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Fast-Casual Indian Food Is Coming to the West Loop

Hakka Bakka Indian Kati Rolls are opening a second location

Hakka Bakka is coming to the West Loop
Hakka Bakka Indian Kati Rolls
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Fulton Market’s about to get a fast-casual Indian restaurant, as Hakka Bakka Indian Kati Rolls has taken over the Polenta Bar space. Specializing in kati rolls where chicken tikka and other ingredients are wrapped in paratha, ownership hopes to open in early November at 1002 W. Lake Street. It’s the second Hakka Bakka location, as they debuted in 2015 near DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus.

The ownership duo of Kaushik Guha and Swetha Jalan have tweaked their concept over the last three years, offering a menu where all items are prepped on site. The lamb comes from Colorado, the chutneys made in the kitchen; Guha attended culinary school at Kendall College. They’re now marketing a new combo, calling it a bento box. They could have opted for “thali” the combo meals at Indian restaurants arriving on circular silver platters, but Guha thinks “bento box” will resonate more with workers taking lunch to go in the West Loop. Hakka Bakka’s bento boxes come in either non-vegetarian or vegetarian configurations. The meal comes with a samosa, basmati rice, lentil soup, salad, and pickles.

“I personally feel the neighborhood is lacking some affordable Indian options that people aren’t intimidated by,” Guha said.

The original location isn’t surrounded by a lot of nightlife, but the West Loop is, and Guha said they’ll stay open late to serve bar patrons. Besides kati rolls, Hakka Bakka has a few sandwich selections served between burger buns like a vegan masala tikka burger and a lamb shammi burger.

Guha and Jalan have expansion plans, but Guha doesn’t want to grow too fast. He cautious in putting out a number or mentioning neighborhoods where he’d like to open. But he’s also thinking of expansion beyond the traditional means. He wouldn’t specify, but he hinted at plans other than brick and mortar openings.

Hakka Bakka is shooting to open its second location during the first week of November. They’ll share an opening date soon.

Hakka Bakka

1251 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (872) 802-3968 Visit Website

The Polenta Bar

1002 W. Lake Street, Chicago, IL 773 - 999 - 1721 Visit Website