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About
Innovative, fun, affordable, delicious, mind blasting Indian Cuisine featuring "chaat" - crunchy, spicy, sweet, tangy, brightly flavored Indian street snacks and "Thalis" - traditional family meals highlighting India's amazing culinary diversity. Recommended by the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetite, Food & Wine and GQ Magazine.
PRICE RANGE
$5 - $15
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Drinks
CUISINES
Indian, Healthy
FEATURES
Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Gift Cards Available, Takeout, Street Parking, Wine and Beer, Accepts Credit Cards
Reviews (1,099)
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1,099 results
Traveler rating
733
268
66
24
8
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Time of year
LanguageEnglish
Traveler rating
733
268
66
24
8
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Reviewed 1 week ago

Read several glowing reviews of Chai Pani in Asheville dining guides in anticipation of our recent visit. Arrived at opening time and placed our names on the waiting list for our 75 min wait... All I can say is, because of the reviews and the...number of other diners inclined to eat here, I was left scratching my head. This was a very poor dining experience. We have eaten Indian food all over the world (albeit never in India) at all different price points and this was easily the worst food we have been served. Simple as that. Who wrote the positive reviews? Very disappointed.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 1 week ago

Kati roles are the best. Service was good and the overall ambiance is acceptable. Even the chaat items were good as compared to what we get elsewhere.

Date of visit: July 2022
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We read all the "must see, must eat" guides in preparation for our trip to Asheville. Chai Pani was on all of those lists...and rightfully so. Everything was delicious, especially the Okra appetizer. The service was wonderful and the food scrumptious.

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Went there at the request of our niece. We had been here previously and were not happy with the takeout experience. Even though there was a quite bit of wait the staff was more organized than last time. They kept us updated about wait time...through texts. We ordered bhel, aloo tikki, dahi puri, chicken pakoras and butter chicken thali. The food was quite good. The tamarind based cocktail was awesome. Our niece liked the food but wasn’t sure what the hype was all about. :)More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We went as a family, waited for 2 hrs to get in the waiting list, then waited for 2 more hours to get into the restaurant. We ordered mango lassi, Bhel puri, Aloo Tiki Chaat, Chicken Pakoras, Vada pav, Two thali, Pav bhaji Out of...all these, Bhel puri and aloo tiki were the only in eatable condition. Vada pav- pav tasted like purchased purchased in a cheap store Thali - the worst of all. No of items were 5 including rice($14.99😡) , no naan or parotta comes with thali, you need to buy them separately, each one costed $4 a piece, naan is regular store bought cheap pita bread, parota was frozen Malaysian Paroto which you can get it in Indian grocery store. Chicken pakoras was good when u eat hot, after an hour it became too dry. OVERALL TOTAL HYPE, STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE IF YOU WANT TO EAT GOOD INDIAN FOODMore

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed July 8, 2022 via mobile

Does Chai Pani need me to give them a five-star review after getting accolades from the James Beard Foundation (That’s how I found them!) and many media outlets. They really don’t. But our experience was excellent so I am delighted to write one. First, Kat...(from their corporate office) answered a bunch of questions for me ahead of our visit so I knew where to park, what my kids could eat, etc. Her help was top-notch. We live in a place that doesn’t have many Indian restaurants so my kids haven’t tried this type of cuisine before. My son loved the chicken pakoras appetizer and devoured the rice and Kathi chicken meal. My daughter, who tends to be a picky eater, wolfed down a cheese paratha and Basmati rice. As for me, I enjoyed every bite of Saag Paneer despite eating outside on a hot July day. (Thankfully, the lavender lemonade I ordered was refreshing.) I don’t know what my husband ate, but he loved it! The restaurant opens at 11:30 AM. We arrived at 11:40 and had to wait an hour. While worth it, you should know they eventually closed down the wait list around 1:30ish. So, arrive before 11:30 if you want to be guaranteed a table for lunchtime! (If you have to wait, check out the paper map inside of Chai Pani with recommendations for stores to visit while you wait for your party to be called.) We detoured to Asheville (on our way home from the Smokey Mountains) solely for the purpose of eating at Chai Pani. It was totally worth the detour and the wait!More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed July 8, 2022 via mobile

The food at Chai Pani is always excellent, fresh and well prepared. We have our favorites but usually try something different and are never disappointed. Service is always fast and friendly. They may however be becoming a victim of their own success. You must get...here early, wait times get long and the wait list can even close. We waited well over an hour. My only complaint is I wish they had told us they were running out of food. By the time we got seated their menu was severely limited with many of our favorites gone. We will return because it’s still one of our favorite restaurants.More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed July 5, 2022

Maybe this is one of the good food places local to Asheville. I was visiting as a tourist this area and came across this restaurant located in the downtown. The wait for this is not worth. My suggestion, if the wait is 15-30 min, go...stand in the line. otherwise, don't worry. I do not see anything special inside also. The food is ok to most part. The THALI is not a typical THALI. you will be disappointed. Overall this is just an average place.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed July 2, 2022 via mobile

Being an Indian I was excited to see the craziness with standing for an hour in the line to get a seat and satisfy my curiosity The food is good but not great Compared to the standard Indian restaurants the food was fresh and fresh...The portions were great and the cooking was delicious Though we taste the similar kind of food at home too Not extraordinary for an Indian family but kudos to the team to keep up with the quality of the food Chicken pakoras are a must try and the chicken thali Definitely recommend to try once but not a place worth the second visitMore

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed June 29, 2022 via mobile

Service was far less than most restaurants in the country. No one asked if everything was enjoyable or asked if we wanted another drink. Food was very tasty and in abundance but again not the best meal I have had in the country. Wine menu...was nonexistent and liquor and beer selection was limited. What did I miss on this being best restuarant in the country as determined by James Beard?More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 26, 2022

I understand the hype about this place--everything we ordered was outstanding. I highly recommend the Bhel Puri and the Cholle Curry and Rice. Note: if you access the menu via the QR code at the hostess station, it will reveal a menu for special diets...(I'm vegan) that is not available on the paper menu at the table.More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 21, 2022 via mobile

Well worth the wait! We didn’t get in our first time and came back two days later and thank goodness we did! The food is excellent ◡̈ The service was wonderful….will miss Chai Pani….ENJOY!

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 15, 2022

After being named the best restaurant in the USA by James Beard, I couldn't wait to try it. I ordered the butter chicken, and was asked if I wanted Naan with my lunch. The waitress did not tell me there was a $2.99 charge for...the bread on top of my $17.00 entree. I love Indian food, but my dish was just OK. Not much chicken in the sauce, the soup was not tasty, and it was served on a silver platter. I have to say I was disappointed with the food. This is definitely not even the best place in Asheville, let alone the entire USA. I don't get it, but James Beard no longer means great food to me.More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 12, 2022

This Indian fare has long been a favorite. Plenty of outdoor seating. Varied menu that the servers are happy to help you with. Reasonably priced and very good. A good choice.

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 1, 2022 via mobile

Believe the glowing reviews - Chai Pani is worth waiting in line for over an hour! You will be happy you did and not mind the wait. We had Green Mango Chat, Corn Bhel, Kale Pakoras, Butter Chicken & Vada Pav. Least favorite was the...Pav. Our fault for not asking questions or reading the very descriptive menu carefully, but it was still delicious! Looking forward to my next visit. Surprisingly affordable including drinks. Our group of four was not the first in line arriving just after 5pm (opening at 5:30), and were able to sit at 6 pm. Our food came out orderly and fast. This restaurant delivers on quality food and impeccable service! Wonderful to see many families enjoying shared plates.More

Date of visit: May 2022
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Questions & Answers
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bmL3963LM
June 6, 2018|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from Fairladyzee | Reviewed this property |
I have never really had a long wait. I go multiple times a year; holiday season, summer time.. you should be fine if you're in a group of 5 or less.
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Travelinguy45
November 20, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from ZenHealer7 | Reviewed this property |
When you say "you", you mean the restaurant. "You" need to pose that question to the restaurant, not here.
1
Vote
StefaniUsa
March 29, 2016|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from ChaiPani | Property representative |
We do indeed have many gluten-free options--please ask for our "Super Duper Mega Secret Awesome Special Diets Menu," and our servers will be able to walk you through all your options. Hope to see you here soon!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Chai Pani

Yes, Chai Pani offers takeout services.

Chai Pani is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4