Tiffin Wallah

Manhattan, New York City

2.9 / 1 vote

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Vegetarian & Kosher Indian restaurant

Tiffin Wallah translates as - one who carries the box. Tiffin is an old English word for a light lunch, and also the name of the multi-compartment metal lunch box that carries it. Tiffin Wallahs originated over a century ago when the many Indians working for British companies disliked the food served at work. Tiffin service was created to bring home cooking to the workplace.

Many people order their tiffins to go, but their lunch buffet is exceedingly popular. It was the cheapest ($6) buffet in NYC but that changed due to popularity ($7). Their buffet always has plain rice, seasoned rice, mulligatawny soup, salad, and rotates two or three of the following: potatos & cauliflower, chickpeas, lentils. They also have a few kinds of breads and coconut chutney, tamarind sauce, and mint sauce. However, the owner is known to tell customers that certain things are vegan that actually contain milk and/or ghee.

Their regular menu carries a ton of idlis, ravas, curries, and dosas and clearly marks items that are spicy and/or contain dairy.

Added by Cass Danger on Dec 5 07 (last updated Nov 26 08)

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I used to love this place...until I started dating somebody there that told me more about the owner and their policies. I ate at their lunch buffet at least once a week and had dinner a few time (liked the spicy potato/jalapeno dosa)

There is always plenty of staff, ready to help you, but they are paid below minimum wage and the owner actually steals ALL the tips left on the table and in the tip jar at the register (the owner rings up people 90% of the time). Not only is this unethical, but it is illegal in New York City. He gets away with it because most of his staff are illegal immigrants who are afraid to say anything.

The lunchtime buffet is all vegetarian and the owner was always very friendly and willing to show me the few items that weren't vegan. I later learned from my boyfriend that there were many non-vegan dishes that the owner tried passing off as vegan (either they contained milk and/or ghee, including the chapattis, which the owner specifically said are vegan).

The owner is very disrespectful and unappreciative of the staff, forcing most of them to work 6 12-hour days per week, not paying any over time. He even forces the delivery guys to provide their own bikes and doesn't give them helmets, lights, or reflective gear.

If you are vegan based on ethics, I strongly encourage you to not patronize this restaurant, as the owner is very unethical in dealing with his staff. In fact, I encourage you to call the owner and complain.

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6 train to 28th street.


No Reservations

Wheelchair Accessible


$ - inexpensive


  • Indian


  • Buffet
  • Kosher


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11:30am - 3pm;
5pm - 10pm

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