in Indian Restaurant
The basic etiquette
for any restaurant is very similar such
as leaving a nice tip for good service,
and being courteous to your host. Many
Indian restaurants are not very formal.
Yes even those considered best (Indian
restaurant are usually very similar).
The etiquette for Indian (or any ethnic
South Asian) restaurants might be little
different from other restaurants. Below
I have provided some basic rules.
Ask for Beef or Pork:
Many Indians are either Hindus or
Muslims. In Hinduism, the cow is considered
a sacred animal so it cannot be eaten.
Similarly, Muslims consider the pig
to be a very filthy animal so it cannot
be eaten. Most Indian restaurants
do not serve any beef or pork products.
Many restaurateurs might get offended
if you ask for beef or pork, when
you do not see it on the menu. If
you see it on the menu, it is okay
to ask. However, both of those meats
are not really an Indian specialty,
so the safest bet for meat is chicken
meat followed by lamb meat. Please
also note that some Indian restaurants
are purely vegetarian and do not serve
any meat. Vegetarian restaurants are
usually marked vegetarian from outside.
Please do not offend a vegetarian
owner by asking for meat.
If it is not
wet or messy, it is okay to eat with
Many Indian food such as naan (flat
bread) can be enjoyed by eating with
hand. The proper technique would be
to break the bread, dip or take small
piece of condiments such as chutney,
or vegetable curry and eat it. So,
it is perfectly fine to use your hands
while eating. The basic rule of thumb
is if you do not make a mess by eating
something with your hands (such as
liquid, grains of rice) it can be
enjoyed with your hands if you wish.
The philosophy behind this is that
eating is a very sensual thing and
one should be able to enjoy eating
with as many senses as possible –
tasting, smelling, looking and touching.
’Jutha’ means something
that came in contact with your mouth,
your saliva or your plate (while eating).
It is basically something that directly
or indirectly came in contact with
your saliva. It is considered very
rude and unhygienic to offer someone
else your ‘Jutha’ unless
you are very close family, couple
or close friend. So, avoid doing this
if you are not sure how your other
Indian diners feel about it.
Many Indian restaurants would
not serve alcoholic drink. Even they
serve alcohol, few restaurants have
any range to choose from. Indians
do not have any wine and dine culture,
so best would be to go dry and try
something like mango lassi for a refreshing
For many Indians, when they invite
you to a restaurant, it generally
means they are the host and they are
going to pay the bill. It however
depends on the individual and nature
of the invitation. Many Indians feel
awkward asking new acquaintances or
friends to ask for payment if they
invited them. Even if they want to
pay you, when offered money, they
will say no at least once. So, please
be double sure if they want to share.
Similarly, when you invite your Indian
friend to Indian restaurant they might
think you will be paying it. If you
want to go dutch, rather than inviting
them, just use words as “lets
go Xyz” or “lets us both
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