We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Aptly named” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe

Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe
431 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2319
919-929-3833
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #31 of 254 Restaurants in Chapel Hill
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Indian, Vegetarian, Vegan
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch
Top Contributor
250 reviews 250 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
214 helpful votes 214 helpful votes
“Aptly named”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2014

I'm not a connoisseur of Indian food so I can't vouch for the authenticity or taste, but I can say this place is aptly named. Vimala is the owner who transformed her home cooking and catering business into a restaurant. I don't know what "curryblossom" is but it sounds exotic. Finally, cafe is a casual eatery. Put them all together and they aptly describe the place. Like a fast casual restaurant, you order at the counter and they give you a numbered sign to place at your table. We arrived early on a Friday evening and the place was relatively empty but quickly filled up. You have the option of eating in the small dining room, small bar area or if the weather's nice on the patio outdoors. We ordered some nan, lamb samosas and vegetarian curry which was served on a large platter with sides (thali). We found the food very tasty and atmosphere very casual, with lots of regulars being greeted by the staff. I've read reviews about "hippies" working in the kitchen or how unauthentic the food is, but I think that misses the point. First of all, India has distinct cuisines from different regions, so what may be authentic in one region is made differently in another. Secondly, they seem to try to source their food as local as possible, so that might have an effect on "authenticity." The owner wants to serve food, create a community space and pay her workers a living wage. There's nothing wrong with that at all.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

87 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    47
    25
    10
    2
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Advance, North Carolina
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
130 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Bland Food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

Stopped by Chapel Hill to dine at Vimala's after seeing it featured on NC Weekend on PBS. The restaurant is located in a newer area down Franklin Street heading toward Carboro. We had to pay $3 to park in an adjacent lot because all on-street parking was taken. We ate dinner on a Saturday night at 6 p.m. on graduation weekend. We were seated immediately because the restaurant is tucked away off the street and did not attract many diners at the time we visited. I LOVE Indian food but found everything to have a very bland taste. I ordered from the entree' menu and selected Pull Pork BBQ. It was EXTREMELY salty and over-powered the taste of the pork. One reason I ordered the BBQ was that is came with a plantain fritter. However, I was disappointed there was no plantain on my plate, and when I asked the waitress, she said they no longer offered plantains. They need to change their on-line menu and in-store menus to reflect this change! My BBQ came with creamy coleslaw which was nothing special. There were several other small portion of "things" on my tray - some good, some not so good - but $14 is alot of money to pay for bland food. Our group had a great time, but nobody came away raving about the food. Sorry to be so negative, but the best thing I ate was the garlic Naan. There were 5 of us dining and the tab before tip came to $75 - ouch.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Good Food, Great Courtyard, nice service.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

Need to clean bathrooms more often! Kind servers, food is most often well prepared. Have sometimes received over cooked chicken which was blackened and dry. Bland rice. Lassi is inspired as well as their signature lemonade with lavender. Good food, a little more attention by the cleaning crew would make us feel a lot more confident!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
State Road, NC
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Delicious Indian Food!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

We love Indian Food and Vimala's is our favorite in Chapel Hill. Tucked into a court yard just off Franklin Street, the food is delicious and very reasonably priced. Very casual; check out the menu and order at the counter, then food is delivered to your table. We love the Behl salad, saag paneer, lamb curry, chick pea curry, and oyster mushroom uttapam. Oh, I wish I was there right now!
In addition to serving up fabulous food at a great price, Vimala's recently won the 2013 Pauli Murray Award for the local business "who serve(s) the community with distinction in the pursuit of equality, justice, and human rights for all residents."

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston Salem NC
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
99 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Really Good Indian Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

Visited our Chapel Hill kid and her yoga studio is nearby. Decided to try Vimala's. Wow. Loved the goat curry, fish curry and the side dishes. Incredible lassi and lavender lemonade. Go. Eat. Go back. We will.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe also viewed

Chapel Hill, NC
Chapel Hill, NC
 

Been to Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.