Open 7 days. $8-$14.
Apna Indian Restaurant
Flavor: Specializing in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, you’ll find the usual favorites like Saag Paneer, Bhartha and Nav Rattan Korma (an almost chocolaty mix of vegetables, cashews and cream), as well as selections such as the Kadai Ginger Chicken and Goat Curry. You can even have it delivered.
Flair: Quiet and quaint, Apna keeps the buffet up and running for lunch and dinner. For good Indian in a pinch, fill up a container with your favorite selections and take it to go.
341 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-861-6800. Open 7 days. $9-$14.
Flavor: Baba is known for its gentle blending of herbs and spices, featuring authentic cuisine from Northern India. Known for its savory “tandoori” oven dishes, exotic curries, excellent naan and various mango juice beverage.
Flair: Baba’s large room features tables topped with white cloth — a nice counterpoint to the exotic, mouthwatering dishes that sit upon them. And its no-frills atmosphere isn’t a minus — this place is about he food.
3120 Madison Road, Oakley, 513-321-1600. Open 7 days. $6-$14.
Brijmohan Indian Sweets & Restaurant
Flavor: Brijmohan features delicious vegetarian Indian fare. Try the Malai Kofta, a creamy onion and tomato sauce with mixed vegetable balls. Or homemade cheese dishes like spicy chili paneer. Or saag paneer with spinach and unique breads like Kashmiri na’an, baked with raisins and cashews.
Flair: This small, family-owned and -operated restaurant is expanding to serve more diners lunch and dinner every day but Monday. Brijmohan is the only local Indian restaurant that sells fresh sweets prepared in house.
11277 Reading Road, Sharonville, 513-769-4549. Open Tuesday–Sunday $7-10.
Cumin Eclectic Cuisine
Flavor: Executive Chef Owen Maass makes magic in the kitchen with tantalizing new creations that will make you feel like you’re in New York or Los Angeles. Try the Heirloom Corn Polenta (with mushrooms, haircot vert and vermouth fondue) or Chickpea Stew (with cumin, curry and coriander seasoning). Pair these with a selection from one of the most comprehensive wine lists in the city, cozy up in the Buddha Lounge and you can’t go wrong on a date.
Flair: The restaurant’s striking, hip space features ebonized maple floors, African anigre wood, chrome and black dining tables and stunning white banquettes. Try one of the signature cocktails like the Bollywood (orange and pomegranate juice mixed with cava sparkling wine) or the Jewel of India (vodka, cranberry juice and pomegranate liqueur).
3520 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-871-8714. Open Monday-Saturday. $8-$30.
Flavor: The newest addition to the collection of Indian restaurants on Ludlow Avenue is a strong contender. Taking the focus off of the spice and showcasing the flavor of the fresh, quality ingredients is Dusmesh’s method. The lunch buffet is a good way to sample the offerings, but it doesn’t compare to one of the hot fresh dishes off the menu.
Flair: A clean space with lots of windows, glass-top tables and warm orange walls. The friendly staff gives them an edge over the competition. Yes, it’s another Indian restaurant in Clifton, but trust us, it’s one you’ll want to try.
3944 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-221-8900. Open Monday-Sunday. $8.49-$14.99.
Flavor: Owned by the same family that runs Ambar (among other local spots), Kanak is yet another solid entry in Cincinnati’s diverse Indian cuisine sweepstakes. Not surprisingly, it’s a lot like Ambar. Laced with traditional Indian menu items, it’s definitely the place to stop in to for a hearty meal in Montgomery.
Flair: Like the family’s other eateries, Kanak offers a quintessential lunch buffet marked by hearty, exotic choices.
10040B Montgomery Road, Montgomery, 513-793-6800. Open 7 days. $5.99-$16.99.
Flavor: Our mouth waters just thinking about Krish’s Indian cuisine. The special lamb biryani, saag paneer and the samosas are works of wonder. It’s delicious but no-frills, served in a carryout box.
Flair: Basic, tight quarters are provided, as three small booths sit opposite the cooking and cashier line. Taken to go or eaten in, it’s a fine thing to be overpowered by Krishna’s steamy, curried haze.
313 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, 513-961-2878. Open 7 days. $7-$10.
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