The 7 Best Indian Restaurants In Houston

From Khyber Pass to Kerala, these are the best Indian restaurants in Houston.
The 7 Best Indian Restaurants In Houston image

photo credit: Raphael Brion

Houston is home to the second-largest Indian population in the US, with most of the best Indian restaurants crammed up and down a single street. In a city with no zoning, neighborhoods can be cobbled from nothing but a few strip centers. So when you feel a void in your life that can only be filled by tangy chaats, dosas, dal, and parathas, consult this guide.


photo credit: Liz Silva


Mahatma Gandhi District

$$$$Perfect For:Quick EatsImpressing Out of TownersVegetariansVegans
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Whether you grab a seat at this counter-service spot or get your meal to go, take comfort in knowing that you’re eating the best South Indian food in Houston. Shri Balaji Bhavan specializes in chaats, and every single one we’ve ordered is somehow better than the last. Like the samosa chaat, a large fried dumpling smothered in so many different spicy and tangy sauces you can barely see it. Try the pav bhaji, a simple tray of spicy vegetable mash with buttered, pillowy soft buns to dredge until the tray looks wiped clean.

photo credit: Liz Silva

The South Indian counter-order restaurant Bombay Sweet specializes in two things: treats and chaats. Grab a bunch of little snacks, no matter how many people you're with, and load the table with light and crispy bhel poori, a maple-fragrant methi paratha, crispy puffed pani poori, and a sauce-drenched samosa chaat. More is more at Bombay Sweets.  And while you eat, make sure to size up the massive dessert counter before ordering a couple of boxes of desserts to go. 

Pondi Bake Lab, the bakery and cafe above Pondicheri, serves a mix of technicolor Indian street food and pastries. Despite being crammed into a multi-use apartment megaplex in Upper Kirby, Pondi Bake Lab feels like a chic industrial treehouse perfumed with saffron and hibiscus thanks to the wraparound pastry case. Most folks here, many exclusively wearing athleisure, go to Pondi Bake Lab for brunch to lounge on plush benches, sip green juice or iced masala chais, and snack on masala egg scrambles. Grab a vibrant green saag wild mushroom dwaffle (dosa plus waffle) and join them.

photo credit: Chelsea Thomas



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Kiran’s, a posh spot in Upper Kirby, is a luxurious, and often spicy setting for a special occasion, mostly because it resembles a fantastical palace, if that palace was also full of gilded tandoors. The menu —which includes afternoon high tea service, multiple naanzzas (or, naan pizzas), and even a full-tasting menu of lobster—offers a dizzying number of layered, ornate dishes like dried cherry, English pea, and spiced lamb samosas. Whether you dine at the bar or daintily snack on finger sandwiches at high tea, the food at Kiran’s will make you feel exceptional.

For quick, spicy, deeply comforting food and dosas the size of a giraffe’s leg, there’s no better spot than Shiv Sagar. Shoved in the corner of a highway-adjacent strip center, this counter-service spot is mostly patronized by folks who live or work nearby, or anyone in need of a quick but excellent meal. This means thali platters, yogurt-drenched pani poori, and a couple dozen kinds of dosas, including one doused in chili and cheese.

Govinda’s serves a daily vegetarian and vegan Indian food buffet from Inside the hard-to-miss Krishna temple in Garden Oaks, with a side of meditation. For $13 on weekdays and $14 on weekends, the all-you-can-eat buffet serves half a dozen different entrees, desserts, and as much bread as you like. While all the food, like saag paneer or kidney bean dal, looks like what you might eat when visiting your friend who lives in a commune, it’s hearty, medium-spiced, and savory. Plus, the bird sounds that echo across the high aviary-like ceilings make the entire place feel like a spa cafe, but on a budget, especially when the Krishna devotees shuffle by.

Khyber Grill has been around for a few decades serving classic Indian dishes that still keep us warm from the inside out (but that could also be the spice level). While you could technically close your eyes and land on something delicious on the menu, nothing soaks up the flavor of the curry like the delicate lamb and the creamy butter chicken. Alongside the massive portions, Khyber is where a weeknight meal of malai kofta might become your hyperfixation dish for the next month.

Whether you grab dinner, check out the lunch buffet, or just get a couple orders of spicy chicken vindaloo to-go, Narin’s Bombay Brasserie offers dependable, consistent Indian food. While the restaurant resembles an old-school banquet hall at a hotel and seems to have a moratorium on playing any music, the food is what you’re here for. Narin’s makes choosing between its many dishes easy by giving you the option not to choose at all with the feast dinners. Try the tandoori feast with buttery, tomato bisque-style chicken tikka and micro-diced, tangy saag paneer or the Bombay feast with spiced, earthy lamb curry. 

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