Chiya Chai Cafe

4.5
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25 reviews
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$30 and under
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Indian

Top tags:

Afternoon Coffee
Casual
Boasting one of the most expansive chai programs in the entire world,Chicago’s Chiya Chai offers an array of Chai ranging from classic to the exotic with spices sourced directly from Nepal and nearby regions. Backed by two husband and wife teams, Chiya Chai originated from the owner’s deep family history of tea merchants, who were one of the first to export Nepalese tea to the outside world.

In addition to over 150 possible combinations of chai, the café and eatery offers made from scratch Nepalese and Indian influenced fare including savory pies, dumplings and curries, as well as a bespoke cocktail program specially designed to showcase a variety of aromatic and exotic spices in combination with tea and other ingredients.

Dinner after 5pm @ the Backroom - Fresh Local Organic Nepalese & Indian Food
What 25 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.7
Food
4.0
Service
4.1
Ambience
4.4
Value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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G
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 2Ambience 4

Service was slow in the back room for dinner. Very snippy waiter.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delicious food, great waiter. Just a little hot since the AC wasnt working very well.

AS
1 review
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

The coconut creme chai was really really good. It was sweet and flavorful.

m
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 15 July 2019
Overall 2Food 5Service 1Ambience 1

I got a reservation at the backroom at Chiya Chai Cafe for a celebration with my sweetie. The backroom has sit down service and the front of the house is more casual with counter service. When we got there, though, they had closed the backroom because they didn't have a lot of people there, so we were invited to eat in the front, but order off the more expansive dinner menu in the backroom. OK. Disappointing, but understandable. But, then we had all sorts of glitches. Didn't get our full order, so ended up getting the appetizers after the main entrees. Were given plates that were dirty. Had to go up and get serving spoons so that we could serve our food. Took a while to get anyone's attention to get boxes for takeout, even though I was standing up at the counter. I will say that the food was delicious. And, under normal circumstances, we would have rolled with it. But, this was a special occasion, with a reservation made in advance. Ended up not being quite the special dinner we had hoped. Oh, and at the end of the night, we went to the bathroom, which is past the back dining room, and there was another couple seated there, just getting their meals from a server! WTF?? I will go back, cause the food was good. But, the experience was definitely a bummer.

KP
New England
5 reviews
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

This is a fun, modern, cafe style Indian food restaurant. The menu choices are diverse, with several small plate options and curry bowls you can share. Good beer selection, and some interesting cocktails. We would go back.

AN
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on 28 April 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

Although this place is pretty far from where I stay but I wanted to eat at this place since a long time. So I, along with 3 other friends dined here on Sunday. The place is pretty nice and upbeat. Everyone was nice and kind, and the service was top-notch. And that is what the 3-stars are basically for. Starting with the menu, Its terribly confusing. Confusing to a level where their won people didn't understand it (regular or large or dinner size or curry bowl). Either explain it or have picture references. They have 3 different menus (one on the wall, one in hand and one for the backroom) with different prices and size variations of the same item. It was not helping anyone. Please make it simpler! We ordered the fries with extra curry sauce (Curry sauce OK, fries were nice and crispy). Never expected such a place to make mango shake out of canned stuff (Should be mentioned on the menu as 'Not Fresh'). And it tasted like that. The traditional beverage 'lassi' with salt and cumin was bland and avoidable. Cutting chai was nice. Samosas was the only saving grace! Good amount of stuffing and well made. We also ordered a $16 Creamy Masala Chicken, which in my experience was overtly expensive. I understand you are selling the whole package of a modern millennial style indian food place but the packaging is no good if the product itself is average. The Veg Jalfrezi was better than the chicken but again the pricing and sizing makes it all very confusing. My biggest pet peeve with an Indian restaurant, charging upwards of $2 for rotis that are not freshly made. We inquired about that and were told that all rotis are made at one time and then re-heated and served. Not cool! The rotis were in my opinion, were frozen and not made on the same day, very powdery, and disappointing. I was planning to visit this again to try out their momos, but I think this place was a one-time visit for me or unless someone forces me to go along.

W
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Innovative and delicious food at a good price. Great Chai Tea as well.

J
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on 9 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Initially discovered Chiya Chai Cafe by chance. Now have returned. Very well prepared food. Samosa, dumplings pies are spot on. Great cocktails and teas. Wait staff is great.

VM
1 review
Dined on 3 February 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Good food. Back room for reservations is a better option for an intimate experience.

CF
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on 2 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Enjoyed trying a flight of flavored chai. Cardamon Pistachio was our favorite. Excellent spicy crispy potatoes!

u
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on 28 December 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Pleasant surprise. Everything we tried was tasty and spiced just right. We go back soon.

TK
1 review
Dined on 9 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This place is great. The food was fantastic the service and ambiance was amazing! We will definitely be going back!!

AM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 2 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Our group definitely agreed that trying a variety of the appetizers since it was our first time was a great idea. Loved them all!

ER
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on 8 September 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

It was my first time there, and the server couldn't have been more informative or helpful. She explained everything, was very accommodating and amenable. All the staff we encountered seemed friendly and extremely willing to help, which added to our positive experience. We ordered a chai flight, as well as a bunch of things to share. I'll definitely be back.

JW
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on 2 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I love this place. Everything is delicious! Cocktails ate good too. I've been here over 5 times and plan on returning a lot more. Thank you

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great flavors and variety. Samosa Chaat and the Chicken Masala Pie were stars!

CD
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on 18 July 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 1Ambience 3

I may have gone here on an off night, but it was really a poor experience. They were apparently “out of” lassi, which isn’t a good sign. There is no signage that differentiates between the cafe and the dine-in portion of the restaurant. Also, they were down staff members so our server was also the bartender and that slowed down the overall dinner tremendously.

Once we got the food, I was less than impressed. The chili tofu wasn’t cooked enough so that wasn’t a good start. The biggest issue I had was that the spinach and paneer dish was extremely bland and there was no flavor of garlic on my parata. The server proceeded to tell me that they “never salt their food” and that’s why the paneer dish was bland. I had to send it back. While it was better the second time around, it was a very disappointing experience all around. The vegetarian dumplings were also not very flavorful and not fully cooked.

I had high hopes of this restaurant and almost nothing made me want to return again. The server did give us a complimentary order of the masala fries for our troubles, but that wasn’t enough to make up for an overall poor dining experience.

f
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 27 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Everything we ate and drank was delicious. Can’t wait to go back and try rest of menu!

a
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on 7 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing food and event better service. Got the wings and shrimp to start and goat curry and pork vindaloo for mains. Everything was delicious, very well seasoned and flavored. You can tell they grind all the spices in house. Their Golden chai Russian cocktail was unreal. One of the best cocktails I’ve ever had.

TG
1 review
Dined on 27 April 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I highly recommend. The food and drinks were great!

LN
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on 30 July 2017
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

Goat curry great. Other dishes average. Bread sub par. A little overpriced relative to quality/service.

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on 15 July 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great food. Women's bathroom needs to be cleaned better

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on 1 July 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Glad I finally listened to my wife and made it here for dinner! Will be back again for sure.

D
Grand Rapids
7 reviews
Dined on 15 June 2017
Overall 3Food 2Service 5Ambience 3

Half the "bone in goat curry" was bone. Dangerous and difficult to eat. Restaurant offered a price adjustment for the meal though. Spicy shrimp was very good

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 28 May 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The best restaurant in Logan Square. Delicious Indian/Nepalese food - freshly made, not greasy. Good for lunch, dinner, organic coffee, array of teas, and a large selection of Chai options. The place is immaculate, the owner cares about his customers, the staff helpful and accommodating. You can actually have a conversation without screeching to be heard. Highly recommend this restaurant.

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