The Ganesh Temple Canteen, Flushing, NYC

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Ganesh Temple Canteen on Urbanspoon

Ganesh Temple Canteen

Food: ☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆

Cost: $$$

Must try: Bisi Bele Bath, Dosas

Some of New York City’s most authentic South Indian food – specifically from the Tamil Nadu region, is housed in the basement of Flushing’s revered Hindu temple.

This minimalistic temple canteen is outfitted with simple metal tables and chairs and serves a clean menu of staples. The mainstays are several versions of dosas, idlis, vadas and other popular Tamil “tiffin” items.

I thought the “Dosas” – a version of a pan fried fermented lentil and rice crepe – were very good as was their “Bisi Bele Bath” which is a scrumptious spicy rice and lentil combination. Their chutneys or sambar didn’t blow me away but theirs is definitely a better version than many others in the city.

The price point is ridiculously low – one can eat a meal fit for a king for under $10 and the quality and authenticity is quite unmatchable. Weekends around lunchtime get very crowded so your best bet is to go on a weekday or during off hours.

The best part is that you can always duck into the temple on your way in or out and get blessed by Lord Ganesha – the remover of all obstacles. God and good food all under one roof sounds like a win-win situation to me!


Here is some of what we ate:


Paper Masala Dosa

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Idli and Vada



Bise Bele Bath



Tamarind Rice