Top 5 Indian Restaurants in San Francisco

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indian restaurants in san francisco
Dosa on Fillmore

Photo Credit: Bennett Sell-Kline

With San Francisco’s Bay Area boasting a large Indian population, the Indian restaurants here better be on their game. We’ve found five that definitely are. Whether you prefer Indian food from the north or the south, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, we think you’ll agree that these are the best Indian restaurants in San Francisco and surrounding cities.

1 Dosa

South Indian food in the Bay Area doesn't get any better than it does at Dosa, which has outposts on Valencia Street and, our fave, on Fillmore Street, where lower Pacific Heights meets the Western Addition. Dosa Fillmore delivers a hip, urban and contemporary dining experience in a beautiful, cosmopolitan environment. Dosa Valencia is a casually refined atmosphere in the vibrant cultural hub of the Mission District. Both outposts offer innovative and authentic South Indian cuisine with a spice-driven cocktail program. Run by the husband-wife team owners, Anjan and Emily Mitra, Dosa uses high-quality local, sustainable, seasonal and organic ingredients. The menu explores all regional dishes of Southern India, especially non-vegetarian options. As the name implies, there is no shortage no dosa offerings either. The cocktail program features house-made gin and tonics and small-batch and artisan liquors that are featured on the Spice Route cocktail menu. You'll also find a selection of wines on tap, in addition to a list designed for bold, ethnic flavors with a focus on bio-dynamic and global wines.
995 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 and 1700 Fillmore, San Francisco, CA 94115

2 Campton Place

Escape the hustle and bustle of Union Square in this serene, Michelin-starred restaurant where Chef Srijith Gopinathan's menu is comprised of contemporary Cal-Indian cuisine that combines French classical cooking techniques with local, seasonal ingredients and global flavors, particularly those from South Asia. Lamb and game bird dishes are cooked in an authentic tandoori oven. The restaurant’s signature six-course Spice Route tasting menu marries the best of northern California with Chef Sri’s Southern Indian heritage. There's also a nine-course degustation menu, a three-course theatre menu and a new vegetarian tasting menu. The setting is as dazzling as the food. We especially love the brocade ottomans brought tableside to hold ladies’ purses and the graceful, blown-glass sculptural chandelier that illuminates the room in a lovely glow.
340 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

3 Amber India Restaurant

What Vijay Bist, the CEO and chairman of Amber India Corporations, began as a lone restaurant in Mountain View 16 years ago has grown into several eateries, including Amber India in SoMa. Ajay Mishra oversees the kitchen, where the cuisine is a mix of modern style with traditional roots. You'll find a mix of delectable tandoor dishes such as include fig and orange chicken tikka (made with Mary's Farm white meat chicken) and salmon beetroot tikka, a range of vegetarian entree options and a varied tandoor baked bread menu. You won't want to pass up Amber’s signature butter chicken, made with shredded tandoori chicken and tomato sauce.
25 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, CA 94103


RASA, which takes its name from the Sanskrit word for “essence,’’ is the latest endeavor by longtime Bay Area restaurateur, Ajay Walia, who gave up a successful career in business and tech in Silicon Valley to devote himself to his passion for the food of his native land. His Saffron Indian Bistro, which specializes in gourmet northern Indian cuisine, has been a popular fixture in San Carlos for more than a decade. With the newly-opened RASA in downtown Burlingame, Walia, who was born in north India but has traveled throughout the south, brings southern Indian coastal cooking, highlighting specialties from the area bounded by the state of Goa up to the city of Vizag (known alternately as Vishakaputnam). Abundant seafood, plentiful vegetarian options, and the liberal use of coconut and tamarind characterize the cuisine. RASA’s menu is almost entirely gluten-free and we love that organic produce from local farms, sustainable seafood, natural/free range poultry and meat are used whenever possible.
209 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010

5 Ajanta

These mouth-watering lamb chops from the tandoor oven are one of the top items on the menu at Ajanta, opened 21 years ago by chef/owner Lachu Moorjani. Creative cuisine from all over India are served through a changing menu comprised of dishes using free range, hormone/antibiotic-free meats, sustainable seafood, organic chicken and mostly organic/seasonal vegetables. New items on the menu include crab cakes made with fresh Dungeness crab, Malabar chicken curry, gosht khada masala, a lamb dish from North India, and daal bahar, which is sure to please vegans. You'll find sophisticated Indian dining in this eatery where the motif for the decor is inspired by the Ajanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre located near Aurangabad, in the state of Maharashtra. Murals on the walls are copies of murals in the Ajanta Caves and the photos on the lighting fixtures, as well as columns, are from inside the Ajanta Caves as well.
1888 Solano Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94707
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