Image: Chicken Tikka Masala, Daal, Saag Panir
First Visit: November 2019
Bombay Street Food is one of the biggest success stories in D.C. dining over the last year. Serving very good versions of classic dishes at reasonable prices, it took off. Targeting the younger population in Columbia Heights, it built a following. Success was swift and a second location on Capitol Hill was added (untried by us so far). They even added a lunch-only spot downtown doing 300 servings of butter chicken a day (they sell ‘til sold out).
They do not take reservations, so plan to wait at peak hours. The wait is rewarded. The goat Biryani is substantial and deeply seasoned (serves up to four). The Lamb Rogan Josh and Chicken Tikka Masala have more than a touch of spice along with the creaminess that makes the dishes favorites. Sides like Saag Panir (spinach and cheese) and Daal (lentils) continue the comforting theme of classics done well. This is very good Indian that deserves the attention it is getting. There are also a couple interesting twists with the menu. One section called “Monsoon Season” features snacks and a cup of chai tea with the intention of recreating warm moments with treats when cooped up from the rains. Another section, untried by us, features Indo-Chinese food reflecting the mixing of the traditions.
The beverage list is modest, with a few wines by the glass and a dozen or so white or red bottle options. There are a few beers. There are also Indian drinks like Mango Lassi and Chai. The service is stretched but stays on top of things. The kitchen did well even on a slammed night.
Asad Sheikh, a native of Bombay (now called Mumbai), the man behind the restaurants, started with successful spots in Northern Virginia. Along with partners/chefs Pradip Shrestha and Dolly Khan, he managed to hit the ground running. According to the website, they took a trip to his hometown for research. They came back with a model that works.
Other Guidance: The place is casual – jeans and t-shirts, even sweats, are not out of place. As an Indian place with a substantial menu, GF and vegetarians can do well.
Rating: Worth Taking a Walk
1413 Park Road NW, Washington DC, 20010
524 8th Street SE, Washington DC, 20003
Washington Post: Tom’s positive First Bite.
DonRockwell.com: There is a thread for the Barrack’s Row location, but not the Columbia Heights.
Lori: “I like Bombay Street Food for its spirited, casual vibe.”
Columbia Heights Location: