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Little India in San Diego!
San Diegans no longer have to travel 100 miles North to Artesia in order to experience the richness of Indian cuisine and culture. Little India on Black Mountain Road encompasses the Indian spirit in every way. Located on Black Mountain Road, a block north of Miramar Road, Little India consists of a number of restaurants and stores that act as a haven for South Asians and anyone else who enjoys Indian food and culture.

By Lakshmi Appachar
Photos by Jayanth Mandayam & T. Johnston-O'Neill
2013 Article Update by Akshata Yerdoor

Bombay Bazzar
Vegtables at Bombay Bazaar
Little India Center, popularly known as "Little India," began as a single grocery store that provided essential supplies for Indian cooking. The mall has now expanded into a collection of shops that includes several restaurants, an Indian fashion shop, a dance studio, a center for yoga, and a Hindu temple. People of Indian origin living in San Diego will tell you that this mall is one of their most frequented places.

The Essential Ingredients for Indian Cuisine

The original Little India grocery store no longer exists, taking its place is the far larger Bombay Bazaar, a great source for pantry essentials needed to create splendid authentic Indian cuisine. A wide variety of spices, lentils, rice, flours used in Indian breads like naan and roti, and vegetables exclusively used in Indian cooking are just a few of the items available at Bombay Bazaar. India is a culturally-diverse country and cuisines vary greatly from region to region and the store carries an array of fragrant spices and condiments used across India. The store also sells frozen foods like shredded coconut, roti dough and South Indian dosa (similar to a crepe) batter mix. Frozen vegetables like drumstick, snake gourd, ladies finger (a.k.a. okra), bitter gourd, and curry leaves can be purchased at the store. For those of us who love Indian sweets, the store also sells ready-to-prepare packages of a number of sweet treats like gulab jamoon and rasmalai.

Delicious Indian Food from all over the Subcontinent

Surati Sweets
Surati Sweets
Little India has a line of restaurants that serve delectable food from cuisines all over India; Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Surati Farsan Mart, tucked in the heart of Little India, is the ideal place to try a variety of Indian tea-time snacks such as kachori, samosa, vada pav, masala puri and the ubiquitously popular bhelpuri. The names of these snacks might be unfamiliar, but once you give them a taste, you will surely come back for more. Many of the dishes available at Surati Farsan are unique to Gujarati style of cooking. Don

Madras Caf

Ashoka the Great
Ashoka the Great primarily serves traditional North Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies ranging from curries to tandoori dishes. The ambience and d

Bawarchi Dosa offers a wide variety of the quintessential South Indian crepe, dosa. Ranging from crispy masala dosa (where the dosa is paper-thin) to specialty versions such as uthappam dosa, all dosas are served with coconut chutney and a sambhar lentil soup. The restaurant's offerings is not limited to vegetarian dishes. Non-vegetarian delicacies like Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Chettinadu, smothered in spicy gravy, are examples of the diversity that is found in Indian cuisine. Shrimp Masala and "Fish Fry" will mesmerize seafood lovers. In addition to the wide variety of dishes found in the menu, you can also explore the lunch and dinner buffets.

Bawarchi Dosa

Bombay Fashions

Exquisite Indian Clothing and Jewelry

Bombay Fashions is a purveyor of fine Indian clothing and jewelry. The store carries a large selection of traditional Indian attire like kurta, ghaghra, salwar kameez, and saree (or sari). These garments are often embellished with intricate beadwork and often feature spectacular embroidered designs. In addition to clothing, you accessorize with fine Indian jewelry and colorful hand-woven bags.

Classical and Contemporary Indian Dance

Rhythm Studios provides instruction in both classical and contemporary Indian Dance. Music and dance is an integral part of Indian culture. Every dance form has its own regional flavor and tied to many traditions, ceremonies and festivals. Rhythm Studio conducts classes and workshops for classical dance forms, ranging from elegant Kathak from North India to the devotional Bharatnatyam performed in the South of India. The studio also offers classes for Indian folkdance exhibiting more local styles of dance. Rhythm Studio also offers Bollywood dance instruction, a form of dance which fuses Indian classical and western dance styles.

Yoga and Meditation Center

Learn Yoga

The Yoga and Meditation Center in Little India offers instruction for various levels of yoga postures and breathing techniques. Yoga dates back to ancient times and is essentially a form of exercise that unifies the body and mind. Studies have shown that yoga can alleviate stress and increase physical strength leading to a sense of overall well-being. The center organizes group classes for enthusiastic learners of all ages. If you can

Shri Mandir Hindu Temple

The Shri Mandir Hindu temple sponsors many ceremonies and programs that are open to the public. Devotees and their families flock to the temple on major Indian festivals like Ganesha Chaturthi, Deepavali, and Dusshera. While many temples in India are dedicated to particular gods or goddesses, Shri Mandir has shrines with effigies dedicated to a wide range of dieties and even has a shrine dedicated to Buddha.
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