Buffalo may be known for Chicken Wings but they are far from the height of our culinary awesomeness! Our area is full of little treasure troves of food stuffs. From Thai & Japanese Cuisine at Teton Kitchen in Depew, NY to Awesome BBQ at BW’s in Blasdell, NY, you can find something special for each night of the week. One of my favorite specialties is Indian food, and there are a few must visit gems in Buffalo that offer some of the spiciest Indian food in WNY. Indian chefs are known for the spiciness of their food, so it is only natural that we find out who is really packing the fire. I must state, however, that Indian food is full of flavor and is a delight even without the heat, so if you aren’t ready to test your limits, you can always go mild.
Kabab and Curry
8445 Main Street / Williamsville / Northtowns | (716) 565-3822
Kabab and Curry is a southwest Asian restaurant focusing on Indian and Pakistani food. One of the first things you’ll realize upon your visit to the restaurant is the amazing service. From the time you walk in to the time you are seated, the staff makes you feel like a welcomed guest. They can discuss the menu with ease and will even offer to serve the heat on the side, so you can ease yourself into it, of course. The atmosphere provides for a fine dining experience and the food complements that feeling. If you are looking for dishes full of flavor and spice, look no further than Kabab and Curry. The flavorful food and experience provided easily call for the number one spot on this list. Take a look at the menu yourself. (My mouth is salivating as we speak! It’s that good.)
From the drink menu check out the Masala Chai tea, Saffron and Lassis. If you’re going to test the heat, get some Dahi from the list of sides, you may need it. My favorites on the Appetizer menu are the Samosas, Aloo Kababs and Pakooras. The Mulligatawny soup is pretty good, as well. All the Naan bread is awesome, but a must try are the Garlic and Paneer Naans. Any of the curry dishes are recommended, but a few of the must have entrees include the Chicken Mahkani, Chicken or Lamb Tikka Masala and the Karahi. If you’re interested in something from the Vegetarian menu, the Malai Kofta is delicious.
1116 Elmwood Ave / Elmwood Village / Downtown | (716) 886-4000
India gate is located pretty close to Buffalo State College. The prices are comfortable and they offer free entertainment. The service here is just as awesome as Kabab and Curry and the food is a contender for that first spot on this list. India Gate makes sure the spice is kept to a level you can handle, and aside from Kabab and Curry, there is no equal in Buffalo when it comes to the heat. I suggest ordering a King Fisher Lager, Alu Mater Samosa for an appetizer, some Onion Kulcha and for an entrée (seriously, anything at this place will leave you wanting more) try the Chicken Curry, Chicken Tikka Masala or Lamb Vindaloo. As for the entertainment, please keep an eye out for Naryan Padmanabha. Watching him play live is a true treat! The music and food here really brings out the world of Northern India and puts it right into the heart of Buffalo. You can follow Naryan Padmanabha on Facebook and check out the full menu via the India Gate website.
The Taste of India
3192 Sheridan Dr / Amherst / Northtowns | (716) 837-0460
Boasting a 20+ year operating history, the Taste of India looks to impress every customer. The food and friendly, attentive staff show exactly why this restaurant has enjoyed the longevity that it has. The dining room is quaint and set up for a quick bite to eat or a dinner out with the kids, but it is truly the food that keeps the customers coming back. I have yet to have a dish here that didn’t meet my expectations. Keeping it simple, they offer a choice of mild, medium, spicy or hot and the spice blends hit these levels with perfection. There are a few specific things I would not miss trying here. For appetizers, it is a safe bet that the gobi Manchoorian, Bhajia, Chilli Pakora or Lamb Samosa will get you started off right. I would also try the Saag Naan or Tandoori Roti for your choice of bread. The Seekh Kabab from the clay oven is delightful and the Lamb Curry is perfectly balanced. They also have one of the best Chicken Malai dishes that I have had to this day. The Badam Kesaria is pretty good too and the Strawberry Lassi is YUM! Find their full menu here.
The Jewel of India
1264 Hertel Ave / Hertel / North Buffalo | (716)877-1264
The first time I went to the Jewel, I was with my wife and three children. It was the first time the kids had ever eaten Indian food outside of what I cook at home. Plainly put, they loved it. My biggest excitement about this trip was how my eldest daughter would handle the spice. You have to understand one thing about my daughter, she is crazy about the spicy food (no joke, this girl drinks hot sauce from the bottle) and she didn’t think that they could challenge her taste buds. So, I bet her to get the hottest level they had. Of course she loved it, but even she had to sip on her mango milkshake a few times. So I’d have to say, because the heat master herself took the taste test, I think the Jewel passes with flying colors and is in the running for the spiciest Indian in town. What’s recommended? Well the kids loved the mango milkshakes. My younger kids liked the Alu Paneer Naan and Makhani sauce with rice. The curry is some of the best in Buffalo and the Tandoori Chicken was phenomenal. I would also try the Jeera Alu; it undoubtedly has the yum factor you look for in Indian food. Check the full menu out on their website.
The Taj Grill
2290 Delaware Ave / North Delaware / North Buffalo | (716) 875-1000
The Taj Grill is relativity new so I have yet to explore the full breadth of the menu, but I can tell you that their lunch menu is top notch. The restaurant is crisp, clean and bright, which makes for an inviting atmosphere for the buffet style lunch. What I have tried and can recommend for sure, is the Chicken Curry, Saag Paneer, Chicken Tikka, Lamb Curry and Beef Vindaloo. I suggest you ask beforehand, but if the buffet doesn’t have the spice you need ask them to help add a kick to your current plate. Take some time to look over their menu and see what else they have.
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