Nirvana: The Taste of India

4.3
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94 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Indian

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Good Vegetarian Options
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.

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

What 94 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
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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New England
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

Nirvana is a cozy restaurant with wonderful owner and servers. The food is variable. We tried two eggplant appetizers which were fabulous, but our main course, chicken Tajin, was so so. This was my second time, and it was a Friday night. Noise level was problematic, no sound proofing like many other places.
The first time, we were much happier, and intend to go again soon.

r
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

It may be that we ordered poorly -- the vegetarian dishes looked good. But we did order the chef's recommendation -- the duck masala -- and the Seekh kebab. The duck was inedible. It was supposed to be boneless, but I hit two chunks that were largely bone. It was also so tough I actually had to fight hard to get my knife through the meat. If the chef was aiming as slow braised duck, it was not cooked long enough. If they were aiming at quick seared medium rare duck, it was cooked wildly too long. Either way, we just couldn't eat it. The seekh kebab had decent flavour and a nice sauce but it was also overcooked and dry. In the restaurant's favor, they took the duck off the bill when I complained.

OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent. The bathrooms are downstairs so that’s a downside for the wheelchair user in our party. Overall a wonderful experience.

EP
New England
12 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the second time I've been here for dinner and it did not disappoint. I appreciate that the heat level of any dish can be adjusted. The food is really fresh and delicious. So grateful for the variety of vegetarian offerings.

A
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and amazing staff! Always feels like home.

EP
New England
13 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A quiet atmosphere in a contemporary comfortable dining room. Service was prompt, professional, and friendly (but not overly attentive). The food was so delicious and well-prepared with generous portions. I was pleased to find so many vegetarian/vegan choices.

OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We were seated right away. The table was quite small for 4 people and we were unable to fit the dishes we ordered on the table. On our own we had to pull over another small table for this purpose . Aside from that , the food was outstanding. Everything was delicious including the Meat and vegetable dishes , dosa, and dessert. Would highly recommend . It was enjoyed by everyone in our multicultural group.

VA
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent, delicious food. The service was great and the atmosphere was cozy and quiet. The portions are a good size to share.

AM
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was amazing. Best tikka masala I’ve had in a long time. Quick turnaround for the food which was convenient. Highly recommend

AF
New England
9 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the better India restaurants I've been to in the Boston area. Nirvana has several regional dishes not found at other places as well (dosa!), which means you can make it a more unique experience than the typical aloo mater or chicken tikka masala. The food was phenomenal and service excellent. Definitely on our list to return!

h
New England
64 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Good meal, but not the best Indian in the area. The bread was very good and I liked the malai kofta a lot. The fish tikka was a bit dry as was the chicken tikka (which goes under another name that I've forgotten). I would definitely go back if I was looking for a meal in the area but probably would not go out of my way to go there.

JB
New England
35 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We tasted two parts of the menu - a Southern Indian Dosa, and a group of Northern Indian dishes: a Dal, Channa Saag, Chicken Korma and Goat Curry. All were really good - our friends through that the food was as good as they've had anywhere. Service was also excellent, including cleanup and packaging the leftovers which were great the next day at lunch.

KB
New England
63 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A wonderful Indian restaurant. There is nothing daringly original about the menu but it is very well executed. The servers are nice. They take reservations. Good choices for ice cream deserts nearby. Neighborhood gem. Walk or take the T.

RS
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lunch buffet was superb.

BG
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was in Cambridge to visit my sister who lives there and that day I was walking on Massachusetts St, when I saw your restaurant. I pulled the paper menu posted outside for passerbys to take and then checked out the reviews, which are positive. I had lamb kabab with bell peppers and onions,plus the sauce that comes with it. The lamb was tender and delicious, especially with the sauce. My sister had Curry Chicken, which she liked. We topped our dinner off with Kreer, a rice dessert, which was so good. Our meal did not disappoint us and my sister plans to go there for a lunch buffet. Our wait staff were friendly.They were attentive and answered any questions we had about our meal. We got a warm wet wash cloth to wipe our hands after our meal. Attentive to detail, even the small stuff makes a difference. When I go back for a visit Nirvana will be on my list to have a meal. Thank you.

SF
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We found this restaurant on Open Table. What great find.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious food! Service was a bit slow

k
Raleigh
40 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

We were craving for spicy Indian food and the chef did not disappoint us. We went there both for lunch buffet which was less spicy and for dinner where they really catered to our spicy buds.

We had malai kofta, biryani, saag paneer, mango and salt lassi.

BW
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really excellent servicer and Indian food. Will go again.

DJ
New England
10 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.

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.

JB
New England
1 review
Dined on November 24, 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.

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

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.

PD
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

SK
New York Area
17 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!

XS
New England
18 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!

AP
Edmonton
4 reviews
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.

S
New England
21 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!

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.

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

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

S
Las Vegas
10 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.

LB
New England
11 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.

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

R
New England
29 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.

SW
New England
14 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.

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

Excellent experience !! Would highly recommend this restaurant!

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

Thoroughly enjoyable meal on all levels!

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.

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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