Cardamom is, incontestably, the culinary jewel of North Campus. Its rivals can be hardly mentioned alongside it — in my mind, Cardamom is not only the best restaurant on North Campus, but is definitely in the running for the best restaurant in town. And certainly it’s the best Indian food. When visiting friends or family ask for a restaurant recommendation, it’s the name of Cardamom that springs instinctively and unbidden to my lips. If you are searching for an atmosphere that feels simultaneously up-scale and relaxed, Cardamom is where I’ll direct your gaze. When I want to catch up with a friend, Cardamom is where I invite them to have lunch.

Looking at the menu generates none of the ordinary anxiety surrounding the choosing of a meal — everything is an excellent choice. Nothing leaves you wanting, except for more. With a range of dishes, each new visit to Cardamom opens up new possibilities: the fear of straying from your tried-and-true plates is entirely absent, because the thrill of new (and inevitably positive) gustatory experiences overrides any apprehension. The single, great tragedy of this gastronomic miracle is merely that more Central Campus dwellers don’t seem to know about it — but for those of us who lead an isolated and hermitic existence up here among the roaming deer and quiet woods, its presence adds a truly enviable dash of spice.

Check out the rest of 2017’s Best of Ann Arbor here.

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