New Jersey, often referred to as the “Garden State,” is home to a diverse culinary landscape that offers food enthusiasts a variety of options. Among the state’s most popular cuisines is Indian, with its vibrant colors, rich flavors, and enticing aromas. Indian food, known for its varied spices and regional specialties, has created a significant following, attracting people from all walks of life.
Different parts of New Jersey boast exceptional Indian restaurants, from the well-known Indian hubs of Oak Tree Road in Woodbridge and Edison to the fascinating India Square in Jersey City. These neighborhoods are thriving with Indian establishments, each competing to provide the perfect combination of traditional and modern flavors. Additionally, many other towns and cities throughout the state offer hidden Indian culinary gems worth exploring.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, tantalizing your taste buds with New Jersey’s Indian culinary scene is a must-do. Embark on a journey through marinated meats, freshly baked naan, aromatic spices, and mouthwatering curries, discovering the truly unforgettable flavors this vibrant cuisine has to offer.
Regional Indian Cuisines in New Jersey
Indian cuisine is a diverse and flavorful array of regional dishes. The vast differences in India’s cultural, religious, and geographical landscapes have given rise to distinct types of cuisine across the country. Therefore, it is essential to understand the regional aspects of Indian cuisine when talking about the best Indian restaurants in New Jersey.
North India, for instance, is renowned for its rich, flavorful, and aromatic dishes. The use of dairy products, such as ghee, yogurt, and milk, is widespread in northern Indian cuisine. Popular North Indian dishes include butter chicken, paneer tikka, and naan bread. Many New Jersey Indian restaurants, like Delhi Garden, offer a wide variety of these dishes, providing a delectable taste of the northern region’s culinary offerings.
South Indian cuisine, on the other hand, is noted for its lighter and tangier dishes. Rice is the staple in this region, giving rise to various rice-based delicacies, such as dosa, idli, and vada. Coconut and tamarind are common ingredients in Southern Indian dishes, adding a distinct flavor profile to the cuisine. South Indian food can be found in BayLeaf, a popular South Indian restaurant in New Jersey.
Another unique aspect of Indian cuisine is the blending of flavors. Indian food is often a harmonious mix of spicy, sour, and sweet elements, providing a taste experience that caters to various palates. This can be seen in restaurants like Spice Bazaar, which is known for its traditional Indian dishes prepared using a variety of Indian spices.
In conclusion, considering the regional cuisines of India is vital when searching for the best Indian restaurants in New Jersey. Both North India and South India have their unique culinary aspects that attract food lovers, each offering a glimpse into the diverse cultures and regions across India. Therefore, exploring different Indian cuisines will provide a deeper appreciation for the vastness and richness of India’s food traditions.
Popular Indian Dishes in NJ
Indian cuisine is vast and diverse, with each region having its own unique flavors and ingredients. In New Jersey, many Indian restaurants showcase some of the most beloved dishes from different regions of India. Here, we explore some popular Indian dishes that you can find in these establishments.
Paneer is a type of fresh, unaged cheese that is used in a variety of vegetarian dishes. It is known for its delicate taste and firm texture, which makes it ideal for cooking with flavorful sauces. One popular paneer dish is Paneer Tikka, where the cheese is marinated in a blend of spices and then grilled or cooked in a tandoor.
Dosa is a type of thin, crispy pancake made from fermented rice and lentil batter. It hails from South India and is typically served with a variety of chutneys and sambar, a spicy lentil soup. Dosas come in many variations, including the classic plain dosa and the Masala Dosa, which is filled with a spicy potato mixture.
The Tandoor is a traditional Indian clay oven that imparts a distinct flavor and texture to the dishes cooked in it. Some of the popular tandoor-cooked dishes include Tandoori Chicken, marinated in yogurt and spices, and Naan, a soft, chewy bread that is perfect for scooping up curries.
Tikka Masala is a well-known dish that consists of marinated, grilled meat or vegetables, typically chicken, cooked in a rich, creamy tomato-based sauce. Chicken Tikka Masala is particularly popular and can be found on the menu of most Indian restaurants in New Jersey.
Indian cuisine features a wide variety of curries ranging from mild and creamy to extremely hot and spicy. Some popular curry dishes are Korma, a mild, yogurt-based curry, and Rogan Josh, a rich, tomato-based curry with tender pieces of meat, usually lamb or goat.
Basmati rice is a long-grain, fragrant rice that is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It is the foundation of dishes like Biryani, a layered rice dish that can be made with vegetables, chicken, or other meats, and flavored with a blend of spices, herbs, and sometimes dried fruits.
Aloo Gobi is a vegetarian dish made from potatoes and cauliflower cooked in a spiced tomato-based sauce. Another popular vegetarian dish is Dal Tadka, which consists of lentils cooked with a mixture of spices and herbs, and then tempered with aromatic spices fried in oil or ghee.
Finally, street food-inspired dishes like Pav Bhaji, a spicy vegetable mash served with buttery bread rolls, and Haleem, a slow-cooked stew made from wheat, lentils, and tender meat, are also popular choices in New Jersey’s Indian restaurants. These dishes offer a taste of India’s vibrant culinary traditions and are sure to delight your taste buds.
Best Indian Restaurants in New Jersey
The diverse culinary scene in New Jersey offers an array of Indian dining establishments to satisfy any craving. Here are some of the best Indian restaurants to visit in the Garden State.
Rasoi is a popular choice in Jersey City, known for its delicious North Indian menu and welcoming ambiance. Located near the bustling India Square, this restaurant has become a must-visit destination for Indian food lovers. Enjoy the tastes of Rasoi when you’re in Jersey City.
Sapthagiri is another highly recommended Indian restaurant in Jersey City. The eatery offers an extensive selection of mouth-watering vegetarian options, making it a favorite among veggie lovers. Their delicious dishes are sure to leave you craving for seconds.
Among the plethora of Indian cuisine choices, Deccan Spice stands out for its Hyderabadi dishes. With a mix of traditional and contemporary Indian recipes, the restaurant promises an unforgettable dining experience in Jersey City.
In Edison, you’ll find numerous Indian restaurants along the famous Oak Tree Road. Oangan is a popular destination for authentic Indian cuisine, boasting a selection of regional dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Eerdalede is another gem in Edison that offers a delightful array of Indian dishes. This eatery is known for its delectable menu and exceptional service, making it an excellent choice for a memorable meal with friends and family.
Delhi Garden, located on Route 27, serves an enticing assortment of North Indian and Mughlai delicacies in a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Be it a casual dinner or a special occasion, Delhi Garden ensures a delicious culinary experience.
For those in the Bergen area, Acha offers a blend of traditional and contemporary Indian flavors. This restaurant is praised for its flavorful food, friendly staff, and comfortable ambiance. Dine at Acha for an incredible Indian meal.
In conclusion, when visiting New Jersey, your quest for Indian cuisine will be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience as you indulge in the various flavors and delicacies these top-notch restaurants have to offer.
Top Indian Restaurants in Jersey City
Jersey City is home to some exceptional Indian restaurants, with India Square and Newark Avenue being the prime locations to explore authentic Indian cuisine. Whether you are looking for North Indian, South Indian, or regional specialties, Jersey City’s Indian food scene has something for everyone.
India Square is a vibrant neighborhood in Jersey City, known for its concentration of Indian restaurants and grocery stores. Here you will find traditional Indian dishes such as Paneer Tikka and Tandoori Chicken cooked to perfection. Some of the noteworthy restaurants in this area are:
Clove Garden of India: Located on Newark Avenue, Clove Garden of India offers an extensive menu featuring authentic Indian dishes. With over 20 years in business, this popular spot takes pride in providing guests with delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere.
- Tamarind – Tribeca: Known for its outstanding and innovative Indian cuisine, Tamarind – Tribeca has received rave reviews and has become a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Expect to find unique dishes such as Paneer 3 ways and a wholesome selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
Newark Avenue is another bustling location in Jersey City, featuring a diverse mix of Indian eateries alongside other ethnic restaurants. It’s an ideal destination for those seeking a variety of Indian cuisine options. Some notable establishments include:
- Bricklane Curry House: Inspired by East London-style Indian restaurants, Bricklane Curry House provides a British spin on traditional Indian cuisine. The menu consists of several curry dishes, each with distinct flavors and spice levels to satisfy every palate.
- North Indian Tandoor: For tandoor enthusiasts, North Indian Tandoor is a must-visit. Located on Newark Avenue, this family-run establishment specializes in North Indian cuisine and offers mouth-watering tandoori chicken and paneer tikka dishes. The relaxed atmosphere makes it perfect for family dinners or casual gatherings with friends.
In conclusion, both India Square and Newark Avenue serve as gastronomic hotspots, offering a diverse range of Indian cuisine to Jersey City residents and visitors alike.
Oak Tree Road
Oak Tree Road is a well-known destination for experiencing the best Indian cuisine in New Jersey. This bustling street spans two townships, Edison and Iselin, which host a variety of Indian restaurants that cater to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. The eclectic mix of flavors and dishes available here is sure to satiate your taste buds.
Edison boasts a variety of Indian restaurants that offer an extensive range of regional dishes from different parts of India. One of the top Indian restaurants in Edison is Moghul Restaurant, located at 1655-195 Oak Tree Rd. Moghul has been rated by Zagat as one of the best Indian restaurants since its opening in 1991. They serve authentic North-Indian and Punjabi cuisine, perfect for those who want a taste of traditional fare.
Another popular dining option in Edison is Swagath which specializes in South Indian cuisine. Swagath is one of the few Oak Tree Road restaurants offering South Indian staples like dosa and idli. The restaurant’s Mysore masala dosa,
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
New Jersey offers a variety of Indian restaurants catering to vegetarian and vegan preferences. Many of these restaurants not only provide an extensive menu but also incorporate fresh vegetables and high-quality ingredients to create a delightful dining experience.
One popular vegetarian Indian restaurant in Jersey City is Sapthagiri Taste of India. This restaurant is well-known for its delicious vegetarian dishes, offering a wide range of options that suit both vegetarians and vegans. Sapthagiri’s menu is crafted to highlight the rich and diverse flavors of India, accommodating diverse dietary requirements without compromising on taste.
Another highly recommended Indian restaurant in New Jersey is Swadist Restaurant. It offers various Indian and Chinese dishes, including many vegetarian and vegan options. Swadist’s fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisine creates a unique flavor profile, making it a must-try destination for vegetarian food enthusiasts.
If you are looking for exclusively vegan Indian food, Good Karma Vegan Cafe located in Red Bank, NJ, is an excellent choice. This cafe focuses on sustainable and compassionate dining, offering an array of plant-based Indian dishes prepared with organic ingredients.
In addition to these restaurants, many Indian establishments in New Jersey offer veg-friendly options. It’s common to find an array of vegetable-based dishes, such as chana masala, aloo gobi, and malai kofta, which can be customized to meet your dietary needs.
Overall, New Jersey’s Indian culinary scene provides an abundance of vegetarian and vegan options, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the diverse flavors of this cuisine. Whether you are a long-time vegetarian, a recent convert to veganism, or simply looking to explore new tastes, these Indian restaurants in New Jersey will surely satisfy your cravings.
New Jersey is home to a diverse range of Indian restaurants, many of which boast an impressive selection of non-vegetarian dishes. These establishments cater to the needs of diners who enjoy meat and seafood, featuring ingredients such as chicken, lamb, goat, shrimp, and fish.
One stellar example is Jhopri, located in Plainsboro Township, offering diners traditional curries and tandoori dishes with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Their menu includes succulent lamb chops seasoned with herbs and spices, cooked to perfection in a traditional tandoor oven.
When it comes to seafood dishes, Masala Cafe in Jersey City has a mouthwatering lineup. They serve a delectable shrimp curry, where tender shrimp are simmered in a rich, flavorful coconut-based sauce, providing an irresistible medley of textures and tastes.
Chicken lovers can relish the offerings at Urban Tandoor, located in Harrison. They serve a variety of chicken dishes, such as traditional chicken tikka, where succulent pieces of chicken are marinated in spices before being cooked in a tandoor oven, resulting in a dish that is both tender and packed with flavor.
For those who prefer dishes with a bit more heat, goat dishes are a popular choice at many Indian cuisine establishments. Goat curry, for instance, is a slow-cooked dish that features tender chunks of goat meat combined with a palate-pleasing blend of spices, tomatoes, and onion, creating a hearty and robust flavor profile.
In conclusion, New Jersey’s Indian restaurants provide an enticing array of non-vegetarian options for diners to explore. From meat-based dishes like chicken, lamb, and goat, to seafood delicacies including shrimp and fish, there is something for every non-vegetarian palate to savor in this diverse culinary landscape.
Street Food and Snacks
In New Jersey, several Indian restaurants offer an authentic street food experience, catering to the cravings of local food enthusiasts. Known for their bold flavors and textures, Indian street food items like chaat, samosas, and chas are becoming increasingly popular among patrons.
One such restaurant is Mithaas, which serves traditional Indian street food and sweets in a quick-service setting. From savory chaat dishes to mouthwatering samosas, Mithaas offers an enticing taste of the Indian streets in the Garden State. Chaat items, like aloo tikki and pani puri, are freshly prepared, which further enhances the snacking experience.
Another hotspot for street food lovers is Swadist Restaurant. This eatery boasts authentic North Indian delicacies that are satisfying and enjoyable in equal measure. They offer a wide variety of Indian snacks such as samosas, bhel puri, and pakoras, which are ideal accompaniments to a main course or as standalone menu items for a casual dining experience.
Chas, a popular Indian yogurt-based drink, can be found at many restaurants in New Jersey as well. Known for its cooling and digestive properties, chas or buttermilk is often served as a refreshing beverage alongside spicy street food dishes. The drink can be consumed either sweet or salted, depending on individual taste preferences.
In conclusion, New Jersey is home to numerous Indian restaurants providing a delightful array of street food and snacks. These establishments offer patrons an excellent opportunity to explore the rich, spicy flavors of Indian cuisine while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of outdoor dining or takeaway.
Desserts and Sweets
New Jersey is home to several Indian restaurants that offer delectable desserts and sweets to satisfy your cravings. A popular destination for Indian sweets in the area is Mithaas, which has garnered praise for its freshness and quality in both Edison and Jersey City. Known for their wide variety of traditional treats, Mithaas is an excellent spot to sample a taste of India.
When exploring Indian desserts, one would be remiss not to try gulab jamun, a classic and beloved sweet. Made from milk dough that is deep-fried and soaked in a sugar syrup infused with cardamom, gulab jamun is a favorite amongst both locals and visitors alike. It’s often enjoyed as a dessert after a meal or during celebrations and festivals.
Cardamom is a common ingredient in Indian sweets, lending a unique and aromatic flavor to desserts. As a versatile spice, it complements the taste profiles of various traditional Indian confections. One such example is kheer, a creamy rice pudding made with milk, sugar, and an assortment of nuts and fruits. This dessert is delicately flavored with cardamom, and its rich, velvety texture leaves a lasting impression on your taste buds.
Aside from these popular choices, Indian dessert menus often include a diverse array of sweets ranging from creamy, milky treats to nutty, fruit-filled delights. Some examples are rasgulla, round syrup-soaked cheese dumplings, and jalebi, bright orange, pretzel-shaped delights soaked in sugar syrup. No matter what your preferences, you are sure to find a delectable Indian dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth in New Jersey’s dining scene.
Spices and Flavors
Indian cuisine is known for its rich and diverse range of flavors, mainly derived from the use of various spices. These spices not only enhance the taste of the dishes but also have numerous health benefits. In New Jersey, some of the best Indian restaurants pay attention to the intricate balance of spices to create the authentic taste that Indian food is loved for.
Hyderabadi cuisine, famous for its Mughlai influences, is characterized by the use of aromatic spices like cardamom, which lends a distinctive fragrance and flavor to dishes. This spice, native to South India, is also used in many other regional Indian foods and desserts. A perfect example of authentic Hyderabadi flavors can be found in Urban Spice, a highly regarded Indian restaurant in Edison, New Jersey.
Another popular spice blend in Indian cuisine is garam masala. Garam masala is a versatile blend of various spices such as black pepper, cloves, cumin, and cinnamon, typically used to season meat and vegetable dishes. Its usage adds warmth and depth to a dish, making it an essential component in a variety of Indian recipes.
Cinnamon, a spice derived from the bark of certain tree species, is widely used in Indian cuisine for its delicate fragrance and mildly sweet flavor. It is often added to savory dishes, beverages, and desserts to provide a subtle hint of sweetness and a unique aroma. Cinnamon not only complements other spices but also offers its own set of health benefits.
The magic of Indian spices and flavors can be truly appreciated when visiting the best Indian restaurants in New Jersey. From upscale establishments like Aarzu Modern Indian Bistro in Freehold to the more casual Bengal Spice in Woodland Park, each restaurant offers a unique experience of Indian cuisine featuring the delightful interplay of spices that make each dish a gastronomic masterpiece.
New Jersey is home to a diverse range of incredible Indian restaurants, offering an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to explore the richness and complexity of authentic Indian cuisine. From the bustling neighborhoods of Oak Tree Road in Woodbridge and India Square in Jersey City, there is no shortage of destinations in the Garden State to satisfy cravings for flavors inspired by regions such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and West Bengal.
In the pursuit of authentic Indian food, it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients used and the techniques applied. Many restaurants in New Jersey take pride in representing the diversity of Indian cuisine, incorporating both North Indian and South Indian dishes into their menus. Delhi Garden, for example, is known for its popular chicken tikka masala as well as traditional appetizers like paneer pakoda and vegetarian samosas.
A dining experience at one of New Jersey’s top Indian restaurants will immerse patrons in the culture and history of the subcontinent, as the intricacies and nuances of each dish are woven together by centuries of culinary evolution. From the bold, warming flavors of Moghul-inspired cuisine to the fragrant spices and curries of Mumbai and West Bengal, these establishments offer their guests a true taste of India.
Ultimately, exploring the state’s Indian food scene will not only satiate one’s palate; it will also foster an appreciation for the deep cultural roots and culinary heritage of India. Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors and unique dining locales that New Jersey has to offer, and discover the distinct regional differences that make Indian cuisine such a diverse and irresistible dining experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top Indian restaurants in Edison, NJ?
Which Indian eateries should I visit in Jersey City?
Where can I find upscale Indian cuisine in New Jersey?
Which Indian restaurants are highly rated in New Jersey?
What makes a New Jersey Indian restaurant stand out from the rest?
What sets New Jersey Indian restaurants apart from the rest is their dedication to authentic flavors and use of fresh ingredients. With a variety of regional Indian specialties available, each restaurant offers unique dishes and dining experiences. A restaurant like BayLeaf is known for its South Indian cuisine with a Chinese twist.
What American city has the best Indian food?
While it’s challenging to pinpoint which American city has the best Indian food, some cities with renowned Indian food scenes include New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. However, many would argue that New Jersey, as a state, is a major contender due to its diverse array of Indian cuisine options.