Nirvana: Indian; Allendale; 29 W Allendale Av; 25/18/$36; 201-818-2300; www.nirvanaindiankitchen.com/; Great new-ish place that is receiving rave reviews; Lunchtime buffet; BYO; About 15 different appetizers and Chaat; Wonderful tandoor selections; Butter Chicken; Chicken Tikka Masala; Chicken Makhani; Rogan Josh; Lamb Saag; Lamb Phaal; many vegetarian & vegan dishes. Several kinds of Naan available. It is a must try for Indian lovers. Staff very friendly as well.
Hunkar Restaurant: Turkish; Carlstadt; 319 Hackensack St; 24/20/$29; 201-507-0606; www.hunkarrestaurant.com; Has BYO; the full package of cool décor, attentive service and authentic cuisine cooked to perfection; Back patio with Manhattan views; Home cooked meals; Get the mixed grill, I demand it! Shepherds salad is spot on; Tons to pick from on extensive menu; Order lots to share. Alternative to eating Greek. Lamb shank.
Dayi’nin Yeri: Turkish; Cliffside Park; 333 Palisade Av; 25/17/$31; 201-840-1770; Amazing Turkish BYO; Kababs other worldly; Lamb Chops are succulent; Pita bread baked fresh daily; Best Kunefe in Jersey; All the local Turkish people rave about the authenticity; I suggest getting the large mixed appetizer and then a combo Kebab for main course (to share of course). Have many Turkish pizzas as well. http://dayininyerinj.com/turkish_food/Dayininyeri.html
*Samdan: Turkish; Cresskill; 178 Piermont Rd @ Union Av; 23/17/$45; 201-816-7343; www.samdanrestaurant.com; The grilled seafood and meats stand out; Kebab heaven; Dining room somewhat plain and formal- certainly a mature setting; Very traditional dishes; One of the few Turkish restaurants in county. Interesting wine list; Limited seafood options; Easy-to-share portions; Fairly priced main courses. If you love lamb, prepare! Website has pictures of all the dishes. Meat lover’s dream.
*Kinara: Indian; Edgewater; 880 River Rd; 22/17/$41; 201-313-0555; Excellent prepared dishes – better than the buffet; Dumpy outside but somewhat stylish interior; BYO a plus; Very authentic, not overly spicy- ask for hotter if you like that; Huge a la carte menu; Affordable pricing; Pretty much offer anything you can think of. Safe bet for reliable Indian fare. Chicken Makhani; Buffet is $10 and daily. https://www.yelp.com/biz/kinara-edgewater
Namaste: Nepalese; Edgewater; 1086 River Rd; 25/18/$34; 201-224-8777; Exotic flavorings in this Indian influenced Nepalese restaurant; Chicken Makhani, Tikka Masala and Lamb Korma; Tons of appetizers under $8; Try the Himalayan Soup; 20 or so vegetarian entrees; Has my Goat Curry; “Momo” their take on Dumplings; The Naan is wonderful; Very affordable. Try something new. www.yelp.com/biz/namaste-edgewater
Cinar Turkish: Turkish; Emerson; 214 Kinderkamack; 25/17/$33; 201-523-9284; www.cinaremerson.com/; Incredibly popular mini-chain with loyal fans; Try the Turkish Dumplings, Warm Hummus, Lamb Adana with Salad; Large selection of dinner salads; Short Rib flatbread Pizza, Grilled Octopus, Cinar Borek – puff pastry with cheese and leeks; Lamb Shank, Whole Grilled Bronzino. Looks amazing. Owner super friendly. Full bar.
Art of Spice: Indian; Hackensack; 159 Main St; 24/19/$32; 201-342-3444; www.art-of-spice.com/; Rave reviews for this welcoming Indian place near Riverside Mall; Lunch buffet is $11 weekdays and $13 on weekends – giving it away! All entrees include Basmati rice; Try the Goat Rogan Josh; They have all the classics such as Chicken Makhani and Tikka Masala; Over a dozen vegetarian options in both apps and main courses; Many tandoori specials, soups and a variety of Naans.
Karma Kafe: Indian; Hoboken; 505 Washington @ 5th-6th St; 23/19/$28; 201-610-0900; www.karmakafe.com; One of the best Indian restaurants in Jersey; $9.99 all you can eat lunch buffet; Have a Taj beer and Tiki Masala; Very tasty, well spiced cuisine; Seats 50; Great value. Large menu; Exotic flavors – they do a lot with the space they have. Very popular. Ample portions. Outdoor seating. Creative, endless menu – love it.
Sapphire Divine: Indian; Mahwah; 164 Franklin Turnpike; 24/17/$35; 201-252-2789; www.sapphiremahwah.com; Great dishes on the menu, Tikka, Vindaloo, Biryani, etc. Daily lunch buffet $11-$13; 25 different appetizers; Huge tandoori options; Chicken Makhani and my favorite – Goat Curry; Lamb Rogan Josh; Just a great menu – if not predictable. Even 12 kinds of Naan/ Bread. BYO.
Kamal Palace: Indian; North Arlington; 623 Ridge Rd; 24/18/$33; 201-991-8282; http://kamalpalacenj.com/; Hidden gem for sure; Dirt cheap weekend buffet for lunch is under $12; Tandoori chicken perfectly done; Huge menu that offers anyone something great for dinner; Mulligatawny Soup is yum; Dozen different Naans; I think this is the biggest Indian menu I’ve ever seen; Chicken Makhani; 3 different Goat curries; 100+ entrees.
*Mantra: Indian; Paramus; 275 Rt 4 W @ Forest; 24/24/$42; 201-342-8868; www.mantranj.com; High end Indian; Stylish lounge feel; Chic, romantic setting; While expensive for the genre- the exotic selections are sure to please; Great bar scene; Not the usual endless Indian menu- more ‘Table’ like (hotspot in Manhattan). The Rogan Josh and Chicken Mahkani are tops; Incredible $14 lunch buffet on weekends…. A steal. Top service.
Kailash: Indian; Ridgewood; 22 Oak St; 23/17/$36; 201-251-9693; www.kailashindiancuisine.com; Known for excellent Naan and Chicken Tikki Masala; BYO; Lunch buffet available; Perhaps they are the reason Brick Lane Curry House closed! Not yet been here but on the list to try. Fans of spicy food rave. Calming vibe. Good service. Garlic Naan to die for. Great reviews. Best suited for lunch or weekday dinner. Casual setting.
Lisa’s Mediterranean Kitchen: Turkish; Ridgewood; 28 Oak St; 21/20/$37; 201-251-8686; Belly dancing on Thursdays bring energy to this friendly, high quality Turkish restaurant; Mixed Grill is excellent; BYO; Authentic cooking and ingredients. Extremely friendly service; Great effort made here. Massive menu with tons of seafood, kebabs etc. Order 4-5 appetizers instead! Mixed Appetizer plate, Homemade Manti (dumplings) are way to go. Whole Bronzino;
Beyti Kebab: Turkish; Union City; 4105 Park Av; 22/14/$27; 201-936-0640; http://www.beytikebabunioncity.com/ Extremely good Turkish restaurant; Great(ish) for dates or family; Baklava is epic; Very authentic cuisine; Kebabs solid- be prepared to eat lamb or chicken; BYO; Hummus and baba ghanoush outstanding. Belly dancers on Saturdays except Summer. Good bang for the buck. Endless menu. Lentil soup is great.
Downtown Dhaba: Indian; Westwood; 31 Westwood Av; 23/19/$43; 201-664-0123; www.dhabadowntown.com/; Finally an Indian option in Westwood; Lunch & Dinner daily; BYO; Buffet on weekends; High quality food but mixed service so far; Opened mid 2017; Chef’s signature is the Butter chicken; Try the Lamb Bhuna Gosht or Rogan Josh. Lots of Naan to choose from. Delicious Indian.