Indian Street Food in Downtown Decatur from four-time 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.” Chai Pani can also mean a small bribe just enough to get a bite to eat. Well at Chai Pani Decatur, you won’t have to bribe us for innovative, fun, affordable and delicious Indian cuisine.
Some of the most tasty, fun and affordable food of any country is its street food and Chai Pani features chaat – crunchy, spicy, sweet, tangy, brightly flavored Indian street snacks. And since there is 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.
Hop in a rickshaw, your home away from home awaits.
On the first day, a hallowed voice did say, “Let there be Chaat!”
When Chai Pani Asheville first opened its doors in 2009, we couldn’t close them for several hours . . . literally. There was a line of expectant customers out the door, blocking the sidewalk, and wanting food most of them had never heard of. We can’t be sure Vishnu himself gave Chai Pani the nod of approval, but to those customers who wept over the bliss they experienced while eating a potato uttapam, what other conclusion can be drawn?
After a few years of growing and learning on our feet, at the urging of the loyal customers and happy food critics, we decided to expand to the Atlanta area, and where better than beautiful downtown Decatur?
But surely this would be a more subdued opening . . . after all, could the magic be recreated? Does lightning strike twice? After the core team swore a blood oath and agreed to move to Decatur, the work to bring the best flavors and brightest colors of India to the Atlanta area began. And somehow, word spread. Well before the doors opened, droves of hungry people and journalists called and showed up in person.
Like Indra’s mighty thunderbolt, lightning struck again in Decatur, before the paint even dried!
We are humbled by the welcome we’ve received and pledge to serve your insatiable desire for Indian street food, with our one of a kind culinary creations and libations. And don’t forget the Chai— rivers and rivers of delicious Chai. Join us for a cup.
Where Tradition Meets Innovation
What is Indian Street Food? Street vendors, usually specializing in a single dish, gather in the streets, and byways of India, and prepare fresh food for people on the go. All the words and pictures in the world can’t tell you what it’s like to bite into a multi-layered samosa, smothered in tamarind and mint chutney, nor what real chai tastes like, nor can they explain just how good this food is . . . But we’re going to try to convey the harmony of textures, flavors (sweet, savory, sour, salty, and spicy), aromas, and overall sensations that make up Chai Pani’s Indian Street Food. At Chai Pani, we serve a range of traditional Indian Street Food, drinks, and thalis, but we also celebrate the innovation and evolution of food. Before the Portuguese brought the chili pepper to Goa in the early 1600’s, India had never tasted the fiery possibilities. Before the Beatles traveled to India, most Americans had never heard a sitar! To know true culinary bliss, you simply have to try it.
Food Philosophy & Sourcing
We purchase fresh produce daily from local purveyors and source from local farms when possible.
We cook only in pure trans-fat free canola oil or ghee (clarified butter).
We use no artificial flavors, coloring or ingredients in anything, ever.
We roast and grind our own spice blends, and make all our chutneys and sauces in-house.
We don’t serve on disposables to reduce waste in landfills.
Our to go containers are compostable, eco-friendly & biodegradable.
We recycle all paper, cardboard, plastic, glass & metal.
406 W. Ponce de Leon Ave
Decatur, GA 30030
In the heart of downtown Decatur, just a few miles from Atlanta.
We have parking and no reservations are needed.
Monday - Thursday
11:30 - 3:00/ 5:30 - 9:30
Friday - Saturday
11:30 - 3:00/ 5:30 - 10:00
11:30 - 3:00/ 5:30 - 9:00
2018 HOLIDAY HOURS
Thanksgiving Day: Closed Christmas Eve: Open for lunch & closed for dinner
Christmas Day: Closed
New Years Eve: Open for lunch & dinner
New Years Day: Open for lunch & dinner
CHAI PANI has been widely reviewed and praised over the years at our Asheville location (The New York Times, GQ Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, Fox News, New York Magazine to name a few), but we are truly humbled by the sheer quantity of articles, reviews and praise being heaped on Chai Pani Decatur. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE - MASTER CLASS: SPICE SKILLS
THRILLIST - THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN ATLANTA RIGHT NOW
BBC - WORKING A MUSCLE
CREATIVE LOAFING - PARSI AND HEWISH CULTURE COLLIDE AT CHALLAHWALLA
THRILLIST - EASY 5-INGREDIENT APPETIZERS FROM CHEFS
EATER ATLANTA - MY TWO SOUTHS
THRILLIST: Best Indian Foods in Atlanta
ATLANTA MAGAZINE: 50 Best Restaurants
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: These Couples Cook Up Something to Love at their Atlanta Restaurants
OZY MAGAZINE: Rising Stars Bring On the New Indian Cuisine
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Which Atlanta Dishes We’re Obsessed With
CHEF IRANI NOMINATED AGAIN: 2015 James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist: Best Chef Southeast
CREATIVE LOAFING: BEST OF 2015 – Best Indian Food
MEN’S JOURNAL: 17 Summer Corn Recipes
ABOUT.COM: Chef Irani’s Atlanta Recommendations
ZAGAT: Must Try: Sloppy Jai at Chai Pani
ATLANTA MAGAZINE: BEST OF 2014– Best Indian Street Food
THRILLIST: 50 Atlanta Treats
LOCAL PALATE: Best Bites from Atlanta F&W 2015
URBAN DADDY: Alternative Burgers
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Decatur Eats
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: 7 Atlanta Restaurants
USA TODAY: Georgia’s Sweetest Peach Dishes
ATLANTA MAGAZINE: Chai Pani Founder to Open Botiwalla in Ponce City Market
EATER ATLANTA: Best Atlanta Restaurants to Cater a Wedding
GARDEN & GUN: Chef Irani’s Popular Okra Fries Recipe
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Vegetarian Dishes that Satisfy
CHEF IRANI JBF NOMINATED: 2014 James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist: Best Chef Southeast
USA TODAY: Dumplings Around the World– Chai Pani’s Samosas
JOHN MARIANI’S VIRTUAL GOURMET: Best New Restaurants in Atlanta
ATLANTA LIVING: Top 10 Restaurants of 2013
CREATIVE LOAFING BEST OF ATLANTA 2013: Best “Off-the-street” Street Food
THE DAILY MEAL: Where to Find Indian Street Food in Georgia
ATLANTA MAGAZINE: Best New Restaurants 2013
HUFFINGTON POST: Top 10 Cheap eats in the U.S.
JEZEBEL MAGAZINE: 111 Must Try TASTES
NATION’S RESTAURANT NEWS: Atlanta Tables Pushing Boundaries
FOX NEWS: Support for Tea Shop Owner’s Effort to Help Girls in India
ATLANTA EATS TV: Chai Pani is reviewed as a Feature Restaurant
COCA-COLA STORIES: Acclaimed Chefs Dish About the Family Table
CREATIVE LOAFING: 100 Dishes to Eat in Atlanta Before You Die- Kale Pakoras at Chai Pani
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Atlanta’s New Indian Restaurants
THE AEROGRAM: Chaat-Wallah-in-chief: Meherwan Irani
ATLANTA MAGAZINE: Covered Dish– A Guide to Indian Street Food
KHABAR MAGAZINE: Indian Street Food Turns Trendy in Atlanta
95.5 FM: Belinda Skelton, with Guest David Danzig of Season’s Eatings
ATLANTA JOURANAL CONSTITUTION: First Look at Chai Pani Decatur
CBS BETTER MORNINGS: Cooking Demo
ATLANTA INTOWN: First Look at Chai Pani Decatur
CREATIVE LOAFING: First Look at Chai Pani– an Oxymoron of Restaurant Wizardry
THRILLIST ATLANTA: Indian Street Food and Mango Lassis in Decatur
EATER ATLANTA: 10 Things to Know about Chai Pani, Opening Today in Decatur
SCOUTMOB: An Inside Look at Decatur’s New Indian Street Food Spot
ATLANTA EATS: Chai Pani Decatur Launch Party Review
URBAN DADDY: Spice World, Decatur’s New Indian Street Food Spot
Questions about Chai Pani? Check out our FAQ’s below.
Didn’t see an answer? We’re here to help.
Just send us an email: email@example.com.
DO YOU HAVE TAKEOUT/DELIVERY? Yes! To place an order for pickup click here. For delivery we have a couple different options: UberEats, DoorDash, ChowNow, GrubHub. Please note that during busy days we turn off delivery service.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS OF OPERATION?
Monday - Thursday: 11:30 - 3:00/5:30 - 9:30
Friday - Saturday: 11:30 - 3:00/5:30 - 10:00
Sunday 11:30 - 3:00/5:30 - 9:30
WHAT TYPE OF SERVICE DO YOU OFFER? During lunch, we’re a counter service restaurant. During dinner, we are a full service restaurant with a full bar.
IS THERE A KIDS’ MENU? Yup! Click here for the kids menu.
DO YOU ADVERTISE? At Chai Pani Restaurant Group, we have fairly strict policy that we don't put any money into advertising. We instated this policy a few years ago and vowed to that instead of putting money into advertising, we put money back into our local communities through give-back nights, community initiatives, and donations. We also support initiatives in India that are near and dear to our hearts.
DO YOU MAKE CHARITABLE DONATIONS? Yes, we put money back into our local communities through give-back nights, community initiatives, and donations. We also support initiatives in India that are near and dear to our hearts. If you’re interested in getting in touch with our team to request a donation or suggest a give-back night, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW CAN I PROVIDE FEEDBACK? We’d love to hear from you, the sweet people that make our world go round. Feel free to send us an email at email@example.com and we promise to get back in touch!
WHERE IS YOUR CORPORATE OFFICE? We are located in downtown Asheville at 26 Battery Park Ave Suite 200.
CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE STROLLERS AND WHEELCHAIRS? Yes
DO YOU HAVE HIGHCHAIRS? Yes, we have both highchairs and booster seats
DO YOU HAVE A COOKBOOK? We’re working on it
DO YOU TAKE RESERVATIONS? Unfortunately, we do not accept reservations or call ahead seating for any size party. We are first come/first serve only. That being said, we encourage you to come on the earlier side of the evening and you should be ok!
DO YOU DO CATERING? We love catering! Feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we promise to get back in touch!
HOW DO I BOOK A PRIVATE EVENT? Email us: email@example.com
DO YOU OFFER VEGETARIAN/VEGAN/GLUTEN FREE DISHES? We do! Take a look at our special diets menu here.
IS YOUR MEAT HALAL? All of our lamb is halal. On the Chai Pani menu, the Lamb Burgers and the Sloppy Jai are halal.
WHERE DO YOU SELL MERCHANDISE? In the restaurant and online! Check it out online here.
DO YOU HAVE OUTDOOR SEATING? We do!
ARE PETS ALLOWED? Service dogs are always welcome inside or out, otherwise we ask that parties with dogs are seated outside.
PARKING? There is parking available in the lot surrounding the building. There is also street parking available. After 5:30PM, Sharian Rugs, a couple doors down, allows for guest parking in their lot as well.
HOW CAN I PURCHASE A GIFT CARDS?
You can buy Gift Cards online by clicking here or in the restaurant.
HOW CAN I CHECK THE STATUS OF MY GIFT CARD ORDER?
Email INFO@chaipanidecatur.com with your order number.
HOW DO I GET THE BALANCE ON MY GIFT CARD?
Email INFO@chaipanidecatur.com with the number on the back of your gift card.
HOW CAN I LEARN ABOUT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES? Click here to see all job openings.
Need to get in touch with someone? We're happy to help.
ADDRESS: 406 West Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030
HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE MENU OR MERCHANDISE,
OR NOT SURE WHO TO TALK TO? use the form below or contact INFO@CHAIPANIDECATUR.COM
PRESS & MEDIA
ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING PRESS CAN BE FORWARDED TO: