New Delhi (India)

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Chaat
If you want to eat chaat, the North Indian street side snack food, Delhi is the place to be. Like Spanish tapas or Greek mezze, chaat can cover a vast variety of things, but Delhi style tends to mean a deep-fried pastry shell, stuffed after cooking with potatoes, lentils or almost anything else. They’re then topped with yogurt, chutneys and chaat masala spice mix and eaten fresh.Some typical chaat items are paapdi chaat (a mix of small round fried crispy things with yogurt and other sauces), paneer tikka (cubes of cottage cheese baked in a tandoor with spices), pani puri or golguppa (small round hollow shells filled with a potato-based filling and a spicy sweet blend of sauces).


The best place to go for chaat is the Bengali Market (near Mandi House Metro Stn) near Connaught Place in the center of town. The restaurants are high quality and the food is great. There are ATMs as well. One of the best known restaurants there is Nathu’s. But for the really good chaat you have to make your way to Old Delhi, and particularly to Ashok’s near Chawri Bazaar. While connoisseurs insist that the best chaat is prepared on the street, most travellers try to find a comfortable middle ground between hygiene and authenticity.

  • Andhra Pradesh Bhavan Canteen, Ashok Road (near Man Singh Road). Open for lunch and dinner this is a favorite of local Delhi foodies who are looking for an authentic Andhra meal. They serve all you can eat veg/non-veg thalis for Rs 80-150. For carnivores, you have a variety of non-veg options (chicken/fish/mutton) but the mutton fry is recommended. The service is quick and efficient (slipshod and aggressive), and the joint crowded and noisy. Another favorite is the Karnataka Bhavan canteen beside Ansal Plaza near Mool Chand offering all possible South India food.
  • Haldiram’s, 1454/2 Chandni Chowk (just west of the fountain) and other outlets around town, [167]. This is a famous manufacturer of Indian snacks and sweets that has now gone global. This always-packed, two-story outlet in the heart of Chandni Chowk was its first in Delhi and dates back to 1924. The ground floor houses a vast array of sweet and sticky Indian confections, while the first floor has a popular vegetarian restaurant. This is a great place to try authentic and hygienic Delhi chaat and other Indian snack foods. Try the Raj Kachori, a mixture of different types of stuffing with sweetened yogurt and chutneys in an oversized hollow dough shell. All chaat is under Rs 50, or you can get a full daily thali for Rs 90. Choley Bhature, and the various Dosas are great options to try as well from their Southern Indian selection. Be sure to save room for dessert, as Haldiram’s offers some of the best rasmalai, rasgullah, gulab jamun, and other tasty delights in India.
  • Tadka, 4986, Ram Dwara Rd, Nehru Bazar, Paharganj, (side road off of Main Bazaar). A notably clean restaurant by Paharganj standards. Serves only vegetarian food. Their tea is really good and their most popular dish is paneer masala. They have raised prices due to recommendations in travelguides! Full Thali is now around Rs. 150.
  • Nangarg, Rajgur Marg Road (side road off of Main Bazaar), Paharganj. A really good hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian food for about Rs 60. The workers there are genuinely good people, which can be hard to find in this area. You’ll have more luck finding a sign that says “Veg-Nonveg” than their actual restaurant sign.
  • Bitto Tikki Wala, (also known as BTW), Netaji Subhash Place, Pitampura. The best aloo tikki (potato and vegetable burger) available in town. It has a branch in Sarita Vihar, Near Apollo Hospital and Badarpur border. It has branches all over the city now, in shopping areas.
  • Amritsari Kulcha Wala, Paschim Vihar Red Light, (near Jwala Heri Market). If you are into amritsari kulcha, you probably can’t miss this. People on dieting beware: the amount of butter that the vendor puts in is huge. However, without it you will not enjoy the Amritsari Kulcha so much. It is kind of a road side dhaba or shack. Rs 60 for two kulchas is what he charges. It is actually on Outer Ring Road, Adjoining to a park wall. You can ask anybody about the Kulcha wala and they will be able to tell you the direction in Paschim Vihar/Meera Vihar Outer Ring Rd.
  • Egg parantha Wala, Lajpat Nagar, (opposite to Surya hotel). This guy owns a shack and has been running the parantha business for ages.
  • Kake Di Hatti, Chandni Chowk near Old Delhi Railway Station. The most extensive varieties of naans(Indian bread) you will find in Delhi. They make the biggest and best tasting naans for your money.

Mid-range[edit]

You will find McDonalds, KFC, Subway and Pizza Hut in malls and throughout the city. The Indian menu without beef and with lots of veggie options can be interesting even if you would otherwise steer clear.

  • Club India Cafe, 4797, 2nd floor, 6 Tooti Chowk, Paharganj (next to vegetable market). Don’t be put off by the cramped stairway up. This is a clean and bright little haven of peace with birds-eye views of the chaos below. The menu spans the gamut but the thing to try is the Japanese food, prepared under the watchful eye of the Japanese owner. ₹100-200.  edit
  • Gulati Restaurant[22]. Voted as the best North Indian Restaurant. ₹639 for buffet.  edit
  • Karim’s, Jama Masjid, Gali Kababian, ☎ +91 11 2326 9880, [23]. As you’d expect from a restaurant on Kebab Lane, the name of the game here is Mughal-style meat (mutton and chicken), served up since 1913 and still going strong. Get here down a little alley just South of the Jama Masjid southern entrance (past the auto supplies market). Favorites include badam pasanda (boneless mutton cooked with yogurt, almonds and spices) and chicken noor jahan, but if you’re really hungry, try Tandoori Bakra; an entire stuffed goat for ₹4,500, 24 hr notice and down payment is required. And a style tip, some of the dishes have huge puddles of oil on top, which you’re supposed to drain off before eating. Under ₹200 at the original; more at the branches..  edit
  • Khan Chacha, 50 Khan Market, [24]. A roomali rolls and kababs restaurant serving chicken, mutton, paneer, and rolls. Very popular with locals. Mains: ₹180-320.  edit
  • Kitchen Cafe Roof Top @ Hotel Shelton, 5043 Main Bazaar, pahar ganj, [25]. Great view and ambiance.  edit
  • Moti Mahal Deluxe, Several locations, [26]. Famous for their tandoori chicken and North Indian food. Their family-sized naan is delicious and the size of a 4 year old child. Home of where the original Dal Makhani, Butter Chicken, and many of the other dishes now highly popular in the UK were first created.  edit
  • Nirula’s, L-Block, Connaught Place, ☎ +91 11 2332 2419, [27]. India’s answer to McDonald’s, this serves both Indian and Western fare. Has many other branches throughout the country.  edit
  • Sagar Ratna, Several locations, [28]. Considered by many to be the best place for authentic South Indian food, Sagar does justice to the reputation. The menu features dosas, idlis, vadas, uttapams, rasam and thalis. A/C. There’s likely to be a queue for seats during peak hours and definitely on Tues nights. The upmarket version at Sagar Ratna, Ashok Hotel, 50-B Chanakyapuri, ☎ +91 11 2611 0101, is quieter, better laid out and more expensive. Both also have many other branches.  edit
  • Saravana Bhavan, 46 Janpath, ☎ +91 11 2331 7755, +91 11 2331 6060, [29]. A good South Indian joint located in Janpath very close to Connaught Place. They are a Chennai chain operating in Delhi. If you go at lunch time, prepare to wait a while. The various dosas are recommended, as well as the thalis (meals) and the sweet dishes.  edit

Splurge

  • Bukhara, Maurya Sheraton, Regularly tops the charts as India’s best restaurant (and certainly among the priciest), the roast lamb and the Bukhara Dal here are legendary. Always make reservations or be ready to stand in a queue, similar to queues at an airport for about 2 hr. Rs 2,000+.
  • Chor Bizarre, Hotel Broadway, 4/15A Asaf Ali Rd. Now franchised worldwide, the original restaurant serves Kashmiri food in an eclectic surrounding like a chor bazaar (thieves market). The buffet is laid out inside an old car. Rs 300-400 for each dish. A bit on the pricey side (relatively for India), but worth 1 splurge meal. If going by foot, look out for the Delhi Stock Exchange on same strip 0.5km from here..
  • Naivedyam, East Patel Nagar, (opposite Jaypee Siddharth Hotel), Offers quality South Indian meals and service at great prices.
  • Punjabi by Nature, Vasant Vihar Priya Complex Tele 011-46117000;41516666, Rajouri Garden, MGF City Square Mall (Lifestyle). One of Delhi’s best-known Punjabi restaurants. Rs 800 or so, more if you order seafood.
  • Delhi Food Adventure, Old Delhi. 3-4 hr tour of many of the best dishes in Old Delhi, reservations required, one of Delhi’s top rated tours. Rs 1500 per person.

Italian

  • T.L.R. Cafe & Kitchen, 31 Hauz Khas Village, (near Green Park and Aurobindo Place in South Delhi’). [170]. Popular among tourists, expats and locals. Continental menu featuring a variety of pastas and panini’s. Kitchen open 11AM-11PM daily. Also Spanish, Moroccan and American styles, plus desserts and drinks.
  • The Big Chill, Khan Market and East of Kailash, is popular with a young crowd for great smoothies, ice creams, cheesecakes and Italian food. Expect a waiting line during lunch at Saturdays.
  • Slice of Italy,(near M2k Pitampura (North Delhi) and various other locations in Delhi) Italian style food.
  • Flavours of Italy, (near the Moolchand flyover).
  • Little Italy, Defence Colony Market.
  • Amici Cafe, Middle Lane, Khan Market , Delhi
  • The West View, Maurya Sheraton. Italian style food.
  • Olive, near the Qutub Minar. Italian style food.
  • Diva, Greater Kailash Pt.2. Italian style food.
  • San Gimignano, Imperial Hotel, Italian style food.
  • La Piazza, Hyatt Regency. Italian style restaurant.
  • Satoria, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar, South Delhi. Italian style food, great pizzas, carpaccio, pasta and wines. Mains are about Rs 500.

Barbeque/grills

  • Barbeque Nation, B-1 623, Opp. District Center, Janakpuri. Offers an option where customers can make their food on their personal grills, which are embedded in each table. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian BBQ starters, a main course buffet, soups, salads, desserts and a variety of liquors.
  • Pirates of Grills, C-12, Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden, (‘Rajouri Garden metro’). Same concept as Barbeque Nation, Janakpuri

Japanese

  • Mamagoto*, Khan Market One of Delhi’s most popular Japanese restaurants, the fun manga style interiors and great food are a great experience.
  • Enoki, The Grand, Nelson Mandela Rd, Vasant Kunj-II. Pseudo-rustic yakitori (Japanese chicken kebab) restaurant offering fairly authentic food, including a limited range of sushi and sake. Rs 1,000+.
  • Sakura, Hotel Metropolitan, Bangla Sahib Marg, [173]. Japanese style restaurant, carries the tag of being one of the most expensive restaurants in India.
  • Side Wok, Khan Market. Japanese, Chinese and other Asian food. Some choice of sushi. Beautiful decor. No alcohol. Mains about Rs 400.

Middle Eastern

  • Felafel Man, Main Bazaar, Paharganj. (About a 10 min walk down Main Bazaar from New Delhi train station). Small shop selling falafel rolls and sabeekh. Multilingual cook,, the rolls come with hummus, tahini and mineral water washed veggies. Don’t forget to wash it down with the seasonal fruit lassi, so thick it takes some effort to suck it up the straws.

Thai

Delhiites have eagerly adopted Thai food into their culinary pantheon, although the recipes and ingredients are often rather Indianised.

  • EGO Thai, Friends Colony Market.
  • Culinaire, Greater Kailash 2
  • Chilli Seasons, Lodhi Colony market
  • Thai High, Mehrauli, ☎ +91 11 26644289. Should go at night for a view of the lit up Qutab Minar.
  • The Kitchen, Khan Market ☎ +91 11 4175 7960, +91 11 4175 7961
  • Turquoise Cottage, 81/3 Adhchini, Sri Aurobindo Marg, South Delhi, ☎ +91 11 2685 3896, [174]. True to the name, the decor is turquoise and stylishly rustic, but the food is Thai-Chinese and, while somewhat adapted to Indian tastes, quite tasty. Also check out the popular The Other Side bar downstairs. Reservations recommended. Rs 500.

Tibetan Food, (near Shivaji Stadium-which actually is a bus stand, Connaught Place). Tibetan food, run by Tibetan refugees.

Chinese

After Indian Cuisine, Chinese is Delhi’s second most popular cuisine. For a long time, only Indianised Chinese was available, but high-quality options are available today.

  • Mainland China, Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden metro station. Oriental/Chinese cuisine. Other branches at Greater Kailash 2 and Saket
  • The Yum Yum Tree, ☎ +91 11 4260 2020. As much as a fantasy-land as an eatery, it’s easily one of the largest Chinese restaurants in the city. The influence here is from Singapore, and the Dim Sum Menu is good. The cuisine here is extremely high quality. Sectioned into separate areas. The Grill for a quick lunch, or the more formal dining area for dinner. Includes a funky bar called New Friends Colony.
  • Rice Bowl 18/31 East Patel Nagar Market, New Delhi – Chinese/Oriental food.
  • Nan King, Delhi phone number011 26138939, 011 26138938. Chinese food in a nice location at Vasant Kunj with a private lounge. Good for groups or a special occasion.

Korean

  • Gung The Palace, Ground floor. D-1B, Green Park, South Delhi. A very up-market place with good food. 1st floor features a live karaoke, but the ground floor is the place to be. Book in advance for the ground floor.

Japanese

Sushiya, yummy japanese food , DLF mall, Saket

Afghan

  • Afghan Restaurant, H-7, Krishna Market, (near Gurdwara, Lajpat Nagar I). Owned and run by members of the Afghani community that settled in the area. Very tasty biryani.
  • Bhogal / Jangpura Locality: There are lot of Afghani restaurants here.

Iraqi

  • Iraqi Food – E-178, Lajpat Nagar-I.

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