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Best Indian Restaurants in Syracuse: Affordable & Authentic

Best Indian Restaurants in Syracuse: Affordable & Authentic

There’s an unspoken universal rule of doing absolutely nothing on a Sunday. This buffer before Monday blues kicks in is like a gift from God. By defying the rule, you are not only inviting bad juju but also wasting an opportunity to feel limitless.

Since that’s established now, we need to find you a good brunch — wholesome, pocket-friendly and memorable. But, are you tired of the same old, same old? It’s time to try out a non-traditional brunch that packs in all the flavors of India around Syracuse University’s campus that will make your Sunday extraordinary — if you are an international student missing home or not.


The Royal Indian Grill

The Royal Indian Grill in Syracuse’s Marshall Street, is a like an unguarded gateway to India serving Indian cuisine everyday. Brunch in different parts of India means different things, mostly because the staple diet vastly varies based on its geography. For North Indians, “aloo paratha,” a flatbread stuffed with spicy potato mash, is a to-go breakfast/lunch dish.

Flatbread stuffed with spiced potatoes or "aloo paratha"

Flatbread stuffed with spiced potatoes or “aloo paratha”

Served with “raita,” thinly sliced vegetables in plain greek yogurt, this combination is like the smell of coffee on days when you don’t want to wake up. The Royal Indian Grill serves this dish without raita but they ever-so-kindly serve it on order, completely free of cost and with a spoon of Indian pickle on the side.

"Masala" Chai at The Royal Indian Grill

“Masala” Chai at The Royal Indian Grill

On cold, wintery days, aloo paratha with raita also goes well with tea, more famously known as “chai” in India. If you are feeling adventurous, try out their mango lassi, a yogurt-based drink that has been generating typhoons in New York City like The Masalawala in Essex Street which has 4.2 stars on Google Reviews. Apart from an à la carte menu, they also do buffets.

Buy an aloo paratha for $3.99 and chai for $1.99, your brunch could not get any more affordable or filling!


Moghul Indian Grill

For those who call themselves experimentalists, the Moghul Indian Grill is your new best friend. Structured similarly to Chipotle, you would find yourself in front of a filing booth to choose what kind of Indian food you want instead of the traditional table service at most Indian restaurants.

Rice bowl with chickpeas gravy, spinach and cottage cheese at Moghul Indian Grill

Rice bowl with chickpeas gravy, spinach and cottage cheese at Moghul Indian Grill

You could either choose a salad bowl or a rice bowl and pick four different fillings from their menu. Fillings include cottage cheese, mixed vegetables, fried chicken, chickpeas, vegetable of the day and so many more. You can either pick one or all four — I picked all four and boy, that was a meta-explosion of flavors.

For $7.55, these bowls will energize you instantly and keep you that way for a long time.

The bowl station at Moghul Indian Grill

The bowl station at Moghul Indian Grill

The only hitch I faced was their floor wasn’t as clean as that of The Royal Indian Grill. Also on the higher end of the spectrum, expect to see a lot of brunch-seeking fellows on a weekday because this place is closed on Sundays — another negative brownie point.

Surprisingly, the Moghul Indian Grill gets more rush than The Royal Indian Grill on weekdays despite the difference in prices.


Taste of India

Apart from the two infamous places to eat non-traditional brunch in and around the Syracuse University campus, there’s one located in a quaint and easy-to-miss corner of Dell Street in the Westcott area. Similar to The Royal Indian Grill in terms of the ambiance and setting, the Taste of India offers a much bigger space. It’s relaxing and plays equally hip Asian music. The “keema naan,” or flatbread stuffed with lamb on their menu, is a fabulous deal for just $4.95 and is exactly what you expect it to be.

Flatbread stuffed with spiced chicken or "keema paratha"

Flatbread stuffed with spiced chicken or “keema naan”

They don’t list brunch items under a separate category since the concept of brunch in India is not essentially related to the term itself but is generally seen in action during the weekends in almost every household.

Fried chicken or "chicken pakoras"

Fried chicken or “chicken pakora”

Taste of India’s black tea is served in a white ceramic cup which is really impressive compared to The Royal Indian Grill. For $1.50, their black tea is like a hug to the soul. If you are feeling a little hungry after the naan (which is highly unlikely), order the chicken “pakora” for $3.95 and be surprised as you eat the Indian version of chicken nuggets. The only downside is that this place is not open on Mondays, but that’s forgivable considering their fantastic array of food choices.

Black tea at the Taste of India in Westcott, Syracuse

Black tea at the Taste of India in Westcott, Syracuse

Comparing all the three, it is clear that Taste of India makes a clear cut win. With the best ambiance, great service, moderate waiting time, variety of items on the menu and a real steal-deal, this place will easily become your go-to brunch place around the University campus that will satisfy your tummy and more importantly, your wallet — making it the best Indian Restaurant in Syracuse!


And if you’re interested in trying some other nontraditional brunch options, check out our reviews of the best late night brunch and best Mexican brunch. There’s also our comprehensive list of the best restaurants in Syracuse!

Originally published on Nov. 15, 2018; updated on Nov. 19, 2018.

About The Author


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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