Vik's Chaat Corner
Tue-Fri 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sat-Sun 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
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- Good for Kids:
- Takes Reservations:
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- Outdoor Seating:
- Good for:
782 reviews for Vik's Chaat Corner
Review Highlights What's this?
4.5 stars-- 5 if it decided to stay open longer and if a large sized mango lassi was available!
vik's is a large cafeteria-style eatery attached to a small indian market under the same ownership. this market sells staples such as: spices, grains, breads, frozen food, and other small provisions.
ordering can be a bit confusing for first-timers, as there are huge signs over a long counter that is the focal point to the front room. alas, the ordering counter is the small kiosk with the desserts.
everything is fantastic here, prices are downright cheap, and the wait is minimal. vik's also has their own private parking lot, for those who like that sorta thing. this place is absolutely perfect for a quick lunch, and surprisingly is quiet enough to study while eating.
i almost always order the daily special plate (see pics) and never regretted it. the cholle bhature is amazing, though i underestimated its size the first time and ordered it as an appetizer. silly wabbit-- the thing looked like sputnik (albeit a tasty one *drool*).
i took a couple of hungry friends here and they laughed at the size of the plate, talking about how they have to order 3 of these. needless to say, they couldn't even finish their plates before they started lolling and inhaling deeply. ahh, suckaaaas.
Hacienda Heights, CA
Vik's is definitely the place to be a little adventurous and try something new-- let go of your obsession with chicken tikka masala and paneer! I was a little overwhelmed coming in since it was so busy and I didn't know what to order, but it was easy to see what was popular just by looking around! Note: I love the personalized menus that explain each dish, which makes things a little bit easier!
I had the daily special-- a seafood fish curry-- that was simply delicious. I LOVED the dal, which is a bean stew. The spices and flavors in it were tremendous! However, I didn't care much for the raita. It was sort of bland and flavorless compared to everything else on the plate.
My mom had the lamb biryani, which is I believe only available on Fridays, and she loved it. It had too much flavor for my taste, and it was spicy in not a hot, peppery way but in a weirdly spiced way. I don't know how to explain it, but it wasn't for me.
The cholle bhature was the highlight of the meal, and I had to wait a good 15 minutes to get it! They were leaving the counter left and right. It was cool watching the cook make it, as he kept saucing the dough with oil to get it to rise and fluff. It was hot and buttery and silky and came with a sweet, sugary dip. Although imo, it was perfect on its own too.
For a final treat we (more like my mother) couldn't resist the sweets and we (I mean she) asked the guy behind the counter to recommend his top six. My mother promptly scarfed all of them down (meaning I didn't even get any!), and asked me when she could come visit again... Yep, that is my mom!
Too many choices, not enough translations.
I knew just about nothing except the chicken lunch special. And even that one, I had to ask what came in it.
The long line disappeared in a few minutes and before I knew it, I was at the front, stumbling with my words, flustered and nervous while the cashier spit out terse descriptions of some items. We went with the
Dahi Papdi Chaat,
Chicken lunch special
The dahi papdi chaat is a cold, yogurt sauce/curry dish with small, round crackers to dip. My least favorite--not enough bread and too creamy and spicy without flavor for my liking.
I loved the chicken, not just because I can read its name very well, but because it's like the potpurri at the spagetti factory--a little bit of everything--but still hearty and distinct from any other curry dish. It's for people who linger on the safe side of food; nothing in this special that makes you wonder how it got its shape, color, or smell.
The Cholle is fun and attention-grabbing. The big pillow-like balloon became the staple item as we used it to dip every sauce we ordered. I could've eaten this bread alone--soft, flaky, buttery, and thick like a tortilla but with the flair of naan.
Picking up food was the hardest; I had to trust that the thing they said was mine was what I ordered. Don't judge it's taste by it's looks! Whip out that phone camera and click away.
I did ask for a to-go container and they gave me a long piece of foil. Sturdy foil and all but didn't really work wrapping up so much leftover chaat. But I congratulate them on compostable utensils and plates--actually, everything in this huge warehouse is biodegradable and sustainable. Way to toot your environmental horn loudly!
Everything tasted delightful, surprising, fun in the casual, cafeteria-like environment. We shared a long table with some lovely visitors from Europe. What a true multicultural (and multicolored--both people and interior decor) experience!
San Francisco, CA
Coworkers introduced me to this staple and I'm completely hooked. If I had my way, I'd eat here at least once a week. Great way to experience and try new foods that have a story them.
In the menu, the chef tells the story of the food, what it is and how Viks' cherishes that memory and flavor so much. They want to share it with anyone willing to try it and I'm sold. I'll try anything here no matter that I have no idea what it may be.
I must for anyone in the east bay that can escape the office for lunch.
Menlo Park, CA
order: cholle battura
PERFECT brunch spot. it's always packed, but they're clean, big and fast. i have no problem with the ticketing system or self service seating. their mango lassi is quite good as well.
all the chaat is pretty average... but the cholle battura is to die for. warm, fluffy, spicy / flavorful, great portion. i can usually have two by myself... and no joke, have made the drive from Palo Alto to Berkeley just for Vik's. well, mostly =)
Los Gatos, CA
So many people, and on a rainy day no less!
There's a parking lot, otherwise street parking.
Ordering can be confusing, when all else fails, point at a table with what you want, and hopefully they know what you're pointing at and that's what you get.
I ordered the chicken bryani, lotsa chicken and rice, yum.
700 something reviews for an Indian place in Berkeley? I was skeptical, expecting some dressed-up yuppy shit. But no, San Francisco, you've surprised me and blown my food-mind yet again.
Outside of just serving amazing snacky chaats, things that appealed to my big brown heart about Viks:
- It's actually tucked into the back of a grocery store. Srsly, does not get more authentic than that.
- A menu that doesn't try to do everything. They won't make you chicken tikka masala, but will make you awesome Bombay chaat, and will make it well.
- Tender coconut juice. Nothing more to be said here.
- Also, chai, fanta, thumbs-up.
I've found it! And it turns out I didn't have to look very far. After trying Indian places in SF, Walnut Creek, LA, pretty much all over the Bay Area, I started thinking that the kind of samomas I've been looking for maybe just does not exist. Who'da thunk it would be just right under my nose, at a place where an Indian restaurant seems to be situated at every corner? And how is it that I spent two stints in Berkeley and missed this place the entire time? Oh, such a shame...
Vik's was downright impressive. Just about every dish we ordered had that wonderful aroma and perfect blend of seasoning, flavor, herbs, and spice.
KEEMA SAMOSA AND SAMOSA CHOLLE - the magic is in the crust...fresh, crispy, flaky, warm, soft...and, wait for it...HUGE! With a nice price tag of $4.75 for an order of two, can't fail.
CHICKEN KATHI KEBAB - perfect medley of spice and flavor. Outstanding.
MASALA DOSA - the savory, fluffy and warm crepe. It is as delicious as it is simple.
DAHI PAPDI CHAAT - again, sorry to sound like a broken record, sorry to sound like a broken record, but sooo lively, flavorful, and spicy. Sorry to sound like a broken record.
CHOLLE BHATURE - part of the fun is watching them roll and fry this thing. As soon as you pierce into this big, puffy thing, notice a cloud of smoke puff out and take a good sniff of the pleasant aroma. Totally fresh, crispy and delightful.
MANGO LASSI - a must order and sweet. More on this later.
A few items to note, however, so that you wont be disappointed (since I can tell from the reviews that many people were disappointed not by the food, but other aspects of the dining experience):
1) Find out your spice tolerance. If you're not used to spicy food, perhaps bring a bottle of milk. And bring your own so you wont have to take some from your 16 month old baby. Such a shameful act should be left to those truly unprepared, ummm, moving on...
2) Familiarize yourself with the menu. If you can, check out the pics people have posted here or visit their website. Just chaat and indian desserts. If you're looking for chicken tikka masala or curry, there are a ton of places around Berkeley for that.
3) As one reviewer Tiffany K. stated, "Dont come here for the ambiance." Nothing pretentious about Vik's. No glitz, no glamor. No fancy outdoor seating. You eat your meal using plastic sporks and paper plates. You feel like you're eating at a fancy warehouse. Not as chaotic as Costco, but along the same lines. I agree, the set up can get a little annoying. They have designated creation stations for each kind of dish, and they call out your name as they finish your order. So you may constantly get up to get one piece of your order (overall, they're pretty fast). I don't agree with some reviewers about the noise level. I think it's fine. (Note that they have relocated. The current location is much bigger and more spacious. Perhaps many people complaining about chaos were referring to the former spot).
4) Apparently, the mango lassi serves to counter the spice. At $1.50 it's a bargain but they don't give you that much. It's ridiculously sweet, so don't drink it like Jamba Juice. And don't let your 16 month old daughter finish the entire thing, unless you want to spend the rest of the afternoon chasing her around the park (then dealing with the sugar crash). That thing is seriously sweet. Drink in moderation.
5) Finally, if you're going to write a Yelp review, don't use the spell check feature, unless you want to spend 15 minutes clicking "ignore."
When I think about Berkeley, I remember that there is an abundance of delicious food to be had in so many places. Vik's Chaat Corner is one of those places.
While in Berkeley today, we came to try Vik's for lunch. We got the sev puri, samosa cholle, masala dosa, and the chicken kathi kebab.
The masala dosa was my favorite. It was huge and I loved the combination of potatoes, sauce, and the crispy/flaky wrap.
Great things about this place:
*biodegradable sporks and corn cups
*plethora of food and desserts
*small marketplace off to the side
I'm coming back again to try the Cholle Bhature for sure!
If you want good, cheap Indian food, I'd recommend the Indian food booth at the Public Market --"Wazwan Indian Cuisine"--over Vik's. You can actually see (and sometimes taste) the food at the Public Market before you buy it.
We had lunch at VIk's today and I ordered one of the day's specials--Chicken Manghlor--having no idea what it looked like or what it was, besides the obvious--chicken. The main dish was OK and came with a side dish of some mysterious, soupy, yellow stuff in which sat something lumpy, possibly of vegetable origin, but could have been anything (which is sort of scary but I was hungry so I ate it anyway). Also included some not great naan, and really not great pappadum. The rice, which was decent enough by itself, had something in it I can only describe as bitter, gnarly and not a texture you want in your mouth.
Overall, I would say this particular special was NOT very special--at all. Or perhaps it was special in the way the Church Lady from SNL used to mean when she'd say, "Well, isn't that special?"
The market, however, looks interesting and enticing. I will have to go back for the mango/ginger chutney, and see how their chai stacks up.
After all these years of living in the Bay Area and having Vik's on my perpetual "restaurants to try" list, I'm proud to finally be able to check it off my list.
Here's my timeline for a Saturday morning:
10:44 am: Arrive and park on a virtually empty street. Wait a couple minutes because we're early (so we think).
10:46 am: Notice that the market is open.
10:47 - 10:56 am: Walk into the market. Slowly peruse the aisles, killing time, waiting for the restaurant to open at 11:00 am.
10:57 am: Pay for hard to find items that I've been searching everywhere for. Yay!!!
10:58 am: Make our way towards the counter where a line of at least a dozen people deep has already formed outside the main entrance.
11:00 am: The line starts moving, and we hurriedly place our order.
11:08 am: We are seated with all four dishes that we ordered. Sporks in hand, ready to stuff our faces. The place is packed, with only a couple empty tables!!
Whew!! It makes me tired just thinking about the organized chaos of it all. Vik's is reminiscent of a chaat place I went to during my recent trip to India. The cafeteria-like setup with varied food stations was very similar. Although I stayed away from the street food while I was there, I'm grateful for places like Vik's for bringing even a small taste of Indian street food here for our Westernized palates (and stomachs) to be able to experience and enjoy!
Located in a refurbished industrial building in the flats of Berkeley, Vik's has gained some acclaim serving south Asian street food. The interior is as sunny and sleek as a hip Silicon valley start-up, with flat-screen monitors for order transfer and stainless steel fixtures. We had the mixed Veg Pakoras (says the menu, "there isn't a better snack served on a rainy day with a cup of tea."), Fish Kabob, a delicious spicy/sweet/sour/crunchy Bhel Puri and Mango Lassi. Good lord, every morning should start with a glass of mango lassi!
P.S.: Vik, Chicago needs your chaat magic.
San Francisco, CA
There's little praise I can sing to the delicious treats at Vik's that hasn't been sung before, so let me just say that the new location has improved the dining experience in a good way. The ordering process is (slightly) less complicated and the store's now properly Berkeleyfied, with compostable cutlery, and a renovated-warehouse-Berkeley-Bowl-esque vibe.
San Francisco, CA
Me Before Vik's: "Indian food? Well okay... but I know this other really great place called ___(insert anything other than Indian food here)____."
Me After Vik's: "Wait, this is Indian food? Why the F haven't I been eating this every day?!!"
Vik's is like a Dim Sum cafeteria experience for Indian food. You can sample a little of this and a little of that and get a good sense of what you like. Go with friends and share everything. At the end of the meal, you, too, will be a convert. It's cheap, it's clean, it's packed with Indian people (always my thermometer for other types of food) and it's mouthwateringlydelish.
And I mean mouthwatering - as in "I-had-to-put-out-the-fire-in-my-mouth-with-lots-o f-water" because I couldn't stop eating this incredible, yummy, spicy fish even as every bite made my cheeks flush more. I almost dunked my tongue in my mango lassi (another must-try by the way).
I can offer only this conclusion: Vik sure knows how to heat a girl up and leave her wanting more!
Mountain House, CA
This new location is amazing! Can you imagine eating Indian street food surrounded by bright lights, high ceiling, modern decor? And the coolest & cleanest bathrooms in town! Don't get me wrong. I love Vik's Chaat food no matter where they serve their food.
Vik's Chaat's food is not the typical Indian food that I know of. Do not expect to order bunch of curry dishes with lots of meat. They do serve chicken & some other meat(I assume...?) but this place is truly a heaven for vegetarians. My hubby loves meat but he still adores this place.
We ordered chicken rice & huge puffy bread with Chick pea dip.(Bhatre Cholle??) Veg Kathi was awesome!! If you love paneer(Indian cheese), you should try this wrap.
They have a tiny Indian grocery attached to it which is very convenient. If you feel like making Indian food at home, it's the place to swing by.
MUST TRY THIS PLACE!!!
San Francisco, CA
It's very close to the Sake Museum. I want to try that next time I come by Viks.
I like Viks because:
It's pretty and clean
Good background music
Has a groceries area for all your indian cuisine needs
Has a bakery
Flavorful vegetarian cuisine.
TIP: if you don't know what to order, just ask. there aren't any photos next to the menu items.
In conclusion, Viks is in an understated part of Berkeley, seemingly desolate and industrial BUT filled with good food, attractive people, awesome parents having lunch with their kids and new food to try. 4 STARS! :D
San Francisco, CA
This place is really popular with the locals, I'm told they bus tourist here for lunch. Arrived after 1:30 on a Friday for lunch....it was not crowded nor quiet either. Ordered at the counter, had the fish special of the day. Place is noisy, had a hard time listening for my name to be call. U pick up your own food and the special was served on cafeteria style trays luke warm not hot. Lunch special for two with beverages.....almost $20. Kinda expensive for a cafeteria style lunch. If I worked near the place, maybe I'll come for lunch but I'll pass. Next.....
BTW: An Indian grocery is in front of the restaurant from the 4th Street entrance. Restaurant is in the back.
San Jose, CA
Vik's introduced me to the Indian street food, which I think is AMAZING! I thought all Indian food just consisted of curry + naan, and boy was I proven wrong!
masala dosa - the dosa is long, crispy, and the potato + veggie mixture inside is warm and creamy. A lovely combination!
samosa cholle - these are really delicious fried pockets of beans and veggies!
dahi batata puri - this was alright. I couldn't get used to the cold yogurt that went with the warm fillings.
chicken kathi kebab - one of my favorites! The chicken is a little spicy, and adds a great kick!
lamb roti - this is also very good, and you can really taste the lamb.
shami kebab - this came with three lamb/lentil patties on a bed of biryani. I couldn't really taste the lamb, so I was a little disappointed.
bhatura cholle - I had to try this big puffy thing. In the end, it was just a big puffy fried dough with curry, nothing special.
The new location is great, though very rowdy. It's really difficult to grab a table, but at least it's kept clean!
I have been going to Vik's for years having been introduced to it by a Pakistani friend. My first impression was very favorable insofar as the clientel, there. Upon looking around, I was pleased to see that the majority of the customers were either Indian or Pakistani. I generally use this as a measure as to the authenticity of ethnic dining.
The service is beyond fast. No sooner do we get situated when our name is called!
Having lived in Pakistani, I have an appreciation for this type of food. I must say that I never thought I would ever come close to approximating my memories of what I ate while there; however, this fits the bill!
Clearly, I am a repeat customer, as are my kids! We live in the North East part of the bay, yet the trip down is well worth it.
N.B. While dining there a couple of years ago, I engaged in conversation with an Indian man who was so accommodating in giving me further ideas of things to eat or drink. He recommended the Mango Lhassi as not only a palate cleanser, but if a particular item is a little spicy, it quells the heat!!!
Union City, CA
Honestly . . . this place left me feeling confused. I love Indian food and I've been wanting to try the chaat version of it for a while. Maybe this is biased because I didn't really care for the spices and flavors of the food, it's not my cup of tea. Everything tasted a bit sour, as if the food may be a little spoiled. And oh my god, the menu was confusing to me, it didn't really describe the meals to the fullest extent. Instead, they were just stories like, "I remember when. . . " Which is cute and charming, but not very helpful to a lost puppy such as myself.
It's nice and clean inside, cafeteria style. Like everyone else said, they really should start using the number system and keeping the meals all together so you don't have to go back and forth numerous times. The workers here seemed angry and not very sociable. It's kind of like being a kid again with the scary lunch ladies. And prices, mehhhh . . . too much in my opinion. I'm used to my tea being free and the mango lassi being a bit larger and tastier (mine was luke warm). It's safe to say that I don't think I'll be coming back here
Great and affordable samosa, poori, and masala dosa in a casual, order-at-counter / pick-up setting. It helps if you know what you like to eat in the manner of South Indian food before going. Sometimes, their cashier doesn't speak English...which is fine when you see something you like coming off of the line. Worst comes to worst, you can just point or pick something off of the menu... Most everything there is authentic according to me (practically raised by Indians and Jews) and my more discerning S. Indian friends.
Upon first entering, I was lost and confused based on the layout. After realizing I entered the market entry, I made my way towards the eating area.
Menu was confusing, given no pictures but there was some nice people who shared what they were eating. So my suggestion is to take a look at the paper menu by the register and read ( for first timers like me), OR use your Phone and pull up their website for pictures if you can.
So once you order they announce your name on the PA system, and you go pick up your food. NOW here is the confusing part, not all of your dishes will come up at the same time. Depending on what you ordered it will be available for plck-up on certain areas. So I ordered a few items, so each time I had to go up and pick up the dish from a different part of the counter. Oh and try to listen CAREFULLY, given some announcers do not say the names clearly.
I will say its a good snack / meal if you wan something. I am going to try it twice given the first time the food did not settle well with me. I did not care too much for the Dahi Batata Puri, texture was good the first 2, after it was too mushy.
So I will be visiting this place sometime in the future, and I will not look lost like my 1st visit.
A friend brought me here, I had never been again. OH MY GOD!
Not only was all the food good, but it was presented nicely, nicer than many places would. There was a sense of delecateness to the food but it was also earthy, and spicy and just plain great.
I highly reccomend it.
The Market next door is nice as well.
Only issue I could see is if your hearing is not great, it's very crowded and noisy and you will have a hard time talking to anyone you bring with you.
Walnut Creek, CA
Vik's Chaat Corner is set up like a big cafeteria. You go and order from the counter and your name gets called as items become ready. So you may get called more than once if you ordered more than one item... it can be a bit annoying, actually. Needless to say, it's not a fancy place with attentive service. The tables are first come first serve and people can get aggressive about it. It reminds me of my high school cafeteria, but with Indian food.
We had potato dosa, puri and chaat. They were all delicious. The portion size tends to be on the small side, so I would recommend ordering a few things to share. I like the fact that it's not just your usual Indian fare with chicken tikki masala and aloo gobi. It actually has interesting Indian street food that you don't see very often. I would definitely go back and try something else next time.
I had been going to Vik's in Berkeley for years. I had not been there in quite a while and four months ago read that they had moved to a new location up the street from the old one. In Berkeley for business I decided to drop in an check the new place out. Wow! It is in a converted warehouse just like the old place, kind of cavernous. The chap who designed it used all recycled materials. It has a pleasant modern functional look. Chaat is Indian street food. They serve a couple of curries at Vik's but they are not what you come here for. Eat the puris, samosas, the bread that is deep fried and puffs up like a zeppelin, any thing else that the guy you order from recommends . I am not a vegetarian by any means but a Vik's the animal products play a decidedly secondary role. Wash every thing down with a mango lassi.
The ordering system deserves mentioning. You enter the building and there are five chaps at computers you order your food, find and empty table, sit down and wait for your name to be called as each dish becomes ready. This is street food, you are here to eat and not be fussed over. Remember you can sample many dishes and eat for less than $15 a person The Yelpers who complain about the "ordering system" are off base. They serve quite a few people there in as an efficient manner as possible. Eat your food and thank the Hindu Gods and your lucky stars that Vik's exists! Peace
San Francisco, CA
I can't believe I never made it down to Vik's as a Berkeley student. This new location is great and was packed at 4 p.m. when I went. I like how you can get a wide variety of Indian cuisine and all of it is well made and affordable. At our table we had uttapam, samosa, vegetable pakora and pani puri. All of it was very good. The whole concept of Indian fast food is a good idea and coming here was an epic success. Parking is easy too, down in that hood.
Some cops had just busted up a robbery or some sort of misdeed on the block nearby and came in to eat, while the people they arrested were just sitting in the back of the patrol car. That sucks for those guys, but I don't really blame the cops, that's some good food.
Vik's Chaat Corner's new location is much more spacious than the old place and includes a parking lot with plenty of parking spaces. Nevertheless, the new location is still as packed and busy as at the old place.
As you stand and wait in line to order, pleasant aromas start to overtake your senses and your decision-making ability. Do you order the savory dosas plain or with a masala (potato) or vegetable filling? Wait a minute...how about ordering those tasty samosas served with a side of cholle (spicy garbanzo curry) and chutneys? Or maybe order "the big puffy thing" (cholle bhature)? The combinations are endless! Though you may not get your order right away, it's definitely worth the wait. The food comes out steaming hot and full of wonderful Indian flavors!
Aside from offering a variety of dishes, prices are very reasonable given the quality as well as quantity of food served here. Though service is very minimal, the savory Indian food served here more than compensate for this oversight!
San Francisco, CA
How have I lived in Berkeley for 4 years and settled for the Indian restaurants close to campus?
Upon trying to complete my Berkeley to-do list before I graduate, I went to Vik's with my BF and friends. It was a bit confusing when we first walked in and saw a grocery store, but we kept on walking and saw a huge cafeteria style room with a register at the entrance, a long line of people, crowded tables, and a bunch of kitchen stations in the back. Between us four, we ordered bhatura cholle, chicken kathi kabab, masala dosa, tandoori chicken, and samosa cholle. It was hard to find a table for the four of us and confusing to pick up our food (each item is prepared in its own station, which is efficient but also means you will get your food at different times).
Bhatura cholle: the bhatura was a huge fluffy airy fried dough. I cannot describe it any other way. It was really delicious with the cholle, which was garbanzo beans with some tamarind oil on top.
Chicken kathi kabab: it was okay. It didn't come with anything but a sauce and was a bit on the small side. Probably won't get this next time.
Masala dosa: I didn't know what third item I wanted so the cashier suggested this and I am so glad he did. This is like a fried crepe filled with curried potatoes. DELICIOUS! The crepe was so golden and crispy and huge, and came with a pasty sauce and sambar. I usually cannot handle spicy and even though my eyes were watering from the sambar, I couldn't stop eating.
Samosas: my friend ordered these and took ages to finish it.. She swears there were at least five potatoes in her two samosas. This was a bargain, as it also came with a bowl of cholle and some mint chutney all for $4.50!
Tandoori chicken: This was served as a whole meal and came with naan and other tiny side dishes.
Verdict: the food is amazing but the ordering system is confusing and it is really hard to find a seat. I really loved how they had a compost bin for the food and utensils and serving platters =) However, I will definitely come back and get into a food coma once again!
Went here for lunch with a couple of friends. I was very surprised to see how busy they were on a rainy Sunday afternoon. On a street that looks like rows of abandoned warehouses, the new place is surprisingly vibrant inside with plenty of seating.
The food was excellent! I would definitely recommend the cholle bhature just so you can pop the fried puff! The chicken biryani is also good too, but definitely get a mango lassi!
Great place to bring family and friends!
I had been hearing about Viks for a long time before my actual visit to this place. So I was pretty excited to give this place a try. so Viks is a market and a cafeteria style restaurant. which is cool because you can eat and shop in one building.
but this place is bananas. the line is crazy long, but moves at a steady pace. the wait for your food after ordering is where is becomes crazy. food is not always prepared in order, or so it seems. people behind us in line were getting their food way before us, and even waving down the people behind the counters does nothing to expedite your food. the worst part about the wait is that they call your order by your name, not a number. this was terribly confusing and as you can imagine, you're not always going to understand what name is being called, especially if they're not even printing your name correctly on your receipt!
so during the wait, the angry little girl inside me, tried to offer some helpful suggestion to the frustrated man calling out names and suggested that they use a number system instead of a name system. they already had a number system in place, just use the numbers instead of taking down names. so to my response he snapped back at me and told me, 'IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE." excuuuseee me, but how rude is it to snap at a customer, even if you don't agree with my suggestion, respect me enough as a customer to NOT YELL AT ME. or get one of those light boxes that flash numbers. something as easy as this situation could possibly be solved, but grumpy man was not open to any suggestions. and now he has at least a group of people that will never return to this restaurant ever again.
and also, when its busy, finding a table is difficult. people are standing around like starved vultures giving anyone the stink eye if even glance at their table.
overall, terrible service and bad attitudes. the food, was creative, and very appealing, tasted decent.
Chaat = snacks. Do not expect meal sized portions. Most of the dishes are mostly carbohydrates. If you like fried bread, this is your place.
Do not come to eat here alone. When you go to the counter to pick up your cafeteria-style meal, someone will clear your table (including a full can of soda) for you and steal your chair. It is crowded on weekends.
All the hard surfaces make this a noisy place especially at busy times with screaming kids and the constant calling out of names of people whose meals are ready for pick-up.
Wear a bib. You are gonna drip sauce, soup, or yogurt on your shirt from your spork.
Do not go between 5 and 6 p.m. on a weekday. That's when they pile all the chairs on the tables and mop around you.
What service there was at the counters wasn't friendly.
They did, however, have a very unique and tasty pickle/chutney featuring orange peel when I ate there.
There are definitely better dining experiences ... closeby even. Best tandoori chicken and chicken tikka masala in the world can be had at Kabana on University Avenue. Go early because it's small and I've seen lineups around the block after 6 p.m. on weekends.
San Leandro, CA
The food deserves 5 stars, but I don't really like their ordering system so they're getting a 4 :(
This is not your usual Naan n' curry. If you prefer heavy or yogurty curry, this might not be your cup of tea. They have tandoori, but it wasn't on the menu when I was at the cashier (maybe next time). I always thought "oh Indian food=tikka masala, sagwala, naan, etc", but this is a different style. The flavor and spices are there, but the food is much lighter.
I tried Vik's in the old location and really enjoyed it and had a hankering for it over the weekend. I looked it up and it was in a new location. It still has a nice open feel too it, but more refined (not so much a warehouse this time hehe). It has a pretty chaotic ordering system since everything is made to order and you pick it up as it is ready. So you have to have an open ear while you are enjoying your food for the rest of your order.
Dahi batata puri-think of it as a cream puff filled with refreshing yogurt and tamarind chutney. It's a great spice reliever!
Aloo Tikki-imagine mash potatoes fried to a golden perfection and covered with a savory chutney.
keema samosa (lamb)-omg if you like lamb, this is the one for you! it still has a slight gamey taste, but it balances out with the blend of spices and has peas in it (i love peas!).
Dosa-a thin and slightly crispy crepe filled with peas and potatoes served with a side of sambar (south indian style lentils-spicey but so GOOD!) and chutney.
When you first take a bite out of each dish you can taste the veggies, meat, and sauce......then the spice comes as the finishing note.
this is a perfect place for a relaxing spring day because of it's open feel and it's close to the marina so you can walk it off afterwards :) or you can check out their little market next door.
Masalla Dosa = Excellent! Samosas = So good. Young coconut to drink from.... I have found a new favorite place to eat. This place is excellent. I look forward to trying other offerings from here. I didn't think I liked Indian food, but this was absolutely awesome. Check it out.
Their chole bhatura makes me happy. Sort of in line with Macy's Thanksgiving Day giant helium balloons or the Pillsbury Dough Boy/Michelin Man.
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Everyone should experience this place at least once. A big warehouse where they serve tasty fried… Read more »
Total: 12/15 = 4/5
I've been a fan of Vik's since 2003, and I must say that their new location is a nice upgrade. It's still the same great food, but a much nicer environment. They are now using more environmentally friendly products (everything I had was either compostable or recyclable).
Their customer service is a bit lacking. I always feel stressed and rushed by them, but once you get past that, you'll enjoy great food at a great value.