NaanStop: Authentic Indian made accessible?

For NaanStop’s Buckhead location, being situated just across the street from the Atlanta Tech Village means just one thing: young, inspired individuals looking to grab a quick bite for lunch will inevitably stop in to try their food.

NaanStop boasts authentic Indian cooking made accessible. Two brothers inspired by their mother’s Indian cooking spent hours in the kitchen learning traditional recipes. One left his job at a hedge fund, and the other got his MBA. Together, they opened a food truck in Los Angeles back in 2011.

Eventually, they moved to Atlanta to be closer to their family, and opened up two NaanStops in Buckhead and downtown Atlanta.

This summer, I’m working in the Atlanta Tech Village, and at noon on a weekday when I stopped in for a bite, the place was bumpin’ with youngsters, some of which had inevitably crossed the street from our office building to get some lunch.

NaanStop offers Chipotle-style meals, in which your food moves down an assembly line, and you get to pick and choose your ingredients yourself.

Whether it can compete with the actual Chipotle, which is located directly next door, remains to be seen, but Naanstop is definitely doing something right if they’re still operating after 3 years.

Their menu shows that you can customize a meal for yourself in seconds. Choose between a rice bowl, salad or naanwhich, made with freshly baked naan out of their 600-degree tandoor oven.

Choose a protein, like their Chicken Tikka Masala (a crowd favorite that’s marinated overnight in spices) or their Lamb, which is braised for four hours. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can’t go wrong with their Chola (stewed chickpeas in a flavorful sauce) or the Paneer Tikka Masala (fresh cheese and spices)

And if you still can’t decide, go ahead and ask to try a sample. FullSizeRender (87)

Top your creation with one of four chutneys, made fresh daily. They range in flavor profiles from Cool (yogurt and cilantro) to Native Indian Hot (chili and cilantro). I’m sure you’ll also enjoy their sweet and medium options, which are flavored with ingredients like apple and mint.

Finish your meal off with toppings like grilled onions and peppers, or spinach, and you’ve got a balanced entree for $6-$9.

Their most popular side option, the Samosa, is wrapped by hand and cooked in a homemade crust.

On top of this, NaanStop prioritizes hormone-free, antiobiotic-free, local and organic ingredients. They also offer halal and gluten-free options.

For anyone who works near the Tech Village and is starting to tire of Chipotle (which is totally possible), NaanStop is a decent option worth trying at least once.

My rice bowl with chicken ($7) was served in a delicious tomato cream sauce. Paired with the Cool chutney, my entree was well-balanced in flavor, and the onions were not overpowering.

NaanStop seemed to do a fairly accurate job translating traditional Indian flavors into a fast food meal. While their menu borders on stereotypical Indian fast-food options, their food is made with more authentic ingredients, in more traditional ways.  FullSizeRender (89)

While I would have enjoyed a bit larger of a serving size, I understand what I got, considering that my lunch cost $7 flat.FullSizeRender (88)

The short line I had to wait in indicated that NaanStop’s lunch rush is real and tangible. Most people take their lunches to go, because there’s little sitting space, and people have things to do and places to go.

The one qualm I had about NaanStop was the service. The line was unnecessarily slow and my rice bowl was sloppily made. One of the line workers even added spinach when I didn’t ask for it.

Buckhead – 3420 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta GA 30305 // (404) 846-6226

Downtown Atlanta – 64 Broad St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303 // (404) 522-6226

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