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The 6 Best South Indian Restaurants in Washington DC Area

By Annie J. Kuykendall |

There is much to be loved about South Indian cuisine. From the spices, and the heat, to the unique dishes, this regional cuisine inspires some of the best South Indian restaurants in the Washington DC area. And you don’t have to miss out because this list guides you through the 6 Best South Indian Restaurants in Washington DC Area.

Best South Indian Restaurants in the Washington DC Area

It’s worth the trek to work your way around the best South Indian food in the DC metro area, tasting all the delicious flavors of South Indian cuisine. This list of the 6 Best South Indian Restaurants in the Washington DC Area helps ease your journey so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy all the traditional and innovative dishes of South Indian food.

DC Dosa

Born out of the South Indian dosa, DC Dosa creates balanced, plant-based, family dosa recipes that are nutritious and filled with comforting flavors. This is the place to find dosas inspired by South Indian cuisine but rarely found outside of India.

Website: dcdosa.com

Phone Number:  202-804-5556

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 11.30 am – 8 pm

                          Sat & Sun 10 am to 9 pm

Address: 1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC

If you didn’t already know, dosas are rice and lentil-based crepes stuffed with different fillings. DC Dosa offers signature dosas made from different lentils, filled with vegetables, and topped with chutneys. They also offer gluten-free and plant-based options. Guests love picking their own combination of fillings, vegetarian options, generous portions, and affordability. Suppose street food is your style, head over to Union Market to find the best South Indian dosa in the Washington DC area. For more street-style food options, our article on Indian street food in DC has you covered.

South Indian Food Item Recommended:

Petite Yellow Lentil

Mild and crispy yellow lentils with fresh ginger and red chilies.

Roasted vegetable Dosa

Made with crispy cauliflower, beans, cabbage, ginger, and onions.

Curry Potatoes

Creamy potatoes made with onions, habaneros, and ginger.

Sambar Soup

Traditional lentil soup with turnips, carrots, onions, and green peppers.

Vegz

Suppose you’ve got vegetarianism on the mind. Vegz is proof that vegan and vegetarian food can be incredibly delicious and satisfying. From chef specials, house favorites, and seasonal dishes, you are sure to find something to love at this South Indian vegetarian-friendly restaurant in DC.

Website: vegz.us

Phone Number: 202-621-8138

Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 11 am – 9 pm

Address: 2120, 18th Street NW BSMT, Washington D.C

Vegz is on a mission to showcase plant-based food at its best. Their South Indian cuisine is highlighted best through their delicious dosa. Known for their samosa and spicy dosa, chef Swarn Singh creates food that is traditional and reflective of his love for nature. Guests love the affordability, amazing quality of food, and resemblance of home-cooked meals. Bringing comfort and satisfaction. And if you need more veggie options, our article on vegan Indian food in DC helps you find some of the best around.

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A post shared by VEGZ (@vegzdc)

South Indian Food Item Recommended:

Gobi Dosa

Stuffed with cauliflower florets tossed in chilly garlic sauce.

Paneer Dosa

Made with grated Indian cottage cheese.

Taco Dosa

Three Mini dosa stuffed with salad, curried spinach, and aloo masala.

Spring Dosa

Made with a green salad, romaine lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.

Spice 6

Looking for more of a modern cooking style but with an authentic taste of Indian food? Spice 6 offers a relaxed, modern take on Indian food with the amazing aesthetics of the cooking process. This is one of the most innovative and best South Indian restaurants in the DC area.

Website: spice-6.com

Phone Number: 202-847-0508

Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 11 am – 10 pm

Address: 740 6th St NW, Washington, DC

This South Indian restaurant near the botanical garden in Washington, DC, offers something for everyone. At Spice 6, uttapam (a savory lentil pancake) is one of the South Indian favorites, served with sambar and chutney. Spice 6 offers more than a dozen varieties of dosas, including a special kid’s version layered with chocolate! With a lot of customers becoming regulars, they enjoy the innovative dishes, freshness, quality of the food, and filling meals. So, if you are looking for a refreshing Indian cuisine experience, Spice 6 is it!

South Indian Food Item Recommended:

Uttapam

An appetizing lentil pancake served with sambar and chutney.

Onion Chili Masala Dosa

A thin crepe made with masala, onion, and chili.

Indian style paneer

Soft cheese that is made fresh at the locations.

Lamb Curry

Lamb cooked with onions, ginger, garlic, fresh cream, spices, and fresh lime.

Karma Modern Indian

At Karma Modern Indian, you can expect to find traditional Indian cooking paired with innovative flavor profiles. This South Indian restaurant in the DC area will surprise you with different dishes while preserving the time-honored cooking style of Indian cuisine.

Website: karmamodernindian.com

Phone Number: 202 898 0393

Opening Hours: Mon – Closed

Tue – 5 pm – 9 pm

Wed & Thu – 12 pm – 3 pm & 5 pm – 9 pm

Fri & Sat 12 pm – 3 pm & 5 pm – 10 pm

Sun 5 pm – 9 pm

Address: 611 I St N.W., Washington, DC 20001

Karma Modem Indian is one of the best Indian restaurants in DC Metro and quite different from your everyday curry house. Their naans are heavenly, bread made to order and served fresh from the tandoor ovens. Their nod to South Indian cuisine is the spicy masala idli with coconut and tomato chutney. Guests love the ambiance, friendly staff, and the incredible Indian food done really well. It is no wonder that this restaurant has been recognized by the Michelin Guide’s 2021 Bib Gourmand awards.

South Indian Food Item Recommended:

Zucchini Kofta

Chickpea dumplings with pureed tomato and ginger.

Chicken Chettinad

Chicken made with peppercorn, curry leaves, and mustard seeds.

Wok Tossed Paneer

Cooked with heirloom tomatoes, green peppers, and red peppers.

Saffron Duck

Seared duck breast with saffron, fennel gravy, and broccoli rice.

Some More Options For The Best South Indian Restaurants in the Washington DC Area

Jyoti Indian Cuisine

Jyoti has made it onto our list of the best South Indian restaurants in the Washington, DC area because they specialize in home-style cooking using spices & ingredients directly imported from India. This South Indian restaurant near Days Inn DC offers non-vegetarian, vegetarian, and vegan options.

Website: jyotidc.com

Phone Number: 202 518-5892

Opening Hours: Sun – Thu 12 pm – 10 pm

Fri – Sat 12 pm – 11 pm

Address: 2433 18th Street NW, Washington DC.

Offering some of the best traditional Indian food in Washington, DC, Jyoti Indian Cuisine has been a local favorite since 1998. Whether you are out for a couple’s dinner, a family dinner, or a business lunch, Jyoti is a great spot! Diners love that food is served fresh, hot, and adjusted to your level of spice. The South Indian dishes and style of cooking are also a favorite.

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South Indian Food Item Recommended:

Chicken Makhani

Clay oven chicken, cooked in a rich tomato cream sauce with mild spices.

Vegetable Vindaloo

Seasonal fresh vegetables cooked in a fiery Goan sauce.

Lamb Rogan Josh

Lamb cooked in a curry sauce, onions, tomatoes, and mild spices.

Dal Soup

Lentil soup flavored with mild house spices.

Passage to India

Introducing the concept of regional cuisines, this restaurant showcases food from all over India with local ingredients and home-blended spices. Passage to India is one of the best Indian restaurants in DC Metro, not to be missed!

Website: passagetoindia.info

Phone Number: 301-656-3373

Opening Hours: Mon – 11.30 pm – 2.15 pm & 5 pm – 9.15 pm

                            Tue – Closed

                            Wed – Sun 11.30 pm – 2.15 pm & 5 pm – 9.15 pm

Address: 4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD

Passage to India serves traditional recipes that have been inspired through generational passing down of recipes and cooking skills. While they serve a variety of regional dishes, this restaurant also serves South Indian specialties. Diners love the serene and welcoming ambiance, the well-prepared Indian classics describing it as flavourful, expertly made, and authentic. If you are looking for more Indian food around DC, check out Indian restaurants in Washington DC near The White House.

South Indian Food Item Recommended:

Fish Vendiam Curry

Spicy, tamarind-tangy fish curry with fresh herbs.

Lamb Coco Fry

Lamb with curry leaf, roasted coconut on a bread spiral.

Baingan Mirchi Ka Salan

Baby eggplants and jalapeno simmered in sesame-peanut gravy.

Podimas Urklakelangu

Potatoes cooked with sweet onions and curry leaves.

Conclusion

  • Making the best South Indian dosa in the city, DC Dosa is your go-to place for dosa that is packed with delicious and comforting flavors. This restaurant brings a unique South Indian dish to Washington, DC.
  • If veggies are all you crave, Vegz showcases Indian plant-based food with flavors that are out of this world. The chef creates food that is still traditional yet so comforting and satisfying.
  • Spice 6 brings forward a modern take on delicious South Indian cuisine. Their uttapam is a must-try, unlike any other take on a savory-filled pancake that you have ever tried.
  • Karma Modern Indian takes Indian cuisine to another level. Pair their delicious South Indian masala with house-made bread, and your senses will be taken straight to heaven.
  • If home-style Indian food is your calling, Jyoti specializes in just that! This restaurant serves South Indian cuisine with plenty of non-vegetarian, vegetarian, and vegan options.
  • Passage to India is a restaurant that lives up to its name. Their food takes you through the different regions of India, including a specific selection of menu items dedicated to South Indian cuisine. 

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Written by

Annie J. Kuykendall

Annie J. Kuykendall

Hey there! My name is Annie J. Kuykendall and I'm a 41-year-old Scorpio with a passion for globetrotting and whipping up delicious meals. When I'm not busy being a certified world traveler and master chef, you can find me indulging in my other passions: Netflix binges and procrastinating on household chores. In my former life, I was a civil engineer, but let's be real, that was just a cover for my true calling as a wannabe stand-up comedian. So if you're in need of a good laugh or some tasty recipe inspiration, you've come to the right place.

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