Wednesday, June 28, 2023



Recently we had lunch at Vik's -a popular eating place on 4th Street in Berkeley, Ca. Vik's Chaat  has been around for long. Adjacent to the restaurant is a grocery store which the elderly lady at the counter told us proudly was started over 40 years ago. The person behind this venture is Mr Amod Chopra who came to the US in the 1980s from present day Mumbai ( then called Bombay). 

The business started in smaller rented premises in a warehouse back in the day and they moved as they prospered. The shift to the present and more spacious location took place in 2009.  You do get good stuff in the grocery store. I am sure the lady at the store is right when she says this is the best place for Indian groceries in the East Bay Area.

Let me share our experience at Vik's. Firstly there is ample place to park so that's not an issue. Secondly, you get the choice of eating indoors or outdoors. We went on a Friday so the restaurant wasn't that crowded. We could quite easily get a table of our choice. The decor and furniture is functional. Nothing fancy here. 

However, I was told that it is tough to get a table during the weekends when most people visit Vik's.  Of course, not everyone eats here. A large section of their clients order "take outs"so that they don't waste time waiting for a place to sit . They can take the food home or elsewhere and eat it at their leisure.

While we ate I noticed they had a streamlined system. You first placed your order and paid for it. There were different sections for Dosa, Chaat etc, probably six in all. When your order was ready, the staff would call out your name and you would then go and get the food you ordered. I don't think there is any concept of reserving a table here. It works on a first come first served kind of system. . 

We noticed there were three options for the Indian Thali. Two had vegetarian side dishes to supplement the main dishes in the thali which are rice and roti. The third - which we opted for - had Mangalorean style Chicken Curry. Each thali had a portion of rice, one roti, boondi raitha, (a  curd-based salad with fried gram flour balls) ,  Imli (Tamarind) Chutney, Chole (a North Indian dish made with  chickpeas and spices),  pappad, and the chicken curry,  of course.

We enjoyed the chicken curry. The size of the helpings was just right.  My husband's cousin who took us to Vik's had Masala Dosa served with sambar and chutney, which he said was very tasty. 

We also shared a plate of Sev Puri which was quite delicious! 

Along with our meal, we had cool refreshing Salted Lassi and Rose Lassi which complemented the food.

On our way out, we bought some samosas for the evening. This came with usual accompaniments of imli chutney and green chutney. 

Overall, we enjoyed our dining experience at Vik's Chaat. If you happen to be in the area, do try it out for yourself. 

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