Lunch in Oak Forest – Govinda’s

Brief Overview

Food & Pricing: Very fresh and light for Indian. All Vegetarian, and so many vegan options. I loved it, and wish Govdinda’s was there when my mom first moved to the area when I was a new vegetarian in the early 90’s. – The buffet is under 12 dollars a person.

Parking: Free Parking in the Temple lot, plenty of spaces.

Patio: No Patio here, sorry folks!

Service & Cleanliness: Small, seemingly family owned operation. No issues at all on service, and everything was very clean!

Take out: I will update this if I ever get anything to go, and let ya know!

Now on to the Review:

Even though we stepped out into a picturesque day with a clear sky,  it was still windy and chilly out.

For us, this means our typical patio dining would be a no go. As much as we love Indian food, Indian restaurants that offer patio dining are far and few between. So we took this opportunity to finally give Govinda’s a shot.

Govinda’s is nestled in with Hare Krishna temple near 34th & Ella. Pictured below is the main entrance. – Parking is ample (but may still fill during peak hours) and free within the temples lot.

The temple itself is pretty cool looking. Some interesting worldy art wraps around the building. It’s definately worth taking a stroll and admiring the intricate and colorful work.

Note: The temple has side doors which are indeed open. Do not enter through those! (As we almost did) Shoes are not allowed in the temple, and temple guests remove them when entering at the main entrance. – The temple also has a restaurant or kitchen of sorts inside, do not confuse it with Govinda’s, which is a separate building adjacent to the temple with a red canopy sign out front.

You are politely greeted upon entering and directed to your table and the buffet. I believe its buffet only, but dont quote me on that one.


Listed above the buffet line are the commonly used herbs and spices, with a brief overview of their flavor profile and use.

The buffet line isnt the only thing that is aesthetically appealing. The over all decor is actually quite nice. Unique, bright, and airy.

govindas art

So back to the food. The photo below is only round one, so some of the awesomeness is not pictured.

Mostly vegan. All vegetarian. Very light on the pallet and not dripping in heavy sauces or ghee. The dal makhani is delicious, my go to dish when its available, I have a few places in town that I prefer to enjoy it, and boy is it typically quite rich. As is another gut busting delight that I hold dear, saag paneer. The dal, while having no taste of fat on the pallet whatsoever was still creamy and in no way lacking in flavor.And the saag, while retaining that gravy like sauce we love so dear, was no where near as guilt inducing as I am so accustomed. Not that there isnt a time and place for all of those things. Another item of note is that nothing is overly spiced or rancid tasting from over tempering either.

The salad bar is colorful and fresh, and even boasts shredded beets, which I do not see often at other buffets. The pappadums are nice and crisp 🙂 I had to quality check mine by nibbling off a corner before I even sat down. Shout out to whoever invented papadums. And chutney.

I did not care for the round flat bread, reminiscent of a bland, prepackaged, not very hot, wheat tortilla. Im a carb addict, and this just did not replace pillowy naan. Or the buttery layers of a paratha. I could keep going here, Im sure you all get the point.

As you can see, we are sans cocktails. No booze here, but the tea wasn’t bad. No bitterness or cheap drive trough taste. Just, you know, not as fun as my usual adult beverages choices. The nice lady that sat us, upon learning that we were first timers, did however list off a bevy of non-alcoholic drink options. Enough that I cant remember any of them to save my life at the moment. Im sure lassi was in there somewhere. 🙂

We are looking forward to dining here again soon.

– N

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