Naansense, Chicago’s local fast-casual Indian brand, will be expanding to the suburbs this summer. The brand was a staple for loop lunch-goers pre-pandemic and recently reopened in a new location on Franklin Street in summer 2022. Founders, Hiran and Viral Patel, have been very encouraged by customers’ response to the return of the brand and are ready to restart growth plans for Naansense with confirmed openings in Naperville and Oakbrook in 2023 and stores planned for Glenview and Schaumburg in 2024.
Naansense founder Hiran Patel explains the vision for the brand and its evolution. "Naansense is a representation of mine and Viral's childhood growing up Indian in Chicago in the ’90s. It will be a mashup of recipes new and old—featuring throwbacks of our family’s traditional recipes alongside more modern takes on Indian cuisine. Our new suburban locations will have a more expansive menu than what NaanSense has done before, and I’m so pumped to share it."
One local food critic has compared the new Naansense to Hiran's short-lived but critically acclaimed restaurant TikkaWalla.
The new Naansense locations will still feature the bowls, wraps, and freshly made naan that have made it a lunch favorite downtown, but will also feature menu options that will also make it a destination for dinners and weekends, including delicious curries, chaat Indian snack foods, sliders, thalis, and specialty Indian cocktails.
"We're thrilled to be expanding to the suburbs. We have long fielded questions and requests about bringing Naansense outside of just the city, and it is exciting to have reached that point" Viral says.
The first location expected to open is in Naperville on Ogden Ave near Naperville Road. The restaurant will be opening in a new development in the Costco parking lot that also includes new tenants, such as Kura Sushi. In Oakbrook, Naansense is opening at 1715 W. 22nd Street, the new development across from Oakbrook Mall at the SW intersection of Rt. 83 and 22nd St. The brand also has locations in the works in Schaumburg and Glenview that are scheduled to open in 2024.