Very, Very High Praise for Pansaari in Dupont


“Dear PoPville,

I went to Pansaari in Dupont yesterday and was thinking it’s kind of an undiscovered gem.

It has the best chai in DC (maybe the best outside of India) made to order with a ton of fresh spices and ginger.

Food is very good too – very high quality, farm-to-table and authentic. There was someone in there yesterday freaking out because the owner had made some dish he hadn’t had since he lived in India. They sell spices too.

And the space is super beautiful. They took the old Chaos space and transformed it from basement dance club to bright, beautiful chai hideaway. (Chaidaway?) Lots of beautiful painted tile on the walls and a huge, inlaid marble chai bar.

Anyway, I don’t work there or anything but think it’s awesome and I think more people should know about it.”

1603 17th Street, NW corner of 17th and Q

15 Comment

  • SouthwestDC

    This place fell off my radar since I’m never in Dupont and don’t keep up with what’s going on there. I didn’t even know it had opened, but just this week I was reminded of it because one of my facebook friends RSVPed to an event there. It looks like they have some great classes and Bollywood movie screenings and other cool things. I’ll definitely try to make a trip over there someday. Are the spices like Indian grocery store prices, or regular grocery store prices?

  • The secret is out! Love this place.

  • Agreed – this place is really good. They’ve done a great job making the basement space feel really comfortable and airy (I didn’t know that was possible).

    I’ve eaten there a couple of times and the food (while not cheap) has been delicious and high quality each time.

  • I had a lassi there and was not impressed. The space is nice but the prices for merchandise are pretty expensive. I’d like to try some of the classes they advertise but there was no schedule for upcoming classes in-store when I went. Would definitely try their brunch.

  • Hmmm, what’s the food situation like? Do they do take-out? Is it waiter service/sit-down? How long is the wait?

  • No. I know what happened there when it was Chaos…no

  • Good to know! I’ll check it out!

  • They have a nice little plaque honoring Chaos which was a great touch!

  • The spices are available in 4tbs min quantities. Some may be a bit more than grocery store prices but they are way more flavorful and totally worth it. Also the owner makes sure she sources from companies with good business practices. I love this place.

  • Best chai on the planet. Spices are fresh ground on a per cup basis. Spicy, not overly sweet…. amazing. The owners and staff are incredibly friendly, as well.

  • Yes – excellent chai. However, not necessarily ‘the best.’ I’m on a chai quest and that new(ish) place in Shaw, just north of the Metro, has EXCELLENT chai as well. Still, more folks need to know about Pansaari. Since it’s down a stack of stairs, Pansaari lacks the street visibility. My only complaints on Pansaari – Wish they’d add a bit more seating, and they need a punch card or some type of option for a bottomless chai. It’s meant as a place to eat inside of so it should have an option for paying for refills in a more economical way. It IS delicious chai – especially the frozen one, which is refreshing in the summer.

  • Highly recommend Indian cooking classes on Wed nights, too!

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