A Local’s Guide to the Best Indian Cuisine in Miami

Discover Miami’s Best Indian Dining Experiences. There is “Naan” Better than these Top 5 Picks!
Indian Food Miami
Indian Food Miami

Born and raised in Miami with an Indian heritage, I have always had a deep love and appreciation for Indian cuisine. No other cuisine compares to the spices and stories behind these dishes. Just one mouthful triggers an explosion of flavor and an everlasting craving for more. With that, I have embarked on a journey to bring you the top 5 Indian restaurants in Miami that will cater to the taste buds of both locals and tourists alike. From authentic dishes to modern twists, each restaurant presents a unique dining experience that reflects the rich diversity of Indian cuisine. Let’s “Tikka” look at some of these culinary gems.

Bombay Darbar
Bombay DarbarPhoto courtesy Bombay Darbar

Bombay Darbar - Most Popular

Starting off strong with Bombay Darbar, a favorite amongst locals for its incredible food, refreshing cocktails, and lively ambiance. Offering an array of delectable food choices, Bombay Darbar successfully blends authentic Indian cuisine with a trendy, modern setting. The restaurant features a full-service bar and is brightened by colorful lighting, giving off the vibe of a nightclub. With a list of unique cocktails to choose from, my personal favorite would have to be the Mango Martini, a twist on the classic Mango Lassi. All three locations are cleverly placed in areas of Miami that are bustling with shopping and entertainment, making this the perfect spot to visit if you plan on spending a day out on the town.

Food & Drink Recommendations

Tandoori Chicken Wings marinated in yogurt, herbs, and spices are cooked in a tandoor clay oven.

Chana Masala consists of garbanzo beans cooked in gravy with onions, tomato, ginger, garlic, and chef’s spices.

Mango Chicken Curry features boneless chicken cooked in a delicious cashew sauce, mango purée, and spices.

Lamb Vindaloo features potatoes cooked in a vinegar spice sauce.

Pistachio Kulfi is rich and creamy pistachio ice cream made in-house with crushed pistachios. 

Pairings & Options

  • Pair with Basmati Rice, Naan, & Sauce/Chutney of your choice

  • Offer Vegan Options & Spice Levels ranging from Mild - Super Hot

Ayesha Fine Dining
Ayesha Fine DiningPhoto courtesy Ayesha Fine Dining

Ayesha Fine Dining - Most Authentic

Ayesha Fine Dining is the place to go for those seeking the most genuine Indian dining experience in Miami. Growing up, my family and I have always chosen this restaurant as our go-to spot to satisfy our craving for Indian food. Their dishes resonate with the true essence and flavors of South India elevated by renowned restaurateur and founder of Ayesha Group, Mike Hussain. While staying true to the authenticity of the region, they have also incorporated Florida’s finest seafood onto their menu. The attentive service at Ayesha Fine Dining is notable, with staff always ready to make thoughtful recommendations and answer any questions, ensuring that even first-time eaters feel right at home. With such a welcoming atmosphere, Ayesha Fine Dining has created a dining environment where every guest can explore the culinary traditions of India in a setting that feels warm and comforting.

Food & Drink Recommendations

Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer brewed in Bangalore, India

Onion Bhaji crispy fried onion fritters

Samosa Chaat with mildly spiced potatoes, green peas, pieces of samosas, and topped with Chana Masala (personal favorite)

Chicken Tikka Masala boneless chicken pieces cooked with cream, fresh tomato sauce, onions, and green peppers (to die for!)

Ayesha Mix Grill chef’s assortment of proteins cooked in the tandoor oven (great for first-time eaters)

Gulab Jamun sweet cheese ball with honey syrup and rose water

Pairings & Options

  • Pair with Basmati Rice, Naan, & Sauce/Chutney of your choice

  • Offer Vegan Options & Spice Levels ranging from Mild, Medium, Hot

Ghee Indian Kitchen
Ghee Indian KitchenPhoto courtesy Ghee Indian Kitchen

Ghee Indian Kitchen - Modern Twist

Ghee Indian Kitchen is where tradition meets innovation. Here, the menu showcases a creative take on Indian cuisine, with a focus on seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. This idea is highlighted in menu items like the Green Papaya Salad, Yellowfin Tuna Bhel, and Charred Corn & Smoked Paneer, where local harvested ingredients are the star. The result is a range of dishes that are familiar yet refreshing, offering a modern twist on classic flavors. The contemporary decor and relaxed atmosphere make it an ideal spot for a casual meal or a special occasion. The food dazzles with its Instagrammable presentation, exciting customers with visually stunning plates that are as photogenic as they are flavorful. Their unique and signature dishes are sure to intrigue your palate and leave you wanting to come back for more.

Food & Drink Recommendations

Chutney Platter assorted chutneys and pickles with crispy roti (great for trying different flavors)

Short Rib Dosa fermented rice crepe filled with short rib beef and served with a side of sambar dal and coconut chutney

Turmeric Marinate Fish marinated in turmeric, pan seared and served in a creamy coconut curry sauce with a side of steamed basmati rice

Dal Makhani a popular lentil dish made with whole urad dal, butter, cream, and spices

Ghost Pepper Cheddar Naan grated ghost pepper cheddar cheese and finished with ghee

Pairings & Options

  • Offer Vegan, Vegetarian, and Halal options

Rishtedar - Best Ambiance

Rishtedar takes the dining experience to a whole new level with its colorful decor and unique traditions. As you walk inside, you are immediately blown away by the vibrant, detailed decor that transports you straight to India. From the rich tapestries to the dramatic furnishings, with breathtaking lighting and ceiling decor, the ambiance of this restaurant is truly unmatched. Once you take your seat, you are approached by staff dressed up in traditional Indian clothing who offer ladies a Bindi, a jewel sticker worn on the center of the forehead. On special occasions, they will host “Mehndi Nights” where you can get henna art on your hands or watch Bollywood dancers perform. When you have finished eating their delicious food, a server will bring you a traditional bowl to rinse your hands after your meal. This custom emphasizes the importance of hands-on eating in Indian culture. If you are looking to immerse yourself into the world of the cuisine you are tasting, Rishtedar is definitely the place to visit.

Rishtedar Murgh Reshmi Kebab
Rishtedar Murgh Reshmi KebabPhoto courtesy Rishtedar
Rishtedar Butter Chicken
Rishtedar Butter ChickenPhoto courtesy Rishtedar

Food & Drink Recommendations

Huerto Hindu a tropical and exotic cocktail that has white rum, cucumber, mint, lime, and turmeric

Samosas triangular shaped cumin pastry stuffed with potatoes, other vegetables, and Indian spices

Pacora Mix fried onion crisps, chili, eggplant, mushrooms, and Indian cheese in chickpea batter

Chicken Korma a murghlai preparation with yogurt, onions, and nuts

Lobster Masala southern Indian flavors with coconut, spices, acidic to palate

Mathan Rogan Josh a famous Indian lamb dish marinated in onion sauce with spices and plenty of masala

Ross Rasmalali soft cheese patties in a delicately sweetened and flavored creamy milk sauce

Pairings & Options

  • Pair with Basmati Rice & Naan

  • Offer Vegetarian Options & different Spice Levels

Jaya at the Setai
Jaya at the SetaiPhoto courtesy Jaya at the Setai

Jaya at the Setai - Most Lavish

Jaya at the Setai sets the standard for opulent dining, located within a luxury hotel in Miami Beach. This culinary oasis is artfully designed as you step foot into a water-filled courtyard surrounded by dining tables and uplit palm trees. I promise you that you have never seen anything like this before and you will be both captivated and mesmerized by the set-up. As the evening falls, the atmosphere electrifies with fire performers and acrobats, all brought together by a live DJ. Although the stunning lighting shines brightest at night, Jaya at the Setai is also popular for their brunch, drawing in crowds during all hours of the day. While their menu spans across all pan-Asian cuisine, they have a significant selection of Indian dishes, allowing guests to savor these rich flavors in a high-class setting. As they are positioned on the pricier side, Jaya at the Setai caters to those seeking to enjoy a luxury dining experience that combines both impeccable cuisine with lively entertainment.

Food & Drink Recommendations

Setai Sunset Martini a cocktail with clase azul plata, ume plum liqueur, edible flower, and shimmering butterfly citrus

Thali Platter daily chef’s selection of assorted Indian samplers (a must!!)

Peking Duck half-roasted duck with steamed pancakes, scallions, cucumbers, and bean sauce

Chicken Makhani chicken thighs, tomato sauce, and fenugreek

Lamb Shank with rogan josh curry, cilantro, and basmati rice

Tropical Pavlova coconut whip, passion fruit curd, tropical fruit salad, mango passion splatter, and passion fruit sorbet

While these are my top 5 picks for Indian restaurants in Miami, there are many more establishments that offer delicious and authentic Indian meals worth exploring. If you are hesitant about trying Indian cuisine, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and give it a chance! If you are not a fan of spicy food, consider requesting your dishes mild and ordering them with a side of Raita, a cooling yogurt sauce. For those who prefer sauceless items, a Chicken Tikka could be the perfect introduction to the spices of Indian cuisine without overwhelming your tastebuds. Trying new foods allows you to expand your culinary horizons and experience new cultures! Whether you’re a longtime lover of Indian food or a newcomer eager to try something different, Miami’s Indian restaurant scene is sure to offer an unforgettable dining experience.

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