5 Best places eating out in New Delhi
Many people won’t associate this city with fine food, and that’s a crying shame. The truth is eating out in New Delhi is a delight, and you will find yourself spoiled for choice. You will see many of the countries classic dishes find their roots in New Delhi. That’s the reason why I will be covering just my five favourite places to get the very best food. I have seen a lot of blogs online that include the writers top fifty places to eat out. That seems impractical as most of my readers will be travellers to the city and not have the time to try that much.
These suggestions are my very favourite, and that is a big statement. I have been to New Delhi countless times and spent years travelling on the subcontinent, and yet these places stand out as some of the very best cuisines the country has to offer.
Before I go on, let us first examine why the food is so amazing in Dehli. There are more people who are living in this bustling metropolis than there are in all of Australia. Indian Immigrants from around the nation have come to find their fame and fortune on these streets. This generates many ideas on what good food is. What’s more, this part of the Yumana river has been settled for centuries giving rise to even more complexity to the cities culinary repertoire.
We will delve into where to get the best food. I will also answer the question of what are some of the best dishes and how to get there? As a professional chef for over twenty years, I am very passionate about this subject and immensely enjoy writing such posts. So without further ado, let’s get started.
The five very best places for eating out in New Delhi.
Mention Indian food to someone, and their mouths will probably begin to water. The smell of exotic spices and the promise of complex aromatic flavours are intoxicating to our palate. If you are passionate about food, then pat yourself on the back as you have come to the right place. The food in this seething mass of humanity we call New Dehli is sure to meet and indeed exceed your expectations. I can’t imagine even the most staunch of food critics would leave disappointed.
Here is what I think are the best places to get the tastiest food. No nonsense and no messing around. If you only have a short amount of time to spend in Delhi I strongly suggest trying at least one of these.
Of all the restaurants in the whole city, this one is my absolute favourite. It is said to be the creators of butter chicken way back in the 1950s and has been famous ever since. This long-standing restaurant has been serving some of the best Mughlai dishes for years. If you are looking for a carnivorous feast, then this is the place to come. The mouth-wateringly delicious curries this restaurant creates are legendary.
The food here is always cooked to perfection. I have come to this restaurant several times and never been disappointed. The menu is exclusively North Indian, and over the years they have developed a winning formula for their cuisine. The kitchen is immaculate, and the food is delicious, what could you want?
It is so good this restaurant even gets the seal of approval of Gordon Ramsey when he famously came here to learn how to make traditional Butter Chicken in his Great Escapes series. As I mentioned we only have this dish courtesy of this restaurant so it is here you can find it at its authentic best. Its subtly spiced, light red and finished with cream. Smooth and sumptuous you can’t help but be impressed with what’s on your plate. For more information on what else there is to do in this charming corner of the universe aside from gorge yourself senseless, check out my in-depth post on Old Delhi.
I feel its only right that this incredible place gets a mention in any blog on eating out in New Delhi. Close to the iconic Jama Masjid, you can find a small collection of restaurants that all serve good food to be fair. However, the most famous of these and by landslides is Karims. Established in 1913, this place has had time to refine its style. The food here is out of this world. The portions of lamb Kebabs are small, but sometimes it is quality over quantity, isn’t it? If you do decide to give this place a whirl, then save some room for dessert. The Kheer is Amazing.
Much of the menu is meat-heavy, so if you are a vegetarian, your choices are a little limited. All the dishes are full of flavour and cooked in a traditional style. No one can deny this is an exceptional restaurant. It is the favourite of so many local people. From the fluffiest rice to the fragrant naan bread, this restaurant adheres to excellence without the pomp. Simply good authentic food. Is what this restaurant is all about, and scores of locals would agree.
The nearest metro station is Hauz Khas, and then it is a few minutes walking from there. Just ask for directions as everyone knows the place anyway. Plus its a whole lot of fun getting lost in this part of town. Eating in the shadow of the mighty mosque is certainly something to remember. I love everything about this restaurant, and I would implore you to try it for yourselves.
Ok now I am recommending a whole area of the city and why is that might you ask? Well, the whole area is a culinary lovers heaven. The words Chandi Chawk translates to the moonlit square. It was conducted in the 17th century by the mogul emperor Shah Jahan for his favourite daughter. Today it oozes atmospheric charm. With a generous smattering of ancient Havelis and historic buildings making up the backdrop of the bustling market. Coming here is an experience unto itself.
While it seems you can buy just about anything here, it is the food on offer that sets it apart from any other market in the city. The trouble with coming is you can only eat so much, unfortunately. The street is most famous for the massive collection of Parathas on sale. Lord save me they are divine and come in a plethora of flavours. However, I wholeheartedly recommend getting one of the heavenly fresh Lassis, and some Aloo Tiki.
Don’t forget to sample some of the sweets on sale here even if it is a takeaway for when you have digested your mains. Quite frankly I would be surprised if you have room for a coffee after one lap down here.
One street branches off Chandhi Chawl called Gali Paratha Wali, which has become particularly notorious for serving up some of the best Parathas. So much so the whole road is named after one. This road was originally used to serve pilgrims tasty food back in the moguls’ days. I sometimes wonder just how much has anything has changed?
To reach here is simple enough as one end is close to Old Dehli metro station. To get off the other end, you get off at Chandni Chawk metro station. You could not get more straight forward than that surely?
Nazim’s Kathi Rolls – Connaught Place.
The Kathi roll is one of the trademark Bengali dishes. Well, this little place can rival even the best roll from its home town, and that is a big statement as they are outstanding there. Nazim’s might have a no-frills approach to its interior, but the food is delicious. They sell a huge number of all good curries, and the list includes a few I had never seen before. However, it is the sumptuous rolls that set them apart from other restaurants. The double mutton and egg roll with coriander chutney is the definition of gastronomic heaven.
To reach here is easy you just get on the metro and get off at Connaught Place. The odds are you will be staying somewhere around Paharganj as this is where a lot of the hotels geared towards backpackers are to be found. If so you won’t need to get any transport. It is a ten-minute walk to block H in Connaught Place.
Sita Ram Dewan Chand – Paharganj.
This is a restaurant which specialises in one dish and still became famous. Imagine how good that dish has to be for that to happen. One gentleman called Sitaram Ji started selling his recipe for Chhole Bhature of the back of a cart in 1955. He considered it the perfect recipe, and it seems so did the people of New Delhi. Today there are hordes of customers eager to fill up on this modestly priced dish. Its a chickpea curry served with some fluffy bread. Simple but wonderful to the palate. For 85 rupees for a big plate of goodness you can’t go wrong now, can you?
To reach here its an easy walk from New Dehli train station. Just walk down the main bazaar in Paharganj to the Raiguru road and turn right. It’s then on the third turning on the left. If you are not comfortable with this or just dont want to get lost, you can get the blue metro line to Ramakrishna Marg. It is very close to the restaurant so just ask for directions. Of course, google maps will have you covered on that one, but I am just a little old fashioned, I think. Failing that get a cyclo or autorickshaw.
The Old Delhi spice market – Khari Baoli.
As a chef myself, the chance to see all these lovely exotic ingredients being traded was an absolute delight. I would recommend a visit here to any food lover. I simply could not resist talking about this place. This market has been supplying the very best ingredients to restaurants all over the city for hundreds of years. The sights and smells of this place are intoxicating. It is easy to get lost in the small twisted lanes of Asia’s largest spice market, and that is hardly a bad thing, can it?
The spice market has been trading since about 1650, and today it feels like not much has changed. Spices, chutneys, pickles, fruit and nuts are laid out in loving displays. Vendors line every lane eager for your custom. You will find it off Chandi Chawk so its all part of the same food tour.
In summary of my post on eating out in New Delhi.
It is worth investing some time into dining out in this city if you are an avid food lover. For me, New Delhi is one of the undisputed kings of where to find some of the best Indian cuisine. Unfortunately, the city has become synonymous globally with the infamous Delhi belly, and sure there are plenty of opportunities to make your self sick. However, you can also expect some of the tastiest food the subcontinent has to offer.
For some reliable information on how to avoid getting sick here or anywhere else in the country, you can check out my post on staying healthy on the road. For more information on where else to get the best food while on your dream trip to India, please check out my blog on Indian cuisine. From a steaming bowl of creamy dal to a cup of tea. Passion goes into whatever is on sale.
New Dehli offers international food from around the world, especially in its more affluent parts. You can find everything from Tibetan momos to Japanese sushi. I strongly recommend trying the beautiful food that is native to this part of the world. Few places do things quite as good as they do in Dehli. After all the people of this great city have literally had hundreds of years to master their craft. It would almost be a crime to your own plate to deprive it of such things. Stick to the classic dishes and you will not be disappointed is a rule of thumb when you travel. Keep it local!
Ok so that’s enough out of me for now I think. Indian food is a massive topic, so I can’t cover everything in one post as more poor fingers would be worked ragged. If you have any questions on eating out in New Delhi or just about anything else to do with India’s food, feel free to ask me and I will certainly get back to you. So with that said all that’s left is to wish you a good day.
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