Our History

Pappe: | pap·pé | (sounds like frappé)


  1. An affectionate term meaning ‘brother’ in Punjabi
  2. A neighborhood restaurant serving authentic Indian food in DC’s bustling 14th Street neighborhood

Lovers of traditional Indian food, rejoice! We’re glad you found us. Welcome to Pappe, where we bring authentic dishes from our homeland to the heart of Washington DC. Indian cuisine is all about soul, and we are happy to share a bit of ours with the neighborhood.

At Pappe, the menu is focused on traditional versions of Indian classics such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Taar Ghosht and Malai Kofta. We take particular pride in our Vindaloo, which frankly ought to come with a fire extinguisher. Our dishes run the gamut from mild to very spicy; please ask our friendly servers if you’re in need of guidance. The kitchen uses fresh, whole spices which are toasted and ground in-house daily.

Pappe’s design is inspired by the vibrant markets of Delhi and Jaipur, where draped fabrics provide a colorful backdrop to a multitude of street food vendors. The space features photos from the partners’ recent visits to India, as well as hand painted murals from local artist John DeNapoli.


Pappe was conceived by close friends and co-owners Vipul Kapila, Chef Sanjay Mandhaiya and Chef Shankar Puthran. Pappe, which means ‘brother’ in Punjabi, is an affectionate term the three friends use to refer to one another. Chef Mandhaiya recently staged at two of India’s most highly lauded kitchens – Moti Mahal, where the dish butter chicken was first invented, and Kwality, which is best known for its Pindi Chana (chickpeas) and Taar Gosht – all three dishes will be on their menu. The space was designed by a close friend of the owners, architect Melissa Funkey.