Indian street food from
twice James Beard nominated chef Meherwan Irani
Chai Pani literally means “tea and water.” It's slang in India for going out for a cup of tea, a tasty bite, a snack, or “a little something.” In Downtown Asheville (and now in Downtown Decatur) it means innovative, fun, affordable and delicious Indian cuisine. We'd go so far as to say it's “mindblasting.”
Some of the best food of any country is its street food, and Chai Pani features chaat - crunchy, spicy, sweet, tangy, brightly flavored Indian street snacks. And because there's nothing more comforting and delicious in any culture than a home cooked meal, Chai Pani also brings you thalis - traditional family meals highlighting India's amazing culinary diversity.
The New York Times was particularly taken by our “fresh, cilantro-strewn takes on Indian street food,” GQ Magazine lauded our “Indian street food with a twang,” and New York Magazine called us "a star in downtown's dining scene.” The Huffington Post had us on their list of "Top 10 Cheap Eats in the US,” and even Fox News.com called us the "hit of their Asheville trip.” (We're just glad we could get them all to agree on one thing)!
We've made it from Bombay to Buncombe, so step off the sidewalk and into the street – Indian Street Food that is. (Couldn't resist!)
From Bombay to Buncombe and Asheville to Atlanta, Chai Pani has extended our love of food, culinary experience, and storytelling to the southeast. In 2012, we opened MG ROAD Bar & Lounge, our stylishly awesome lounge right around the corner from Chai Pani. Head barkeep Erin Hawley keeps the focus on the art of the craft cocktail, and the team balances technique & tradition with a level of creativity & innovation that’s been written up from Food & Wine Magazine to The Times of India.
We also opened CHAI PANI DECATUR in Decatur, GA in 2013. It has been included in the 'Best Restaurants in Atlanta' list 3 years running by Atlanta Magazine, and Creative Loafing. Since then, we've added BUXTON HALL BARBECUE, which features wood-smoked, whole-hog barbecue by Elliott Moss in South Slope, Asheville, NC. Alongside low-country favorites and southern classics, guests can expect delicious seasonal pies and pastries as well as a robust bar program featuring a large selection of draft beer, craft cocktails, rotating punches and a daily slushy.
Botiwalla is the newest restaurant from Chai Pani and chef Meherwan Irani. Inspired by the tea and kabab houses (known as Irani cafes) of Meherwan's childhood, as well as the grills (sigris) that pop up on the streets of India late at night, serving grilled meats and flatbreads to hungry revelers.