Ajanta Restaurant

4.3
996 reviews
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$30 and under
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Indian
Ajanta features regional dishes from all over India, offered through a menu that changes every month. We feature organic chicken and vegetables. When possible, we use local and sustainable products. All seafood is sustainable, obtained from Monterey Fish Market. All meats are hormone- and antibiotic-free.

Ajanta has been voted best Indian restaurant in the entire San Francisco Bay Area by Zagat Guide from 2009-2014. We were also voted best Indian restaurant in the Bay Area A-List contest from 2009-2011 and 2013. In addition, we have received top reviews in several publications, including the East Bay Express, Diablo Magazine, and the Contra Costa Times. We are also included in Michelin Guide.

Our elegant dining hall features art inspired from the famous Ajanta caves in India.
What 996 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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P
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Better than I remembered from previous trips to Berkeley. Always visit Ajanta when in the East Bay.

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OT
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic find in North Berkeley, the food was authentic and SUPER tasty!

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JG
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I was pleasantly surprised by this neighborhood gem. A very cozy and comfortable restaurant, great atmosphere. I was with a group of 8 so my food comments are reflective of some of the other dishes. I had the seasonal chicken dish which was out of this world - succulent, moist, and in a delicate sauce. The most amazing Indian dish I have ever tasted. Sadly, some of my friends had different chicken dishes where the chicken was very dry. Also, the restaurant confused the spice levels of each dish. My chicken was spicier than I ordered. It was probably confused with another person's at my table who had the same dish. My friend next to me didn't order spicy at all and had very spicy chicken. It seemed they struggled a little bit with a big order like ours. Otherwise great place I would give it another try.

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AP
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good! We go here every time my father is in town.

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PH
1 review
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

My wife, friends, & I look forward to eating again at Ajanta. That said, we will avoid the Tandori Prawns, which were terribly overcooked and leathery.

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OT
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

This restaurant absolutely does NOT deserve a 4/5 rating for best Indian Food in East Bay, Lamb Marsala was was small pieces of overcooked lamb in bland creamy sauce, The Green Curry Fish was really awful! 3 small pieces of some unknown fish that was slimy and tasteless in a bland green curry sauce. My friend and I ordered the prix fixed menu that came with appetizers which were the best part of the meal; the rest were not fit to be served. The desserts were also awful, the cheese cake being a small piece of dried cheese in some creamy sauce, the rice pudding was long pieces of white rice in a watery milk sauce. The entire meal except for appetizers was a total disaster!! will not go back, so disappointing as my guest wanted to go to a really good Indian restaurant as she was visiting from Philadelphia.Needless to say I was so embarrassed, I did research and this was the Best?!! who made this decision for Yelp and Trip Advisor?

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BW
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

For many years Ajanta has been my "favorite restaurant in the world"!! Our dinner on Sunday night was a disappointment! So many differences from the many years of wonderful food.... the chicken makhanwala was different - the sauce less blended and delectable, the carrots (carrot "pickles" - bland), the rice was served with peas - and no crispy fried shallots or onions, as always in the past, the spinach / potato dish served with the rice was not as good. The dinner came with rice OR naan, that would have been fine - to pay extra for naan, but with all of the other changes, not ok at all. It was VERY strange - how different everything was. We asked if there was a change in the kitchen or ownership and our waiter said no, nothing had changed, so perhaps it was just a very bad night. Until I try again, I won't be proclaiming it my favorite restaurant or recommending it to anyone.

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DD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

We've always enjoyed Ajanta, but under new management(?), service was slow, and my wife & both suffered from some mild intestinal upset afterward, origin unknown.

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LP
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Creative Indian cuisine, including many good vegetarian dishes.

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MT
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food...flavorful and different. Highly recommend Ajanta!

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YC
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

The unfriendly attitude of the staff at Ajanta contributes to my assessment of the restaurant as being poor. The food is barely acceptable but it is served by people who apparently do not like their job. No such thing as service with a smile here and the maitre d'hotel on this occasion was especially grumpy. Why should I patronize a restaurant where the staff make it clear that I cam not welcome? The place also reeks of cooking odor that stayed with me and my fellow diners for days.

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AH
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

wonderful food--always full of surprises. Service is attentive and the atmosphere is conducive to a relaxing and enjoyable repast.

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CK
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food, and an amazing variety. Five of us had different things with some sharing that we all enjoyed. A little noisy, but good service. We will definitely go back as we liked the warmth of the restaurant, too.

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D
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was of mediocre quality - I expected more given the price. Also one of the waiters openly picked his ear with a pen. That was disgusting !

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JE
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Ajantha! See my recent review. And it lived up to all of my expectations going there on Valentine’s Day last week with my sweetie and friends.

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MM
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The best Indian restaurant in the Bay, hands down.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, great service

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a
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We ere not happy with our meal. We used to dine Adjanta 10 years ago and it seems to have changed for the worse. The lighting was too bright, giving the restaurant a less intimate feeling. The food was unremarkable and the naan bread was undercooked. It was okay, but not worth going back to.

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MA
Jacksonville
4 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely good food...I had been to Ajanta in 2010 when I first visited Berkeley and found the food to be great. This time I suggested to my friends whom I met after a long time to go here the food has not changed the same good taste and atmosphere me and my friends loved it. Next time when I am back there will definitely visit again

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MD
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

I've eaten at Adjanta several times over several years and it has always been a treat. Creative and elegant food in a friendly atmosphere. However, this past visit my friend had the fish. I could smell it from across the table and I tasted just the sauce at the end of the meal. It was not fresh by any means and if it were mine I would have sent it back. My lamb dish was just ok, no subtle spices as I would usually expect. We might have hit an off night or maybe standards have declined. I would go back to try it again because my meals in the past have been wonderful.

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BS
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

There was a long wait before our order was taken. Waiter failed to ask two guests which level of spiciness
they desired. We stopped the waiter and requested the highest level of spice for 2 dishes. All dishes arrived without spice, blandly mild and not at all to our tastes as a result. We’ve eaten here at least 20 times and are sad to think that service is slipping so badly.

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Q
San Francisco
153 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Still the best Indian restaurant in the East Bay!!

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B
San Francisco
135 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were greeted at the front door, by a friendly person, and shown to our table. Water was poured within 15 seconds! I had Chicken Tikka Masala...which I always have...and it was delicious! My husband had a dish made with lamb (I can't remember the name...) and he loved it! The main course servings were very generous and very tasty! For dessert, we shared the Saffron Pistachio Ice Cream which was creamy and yummy. We'll be back!!!

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A
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

wonderful, as always. Tasty food, many selections, good service.

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c
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent overall. Very spicy, even at the "medium" level; so, if you don't like it hot be careful to ask for "mild."

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JC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

We have had many fine meals at Ajanta in the past nearly 2 decades. This was the third New Years celebration meal at Ajanta for my wife and I, the first two were wonderful. For celebrating close of 2016 and 2017 Ajanta presented a wonderful sampling menu which included lovely dishes paired with lovely wine. All perfect.

The Dec 31, 2018 meal was not a fine meal, and wine pairing was not available. In fact it was a distinctly mediocre meal. The appetizer selection and seasoning was fine. The main course was really not good. The spices were all off as was the food quality. For example the normally wonderful lamb ribs consisted of one rib and a second piece of gristle. The other entree items were ok but spiced poorly.

I am hopeful that this was an off day, but I am not sure we will be back. I know you have new owners ..... perhaps they should look back.

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k
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

We have been here four or five times and never been disappointed. The flavors, the spices, the aromas . . . They all mesh to tickle the palette. We had the Tandoori chicken Chaat to start (a change up from our fave chicken samosa) and it did not disappoint. It's served cold with lovely spices. For the main course it was the Mangolore chicken curry (a fave, great flavor) and the methi Machi fish (has a nice kick to it and great flavor). Add rice and fresh veggies and it's a win; all for a good price including a couple of drinks. We will most definitely be back.

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YM
San Francisco
88 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Always delicious and cozy. We've been coming here for years and enjoy Ajanta.
But on this night for dinner, we all noticed that the Entrees ( not a la carte) no longer
are accompanied by either chick peas or spinach saag. Instead, the substitute is a bit of green
salad and plenty of rice. We were disappointed by this change :-(((

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SK
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

This used to be a great restaurant. We visited on Christmas Eve so I don't know if it was an off night with the B-team running the show, but the staff there was brusque and disinterested and for the food we didn't see much difference from Trader Joe's pre-made that we could eat at home for a fraction of the price.

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KE
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

This is a fabulous restaurant and I would rate at 5 stars, if only the staff could smile - just a little! The maitre d’ in particular could just do more than scowl. Perhaps it is a cultural quirk, or a bad day, but really - is it impossible to just show a little friendliness? The food was terrific..

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CC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Delicious menu items. Fast and very friendly service.

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V
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

I’ve been a fan for years, but they have changed their menu. Simply not as good as it was.

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JS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wait staff very helpful in ordering from menu, and cooperative in helping us to share dishes.

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K
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

It was good but the service was quite slow and the portions much smaller than before.
A tiny little mini dish with chutney for 4 people, the Nan was included in the order but forgotten.
After asking 4 times for the nan it arrived. Too bad because we had almost finished our dinner and the sauces were almost eaten. Also we only got one piece of nan for 4 people even though our order included nan for each person. Disappointed this time. Although the restaurant was only a third full when we arrived we got a bad table. Sad because we expected more.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great - as always!!!

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MS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

great food, indifferent and somewhat mediocre service

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food, I always come here when in Berkeley

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FM
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We used to go to Ajanta more often. But in recent years the food has been too salty and we don't go there as often anymore.

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JM
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The prices were far too high for the quality of food that was served. The appetizers were lukewarm, the meat dishes did not have much meat and some of the side dishes looked as though they had been sitting around for quite some time before they were served to us. On the positive side, the spices were used well and the flavors were generally good. However, given the abundant competition for food of this kind, this restaurant needs to up its game if it wants to compete at this price level.

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NH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place and have eaten here many times. I took my sister who lives in Europe where she can't get Indian food and loved being able to share really great Indian food with her.

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