Vik’s Chaat Corner: A User’s Guide
Indian Street Food | Family Recipes | Fresh Every Day | Since 1989
Meat chaat: lamb baida roti, flatbread stuffed with minced lamb
Veggie chaat: dahi pakori, dumplings made from lentils, dipped in yogurt, and served with chutney
Sweet chaat: kulfi falooda, a saffron-infused ice cream topped with vermicelli, basil seeds, and rose
What It’s All About: Chaat literally translates to lick, as in so good you’ll lick your plate clean. All over India, snacks and small plates called chaat are served from street-side carts as quick bites on the go. Typically savory, these snacks include easily portable dishes such as pakoras and samosas.
Oakland Magazine’s “favorites include earthy pakoras, crêpe-like dosa masala, or the cinnamon-scented chicken kathi kabab wrapped in a soft paratha.”
The New York Times declares, “Vik’s is an institution. . . . By noon, Vik’s is packed with everyone from Indian professionals to dudes with tentacular dreadlocks.”
From Diablo Magazine: “A standout among the chaat is the samosa cholle, crisp fried pastries filled with a savory mixture of potatoes, onions, peas, and spices.”
Much of the interior, both in structure and decor, is made from salvaged materials, with woodworking made from reclaimed bleachers.
They keep utilities low with energy-efficient lighting, low-water-use landscaping, and water-conserving bathroom fixtures.
All serveware can be composted; the kitchen also composts and recycles as much as possible.
Menu selections change daily, so call ahead if you’re craving something specific.
To bring the flavors home, browse the indian groceries at the market next door.
The heat levels on the achaar, or spicy pickle, are pretty intense; rather than biting right into it, rub a bit on the roti to get the flavors.
Achaar: intensely spicy indian pickle that can be made from a variety of vegetables, such as cauliflower, cucumbers, turnips, and lapsi
Pakora: an Indian snack made of chicken, fish, veggies, or paneer, battered in chickpeas or lentils and lightly fried, usually served with chutney.