If storks delivered biryani instead of newborn babies, the world would be a much less stressful place. Don’t worry, parents. We love babies, but this Indian dish involving basmati rice, saffron, slow-cooked meat, and sometimes a dough covering is just about the only thing we’d accept as an anonymous gift from the sky. Until that happens, we’ll be ordering our own biryani from the 10 spots on this guide.
There is no wrong order at Adda, but we’d watch several hours of Days of Our Lives if it contained the secrets of this Long Island City spot’s Lucknow dum biryani. The rice comes hot and steamy with bits of ginger and chunks of goat that fall off the bone - and it’s all covered in a layer of fresh-baked dough to seal in the flavors.
NYC has plenty of places dedicated to bikes or hats or plants, but Biryani Kitchen might be the only spot in the city dedicated to biryani. This Indian place in Greenwich Village that serves five different kinds with protein options like fried prawns or lemon chicken. And if you feel warm on the inside when your takeout looks like an expertly-wrapped gift, you’ll appreciate their large, high quality, gold-trim to-go containers. They look like something you’d receive in a goodie bag at a baby shower, and the content inside will make even the dullest Wednesday night feel special.
Ordering Rahi’s dum pukht biryani to your house means missing out on their sidewalk tandoori grill and the curbside kulfi stand in Greenwich Village. But honestly, you won’t want to be distracted by lamb chops, chicken legs, and ice cream while eating this warm bowl of slow-cooked goat meat and saffron rice.
The team behind Adda and Rahi debuted this biryani delivery project during the pandemic as a way to bring their dum biryani straight to its loyal fans. Not only will you get the hot and steamy dum biryani with bits of ginger and chunks of meat, but also the clay pot it comes in, which you can use to take up more space in your apartment that you don’t have. Whether you want lamb, goat, chicken, or vegetable biryani, you can pre-order it from Biryani Bol here and pick it up from Adda, Rahi, or The MasalaWala every day except Monday.
Not only is Delhi Heights the best Indian restaurant in Jackson Heights, their biryani deserves the level of affection typically reserved for teenage heartthrobs and puppies that look like bear cubs. You can order it five different ways, including seafood options like fish cubes and curried prawns. So if you’re lucky enough to have this restaurant within your delivery radius, consider it your responsibility to order from this neighborhood gem.
Jalsa - Grill And Gravy
If the chicken dum biryani from this Ditmas Park spot had its own theme park, the lines would be unbearable and everything would smell like saffron. In other words, we’d be there all the time. Jalsa has been a staple for northern Indian dishes in the neighborhood for years, and if you like fragrant rice and juicy chicken meat that falls off the bone, you’ll quickly understand why.
Chote Nawab serves Hyderabadi-style biryani with mirchi ka salan (peanut curry) and we recommend you order it with lamb on a day when you need something more reliable than your internet service provider to believe in. It’s creamy, dense, and one of the many reasons why we like this Murray Hill spot. The dish should come with a warning label that reads “do not operate heavy machinery after consuming,” but that’s just part of why it’s great.
Aroqa is an upscale Indian restaurant in Chelsea where your server might light your food on fire and your cocktail might come with smoking dry ice. But if you’re just looking for a big takeout dinner in the area involving some noteworthy biryani, they do that too. Be sure to also try their “chicken chops” if you like your takeout to have been (briefly) engulfed in flames.
This Jackson Heights spot has been around since the 1980s, and it’s a pretty popular Indian restaurant in the neighborhood. And logically speaking, 40 years is a lot of time to perfect a biryani recipe. So even though you won’t be eating in their huge dining room if you order delivery, you’ll still feel you’re doing something iconic while eating their biryani on your couch at home.
This Jersey City spot has 15 types of biryani available for delivery and takeout, so order at least a couple and play your very own version of American Idol in your apartment. You’ll have to decide which roommate is Simon Cowell - that’s something we cannot do for you.