Cholanad Restaurant and Bar
Cholanad Restaurant and Bar

Cholanad Restaurant and Bar

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.cholanad.com/
  • Phone: 8002465262
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Mon - Sun 11:30 - 2:30
    Dinner: Sun - Thur 5 - 9:30
    Fri - Sat 5 - 11pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, South Indian, International
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Takeout, Wheelchair Access
  • Private Party Facilities: Available Private dining on Advanced booking. We provide custom menus for groups of more than 20 guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Subash 8002465262

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Mallette St
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Limited parking located on premises. Chapel Hill downtown valet parking tickets are validated free of charge for CholaNad customers.
A word from Cholanad Restaurant and Bar
Cholanad Team is focused on delivering the South Indian culinary experience in a world class style. We are aspiring to become a world leader in ethnic cuisine experience that includes food, ambiance and service.
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Cholanad Restaurant and Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
13 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.8
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (11)neighborhood gem (7)special occasion (6)great for lunch (5)romantic (4)good for groups (3)great for brunch (2)great for outdoor dining (2)kid-friendly (1)hot spot (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Lovely meal
    bridgemaven
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The meal was lovely with great food and excellent service. The only down side was the noise. There's nothing to absorb it and after a while it gets VERY loud. However, the food is so good that we keep going back anyway.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent variety of tasty foods
    jude
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Heard that Cholanad's was the best Indian food in the Triangle area, and our experience supports that contention. With a party of four, everyone choose different dishes, and we all were impressed. The scallop and lamb dishes were particularly good, quite filling and just the right amount and types of spices. Our waitress was efficient and helpful in selections.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent authentic food
    tarheelVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    This is our third time visiting this restaurant and it is absolutely delicious. The food is always cooked perfectly, the portions are large enough for sharing, and each bite is tasty. The quality of the food is consistently good and the price is very good as well for being a restaurant on Franklin street. The mutton biryani is our favorite along with of course the Dosa's. Hopefully, they can keep up the quality as this has now become one of our favorite places. Plenty of parking as well. The chef always stops by our table which is a nice touch as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • one of our favorite spots
    EBBr
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    My wife and I have eaten at Cholanad half a dozen times or more and each time we've been impressed by the flavoring of the food -- it's both complex and intense. I recently enjoyed the whole fish on a banana leaf; it was covered in a paste of tamarind and other spices that was truly excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, fair service
    Todd
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    This was our second visit, and it matched the first visit. The food was excellent, good portions and very tasty. The service was on the poor side both times, however. We were there for 10 minutes before anyone came to our table (it was not busy), then we never received our drinks even after 2 reminders to our waiter. We may visit again, but only for the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique and flavorful!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    Brought a friend here as a special meal. Cholanad did not disappoint! We were able to sit outside, which was very pleasant (though small - you can't count on sitting outside). Ordered a variety of foods and liked them all -- lamb chops, crab and lentil cutlets, and scallops. Service was great - I would highly recommend, and we will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 7 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 19, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service3.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 79 reviews are from the Cholanad Restaurant and Bar reviews archive.
  • favorite restaurant in chapel hill
    FoodieFromNC
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Whenever we go to chapel hill for a performance, we make time to eat at Cholo Nad. Food is consistently terrific, atmosphere is elegant & relaxing. Sumash is a gracious host. Food is to Indian food what nouvelle cuisine is to French food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • unbelievable!
    onjaEatsVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    I had heard this restaurant was good, but it exceeded all expectations! The Dosa rolls are amazing. The portions are large and the quality was very high.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, terrible service
    TonyT
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    I'll let the facts speak for themselves: My wife and I arrived at 7:35 for our 7:30 reservation on a Sunday night (it was hard to find parking). We sat at the bar for 20 minutes buying time (though a 2-top was set for at least 7 minutes of that time). It was 10 minutes before the server greeted us, longer before we got water (already had wine glasses). We ordered an appetizer and then dinner about 5 minutes before the appetizer. We got the app in a reasonable time, but we did not get our food until 9pm!!! It was at least 30 minutes between finishing the app and getting our dinner. Some in the restaurant walked out. In add fairness, the dining room was under staffed—only two servers. On the up side, the food (vegetarian) was delicious.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Indian food
    JamesVIP
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    Despite not being a fan of Indian food, I come back to Cholonand almost every time I'm in Chapel Hill. That's how good the food is. I recommend the Rogan Josh.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food but a cool welcome
    Durhamnosher
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    We visited this restaurant for the first time on Saturday Night having read about it in the newspaper as the best Local Indian restaurant.. Although we had booked a table, the hostess barely acknowledged us and then spent several minutes frantically checking her ipad. We were finally given a table, which consisted of the hostess throwing the menus on a table and walking off without a word. Frankly if hadn't been for the fact that we had driven an hour to get there, we would have left. Things did improve however after that and the very sweet waitress was very courteous. Our food arrived very quickly and it was very tasty. it is a shame that your first impression of the restaurant is so bad. Not sure if we would go again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Clean, Great quality, and Tasty
    tarheelVIP
    Dined on 2/19/2014
    Went for the first time last weekend with my father after hearing good reviews. The food was very tasty with decent sized portions, the restaurant was very clean, and the chef/owner came out to check on us mid meal. Overall, good quality with an authentic taste and friendly service will have us coming back again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Creative Indian cuisine
    AndresVIP
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    Quite a vibrant scene, great food, and we ordered took advantage of the 1/2-priced wine bottles. Indian meal full of surprising twists to old favorites like samosas.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Indian restaurant in NC
    JamesVIP
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    My wife and I dine at Cholanad almost very time we visit Chapel Hill. We are not avid fans of Indian food, but this place is exceptional. We recommend the rogan josh.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Indian food
    TonyB
    Dined on 2/6/2014
    Excellent, authentic Indian food. Mainstream and rustic dishes. Lamb Rogan Josh: braised lamb served with fresh tomatoes. There is a little heat in the spice, but not overpowering. Chicken naan was almost crisp on the outside but juicy and flavorful. The curried spinach was velvety. Gobi Manchurian: small pieces of cauliflower lightly seasoned and seared golden brown over rice. Plates arrived with an immense piece of fresh, warm naan bread. There is an excellent choice of beers. Comfortable room with light wood, white walls and table cloths. Banquets along one wall If you love Indian food go here! I'm from Chicago, where there is no shortage of excellent Indian cuisine and this restaurant would still be at or near the top of my list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience for newbies
    anon
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    I took my boyfriend and his parents to Cholanad, all three of whom had never had South Indian food before. We tried the masala dosa, the utthapam, the appetizer sampler, and the whole fish. Three out of four dishes would've been enough, but every one of them was delicious. We also tried 4 different cocktails that were all really interesting and tasty. Overall, it was a great experience for 3 first-timers and the food and service were excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great neighborhood restaurant!!
    ThetravelersVIP
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    We love the cozy atmosphere of Cholanad. Our selection for appetizers and dinners were perfect. The scallops were tender & sweet. This was our 2nd visit and plan to return often.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • GREAT RESTAURANT
    bridgemaven
    Dined on 1/14/2014
    We've been to Chola Nad several times and each visit has been outstanding. The food is so wonderfully spiced and the service was caring and friendly. We enjoyed everything about it. I had the lamb that was succulent and delicious. My husband had the whole fish that he raved about, so we had a terrific dinner. I would highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fresh and Delicious Indian Cuisine!
    Foodie2014
    Dined on 12/29/2013
    The Menu is great and filled with a mix of classic and regional cuisine from the different states in India. Dishes taste authentic and are flavorful. A must hangout place with family and friends with great food!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love the food!
    VickiVIP
    Dined on 12/25/2013
    Our reservation on Christmas day was honored! Great food, great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Indian Food
    CHwineanddine
    Dined on 12/25/2013
    My husband and I went to Cholanad on Christmas evening as there we not many restaurants open, and we were so glad we did. I am a lover of Indian food and Cholanad did not disappoint. Everything we ordered was a perfect mixture if hot, spicy, cool and tangy/sweet from the appetizers to the main courses. The wine list was pretty decent as well. The service was good, although there were many questions we asked the waiter that needed to be answered by others. There was another restaurant before Cholanad in the same location and my recollection is everything inside is the same, so no updating. The pricing was reasonable for a Chapel Hill eatery. We would definitely go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • For the Love of Eggplant
    OutofTownDiner
    Dined on 12/11/2013
    The charred eggplant was maybe the best version of this dish I'd ever had, I ate nearly every bite of the generous portion, a rarity when out for Indian cuisine. The papads were underwhelming, lacking crispness and freshness, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. Service was so-so, as I was there in a corner by myself I think I was forgotten at first, it took a while to get an order in. The chef came out to ask about my meal, a nice gesture, and I was pleased to give a good report. In the end, I enjoyed my meal immensely and if were ever back in Chapel Hill I'd be eager to visit Cholanad again.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hoping for better
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 11/30/2013
    The Vegetable Bhaji were very little vegetable and a lot of a puffed 'batter'. They were mostly tasteless and the potato ones were completely undercooked. They were served with a spicy and tasty green sauce that at least added flavor but could do nothing about the texture. The chicken and fish curries we got tasted good but my chicken pieces were like bricks. The rice was Jasmin rice vs a Basmati. As a result it was a bit mealy texture wise. We got a potato dish which somebody had put so much Asafoetida into that it was extremely unpleasant. As I reached over to get some naan bread I would get a whiff of it and it was repellent. I didn't complain as I didn't know what teh dish was when I ordered it so maybe its supposed to taste that way?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food at a great price!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    I am never let down when I go to Cholanad. The food is excellent and the portions are GENEROUS...always. No matter what I get, whether lunch or dinner, I have left overs. The staff s always, was friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. The owner of Cholanad always visits every table in some way, whether to bring the food or to have a chat with the customers. This is one of the only places in CH that I've seen this happen and I appreciate it. He's always there and always attentive. My ONLY complaint and it's not really a complaint is that I wish they had hot coffee and tea for after dinner...or perhaps a nice espresso. However, this does not take away from the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Indian food in Triangle
    jonathanprinz
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    Cholanad is a favorite spot because it serves interesting and consistently great food. Every meal there is a pleasure, made so in part because of the attention given by the chef-owner and his personal warmth.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Accessible Indian
    FreqDiner
    Dined on 11/2/2013
    Cholanad is moderately-sized -- it feels intimate, yet it easily accommodated our group of five. The portions are also moderate, so a diner does not have to feel that she can never eat again after leaving. Best of all, the menu is enticing, with a mix of items one is used to seeing on an Indian menu -- samosas, Tiki Masala -- to dishes with traditional ingredients served in new ways. Try the Tropical Beach Lentils appetizer, accented with grated coconut and mango, served attractively in a paper-lined wire cone usually reserved for french fries. The samosa appetizer is also delicious; they are tiny, so you can enjoy them and still have room for dinner. As for dinner, we have liked everything from the specialties to the dosas.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner @Cholonad
    Sandy
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    Food was excellent. Bar was very noisy with one man who had a raucous laugh that travelled over to the table where we were sitting - not near the bar. Service was slow.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • gourmet southern Indian restaurant
    mblipVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2013
    This is a favorite in downtown Chapel Hill. Food is well prepared with varied and interesting seasoning - not fiery unless requested. Starters were generous and would have sufficed for a meal for our party of four. Hard to choose as all main dishes were excellent but the cauliflower as prepared is my wife's favorite and we always order one of the cauliflower dishes. Good to see that the restaurant was busy on a Sunday night, and service as good as usual.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great South Indian Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/13/2013
    This is one of our favorite places to eat. The food is incredibly good and wait staff is always friendly and knowledgeable. My Indian friends tell me it is authentic; I just know it is delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love Southern Indian
    mishimishiVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2013
    Surprised to find non-vegitarian south indian restaurants. Dosa presentation is especially great and the whole fish dish is very tasty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food poor service
    krishiyerVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2013
    I have been here multiple times and the food has always been very tasty and great. However the service is a completely different story, the food comes really slow and the wait staff do not check on guests frequently.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Indian food in North Carolins
    JamesVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    The food is amazing, and I'm not even a big fan of Indian food. However, it does take a while to prepare. So, don'teat here if you are pressed for time. I recommend the rogan josh.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Saturday night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 6/14/2013
    The scallops were perfectly done, and the naan it's usual wonderful flavor and texture! Each time we dine here its a great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Experience!
    littlemissleena
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Being Indian, I am always skeptical of Indian restaurants. But this one was great! The food could have been a little spicier but overall the spices were good and the food was well cooked. I will be returning!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cholonad
    foodieCH
    Dined on 5/5/2013
    The food is excellent but the service doesn't quite measure up. It would be nice and more appropriate if the staff were Indian (IMHO). Service was not bad, but things were forgotten and the waitress did not check in with us enough. I usually don't like it when wait staff check in too often, but in this case it wasn't enough. I will still go back for the food, and the waitress was curtious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nicely spiced Indian
    EBBr
    Dined on 4/21/2013
    Very nicely spiced Indian foods, with depth and character. One of our favorite spots to eat at here in town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My sisters were visiting from
    Carol
    Dined on 4/19/2013
    My sisters were visiting from NYC and DC and thought it was absolutely delicious. Special food and unusual. The Chef came out of the kitchen to make suggestions and tell us background on the dishes. Fabulous evening and we WILL be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Because of the consistency
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    Because of the consistency of the reviews (including from friends) about "slow service," we were prepared to wait but thought that since the food was supposed to be so good, it would be worthwhile. "Slow" doesn't even begin to describe our experience. The staff was friendly but honestly inept. We were seated but not asked even about a drink order for about 10 minutes; we were only asked because we reached out to a passing waiter and insisted that he take our order. The same with getting our food order taken. We were pretty confident that this would go well since they use an iPad or other touch screen to take food orders, but no, they still forgot (entirely) one of our dishes. The food is good, but really not worth this trouble.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • First visit--nice to find
    shorttooth
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    First visit--nice to find regional South Indian specialties and not just typical Indian restaurant standbys. Our waiter, Francisco, was very knowledgeable and helpful. The tropical beachside lentils turned out to be a very substantial portion of chickpeas, so I was worried that I might not be able to eat all of the chicken 65 entree, yet somehow I managed! The chicken 65 was very tasty. I think it was chicken breast, which is not my favorite, but it was in small pieces so that there was a great seasoning-to-meat ratio, and it was very good. I plan to go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My wife and I brought our
    Robert
    Dined on 3/30/2013
    My wife and I brought our daughter here for her 18th birthday. I come here for lunch once in a while but had not come for dinner before. They did not disappoint. The food was predictably excellent, the chef made a personal appearance to check on our meals and our server was very attentive but not overly-so. I'm glad to see that their quality for food and service does not decrease as the place gets busier.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet