my week in NYC: the dosa man at NYU

We were on the hunt for the “dosa man” and time was running out. It was already 3pm and NY Dosas closes at 4pm. All we had to work with was that he is parked at Washington Square.

Our cab driver was no help, he didn’t even know where we wanted to go. WASHINGTON SQUARE we said, and still, he repeated it over and over again. One of my friends became VERY agitated and started looking at the map herself and directing him to the right place. Once we got to Washington Square we were stumped. Which side of the square was he on? After a few minutes of discussing, we decided to walk through the park and look to both sides and go from there.

Naturally, that didn’t help much, so we walked back out along the side of the park again and after seeing a herd of students stream out from buildings, I came up with the brilliant idea of telling everyone to ask any Indian student we see where the cart was located. After being misguided by about five students, I stopped a young boy who pointed down the street and said “he’s down there”.

We found Thiru, the dosa man at Sullivan.

After a little bit of chatting and telling him how far we’ve come and how long it took to find him, he immediately went to work making us his most popular dosa — the #3 Special Pondicherry ($6) — a dosa filled with potatoes and veggies.

Thiru asked how spicy we liked it and all of us chimed “SPICY” and while he was making these thin lentil and rice crepes, we told him we were stopping every Indian student we saw. He chuckled and replied “you should have stopped the American kids, they are my best customers!”

A few minutes and our dosa was ready. Thiru cut it and split it for us, giving us each a plate with some dosa and a little cup of sambar, the delicious vegetable stew you dip the dosa in. There is also a mint chutney and the coconut chutney traditional eaten with dosas on the plate.

I’ve never had dosa with fresh salad wrapped inside, but it created a really refreshing textural component in the otherwise crispy exterior/mushy interior I’m used to. It was simple and delicious.

While we were happily munching on the Pondicherry, Thiru told us he was going to make us a different type of dosa to try. It was a Jaffna, a pancake made with natural herbs and filled with spicy dried chutney.

Unlike the dosa, the jaffna is not crispy, but rather, soft like a pancake, but with a chewier texture. It was completely different, but still possessed the wonderful aromas and spicy layers we loved in the dosa.

After polishing off our afternoon snack, we bid Thiru goodbye and promised him when we are next in the city, we will definitely visit him again. This was one of the highlights of my trip. A delicious and affordable meal made with love even vegans can enjoy! And best of all, it lived up to the hype!!

NY Dosas
50 Washington Square South
(corner of Sullivan)
New York, NY 10014
Tel: 917-710-2092

NY Dosas on Urbanspoon


  1. says

    My husband works right on Sullivan and swears by this Dosa man. Now I have a face to go with the legend I have heard so much about lol. (And he’s right, my husband is an American)

  2. Kerrie McManus says

    Hi Anita, love it!  My Indian grandma in Malaysia always makes these for me.  loving your NY tales.

      best wishes



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