The Ultimate Dhaba Roadtrip

Taste of India.jpg

Clearly what resonated the most with my California Desi population map wasn’t the population. It was the fact that I said, “I’d love to do a Cali road trip based on this map, and hit up the Indian restaurants along the way.” Y’all a bunch of foodies, aren’t you?

View Ultimate Dhaba Roadtrip in a larger map

So let’s do this again, crowdsource style. This time the google map lists those to-die-for hole-in-the-wall dhabas in the middle of nowhere. I’ve already taken the liberty to map the ones listed in the previous comment thread. Do you have a Desi food place that is a must hit up place on a “kao, kao, kao” summer road trip? Do you have an interesting picture at one of these places? Please list it in the comments and I’ll drop it into the map as soon as possible. and it doesn’t have to be Cali centered. I only ask that you make recs for food that is good, places obscure and with a great story.

Photo credit: Me, taken somewhere off the I-40 in between Arizona and California on my ultimate Taqwacore roadtrip in ’09.

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About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates and blogs at Follow her at

6 thoughts on “The Ultimate Dhaba Roadtrip

  1. Taz,

    My cousins once drove up into Northern CA, around Eureka, and they met a Chinese family from Calcutta who migrated to AP, and spoke Telugu!, They ran a B&B with a Thai restaurant, but when my great uncle told them how homesick she was for authentic Indian food, they whipped up some spicy and tangy pulusu, and vepudu for him. Fam says it was the best Thai food they ever had also!.

  2. this may not be obscure, but the BEST chaat place in the Bay Area is Chaat Paradise, 165 East El Camino Real, Mountain view, CA. The most delicious bhel poori i’ve eaten in America. I thank my stars every day that I live close enough for biweekly visits.

  3. You should go to Vik’s Chaat Corner in Berkeley. They used to be located in a warehouse attached to an Indian grocery store. Today they have moved locations within Berkeley, but the food and charm is still there. When your food is ready, they call your name over a microphone and its barely understandable, even if you have an Indian name.

    Here is the website:

  4. Your picture is from Dhillon Fuel in San Jon, NM – near the Texas border off the I-40. Its a Punjabi run truck stop filled with Desis in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

  5. I have no idea how good the food is but for historical interest, I’d want to add Ali Rasul’s El Ranchero Restaurant in Yuba City, CA.