We’ve followed the Curry Up Now Indian Street Food truck all over the Bay Area and were thrilled when it also opened multiple Bay Area restaurants. Even though we’d love to kick our heals up and relax at one of these casual spots for a leisurely meal, we’ve got places to go and kids to pick up. Fortunately, Curry Up Now is offering its new Family-Style Meals To Go so we can run those errands, collect our loved ones and then settle down with them at home for a comfortable feast.

photo: Curry Up Now

Traditional Cuisine with a Twist

Although Curry Up Now is known for its Indian flavors, it takes a creative step outside the traditional South Asian fare. On the menu can be found such choices as Tikka Masala Burritos (one of our personal favorites), Deconstructed Samosas and Itsy Bitsy Naan Bits. The joint began in 2009 as a single food truck but since expanded to four trucks, becoming a regular sight at your local Off the Grid weekly public events.

Two years after its start, Curry Up Now opened its first restaurant minus the wheels and grew to six non-mobile locations offering more menu choices. With or without wheels, the establishment aims to offer Indian food in way that’s approachable to all—including adventurous children.

Bringing Home the Flavor

We decided to challenge the taste buds of a few first graders we knew when we ordered the restaurant’s new family meals for four, now available for pick up between 3 and 6 p.m. at the Oakland and Alameda locations. Dropping in to the Oakland restaurant on a busy day was mercifully quick and easy, despite the spot’s parking limitations, and soon we were on our way with a big bag of food.

There are two options for the family meals and we got the one that included a flavorful Saag Tikka Masala and Saag Paneer—both with a bit of kick—and a whole lot of naan (thank you!), Turmeric Rice (we need more next time, so good!), light and crispy Papadum, a few chutneys with cilantro and tamarind, Mini Samosas that were devoured quickly, tasty lentils and some Indian cookies.

Watch the Spice

The Tikka Masala and Saag Paneer were a huge hit with the grownups. If you like bit of spice in your Indian food, Curry Up Now never disappoints. They may be a bit too spicy for the kiddos but with all of the sides and rice options in the meal, there’s enough for everyone.

The other take-out option replaces these with Ghee Makhini Butter and Aloo Gobi. The spice level on the Makhini Butter is lower than the Tikka Masala, a better option if you have picky palates to contend with. Both the Tikka Masala and Makhini Butter entreés come with the choice of chicken or paneer.

The Mini Samosas, or “tiny triangles,” as the kids called them, were the most popular and you may need to keep some aside so the adults have a chance to try them. Best of all, the whole meal was rounded off with cookies. The portions were good and easily fed four people, although you may want to order more rice. Overall, it was a fun, easy option for dinner and at $45, a no-brainer option for busy days.

Curry Up Now Oakland 
1745 San Pablo Ave.
Oakland, CA
510-858-7475

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Curry Up Now Alameda 
2640 Fifth St.
Alameda, CA
510-217-8767

Hours for Family-Style Meals to Go: Daily, 3-6 p.m.
Cost: $45, serves a family of four

Curry Up Now has other locations in Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Jose and San Mateo that do not currently offer Family Meals. 

How old are your children and do they like spicy food? Let us know in the comments below! 

—Dhyana Levey

All images by author unless otherwise noted.