Your options for fast casual meals have never been more exciting — you can find low-cost, fresh, organic, delicious Mexican, American, Cambodian, Mediterranean, and Paleo eateries, among many other types of cuisine around the city. Below are our six favorite fast-casual Indian spots. Try them all! By Jessica Allen.
Bombay Sandwich Co.
48 West 27th Street
New York, NY, 10001
Everything at Bombay Sandwich Co. is made from scratch, using seasonal ingredients and Ayurvedic herbs and spices — or as the husband-and-wife owners put it, “all good stuff that when combined together, adds up to a healthy, feel-good meal that satisfies and energizes without slowing you down.” You can get sandwiches like organic tofu masala and kale-pesto grilled cheese, platters with sweet potato salad and quinoa, and brown basmati rice bowls with slow-cooked French lentils and other veggies. Check out the vegan mango lassi too, made with almond milk.
Ganesh Temple Canteen
45-57 Bowne Street
Flushing, NY 11355
Upstairs at the Ganesh Temple, the faithful worship the eponymous elephant-headed god, along with other Hindu deities. Downstairs, visitors come from far and wide to chow down at the canteen, which serves terrific South Indian specialties like dosas, vadas, idlis, and chutneys. The atmosphere is totally and utterly frill-free — all the better for the hungry to sit at long communal tables and gobble. Along with being fast, the Ganesh Temple Canteen is cheap and many dishes are gluten-free.
25 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
We’re big, big fans of the “feast” at indikitch: begin by choosing your rice, then your salad, then your dal. You also get one main—including saag paneer, pulled pork vindaloo, and mushroom kadai, and a choice of naan– may we recommend the garlic? It’s a ton of food, nicely seasoned and absolutely filling. Other meal options include a biryani rice bowl, dosas, and salads.
Kati Roll Company
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Somewhere between a burrito and a sandwich lives the kati roll: this street food began as a kebab wrapped in paratha, a type of unleavened flatbread, in Kolkata. At the rapidly expanding Kati Roll Company (four locations in NYC and counting), you can sink your teeth into such rolls as aloo masala, achari paneer, unda chicken, or beef tikka. If you’re unsure how to eat it, the website offers a handy guide.
Soho Tiffin Junction
42 East 8th Street
New York. New York 10003
Lots to get excited about at Soho Tiffin Junction, including fact that famed chef Wylie Dufresne serves as a culinary adviser. As is the case with a lot of fast casual joints, this one puts the customer in the driver’s seat: you pick your base, such as cauliflower rice — then add vegetables, proteins, and an unlimited number of toppings like coconut chutney, spinach raita, shredded cheese, and kachumbar. Add a side of baked kale chips and samosas, and that’s lunch right there.
112 Macdougal Street
New York, NY 10012
Like a lot of food-focused folks, we sometimes play “best bite.” Ours would definitely be bhel puri, a bright, beautiful chaat we sampled in a Mumbai market a few years ago. The closest we’ve come to replicating that deliciousness stateside can be found at tiny Thelewala. The street snacks on offer here mimic those in the old country and feature a unique blend of sweet, savory, crispy and crunchy. The jaal moori delights our dreams — an outstanding combination of olive oil, lime, peanuts, potatoes, and puffed rice. Get yours to go and have a seat in nearby Washington Square Park.
Jessica Allen is a New York-based writer.