Best food and restaurants in Delhi are marked on the Google Map below. Please read this exhaustive article to get the most out of your trip to Delhi.
Delhi for foodies
Here is our list of Best Food and Restaurants in Delhi. This is a long article. There is so much to write about because Delhi is the not only the political but also the food capital of India. Lets break down food in Delhi into various categories and then list place where you can try them.
We Indians just love our food and all our love and affection will be showered upon you through the food. Our hospitality starts and ends with food it is a topic of discussion at every gathering.
Street Food in Delhi
Most travelers are intrigued by Street food in Delhi but are too afraid to try it. So, let’s start with street food in Delhi.
Delhiites brag about their street food. You get the best street food here and most of us have grown up eating food from local eateries. Bikanervala or Haldiram’s are great places to try safe street food in Delhi. These are the first things to try there:
- Aloo Tikki-potato cakes
- Chole Bhature-Chickpea curry with fried bread
- Pani Poori-Crispy balls of bread filled with lentils and spicy water.
- Matra Kulcha- Pea Lentils mixed with spices and served with fermented bread.
- Chaas- Spicy buttermilk.
A day later, now that you’ve built a little confidence with Chaat or Indian Tapas, you can start trying food from street vendors. Here’s what to watch out for if you do go looking for street food that’s safe
- Are people lining up to eat at the vendor?
- Is the food being served hot?
- Are they serving any raw ingredients? Avoid if yes.
- Are they serving any Dairy products like yogurt? Avoid if yes.
- Are they serving water - Avoid un-bottled water.
If street food does not sit well with you, no pun intended, there are plenty of restaurants to try too.
Restaurants in Delhi
Eating Out is popular and there are many restaurants which offer different cuisines in Delhi. They offer authentic as well as Indianized versions of world cuisine.
Indian Cuisine is vast. Outside India, Indian food is dominated by north Indian cuisine. What you eat at most Indian restaurants in Delhi is an amped-up and heavier version of Indian food cooked at home. Indians go out to eat at these restaurants to relish food which they wouldn’t cook at home.
Expensive Indian restaurants in Delhi
All these restaurants are USD $30-100 per person and get more expensive if you drink alcohol. All these restaurants are booked well in advance especially Indian Accent, Bukhara and Masala library. Book 3 weeks in advance.
- Bukhara at ITC Maurya: North west frontier cuisine, Indian barbeque
- Dum Phukt at ITC Maurya: Heartland cuisine cooked under pressure
- Indian Accent at the Lodi Hotel: Fusion Indian food
- The Spice Route at the Imperial Hotel: Amazing Thai and Coastal Indian food
- Megu at the Leela Palace, New Delhi: Best Japanese in Delhi if you can afford it
- Masala Library, Janpath: Fusion Indian Food
- Eau de Monsoon at the Le Meridien New Delhi: Various cuisines
Mid-tier restaurants in Delhi
There will cost you about USD $15 per person and are worth trying.
- Farzi Café: Fusion India food
- The Big Chill: Italian food. Three outlets
- Mamagoto: Franchise Asian Cuisine
Cheap restaurants in Delhi
These should cost you about USD $5-$10 per person
- Sarvana Bhavan
- Carnatic Café
- Bikanervala – Order the North or South Indian platters
- Haldiram - Order the North or South Indian platters
- Pindi’s at Pandara Road
- Havemore at Pandara Road
Lot of restaurants like the Farzi Café have started experimenting with Indian food giving it a modern twist. They have done good work in re-imaging old favourites. They have also worked on the presentation of their food.
Tandoori Food in Delhi
If you are in Delhi then you must explore Tandoori food. A Tandoor is a clay oven used to grill meats and vegetables. Tandoori Chicken, Tandoori Lamb, Fish and Chicken Tikkas are great in Delhi. If you like rice then you must try the Biryani as well. The Biryani at Dum Phukt is amazing. All this is very much a part of what we call the Mughlai cuisine which became popular during the Mughal rule. Mughlai food includes the famous Dal Makhni and Butter Chicken. Both are calorie rich and yummy.
Some of the best tandoori chicken, fish and lamb for cheap can be had at:
- Rajendar da Dhaba: Safdarjung Enclave
- Alkauzer: Safdarjung enclave
- Pindi’s: Pandara Road
- Havemore: Pandara Road
- Karim’s Jama Mazjid has some of the best non vegetarian food in Delhi at good prices
If you wish to keep it light and simple you can stop at a South Indian restaurant and try the steamed Idlis. Idlis are steamed fermented rice and lentil cakes served with Sambhar, which included Lentil and vegetables. You can also try Dosas. These are crispy or soft fermented Lentil and Rice crepes or the Uttapams, which is an Indian version of a savoury pancake. Do not miss the south Indian filter coffee. Two popular chains of South Indian restaurants in Delhi are the Carnatic Cafe and Sarvana bhavan. They serve yummy vegetarian food and are cheap.
Indian Chinese food
Talking about the Indianized version of a cuisine I sincerely recommend Indian Chinese cuisine. Believe me you would have never eaten Chinese like you find in Delhi. I particularly love the Chinese served at roadside vans but stay away from them, for now at eat at:
- China Fare: Khan Market
- Moet’s: Defence Colony
- Golden Dragon
All of these are marked on the Google Map at the top of this page
Home cooked food
An Indian home kitchen on an average will dish out three meals every day. Yes, most of us are vegetarian
Starts with breakfast which includes Poha, Vermecilli, Upma, Idli, Stuffed Paratha, Masala omlette with toast, Bread Patty stuffed with different vegetables just to name a few.
Lunch will usually include a Dal (lentil curry) along with dried vegetable cooked in a very modest way with few spices. This would be accompanied by Chapati or Rice depending on the family preferences and this will normally be served with condiments like the seasonal pickle and chutney. Yogurt will also be an important part of this meal.
See a typical spice box at home here:
Dinner time depends on when the entire family is back from work and this could be as late as 9-10pm. Dinner will usually have a vegetable with gravy and /or lentils served with poori or paratha or chapati depending on family preference. Usually the entire family would gather around to eat. If it’s a large family then they will all eat in parts where the children will eat first before the men come back from work followed by the elderly of the family and then the men with women eating last. Eating out has now become more common now but usually on a weekend or days when the family business has a weekly off.
Temple food Langar or Bhandara
There are many communities in the city who will feed people every day or on special occasions. The Sikh community for example serves food to thousands of people visiting the temple every single day. The food is prepared as a part of the community service where the family will pitch in their time to cook, serve, clean at the temple. There are many Hindu families who also on special occasions will cook and feed thousands in the market place in the form of ‘Bhandara’. The food is hygienically prepared and served to people. This food is considered as an offering from god.
Yes, we love to eat so tea time has to be accompanied with a snack which is usually a Samosa.
Most shops will start selling samosas at 4 pm and is considered all time buddy for our Masala Chai. Chai is the Hindi word for tea. So there is nothing that is Chai-Tea in India and whoever is selling it is only targeting outsiders.
We also love to dip our biscuits in tea and relish both flavours of tea and biscuit together.
I cannot finish talking about snacks without mentioning ‘Pakora’ . This snack is eaten all around the country and is made of vegetables dipped in chickpea flour and fired in mustard oil. You can try the onion, potato, cauliflower, spinach, eggplant and any other vegetable you can think of, as our mothers have certainly tried a hand at each vegetables in the form of pakora. Usually served with green and tamarind chutney. Onion Bhaji – famous as a post pubbing snack in the UK is called Onion Pakora in Delhi.
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Testing onion pakoras or onion bhajias or even onion fritters. For a dinner we are hosting tomorrow with Wholesome Fine Foods ingredients. The dinner is for 8 friends, to raise money for @hattersesu for their children's Explorer scout group for their trip in July 2018 to a mountain village in Viacha, Peru, to help the locals build a greenhouse to enable them to grow more food. The money will go towards equipment needed for the build. We are blessed to not want for food so this is a reminder of how grateful we are for all the amazing food we are able to get so readily. #onion #onionpakora #onionbhaji #onionfritters #indianfood #foodie #foodstagram #vegan #vegetarian #meatfree #wholesomefood #healthyfood #wholesomefinefoods #homemadefood
Dhokla is steamed chickpea batter which is full of flavor and is also served as a light snack with tea for people trying to avoid fried food. You can try this at Bikanervala or Haldiram’s. Order 200gms just to try it.
If you are living with your grandmother then she will make sure that there is an infinite supply of ‘Mathri’ which is crispy fried semolina bread served with pickle. You cannot eat just one.
Namkeen, or everything savoury in this vast category of dried snacks which every Indian household will stock for those days when hunger strikes and bell rings without prior warning. This is best served with tea to chat up with guests.