Indian cuisine in Denver is surprisingly authentic with a majority of restaurants representing northern and southern India. From Aurora to Arvada, here is a curated list of delicious destinations.
3140 S. Parker Road, Suite 8
Aurora, CO 80014
Masalaa is one of the most recommended Indian restaurants in Denver. Its entirely vegetarian menu, which can also be modified for vegans, has earned numerous awards including the “Smart Meal Seal” from Colorado. Loyal followers of Masalaa have been known to drive up to an hour to the south Parker location to indulge in the restaurant’s signature Pao Bhaji Masala Dosa. The south Indian staple is a rice and lentil flour crepe rolled with Pao Bhaji Masala. Guests rave about the Samosa Chaat, pieces of samosa served with chickpeas, tangy sauce and yogurt, and Mysore Thali, a Mysore masala dose with onion, tomato, uthappam, kanchipuram idli, medu vada, sambar, coconut and tomato chutney.
Bombay Clay Oven
165 Steele St.
Denver, CO 80206
Bombay Clay Oven in Cherry Creek has served northern India, Mughlai-style cuisine since 1993. Originating in the 16th century, this style of cooking is said to be from Turk–Mughlai descent. The fragrant and aromatic dishes focus on authentic spices such as cumin, coriander seeds, ground turmeric, cardamom and cloves expertly blended with cream, nut butters and yogurt. The restaurant also specializes in select favorites from southern India, including the supremely spicy vindaloos. Chef’s specials are non-dairy and gluten-free. Several standouts include Kadai, a blend of dried Fenugreek leaves, a trio of peppers including red, green and serrano, garlic, ginger and onion, and Lamb Do-Pyaza, boneless lamb slow-cooked with onion, garlic and dried mango powder.
575 Lincoln St.
Denver, CO 80203
Bombay Bowl is a fast-casual take on Indian cuisine offering fresh, healthy and fast meals. Clearly, owner Amar Singh is on to something as the New York Times featured the concept in the dining section earlier this year. Singh’s mission with Bombay Bowl is to educate the public on Indian food as a whole and also showcase that it doesn’t need to be contained to buffets. The “fresh Indian grill” features bowls and plate options for Tikka Masala with tomato and ginger, Saag with spinach and mustard greens, Traditional Curry, Chaand Peeli Daal with lentils and turmeric and Channa Masala with chickpeas, mango and spices. A variation of Indian street food, the “Kati Roll” offers tandoori chicken, spiced tofu and Samosa roll. Naan and Samosa Chaat can be included as sides.
330 E. 6th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
The Baidwan and Malhotra families have served Denver since 1998 at Little India. Specializing in northern Indian cuisine, the restaurant has won “Top of the Town” by 5280 Magazine consistently along with “Best Indian Restaurant” by Westword for the last 15 years. The menu is large with appetizers offering a variety of Samosa, Pakaora, Coconut Shrimp, Tandoori Wings and Momo, Indian-style dumplings. The restaurant has an in-house clay oven where Tandoor entrees are baked over mesquite charcoal. Signatures include Ginger Chicken Kabob, Tandoori Chicken, Lamb Chops and Tandoori Fish. Authentic curry, Masala, Korma, Saag and Bhuna can all be paired with chicken, lamb, shrimp or fish. Naan, Roti and Paan are all baked in house and Little India offers a full menu of vegetarian specialties along with a full bar. There are four locations throughout Denver.
Yak and Yeti Indian Restaurant and Brewpub
7803 Ralston Road
Arvada, CO 80002
The name alone, Yak and Yeti, alludes to a seemingly odd pairing that goes together incredibly well. The authentic cuisine of India, Nepal, Tibet and Colorado craft beers (brewed in house) are served in an historic Victorian house in Arvada. The menu runs deep with Mulligatawny soups, Tandoori breads, Tibetan entrees and a full vegan menu. Tandoori dishes are a specialty showcasing chicken, lamb, salmon and shrimp all baked in a traditional Punjabi clay oven. The craft beer menu rotates seasonally with head brewer Adam Draeger overseeing production. Look for a selection of porters to be available this winter. And, as for the name, let curiosity lead you to the restaurant for its answer.
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restaurants and master mixologists. She has beeen Examiner.com‘s Denver’s Fine Dining writer since 2009.