Vik's Chaat House

By
I am often asked why a conservative would choose to live in Berkeley, California. Aside from the sheer comedy of local politics there are many reasons. The climate is the best for me — cool to warm. Never really cold, and very rarely (and briefly) uncomfortably hot. The landscape and views. The beautiful architecture. And then there's the food. The many truck farmers who bring fresh produce year—round to our wonderful markets, Monterrey Market and Berkeley Bowl give us veggies and fruits unmatched elsewhere in North America. Fresh all year round.

And then there are incredible reasonably—priced restaurants. One of the foremost examples is Vik's Chaat House, a dirt—cheap food emporium serving some of the best Indian food anywhere. If you don't mind the noise and the crowds (I do, so I eat lunch there at 11 AM or 2 PM), you can have exquisite meals, with spicy flavors layered, and flaky exotic pastries.

The San Francisco Chronicle runs a long article about Vik's today, which means the crowds will only increase. Take a good look at the pictures, and then remind yourself that these treasures run only a few bucks each. So what if you eat on plastic plates and trays in a warehouse, using sporks? The food's better you'll find elsewhere at multiples of the price.

The Vik's crowd is my kind of Berkeley: a mix of immigrants, students, the well—traveled gourmets, adventurous eaters, and poeple who defy category.

You won't see a sign identifying Vik's. You have to know where it is. That's never been a problem because it's the type of place you tell friends about, or, better yet, take them to, thereby earning eternal gratitude. When my old friend Jeff moved to Berkeley a couple of months ago, I took him to Vik's for lunch the very first day he was available. He has since taken others.

If you ever in the area, google Vik's to get the address, then make a map on Yahoo or Mapquest. You'll need it. But you'll thank me, too.

Thomas Lifson   4 19 06

I am often asked why a conservative would choose to live in Berkeley, California. Aside from the sheer comedy of local politics there are many reasons. The climate is the best for me — cool to warm. Never really cold, and very rarely (and briefly) uncomfortably hot. The landscape and views. The beautiful architecture. And then there's the food. The many truck farmers who bring fresh produce year—round to our wonderful markets, Monterrey Market and Berkeley Bowl give us veggies and fruits unmatched elsewhere in North America. Fresh all year round.

And then there are incredible reasonably—priced restaurants. One of the foremost examples is Vik's Chaat House, a dirt—cheap food emporium serving some of the best Indian food anywhere. If you don't mind the noise and the crowds (I do, so I eat lunch there at 11 AM or 2 PM), you can have exquisite meals, with spicy flavors layered, and flaky exotic pastries.

The San Francisco Chronicle runs a long article about Vik's today, which means the crowds will only increase. Take a good look at the pictures, and then remind yourself that these treasures run only a few bucks each. So what if you eat on plastic plates and trays in a warehouse, using sporks? The food's better you'll find elsewhere at multiples of the price.

The Vik's crowd is my kind of Berkeley: a mix of immigrants, students, the well—traveled gourmets, adventurous eaters, and poeple who defy category.

You won't see a sign identifying Vik's. You have to know where it is. That's never been a problem because it's the type of place you tell friends about, or, better yet, take them to, thereby earning eternal gratitude. When my old friend Jeff moved to Berkeley a couple of months ago, I took him to Vik's for lunch the very first day he was available. He has since taken others.

If you ever in the area, google Vik's to get the address, then make a map on Yahoo or Mapquest. You'll need it. But you'll thank me, too.

Thomas Lifson   4 19 06