As one of the world’s most highly populated countries, India offers scores of regional cuisines. Flavored with chilies, cardamom, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, onions, turmeric and expensive yellow saffron, Indian food has nourished people for at least 5,000 years of documented history. Events such as trade, foreign rule and periodic invasions contributed to the expansion of ingredients and cooking methods. Religious beliefs and trends such as vegetarianism have also impacted Indian food traditions, which have spread around the world. Consequently Indian food has a base of aficionados who have never visited India. Charlotte has many more restaurants specializing in this cuisine, so this list is by no means comprehensive. You can explore to your heart’s content with this list as a starting point. Whether the menu is traditional or fusion derived, these restaurants offer an interesting dining journey. From upscale in presentation and price to a meal a student can afford, the range of Indian food options in Charlotte has something for everyone
14815 Ballantyne Village Way, Suite 170
Charlotte, NC 28277
Blue Taj is the younger offspring of Copper, located in Dilworth. The newer, upscale Ballantyne Village restaurant is self described on its website as “chic and modern . . . cozy and eclectic.” Fancy decor, fine wines and creative Indian fare are offered for lunch and dinner. Four dining areas add visual appeal to the dining experience. This location is appropriate for a business meeting or a special night out.
Jaipur Indian Restaurant
5909 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28217
The popular Jaipur offers a vast Indian buffet Friday night and a brunch on Saturday. The buffet represents a variety of regional Indian styles. Delivery service is available from Monday through Thursday to local hotels and workplaces. A room that accommodates 60 is available for private parties. Catering is offered for clients as far away as north Georgia.
Maharani Indian Cuisine
901 S. Kings Drive, Suite 115
Charlotte, NC 28204
Tandoori-mixed grill, naan, samosas, curries, masala and much more are available at this beautifully decorated restaurant. Vegetarian dishes are another popular menu item. Customers agree that they are given exceptionally attentive and friendly service. The Kings Drive location is convenient to Uptown and Midtown Charlotte offices and residences.
2135 Ayrsley Town Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28273
Traditional North Indian fare is the focus of the cuisine prepared at Saffron. Thai and IndoChinese options are also offered. Fresh-baked naan (bread) is prepared onsite in the tandoor (clay oven). A selection of Indian beers are also available. While the entire restaurant seats 110, customers can choose the ambiance of the Tantra room which seats eight or the Nirvana Lounge which seats 20. Saffron gets high marks for the service its servers provide.
9510 University City Blvd., Suite101
Charlotte, NC 28213
The offerings on Passage to India’s menu include North Indian, South Indian and IndoChinese cooking. Feel free to eat with your hands like the many Indian customers who crowd the modest location, a sure sign that the food is authentic and good. Located near UNC-Charlotte, students frequent this establishment for sustenance at affordable prices. A lunch buffet and a weekend brunch buffet are offered. Delivery is available.
Jacquelin Celeste Peters has produced award winning radio programs at WPFW Pacifica-Washington. She is a Culture and Events Examiner in Charlotte, North Carolina, which she calls home. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.