photo credit: Emily Schindler
Punjabi Grocery & Deli
This basement-level cab stand has been selling vegetarian Indian chaat and curries on the north side of Houston Street since the early 1990s. It’s an irreplaceable gem of the East Village right up there with St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery and Tompkins Square Park (specifically during the annual Halloween Dog Parade).
Anyone who lives in the area should come here regularly, even if it’s just for some sweet and sticky gulab jamun in one of those blue paper cups typically used for to-go coffee. If you want an incredibly filling meal, though, bring about $10 in cash. We usually opt for the samosa chaat, but the steaming bowls of chana masala and the brown paper bag filled with crunchy fried pakora are great options too.
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If you’re having a rough day, stop by and ask for “samosa chaat with the works.” What you’ll get is a mound of food piled high with cut-up samosas, masala chickpeas, a cooling yogurt sauce, fresh raw onions, sweet chutney, and spicy sauce. Suddenly, all the NYU students partying on the balcony next to your building won’t seem so annoying.