Spice up your next meal at must-try Indian restaurants in Greater Houston

The view inside the Bake Lab at Pondicheri in Upper Kirby | Courtesy of Pondicheri

Savor the rich spices and flavors of dishes on display at our picks for Indian, Pakistani, and fusion restaurants across Greater Houston.

From traditional thali platters to wildly inventive twists on familiar Indian fare, Houston is home to a wide array of takes on the subcontinent’s region with dishes that are as diverse as the cultures that inspire them.

The city is packed with places that offer vegan specialties, fusion offerings, beloved classics, happy hour specials and more that draw from the various regions of India and Pakistan to create unique Houston dining experiences.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered seven of Greater Houston’s must-try foodie destinations for those in search of Indian and Indian-inspired fare.

7 Must-Try Indian Restaurants in Greater Houston

Da Gama in the Heights

Hit up the Portuguese-Indian dishes of Da Gama at M-K-T in the Heights | Courtesy of Da Gama

From Chefs Rick and Shiva Di Virgillo comes this café-by-day, cocktail-bar-by-night infused with Euro-Indian dishes in the vibrant one-stop shop and dining destination, M-K-T in the Heights.

The canteen-style eatery serves up fusion plates to the covered patio seating and light-filled dining room, offering lunch menus with vegetarian options like beet kebab burgers and traditional curries, an expanded seasonal dinner menu, and a walk-up café window that dishes out breakfast tacos, pizza, cocktails, coffee and chai drinks.

Not to be overlooked is the social hour on weekdays from 4pm to 6pm where you can enjoy a full bar, a robust wine list and colorful craft cocktails.

Lunch is available 11am to 2pm Monday to Saturday; Dinner from 4pm to 9:30pm Monday to Thursday, until 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday; Café window open from 9am to 2:30pm Monday to Saturday. Closed Sunday.

Govinda’s Vegetarian Cuisine in the Heights

Dine on vegan and vegetarian classics at this Indian buffet in Oak Forest | Courtesy of Govinda’s Vegetarian Cuisine

Since 2016, the husband-and-wife team of Chefs Joynitai and Jamuna Dasadhikari have helmed this casual Indian-inspired eatery on 34th Street in Oak Forest, joined with the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple next door.

The budget-friendly buffet serves up vegetarian and vegan dishes every day of the week—going all-vegan on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Swing through the friendly atmosphere that packs a roomy dining space to enjoy a rotating selection of Indian classics like chana masala, malai kofta, paneer tikka masala, vegetable pakoras and samosas, and much more.

Lunch is available 11am to 2:30pm daily; dinner from 5pm to 9pm daily.

Pondicheri in Upper Kirby

Vindaloo Ribs, just one of the specials that pop up at Pondicheri in Upper Kirby | Courtesy of Pondicheri

Chef and co-owner Anita Jaisinghani draws inspiration for her dishes from across the subcontinent, reinventing classics into non-traditional dishes that pull ideas, spices and tastes from Mumbai, Punjab, Kerala, Goa, Sindh and other regions.

Savor the high-quality ingredients found in nearly a dozen different curry offerings with local fish, lamb, and paneer; take to salads and sandwiches; or, order up a thali platter, the Indian staple that features an array of soups, curries, veggies and bread.

And if you’re in need of something sweet, the on-site Bake Lab crafts beautiful cakes and desserts, pastries and other café offerings alongside flavorful juices, teas and beverages.

Open 9am to 9pm Sunday to Thursday; until 10pm Friday and Saturday. Counter service is available from 9am to 5pm; table service afterward until close.

Narin’s Bombay Brasserie near Galleria

Savor the Indian lamb chop at Narin’s Bombay Brasserie in the Galleria area | Courtesy of Bombay Brasserie

A trip to the bustling weekday buffet or picking a la carte for dinner will show you why Narin’s Bombay Brasserie is one of the best Indian restaurants just mere blocks from the Galleria.

The Brasserie’s menu features all the familiar classics Indian food lovers will recognize, with both vegetarian and meat dishes to choose from—but they are quick to point out the lamb seekh kabobs, chicken sashlik and lamb chops are great places to start if you need direction.

And don’t forget to cap your meal off with a selection from the desserts menu or a nightcap from the full bar.

Lunch is available 11am to 2:30pm on weekdays, until 3pm on Saturday and Sunday; Dinner available 5:30pm to 10pm daily.

Himalaya Restaurant on Hillcroft

Stop by Hillcroft for Anthony Bourdain–approved dishes at Himalaya | Courtesy of Himalaya Restaurant

Between hosting popular faces like the late Anthony Bourdain and notching a 2019 James Beard nomination for Chef Kaiser Lashkari, it’s easy to see why Himalaya is one of the go-to Indian destinations for locals and tourists alike.

The acclaimed Indo-Pak restaurant offers very laid back vibes (expect to spend some time with friends and food here), a BYOB option, and a robust menu of traditional classics, vegan dishes, and Bourdain-approved plates.

If you’re in need of a starting point on the menu, swing by for the rotating lunch platter (Tuesday to Friday from 11:30am to 2:30pm), which offers succulent meats in curries, tandoori naan, a veg and fresh basmati rice (vegetarian option available).

Open for dine-in 11:30am to 9:30pm Tuesday to Thursday; until 10pm Friday to Sunday. Closed Monday.

Maharaja Bhog in Sharpstown

Try a satisfying thali experience with all-you-can-eat offerings at Maharaja Bhog | Courtesy of Maharaja Bhog

The only stateside location of this vegetarian thali eatery (other spots include two in India and a Dubai outpost), Maharaja Bhog offers an all-you-can-eat experience of Rajasthani and Gujarati–style dishes that arrive on bronze platters to your table.

With around a dozen different offerings on the thali platter, you can certainly get your fill on sumptuous vegetarian fare like steamed rice, vegetable curries, lentil dishes, soups, stews, appetizers, desserts and more, with servers available to refill any of your bottomed-out plates.

It’s an experience intended to pamper visitors, and after getting into unlimited quantities of the delicious offerings, it’s hard not to feel satisfied on your way out.

Lunch available 11:30am to 2:30pm on weekdays, until 3pm on weekends; Dinner available 6pm to 9:30pm Monday to Thursday; until 10pm Friday to Sunday. Closed Tuesday.

Aga’s Restaurant in Southwest Houston

Fill up on the classics at a classic Houston Indo-Pak restaurant | Courtesy of Aga’s Restaurant

For two decades, this Indo-Pakistan eatery has garnered the good will of faithful patrons thanks to its wonderfully spiced dishes and traditional offerings available in the spacious—and often packed—dining room.

Feel free to explore classic curries, biryanis and grilled plates on offer, but be sure not to miss fare like the grilled goat chops or chicken lollipops that are deep fried and marinated in a house blend of Indian spices with chili sauce.

Aga’s menu is 100% halal, and there’s plenty of vegetarian options available alongside a sweet tooth–satisfying desserts menu and refreshing drink offerings.

Open 11am to 10:15pm Sunday to Thursday; until 10:45pm on Friday and Saturday.

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A longtime Houstonian, Justin Jerkins keeps an eye out for all sorts of happenings in H-Town, including breweries, sports, concerts, must-see destinations and much more while serving as Editor-in-Chief of 365 Things to Do in Houston.