CLOSED: Spice Nation

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 14 reviews )



4225 Lafayette Rd, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, 46254

All vegetarian at this location. Has a full menu weekdays, and a buffet on weekends. Call for hours. Staff will tell you which items contain milk products, if you ask. Previously called A Passage to India, same chef. Reported closed to HappyCow, Mar 2016. Open Tue-Sun.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Indian

14 Reviews

First Review by hpames

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Ok if no other options - Edit

I hate to give a bad review since this is a vegetarian restaurant but I don't think it deserves high reviews. We recently went there and met by unfriendly staff. We went up to get our food and was about to dish up some food when I noticed some white cubes floating in the sauce. I asked if that was tofu and they said no it is cheese even though the label said vegan. Turns out that they forgot to change the labels around for the day. The food was ok but it was mainly fried without much taste. After my meal I went to use the bathroom where I saw one of the cooks using the restroom. Not only was he using the restroom in his apron but he walked straight out the door without washing his hands. Gross!!!

Pros: vegan options

Cons: bad location, unfriendly staff, not clean

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All vegetarian menu plus Vegan buffet nights - Edit

I love Indian food. Spice Nation not only has delicious, delicious spicy dishes, but has a rockstar for a manager. He'll take you to your table and his first question is, 'vegan or vegetarian?'. He'll then grab you some bread based on your answer.

When I first moved to town I got takeout here once. While the takeout was delish, the buffet is the real reason to go to this restaurant. The buffet here is the best I've been to. Most Indian restaurants have staple buffet foods (chana masala, dal makhni, and maybe one or two vegetable dishes). Here you will find twenty-plus vegetarian and vegan dishes just on the hot buffet line -- and it's all vegan on Thursdays. Everything that's vegan is clearly labelled. They even have vegan chai tea!

Every time I go there is something on the buffet that I have never tried before. Also, every time I go I promise myself just one plate, but end up getting two. If you're vegetarian and in Indy, this place is a must-go.

Pros: Delicious, delicious food, Great, knowledgeable waitstaff, Indy's only all-veg restaurant

Cons: Bad if you're trying to lose weight ;-).

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Vegan YUM - Edit

Having a restaurant such as Spice Nation makes this vegan feel like she's living in the BIG city! The owners are exceptionally nice and will ask upon arrival if you are vegan or vegetarian - table bread served accordingly. First timers will receive a nice introduction to the buffet. All dishes are clearly marked and specify if they are vegan or vegetarian. Thursday night is VEGAN BUFFET night and it is wonderful!! The food is delicious - made to order dosas delivered table side. Hot vegan chai with almond milk included. Come hungry!! Friday night is IndoChinese and a majority of buffet dishes are vegan. Yum yum yum. My husband and I are addicted!

Pros: Items clearly marked, Delicious food , Excellent variety

Cons: Not enough people know about it YET!

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Excellent for Vegan Families - Edit

Had an exquisite experience at the lunch buffet with our family. The vegan options were amazing and the service was exemplary. Props to the staff for being so accommodating of our little kids and our son's peanut allergy. They took the time to verify each buffet item and whether or not it contained peanuts. We WILL be back. Check for our full review with pictures on (direct link to review: )
Updated from previous review on Friday March 22, 2013

Pros: great selection, great vegan options , great price

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Wonderful Hole-In-The-Wall - Edit

I've been trying to convince my non-veg husband to go to Spice Nation with me for years and he was very reluctant since he wouldn't have any meat to eat. He finally went with me and he absolutely loves it (of course I love it!). He keeps begging me to eat out since he's addicted to their cauliflower appetizer and all the other great food. My point here is that vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters will all love this restaurant. They have an entire section of the menu devoted to vegan dishes. They have a wonderful buffet on the weekends that contains ample amounts of vegan food. Last night I was able to have vegan chai...yum! The owner is very kind and will make your experience there one to remember.

Pros: Lots of vegan options., Friendly owner and staff., Excellent food quality.

Cons: None.

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Best Indian in Indy! - Edit

I hate to be this chick, but! I've traveled a lot in India and in fact, was there less than two months ago. Passage to India (former Udupi) is the only Indian restaurant in Indianapolis that I can recommend.

The food is great, the buffet varied and exciting, the chutneys totally awesome!

I usually stick with the South Indian stuff. Big yum to the idlis and sambar. The coconut and coriander chutney are some of the best I've ever had.

Every time I go, the buffet is a little different! And the price is very, very reasonable. If I'm not mistaken, about $6.99 for the buffet, including naan and masala dosa.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday May 08, 2012

Update: Still love this place, even now that it is called Spice Nation. The owner is super friendly and it seems they are labeling the buffet now to write which dishes are vegan.

Pros: varied, delicious, best chutneys

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Great selection! - Edit

The good: We had a dinner buffet and there were tons of things to pick from. How great to go to a buffet and know that nothing has meat! Everything I tried was delicious. The inside of the restaurant is cute and the tables aren't squished together.
The bad: I had terrible luck getting a hold of the restaurant to find out their hours. I called a zillion times for lunch and no one ever answered (even though I know from looking at their hours once I got there that they WERE in fact open). When finally, closer to dinner time, someone DID pick up, they answered by saying "Hello?" I thought I had dialed the wrong number or something, what kind of place doesn't answer the phone with their business name? Also the restaurant is a little tricky to find. It's down a dumpy, cold hallway inside a dumpy strip mall.
All that said, I'd definitely go again if only I lived in the area. Yum yum.

Pros: filling, great selection, nice atmosphere

Cons: dumpy area, iffy service

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As expected Indian cuisine - Edit

The cuisine was as expected; heavily spiced sauces (keep your water glass handy). The naan bread was awesome.
Location is poor (poorly maintained building, and down a dingy hallway within.)

Pros: healthy food, friendly staff, food served hot

Cons: location is poor

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The Change in Owners = Better! - Edit

The majority of the food served here is vegan, and no eggs are used in anything. I've had one incident, though. The naan is not vegan, even when made without butter/ghee. A sever brought me some, knowing I'm vegan sans the butter. However, the next time I was in, the owner told me that they do use a little bit of cow's milk in the batter. So, with that said, be careful. I'm not sure how many other things have "just a little bit of milk" in them. They do make awesome lemon/tamarind rice and quite a few stews that are excellent.

Pros: Variety of Rice, Stews/Curries, Improved Decor

Cons: Clarity With Some Ingredients

1 Response
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TabithaShearer 22 Feb 2013 - Sounds like we had very similar experiences here! A friend and I received items we were told were vegan, only to find out later that they weren't!  

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Veggie Haven - Edit

A Passage to India, formerly Udupi, is the only all vegetarian restaurant in Indianapolis. My first experience with this restaurant was years ago when I was still in college. Since then the building Passage is located in is undergoing renovation. The space is bright and open. The food is delicious. Lunch is buffet-style and inexpensive. The waiters are familiar with veganism and on my most recent visit nearly all of the entrees were dairy and egg- free. For fans of South Indian cuisine (or if you're unfamiliar and want to sample some items) A Passage to India is highly recommended.

Pros: Multiple vegan options, Reasonably priced, Atmosphere

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Amazing! - Edit

I've been going to this restaurant ever since I moved to Indy in 2005. It is completely vegetarian and everything they serve is amazing. This is my absolute favorite restaurant ever. They always have different items on the buffet. The staff is very friendly and helpful if you have questions. If you haven't tried it, you have to go!! You won't be disappointed. It is a little bit spicy, but if it is too much for you to handle, there is a yogurt type dish by the sauces that cools it all down.

Pros: All vegetarian, All you can eat, Very friendly staff

Cons: Can be a little slow if you order a soda

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yummy! - Edit

when we sat down and looked at the menu i found many many items i wanted to try. their menu is HUGE. the gobi 65 cauliflower appetizer is amazing, and all the curries i've tried there have been amazing. i go here often and love to try new things, sometimes i dont like the taste of it, but their buffets are a good way to go try and see what you like. the service is somewhat slow, but this is one of my favorite restaurants!

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One of the best Indian buffets I've ever tried - Edit

We travel between Michigan and Indiana a lot to visit family. The only way we were able to find this place was through Happy Cow. They are located in a pretty generic strip mall a little off the main road. There is another Indian restaurant in the same strip mall (which we did not try) that you can enter from the sidewalk. Udupi Cafe is a little harder to find because you have to go inside the mall (down a long narrow hallway) to see it.However, this place is well worth the search!
The food was very fresh and not over-processed. Also, it was not too greasy or full of ghee. Since I'm not a vegan (just vegetarian) I didn't ask whether they use ghee or oil though.
There was a huge variety of Indian foods. Most of the food were types that I've never seen at any of the other (numerous) Indian buffets that I've been to before. When one tray of food was empty, they brought out a different type to replace it. Everything was a little more spicy that what I'm used to. However it was so flavorful and delicious that I still wanted to eat it (and just drank more water).
Like most buffets, this was an "all you can eat" deal. The price was very reasonable (even if you can only eat one plateful of food).
There is also a great Indian market in the same general space as the restaurant.

Pros: excellent food, good value, friendly staff

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Love this place - Edit

Standing before a buffet and really accepting that nothing in front of me is made with flesh is amazing. We're always surrounded by people from India here--I think that's a good sign.

Pros: 100% Vegetarian, Rotating buffet menus, tasty food

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