By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jun 26, 2023 at 1:01 PM

If you’ve been waiting for Ruta’s to open in its new location at 207 W. Freshwater Way in Walker’s Point, you’re in luck. Owner Ruta Kahate softly threw open the doors to her new counter service restaurant last week, welcoming diners to try her food in an entirely new way.

Counter at Ruta'sX

Kahate, who operated multiple restaurants in Goa, India before moving to Milwaukee in 2021, says it feels so good to have her own place again.

“It’s wonderful to be surrounded by so many supportive people,” she says, “From the landlord to the neighbors. And I’m really excited to bring fresh Indian food to people in a new exciting way. Here at the restaurant, the guest is really the hero of their experience.”

Dessert caseX

The menu, which offers choices at every turn, combines healthful fresh elements and flavorful Indian spices in a choose-your-own-adventure style format that allows each guest to build their own meal in an efficient and foolproof manner. With the exception of na’an bread, which is stored separately from other ingredients, all options are gluten- and nut-free with choices that accommodate both vegan and vegetarian diners.

Salad bowl with tofu and chickpeas
Salad bowl with half turmeric tofu and half spiced chickpeas, fragrant coconut sauce, mustard beets, pickled red onion, rainbow salad and turmeric carrots

Even better, the options were created to be utterly foolproof, so any combination of elements you choose will taste good together.

The model, which resembles the assembly line format found at restaurants like Qdoba, offers guests the opportunity to build their own meals, starting with foundational elements and ending with flavorful accompaniments to “spice things up” or “tone them down.”

Chicken rice bowl
Rice bowl with chicken, spicy mirchi, turmeric carrots, corn with red peppers, kale slaw, coconut slaw (pictured with sauce choices on the side)

All bowls are $13 with options for upgrades.

  • Foundations (choose one): White rice, salad greens, quinoa (+$1) or a na’an melt (a grilled sandwich featuring na’an)
  • Proteins: Roast chicken, Goan pork roast (+$1), turmeric tofu, or spiced chickpeas (order a double portion of protein for +$5)
  • Sauces (choose one): Creamy tikka (vegetarian), fragrant coconut (vegan), savory pork, spicy mirchi (vegetarian) and tomato masala (vegan)
  • Vegetables (choose four): Corn with red peppers, mustard beets, turmeric carrots, pickled red onions, chaat potatoes, kale slaw, coconut slaw, rainbow salad
  • Flavor boosters (choose one): Kali sauce (hot), fresh green chutney (medium) or yogurt raita (cooling).

Optional sides include plain or garlic na’an ($2-$3); cheesy na’an ($4); tomato coconut soup (cup for $4 or bowl for $7). 

Na'an melt with Goan pork
Na’an melt with goa port roast, savory pork sauce, kale slaw and pickled onions. Rainbow salad and chaat potatoes on the side.

Guests can also choose from beverages including house blended Immunitea (hot or iced); masala chai (hot or iced); or yogurt lassis in flavors like rose, mango and pineapple ginger).

Desserts include house-baked options like chai tea cake, gooey brownies and ginger molasses cookies ($3-. All baked goods are gluten-free.

Brownie and chai tea cake

“It’s food that energizes you,” says Kahate. “It’s served in a fast and efficient manner that you can enjoy here at the restaurant or enjoy on the go. And you won’t feel the need to take a nap afterwards.”

Kahate says she’s thrilled with her decision to settle down in the Walker’s Point neighborhood, where she’s says the reception for her new concept has been nothing but positive.

“The neighborhood is perfect,” she says. “It’s got my vibe. There’s such a diverse demographic and so many local businesses. And we’ve been made to feel so welcome here. It’s been wonderful so far.”

Exterior of Rutas
Guests can take a seat inside or on Ruta's patio.

Ruta’s is currently open for dine-in and carry-out Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Beginning on July 1, hours will be extended to 8 p.m.

Ruta’s also offers catering services for groups of 10 to 100. Interested parties can reach out for additional information at

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.