WellingtonEat & Drink
Interior with customers sitting down chatting, light blue and orange painted walls light up the space.

Chaat Street

  • Location

    171 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington

  • Website

    Chaat Street

If you head to Chaat Street expecting to order your favourite curry, you’ll have to think again. Owner and chef Vaibhav Vishen is opening Wellingtonian’s eyes to Indian cuisine and its wide-ranging street foods, one tapas dish at a time.

Found on the corner of Willis and Dixon Streets, the restaurant has a steady stream of hungry Wellingtonians for lunch and dinner. A smiling Vaibhav will likely greet you when you arrive. His passion for delicious, authentic cuisine has translated into an excellent dining experience.

Chaat are traditional savoury snacks sold by Indian and South Asian street vendors. Delicious and bite-sized, they’re packed with flavour and spice.

“These traditional dishes from the streets of India are a combination of textures, spice, and a variety of complex flavours. They’re so good that you end up licking your finger. That is what ‘chaat’ literally means, to lick, and it’s a blanket term for street food in India,” says Vaibhav.

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Chaat Street’s menu changes monthly and showcases a new dish or flavour from street-style foods enjoyed in India. The tapas-style dishes come either hot or cold (and some a mix of both). There are plenty of vegetarian options alongside meat and fish.

Sharing is the best way to enjoy the menu, and the smaller dish sizes mean it works well for groups big and small. The diversity of taste, texture, and flavours means you’ll want to try one of everything. There is also a FOMO-inducing weekly specials board of limited-time dishes dreamt up by Vaibhav.

The drinks are equally intriguing. Cocktails like a chilli margarita or bubblegum martini are sure to keep the tastebuds guessing. Street-style drinks like milky chai continue the traditional flavours. 

Chaat Street also offers breakfast, with a neo-Indian twist, of course. Eggs come with interesting flavours like curry leaf hollandaise. Pancakes are savoury with Semolina and eggs or spiced potatoes. Paired with a smoothie or Indian filter coffee, it’s a good way to start your day.

Chaat Street was a highly successful pop-up restaurant at 2021’s Visa Wellington on a Plate. After serving more than 2000 dishes across two days, it turned out Wellington had an appetite for tapas-style Indian food. Less than a year later, they had a permanent spot in Wellington’s central city.

Vaibhav kept two of the most popular dishes from the pop-up on the restaurant menu. Aloo Tikki Chaat, a skillet potato with crunchy lentils and a flavour-filled sauce. And Kashmiri Kanti, a pan-tossed dish of marinated lamb and vegetables bursting with chillis and coriander.

2 people enjoy food at Chaat street, overlooking ones shoulder the other smiling.