Cafe India

Veg-Friendly Restaurant
Average: 4.3 (35 votes)
Email: <none>
Location: Temecula Heights (map)
Info Hours
3750 Sports Arena Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110-5156
Mo Closed Fr 11am-10pm
Tu 11am-10pm Sa 11am-10pm
We 11am-10pm Su 12pm-10pm
Th 11am-10pm

Reviews (Write a review)

Author Title / Comment Rating
Sally Ann Lycke (unverified)
Jun 23, 2009

I ate there many times in the past, having worked in the buildings behind the restaurant. Was really sad when they closed down the buffet lunch, and happily ecstatic when it reopened. I am NOT a vegan or even vegetarian, but love the food. They have the best-tasting lentil soup in San Diego County, and I could make a hearty meal just out of that and the delicious Naan bread. Started putting the yogurt sauce on greens for a salad, and my idea was QUICKLY picked up on--now I see it on the menu. Pleasantly surprised each and every time I eat there...that I almost have to waddle out afterwards (how can one get stuffed on vegetarian food?).

Princess (unverified)
Feb 03, 2009
Holy Cow

At home I eat organic vegan food, Cafe India allows me to cheat just a little...
and its so damn inexpensive for the fresh quality they offer compared to some other places that I will not mention..
It is true, they are not good for people who regularly eat at McDonald's, fast food attitude doesnt work there..but its so worth the wait !! I liked eating in the peaceful room with the art work better..cheating with some fresh raisin and nut bread. They offer A LOT of vegan options..Its a very low key comfortable secret place alone or with friends. Im taking my boyfriend there so he can start taking me there ;)

Adam (unverified)
Aug 31, 2008
Pros & Cons

To be honest I love indian food, and cafe india has very well seasoned food in my opinion. They say that they use hormone free dairy and have lots of vegan options.

I have only 3 complaints. One is the service, it's slow, even for a mom and pops restaurant, and two if you order anything from the menu it's expensive and the portions are only suitable for a small child, and lastly their hrs are ridiculous, they don't open until 5. pm-10 pm tue-thur.

My recommendation is not to order anything off the menu and just go for the buffet.

Eileen Chilson (unverified)
Aug 22, 2008
Great Food-Slow Service

The food was very tasty, but the service was slow.

Emily (unverified)
May 23, 2008
Healthy, Home-cooked Food

This restaurant is great! Although I do admit to liking Royal India better, Cafe India is in a much more low-key location, costs half the price, and is much healthier. The food tastes home-made and fresh. The atmosphere is nice, you get the feeling the moment you walk in that this is a nice, family-run little business. We've always had great service, and I've never been disappointed with a dish. There is a huge selection for vegetarians (as usual with Indian food), and more impressively, a great selection for vegans. The buffet is pretty good, but I would recommend going with the menu (great!). Definitely worth a try.

Jenifer Rosenthal (unverified)
Apr 27, 2008
I am Naan bread and mango chatney baby

theres raisin and nut bread and Garlic and Onion... Thank God for some people that offer real HEALTH food at an extremely affordable price and some real ART work. When have you come across an Indian restaurant that offers clothes and yoga-dance classes ?? San Diego where are we ? We need to support places other-than phil's bbq once in a while.

indiansnob (unverified)
Feb 12, 2008
amazing and authentic!!!

Progressive, unpretentious, and TASTY! This isn't the typical heavy cream-laden Indian restaurant - it tastes more like home cooking! I esp like the mock meats (mock chicken saag is awesome!) Amazing paintings, cool music, and even dancing, yoga, and cooking classes to boot! wireless internet too. quite a hangout.

om shanti baba ganesha belly (unverified)
Jan 17, 2008
lord have mercy

Ate the health food buffet like a holy cow... this is not the oily and curry overdose that most Indian restaurants have.. you also don't have to walk in like everyone is going there to see you... there not. people there are chill, taking yoga classes, looking at paintings/jewelry, and sippin fresh juices... I had a beer called Indian Special. I think its special in India.
Usually unique is big bucks, this is inexpensive and satisfying.

Macho Vegan (unverified)
Nov 24, 2007
Been there 3 times and it was great each time!

A friend recommended this restaurant and I finally went. I was very suprised that they had a buffet that everything was vegan but one dish. The buffet was great and cheap, only $7.95. I found the dishes spiced just right. I have been back two more times and still find the food great! If you are vegan or vegetarian, then this is the place to go. Their food is simple and healthy. It reminds me of delicious homemade indian food that I used to have from some indian friends of mine.

San Diego Vegan (unverified)
Nov 14, 2007
we loved it!

Cafe India was recommended to us by a friend. We had a chance to go this weekend. I am shocked reading some of the reveiws. Of course we are vegan and I don't eat wheat i.e. naan so I can't comment on that. I hate Indian Buffets being a vegan there is usually very little you can usually eat, but this was all vegan. It was delicious. THey had two kinds of daal a yellow and a brown, a very fresh salad for starters and they actually have BROWN RICE yeah!!!!!! The four dishes were an interesting corn dish, chickpeas, tofu spinach curry and one of the potato dishes. It was all spiced perfectly. Sometimes I wonder if some of these reveiwers are meat eaters/ eat lots of sugars. I suspect all that alters your taste buds, but this food is healthy AND delicious. Can't wait to go back!

shroo (unverified)
Oct 25, 2007
different strokes for different folks

so i see the bad reviews....they do have naan, the best i have ever had and they have pita for those who want a healthier option. So Mani before you hate get your story straight. They also have vegan choices for people who can't have dairy. This place is one of the best for all people with all types of dietary needs. try it for yourself. the buffet isn't huge but it is quality!!

Mani (unverified)
Oct 06, 2007
Low Quality

Saw the mixed reviews. Yet took a chance and it proved to be a 'costly' mistake! The Nans were a joke! I think they buy ready made Afghani bread or pita bread and heat them up in butter. The food is definetely subpar and I was really surprised to see that they have a food school. I would not recommend this restaurant !

jennifer (unverified)
May 16, 2007
yum, yum, yum

The best home cooked indian food. Different than any other Indian restaurant you will go to. Not too oily or fattening; the food is spiced wonderfully. Great job!!!

Lisa (unverified)
Jan 31, 2007
Best Indian Buffet in San Diego

I love this place! I take my meat eating friends there for lunch at least once a month and they all love the buffet too. I have no idea what problems these other people had, but we've always loved the buffet and the food always seems fresh and hot and the seasoning is fabulous. I would recommend this place to anyone!

Cecilia (unverified)
Nov 12, 2006
good and healthy

It is sad to see any bad reviews!! I have eaten here for the past 19 years and have always left feeling good!! In fact, the woman who runs the restaurant will personally take care of you if you are not feeling well and give you guidance on what to eat to help heal your ailment. I have watched her take care of so many people--it is nice to see that love like that still exists.

Sandbag (unverified)
May 10, 2006
Cafe India San Diego Official Website

They have a new website at

Aaron Ali Khan (unverified)
Feb 18, 2006
19 years

I've been eating at Cafe India for 19 years...always puts me in a good mood. Impressed my Valentines date, this place is so down to earth. San Diego has some paintings to buy !!

Ali (unverified)
Feb 14, 2006
Made me sick to my stomach

This place nearly put me in the hospital with some kind of bacterial infection. And to add insult to injury, the food and service were sorely lacking. Stay away unless you're into dysentery. I wouldn't recommend this place to my worst enemy.

christian (unverified)
Feb 09, 2006
Feelin Great !!

just had a great dinner at Cafe India. I love the quality of ingredients and the real deal of a Ma Pa atmosphere. If youre tired of those over designed restaurants this serves the interior design for the healthy body. Artwork is amazing.

Amy (unverified)
Feb 02, 2006
Are you guys kidding me? This food will make you sick!

I have tried this place several times and it gets worse each time. The food has no taste and its watered down. My food was cold. When this place opened (along time ago) it was good...but the owners/cooks have turned lazy. The food is horrible.

If you don't know what Indian food tastes like, you may like this place. If you want good Indian food check out Hillcrest, they have a few good places and guess what they use spices and 'good' rice, not the 99 cent stuff.

I have had better tasting Indian food from a frozen dinner!

Lisa (unverified)
Jan 09, 2006
Amazing food!

The buffet is awesome, it has the dairy and non-dairy items listed and is mostly vegan. Everything was delicious. Lots of selection, I highly recommend it. The service was fantastic too.

Hari Prasad Jain (unverified)
Jan 03, 2006

Went to the restaurant to pick up a recent painting done by Preet Srivastava, their amazing daughter. Decided to try the buffet, wow! tasted like healthy home style cooking! Ive tried all the Indian restaurants in San Diego and this by far is the most healthiest and caring. Cafe India is my new favorite Indian restaurant.

Art Collector, Antonio Chiodi (unverified)
Nov 28, 2005
try to take a deeper look

Absolutely Heartical. I have been visting this restaurant for the last 19 yrs. I eat Indian Food in London, New York, Chicago, LA and San Diego. Cafe India is one of my favorites esp in San Diego. Cafe India is highly recommended bc it is an indian health food restaurant + the owners are famous for their sincerity + its inexpensive. I am also an art collector of their famous daughter, Preet Srivastava. Who will randomly have an amazing painting for sale there that will cost three times as much else where.
Look carefully, this place is deep.
Antonio Chiodi

Andrea (unverified)
Sep 11, 2005

I have been going to this place for years. No Indian has been able to match the quality of the food and service at this restaurant. Their yellow lentil soup is fabulous! The potatoe curry is addicing and they have tofu for the curry dishes which adds a wonderful variety to a vegan meal!

Be sure to get the vegetarian buffet and be sure to inquire which ones are vegan.

Avtar Punnu (unverified)
Jul 28, 2005
Bad Food,

Don't go there. Buffet sucks, yuch. If you order from the menu, the portions are too small. If you order takeout, the surprise portions look like baby food.

Tyler (unverified)
Apr 25, 2005

Cafe India is in a strip mall on sports arena blvd. it was a lot smaller then i thought it would be. the main room was full so we were seated in the side 'party' room and the service was kinda slow. The food was good, but the nan was average and we had to ask for it. the portions weren't that big but the prices were nice... There was a cool clothing / boutique section in the corner, and overall the place had a good vibe. It's more for a mellow, cheaper dinner. go to Bombay india if you want an expensiver, super nice meal..

Graham (unverified)
Mar 22, 2005
Consistently good food, economical and peaceful

I have been eating at Cafe India for over ten years. I agree with all the other positive reviewers about both the food and the atmosphere. No doubt it's possible to visit any restaurant on a bad day, but I have not yet done so here. The owners always make us feel welcome, and it's peaceful enough for conversation with friends or business associates.

david (unverified)
Feb 28, 2005
i was embarrased to have suggested it.

i suggested this place to 3 other people and we went one saturday night. man it sucked,the buffet tasted like barf and there was not even alot of dishes.


Shawn (unverified)
Nov 14, 2004
Comfortable and Delicious

We have been eating here for 13 years. The food is good and the owners always make you feel welcome. We now bring our children, who love the food but are especially enamored with the Indian Naan bread. The buffet always has a good variety and I could eat the Lentil soup by itself as a meal. As a matter of fact, I have! We love it here and will continue going for years to come.

lynne taylor (unverified)
Sep 27, 2004

the ambience of cafe india is one of a happy, functional family.....and one most of us wish we had growing up. the help actually HELPS, and the food is made with love.i can make a great meal on the vegan appetizers, and finish it off with the rich indian chai. ohhhh i forgot the nan crunchy and warm.

Jane (unverified)
Sep 19, 2004
My favorite!

I've been a happy customer at Cafe India for about fifteen years. As many times as I've eaten there, I've never gotten bored with it because I love the subtlety of the spices. And, the reasonable prices make going there a special treat that I can fit into my workaday life more often (which is good, because when I get tired and frazzled, the dal is "comfort food" that's actually healthy.

kris (unverified)
Aug 18, 2004
Beware of buffet

Although I love the food at this restaurant, the past 2 times that I've eaten the buffet, I've had food poisoning. Better to order off of the menu.

Linda (unverified)
Oct 24, 2003
Great Value

Get the buffet. It is about $8 for lunch and $10 for dinner. Usually the only non-vegan dish is raita. All are clearly labelled and staff is very knowledgeable though not always friendly. I had one woman tell me I was giving her a headache when trying to find out if chai was vegan.

The one real drawback is that I never feel very well when I leave because I eat too much everytime!

horselover fat (unverified)
Aug 23, 2003
cafe bomb ass vegan grub

indian music, an awsome dining area and an area for parties?call.buffet 7-8 bucks Includes salad and about 6 entrees.even had a sign on the buffet dishes:NOT VEGAN Get some carrot desert! fuckn rad!

Rev. Uncle Neil Banana Head (unverified)
May 15, 2003
Ganesh would be proud (somewhat)

The buffet is great, and since that is usually the reason people go here, you will not (usually) be disappointed. The curry tofu is marvelous, as well as the chickpea dish.