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  5. Lower East Side

The MasalaWala

4.4
4.4
247 Reviews
$30 and under
Indian
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.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Indian, Southeast Asian

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch & Dinner: Daily: 12:00pm - 12:00am

  • Phone number

    (212) 358-9300

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Executive chef

    Chhimi Dorje

  • 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

  • Neighborhood

    Lower East Side

  • Cross street

    East Houston Street

  • 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

  • Public transit

    MTA Subway:<br />2 Ave. (F)<br />Delancey St. (F)<br />Essex St. (J, M, Z)

  • 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.

  • Additional

    Beer, Cafe, Delivery, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 247 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.4
4.4 based on all time ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 3.9Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Sort by

Filters

  1. AS

    AkeS

    London

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 12, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Good food, Good service in a family restaurant. Definitely a restaurant to come back to.
  2. YB

    YeaBoi

    New York Area

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 8, 2020

    overall4food5service3ambience3
    Food is incredible, the owner is annoying. He would not leave us alone, not the first time either. Late to sit us with a reservation, was pushing us out the door once our food was finished and we were still drinking our wine. Would be 5/5 if the owner wasn't an egotistical maniac
  3. J

    Justryingtoeat

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 29, 2020

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Why would you exceed the amount of reservations you can serve? I had a reservation for 2 , waited 20 minutes and had a couple go ahead even though they arrived 15 minutes after my reservation time. What’s worse is I was told the next table would be given to me and then it was handed to that couple. There were more 4 different groups of people waiting and it did not look like any tables would be free anytime soon. Can’t speak for the food but step up how you manage reservation capacity.
  4. NP

    NeilP

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 18, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service, and great food. Came for my birthday with six people, everyone enjoyed the evening. Prices are a little high, but well worth it for the delicious Indian food. Highly recommend the Chicken 69 as an appetizer.
  5. JE

    JayEllar

    New York Area

    40 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    40 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    MasalaWala is always a treat. The food is well prepared with fresh ingredients and flavors that pop. The wine menu, while short, covers all the basics of food pairing and wine. The owner is always around talking to customers and truly making them feel like family. He is a treasure.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 9, 2020

    overall2food5service1ambience5
    Very long wait time despite having a reservation. Was told 5-10 minutes but ended up waiting closer to 35.
  7. k

    kichijoji

    New York Area

    14 reviews

    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on January 31, 2020

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Delicious vegan options and excellent service.
  8. SA

    SaraA

    Las Vegas

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on January 25, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Absolutely fantastic food - best Chai I have ever had. Authentic and delicious.
  9. LT

    LindaT

    New York Area

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on January 21, 2020

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    The greeting by the father makes you feel so warm and welcomed! What a wonderful place!
  10. j

    jmcrv

    New York Area

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on January 18, 2020

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    after a bit of an unforeseen wait, we had a lovely time. the restaurant is small and very popular - for good reason!
  11. M

    Mudge

    New York Area

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 10, 2020

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    This is one of my favorite spots for Indian cuisine. Always delicious, always packed and frenetic in its small dining room, but never a visit I regret or a wait not worth sitting through. I could go on and on about their menu but just go! And go soon!
  12. A

    Abbys

    New York Area

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 19, 2019

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Even though we had reservations, it was closed when we got there. So we did not end up eating there.
  13. RH

    RobinH

    Baltimore

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 14, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We went searching for MasalaWala because we hadn’t had Indian food in a long time and were craving delicious naan and masala. After some research on the best Indian food in NYC, we decided to trek down from the upper west to the lower side of the east village for MasalaWala and we are so happy we did. The food was delicious and the staff were friendly and responsive. The restaurant is small but the tables filled up fast. Our 9 and 11 year old daughters were very content. Thank you to the owner and staff for a wonderful evening. We will be back soon.
  14. AD

    AlbertoD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 14, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent service food was great food was delicious felt right at home would definitely be back...
  15. T

    Taryn

    New York Area

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 9, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    EXCELLENT as always. Small place, huge flavor. And one of the few Indian establishments to consistently make Mango Kulfi for desert - and year round!!
  16. JT

    JordanT

    New York Area

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 30, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love MasalaWala!
  17. JW

    JoaneW

    New York Area

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on November 20, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Really good good. Will definitely come back regularly.
  18. PG

    PickyGourmand

    Charleston

    24 reviews

    4.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on November 20, 2019

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Fun spot. Very good food, excellent vibe, great value. Worth the trip down to the LES.
  19. b

    biancap

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 17, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing!!!!
  20. CH

    ChiHockeyEpicurean

    Chicago

    35 reviews

    4.0

    35 reviews

    Dined on November 9, 2019

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    The MasalaWala is a very small, very good Indian restaurant on the Lower East Side. The operation is overseen by a very involved owner who makes it a point to be present and to speak with his guests. That's a great thing. The service is attentive and responsive - also a good thing. The food is very good. We enjoyed excellent Naan with our meals. The mains 1) palak paneer - spinach with Indian cheese - was excellent. Spinach was flavored perfectly and the cheese squares were nicely done. Great Indian comfort food for me. 2) Tiger Shrimp Malabar - featured plenty of shrimp, nice size, in a gently spiced sauce with a slightly coconut flavor. The shrimp were in their shells and included more than was edible (although some may-perhaps enjoy some parts as delicacies - not me.) The sauce was a bit too gentle for me and could have been more spiced, and the shrimp may have been overcooked a bit - they were mushier than I prefer. We had an order of Chicken 65 as an appetizer - it was very good, and a bit spicier than I recall this dish at other Indian restaurants. I enjoy spicy, so this was a good thing. The chicken pieces were plentiful and well cooked. My main concern about the restaurant was the noise level - driven by a very loud music system in the small room. The music was quite eclectic and not necessarily traditional Indian. When we entered, I was certain that someone in the kitchen must have been playing a loud video game because the shooting and background noises could only have been a video game - but a staff member told me that was the music... it changed, but remained loud. The restaurant is very small - a bit crowded - and the music made a normal conversation difficult, but with using a louder than normal voice and directled listening, it was bearable. Overall, I enjoyed The MasalaWala and I would go back again. Reservations are a good idea here.
  21. HK

    HK100

    Miami

    32 reviews

    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on October 29, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    All the dishes we ordered were delicious. Will surely go back again. It was especially nice that the owner stopped by a couple times to check up on our meal. He was very friendly and clearly very proud of his wonderful food.
  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 27, 2019

    overall3food5service1ambience3
    Service is very poor. Waiter made us wait outside the restaurant and greeted us with a mean “how many people!” Not even a hello or thank you for coming. Then he started pointing out prices on the menu as if it was going to be a problem! So rude. Great food though! Music is too loud.
  23. S

    Shashank

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 26, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Good food and friendly owner. They have one of the best chicken tandoori.
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on October 24, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Excellent. What a surprise. The owner cane around to check on us during the dinner. Food was first rate, great value, pleasant ambiance. Definitely worth a detour. Best to make a reservation
  25. A

    Altm

    New York Area

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on October 8, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Great food and great service. Will certainly come again!
  26. TK

    TaniaK

    New York Area

    6 reviews

    1.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on September 28, 2019

    overall1food3service1ambience2
    Made a reservation for 8:45 but when we arrived, we were told that we wouldn’t be seated until 9:30 at the earliest. There was a long line of people outside who had reservations but the restaurant was very far behind schedule. The host was rude and the restaurant was clearly disorganized.
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 18, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Lovely food ! Great service definitely recommend
  28. AC

    AliaC

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 31, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The most authentic Indian food in the city. Unassuming, delicious.
  29. A

    Adam

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 26, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Tikka Masala best I ever had, service was great and the owner came over to personally great us
  30. CM

    CarolineM

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 24, 2019

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    We had a wonderful meal here. The service was excellent and the host was so sweet and welcoming. He checked in with us several times, and even had a special dish of chicken tikka masala made without any spices at all for my 9 year old, who found even the mild dish too spicy - she loved it! The room is cute and inviting, not too noisy, the waiters were very friendly and attentive, and overall a great meal.
  31. s

    sonalik

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 4, 2019

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Good ambience, cosy, tiny restaurant with family run authentic food. Engaging servers.
  32. SJ

    SteadyJoy

    New York Area

    18 reviews

    5.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on August 1, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Been here several times. Never fails with service and food. I like the choices of categories of food. Easy to choose and also the staff and owner will come to your table and help you with choices. As I sit down, I always order the Gobi Manchurian (Cauliflower / ginger / Indo-Chinese spices) as a starter; then a couple other can't-miss meat and veggie entrees. Later, at home, I re-feast on leftovers.
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Savannah

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2019

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    Was a great all around experience. Food very tasty and wait staff very attentive. Very authentic.
  34. LH

    LindsayH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 25, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Fast and fantastic service. Food was delicious. Price was reasonable. I will be back.
  35. DF

    DFGP

    Caribbean

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on July 19, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love The food and we love how we are treated. During a ten-day visit to Manhattan, we have eaten here twice. The samosas are a really good start. We will be back!
  36. NI

    NoorI

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 17, 2019

    overall2food1service1ambience1
    The food was terrible. It was not freshly made, nor was it warm enough to eat. I ordered Chilli prawns and there were literally like 3 prawns in there for $13. Friends and I ordered soda and they never brought it to our table but when the bill came they charged us for it. The service was terrible but the food was even worst. I would never go back there. I honestly don’t know what the hype is for. Worst experience and legit waste of my money !!!!!
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 16, 2019

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    I just moved to nyc about a month ago and I have come back to this place 3 times. You gotta know that if you are in nyc where the food choices are abundant and I chose to go back to this place 3 times it has to be damn good. And it is. I’m a foodie and I know food so I recommend this place to anyone.
  38. L

    Lynne

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 14, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic experience, always. Highly recommend to anyone looking for quality Indian food in the city.
  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Detroit

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 6, 2019

    overall5food5service4ambience3
    Good food, very quickly came out and great taste. Liked the gobi Manchurian!
  40. P

    Pp20

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 6, 2019

    overall2food4service2ambience2
    Food was great, none of the drinks were chilled and air conditioning was ineffective

FAQs

The MasalaWala does offer delivery in partnership with Chow Now, Postmates and Uber Eats. The MasalaWala also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (212) 358-9300.

The MasalaWala is rated 4.4 stars by 247 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Cross street

    East Houston Street

  • Neighborhood

    Lower East Side

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch & Dinner: Daily: 12:00pm - 12:00am

  • Cuisines

    Indian, Southeast Asian

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • 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

  • Public transit

    MTA Subway:2 Ave. (F)Delancey St. (F)Essex St. (J, M, Z)

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Chhimi Dorje

  • 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.

  • Additional

    Beer, Cafe, Delivery, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (212) 358-9300

  • 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

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