The past couple of years have seen a huge insurgence of street food carts and trucks, demonstrating that San Francisco’s love of food and entrepreneurship are alive and well. While all of these food truck owners are to be lauded for their Herculean effort in starting their own businesses amidst a depressed economy and sky high small business prices, just like their full on restaurant competitors, some are better than others.
One that has caught my attention the past year is called the Chai Cart, run by a lovely Indian lady named Pawan. This Indian tea cart is an awesome testament to the very reason that I came back to the city by the bay- its’ incredibly diverse cultural heritage and passion for eclectic culinary experiences. Most often, the Chai Cart can be found smack in the middle of downtown San Francisco on Market Street in the financial district.
Grab a sandwich from somewhere nearby and head over to Chai Cart to partake in a little taste of India, with a cup of warm or iced Masala Chai. Pawan offers her loyal customers several flavors to choose from- original and spicy for those familiar with this popular Indian tea, a milder version for those who like their Chai with a gentler profile and Rose infused, for those who love floral flavors. Personally, my favorite has always been the bold original Masala Chai. One warm cup and I’m transported to the streets of Mumbai, swirling in the aromatic scent of ginger, clove and black tea.
For those of you who can’t get enough of Pawan’s Chai, you can purchase the premade concentrated brews to take home. Just add milk, warm it up and you’re in Chai heaven.