“The Insider's Guide” Of Where To Go And What To Do In Chicago
When Chai is in the name, you can certainly expect some good chai and Chiya Chai Cafe does not disappoint. You could spend a whole year here just trying to find your favorite flavor. With over 150 possible combinations, Chiya Chai rightful boasts one of the most expansive Chai collections in the world. For owners Swadesh and Saujanya Shrestha and their wives, Rajee Aryal and Nadine Schaefer, respectively, tea is serious business.
The Shrestha’s are tea merchants by trade. As one of the first families to export Nepalese tea, they carry on that tradition by only using freshly-ground spices and high-quality tea leaves directly imported from India and Nepal. Every cup of Chai was hand-brewed in the restaurant with love. The classic flavors of anise and cardamom ginger masala are there, but Chiya Chai gets creative with dark chocolate spearmint, Himalayan pink salt with almond butter, and strawberry mint.
The café offers delicious Indian and Nepalese cuisine made from scratch daily. Dumplings and curries pair well with a Chai sampler if you just want a quick snack, but if you stay for dinner, try the chana masala or the vindaloo. Many of the dishes are gluten-free and with plenty of vegan-friendly fares, there is something for everyone. They are also known for their homemade savory pies whose crusts they handmake in the kitchen. 15 minutes after you order one of their 4 delicious flavors, you will get to eat a freshly-baked hot out of the oven pie.
Enjoy a happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 PM. Chiya Chai Cafe also delivers through 3 different services if that is more your speed.