189 Ninth Ave., New York (Chelsea)
The theme of this Chelsea spot may be Indian street food—the menu is divided into “Street Bite” starters and “From the Roadside” entrées—but it definitely inspires more stay-and-linger dining than grab-a-bite-and-go. Not surprisingly, spice takes a front seat in most of the plates here. Cumin, coriander, chiles, and a myriad of other spices add complexity and heat to everything from the savory chicken Frankie Rolls (presented like an Indian spin on egg rolls) to the tinted rice in the mint-lamb biryani. And if your taste bud thermostat is reaching a boiling point, be sure to add in one of their cooling chutneys or take a sip of the thick, refreshing mango lassi.
Alfonso mango lassi
Spiced potato dosas
view full menu here
A mixed bag of Indian food fanatics, from those who grew up on the cuisine to more recent devotees.
... on the side
eye for design
A clean, minimalist aesthetic dominates the small-ish space, which benefits from a vibrant traditional Indian dance–themed mural and the street action through the large front windows.
Lunch: noon–3 PM daily
Dinner: Sun–Thu 5 PM–10:30 PM; Fri–Sat 5 PM–11:30 PM
$4 (naan) to $25 (lamb chops)
189 Ninth Ave. (between 21st St. and 22nd St.; subway: C, E to 23rd St., 1 to 23rd St.–Seventh Ave.), New York, NY 10011; 212-242-1900