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Devon still has plenty to offer Chicago.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Where to Eat South Asian Food in Chicago

Find great options at these Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani restaurants

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Devon still has plenty to offer Chicago.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

The chefs and cooks who represent Chicago’s South Asian community have had a renaissance in recent years. Restaurants are diving into more regional fare, daring the city’s diners and critics to discuss more than a dish’s spice level.

While the suburbs have continue see growth, and with that comes more food options, the Chicago’s has more Indian restaurants than ever, and they’re located all across the city. Urban dwellers can find Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi food. A few Devon Street entries even have outdoor seating, a new development as the city’s South Asian hub continues to evolve.

Below, find Eater Chicago’s favorite South Asian restaurants.

For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may still pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Bombay Chopsticks by India House

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Oh, so you don't know about Indo-Chinese food? The subcontinent isn't all about buffets, and Indo-Chinese food is growing more popular by fusing their savory flavors. Imagine Southeast Asian stir fries complemented by South Asian spices and starches. It's worth the trip to Hoffman Estates. A second location in Naperville is open.

Sabri Nihari Restaurant

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A former Michelin Bib Gourmand winner (until 2020), Sabri has been around for nearly 25 years. They have secured a rare patio space on Devon. This Pakistani restaurant’s signature namesake beef dish is memorable, as is the chicken boti, beef samosas, and lamb chops. Order to-go online.

Glorious kebobs grilled in a kitchen by a cook. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Khan B.B.Q.

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No, you won't find meats slathered in sauce at this Pakistani spot. But it's a rare opportunity to find beef (Frontier beef) spiced the South Asian way. Don't sleep on the biryani, and mind the house rules, which are posted on the open/closed sign. Also, if you've ever wanted to try goat, this is the best place on Devon to sample the meat with several selections.

Annapurna Simply Vegetarian

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Annapurna is a quintessential Indian snack shop, and it’s vegetarian. Try the iconic Indian street food dish bhel puri (puffy rice mixed with potatoes, onions) that’s served with chutney. The textures and mix of sweet and savory make it work. The restaurant recently moved and it now offers patio seating.

Udupi Palace

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Try the Thali at Udupi, the combo platter for veggie delights. And don't forget to sample the deep-fried puffy goodness that is the poori. Make sure there's some spiced potatoes at your disposal, too.

Basant Modern Indian Restaurant

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“Pork belly achari” isn’t a dish Chicagoans will find often, but customers can find this and other modern Indian takes at Basant in North Center. The Fish Basant, a salmon cooked in coconut milk and tomato sauce, is another star at the restaurant. They also have a tandoor Cornish hen and gulab jamun cheesecake.

MOMO Factory

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In Lakeview, this modest fast-casual Nepalese restaurant is a momo paradise with the cherished item available in numerous configurations. Food is fresh and flavorful. If dumplings don’t interest, don’t sleep on the rajma.

Celebrate the colorful of (dumplings) momo

Posted by Momo factory on Monday, February 3, 2020

Mild 2 Spicy

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Everyone needs an ace in the hole Indian spot that can do a little bit of everything. Mild2Spicy in Lakeview is that spot. Customers will find a little bit of everything from crisp dosa, egg curries, to tandoori chicken. The quality and consistency are hallmarks that bring customers back.

Superkhana International

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What started out as a pop-up series in bars has blossomed into a hip restaurant that blends Indian flavors with American applications. Superkhana International isn’t a regional restaurant, but one that specializes in riffs like a butter chicken calzone and a pizza made of Indian flatbread. The dhokla is a can’t miss dish, showing a traditional side. Try the weekend brunch for a really unique meal with appam, bacon, and more.

A baked and folded naan bread pocket on a blue and white plate stuffed with orange butter chicken sauce. Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

Chiya Chai

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There's probably not a better place for chai in Chicago. Chiya Chai, which opened has been open for years in Logan Square, features a mind-blowing assortment of teas brewed perfectly. There really is something for everyone inside this cute space. And there's the Nepalese food, featuring momos, this starchy and sticky dumplings filled with lamb and other goodies, including curry chicken wings. There’s locations on the Chicago Riverwalk and the Loop.

Tandoor Char House

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Tandoor Char House has been a Lincoln Park and Lakeview classic for years, but more recently, the restaurant has challenged the traditional menu with burgers, tamarind chicken wings, and more. Folks can still find naan, and sizzling platters, but it’s the fusion dishes that stick out. They’re open for to-go, and have a River North location.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Another Nepalese spot that serves great Indian food. This is where to try a momo, a Nepalese-style dumpling that's comparable to Chinese pot stickers.

Wazwan Supper Club

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Wazwan Supper Club has found a permanent home for halal Asian-inspired street food in Wicker Park. The momos are also the best in the city, as the kitchen uses fine dining techniques. There’s also a spicy fried chicken sandwich, and even Filipino elements. The Coach House in the back is reservation only and offers Chicago’s only tasting menu for Indian food.

A bamboo steamer with dumplings. Wazwan

This River North cafe began cranking out Indian-inspired pizzas during the pandemic. They’re almost California-style and cut into squares and triangles with topping options like chicken tikka and smashed samosa. But there are traditional options including veggie momos topped with a Manchuran-style sauce and diced green peppers. There’s also a Lincoln Park location.

Bar Goa

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The owners of Rooh Chicago have opened a bar along Hubbard Street and the food is balanced with Indian-style snacks inspired by the city of Goa, located on India’s West Coast. Shredded pork and chicken makes these “poi-wiches” addictive. Check out a fun prawn and chorizo fried rice, plus all-star chicken wings in a hip setting. There’s also location at Time Out Market food hall in Fulton Market.

Fries on a plate and a flatbread sandwich.
Bar Goa has two locations.
Time Out Market Chicago

Vermilion

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Vermillion is a well known quantity outside of Chicago, as Rohini Dey opened a New York location. But the original continues to thrive with sidewalk patio on Hubbard Street in River North. The name of the game is Indo-Latin fusion, with dishes like skirt steak with mole and an eclectic cocktail selection. It’s far from traditional, but still worth a visit.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

A spinoff of a San Francisco restaurant, ROOH represents the biggest splash an Indian restaurant has made in Chicago in decades, occupying a prominent location along Randolph Street. Chef Sujan Sarkar has trained across the world and brings a precise touch to modern classics, like butter chicken, but also plays around with ingredients like jackfruit with unique results.

Bhoomi Modern Indian Grill

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Bhoomi is an ambitious project inside Urbanspace, the downtown food hall. The focus in on Indian grilled meats, all organic with playful renditions of kebobs, lamb burgers, even a spicy prawn roll that merges Maine with Mumbai. This is one of the most unique Indian spots around, and from the son of famed food writer Jiggs Kalra.

A trio of roti wraps
These aren’t normal tacos.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Art of Dosa

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Inside Revival Food Hall, a Chicago street festival favorite has found a home. This all-vegan restaurant focuses on the South Indian staple. Dosas are available traditionally and also in wrap form with vegan meat alternatives. The chutneys are fresh and pack heat, and ownership has managed to figure out the best carryout containers to ensure dosa gets delivered hot and fresh.

Dhuaan BBQ Company

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Dhuaan BBQ Company is the product of fusing Texas-style smoked meats with Indian spices. This is a pop-up that specializes in fair like Philly masala cheesesteaks, tandoori pork sliders, and mac and cheese featuring an Indian processed cheese called Amul. Most recently, Dhaan was seen at Hopewell Brewing Co. in Logan Square, but ownership also takes catering orders. Check out Instagram for their next pop-up.

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Bombay Chopsticks by India House

Oh, so you don't know about Indo-Chinese food? The subcontinent isn't all about buffets, and Indo-Chinese food is growing more popular by fusing their savory flavors. Imagine Southeast Asian stir fries complemented by South Asian spices and starches. It's worth the trip to Hoffman Estates. A second location in Naperville is open.

Sabri Nihari Restaurant

Glorious kebobs grilled in a kitchen by a cook. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

A former Michelin Bib Gourmand winner (until 2020), Sabri has been around for nearly 25 years. They have secured a rare patio space on Devon. This Pakistani restaurant’s signature namesake beef dish is memorable, as is the chicken boti, beef samosas, and lamb chops. Order to-go online.

Glorious kebobs grilled in a kitchen by a cook. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Khan B.B.Q.

No, you won't find meats slathered in sauce at this Pakistani spot. But it's a rare opportunity to find beef (Frontier beef) spiced the South Asian way. Don't sleep on the biryani, and mind the house rules, which are posted on the open/closed sign. Also, if you've ever wanted to try goat, this is the best place on Devon to sample the meat with several selections.

Annapurna Simply Vegetarian

Annapurna is a quintessential Indian snack shop, and it’s vegetarian. Try the iconic Indian street food dish bhel puri (puffy rice mixed with potatoes, onions) that’s served with chutney. The textures and mix of sweet and savory make it work. The restaurant recently moved and it now offers patio seating.

Udupi Palace

Try the Thali at Udupi, the combo platter for veggie delights. And don't forget to sample the deep-fried puffy goodness that is the poori. Make sure there's some spiced potatoes at your disposal, too.

Basant Modern Indian Restaurant

“Pork belly achari” isn’t a dish Chicagoans will find often, but customers can find this and other modern Indian takes at Basant in North Center. The Fish Basant, a salmon cooked in coconut milk and tomato sauce, is another star at the restaurant. They also have a tandoor Cornish hen and gulab jamun cheesecake.

MOMO Factory

In Lakeview, this modest fast-casual Nepalese restaurant is a momo paradise with the cherished item available in numerous configurations. Food is fresh and flavorful. If dumplings don’t interest, don’t sleep on the rajma.

Celebrate the colorful of (dumplings) momo

Posted by Momo factory on Monday, February 3, 2020

Mild 2 Spicy

Everyone needs an ace in the hole Indian spot that can do a little bit of everything. Mild2Spicy in Lakeview is that spot. Customers will find a little bit of everything from crisp dosa, egg curries, to tandoori chicken. The quality and consistency are hallmarks that bring customers back.

Superkhana International

A baked and folded naan bread pocket on a blue and white plate stuffed with orange butter chicken sauce. Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

What started out as a pop-up series in bars has blossomed into a hip restaurant that blends Indian flavors with American applications. Superkhana International isn’t a regional restaurant, but one that specializes in riffs like a butter chicken calzone and a pizza made of Indian flatbread. The dhokla is a can’t miss dish, showing a traditional side. Try the weekend brunch for a really unique meal with appam, bacon, and more.

A baked and folded naan bread pocket on a blue and white plate stuffed with orange butter chicken sauce. Nick Fochtman/Eater Chicago

Chiya Chai

There's probably not a better place for chai in Chicago. Chiya Chai, which opened has been open for years in Logan Square, features a mind-blowing assortment of teas brewed perfectly. There really is something for everyone inside this cute space. And there's the Nepalese food, featuring momos, this starchy and sticky dumplings filled with lamb and other goodies, including curry chicken wings. There’s locations on the Chicago Riverwalk and the Loop.

Tandoor Char House

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Tandoor Char House has been a Lincoln Park and Lakeview classic for years, but more recently, the restaurant has challenged the traditional menu with burgers, tamarind chicken wings, and more. Folks can still find naan, and sizzling platters, but it’s the fusion dishes that stick out. They’re open for to-go, and have a River North location.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Cumin

Another Nepalese spot that serves great Indian food. This is where to try a momo, a Nepalese-style dumpling that's comparable to Chinese pot stickers.

Wazwan Supper Club

A bamboo steamer with dumplings. Wazwan

Wazwan Supper Club has found a permanent home for halal Asian-inspired street food in Wicker Park. The momos are also the best in the city, as the kitchen uses fine dining techniques. There’s also a spicy fried chicken sandwich, and even Filipino elements. The Coach House in the back is reservation only and offers Chicago’s only tasting menu for Indian food.

A bamboo steamer with dumplings. Wazwan

Moti

This River North cafe began cranking out Indian-inspired pizzas during the pandemic. They’re almost California-style and cut into squares and triangles with topping options like chicken tikka and smashed samosa. But there are traditional options including veggie momos topped with a Manchuran-style sauce and diced green peppers. There’s also a Lincoln Park location.

Bar Goa

Fries on a plate and a flatbread sandwich.
Bar Goa has two locations.
Time Out Market Chicago

The owners of Rooh Chicago have opened a bar along Hubbard Street and the food is balanced with Indian-style snacks inspired by the city of Goa, located on India’s West Coast. Shredded pork and chicken makes these “poi-wiches” addictive. Check out a fun prawn and chorizo fried rice, plus all-star chicken wings in a hip setting. There’s also location at Time Out Market food hall in Fulton Market.

Fries on a plate and a flatbread sandwich.
Bar Goa has two locations.
Time Out Market Chicago

Related Maps

Vermilion

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Vermillion is a well known quantity outside of Chicago, as Rohini Dey opened a New York location. But the original continues to thrive with sidewalk patio on Hubbard Street in River North. The name of the game is Indo-Latin fusion, with dishes like skirt steak with mole and an eclectic cocktail selection. It’s far from traditional, but still worth a visit.

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

ROOH

A spinoff of a San Francisco restaurant, ROOH represents the biggest splash an Indian restaurant has made in Chicago in decades, occupying a prominent location along Randolph Street. Chef Sujan Sarkar has trained across the world and brings a precise touch to modern classics, like butter chicken, but also plays around with ingredients like jackfruit with unique results.

Bhoomi Modern Indian Grill

A trio of roti wraps
These aren’t normal tacos.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Bhoomi is an ambitious project inside Urbanspace, the downtown food hall. The focus in on Indian grilled meats, all organic with playful renditions of kebobs, lamb burgers, even a spicy prawn roll that merges Maine with Mumbai. This is one of the most unique Indian spots around, and from the son of famed food writer Jiggs Kalra.

A trio of roti wraps
These aren’t normal tacos.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Art of Dosa

Inside Revival Food Hall, a Chicago street festival favorite has found a home. This all-vegan restaurant focuses on the South Indian staple. Dosas are available traditionally and also in wrap form with vegan meat alternatives. The chutneys are fresh and pack heat, and ownership has managed to figure out the best carryout containers to ensure dosa gets delivered hot and fresh.

Dhuaan BBQ Company

Dhuaan BBQ Company is the product of fusing Texas-style smoked meats with Indian spices. This is a pop-up that specializes in fair like Philly masala cheesesteaks, tandoori pork sliders, and mac and cheese featuring an Indian processed cheese called Amul. Most recently, Dhaan was seen at Hopewell Brewing Co. in Logan Square, but ownership also takes catering orders. Check out Instagram for their next pop-up.

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