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“Fantastic!!! Pinch me - can't believe I am in New York and not South India!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Saravanaa Bhavan

Saravanaa Bhavan
81, Lexington Avenue, New York City, NY 10016
212 679 0204
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Ranked #3,637 of 11,771 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Indian
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Delivery
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Delivery
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
203 helpful votes 203 helpful votes
“Fantastic!!! Pinch me - can't believe I am in New York and not South India!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013 via mobile

Just returned from the most authentic and fantastic South Indian meal at Sarvana Bhavan! Can't believe I had that meal in New York and not an authentic joint in South India! Its a cheerful simple joint, done up in white. Like any traditional Udipi joint, don't expect to be seated! Just find yourself a seat - you are lucky if you don't have to wait for a table. Not being prompted to sit is not a sign of bad service, it's just the way traditional South Indian joints work! Each table has its jug of water kept and 4 steel glasses kept. You can be pretty sure that someone will attend to you soon. The staff is polite, maybe a little reserved for American tastes, but in no way rude or indifferent! We ordered a South Indian thali, pongal, Mysore masala dosa, mulgapadi dosa and a filter kappi! Each dish was very well made and finger-licking delicious! The white coconut chutney is the freshest I have ever eaten - the spice level just correct! To my utter delight, the filter coffee is served in its traditional glass!! While we were there, there was a constant flow of people pouring in. We have tried a couple of dosa joints in Jackson Heights, but the quality doesn't even come close. Moreover, I have visited a few Indian joints in Manhattan (in the same neighborhood around Lex and 28th) and and to my utter dismay, they serve absolutely sub-standard Indian food...its passable for someone who is not well-versed with the Indian palette, but for me who has lived in India till around 6 months ago, the food does tend to disappoint. All I can say is that Sarvana Bhavan is an exception!!! The meal costed us approximately USD 55 but its one of the most satisfying meals I have had in the recent past!! How is wish I had discovered Sarvana Bhavan earlier - but better late than never!! See myself going there again, and again, and again!!!

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160 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Authentic South Indian taste”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

It is beyond doubt the best Indian food that we had in New York. Excellent service, very reasonable rates & amazing food. If you are fond of South Indian food, you should definitely visit this place while in New York.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newington, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Awesome food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

When we visit new york this is one of the places we really like to go eat south indian food. everything we ordered was perfect especially the Medhu vada and the upma.. The filter coffee takes it a notch above other restaurants.. prices are not sky high for the quality..

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“One of the better Indian restaurants in NY”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

I usually avoid Indian food in New York - they are simply bad. But Saravana on Lexington Ave is an exception. Rava Onion Chilli Masala Dosa (crepes), 14 mini Idlis (rice cakes in lentil soup), and Badam Halwa ( ground Almond dessert) are my personal favorites here. The filter coffee is average I must say - especially for a South Indian. On the whole most dishes here more or less match the taste that you would find in good restaurants in southern India.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
551 helpful votes 551 helpful votes
“good dosa”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

the dosa here is good, but the last few times i was here i felt the quality of dosa has deteriorated. i like bisabelabath, its delicious.

IF your in NYC, and are in the mood for dosa, this is the best place available.

Visited December 2012
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