiscent of a back lot restaurant at a Bollywood studio. Its warm environment complements the rich, complex flavors the food evokes. The restaurant prides itself on using the best cuts of meat and freshest vegetables and herbs. It also makes all of its chutneys, paneer and seasonings from scratch. The result is food that has distinctive flavor. The chicken tikka masala is succulent – having been cooked in a tandoor (clay oven). The Bangin’ Burtha, a mix of fresh eggplant, onions and tomato, is a nice addition to any meal and packs some punch. If you rather enjoy your Indian cusine from the comfort of your own home, Rotee offers both takeout and delivery. Click here to order online.
Jenna Broughton can frequently be found exploring the streets of San Francisco looking for her next adventure and gastronomic delight. She has traveled far and wide, from Paris to Savannah, GA, to satisfy her adventurous palate. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.