The MasalaWala
The MasalaWala

The MasalaWala

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.themasalawala.com/
  • Phone: (212) 358-9300
  • Hours of Operation:


    Lunch & Dinner:

    Daily: 12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Southeast Asian, Indian
  • Executive Chef: Chhimi Dorje
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Cafe, Delivery, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: We cater to all types of occasions and celebrations. From intimate events to large family or corporate banquets, our specialty is providing you excellent quality dishes that will impress your guests. We also provide live cooking stations at request for Large Banquets or Corporate Events
  • Entertainment: Designed by award-winning architecture firm, Method Design

    Inside Indian culture the MasalaWala is the purveyor of spices whose colored and textured stalls are ubiquitously found across every market. The design of The MasalaWala restaurant in the Lower East Side of New York City was influenced by the local traditions from which it originated.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: East Houston Street
  • Public Transit: MTA Subway:
    2 Ave. (F)
    Delancey St. (F)
    Essex St. (J, M, Z)
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: There is a paid parking lot attached to the restaurant, while there are available metered spots around the Essex/E. Houston Street area
A word from The MasalaWala
The MasalaWala is more than just a merchant of spice…it’s an embodiment of the inventive soul that loves the art of discovering perfect proportions. A meal here is a heart-warming experience that delicately balances tradition with adventure, delicious taste with a healthy mindset, and time-tested technique with modern technology. At The MasalaWala, we think traditional Indian deserves a new twist. Think hip. Think fresh. Think creative yet casual. Because that’s what South Asian street food is all about – and we believe these fun little dishes are truly the best food South Asia has to offer! But you'll also find signature Indian curries and the most popular entrees for those days that call for classic comfort. The MasalaWala is our way of bringing local flavor across the globe, and wrapping it up in a cozy neighborhood restaurant that appeals to all five senses.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerIndian
The MasalaWala reviews from OpenTable diners
24 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (14)fit for foodies (10)special occasion (5)late-night find (4)good for groups (4)romantic (3)great for lunch (2)kid-friendly (2)great for outdoor dining (1)hot spot (1)Show More
  • Great service very delicious food
    Jenn
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We were taken care of and really enjoyed everything we ate!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Indian delight!
    LadyLisa
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    What a great meal we had there. I went with my Mum and on arrival the staff were so friendly and welcoming. The owner stopped by our table a few times during the evening to chat or make sure everything was good. The food was amazing! I had the cauliflower app and my Mum had tiger shrimp. Main was lamb rogan josh and my Mum had a chicken curry slow simmered. The mains were delicious and the meat very tender. The atmosphere was casual and we had a great evening there. i would definitely go back and recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Indian Food!
    AnonymousVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    While the food that we had here was delicious, I have to point out that the best part about our experience there was the friendliness of the owner of the restaurant. While my date and I ate, the owner would come by every now and then and ask how the food was doing and would throw in a few jokes here and there to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. He was definitely the cherry on top of the evening!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • food was so so good
    nycfoodlover
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    The title here speaks for itself. We had 6 different dishes and they were all fantastic. I only wish that I didn't get so full! I would have liked to keep eating :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friendly Indian Place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We were 5 and nothing goes wrong. Friendly place. The food is awesome, delicious and generous. This is going to be my place every time i'll go to NYC for sure !!! Thnaks to the owner whoe was there to make sure everrything was ok for us. Definitly a must for pepole who love indian food !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    Alexbee
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Small place but the food is very good for a reasonable price. I loved it
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    This is delicious Indian food in the Lower East Side. It is very chill and homey feeling. The food is delicious with a great variety. Tastes very delicious and classic. Good and friendly service. Would definitely go back. Its a LES staple.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cali
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    The restaurant was very small, the waiter very efficient but the room was very noisy due to the number of people and the radio turnt ON... The food was delicious (nice mango ice for the dessert)
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • What a lovely man!
    PHouleVIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Simply delicious food. But the highlight is the owner. He was attentive, polite, funny and made us feel special. True Indian hospitality! This is a must try place...
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 15 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 31, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance3.6
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 48 reviews are from the The MasalaWala reviews archive.
  • Delicious and Pleasant
    MikeDVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    A comfortable restaurant with an appealing and attentive service and fantastic food.........would return anytime.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasure!
    Berba
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Great dining in this restaurant. Will be back for seconds
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    Jane13VIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    The Masala Wala is incredibly delicious and I really respect the chefs who prepared my meal. Outstanding. I will say that the service is spotty at times and not necessarily attentive. It's just so delicious though, that I will undeniably be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT!
    tmcshu
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    Best meal we had in NYC (we also went to Lupa, L'Ecole and Cafe Boloud). Food was good, service great and not crazy expensive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • lovely restaurant
    YPadVIP
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    The curry and the spices are really good here. Just love it. The naan is also very tasty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty Morsels
    kubert
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Everything we tried was really delicious. The sauces were so tasty and with basmati rice, just perfect. The service was attentive and accommodating. Couldn't have asked for a better dinner to enjoy with great friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Pleasant
    EaterVIP
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Interesting food. Host is gracious. Prices are fair.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food and unbelievable service
    NYCchick5VIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    The food was absolutely delicious and the owner (?) was extremely personable and attentive. He kept talking to us and checking in. We had a great laugh with him and did I mention the food was fabulous! One of the best Indian restaurants in NYC. It is a tiny place but way worth the tight quarters. A must try and return! I will be back for sure.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Authentic !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Authentic South Asian cuisine with a warm and welcoming staff!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Absolute delight
    Mjxrooksmomof3
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    We were greeted by the owner like of friends. Food was superior, service attentive and friendly. Small cozy restaurant with matybe 15 tables. Took home leftovers and devoured them the next day!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely .. just lovely
    Actor
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    The masalawal restaurant is a small but lovely restaurant. Owner and staff are friendly and helpful. On recommendation of our waiter we tried the Kolkate Gobi Manchurian as a starter and boy it was good. A 'bit' spicy but if you can handle a little bit of heat , this dish is a perfect way to start your dinner. The main course was also to our liking. So 4 thumbs up (mine & those from my wife) for the MasalaWala and his staff!c
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • That's What's Up!
    AmaryllisVIP
    Dined on 3/18/2014
    MasalaWala is a little square box, no bigger than a very modest sized living room, but still manages to have an open, airy look and feel. My adorable server claimed to be from Mumbai but his speech and manner were decidedly urban American hip hop -- apparently the dominant cultural influence at his Mumbai private school. "That's what's up" is his standard expression of pleasure or approval. I dined solo, and he kept me well engaged, which I appreciated. Add to that the extremely reasonable prices and delicious Indian fare (their Mulligatawny Soup, especially, is about as good as it gets) and you've got a very nice, casual evening out.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    HppyFlwer
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    My sisters and I came here for a girl's night out and were very pleased with everything. Our table was waiting for us, the server was adorable and very attentive. He recommended some appetizers that were perfect. We had two chicken and one lamb dish. The lamb curry was my favorite! My sister doesn't even like lamb that much, but loved this dish as well. We would have enjoyed the food even more had it been spicier. Great spot!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Restaurant
    Sean
    Dined on 1/14/2014
    I had a really nice time eating here. Wonderful food, wonderful staff. Good to take a friend to. Very relaxed and casual.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spicy
    Bryan
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Food is delicious, very generously spiced, which is going to be excellent for some (like me), and dangerous for others. They do adjust the heat by request, though, so no need to worry.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spectacular !
    boneVIP
    Dined on 12/30/2013
    I have been here a few times now and it has excellent food time and time again for both lunch and dinner. The food is well prepared, the service is excellent and the prices are very reasonable. I highly recommend the Lamb Vindaloo which has a great amount of flavor with the spice! They are able to customize each dish in case there are allergies in your party. They are able to accommodate Gluten Free and Dairy Free requests for a number of items on the menu which makes ordering so much easier!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    I wasn't wowed by the chicken tikka masala, but then again I'm a tough sell! The cauliflower appetizer dish was AMAZING. Tasted like sesame chicken you order from a Chinese place. no joke. Definitely go here--such sweet people that run this restaurant and they clearly care.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Little Neighborhood Place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/22/2013
    Great little place, would have given it 5 stars except for the fact that it was very loud the night I went. There aren't any soft surfaces to cushion the accoustics, so the sound seemed a bit harsh to me and my husband. There are outside tables, but it was chilly the night we went. It may also be because we were sitting in the corner between the window and a brick wall. All in all, great food and service. We will definitely give it another try and hope for a quieter crowd!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Owner/manager was very friendly,
    EWee
    Dined on 9/20/2013
    Owner/manager was very friendly, food was good. Intimate space.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and great service!!
    sasa
    Dined on 9/1/2013
    Great food and great service!! Would highly recommend to others seeking authentic Indian food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good
    userVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2013
    Delicious food, complimented by Mr. Masala Wala's tremendous hospitality. He gives great recommendations so I would ditch the menu and go with what he suggests. Only complaint was they were really quick with the food, which rushed us through the meal a bit.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Finally Indian on the LES
    missleonycVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2013
    The restaurant is small, but the wait staff is decent. The flavors are good, if a bit toned down. The owner came by to check on us with each course, which my b/f found annoying but I thought was charming.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Indian food in the Lower East
    NYCeaterVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2013
    Friendly service and authentic tasty Indian cuisine. Portions are ample and the food is delicious. A great find in LES.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cute Date Spot
    wineloverVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2013
    This place is very small so I wouldn't recommend it for groups larger than 4. The servers were all very nice and the owner came over to the table several times to check on us. I was a little disappointed in the lamb vindaloo. The lamb itself was a little dry and the vindaloo wasn't as spicy as it is at most other places. I'm giving it 4 stars because even when it got a little crowed and people were waiting for tables we were not rushed and the service was very good. My date had the chicken tikka massala and really enjoyed it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A bit too loud for my taste.
    nitya123
    Dined on 8/1/2013
    A bit too loud for my taste. Also, I felt the food had a bit more sugar than reqd.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved this place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 5/30/2013
    Came here with a party of 7 people and could not have had a better time. The owner is the sweetest man ever and the food was delicious. Will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quick and easy though tight
    rottyVIP
    Dined on 4/12/2013
    Quick and easy though tight seating. Had cauliflower fritters (like sweet & sour pork), chicken tikka and shrimp in spinach. Very tasty. Owner also stopped by briefly.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice ambiance. Owner and servers
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/23/2013
    Nice ambiance. Owner and servers were very hepful. Indian food was fantastic
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious Indian food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 3/8/2013
    Really lovely Indian food - quite a few "different" dishes to your standard indian fare. Very charming service. Would definitely be back when in neighbourhood.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We had a birthday party with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/5/2013
    We had a birthday party with 16 people and the food and device was great.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/2/2013
    Fantastic, fantastic experience. The MasalaWala was sublime.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate