The term “Indian food” is an overarching catchall for a type of cuisine that’s as diverse as the regions it hails from (and it’s from a country with a population of 1.2 billion). It’s also a cuisine that can be difficult to find and enjoy if you don’t know where to look. Thankfully, there are some crafty chefs readily serving up classics and new takes alike throughout ATL. Here’s where to find the best…
Vatica is an Atlanta institution and has a little bit of everything on the menu. Snack on garlic naan, samosa, and dahi puri, before having a feast of aloo gobi, vegetable biryani, and the chicken tandoori sizzler. Sweet tooth? Don’t skip the gulab jamun-balls formed of milk solids and flour soaked in a rose sugar syrup.
Palak Patel (you might recognize her from Beat Bobby Flay) moved back to her hometown of Atlanta after living in New York. She opened a stall in the Chattahoochee Food Works where blessed Atlantans can feast on her vegan dishes inspired by her childhood. Must-try items include the Indian falafel stuffed with peas and coconut topped with tamarind, green, and yogurt chutneys and the samosa chaat, a bowl with potato-stuffed samosas topped with chana masala and mango powder.
Midtown and Buckhead
Tabla is a reliable choice for a modern take on Indian classics. Both the Midtown and Buckhead dining rooms are chic locales for an evening of tasty food and clever cocktails like the Tabla mule with vodka, mango chutney, lime, and ginger. They also have thoughtful nonalcoholic drinks, such as the strawberry kala khatta with kale khatta syrup, roasted cumin seeds, tamarind, chaat masala, and lime juice. Go with friends and order a bunch of small plates such as samosas, Brussels sprouts bhel, and tandoori shrimp.
What the dining room lacks in frills is more than made up for with delicious food from different regions at this Decatur spot that’s been around for over 20 years. Try a veggie thali deluxe for a few different bites at once or the Chat Patti special chatt-a nacho-like dish with flour chips topped with ingredients like deep fried rice, pomegranate seeds, yogurt, and a lentil donut.
Though Bhojanic had to close its popular Buckhead restaurant during the pandemic, Atlantans can still delight in Archna Becker’s creative offerings via takeout and delivery. Standouts include tandoori pizza with chutney marinara and mozzarella cheese and biryani bowls.
North Druid Hills
Masti means fun in Hindi, and it’s an apt name for this Indian street food restaurant with its splashy interior. The fun doesn’t stop at the decor, though, with dishes like butter chicken tacos and chicken 65 pasta.
Meherwan Irani recently shook things up at his Decatur location of Chai Pani when he revamped the menu with dishes from the state of Gujarat. While longtime favourites are gone (so long, kale pakora) the new menu offers rustic, homey delights that take comfort food to a new level. Try the locho, a grit-like lentil dish with green chutney, butter, onions, and cilantro and fried green tomato pakora. Sip a lime rickey alongside your dinner for ultimate refreshment.
Alpharetta, Reynoldstown, Decatur
Curry Up Now is a chain, but it’s worthy of consideration if you find yourself hungry for Indian street food (especially downtown Alpharetta). Standouts on the menu include “sexy fries” with sweet potato fries topped with cheese and a protein and the quesadillix, a take on a Punjabi treat with stuffed parantha, mozzarella, protein, pickles, chaat masala yogurt, and chutney.
Old Fourth Ward
The sister restaurant to Chai Pani offers Indian street food. Expect lots of bright, fresh flavours in dishes like the chicken tikka roll and lamb burgers with green chutney and slaw. One dish that’s a must? The SPDP: puffed crisps filled with yogurt, green and tamarind chutneys, potatoes, and crunchy chickpea noodles. Pop one in your mouth and prepare to have your mind blown.
The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.
From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.
Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.
Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.