Nirvana: The Taste of India

4.7
76 reviews
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$30 and under
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Indian
Nirvana, an epicurean Indian restaurant in Cambridge presents traditional Indian cuisine with a contemporary flair. We boast a lunch buffet, outdoor seating during the warmer months and a full-service bar with craft cocktails that flatter our flavor rich dishes.
Our head chef Paramjit Singh hails from Punjab, India where the tandoor method of cooking originated. He brings over 20 years of experience to our kitchen and combines traditional cooking methods with novel ingredients to create innovative meals for our guests. As an 80-seat restaurant on historic Massachusetts Avenue, Nirvana endeavors to promote a transcendent experience through food, drink and great company.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Indian, Pakistani, Vegetarian / Vegan
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Hours of operation
Daily: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm;
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Phone number
(617) 441-5566
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Paramjit Singh
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Neighborhood
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Public transit
Harvard Square T Station; Porter Square T Station
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

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Mon - Thu 4:00PM - 6:00PM 8:30PM - 11:00PM

What 76 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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BW
New England
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really excellent servicer and Indian food. Will go again.

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DJ
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding South Indian eatery. One of the few places I've come across in the U.S. with an interesting range of flavors and sauces, with a friendly vibe, generous portions, and reasonable prices. I'm quite grateful to have this as a neighborhood restaurant.

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MS
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is now our favorite Indian restaurant in Cambridge! And such warm and welcoming service. We will definitely be back.

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JB
New England
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Really solid food and a good atmosphere. Lots of variety for vegetarians, vegans, as is typical with Indian food.

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M
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Love to take a group of college kids here. Great spot

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LZ
New England
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic Indian food. Had Tandoori chicken it was cooked perfectly. Also ordered Eggplant and a paneer with shrimp. Everything was delicious. All portions were generous.

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PD
New England
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

liked it. well done. Good food nice choices. great staff.

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SK
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visited in September and loved it - came back again tonight and it was even better!

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XS
New England
16 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Our only complaint is that even though it wasn't full, service was very slow. We waited a long time for our food. Everything else was good!

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AP
Edmonton
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the food staff and value. Such pride in their offerings. Always made to feel welcome. Delicious Convenient. Blocks from Harvard square. My new “go to” local restaurant.

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S
New England
15 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

One of the best Indian restaurants we've sampled in Cambridge. Decor is nicer than most, as is service. Food a bit better and lighter than at other Indian restaurants as well. We will go back!

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JP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first visit to Nirvana, which more than lived up to my expectations for a sweet family dinner before an evening concert at Sanders Theatre. The veggie pakoras were crisp outside and studded with savory potato inside. My vegetable biryani was filled with flavorful chunks of vegetables and perfectly cooked rice, the whole beautifully seasoned and fragrant with spices. The raita cooled things off on this very hot day. Other members of the party ordered a dosa (astonishingly large and yummy) and a lamb dish that was excellent. I tried a salty lassi for the first time and loved the yogurt-filled frothiness and lightly-salted taste. We ate outside, despite the August heat; the sidewalk tables felt festive, the air cooled as the sun went down, and the people-watching on Mass Ave kept us entertained. Five stars.

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d
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Tasty and abundant food, good service, friendly environment, good price for value

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S
Las Vegas
6 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely fantastic meal. I am Indian and admittedly have high standards when it comes to Indian food. This place was great. Friendly staff, great great food! We ordered the Royal dinner and I highly recommend it and this Restaurant.

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LB
New England
6 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

The ambiance was excellent, the place was immaculate, the service was excellent. The only down-side was the taste of my food. I love baingan bharta and I always order it when going to an Indian restaurant. This one was sour and very unusual to what I'm used to. Maybe it's the regional variation, not sure. My husband though loved the food he had.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food. If you like slice go hot hot. We needed to ask for more with hot

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R
New England
23 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I was very pleased in every way (service, menu, quality). I would like to see them offer a tasters' buffet once a week.

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SW
New England
8 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I love this restaurant! The food is delicious, authentic and fresh. I feel like it made just for me. The ambience is just right for a work meeting or a celebratory dinner and service is perfect. The wait staff are courteous and attentive. I would recommend it to all my colleagues and friends.
Thank you.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent experience !! Would highly recommend this restaurant!

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n
New England
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Thoroughly enjoyable meal on all levels!

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JD
New England
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Good was ordinary, but priced as if it were special. Service was so-so.

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M
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is good! Accomodated out group of 10 easily (with reservation). Papadums served with chutneys before the meal. Mushroom samosas and gobi Manchurian were great for appetizers. We also got a dosa, which was decent but not my favorite in Boston/Cambridge. All the curries we had were excellent and portions are generous. Breads also on point! My only complaint is that it took them ages to bring our check. We asked for the check and then they seemed to want to clear all our dishes before they brought it? Fairly minor complaint though as we weren't in a big hurry. Overall the servers were attentive, friendly, and helpful.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

It was a great value to order the Royal Dinner for two. We had our 8yr old son with us and still had left overs for lunch the next day. Everything was delicious! The masala tea was wonderfully warm and tasty and they gave me honey when I asked for it instead of sugar.

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ES
New England
5 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A welcome addition to our neighborhood's dining scene. Very good Indian food. Surprisingly expansive menu for a small place. We've eaten there three times in the last several months and it has become a go-to dining destination for us. We've taken some very discerning diners there (I'm a retired chef/restaurant owner) and all have been impressed with the food and service.

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OT
New England
9 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service great food

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A
New England
5 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious, with huge portions. Additionally, the service was attentive. We sat at the bar, and the bartender was constantly refilling our water, and checked-in on us from time to time to see if we needed anything else. Overall, a great meal. We will be back.

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MO
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Increible place, amaizing food! I will come again for sure

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s
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Food is on the salty side, but the spicy level is great! The chutney was great! And we liked our beet salad. The lamb korma was full of flavor but the saag was a little disappointment since it was just too salty. I thought the naan was good, but actually liked the rice a lot. Samosa is pretty good too. All around solid meal but slightly more expensive than your average Indian restaurant, most likely because of the nice decor and ambiance.

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G
New York Area
51 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great Southern Indian specialities.
Authentic Mysore masala dosa.
Very pleasant chat with the manager.
Altogether hit the spot.

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JL
New England
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious food, fast and friendly service. Reservation helped but not necessary. Would definitely come back!

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LD
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant with really tasty Indian food! Pleasant service and lovely surroundings. Would definitely recommend!

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ES
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

This is a neighborhood restaurant for us. While there are a number of Indian restaurants nearby, we were very pleased to find one with such well-prepared dishes so close to our home. Some of the best Indian-style vegetable dishes we've ever had. The prices are very reasonable. A bit of a problem this visit with the tandoori items we ordered -- the meats were over-cooked and dry...could have been held in the kitchen too long, though this is a problem I find with tandoori dishes in many other Indian restaurants (I'm a retired professional grill-man/chef/restaurant owner and am very particular about such things).

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CC
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and even better service!

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F
New England
12 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Has to be one of the best Indian restaurants in Boston. Super clean and inviting space, great drinks, great service and excellent non-greasy Indian food (Nan is fabulous) -- all at a very reasonable price.

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S
New England
7 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very well done Indian food, we love the butter chicken and saag paneer here. One of the best Indian places on this side of the river. Also seems like they have a full bar, though we only got the mango lassi. Service is friendly but can be a bit slow to notice you're finished with something if you don't flag someone down.

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KS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant! Would go again and recommend. Excellent service.

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PA
Las Vegas
31 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food with lots of vegan options. Service was attentive and informative. Delicious food!

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a
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We stumbled on this superb Indian food while wandering along Massachusetts Ave between Harvard and Portes Square. Unassuming from the outside, the inside is sleek and modern. The menu features familiar Indian dishes and some I'd not previously heard of. Spicing was fairly mild; we had the dishes ordered 'hot' and that had about the right level of spice. Staff was helpful and welcoming, excited to explain the dishes. This was a delight and very inexpensive for the area. Highly recommended.

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LM
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Food, atmosphere, service, and prices. Just what we needed after a long week. Great recommendations from our server lead us to try some delicious options on the menu. You will return to this restaurant over and over!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful restaurant. Simple. Clean. Great service. And of course - amazing food!

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