I have traveled to many places and have eaten at many high-end dining establishments, and Vimala's truly beats them all. You will not find such high-quality food anywhere else, period -- especially not for her prices.
Everything from the appetizers to the atmosphere is impeccable. The staff is friendly, helpful, and extremely accommodating. Both the indoor and outdoor seating areas are absolutely beautiful. Live music, a bubbling fountain, pretty stonework, gorgeous landscaping, lights- there is no better place to spend a summer evening than in the Courtyard. The restaurant is charming and lovely yet relaxed- the perfect balance of class and informality.
But what is really fantastic about Vimala's is the food itself. If it were any fresher it would still be in the soil. Vimala works with local farmers and has her own garden to source food for the restaurant, and she demands only the highest quality produce and spices. The many, many vegan options (clearly labeled) are just as finely orchestrated as the meat dishes. Every time I eat there I am completely floored at the outright, remarkable deliciousness and flavor complexity of her dishes. Other Indian restaurants do not even compare (even in India!). Unlike at other restaurants, you well never get just one dish at Vimala's; all the entrees are served with little salads, soups, chutneys, sauces, etc. and that makes for a very exciting dining experience.
Vimala's is a Chapel Hill/Carrboro institution, now, but it is also the best restaurant in the entire triangle area. Vimala hasn't just created a restaurant, she has built a community.
The only drawback is the wait. It can be long on weekend nights at peak hours. Come for lunch anytime or dinner during the week and service will be much faster. If you come on a weekend, come with people you can just hang out with for a while, order an appetizer, have a beer, and relax.
Would definitely be a full 5 cows if it didn't serve meat and dairy!Pros: spectacular food, great value, wonderful atmosphere
Cons: long wait somtimes