Be spoilt for taste at the many restaurants sprinkled all over Old and New Delhi.
Delhiites love to eat, and visitors will find a plethora of restaurants in Delhi, ranging from ramshackle street stalls serving delicious kebabs to upmarket and suave restaurants catering to the well-heeled traveller. Bear in mind that most mid-range and all upmarket restaurants charge a service tax of around 10%, while drinks can cost a further 20% (alcoholic) or 12.5% (non-alcoholic).
While a lot of Delhi restaurants have a multi-cuisine menu, it is worth trying out some Mughal cuisine at one of the many popular restaurants in Old Delhi. Karim’s in Chawri Bazaar near the Jama Masjid is one of the best restaurants in Delhi serving delicious Mughal cuisine since 1913. Al-Jawahar is another restaurant next to Karim’s that serves similar Mughal dishes.
Delhi has an abundance of street foods which are definitely worth trying for their scrumptious flavours, cheap prices and abundant variety. In Chandni Chowk, Parathe Wali Gale serves some of the best stuffed parathas (traditional flat bread) in town, while Jalebiwala does some of the finest jalebis (deep-fried, syrupy wheat squiggles) and Bikanerwala offers tasty snacks such as parathas and channa bhature (spicy chick peas with fried puffed bread). If you’re in the Paharganj area, having breakfast at Sita Ram Dewan Chand is a must. They serve some of the best chole (spicy chickpeas) with delicious parathas stuffed with spices and paneer.
For some of the best upmarket restaurants in Delhi head to Connaught Place in New Delhi. Along with Mughlai and North-West Frontier specialties, Veda has décor and atmosphere to boast of. Designed by top Indian fashion designer, Rohit Bal, the sumptuous interior boasts dim red lighting, neo-Murano chandeliers and twisted gold a-go-go. For Chinese, Chinese with its calligraphy-decorated interior is a popular restaurant with Chinese diplomats, while Zen has a venerable Chinese menu and décor with a dash of old-style glitz. United Coffee House is a classic 1940’s restaurant with a multi-cuisine menu ranging from Indian delicacies to pizza and pasta. Zaffran is an excellent restaurant serving Mughlai cuisine.
In addition to the above mentioned restaurants, here are a few more of the best restaurants in Delhi. For some of the best South Indian cuisine, head to Gunpowder in Hauz Khas. This 3rd floor mid-range restaurant has lovely views over the Hauz Khas greenery with tasty Keralan dishes to match. Saravana Bhavan in Connaught Place has Tamil style South Indian fast food such as dosas, idlis and other Tamil specialties accompanied by delectable coconut chutneys. Further afield in Defence Colony, Indian Accent is an upmarket restaurant and one of the best restaurants for Indian cuisine at its most creative. Expect to dine on dishes you might have never tried before. For some of the best traditional sweets in town head to Ghantewala in Chandni Chowk for lip-smacking mithai (Indian sweets) and sohan halwa (ghee-dipped gram flour biscuits).
See below for some of the best restaurants in Delhi.
Located in Old Delhi down a lane across from the Jama Masjid south gate (No 1), this Delhi institution has been cooking up some of the best Mughlai dishes in town since 1913. Perhaps the most popular restaurant in Delhi for its great Mughlai dishes, Karims Delhi is always packed with both locals and tourists alike.
If you’ve tasted a plate of Chole Bhature you’ll know how moor-ish it is. To get the best Chole Bhature in Delhi, head to Sita Ram Diwan Chand in the backpacker area of Paharganj.
Parathe Wali Gali is a very popular destination in Old Delhi for cheap, delicious stuffed parathas. Head to this narrow laneway after visiting the Red Fort for a scrumptious feast of some of the best street food in Old Delhi.
Located in Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, Ghantewala Sweets is one of the oldest halwais (traditional sweet shops) in India, having been in operation since 1790. In the past, it catered for the rulers of India, from the Mughal emperors to recent Presidents and Prime Ministers of India such as Jawaharlal Nehru and his grandson Rajiv Gandhi. Today, it is popular for its Sohan Halwa and other varieties of Indian sweets.
Nizamuddin restaurants have a great selection of Mughlai food especially kebabs which are some of the best in town. If you’re in the area, stop at one of these restaurants and try their kebabs, that’s if you don’t mind the dingy and austere surroundings.
The street food in Delhi is some of the best in India, if not the best. The variety, tastes and cheap prices makes the street food in Delhi a ‘must try’ option for a complete culinary experience. There are some street foods that are particular to Delhi while others can also be found elsewhere in India. There are some street food options that are seasonal while others are available all year round.