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A hand holding a filled pani puri
Pani puri at New Delhi Chaat
Hetal Vasavada

6 Must-Visit Chaat Spots in Sunnyvale

Where to go to stuff your face with pani puri

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Pani puri at New Delhi Chaat
| Hetal Vasavada

For Indian food enthusiasts who miss the experience of dining in, chaat crawls have become the new go-to quarantine activity. Drive down El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, and you’ll see a variety of chaat shops and trucks along the way — and, next to each one, a host of people sitting in their cars and stuffing their faces with pani puri, chhole bhatura, aloo tikki chaat, and more.

Chaat is a category of Indian food, often sold by street vendors, that’s usually served as an appetizer or quick meal. The beauty of chaat is in its a variety of flavors and textures: sweet, salty, tangy, spicy, crunchy, and creamy. And luckily, in Sunnyvale, where there’s such a dense concentration of Indian immigrants, it’s hard to come by a chaat that’s truly disappointing. While a few of the South Bay’s top chaat shops have closed either temporarily or permanently due to the COVID-19 crisis, many others continue to thrive. They’ve even found new ways to reach customers, whether it be through delivery or takeout. Here are six of the very best spots.

Pro tip: If you plan on taking your chaat home to enjoy, order the chutney on the side so that the food doesn’t get soggy by the time you eat it. But for the best experience, enjoy your takeout chaat fresh in the privacy of your car.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Delhi Chaat

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725 E El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(408) 449-1926
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Delhi Chaat gives customers that true street food chaat experience with its tiny food cart parked off El Camino Real. The cart has a variety of chaats on the menu but the stars are the dahi papdi chaat, which is served in puri rather than the traditional flat papdi, and the big plate of spicy aloo tikki chaat. If you’re feeling extra hungry, try their chhole bhatura, which is served piping hot — perfect on a chilly evening sitting in their outside seating area. The cart is open 4–9 p.m except on Mondays.

A paper plate of dahi papdi chaat Hetal Vasavada

2. Chaat House

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889 E El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(408) 733-9000
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Another stop along El Camino Real, Chaat House focuses on North Indian/Punjabi cuisine and chaats. Get the most bang for your buck by ordering their bhel thali for less than $10. The set comes with bhel puri chaat, one sabji (main dish), two roti, kadhi, dal, rice, and your choice of beverage. The restaurant is currently open for takeout and delivery via Doordash.

3. Chaat Bhavan

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976 E El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(408) 795-1100
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Chaat Bhavan is a vegetarian restaurant with locations in Fremont and Dublin as well. People flock here for the vada pav and dabeli, two beloved spicy street sandwiches from the west coast of India. The first is filled with a deep-fried chickpea flour–battered potato fritter. The latter features a spicy mashed potato mixture that’s topped with masala peanuts and pomegranate arils — a spicy, sweet combo.

4. New Delhi Chaat

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1175 E Homestead Rd
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(408) 320-1033

If you like your chaat extra-spicy, then this mom-and-pop food truck is for you. The most popular dish is the pani puri — a crispy, hollow puri stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas and filled with a mouthwateringly spicy, sweet, and tangy pani (water). Shove the whole thing into your mouth in one go for a blast of different textures and flavors. As an added bonus, the truck is stationed in the parking lot of a liquor store, so you can grab a cool drink to have with the heat-packed chaats. Open 4–9:30 p.m. There’s as open-air seating available, but be prepared for it to be filled with customers.

A plate of pani puri, with the tubs of green pani (spicy-sweet water) on the side Hetal Vasavada

5. Pav Bhaji Hut

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1201 Lawrence Station Rd
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

This food truck off Lawrence Avenue is well known for its traditional tawa-cooked pav bhaji. The proprietors imported their tawa, a large flat griddle used to cook pav bhaji, from India to keep things as traditional as possible. The namesake dish consists of pav (a soft roll) and bhaji, a spicy tomato-based vegetable mixture cooked with a delicious amount of Indian-made Amul butter. The truck is open for takeout and delivery via Doordash. A restaurant location also opened recently in Fremont.

Four pavs with a dish of bhaji (tomato-based vegetable stew) Hetal Vasavada

6. Johal Chaat & Curry

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1205 Lawrence Station Rd
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(408) 769-1095
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Situated in the same food truck gathering spot as Pav Bhaji Hut, Johal Chaat and Curry is famous for its Amritsari chole kulche — chickpeas cooked in a spicy tomato masala gravy and served with Amritsari kulche, an unleavened flatbread generously stuffed with a spicy potato filling. The truck is open 11:30 a.m–9:30 p.m; be sure to call ahead of time to place your order for takeout.

Chole kulche at Johal Chaat & Curry Hetal Vasavada

1. Delhi Chaat

725 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087
A paper plate of dahi papdi chaat Hetal Vasavada

Delhi Chaat gives customers that true street food chaat experience with its tiny food cart parked off El Camino Real. The cart has a variety of chaats on the menu but the stars are the dahi papdi chaat, which is served in puri rather than the traditional flat papdi, and the big plate of spicy aloo tikki chaat. If you’re feeling extra hungry, try their chhole bhatura, which is served piping hot — perfect on a chilly evening sitting in their outside seating area. The cart is open 4–9 p.m except on Mondays.

725 E El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

2. Chaat House

889 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Another stop along El Camino Real, Chaat House focuses on North Indian/Punjabi cuisine and chaats. Get the most bang for your buck by ordering their bhel thali for less than $10. The set comes with bhel puri chaat, one sabji (main dish), two roti, kadhi, dal, rice, and your choice of beverage. The restaurant is currently open for takeout and delivery via Doordash.

889 E El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

3. Chaat Bhavan

976 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Chaat Bhavan is a vegetarian restaurant with locations in Fremont and Dublin as well. People flock here for the vada pav and dabeli, two beloved spicy street sandwiches from the west coast of India. The first is filled with a deep-fried chickpea flour–battered potato fritter. The latter features a spicy mashed potato mixture that’s topped with masala peanuts and pomegranate arils — a spicy, sweet combo.

976 E El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

4. New Delhi Chaat

1175 E Homestead Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94087
A plate of pani puri, with the tubs of green pani (spicy-sweet water) on the side Hetal Vasavada

If you like your chaat extra-spicy, then this mom-and-pop food truck is for you. The most popular dish is the pani puri — a crispy, hollow puri stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas and filled with a mouthwateringly spicy, sweet, and tangy pani (water). Shove the whole thing into your mouth in one go for a blast of different textures and flavors. As an added bonus, the truck is stationed in the parking lot of a liquor store, so you can grab a cool drink to have with the heat-packed chaats. Open 4–9:30 p.m. There’s as open-air seating available, but be prepared for it to be filled with customers.

1175 E Homestead Rd
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

5. Pav Bhaji Hut

1201 Lawrence Station Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Four pavs with a dish of bhaji (tomato-based vegetable stew) Hetal Vasavada

This food truck off Lawrence Avenue is well known for its traditional tawa-cooked pav bhaji. The proprietors imported their tawa, a large flat griddle used to cook pav bhaji, from India to keep things as traditional as possible. The namesake dish consists of pav (a soft roll) and bhaji, a spicy tomato-based vegetable mixture cooked with a delicious amount of Indian-made Amul butter. The truck is open for takeout and delivery via Doordash. A restaurant location also opened recently in Fremont.

1201 Lawrence Station Rd
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

6. Johal Chaat & Curry

1205 Lawrence Station Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Chole kulche at Johal Chaat & Curry Hetal Vasavada

Situated in the same food truck gathering spot as Pav Bhaji Hut, Johal Chaat and Curry is famous for its Amritsari chole kulche — chickpeas cooked in a spicy tomato masala gravy and served with Amritsari kulche, an unleavened flatbread generously stuffed with a spicy potato filling. The truck is open 11:30 a.m–9:30 p.m; be sure to call ahead of time to place your order for takeout.

1205 Lawrence Station Rd
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

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