“Best of Philly” winner is leaving South Philadelphia

One of South Philadelphia’s favorite Indian restaurants, Chaat and Chai, is leaving for The Bourse Food Court at Independence Mall. Opening in November 2015, the street cart style Indian food and BYO option was an instant hit with neighbors and visitors.

chaat and chai in newbold south philadelphia relocating to the Bourse Food Court at Independence Mall - 01

But aside from its looks, the restaurant made a splash with a menu that featured dishes and specialties uncommon to Philly’s North-Indian-dominated Indian restaurant scene. Chef-owner Anney Thomas comes from South Indian roots, so her kitchen offered regional street foods like Chettinad curry bowls and Karela-style beef short ribs (which Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan named one of the 12 best dishes of 2016).

Thomas (who lives in the neighborhood) says, “Most of my customer base lives in Center City, West Philly or the suburbs. The Bourse just makes more sense.” Plus, all of the food hall’s new tenants will have access to The Bourse’s liquor license (she says she’s been toying around with Indian-spiced cocktails). Her Old City station will offer a pared down version of the original: “more street-food-focused.” – Foobooz

Chaat and Chai was a regular participant in local events such as the South Philly Sausage Fest and the Newbold Blues Festival. Their last day will this Friday.

3 thoughts on ““Best of Philly” winner is leaving South Philadelphia

  • July 19, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Bummed to see them go, and intrigued by the concept that the Bourse will ever be anything more than a food court for tourists.

    • July 19, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      The Bourse is being renovated to return it to a higher-end destination, rather than a lousy mall food court. I’m hoping they achieve their goal; such a great building!

  • July 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    @JB, my thoughts exactly. Though I get that it probably means a lot less labor/investment on their part, and a steady stream of customers.

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