Taj Mahal easily straddles the line between campus hangout and neighborhood dining favorite. Its wide-open patio is a perfect warm-weather spot for hanging out with friends and enjoying cocktails and food, and the restaurant inside has the feel of a family dining room. That homey feeling carries over into the warm and personal service.
We especially enjoy the lamb and goat curries, but the beauty of the 64-item menu here is its ability to satisfy just about any desire. Save room for kheer, an Indian rice pudding with raisins and pistachios.
And traverse the cocktail menu, which includes classics and house specials like the creamy and nutty Mumtajmahal, a perfect foil for some spicy snacks.
Runners-up: Aab India, Udipi Café