5 Best places eating out in New Delhi
Eating out in New Delhi is an absolute delight and you may well find yourself spoiled for choice. However, many people won’t associate this city with fine food, and that’s a crying shame, so I am here to set the record straight. This blog will cover my top five places to eat in this great city and the dishes to look out for. Why only five, I hear you say? Well, I have seen many blogs online that include the writers top fifty places? That seems impractical as I would imagine most of my readers will be travellers to New Dehli so they will have little time to waste.
The truth is when it comes to eating out in New Delhi there are oodles of choices, so you can afford to be selective. The city is also the birthplace of some of Indias most iconic dishes, such as the world-famous butter chicken. There can be no denying that eating out in New Delhi is a must for any food lover.
Before I go on, let us first examine why the food is so amazing in Dehli. I will start with one astonishing fact. There are more people who are living in this bustling metropolis than there are in all of Australia! Think about that for a moment.
Indian Immigrants from around the country have come here to find their fame and fortune on these bustling streets. This will inevitably generate lots of ideas on what good food is, right? What’s more, this part of the Yumana river has been settled for centuries. This kind of massive expanse of time will also add to the complexity of the culinary repertoire to be found in New Delhi.
As a professional chef myself 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, shall we?
The five very best places for eating out in New Delhi.
Mention Indian food to someone, and their mouths will probably begin to fill with 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. In fact, the food here is sure to meet and indeed exceed your expectations. I can’t imagine even the most staunch of food critics would leave disappointed.
So here is my list. No nonsense and no messing around. If you only have a short amount of time in Delhi, I strongly suggest trying at least one of these as they simply can’t fail to impress.
Of all the restaurants in the whole of Dehli, the Moti Mahal 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. 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 have never been disappointed. The menu is pretty much exclusively North Indian. It is fair to say that over the years this restaurant has certainly developed a winning formula for the food it produces. The kitchen is immaculate, and the food is outstanding. What could you want?
It is so good this restaurant even gets the seal of approval of Gordon Ramsey himself when he famously came here to learn how to make traditional Butter Chicken in his Great Escapes series. If you are a food lover, this is worth checking out as this is an honest and amusing look at the countries food. I will gladly admit that I found this series immensely entertaining and I would imagine you will too.
As I mentioned, we allegedly only have this dish courtesy of this restaurant. So it is logical to presume 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 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 it’s only fitting that this incredible place is mentioned in any blog on eating out in New Delhi. As I mentioned above that close to the iconic Jama Masjid, you will find a small collection of restaurants. In truth, they all serve good food, to be fair but this one is by far the most famous.
It was established in 1913, so this is another place that has had a lot of time to refine its style. The food in Karims is out of this world. The portions of lamb Kebabs are incredibly small, but sometimes it is quality over quantity, isn’t it? Well, that’s what I kept telling myself anyway. If you do decide to give this place a whirl, then save some room for dessert. The Mughlai sweets are amazing, but the Kheer is especially good.
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. I believe that no one can deny this is an exceptional restaurant. This restaurant adheres to a high degree of excellence without the pomp. From the fluffiest rice to the most perfect naan. Simply good authentic food. This is what this restaurant is all about and i suspect the scores of locals eating here 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, it is 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.
The words Chandi Chawk translates to the moonlit square. It was constructed 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. I am recommending a whole area of the city here. I feel it is incumbent of me since the whole of Chandi Chawk is a culinary lovers heaven.
There is one street that branches off Chandhi Chawk called Gali Paratha Wali. It has become particularly notorious for serving up some of the best Parathas. That surely is a surprise for no one with that name. They are so well known and revered the whole road is named after one. The parathas are indeed divine and come in a bewildering number of flavours. I will also wholeheartedly recommend getting one of the heavenly fresh Lassis to wash it down as they are quite special. Oh, and get some Aloo Tiki as well. Not for any other reason than the fact they are dreamy.
Don’t forget to sample some of the sweets on sale here as they are not to be missed. Although I recommend you buy them to go as you will need a few hours to properly digest your mains. Quite frankly, I would be surprised if you even have room for a coffee after your meal here.
To reach Chandhi Chawk is simple enough as one end is close to Old Dehli metro station. To get off the other end of the market, get off at Chandni Chawk metro station. You could not get more straightforward than that, surely?
Nazim’s Kathi Rolls – Connaught Place.
Nazims Kathi rolls are some of the best to be found anywhere. The Kathi roll is one of the trademark street snacks of Kolkata in West Bengal Well, Nazims can rival anything you can find there, and that is a big statement.
Nazim’s might have a no-frills approach to its interior, but the food is simply out of this world. They sell a vast number of good curries, and that 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 very 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 anyway since this is where a lot of the hotels geared towards travellers are to be found. If that is true you won’t even need to get any transport. It is a ten-minute walk to block H in Connaught Place and it is hard to get lost as it’s predominately along a straight road.
Sita Ram Dewan Chand – Paharganj.
Sita Ram Dewan Chand in Paharganj specialises in just one dish and still became world-famous. Imagine how good that dish has to be for that to happen.
A gentleman called Sitaram Ji started selling his recipe for Chhole Bhature on the back of a cart back 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.The dish is simply a chickpea curry that is served with fluffy bread. For 85 rupees for a big plate of goodness, you can’t go wrong now, can you?
To reach here, it’s 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 to the front door.
The Old Delhi spice market – Khari Baoli.
The Old Delhi spice market is a true highlight of visiting this part of the world and I just had to include it in my blog. 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. 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 understandably 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 it can all be part of the same food tour if you chose.
In summary of my post on eating out in New Delhi.
It is well 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 good Indian cuisine. From a steaming bowl of creamy dal to a simple 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. However, I strongly recommend trying the sumptuous food that is native to this part of the world.
Few places create food 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 very own palate 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!
If you enjoyed this blog and found it of value, the odds are you will enjoy more in my foodie series. Check out my work on South Indian cuisine when you get the chance and let me know what you think. If you prefer one meaty post, then, by all means, take a look at my where to get the best food in India blog. It is packed full of suggestions from almost half a decade of travel in India.
Ok, so that’s enough out of me for now, I think. 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. and see you in the next post, guys. 😀
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