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My freshman roommate and I were (and still are) obsessed with Madras Masala. It was the only restaurant on campus that encouraged us to trek outside, traveling from our dorm in the Hill Neighborhood to the State Street area. At the time, the distance seemed unbearable, but rain or snow, we were at Madras sharing gossip and news over a warm plate of food. Whether you’re in want of a flavorful bite or are looking for a place to unwind, Madras Masala is there.

The owners are incredibly friendly and there are many vegetarian options. When I got my wisdom teeth removed, my first stop on my Ann Arbor soup tour was Madras for their Mulligatawny dish. Its creamy richness saved my life. 

Great dishes to order include the perennial favorite, Chicken Tikka, and the lesser ordered yet still show-stoppingly delicious Fish Tikka Masala and Bagara Baingan. My pescatarian friends fall over themselves to explain just how amazing — how soft and how flaky — the fish is. The Chicken Biryani portions are generous, and each dish can have the spice adjusted. While I prefer the plain naan, my friends swear by Madras’s garlic naan. 

Besides the memories and the fantastic food, the best part about Madras is its versatility. You can bring a whole group of friends for dinner at night and get seated quickly. It’s perfect for date nights and visiting family and friends. You rarely need a reservation, but the restaurant is never empty. Madras is also a lunchtime favorite for students. You can dine as a study break and be back to class on time. If you’re on a budget, you can also split a single curry with a friend and leave satisfied. The possibilities are endless at this Ann Arbor and campus staple.

Daily Arts Writer Elizabeth Yoon can be reached at