Best Indian Food In Seattle

January 15, 2014 5:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

In every corner of the greater Seattle metropolitan area, you can find an Indian restaurant boasting a delicious selection of dishes from every corner of the subcontinent. The following five restaurants get high ratings from locals who were born and raised in India. Yet, each of these establishments offers something a little bit different from nuanced explorations on traditional dishes to regional specialties, fabulous presentation and artful use of seasonal ingredients.

Bengal Tiger Indian Restaurant
6509 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 985-0041

North Seattle’s award-winning Bengal Tiger Restaurant in the Roosevelt neighborhood offers a selection of dishes from every corner of the Indian subcontinent. Chef Muhammad Uddin has been at the helm since 1997. He makes it easy to sample the restaurant’s fare on a budget, either at the daily lunch buffet or during the splendid happy hour. The menu boasts a selection of tandoori-fired meats and seafood and familiar Indian dishes. But it also features tikka saag, butter chicken and the house specialty baingan curry. Chicken or lamb is bathed in a homemade tomato-based sauce with roasted whole Indian eggplant, onion, garlic, chilies and Indian spices. Bengal Tiger is a full-service restaurant, offering local beers on tap, Indian beers by the bottle and a full bar.

1833 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 320-7770

The Seattle restaurant Annapurna features cuisine that is a little offbeat from other Indian restaurants, featuring dishes from the Himalayan region of the world, including India, Nepal and Tibet. Run by Nepal native Roshita Shrestha, she brings true passion for her native cuisine, including multi-ethnic Newari from the Kathmandu Valley. So while you will find a lot of Indian-infused flavors with familiar spices, other dishes may be new and exciting for you. This spot also has a good selection of vegetarian plates and its vegetarian thali comes highly recommended (a thali is a presentation of small tastes on one delicious platter). Annapurna is also one of the few Indian restaurants in the Seattle area that serves brown rice.

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Travelers Thali House
2524 Beacon Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 329-6260

The food at Travelers Thali House reminds at least some Seattleites of their Indian mother’s home cooking. Although this restaurant serves 100-percent vegetarian food, meat eaters should enjoy this great dinner from time to time. “Thali” refers to a platter. The traditional thali holds an array of small dishes to make up a complete Indian meal. Travelers’ thali menu changes every month, in order to feature whatever foods are currently in season. You choose the size of the meal, and your individual dishes are served on stainless steel thali plates. The menu also include smaller meals, street foods and snacks such as samosa, naan and pakora, plus Indian sweets, wine, beer and Indian soft drinks. Another featured offering is the authentic Indian-style tea, brewed in-house using organic spices and Assam tea. Without the flavor extracts and non-traditional ingredients found in many other chai teas today, the entire process at Travelers is done by hand to produce a true artisanal tea.

Naan -N- Curry
709 S. 3rd St.
Renton WA 98057
(425) 271-6226

Naan -N- Curry features aromatic cuisine from Pakistan and India by way of San Francisco, where the the small restaurant chain is well known. All of the sauces from korma to gosht and tikka to vindaloo are flavorful, with a very forward use of spices. The owner is very congenial and will help guide your menu selection if you are undecided or unfamiliar with any of the dishes. If you ask for a dish very hot (5-star), you will get it plenty spicy and hot, but still with great flavor. Some places that give you 5-star lose the flavor along the way. The fish biryani is an unexpected delight. The fish is tender and succulent, not overcooked and dry. It’s much easier to cook tender and succulent lamb and chicken, but not fish. Also try the Pakistani specialty haleem, a slow-cooked beef dish with lentils, barley and spices.

Kanishka Cuisine Of India
16651 Redmond Way
Redmond, WA 98052
(425) 869-9182

At Kanishka Cuisine, the chefs blend traditional Indian dishes with modern twists using seasonal ingredients presented in a simple and straightforward way. The menu offers traditional dishes from a variety of Indian regions, including northern-style tandoori, south Indian breads dosa and idly, plus many traditional selections such as butter chicken, vindaloo, saag and much more. Not to be missed are chef specialties including a stuffed halibut with saffron and mustard sauce, and a hyderabadi biryani served only on the weekends. Many newcomers to this restaurant start with a visit either to the lunch buffet or for happy hour. The daily buffet has many dishes to sample, including plenty of vegetarian options. The happy hour menu features a nice selection of bar food prepared with the customary flair that is the hallmark of Kanishka.

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Carole Cancler is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on

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