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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Top Eight Dining Experiences in India

India bustles with a bevy of regional cuisines and local specialties, but some restaurants simply take the cake when it comes to providing an unforgettable experience. Here, we list our ten favorite places across the country to unwind with a beyond-sumptuous meal. Grab your Amex India credit card, and get ready to sample a world of incredible flavors.

1. Beach House at Taj Holiday Village
Helmed by internationally renowned chef Urbano de Rego, this adventurous Goa restaurant combines the best of both Goan and Portuguese cuisines into a fusion unlike any other. Settle in next to the unbelievable ocean views, and enjoy signature dishes like kingfish peri-peri and clam chops with mango sauce.

The Taj Holiday Village in Goa
 The Taj Holiday Village in Goa

2. Khan Chacha
A New Delhi institution since 1968, this inexpensive lunch spot offers some of the country’s most delicious kathi rolls: char-grilled roti bread stuffed with paneer, mutton or chicken tikka. You’ll have to navigate the busting Khan Market to get here, but kathi this good is more than worth the effort.

On the streets of New Delhi, India
On the streets of New Delhi, India

3. Lila Cafe
If you’re searching for the best place to indulge in a laid-back breakfast, cozy up to Goa’s Lila Cafe. This picturesque spot is perched on the serene Baga River, and the restaurant’s thatched roof and bamboo decor are the perfect complement to its freshly baked baguettes, buttery croissants and rich egg dishes.

4. Paradise Restaurant
No place does biryani like Hyderabad, and Paradise Restaurant elevates the dish to an almost spiritual experience. Founded in 1953, this food court-style restaurant offers both a taste of the iconic meal and a bustling look at Hyderabadi life. Enjoy your meal at a communal table, and chat with the locals about the city.

5. China House
Prefer something a little more luxurious? Head to Mumbai for its uber-modern China House. Known as a hot spot for the Bollywood VIP scene, this so-chic restaurant offers sophisticated cuisine, daring cocktails and several levels of luxe decor. Visit on the right night, and you might even be able to sneak a peek at the city’s hottest DJs spinning some popular tunes.

6. Bukhara
This Delhi restaurant might be a touch too tourist-centric for some, but give it a chance; despite its touristy leanings, Bukhara offers some of the area’s most incredible tandoor-grilled kebabs. Bring your Amex India credit card, pull up a chair, and settle in for the experience.

Inside the Bukhara restaurant, Delhi 

7. Oh! Calcutta
Situated in Kolkata’s Forum Mall, this award-winning spot is one of our favorite places for traditional Bengali food. Order the mango-studded aam ilish or citrusy gandharaj bhekti, and enjoy the relaxed-yet-elegant atmosphere. Sure, you’ll find branches of Oh! Calcutta in other major Indian cities, but this restaurant is substantially more luxurious than a typical chain.

Street in Calcutta, India
Street in Calcutta, India

8. Southern Spice
No foodie trek through India is complete without a taste of traditional Tamil cuisine, and Southern Spice is the place to try it. Located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, this restaurant offers unforgettable specialties like the nandu koduku chettinadu crab dish and sambar and appam side plates. Budget a little extra time for this one; to get the full experience, you'll want to savor each dish over the span of an entire evening.