We have to remember how lucky we are to have Joya’s Cafe in the neighborhood. It’s no secret that we’ve been longtime fans of Chef Avishar Barua, his work and the teams he puts together, from his time at Service Bar to Joya’s to his most recent venture Agni in the Brewery District. We were definitely THOSE people knocking on doors the day Joya opened in Old Worthington.
Since then, Joya’s has established itself as a not-so-hidden gem, an outpost that fills with regulars while attracting visitors from all over the city.
The cafe is located in the old Sassafras bakery. A makeover has been done to update the kitchen and open up the space a bit. There is now a small trio of tables in front, one long counter and another small one lining the front wall. On nicer days you can grab seats at the cafe tables or at the picnic table out front.
Joya’s menu is posted on the wall and on paper menus. Keep an eye on their social media for special dishes and secret menus. Overall, I appreciate that the menu at Joya’s is small and focused.
We’ve been to the cafe often enough to have tried everything on the menu, so here are some of our favorites.
First, don’t ignore the bakery case. You will find a few regulars plus special offers. I highly recommend the fritters.
As well as the samosas (some of the best we’ve ever tasted) and the egg rib, similar to a scotch egg.
Second, don’t skip your coffee. Joya’s uses Thunderkiss Coffee for a dynamic menu of espresso drinks, nitro cold brew, specialty lattes. You can’t ignore the chai either. They make a couple of drinks with Joya’s recipes, and they are rich and delicious.
The breakfast sandwich is a safe introduction, a well-constructed and tasty take on a classic bacon and egg shortbread. Joya’s layers are soft scrambled eggs, bacon, Joya’s special sauce and herb sauce, and chives in potato pav, a type of fluffy Indian pie.
Lovers of Avishar’s time at Service Bar will remember his famous cheesy double crunch. Rest assured he’s back in good form at Joya’s.
For those who don’t know, the Double Cheese Crisp is like Avishar’s take on a Taco Bell chalupa, only using a crispy corn tortilla and paratha bread to hold queso, smoked cheddar, lettuce, sauce and your choice of beef, chicken or black beans. and potatoes
One of our family’s favorites is Joya’s fried rice.
It will be one of the best fried rice you will ever taste, combining crispy chicken, bacon, a wok fried egg, rice fries, soy sauce, sambal, crunchy peanut chili, cilantro and lime, all in one generous portion.
The Manchurian Crispy Chicken Sandwich is layered with twice-fried, glazed chicken with pickles, slaw and a chili aioli.
The Not Pad Thai piles wok-fried rice noodles with smoked pork, roasted eggplant, Thai basil, peanut chili crunch, a special sauce and a fried tortilla.
Another winner, and in the running for one of our top picks, is the lamb kati roll. It’s huge and has a lot of flavor. Inside a crispy fried and rolled paratha you’ll find tender lamb kebab, egg, pickled red onion, Joya apple chutney, maple yogurt chaat and their creamy herb dip.
You can expect Joya to be quite busy, especially on weekends, and especially on Saturdays when the farmers market is in full swing, but in our experience we’ve always been able to find a seat. I especially love the large counter and being able to see the kitchen equipment in action.
If you love Joya’s as much as we do, you can take some clothes home with you.
And if you’re lucky, you’ll see Avishar and his mom, the cafe’s namesake, behind the counter!
Joya’s is currently open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m
657 High St.
Worthington, OH 43085
FB: from Joya