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Food & Drink

Hyderabad: Finally, an Elite Indian Restaurant in South Minneapolis

Thanks to an expanding suburban empire, far south Minneapolis is an Indian food desert no more.

Jay Boller|

I mean, come on…

At the risk of writing a lede that will become instantly dated, did you see that white guy on TikTok who went viral trying Indian food for the first time? Last week, as Viraluae conducted a work lunch while enjoying an enormous spread from Hyderabad Indian Grill, we concluded that the mind-blowing effect of curries, biryanis, and naan never really dulls.

But, as far south Minneapolitans are all too aware, our part of town has been an Indian desert for as long as I can remember.

Don't believe me? Try arguing with this map, bub:

(To fortify our mostly un-flimsy argument, we're gonna say Raag is ostensibly an Edina restaurant.)

In any case, true south Minneapolis-heads should thrilled to learn that Hyderabad, which opened this year in the former Q Fanatic space at 6009 Nicollet Ave., is a powerhouse addition to the area's restaurant scene, and a contender for the best Indian cuisine in the entire city. The folks behind it know what they're doing; Hyderabad operates locations in Fridley, Bloomington, and Rochester. (A bizarre exterior mural of cartoon barnyard chaos reminds you of the past tenant on Nicollet, a solid BBQ joint that also originated in the 'burbs.)

Em Cassel

All of the dishes we tried Friday earned sky-high marks. For starters, we ordered plump lamb samosas ($8.95) whose flaky crusts struggled to contain the ground lamb filling within, plus light, crispy, supremely dunkable vegetable pakora ($7.95). The chicken tikka masala ($17.45, though like all the entrees, more than big enough to split) packs a rich, creamy, kaleidoscopic burst of flavors and tender, generous hunks of proteins—revelatory stuff. The butter chicken (also $17.45) struck similarly delicious chords. At $20.45, the lamb biryani arrived with a heft that could maybe satisfy three light eaters; its expertly marinated cuts of lamb intermingled with saffron-flavored rice, a dizzying mix of nizami spices, slivers of onion, a hardboiled egg, and dollops of mint chutney and raita.

Struggling to find any fault, one of my companions remarked that the garlic-exploding naan skewed too chewy, though that critique received pushback. Stray bay leaves and star anise, perhaps considered obstacles to some, remind you that you're enjoying true scratch cooking. I swear I get no satisfaction using language this laudatory... Hyderabad is just that good. What's their secret? Sadly, we couldn't connect with the proprietors.

This much is certain: In his recent roundup of the best Twin Cities Indian restaurants, head-scratching Star Tribune critic Jon Cheng awarded every spot to a suburban establishment. (An unrelated chain, Hyderabad House in Plymouth, snagged an honorable mention.) And if the 'burbs do boast the best Indian, residents of Minneapolis's deep south are damn lucky that Hyderabad brought some of those flavors across Hwy. 62.

Hyderabad Indian Grill
Address: 6009 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
Open daily, 10:30 a.m.-midnight

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