675 Ponce De Leon Ave | Atlanta, GA 30308

Botiwalla is chef Meherwan Irani’s homage to his life long love of kababs and Irani Cafes. In his hometown of Ahmednagar, India, his grandfather owned Sarosh Canteen, the only Irani Cafe in town. Irani Cafes were originally tea and kabab houses run by Parsis - Zoroastrians that emigrated from Persia to India in the late 19th and early 20th century (Meherwan’s great-grandfather Sheriar was one of those eponymous immigrants). With a strange and wonderful mash-up of Victorian decor and Indian sensibilities, they catered to the English colonialists’ love of high tea and afternoon snacks. Even after the British left India, Irani Cafes survived, adapting their menus to Indian tastes, serving a unique style of Indo-Persian (Parsi) cuisine and becoming some of the most iconic and revered dining institutions along the way. 

Chai Pani Asheville

22 Battery Park Ave | Asheville, NC 28801

Chai Pani literally means “tea and water.” It's slang in India for going out for a cup of tea, a tasty bite, a snack, or “a little something.” In Downtown Asheville (and now in Downtown Decatur) it means innovative, fun, affordable and delicious Indian cuisine. We'd go so far as to say it's “mindblasting.”

Some of the best food of any country is its street food, and Chai Pani features chaat - crunchy, spicy, sweet, tangy, brightly flavored Indian street snacks. And because there's nothing more comforting and delicious in any culture than a home cooked meal, Chai Pani also brings you thalis - traditional family meals highlighting India's amazing culinary diversity.

MG Road Lounge

19 Wall St | Asheville, NC 28801

MG Road is the basement bar of Chai Pani, located one floor down, with an entrance on Wall Street in downtown Asheville. Designed to be a great place to get a drink while waiting to be sat at Chai Pani, or a great place to have a big night out with some close friends dancing under a complete canopy of electric Bollywood wonderland. MG Road prides itself on getting on the weirder side of Indian culture and on the best side of contemporary cocktails.

Buxton Hall Barbecue

32 Banks Ave | Asheville, NC 28801

It would be difficult to find business partners with backgrounds more different than Elliott Moss and Meherwan Irani. Their partnership hinges on the passion that food invokes: the history it recalls, the techniques it uses, the shared experiences it produces. After meeting at a Blind Pig Supper in 2013, their mutual love of food and Asheville inspired them to team up and open Buxton.

Buxton Hall finally opened in August of 2015, with Moss tending the pits, and Irani bringing his experience as a restauranteur to the operation. Together, they're revitalizing Carolina barbecue history, demonstrating that tradition tastes good. 



Chai Pani Decatur

406 W Ponce de Leon Ave | Decatur, GA 30030

Chai Pani can also mean a small bribe just enough to get a bite to eat. Well at Chai Pani Decatur, you won’t have to bribe us for innovative, fun, affordable and delicious Indian cuisine.

Some of the most tasty, fun and affordable food of any country is its street food and Chai Pani features chaat – crunchy, spicy, sweet, tangy, brightly flavored Indian street snacks. And since there is nothing more comforting and delicious in any culture than a home cooked meal, Chai Pani also brings you thalis – traditional family meals highlighting India’s amazing culinary diversity.

Hop in a rickshaw, your home away from home awaits.


829 Riverside Drive Asheville, NC 28801

Spicewalla is our brand new spice company just down the road from Chai Pani in Asheville. The sourcing, selection, and blending process is personally curated by the master of spices himself, Meherwan Irani, along with his culinary team led by chef de cuisine, James Grogan. Spicewalla has been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Star Chefs Magazine, Asheville Citizen Times, Edible Asheville, Southern Living, among others. Spicewalla can be found in the kitchens of award winning chefs throughout the country.


From fundraisers and film screenings, to festivals and exclusive events, we've always got something exciting and fun going on. 

Click the links below to check out all of the happenings going on each restaurant.


Food. We like it. Drinks? Oh yeah.


It all started with a little chaat house in downtown Asheville. 

From Bombay to Buncombe and Asheville to Atlanta, Chai Pani has extended our love of food, culinary experience, and storytelling to the southeast. The day we opened CHAI PANI ASHEVILLE in 2009 was a testament to will, love and friendship. We ran out of food by midday. As they say, the rest is history ...

In 2012, we opened MG ROAD Bar & Lounge, our stylishly awesome lounge right around the corner from Chai Pani. The team balances technique & tradition with a level of creativity & innovation that’s been written up from Food & Wine Magazine to The Times of India.

We then opened CHAI PANI DECATUR in Decatur, GA in 2013. It has been included in the 'Best Restaurants in Atlanta' list every year it's been open by Atlanta Magazine and Creative Loafing. Pani Puri nights on Fri and Sat are legendary.

Since then, we've added BUXTON HALL BARBECUE, which features wood-smoked, whole-hog barbecue by Chef Elliott Moss in South Slope, Asheville, NC. Low-country curiosities, southern classics, seasonal pies and pastries, local beer, craft cocktails, rotating punches and a daily slushy.

BOTIWALLA is the newest restaurant from Chai Pani and chef Meherwan Irani. Inspired by the tea and kabab houses (known as Irani cafes) of Meherwan's childhood, as well as the grills (sigris) that pop up on the streets of India at night, serving grilled meats and flatbreads to hungry late night commuters, workers and revelers.

SPICEWALLA is our brand new spice company just down the road from Chai Pani in Asheville. The sourcing, selection, and blending process is personally curated by the master of spices himself, Meherwan Irani, along with his culinary team led by chef de cuisine, James Grogan. Spicewalla has been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Star Chefs Magazine, Asheville Citizen Times, Edible Asheville, Southern Living, among others. Spicewalla can be found in the kitchens of award winning chefs throughout the country.



Get the latest news and updates from our restaurants by following @chaipani, @mgroadlounge,
@chaipanidecatur, @botiwalla,
and @buxtonhall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



Want to know more about us? Who better to ask than the critics. Check out who's been eating where by going to our Press pages:


At Chai Pani Restaurant Group, we're about more than just the food. We believe in the power of storytelling, of giving our customers more than just a taste of a Vada Pav or South Carolina Hash– we want to transport you to ground zero, show you that part of our childhoods and ancestries.

We do it in small ways, the way we design our menus or layout our spaces, but we go even further. Sometimes stories need more than just one vehicle, and we use our design, social media, and video editing prowess to take these stories and bring them to fruition.


First shared with the public in March 2016, this one-of-a-kind documentary covers one of the South’s most notable Indian street food concepts as three-time James Beard-nominated chef Meherwan Irani takes his Chai Pani crew through 10 cities in 10 days by trains, planes, and auto-rickshaws, eating everything in sight.

Intimate, funny, touching, and irreverent - Cutting Chai is an explosion of color and sound, immersing viewers in the raw beauty of India’s rural countryside, the opulence of its riches, and the culinary heart and soul of the country and its people.


Libation Migration – MG Road's two month-long initiative to bring visiting bartenders from all over the country (and continent) to pair with local chefs officially ended in October. It was a truly wonderful experience to bring all these great and talented folks to Asheville, and we feel honored to have hosted them. We laughed, we cried, we drank a lot of bourbon.

Check out our videos from the Migration below, and learn how to make some great whiskey cocktails using Bulleit whiskey – our partner throughout the series.

Check out all the videos at our YouTube Channel:


There's nothing like the taste of Botiwalla, to refresh you and give you the strength to face the day. Rejuvenate yourself with Botiwalla shakti! A special ad film from director Daniel Files. Starring Michael Files, Nargis Aniston, and Davyon St.Usaire Special thanks to cinematographer and general hero Eric Barnes for all his help in helping this grand vision come to life.








chai pani giving


"never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has"

- margaret meade


Being a part of a community is about giving back, about making a difference, about taking a stand. Chai Pani Giving is about thinking outside the box, about using food, and labor, and love to make a difference to those in need.



On the first Wednesday of every month, Chai Pani partners with a local charitable organization to raise awareness for their cause and we donate 10% of that day's sales to the organization.

To learn more or to submit an organization for consideration email: giving



Showing Up For Racial Justice

Montford Park Players

Just Us United

Welcome Table

Our Voice

Asheville Catholic School

Asheville Humane Society

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

The Church of the Advocate

Feast Asheville

Paws on ASD

Black Mountain College

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

Francis Delany New School for Children



Hospitality Director & Co-Founder

Molly Irani grew up in the restaurant business. Her parents owned a popular restaurant in the south-east and from as far back as she can remember, Molly has been in and around food, kitchens, cooking, and restaurants. She brings a deep and intuitive understanding of service, hospitality, and customer care to the culture of the teams she helps to build. Her many years of traveling in India and being part of an Indian family infuse her love of the culture and influence the Chai Pani aesthetic and environment. While Molly has worn many hats over the years as co-founder of Chai Pani, her primary role now is Director of Hospitality for the Chai Pani Restaurant Group, though her favorite role will always be the Chai Pani "mom" - delivering hugs and chocolate when most needed. 



Executive Chef, Chief Chaiwalla & Founder

In 2009, Irani quit his day job in sales to open his first restaurant– Chai Pani, a unique Indian street food joint in downtown Asheville. Whether it was a midlife crisis or a stroke of genius is debatable. In any case, the self-taught chef has now opened his fifth place, with more on the way. With three James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast under his belt, he's finally confident this might be working out. His restaurants have been written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Food & Wine, Men's Health, USA Today, and Bon Appétit, among others. Not bad for a former salesman. He accredits his business success to the amazing people he works with each day, including his business partner and wife, Molly.


Operations Director

Charlotte joined the team  in 2010 when Chai Pani had yet to expand beyond it's original 40 seat restaurant in downtown Asheville, and pretty much right out of the gate it was apparent she should be running the place. Charlotte keeps everyone in line (even Meherwan!) and on task in a way only she could. In her day-to-day role she oversees the entire restaurant group staff and operations with her signature style of sweetness and accountability. Charlotte has traveled to India her whole life, and dreams of one day returning to do something with kids. She lives on the south side of Asheville, with her husband, 3 dogs, and 1 cat, all of whom give her great joy: Andrew, Bonnie, Harrison, Doug, and Millard.

Brand & Creative Director

Michael made a life for himself eagerly traveling all over the world before finally being convinced to stay in one place for more than a year– by helping open a little restaurant called Chai Pani. He initially joined up with Meherwan and Molly Irani in 2009 under the guise of finalizing a logo for Chai Pani, and has since gone on to do every job there is in the restaurant business, even helping to open every restaurant in the Chai Pani Restaurant Group. Having worked at a top contemporary art gallery in Mumbai, Michael has a long-standing deep love and connection to India that comes through in his design of the Chai Pani spaces. His work also focuses on communicating the mission of bringing Indian street food to the US audience, very often through various forms of art and video that seek to capture that unique and irreverent Indian spirit.

Regional General Manager

In 2009, Meherwan, a high-end real estate salesman with no experience in the restaurant industry, somehow convinced a young school teacher named Isaac to invest his life savings in the idea of opening an Indian street food restaurant in a small mountain town in the South. Crazy as that seemed back then, things seem to be working out OK for the both of them. Isaac has traveled to India his whole life and has a deep love for Indian food and its people. Prior to helping open Chai Pani, he spent years leading groups of gap-year students on long and immersive journeys to India. Isaac is admired by his staff for his gracious leadership and "island of calm" sensibility, even in the face of all the madness the restaurant world can throw at you.

Financial Manager

Kady formally joined the Chai Pani team less than two years ago, but has been a part of the family for quite some time. Since coming on board, Kady has been hugely instrumental in helping the group to expand and keep an unfathomable amount of balls successfully juggled in the air at any given time. Kady originally comes from sunny Florida, but has since grown quite fond of her adopted mountain town of Asheville. She lives in a quaint but chic house in the country that she renovated with her boyfriend James (pictured below). Together they enjoy Blue Ridge mountain sunsets, gardening, their two dog-children, a couple of horse neigh-bors, and a lot of rosé.

Chef de Cuisine (Botiwalla)

Most people who meet him would say there's no one quite like Daniel Peach. He's blond-haired, blue-eyed, but basically an Indian at his core. Daniel moved to Asheville when he was 19 and was one of the first four people hired to open the kitchen at Chai Pani Asheville more than six years ago. Driven by a love for the food, people, and spirituality of India, Daniel has traveled on his own to India for long stints multiple times. In the process, he's taught himself to read and write Hindi, and cooked in scores of home kitchens. Daniel headed up the opening of the kitchen at Chai Pani Decatur, and continues to earn accolades for the food his diverse team of cooks produces. 

Chef de Cuisine (Asheville)

James first fell in love with cooking when he moved to Boone, NC to study accounting at ASU. He found himself with a job at a little family restaurant named Pepper's. He was so hooked that he changed careers and the trajectory of his life. From there he got a job as a dishwasher at the fine dining Crestwood restaurant, and within two years worked his way up to sous chef. In Asheville, fate and Chai Pani's good fortune landed him in 20 hours of interviews for the soon to open restaurant. He was finally hired as one of only 4 kitchen members. Now, as the Chef de Cuisine, he oversees a staff of 20. Since the Cutting Chai trip, he continued to venture to India on his own to keep his street food chops up. And, more importantly, he still loves waking up at 7am to cook daal.

Chef/Pit Master - Partner (Buxton Hall Barbecue)

Elliott Moss is a son of the low country of South Carolina. The rich characters, humble attitude, and low country cuisine he grew up with very much influence his approach to cooking today. Having paid his dues for years in the food industry, it was a move to Asheville to helm the kitchen at The Admiral that brought him regional and national attention as one of the most acclaimed chefs in the area, earning rave reviews from The New York Times, GQ Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Conde Nast, and many more regional & national publications. He was nominated for the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Southeast” in 2013 during his stint at the Admiral, and continues to garner accolades now that he's opened his dream restaurant, Buxton Hall Barbecue, with the Chai Pani Restaurant Group. 


Media and Communications Director

Molly joined Chai Pani Restaurant Group in 2017, and she couldn't be happier! Prior to her work at Chai Pani, Molly worked primarily in the non-profit world, both locally and internationally. Her work with non-profits began when she moved to Uganda to work as the communications assistant for Invisible Children. Following that, she took a position with Operation Smile, coordinating trips and traveling with teams of medical professionals all over the globe to provide free surgery to children and adults with cleft palates and other facial deformities. At CPRG she oversees the media and communications for all the restaurants. She is also a photographer as well as a videographer. Molly lives in West Asheville, with her fiancé, Daniel, and her labradoodle-mutt, Arlo. 


Our offices are located at 22 Battery Park Avenue and are accessible through the Flat Iron Building, at 20 Battery Park Avenue, just up the stairs. If you would like to visit us, but cannot find us, feel welcome to inquire with a representative at our restaurant next door, Chai Pani.


20 Battery Park Ave
Suite 212 A
Downtown Asheville
North Carolina, 28801

(828) 782-3141

Need to get in touch with someone? We're happy to help.
Just contact us at the addresses below:

Not sure who to talk to?

Any questions regarding press coverage?

Looking for employment opportunities? Visit our JOBS PAGE, where you can find applications to our restaurants.

Brown in the south

Join us for the next Brown in the South in Nashville, on August 13th! Tickets available HERE.


Brown in the South is a new series of collaborative dinners featuring celebrated indian chefs, Meherwan Irani, Vishwesh Bhatt, Maneet Chauhan, Asha Gomez, and Cheetie Kumar, all who live and cook in the American South. 

The very first one was held at Chai Pani Decatur on January 14th, 2018. Check out our snaps from the night here. 

We've vowed to continue these dinners all over the Southeast, and we're keeping that promise to ya. 

To stay up to date on future Brown in the South events, fill out the form below, and we'll keep you posted. 

Read the Atlanta Magazine article about the first Brown in the South event here. 

Subscribe to our mailing list

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Hello, World!


CPRG India trip 2019

Announcing Royal North: 
Chai Pani's first annual employee trip to India!

In January, 2019 we're sending 4 CPRG employees to India. 

Led by our one and only Isaac Clay, this trek via train is bound to be an awesome culinary adventure.
We'll eat our fill of the curries and snacks that inspire Chai Pani, and the grilled meat specialties that inspire Botiwalla. 

Read on for more information and how to apply.  

Itinerary (10-12 days): 
We'll start in Delhi and spend a couple days acclimating while eating everything we can.
We'll visit fragrant spice markets, epic palaces, and ancient historical sites.

"Delhi is a big, crazy mess: stinky, challenging, exciting.  It's the Indian madness and energy I want our staff to see. But, there are also these beautiful pockets of calm where you can escape and breathe. Being able to spend time in a place that has such deep history and culture is so valuable." -Isaac

After that, we'll jump on a train to Lucknow, where we'll spend a couple days seeking out the best Awadhi cuisine - also known as
The Food of the Royalty, says NPR. We'll search for, and find, the best kababs in India.

"The culinary odyssey begins with something called kakori kebabs, made with lamb and topped with a thin layer of silver leaf — made from real silver. The metal is so thin that it isn't actually worth much, but the simple fact that the Nawabs gilded their food tells you something about the level of luxury. The metal seems to not add any flavor, but for these kebabs, which were so full of texture, the taste needed no boost. The kebabs were smooth—almost like a liquid—flowing down your throat." - NPR

From there, we'll travel to Varanasi via train to spend a few days contemplating life and the cosmos by the Ganges river.  We'll fuel this contemplation with copious street snacks and Varanasi's incredible, diverse vegetarian Indian food. 

"Varanasi is one of my favorite places in the world.   It's so holy, so celebrated.  It has a strong tourist culture, both Indian pilgrims and foreign visitors.  It's fun to just follow the crowds, eating what Indians are eating.  There's also perhaps no better place to take in a sunrise than on the banks of the Ganges." -Isaac

Finally, we'll head via train to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. 


 Trip costs that are covered by CPRG: 

  • Flight
  • Lodging
  • In-Country Travel
  • Food
  • Activities
  • Visa Fee

Please note: CPRG is unable to cover the cost of obtaining a passport. Also, you'll need to bring your own spending money for additional purchases. We suggest $20 per day. 

Who's eligible? 

  • Any CPRG employee who will have been employed for a year or more as of July 1st, 2018

How to apply? 

1) Fill out submission form below by July 22nd, 2018. 

2) Ask a manager email a recommendation for you to 

3) Confirm that you're available and willing to go to India for the dates of the trip (10-12 days, mid to late January, 2019). 

How will CPRG select winners? 

We'll have a selection committee who will review applications and recommendations. An announcement will be made by the first week of August, 2018. 

Please feel free to contact Isaac with any questions: 

Name *