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Do Diwali right this year at these three favorites.

While the great Starbucks cup debate has populated much of the news this week, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone in Houston a happy Diwali. The ancient Hindu festival known as the festival of lights is one of the biggest and the brightest of the year for Indians all over the world. The day is often celebrated with family and friends by the lighting of candles and fireworks, signifying the victory of light over darkness, hope over despair, and good over evil.

Offering blessings for the upcoming year, those who partake in Diwali festivities treat each other to baskets of fruit, decadent sweets, or mithai, and a bountiful meal to enjoy late into the night. As an Indian-born Houston transplant, I invite everyone to celebrate out of the box on this auspicious day with fantastic food at some of Houston's best Indian restaurants.

Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop
2800 Kirby Dr., pondichericafe.com

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Pondicheri's upstairs bakery is a one-stop shop for Diwali.

This trendy West Ave eatery promises all of your spicy favorites at brunch, lunch and dinner, but it's the second-story Bake Lab that truly delivers on Diwali. Bakery cases lined with decadent pastries like gulab jamun donuts and coconut cashew ladoos are hard to resist while the large variety of spiced nuts are a delicious alternative to plain old peanuts or almonds. A custom treat box loaded with sweets from the Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop is no doubt a festive way to spread holiday cheer on Diwali.

Kiran's
4100 Westheimer Rd., kiranshouston.us

Chef Kiran Verma is known for her traditional Indian cuisine with a flair for the modern, and there's no better time to enjoy it than Kiran's own Diwali dinner today, November 11. The multi-course dinner is priced at $44 per person and will include an array of flavorful starters, entrees, and desserts in celebration of the Festival of Lights. The warm, exotic decor of this Highland Village gem is indeed the perfect backdrop for a proper Diwali dinner with family and friends.

Shri Balaji Bhavan
5655 Hillcroft St.

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Diwali is for dosas.

Located in the bustling Mahatma Gandhi District on Hillcroft in between Harwin and the Westpark Tollway, Shri Balaji Bhavan offers guests a casual dining experience complete with all of the Diwali delights. The full-service restaurant boasts an all-vegetarian menu including dosas and pani puri, while the large variety of fresh baked goods and sweets packed and ready to go make it a one-stop shop for Diwali shopping.

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Editor’s Pick

Shri Balaji Bhavan

$ Indian 5655 Hillcroft St.

Like Shiv Sagar, everything at Shri Balaji Bhavan is vegetarian, and both the decor and the service leave a little to be desired. But you’re not there for th...

Editor’s Pick

Kiran’s

$$$ Indian 2925 Richmond Ave.

The slogan at chef Kiran Verma’s immaculate restaurant says it all: “Traditional Indian cuisine, modern chef.” Verma’s food speaks to a Texan palate—her menu...

Editor’s Pick

Pondicheri

$ Indian 2800 Kirby Dr.

The little sister to Indika, Pondicheri expands on a chaat house concept to include a bakeshop, which turns out everything from chili-chocolate oatmeal cooki...