Berkeley: Vik's Chaat Corner

I got to catch up with a Chicago friend my first weekend back home.  Since she's now living and working in the Oakland area, I told her to pick the place.  My sister and I just showed up.

The original plan was to hit up OB Chicken Town, but we forgot that it's closed on Sundays until we pulled up in the parking lot to find it completely dark.  Some quick thinking on the part of my friend led us to Berkeley's 4th St instead.  To my utmost shame, she introduced me to a part of Berkeley I'd never explored during my time there.

I don't think I will ever forgive myself for overlooking Vik's Chaat Corner:

My friend didn't know exactly where Vik's was located, so we slowly cruised down 4th St until she suddenly exclaimed, "Indian people!" and made an abrupt turn into a parking lot.  It cracked me up, but she got it right.

Attached to the cutest Indian grocery store was this awesome Indian food court of sorts:

Judging by the nonstop stream of people entering through the doors and getting in line, apparently everyone in Berkeley knew about this place except for me.  Dammit.

After placing our order at the counter, we grabbed a table and waited for our names to be called.  There were multiple stations, each responsible for a different type of dish, so our food came at different intervals.

My sister and I split a lamb biryani:

My friend ordered a chicken kathi kebab:

Vik's offers a lot of Indian street food.  We got a little excited, so we might have have gone overboard with the ordering even though we really had no clue what we were getting.

There was the dahi batata puri:

The aloo tikki:

And the bhel puri:

My favorite was by far the bhel puri.  Something about the mix of flavors (sweet and tangy) and textures (crisp and wet) really made my day.

Since we were going all out, we got a mango lassi:

AND a rose lassi:

In my opinion, the mango one was better.  The rose one tasted like potpourri.

And if that wasn't enough, we finished the meal with a kulfi falooda for dessert:

Our SSA Bengali Princess used to make these (based off a Youtube recipe!) back in Chicago, but hers never came with vermicelli noodles and basil seeds.  Nor were hers ever this sweet.  Holy moly.  I couldn't take more than a couple of bites before I wanted some fries to go with it.

Or some of that puffy, beautiful cholle bhatura that we kept seeing other people picking up.  We didn't know what it was and were made a few guesses before we finally gave up and my friend asked the lady at the table next to us.

I wish I'd known about Vik's while I was still at Berkeley.  In fact, I wish I'd taken advantage of living in Berkeley and ventured out away from campus.  I guess it's better late than never...

Vik's Chaat Corner
2390 4th St
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 644-4432


  1. i wish i had been there to enjoy all that food + see soooooooooooooooooophia! <3


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