Indian street food comes to uptown Charlotte

Tom Hanchett

vada_pavIn India, say “banktown” and you’re talking about Mumbai. Like Charlotte, it’s an old textile city reborn as a financial center.

Now you can get Mumbai street food amid the bank towers of uptown Charlotte. But you’ve got to know just where to look.

Kamlesh Shah came as a young man from India to Seattle where he fell in love with coffee. Moving to Charlotte to join sisters in 1995, he launched Coffee & More, a coffee bar in the recently-opened International Trade Center on College Street. When the building became a training facility for Bank of America, Shah noticed more and more finance and information technology professionals from his homeland.

Gradually he’s added Indian teas, the traditional lemonade called nimbu sarbat, hand-mixed soft-drinks with masala flavoring, curry-filled pastries, and now piping-hot vada pav and pav bhaji.

What’s vada pav? “It’s sort of an Indian burger, but no meat,” explains Charlotte native Raymond Kirkpatrick, who works behind the counter with Shah. A potato patty is daubed with garlic chutney and green spicy chutney, then nestled into a hamburger bun – perfect for munching as you walk.

Got time to sit on an uptown bench? Order the pav bhaji. It’s a savory stew of nine vegetables topped with fresh onions, cilantro and butter. You can eat it straight out of the bowl or spoon it into pav – that burger bun again.

Where to find this? Queen Charlotte marks the way. Locate the statue of Charlotte’s namesake at Fifth and College streets, duck through the glass doors behind her, and there you are.

Coffee & More
6am – 5pm Monday – Friday

200 N. College Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 375-6882

foodheader
Center City & nearby
Carolina apple cider
Indian street food
Greens from South Carolina
Upstate NY Italian sausage
Swiss-German bakery
Blackberry memories of Brooklyn
Puerto Rican kabobs
South Boulevard, South Tryon & southward
Mexico + Greece = holiday treats
Cuban box pig
Snack foods from India
SC meets Vietnam
Little corner of El Salvador
Arepas from Venezuela
Indian sweets for Diwali
Colombian soup
Korean at China Wing
Indian food in south Charlotte
Mexican take-out
Mexican Tamaleria
Fort Mill — real Chinese
Independence Boulevard, Monroe Road & environs
Nigeria in east Charlotte
Korean BBQ
Brazilian bakery
Secret Greek grocery
Colombian BBQ & snacks
Detroit hot dogs
New York bagels
Halal Latino
Russian-Turkish Grocery
Iran Kabobs in Matthews
Ramen in Matthews

Central Av, Albemarle Road & vicinity
Family-style Ethiopian
Dominican street food
Jamaican black cake
Somali stew and sides
Schawarma from Jerusalem
Oriental buns
Greek pastries
Bosnian sausages
‘Tis the Season for Champurrado
Latino bakery feeds a region
Taste Monterrey, Mexico
Tamales in Plaza Midwood
One restaurant, three Latino traditions
Guatamala in east Charlotte

North Tryon, UNCC area & northward
Asian Moon Cakes
Mexican carnitas
Beef on Weck from Buffalo
Indo-Chinese
Dominican fruit shakes, pressed subs
Mexican ice cream
Louisiana Viet crawfish
Salvadoran comfort food
NYC pastries – Lake Norman
Vegetarian eats from south India
Westward
The Patio at Our Lady of Guadalupe
NC fish camps
Fried baloney
Grits & cornmeal
El Tamarindo
Laos in Kings Mountain
Lawrence Caribbean