Compared to metro areas known for their South Asian food (Chicago and Boston both leap to mind), it might seem, at first glance, like options are a little slim in the Twin Cities. But the truth is stranger (and happier) than that — the restaurants are there, though they’re strung across the greater metro area like an archipelago of spices, breads, meat, and fish. And not only are these restaurants numerous, they’re diverse. From South Indian dosas to rich northern curries to Sri Lankan seafood dishes, you can explore a fairly wide chunk of the subcontinent just by motoring up and down the metro’s highways — and with newly opened spots in Edina, Chanhassen, and Minneapolis, the scene gets richer by the day.
There really isn’t any geographic center to South Asian food in the Twin Cities. Most main drags have a restaurant or two, as do most suburbs. But put together, there are dozens of places dishing up rich, complex, and at times challenging food. It may take dozens (or hundreds?) of miles by car to tour it all, but there’s incredible eating to be done in the process. Here are 13 can’t-miss restaurants in the Twin Cities’ burgeoning South Asian food scene, from mainstays to new spots.