Where We’re Eating Right Now: Takeout and Delivery Indian in Philly

Looking for a place to get takeout or delivery Indian during the pandemic? We've got a few suggestions.

Dinner at Amma’s | Photo by Will Figg

Things are weird right now. We get that. But since no one can be expected to cook every meal at home during this emergency, we’ve got a list here that might help you out. If you’re looking for an Indian restaurant that does delivery or takeout, that offers a product that travels well and is, of course, delicious, we’ve got some suggestions. Because these are the Indian takeout and delivery options that we’re living on right now, so maybe you can, too.


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Amma’s South Indian Cuisine, Center City
There are certain restaurants which, if this shut-down kills them, I’ll mourn for years. Amma’s is one of those — a relative newcomer to the scene doing truly excellent South Indian food with an electric jolt of spice that can light you up like neon for an hour after you eat it. There are two locations, but right now, only the Center City location is up and running (the New Jersey original has gone dark), doing take-out and delivery (free if your order is over $30) from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. There’s a “Couples Combo” deal with a huge amount of food (chicken and lamb biryani, some korma, some chukka, two kinds of parotta and dessert) for under $20. The whole menu is otherwise available, including the kitchen’s fantastic chettinads, the chicken 65, all the idli and bondas. Available for takeout and delivery


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Halal Kabab and Curry, Upper Darby
One of those places that people in the neighborhood swear by — a place that pivoted fast to delivery-only as soon as everyone was forced to start staying home and which has been surviving that way ever since. The menu is heavy on vegetarian options and comfort food — long lists of biryanis and curries, a dozen tandoori options (including reshmi kababs, which you don’t see just anywhere), and lassi, too. Stick with naan, parathi and kulcha over roti, paneer pakora and samosa because of delivery times, but otherwise go nuts. I honestly don’t think there’s a thing on this menu that’s over $15 and most of it comes in closer to the ten dollar mark. Order heavy and snack on the leftovers for days. Available on Grub Hub


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Makhani, Old City
I don’t know if its the quarantine, the constant, low-grade panic or the fact that there’s pretty much no circumstance in life that doesn’t make me want cheese, but the awesome variety of paneer dishes available here is making me wish I lived inside Makhani’s delivery area. Seriously, what would be better right now than some warm paneer korma in Makhani’s creamy cashew sauce? Or some creamy palak paneer with its sweet spinach and blunt kick of spice? If non-cheese-based Indian foods are your jam, then sure, you could get the mango chicken (a house specialty), the goat curry or something from the tandoor. But cheese is the way we’re all gonna get through this in one piece. Cheese, whiskey and voting blue. That’s how we make it to the other side. And Makhani can help. Available on Caviar


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Kabobeesh, West Philly
You want a nice Indo-Pakistani breakfast delivered to your door? Kabobeesh is there for you. And if you’re looking for a place to score a paneer pizza, a chicken kabab roll, some masala fries and a cheesesteak? Well, Kabobeesh is just about the only place in Philly that can hook you up. Available on Grub Hub

best indian restaurant philadelphia

Veda | Facebook

Veda Modern Indian Bistro, Rittenhouse
Veda has always been an excellent choice for Center City Indian — a glossy, sleek, white-tablecloth operation with smooth service and a decidedly modern feel. But how does a place that has largely traded on looks and presentation differentiate itself in a situation where “curbside” and “contactless” are the daily watchwords? By trusting in the kitchen and the menu, and their ability to deliver at least a piece of the Veda experience via to-go styros. Veda is running on a two-tier system now: At lunch, there are thali platters (currently going for 25% off with the code SAVE25), which are a mix-and-match adventure with entrees like lamb roganjosh, tandoori chicken or Goan shrimp curry bulked out by pindi chana, dal makhani, really excellent naan and mango lassi for dessert. You can put in an order at 10:30 in the morning and the restaurant will call you (some time after 11:30) when your order is ready for pick-up. At dinner, they’re doing pickup and delivery and the menu is both sizable and in keeping with Veda’s modern Indian inspirations. You can get palak paneer, chicken korma or vindaloo, sure, but dishes like Calcutta-style pork ribs, Goan crab cakes and blazing hot crispy spinach chaat round things out nicely. Available on Toast


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Ekta, Multiple Locations
Ekta has been Philly’s go-to Indian destination for years. As a matter of fact, it has been three of Philly’s go-to’s, with locations in Fishtown, UCity and Bryn Mawr. And considering that these locations have always balanced the chaos of concurrent delivery, take-out and dine-in operations, they’ve handled the changeover to delivery-only with relative ease. The menu is huge, the choices almost overwhelming, but I’ve always been a fan of the lamb saagwala when I’m looking for solid comfort and the mirch tikka when I feel like some heat and spice (or want to burn out a head cold). Also, if you’ve gotten your dole money from the feds and are looking to throw a little into the restaurant economy, go for the shrimp curry. It’s one of the pricier things on the menu, but it’s also really good. Available on Grub Hub