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Udupi Cafe

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 21 reviews )
Contact 480 994-8787

1636 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, Arizona, USA, 85281

Vegetarian Indian restaurant specializing in South Indian food. Extensive menu; also offers daily lunch buffet. Change of ownership in Oct 2012. Open Mon-Sun 11:00am-3:00pm, Mon-Thu 5:00pm-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 5:00pm-10:00pm, Sun 5:00pm-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Indian, Buffet

Reviews (21)

First Review by jkbartol

Amazing Buffet Options - Edit

Went here for the Saturday Buffet and it's so amazing. The Gobi Manchurian is delightful and their noodles are so good. I definitely recommend this place! Totally worth the price for all you can eat!

Pros: Lots of Vegan Options, Delicious

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Pretty Good Indian Food - Edit

I called ahead to inquire about ordering from the menu during the lunch hour. The girl who answered said that if it's not busy they can accommodate this request, but when it's busy, they cannot. Luckily for me, it was a slow day and they were able to accommodate me.

I wanted to try their Gobi Manchurian and I also inquired if they could make an Aloo Saag (spinach and potatoes) vegan, which is not on the menu. They agreed to make this dish for me as well. So far, so good with the accommodation factor. I also added an order of poori (it’s a puffy bread).

Battered and deep fried cauliflower doused in a sweet and spicy chili sauce. I requested this dish extra spicy. It was very yummy. I wasn’t as crispy as I’d hoped, but this could have been due to the fact that it was a carry-out order and it may have gotten soggy from the condensation after being enclosed. Either way, crisp or limp, it was still a very tasty dish.

I requested it vegan and extra spicy. It was not extra spicy and I questioned if it was very because it had a creamy look to it. I did a taste-test. I didn’t taste or smell weird (non-vegan-y). This dish was just ok. It lacked the sabor with which Aloo Saag is traditionally made, and it was not at all spicy. It wasn’t bland, but it was certainly lacking. Being that this item it not on their menu and they were doing me a favor by making it, I will not hold this against them. I will just stick to their menu items on any future visits.

The bread was very fresh and well-prepared.

The portions were large. Prices were reasonable.

They have no vegan desserts, but you can find some 2 blocks north at Green.

They lost points due to:
1 - the waitress/ cashier’s bad attitude (When I inquired if the entrees came with basmati rice she snapped back at me that she'd never heard of this; they only sell plain white rice or biryani rice. The menu clearly calls it basmati rice.)

2 - Cleanliness issue. Another worker was sweeping the floor for like 10 minutes and went directly from cleaning dirt to preparing a plate at the buffet. Unacceptable!

Also, they gave me a strange milky looking liquid with my to go order. I do not know what this is and I have strong doubts about its veganess. I'll be throwing it away.

Pros: excellent Gobi Manchurian , large portions, reasonably priced

Cons: staff attitude and sanitation issues, no vegan desserts

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Really good! - Edit

I've been here with my family a few times now, and every time, we've all loved it! The service is nice, but the food is really good. We haven't tried the buffet yet, but we tried a cauliflower dish. I forget what is was called, but it was basically fried cauliflower in a spicy red sauce! Even my veggie-hating sister loved it!

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The food is OK but the Health Dept gave bad review - Edit

I've eaten dinner here several times with other vegetarian friends. We all thought the food was good but not the best Indian food we've ever had. The menu is quite extensive, all vegetarian. Servers could 'somewhat' explain dishes that we didn't know about. Most of the dishes we tried were fresh and flavorful but my friends commented that the dosa was mediocre. (We tried several)

I was quite concerned when local news said that the Health Department gave it very bad marks with many major violations. I have not been back since. (About 6 months ago.) Has anyone been there recently? I'd like to know how Udupi is doing and if they''ve literally cleaned up their act before I make the long drive.

Pros: All vegetarian, Large portion size, Better than average Indian food

Cons: Major violations cited by Health Dept.

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  Contributions +22

Very kind, tasty food! - Edit

I went here for V-Day with my fiancee back when I was still a vegetarian. The mango lassi was amazing, and so was their paneer tikka masala. The people working were super friendly and kind and seemed like they really cared about their business. I'm looking forward to going again and seeing what kind of vegan options they have next time. This place is a hidden gem in my eyes, very authentic too!
Updated from previous review on Sunday August 04, 2013

Pros: Cheap, Delicious, Friendly

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Great Vegetarian South Indian Cuisine - Edit

Great food, clearly labeled vegan dishes. Delicious south indian cuisine with tons of options. Prices are appropriate as are serving sizes and the food was delicious. Highly recommend it if you like Indian food. The vegetable curry was great as was the dhal curry.

Pros: Vegetarian, Excellent food, Good Prices

Cons: yogurt/cheese in many dishes

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Nice family owned restaurant, lots of yummy option - Edit

I had a day in Phoenix on a recent business trip. Looked on Happy Cow and found this place. Great lunch buffet with lots of options, and a handful of unusual items on the menu. I would definitely come here again.

Pros: Lots of buffet variety , Super friendly staff, Interesting menu

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Food Greaat - Staff Rude - Edit

We have gone at least a dozen times, but the staff there has always been quite rude. Other than them treating us rather indifferently each time we go, we went in one time pretty close to closing time and to be polite (well, that and not feeling uncomfortable with them all standing there staring at us with their arms crossed) we offered to simply take the small amount of food left on our plates to go. They absolutely in no uncertain terms refused to allow us to take even a grain of rice out of the place. We of course finished because we NEVER waste food, and left. We prefer the Cafe Krishna by far and away, even though it is a 10 or 12 mile farther drive for us. To be fair, the food at Udupi is really, really good, but we just don't get a great feeling from the staff like we do at Krishna.

Pros: Convenient location, Great Food and selection, 100% vegetarian

Cons: Rude staff, A bit Pricey, One dosai per person limit

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Great buffet - Edit

This is a favorite of ours in Tempe. Can't go wrong w/all the vegan options at the buffet. Great way to experience all the food and then they make masala dosa just for you

Pros: Good value, friendly staff, Good food

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Udupi! - Edit

The foods really good here! I went with one of my close friends and his girlfriend. There not Veggie but I had these ball things I don't remember what was in them I think like wheat and vegetables, not sure and of course lots of spices cause is Indian food!

Pros: Yummy!, Spicy!

Cons: Crappy Service

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Disappointing - Edit

I had heard a lot of hype about how good Udupi is. I LOVE Indian food so I had high hopes. I went during the typical lunch hour buffet and was rather disappointed. The buffet was the smallest Indian buffet I had ever been to; there were 2 entrees, 2 breads and 2 rices (white or saffron). The entrees were LOADED with cilantro... I am not a huge cilantro fan, I can handle the average amount in most Indian food, but this was so ridiculously overloaded with cilantro I decided to walk out! I was really disappointed, perhaps having been spoiled by my hometown Indian buffet (Tandoor in Rochester, NY) that had at least 5 entrees and then lots of little appetizers, rices, soups, fresh fruit, salad, and breads. I went to Green Restaurant just up the street and had the BEST samosa I have ever had instead. I will say Udupi is EXCELLENT in their labeling on the buffet though - every item was labeled whether or not it was vegan - and they brought out fresh food when when trays were emptied.

Pros: Labels vegan food, Fresh food

Cons: Small selection, Overly spiced

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Wonderful Array of Vegan Choices! - Edit

Ate at the Sunday buffet. We were very impressed! What a joy to find a buffet that was about 90% vegan. Everything was delicious -- and there was a wide range of dishes. Service was very friendly and efficient.

Pros: large number of vegan options, tasty dishes

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Great vegetarian Indian food! - Edit

Wether you order from the buffet or the menu, you are guaranteed to get a fresh tasting, delicious meal. The buffet selections are labeled "vegetarian" or "vegan", so there is no guess work, and you know that you never have to wonder what is in the food. The music is pleasant and the staff is helpful. If you like Indian food, you'll love Udipi.

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Amazing - Edit

Every time my brother and I go here we are the only white people on the restaurant. It really says something when Indians go to an Indian restaurant, since most of them are perfectly capable of making the dishes at home. This place is great since they offer both vegetarian and vegan dishes, and clearly label which is which. However, the spiciness of the food varies from lunch to dinner. Lunch is spicy, but you enjoy it. Dinner is beyond spicy, there should be a new level of hot to describe it, the food is delicious, but if you can't handle the heat go for the lunch. My brother described the dinner menu as "I think hell just erupted in my mouth, but in a delicious way."

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Eat like a Cow... - Edit

I love this place for Indian food. Honestly I don't know what I've ordered here by it's "official name" maybe "thali" but I tell the server I'm vegan and would like the veg combo plate.... and so far it has been fabulous each time. Sooo many little dishes that are all vegan AND tasty. I feel like a cow, so much to taste, so much I want to eat! The service is friendly and prompt. I live about 30 minutes away but the commute is worth it...everytime.
I must do the lunch buffet someday : )

Pros: Food Taste/ Texture/ Quantity, Food Variety/ Selection, Great Service

Cons: Only One Location

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The best - Edit

This is the best place to get indian food in the valley! That's why I drive all the way from northwest glendale to eat here! I love coming for the lunch buffet because you can try a variety of foods and eat as much as you want!

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Great Food... - Edit

I went last week to Udupi Cafe. There are sooo many Vegan options on the menu. The Staff and Service were great, unfortunately we got to the restaurant rather late and had to cut our visit short but I definitely plan on re-visiting Udupi Cafe some time soon!!

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Best Indian Food In AZ - Edit

Hands down, best Indian I've ever had, and most of the menu is vegan. The spare decor is totally made up for by the sumptuous meals, great service, and accomodation kitchen.

Pros: friendly staff, great hours, amazing food

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Awesome! - Edit

I am shocked no one has reviewed this place yet. It seems like this place has die-hard fans and frequent return customers. Their daily all you can eat vegetarian buffets are phenomenal and their special weekend buffets and holiday buffets are even better. 100% vegetarian and the majority of their menu is vegan. Their menu is huge the service is awesome the people are great. AUTHENTIC INDIAN Some of the best food I have ever had. I eat their weekly I love it so much. I have brought my picky family and friends who are either non vegetarian or non-vegan and they loved it too. I have brought friends from vegetarian utopias such as SanFrancisco or New York and they think it's a real gem. I have yet to encounter an option on the menu that either I or a fellow patron doesn't like. I have eaten at many vegetarian restaurants in many different states and countries and Udupi makes me feel proud of where we live and restores confidence that we can compete with some of the more culturally affluent and intellectually progressive places of this world. I still can't believe I am the first to write a review . . . try the gobi manchurian, chilly gobi, or veggie biriyani!

Pros: Diverse menu, Large portions

Cons: Menu can be intimidating 4 first timers

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