Here in New York, locals refer to the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan as Curry Hill because of the large number of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi restaurants concentrated around Lexington between 25th and 29th street, just north of Gramercy Park. The most famous is probably Curry in a Hurry because it has been around since 1976. Under current ownership it’s not very good. The food is oily and I strongly suggest having Pepto Bismol at the ready. My recommendation for casual steam table Indian food is called Curry Express. Located not quite on the corner of 29th St and Lexington, this unassuming place has been a favorite of mine for years.
I’ve gone to this place after job interviews, after seeing Helmet at the nearby Gramercy theater and after events at nearby Madison Square Park. Basically anytime I’m in the area, I make it a point to eat there or bring some back to Brooklyn. You can get custom entrees and snacks such as samosa chaat or get combo meals. I opt for the combos generally which are $7-$8 (1 meat, 2 veg or 3 veg items). I recommend pretty much everything. My favorites though are the chicken curry, the melt in your mouth cauliflower, and spinach. The counter people are always really nice. If in a particularly good mood, they’ll sometimes give me a free naan or a sweet. Ignore most of the fancy places, check out Curry Express. Other notable spots in the neighborhood: Saravan Bhavan (amazing Dosas) and Tiffinwallah (all vegetarian, North and South Indian but stick to the South).