Indian Restaurants: The 2009 Philly Mag 50

Center City | Indian | Entrée: $18—$24
Ranking: 11 • Last Year’s Ranking: New to the List
When chef Marcie Turney and partner Valerie Safran opened their chic no-reservations bistro a year ago, they weren’t trying to reproduce Tiffin or Café Spice or any type of buffet. For their fourth business on the block, the pair planned a 54-seat Indian bistro in the same vein (charming, nouveau, authentic) as Mexican BYOB Lolita, gourmet market Grocery, and shelter boutique Open House. They’ve succeeded. Bindi is indeed charming, with modern pearlescent chandeliers. It’s also nouveau: Green cardamom, lime juice and mango puree make up the rum mixer. And it’s authentic, transforming traditional spice blends, street food and classic vindaloo, curry, masala, paneer and roti into fare that’s refined yet comforting, exotic yet accessible—and easily some of the best Indian in town. Order: Bengali-spiced roast duck pani puri. 105 South 13th Street, 215-922-6061. See User Reviews, Hours, & Other DetailsSee Menu

Northern Liberties | Indian | Entrées: Less than $12
Ranking: 50 • Last Year’s Ranking: 30
Tiffin Last Year’s Ranking: 30 ) Without Tiffin, this city might not be enjoying its current love affair with all things Indian. What started as a little delivery business back in 2007 is now a full-blown phenomenon with two locations, a legion of devoted fans, and a crop of Tiffin wannabes nipping at its heels. As the business has grown, so has our devotion to it, especially now that the Girard Avenue location offers a spacious, comfortable upstairs dining room for eating in. And after all those visits, we still can’t get enough ­garlic-studded naan, yogurt-y chaat, lamb kebabs, samosas and vindaloos. Order: Malai kofta. 710 West Girard Avenue, 215-922-1297. See User Reviews, Hours, & Other Details

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