Indian cuisine can often take a backseat in conversation to the other Eastern foods in Portland. But there’s actually a sea of respected and longstanding Indian restaurants throughout the city and the greater metro area. Whether your looking for food carts, all-you-can-eat buffets, or fine dining establishments, the odds are good that there’s a delicious Indian option nearby.
To help put Indian food back in the conversation, we’ve assembled a list of our seven favorite spots in Portland, plus a few great spots if you don’t live so close in. There may be more iconic establishments than are listed here, but this list highlights the variety of options available while all satisfying the palette. Some of these restaurants offer a high-end, refined experience, while others give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Bollywood prides itself in bringing the aesthetic and style of Indian culture onto its dishes with street food options and small plate snacks that are common fair in India. That charm runs into their dining room too, with Indian imagery, a Bollywood movie projector, and a novelty store stocked with Indian dry food and spices. The option to mix and match sides and dishes to fit your own, family style dining experience is a big plus. Regular specials help add variety to a menu that’s already diverse in portion sizes and tastes.
It’s Portland, so there has to be one food truck option. And when that option is on par with respected brick and mortar restaurants around the city, it deserves a place on this list. A slew of vegetarian dishes, tasty chai tea, and full meals under $10 make this food cart much more than an on-the-go alternative.
A great way of tasting everything Bombay Chaat offers is through their six-course meal, which serves up a sampler of four vegetarian options along with basmati rice and naan to round out the last two courses. You might want to swing by for lunch or early dinner though, as the cart usually closes things up around 6:00 p.m.
804 SW 12th Ave
Mon-Fri 11:15am-6pm, Sat 12:15-6pm
Here’s another cozy nook to fill your Indian food cravings in a fine dining fashion. Bombay Cricket Club presents filling portions of curries and tandoori served with basmati rice, along with other large, specialty entrees. But don’t worry about left overs, you probably won’t have any.
What sets this menu apart is it’s specialty entrees and its large selection of seafood and lamb prepared in various styles. And of course, there’s the naan — some of the best on this list. For $3, you get a pizza-sized portion of soft, puffy goodness prepared with garlic, onions, or even cheese.
1925 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Daily 5-9pm, Fri-Sat 5-10pm
An inviting, romantic atmosphere and inventive takes on Indian cuisine sets East India Co. apart at first site. But an in-depth look — and taste will also reveal a menu that is equipped with traditional meals cooked and prepared with precision. With entrée options that include a stout variety of vegetable and meats, they definitely aren’t limited by certain regional norms of India. They also get props for the sizeable portions and unique presentations of these dishes.
A last significant note is East India Co.’s happy hour. They offer some delicious and filling meat and vegetarian snacks to go along with their interesting cocktail menu.
821 SW 11th Ave
Daily 11:30am-2:30pm, 5-9:30pm
An unsuspecting, hole-in-the-wall contender, India Grill is a no-frills, high-quality experience for your taste buds. If you’re looking to get a glimpse into what some classic items like chicken tikka masala or naan should taste like, look no further. India Grill does it right, and has been doing it right for a long time.
Family sized portions for meals and rice platters also make India Grill a solid, affordable option when sharing. It also gets bonus points for a full lunch buffet, a small, friendly staff, and a canopy-covered, closed-in balcony area that overlooks Burnside.
2924 E Burnside St
Daily 11am-2pm, 5-10pm
Want a crash course on classic Indian dishes with a chance to put them all on one plate? You’ve found it with Namaste’s Sandy Blvd. location. For $10 ($13 for dinner), diners get free range on a lunch buffet of vegetarian and meat options that include everything from the quintessential Indian dishes like pakoras and chana masala to westernized fair like chicken and potatoes fried in chickpea batter. What this location may lack in ambiance, it more than makes up for with a filling selection. Not looking to gorge yourself on all the tastes of India? Namaste has you covered with a detailed sit-down and take-out menu stacked with variety.
8303 NE Sandy Blvd
Daily 11am-2:30pm, 5-9:30pm
Siri showcases the variation between north and south Indian cuisine with a massive menu and a 30-item lunch buffet for $10. The restaurant somehow manages to pack at least ten variations on each type of dish onto its menu from vegetable and tandoori options, to seafood and even naan options. Seriously, there are 11 types of naan, some of which come stuffed with meats or other cooked vegetables.
But Siri doesn’t sacrifice quality for quantity. Options like the tandoori chicken mix grill that’s made in their tandoori clay oven and gets served sizzling hot may make you think twice about putting down your menu and going for the buffet.
1323 NW 23rd Ave
Don’t live in Portland proper but still need to get your fix? Here are a few great Indian food options a little further out.
233 NE Chkalov Dr
Vancouver, WA 98684
2088 NW Stucki Ave
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Maharaja Indian restaurant
610 SE 10th Ave
Hillsboro, OR 97123