I’ll admit it: I’m addicted to Indian food. Many days of my life consist exclusively of whining for chana masala and samosas. So, trust me when I say that a CTA ride and short walk is well worth it to find the most authentic Indian food in all of Chicago.
The west side of Devon Avenue, which runs through Rogers Park, is home to an amazing stretch of Indian salons, shops and–most importantly–restaurants. Recently, I nobly
begged volunteered to head down to the area and report back with my favorite spots to eat. Here are my thoughts:
Best Bakery: Sukhadia’s – 2559 W Devon Ave
A small café-bakery combo, Sukhadia’s offers a dazzling array of savory snacks and colorful sweets.You can get a nice variety of 5 or 6 pastries here for about $5. The selection ranges from Imarti, a syrup-coated circle of fried dough, to mango barfi, a bar of condensed milk, sugar and fruit. My personal favorite was the havla, a confection made of semolina or wheat flour.
Best Buffet: Viceroy of India – 2520 W Devon Ave
Word to the wise: visit this place on an empty stomach. Viceroy of India offers a limitless and delicious buffet for just $12 a person, with everything from dal makhani, a creamy lentil dish, to butter chicken marinated in yogurt and spice, to piles and piles of naan. Even if you choose to skip the flavorful mango ice cream and rice pudding that comprise the dessert options, you’re guaranteed to leave with a button or two undone.
Best Traditional Restaurant: Udapi Palace – 2543 W Devon Ave
If you’re looking for a traditional sit-down restaurant, Udapi Palace is an excellent option. The friendly waiters are happy to explain the menu options and make recommendations, and the inherent share-ability of the plates make it an affordable option for couples and large groups alike. Be sure to try the appetizer combo; it’ll give you a taste of many different dishes including samosas, fried dough stuffed with potatoes and spice and free sauces.
Remember, these are just some preliminary recommendations. There’s a whole neighborhood of excellent restaurants, supermarkets and shops to explore!