It’s no secret that I love kati rolls. I mean it was one of the first topics I wrote about on my blog when I started it a few years ago (read more about that here).
So, you can imagine my excitement when I found out my friend Kaushik was opening Chicago’s first ever, true kati roll place. My mouth started watering from the second I found out.
Hakka Bakka opened in the fall of 2015 in the DePaul area of Chicago and has been quite the hit ever since. I also love Kaushik’s story; quitting his full-time corporate America job to attend culinary school to follow his dream of opening his own restaurant. How’s that for following your passion?
For someone that’s never been to Hakka Bakka before, I like to simplify it and describe kati rolls like “Indian-style burritos.” You start with a handmade Indian flatbread and then fill it with grilled meats or paneer (cheese) (and they now offer chickpeas as well as spiced potato as even more options for us vegetarian and vegan folk) and then have it topped off with your choice of fillings like fresh tomato, onion, jalapeno, etc as well as four different house-made chutneys. It’s flavorful, filling and just simply delicious.
One thing that sets Hakka Bakka apart from other kati roll places is that you choose the type of sauce you have the meat or paneer sauteed in; tikka (hot), hariyali (blend of cilantro and mint) or reshmi (creamy white sauce blended with poppyseeds and other spices). My personal favorite is the hariyali (green sauce), but honestly, they are all good. You can’t go wrong.
And, if you’re not feeling the kati roll route, you can get anything made as either a salad or as a bowl served with rice. It’s nice to have options! Speaking of options, it is a MUST to get the addictive masala fries served with a cilantro dipping sauce as well as the mango lassi drink (a traditional Indian drink of mango and yogurt). Lastly, the daal (lentil soup) and rice are nice add-ons to your meal, or as a meal separately if you are looking for lighter fare.
If you are craving Indian food and are looking for something quick and casual, Hakka Bakka is the place for you. I know so many people who have tried their delicious food and loved it and I know you will too. Stop by and say hi to Kaushik and let’s help support someone who has not only taken a risk to follow their dream, but actually made it happen.