Delhi, city and national capital territory, north-central India. The city of Delhi actually consists of two components: Old Delhi, in the north, the historic city; and New Delhi, in the south, since 1947 the capital of India, built in the first part of the 20th century as the capital of British India. Delhi is an ancient city that has witnessed various ups and downs, politically and culturally. But every time, its culture, heritage, religion and the tradition regained itself for the generations to come. The culture of Delhi seems to be a blend of the modern lifestyles as well as the old traditions and values. On one hand you can see the Old Delhi still living with the old traditions and upholding the values of the past while on the other hand is New Delhi, influenced by the strong forces of modernisation. You can hear the Qawwalis of Nizamuddin Shrine, Gurbanis of Bangla Sahib and Aartis of Chattarpur Mandir, while in stark opposition to this is the loud and blaring music of pubs and discotheques. This diversity proves to be a great attraction to tourists.
The fusion of various traditions and religions has painted Delhi in different colours brought from all over India. Delhi, being the capital, reflects the cultural diversity and religious unity of India. It shares its borders with Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, which strongly influences the lifestyle and language of the people. But socially, Delhi welcomes every religion with warmth. From Durga Puja of the Bengalis to Guru Purab of the Sikhs, from Easter & Christmas of the Christians to Buddha Purnima of the Buddhists- every occasion is celebrated here with zeal and enthusiasm like other national festivals including Holi, Diwali or Eid. When it comes to the historical monuments and religious shrines, Delhi boasts of having a huge and wonderful collection of structures showcasing different architectural patterns. For example, the Jama Masjid is a beautiful example of Indo-Persian art, whereas the Birla and the Chattarpur Temples are considered as an amalgamation of the north and south Indian styles. From Gurdwara Sheesh Ganj to Bangla Sahib and from St. Thomas Church to the Lotus Temple or the monastery near the interstate bus terminal, every structure is a marvellous piece of artwork.
Delhi CuisineThere is no such thing as typical cuisines of Delhi. This is so because there is no specific identity of the city. With time, people from different areas of India came and settled, making Delhi an assortment of sorts. Slowly and gradually, Delhi assumed some of the aspects of the identity of all the types of people living in it, making multiple identities for itself. As a result, even the traditional food of New Delhi has no distinctiveness. It comprises of South Indian food, Punjabi food, Gujarati food, Rajasthani food and so on. However, there are certain food items for which Delhi is quite famous.
For example, Chandni Chowk area of the city boasts of the most delicious paranthas (a sort of bread). Infact, the entire area of Old Delhi is famous for the local Delhi cuisine. Then, there is the Bengali Market in New Delhi that is very popular for Chaat Papri, Golgappas, Sweets, etc. Delhi is also very popular for its roadside vendors that serve awesome local cuisine. However, before eating make sure that the place is neat, clean and hygienic. All said and done, one cannot fully explain the palatability of these dishes. You have to come to the capital city of Delhi and enjoy its mouth-watering delicacies yourself.
Famous Dishes of Delhi
From being the perfect start to a “healthy” morning in most Delhi households, to a meal for hungry college students and even a late-night snack, paranthas are definitely on the top of the list when it comes to my favorite food in Delhi. Choose from a plain one or select a stuffing of your choice – potatoes, cauliflower, radish, eggs, keema, bananas or even last night’s left over dal – the options are galore. Where you can try this dish? Paranthe Wali Gali in Chandni Chowk, whose past customers include the likes of Maharajah of Kashmir and even Prime Minister Nehru and his family; Moolchand Parathe Wala located in South Delhi was SRK’s favorite when he used to live in Delhi.
The spicy, sweet, and tangy taste of Chaat is a famous dish in Delhi, you can find this delicious food item in the streets, and even big restaurants offer various chaat. When you are in Delhi and want to taste real chaat then visit famous Chandni Chowk area as it is famous for street food. Some famous chaat hubs are Bittu Tikki Wala, Daulat ki Chaat, Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala.
3. Butter Chicken
Here’s an interesting story about the origin of one of the most gratifying dishes on this planet. It originated in the 1950s in Moti Mahal Restaurant, Daryaganj, a neighbourhood skirting the Walled City. Known for its Tandoori Chicken, the cooks there accidentally tossed the sauce consisting of butter, tomato and chicken juices with tandoori chicken pieces; the rest is history. Today, this dish can be found in almost every non-vegetarian restaurant and highway dhabas and is best enjoyed with rice or naan.
Delhi is known for its delicacies and one of the best and tasty delicacies is Kebabs. This dish is a gift given by the Mughals. You can seat and enjoy the taste of this delicacy in your car or in fancy restaurants. The places to enjoy this delicacy are Ghalib Kebab Corner, Salim’s Kebabs, Aap Ki Khatir and many more.
Biryani is another tasty rice dish you can find in Delhi, it is a delicacy that is given by the Mughals. Biryani is available in both vegetarian and non-veg form, but meat based rice flavored with Indian spices will give you a pleasure of life time.
You are probably familiar with this line used across all Delhi households “Khaane ke baad kuch meetha ho jaye” (“Let’s eat something sweet after a meal”). With the extensive variety of desserts offered in the capital, it is hard to say no. From the piping-hot Jalebis and lip-smacking Rabri Falooda, to innovative Kulfis in flavours like Custard Apple, Tamarind and Aam Papad, the delicious Motichoor Ladoo made from pure desi ghee and Blueberry Cheesecake; Delhi sure loves its sweets!
Restaurants in Delhi
Delhi has always been one of the most preferred destinations for food lovers. With its innumerable varieties and multiple cuisines along with delicious delicacies and exotic tastes, this city is a living legend from centuries. Right from preserving age-old traditional secrets of cooking to the proud innovator of exquisite signature dishes, this vibrant city has always attracted food-lovers from distant lands. Although famous for its amazing variety of options for non-vegetarians, Delhi has equally mouth-watering and exclusive food joints for vegetarians. So why wait? I bring you the top places at Delhi that are a must try for foodies out there!
1. Kake Di Hatti
The delicious delicacies of Old Delhi have always been a foodie’s delight! From traditional Punjabi cuisine to Kulfis and Faloodas, from hundreds of varieties of Paranthas to Chhole bhatures and kulches, Old Delhi is a throbbing centre for food lovers. Kake Di Hatti, an authentic Punjabi eatery, is one such paradise. Located in Gali Batashan near Fatepuri Chowk, Kake Di Hatti serves traditional North Indian cuisine in pocket-friendly values. Their Dal Makhani and varieties of stuffed Naan are a must try. Where: Old Delhi
2. Veg Gulati
This vegetarian branch of the famous chain of Gulati restaurants is a vegetarian’s delight! Gulati Restaurants are among the oldest and trusted names of the city. Veg Gulati is famous for their North Indian cuisine. Located at Pandara Road Market, their ambience and services are truly commendable. Must try dishes include Amritsari Churchur Paranthan and Dal Makhani. One of the fine diners of the city.
Where: Khan Market
Also famous as Keventers, this place is known for their thick shakes and lip-smacking snacks. Located near Wenger ’s, Inner Circle at CP, Shake Square is another pocket-friendly as well as refreshing food joint. Must try shakes include chocolate, coffee and strawberry flavours. Be ready for a long queue because this place is a crazy spot for shake-lovers.
Where: Connaught Place.
4. Indus Flavour
Located in Kingsway Camp, Hudson lane, Indus Flavour is one-of-its-kind vegetarian hotspot inspired by the delicacies of areas around Indus Valley civilisation. They are famous for their exotic North Indian and Chinese cuisine. The place claims to “tingle the taste buds of food connoisseurs”. Must try dishes are Dahi ke sholay, Gilafi kebab, Dal Indus and Islamabadi paneer.
Where: Kingsway Camp, Hudson Lane
Located in DLF Place Mall, Saket, Rajdhani is famous for their Gujarati-Rajasthani cuisine. Another fine dining restaurant, Rajdhani is known for their must-try dish- Rajasthani Thali.
Where: DLF Mall, Saket
6. Shree Baanke Bihari Brajwasi Rasgulle Waala
This branch of Shree Baanke Bihari Brajwasi is famous all over north campus for their Gulab Jamun, Ras-malai and Rabdi. Located in Kamala Nagar, Brajwasi is a hotspot for people with a sweet tooth. Also, try their Badam Milk which is equally heavenly in taste.
Where: Kamala Nagar
7. Shraman- The Ashok
Shraman, located in Hotel Ashok is another vegetarian hotspot that offers a fine dining experience. They are famous for Rajasthani and North Indian cuisine. The ambience is equally attractive. Shraman’s plain yet exotic food wins the loyalty of its customers. Must try their typical Dal Bati Churma.
Where: Hotel The Ashoka
8. Bengali Sweet House
Located in the heart of the city at Connaught Place, Bengali Sweet House is another most preferred place for having a pocket-friendly vegetarian food experience. Famous for their desserts and street food along with North Indian and Chinese cuisine, Bengali Sweet house is exclusively loved for their crispy and tangy chaat as well as mouth-watering Gol-Gappe.
Where: Bengali Market
Delhi Street Food : The Best Picks For Foodies!
Delhi and Delhi-ites are known as much for their insatiable appetites as they are for the unending variety of food found in the city. Any cuisine, Indian or international, you name it, we have it. But what really captures the essence of the city is the street food that changes colour and taste but gets only better with discovering the city. Here is an (in)exhaustive list of the best of Delhi street food:
1. Chache Di Hatti, Kamla Nagar
Riding on high on reviews that can even put 5-star restaurants to shame, Chache di Hatti is one of the oldest joints in the heart of the north campus of Delhi University. They are known for serving the best chole bhature in Delhi University’s North Campus. Stuffed, melt-in-mouth bhaturas with optimally spiced chhole and special pickled salad is gonna make you go mmmm. But one has to wait for a while here to be served, sometimes as long as an hour to get their own slice of heaven. Make sure to make a dash for this Delhi street food joint, for they sell out every day by noon!
Open Timings: 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Location: 32, Near All Smile Dental Clinic, Kamla Nagar, New Delhi
Cost for two: INR 100
2. Prince Paan, Greater Kailash and Gurgaon
Stereotypes are not restricted to people but also to food. If you are a delhi street food enthusiast with an ironical knack for hygiene, look no further. Prince Paan serves an array of paan flavors like Butterscotch Paan, Strawberry Paan and even Paan ki Chaat! As for those obsessed with hygiene, they even serve Gol Gappe made in mineral water! Don’t miss their nimbu masala paan which is a raging hit among their regulars.
Open Timings: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Location: M-29, Greater Kailash (GK) 1, New Delhi
Cost for two: INR 250
3. Atul Chaat, Rajouri Garden
What was a run of the mill shop lost in the shoppers’ lanes of Rajouri Garden Market, is now a landmark for Delhi street food lovers. While the most popular treats are the aloo chaat and the tikki, it is the gol gappas and their sheer size that has every chaat lover raving about Atul Chaat. Since its inception eras back, this no frills outlet’s food is their one and only showstopper. Stop by at this popular delhi street food joint for a quick and affordable yet delectable bite.
Open Timings: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Location: H-44, Main Market, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi
Cost for two: INR 100
4.Spice Aangan, SDA Market
Shawarma lovers, did you think we’d leave you stranded? With service faster than the speed of light and yet uncompromising on quality and light on the pocket, Spice Aangan leaves meat lovers asking for more. Melt in mouth meat, oozing with juices and flavors, the shawarma rolls are a departure from tradition, served with mayonnaise and green chutney, but that only adds to their charm. You’re sure to keep coming back for more, all the regulars do!
Open Timings: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Location: C-21/2, Opposite IIT Main Gate, SDA Market, SDA, New Delhi
Cost for two: INR 450
5. Khandani Pakode Wala, Sarojini Nagar
The name itself suggests the heritage linked to this place. Khadani Pakodewala is one of the delhi street food joints where the quality of the food has not degraded with time. The crispy batter covering with the soft filling is still as scrumptious as before. Apart from the common potato, cauliflower and onion pakoras, they’re also made from paneer, baby corn and lotus stem too. For regulars, Khandani is akin to a foodie’s must stop on their way to or from Sarojini Nagar.
Open Timings: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Location: Shop 14-15, Central Market, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi
Cost for two: INR 200
Banta is a cool-drink that’s served in a codd-necked bottle. Banta is preserved in a glass bottle that’s sealed by a round marble and not a cap hence it’s popularly known as Goli Soda. The drink is often mixed with lemon/ orange juice, chat masala, crushed ice, jal-jeera and Kala namak.
Where to drink: Anywhere on the streets of Delhi
Delhi is a city brimming with culture and diversity and it is indeed a foodie’s paradise. While there are many more places that can satiate your appetite, these are the ones from the list of Delhi street food joints, that you must NOT miss! So now that you know about the best places to eat in Delhi, when are you venturing out on your food walk? Also, if you wanna tell me about a food place, not on the list, do let us know in the comments below. Until, then, happy eating!