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Margot B
Created byMargot B
Author of Moon Living Abroad in India and Moon Taj Mahal...

More than Mango Lassis: India for Foodies

Featured Guide
When most people from the West think about Indian food, the first things that come to mind are tandoor-baked naan, spicy curries, stewed lentils, samosas, pakoras, and mango lassies--essentially, the mainstays of most Indian restaurants around the world. However, go to India and you'll find an incredibly diverse selection of cuisine, and regional dishes that have little in common with what you can get at home. 

During my five years in India, I got to try plenty of different specialties from around the subcontinent and even learned to cook a few of my favorite Indian dishes. I've written about some of the places in this custom guide for Fodor's Essential India, Moon Living Abroad in India, and Moon Taj Mahal, Delhi & Jaipur; other's are personal favorites from areas outside of my typical North India beat.

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Gunpowder

Specializing in Keralan and Andheri home-cooked style food, Gunpowder is one of the most popular spots in South Delhi's trendy Hauz Khas Market neighborhood. It's known for its rich meat-based dishes served with flaky parantha (flatbread), although there's also plenty for vegetarians. This...

Chokhi Dhani

Out in the sticks, south of Jaipur, Chokhi Dhani encompasses much of what is weird and wonderful about India. This super-corny mega resort is essentially a fake Rajasthani village, with (authentic) live performances, elephant rides, carnival rides, a maze, craft demonstrations...the list...

Hotel Saravana Bhavan

South Indian cuisine is at its best at Chennai's Saravana Bhavan, a short walk from the city's main train station. This "hotel" as fast-food breakfast places are known in the South serves up excellent dosas (savory crepes), idlis (rice cakes), and fresh juices, as well as a number of more unusual...

Bukhara

One of Bill Clinton's favorite restaurants (presumably from before he went vegan), Bukhara serves some of the richest, heaviest food in all of Delhi. They specialize in NW Frontier cuisine, which has its origins in NW Pakistan. Most of the dishes here are based around meat, but as with most...

Khan Market

One of Delhi's more upscale markets, Khan Market doesn't look like much from the outside, but the shops here stock a great selection of items, ranging from luxury imports to fine Indian decor items. It's popular among hoity-toity Delhiites and expats living in the nearby diplomatic enclave. The...

Dilli Haat

If you want to sample cuisine from nearly every state in India, you can either spend months traveling around the country or simply head to Dilli Haat, an open-air crafts market that's sponsored by the government. While you can buy everything from saris to furniture at this subdued, slightly...

Moshe's

If you've had your fill of Indian food and want something different, check out one of the many branches of Moshe's, a pan-Mediterranean restaurant run by an Indian Jew who got his inspiration living on a kibbutz in Israel. Here you'll find everything from hummus to pasta, as well as fondue, grilled...

Spice Market

If you love cooking, you won't want to miss Old Delhi's famous spice market. The stalls here stock all kinds of freshly milled spices, which are generally sold in bulk. It's a great place to take photos, too. Just be warned that this market is well on the beaten trail, and foreigners are often...

The Big Chill Cafe Pvt Ltd

This casual family restaurant specializes in pizzas, pastas and deserts, and is a great place to go if you want a break from Indian cuisine. The chocolate squidgy cake is to die for, and the shakes are some of the best in town. My personal favourite dish here is the vodka penne pasta although the salads...

Central Tiffin Rooms

One of Bangalore's best-known spots for a quick, inexpensive bite to eat, Central Tiffin Rooms is a bit of a classic institution in an increasingly modern, flashy city. This "hotel" as local restaurants are called in Southern India is a great place for traditional South Indian breakfast foods,...