A few restaurants worth a detour on your next big shopping trip south

In the last five years, West Chester has grown by leaps and bounds with population growth that has fueled commercial growth and vice versa in a cycle.

Each journey south on I-75 to a booming hub that links Cincinnati and Dayton is eye-opening. There is so much to see and eat.

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Since the beginning of the year, several recent visits there for IKEA shopping expeditions have unearthed some interesting restaurant finds. The thing that makes this so fascinating to me is the sheer number of great ethnic restaurants concentrated in a relatively small radius.

Less than a week ago we had an enjoyable lunch at Thai Koon Kitchen followed by a delightful dinner at Haveli Indian Grill. Both restaurants offered their spin on traditional dishes as well as a few that you won’t find on menus locally.

If you like flavors and spice and everything nice, here is a look at the two restaurants I dined at most recently as well as a list of other spots I’ve eaten at previously. The next time you are passing through West Chester and looking for something seasoned that’s packed with a zesty, spicy bite, they are worth checking out. The way this particular area continues to expand there will never be a shortage of options to choose from, but here are a few I’ve really enjoyed.

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Haveli Indian Grill and Cuisine

9446 Water Front Drive, West Chester

513-847-1116 or http://haveligrillcincy.com

Located at The Streets of West Chester near Bravo and Mitchell’s Fish Market this little gem has been a happy find. The samosas ($4.99 for two) are some of the best around packed with seasoned potatoes and peas and served with mint and tamarind chutneys. They are clearly made in house, unlike some other Indian restaurants you’ll find. The menu offers a robust selection of lamb, goat and seafood curry specialties in addition to the chicken and vegetarian that you usually find on the menus of most Indian restaurants. The almond and cashew nut sauce they use to make their korma is creamy, rich and delectable and is worth ordering regardless of protein choice (vegetable $12.99, chicken $13.99, lamb $16.99, shrimp $17.99). Bullet Nann ($4) comes topped with green chili, cilantro and garlic and packs an additional punch to an already punchy meal. A Haveli is a term used for a traditional Indian palace or mansion, which is appropriate because you will eat like royalty at West Chester’s Haveli.

Thai Koon Kitchen

9114 W Chester Towne Ctr., West Chester

513-860-0143 or www.thaikoonkitchen.com

Fresh, flavorful, food served up fast, this is worth considering a stop at for the bubble tea alone. Served blended or iced in several flavors including taro, mango, strawberry, thai tea, honeydew, green tea and raspberry, it’s a good deal for $4 with those wonderful great big chewy tapioca pearls. There is a nice selection of noodles, fried rice, curry, vegetarian and traditional Thai dishes on the menu. The pad Thai ($8.99) is always a solid choice, but there are plenty of other options that aren’t as mainstream to tempt. The Tom Kha and Tom Yam coconut milk soups ($5.50 each) are wonderful warm-ups to the meal. The crab or lobster fried rice ($13.99) and chili basil fried rice ($7) are filling, flavorful options. If you are looking to eat healthy, it’s not hard here. The larb chicken ($9.50) is chopped chicken seasoned with scallions, cilantro and ground toasted rice in a spicy lime sauce served over fresh lettuce. This is a great spot for a casual, quick lunch if you find yourself in need and are nearby. Do yourself a favor and get a bubble tea to go when you are headed out back on the road.

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Credit: Greg Lynch

Credit: Greg Lynch

These are just two on a long list of options. Here are some other great ethnic restaurant destinations in the West Chester area that I have enjoyed in the past:


Dai Trang Bistro

4970 Union Centre Pavillion Dr., West Chester

513-860-3777 or www.daitrangbistrooh.com


Sushi Monk

6064 West Chester Rd., West Chester

513-881-1889 or www.sushimonk1.com



7735 Cox Lane, West Chester

513-306-5360 or www.gokorealistic.com


Aladdin’s Eatery

9344 Union Center Blvd., West Chester

(513) 874-1302


Tikka Grill

8231 Cincinnati Dayton Rd., West Chester

(513) 777-3237 or http://thetikkagrill.com


Mi Burrito Mexican Grill

8374 Princeton Glendale Rd., West Chester

513-805-7854 or www.miburritomexicangrill.com


Sultan’s Mediterranean Cuisine

7305 Tyler’s Corner Dr., West Chester




7844 King Lane Dr., West Chester

513-779-8448 or www.pho96

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