These Indian restaurants serve a wide variety of delicious dishes, from healthy plates and artisanal food to DIY kits and meals-in-a-box. Bookmark them for future visits or order a home delivery to brighten up your lockdown days. By Rashima Nagpal
1. Khmer Kitchen, Bengaluru
What used to be a playwright and author Girish Karnad’s house until three years ago is now Khmer Kitchen, one of the newest entrants in South Bengaluru’s dining scene. With Cambodian cuisine at its core, the restaurant serves Southeast Asian food in an exquisite way. Delicacies such as mud crab with green peppercorn, slow-cooked braised pork knuckle in a honey soy glaze, lamb shank saraman curry with a russet sauce, and Mekong fried rice are popular on the menu. Do not forget to order dessert—the black pudding, royal pumpkin custard, and crème brûlée are crowd favourites.
2. Nibbana, Delhi
A plush new cloud kitchen in Meharchand Market helmed by Chef Somya Budhia, Nibbana celebrates regional Indian flavours with the spotlight on traditional breads. Think modern starters such as thepla tacos filled with mushroom, kachoris made of laal maas, and more. The mouth-watering combos include Kashmiri girda roti served with raw mango curry, meat kulcha with chholey, Hyderabad-style rumali roti with soya chaap, and akki roti from Karnataka paired with Mangalorean chicken. There’s an array of curries to choose from, and the restaurant offers a dedicated keto menu. Perfect for no-cook weekdays at home!
3. Brik Oven, Bengaluru (one of our fav Indian restaurants)
Two foodie friends—one a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef and the other a tax analyst—decided to open a pizzeria on Bengaluru’s Church Street back in 2015. Soon, handmade wood-fired-oven pizzas—inspired by a traditional recipe from Naples—became its claim to fame. Today, Brik Oven has three outlets and direct delivery service in Bengaluru. Besides pizzas (over 15 types), the restaurant makes in-house ciabattas, salads, desserts, and a long list of milkshakes. It also sells artisanal bread, handmade mozzarella, and ricotta. To top it all, Brik Oven has recently introduced DIY pizza kits (only available through direct delivery), each of which includes freshly kneaded dough and a sauce made with organic San Marzano tomatoes.
4. Kottayam Company, Kottayam
A 150-year-old house-turned-restaurant, Kottayam Company is located on the bustling CMS College Road in the sleepy town of Kottayam. The restaurant attracts passers-by with its metallic facade adorned with a bright yellow signboard. The restaurant has a modern canteen-like setup with a courtyard, planters, glass walls, and a long community table to cater to groups. While the venue is off-limits right now, the food is not. The multi-kitchen eatery continues to deliver dishes of four cuisines, from beef stroganoff to Arabic satays, hearty burgers, and Malabari pothys.
5. Edible Archives, Goa
Located on the border of Assagao and Anjuna in Goa, Edible Archives is run by Chef Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar and aims to create a “collective sensory catalogue that belongs to all the people involved in growing, sourcing, cooking, and eating a meal.” The restaurant has a unique cuisine-agnostic approach and is driven by ingredients, no matter how common. The seasonal menu is a melting pot of dishes from various cultures, for instance, Shanxi-style brinjal and long beans, Bengali mustard fish, raw-banana kofta, Vietnamese caramel pork, etc. On the current delivery menu, you’ll find a mix of starters, rolls, meals-in-a-box, regional curries, and pan-Asian meals. This surely tops the chart of unique Indian restaurants!
6. Heritage Khorikaa, Guwahati
Promoting Assamese cuisine in its home state is Chef Atul Lahkar’s Heritage Khorikaa. This humble old-school restaurant in Guwahati has zero social media presence and depends entirely on word-of-mouth marketing. It lets the food do the talking, whether you’re dining in or ordering from home. Think soulful curries, fish cooked in banana leaves, traditional barbecue, and local herb-infused preparations. The recipes are largely inspired by Lahkar’s travels across the state and the tribal food of the neighbouring regions. Additionally, the menu is seasonal, which means the ingredients used vary throughout the year. Contact +91 97060 34838 for details.
7. SAGE Farm Cafe, Hyderabad (one of our fav Indian restaurants)
Sage Sustainable Living is a Hyderabad-based lifestyle brand with a boutique store, two cafes, a range of homemade kitchen products, sustainably produced meat and dairy, and organically grown farm produce. With this fresh produce coming in regularly from its farms, SAGE Farm Cafe in Jubilee Hills offers a seasonal menu. Expect a range of healthy salads, pizzas, bowls of pongal, stir-fried vegetables, mixed bean brown rice, and more. Besides celebrating local produce and producers, the brand practises preservation of resources and zero waste.
8. C’est L’avi, Goa
An artisanal 12-seater table in the hills of Velim in Goa, C’est L’avi by Chef Avinash Martins is perfect for a physically distanced meal amid nature. Rustic, quaint, and peaceful, it sits on Martins’s 200-acre ancestral land of coconut and cashew plantations. A short walk on a muddy path along a riverbed brings you to the estate. The food is a way of preserving the chef’s family recipes and celebrating traditional Goan cuisine. Each meal is put together based on the guests’ dining preferences and dietary requirements, and thus requires advance booking. One can also partake in foraging and in-house feni tasting sessions. This is what perfect Indian restaurants are made of!
9. Colocal, Delhi
Colocal is a first-of-its-kind artisanal chocolate brand that seeks to put Indian cacao on the world map. It has a boutique restaurant-cum-chocolate factory in Delhi’s Dhan Mill Compound. It offers some of the best chocolate varieties, made from cacao beans sourced directly from farms and cooperatives in India and high-quality cane sugar. Think nutty vegan chocolate bars, cakes, hot and cold chocolate drinks, chocolate fondue, and more. Besides indulgent desserts, Colocal is winning hearts with its savoury plates too—pesto gnocchi, lasagna mutton Bolognese, and southwest chicken burger are some of the popular ones.
10. Subko Coffee Roasters & Bakehouse, Mumbai
Part of the third-wave coffee culture in India is Subko, which procures and sells single-origin coffee from several regions across the Indian subcontinent. Besides delivering pan-India, the brand has a hyperlocal store-cum-cafe located in a bylane of Bandra, Mumbai, that serves baked goodies such as pain au chocolat, twice-baked croissants, sourdough, quiches, tarts, cookies, and freshly roasted coffee. It is no wonder then that Subko breakfasts are slowly becoming a thing among discerning Mumbaikars. The environment-friendly consumer will be happy to know that their packaging is free of single-use plastic.
11. Cafe Kothi, Jaipur (one of our fav Indian restaurants)
With locally sourced, farm-fresh, vegetarian dishes served gourmet-style, Cafe Kothi at 28 Kothi Jaipur is all about wholesome, nourishing food. While the cafe is cosy and earthy, the menu (with delivery and takeaway options) includes a fair range of vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free dishes. Choose from a long list of dishes such as stuffed puff pastries, quinoa biryani, soba noodles, polenta parmesan fries, olive oil carrot cake, watermelon-feta salad, dairy-free ‘changing seasons’ smoothie, and other gut-friendly meals.
With outlets in Delhi, Gurugram, Patna, and Bengaluru, The Potbelly Bihari Kitchen makes people fall in love with authentic Bihari cuisine. It goes beyond the quintessential litthi chokha and offers a delectable range of dishes such as dal pithi, ole ki chutney, kachche kele ki bhujia, Champaran-style mutton, and more. While the restaurant has a niche following in each of the four aforementioned cities, it continues to be a delightful discovery for first-timers.
13. Fika, Chennai
Scandinavian design and a Wes Anderson-inspired aesthetic come together at this restaurant and event space in Chennai. Located in Adyar, Fika is spread over 929 square metres, and features an amphitheatre, orangery, bakery, cafe, and attic—each spacious and surrounded by greenery. Chef Willi, a renowned name in Chennai’s fine dining scene, is at the helm of Fika’s kitchen, and the cuisine is a mix of Continental and Mediterranean. Take your pick from fresh salads, slow-pressed juices, in-house bread, sandwiches, pizzas, and more. In the home delivery menu, DIY meals including ready-to-bake croissants and sauces take the cake. This tops the list of our favourite Indian restaurants!
14. Sante Spa Cuisine (one of our fav Indian restaurants)
Sante offers spa cuisine comprising natural and chemical-free vegetarian dishes in six cities across India—Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai. Its long list of offerings includes salads, smoothies, cold-pressed juices, a wide variety of starters and entrées, and guilt-free desserts. Also on offer is a variety of main courses with vegan, gluten-free, amino-rich, protein-rich, and high-fibre choices. Besides ordering for yourself, you can get care hampers of organic food delivered to your loved ones.
15. Candy and Green, Mumbai
The brainchild of Mumbai-based Shraddha Bhansali, Candy and Green claims to be India’s first farm-to-table restaurant on a terrace. Located on Breach Candy Road, it is a chic, pet-friendly Indian restaurant with a 70-square-metre terrace garden primed to grow lettuce, lemongrass, kale, cherry tomatoes, purple cabbage, parsley, edible flowers, chives, white chillies, and more. The fully vegetarian menu features dishes such as zucchini fries, kale chip chaat, sriracha tofu wrap, and superfood bowls that can give you the health boost you need.
16. Café Dali, Delhi
Essentially a Tuscan bistro, Café Dali is championing the artisanal pasta trend in the national capital. Besides fresh hand-made pasta and sauces (that can be stored in the fridge for up to 14 days), the menu features a decadent range of antipasti, pizzas, and risottos. Based out of GK, the cloud kitchen takes direct orders and preorders. With truffles imported weekly from France and Italy, white asparagus seasonally from Germany, caviar from Iran, and so on, Café Dali brings the gourmet flavours of Europe to your plate.
17. Sienna Store and Cafe, Kolkata (one of our fav Indian restaurants)
Popular among locals with an artistic bend, Sienna Store and Cafe is a homegrown brand that tells the story of Bengal through its craft and food design. Located on Park Street, this Indian restaurant also retails earthenware, upcycled jewellery, eco-printed saris, and artisanal goods. The cafe changes its menu with the season; this time of the year, a variety of jackfruit dishes, from empanadas to tacos to biryani, grace the menu. The restaurant also bakes its own bread and cakes, the strawberry crumble being one of its most loved and ordered dishes.
18. The Pantry, Mumbai
Be it vegan hot chocolate, chia puddings, savoury multigrain wraps, or sandwiches, The Pantry in Mumbai is all about organic and seasonal gourmet eats. The brand has moved on from its cafe in Kalaghoda and adopted a delivery-only model with a spruced-up kitchen in Juhu. Also on the menu are gluten-free and keto offerings, ranging from wholesome chivdas to keto cheesecake and flavoured kombucha. If that’s not tempting enough, check out The Pantry’s colourful Instagram feed. P.S — this is one of our favourite Indian restaurants.
19. Yogisattva, Mumbai
Helmed by certified plant-based Chef Raveena Taurani, Yogisattva is touted to be India’s first Whole Foods Plant-Based Culinary Academy. Based in Khar, it comes with a dedicated farm-to-fork delivery kitchen. The menu is extensive and the dishes organic, vegan, gluten-free, and made entirely with unprocessed nutrient-dense food. From hearty bowls and finger-licking dips to a selection of vegan gut-friendly cheese, it serves and delivers health in delicious forms. For those on a clean eating journey, Yogisattva has online tutorials that help you maintain an organic lifestyle at home.
20. Go Native, Bengaluru (one of our fav Indian restaurants)
At Go Native, you can dig into farm-to-table meals and shop for a variety of organic handicrafts. Anvitha Prashanth, along with partners Jerry Pinto and Radeesh Shetty, has built a brand that aims to minimise its carbon footprint. While store visits will have to wait, their organic meals can come to you. Go Native has three outlets in Bengaluru from where one can order healthy food such as millet buns, black and red rice dosas, wheat and nut salads, beetroot and moringa delicacies, and much more.
Have you been to any of these Indian restaurants? Let us know on social media.
Editor’s Note: Keeping the current situation of the pandemic in mind, T+L India recommends every reader to stay safe, and take all government-regulated precautions in case travel at this time is absolutely necessary. Please follow our stories on COVID-19 for all the latest travel guidelines.