15 Foods to eat in Delhi before you die

Who doesn’t like Indian food? The Indian cuisine stands out from the rest of the world in cooking methods and -obviously- taste. I already start drooping only thinking about Indian food.

And what better place to start exploring the delicious foods of India than Delhi - the place where you’re most likely to enter India.

I’ve explored all different kinds of food in Delhi over the past few weeks and listed the best 15 for you. They are to die for!

  1. Chicken-curry in Kake-Da-Hotel

Chicken Curry Kake-da-Hotel Delhi - One of 15 Foods you HAVE to try in Delhi!

Although the name clearly suggests this place to be a hotel - it is in fact an extremely popular restaurant in Delhi. It was founded in 1931 - and still going strong. They even have a website (http://kakedahotel.com) and are opening franchise locations around Delhi.

But as always - best stick with the original. Located on the outer ring of Connaught place and therefore a great spot to grab some lunch. 

I gotta say, the chicken curry was by far the best chicken curry I ever had. The chicken literally melted on my tongue - it was delish! 

Don’t let the -perhaps not too hygienic looking, large pots with food - right at the entrance of the restaurant, withhold you! The food is fabulous.

Good to know

How to get here? The restaurant is conveniently located in the outer circle of Connaught Place and within walking distance of metro station Ravij Chowk on both the blue and yellow metro lines.

Address: Shop No. 67, Municipal Market, Connaught Circus, Connaught Lane, Connaught Place

Opening hours: Daily from 12:00 until 23:30 hours

2. Idli at Naivedyam

Naivedyam restaurant Delhi - Try the Idli here, one of the 15 foods you HAVE to try in Delhi!

Idly is a type of savoury rice cake and a popular breakfast food in southern India. They are great snacks too, so in my opinion can be eaten at any given time during the day.

They are made by steaming a batter made from fermented black lentils and rice. This great restaurant near to the entrance of Hauz Khas village whips up Rava Idli, Vegetable Idli, Dahi Idli and Fried Idli. The choice is yours! They are served with several chutneys which give a different taste to each bite.

The waiters are dressed in the traditional white dhoti worn in South India and will serve you a complimentary Rasam Papad when you arrive. Rasam is a kind of soup made with tomato, curry leaves and asafoetida powder and served with papad, also known as papadum - a kind of Indian spicy cracker.

They also have a large variety of Dosai on offer - so if you became a true dosai lover after trying #13 on this list, you can indulge on those ones here too!

Good to know

How to get here? This place is great when you’ve just visited the fort of Hauz Khas Village - which you can reach by getting off at I.I.T metro station on the magenta line. It’s a short rickshaw ride from the metro station or a pleasant walk through a park. The restaurant is tucked behind in a small side street, behind the Coast Cafe.

Address: 1, Hauz Khas Village, Deer Park, Hauz Khas

Opening hours: Daily from 10:00 until 22:30 hours

3. Raj Kachori in Haldiram’s

Raj Kachori in Haldiram's is one of 15 foods you have to try in Delhi!

The Raj Kachori literally means the ‘king of the Kachori’. Why? Because it’s a royal and rich dish! 

The stuffing inside consists of chickpeas, mung beans, potato cubes, green chutney, sweet chutney, curd (kind of yoghurt) and lots of spices such as masala, chili, cumin and koriander. 

Eating it is a messy affair - to say the least. I have yet to discover how to make your way through it without creating a blubbery mess. 

Even though it’s labeled as a snack - I promise you it will fill you up like a full-blown lunch meal.

Good to know

How to get here? Haldiram’s is in fact a chain of restaurants and can be found all over Delhi. Try the one in Paharganj, best reached via the yellow line or airport line to New Delhi Metro Station. It’s a short rickshaw ride from the metro station.

Address: 8734, DB Gupta Road, Arya Nagar, Paharganj

Opening hours: Daily from 09:00 until 23:00 hours

4. Chicken Korma at Al Jawahar

Chicken Korma at Al Jawahar restaurant - One of 15 foods you have to try in Delhi before you die!

I came for the chicken korma - but fell in love with the naan in this place. They serve the fluffiest naan you’ll ever taste in your life! They are cooking the naan right at the doorstep of the restaurant and it’s a great way to see how they do it. 

I’ve actually never witnessed this (well - I just never paid attention) before but the cooks were more than happy to show it to me. They roll out the dough, wet the top with water and than smack it against the inside wall of an open-fire oven. 

I was expecting the naan to drop off and fall to their deaths in the fire - but they stayed firmly stuck on the wall. They quickly swelled and turned a golden-brown colour.  The Chicken Korma was fantastic, it was in fact the naan that was stealing the show here.

Good to know

How to get here? Right opposite the entrance of mosque Jama Masjid, you can reach this place by walking 5 minutes from the Jama Masjid Metro station on the violet line.

Address: 8 Matia Mahal Road Jama Masjid

Opening hours: Daily from 07:30 until 02:30 (which is great for late night snacking if you feel like it..)

5. Chicken Jahangiri at Karim’s Hotel

Chicken Jahangiri at Karim's hotel - One of 15 foods you have to try in Delhi before you die!

This place is literally next door to Al Jawahar from the item above (tucked away behind a tiny narrow alley). So when either one is packed, you can always opt for the other.

Karim’s is a well-known restaurant by locals all over Delhi. Established in 1913, this historic restaurant is even referred to as “the city’s most famous culinary destination”. Don’t miss out on this one.

Just like their neighbour Al Jawahar, they serve huge fluffy naan together with the main dish. Try the chicken Jahangiri - a true Muglai dish. Mughlai cuisine originated in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Empire - back in the 16th century. The dishes are mostly known for their richness in flavour.

This curry is so incredibly good, you will be licking your bowl. *Don’t really do this though. People will stare.

Good to know

How to get here? There is a small alley on the left side of the road when you are walking past Al Jawahar (back facing Jama Masjid Mosque). You’ll see the sign Karim’s Hotel when you turn into the alley. There are three seating areas with are separate but all being served from the same kitchen!

Address: Matia Mahal Road Infront of Jama Masjid Gate No.1

Opening hours: Daily from 09:00 until 01:00 hours but you can only order most of the good foods after 12:00 hours.

6. Fish Fry at Ganesh Restaurant

Fish Fry Ganesh Restaurant - One of 15 foods you HAVE to try in Delhi!

This little corner restaurant in Karol Bagh whips up some incredible food. Looking at the enormous pans with oil in which the foods are fried - I can’t say it’s the healthiest meal you’ll ever have.

But is it delicious? Hmmmm YES!

Crispy from the outside, soft from the inside - how else would you want your fish fry? It is said that the owner of the restaurant uses his bare hands to take the foods out of the boiling oil - without burning his hands.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t there when I visited. His staff that were working there were sane enough to use a clamp to retrieve the fish fries…

Good to know

How to get here? Take the blue line to Jhandewalan Metro Station and walk 10-minutes or grab a rickshaw. Standing outside it looks like they only serve take-away, but left of the open kitchen is a small seating area where you can devour this yumminess.

Address: 2300, Arya Samaj Rd, Ghaffar Market, Block 24N, Beadonpura, Karol Bagh

Opening hours: 16:00 - 23:00 hours. Tuesdays closed.

7. Egg Pakora at Ganesh Restaurant

Egg pakora Ganesh Restaurant Delhi - One of 15 foods in Delhi you have to try!

I mean, while you are at it (eating that fish fry - from above) - why not try some egg pakoras. Pakoras can be found in India with a variety of fillings, but the egg pakora is less well-known.

The skin of the boiled egg is removed and dipped in the batter. The batter is a mixture of chick pea flour, salt, chili powder, ajwain and ginger-garlic paste. Chucked into oil and deep-fried until golden brown and ready to eat!

Pakora’s are more snacks than full meals, but I had two egg pakoras together with the fish fry. Pretty weird combination. But I enjoyed it to the fullest!

Good to know

How to get here? Take the blue line to Jhandewalan Metro Station and walk 10-minutes or grab a rickshaw.

Address: 2300, Arya Samaj Rd, Ghaffar Market, Block 24N, Beadonpura, Karol Bagh

Opening hours: 16:00 - 23:00 hours. Tuesdays closed.

8. Chocolate delight at Wenger’s

Chocolate delight Wenger's Delhi - One of 15 foods you HAVE to try in Delhi!

This little cafe has been pleasing the tummies of the people in Delhi for over 75 years. They whip up delicious sandwiches, panini, waffles and even pizza’s. But for me, the winner is the Chocolate delight - a rich chocolate dessert which just makes you crave more. And more.

The deli is small and without a lot of seating, but you can take your chocolate dream with you as take-away. Devour it on one of the benches around Connaught place while doing some people watching.

Good to know

How to get here? Located in the second circle of Connaught Place and within walking distance of metro station Ravij Chowk on both the blue and yellow metro lines.

Address: Shop No:A/16 Near Inner Circle Road, Rajiv Chowk, Block A, Connaught Place

Opening hours: Daily from 10:45 - 19.45 hours.

9. Jalebi at Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Jalebi Old Famous Jalebi Wala Delhi - One of 15 foods you HAVE to try in Delhi!

So.. this does not look appetizing at all. I know.

But, since these worm looking things are some of India’s most popular sweets - you’ve got to try them!

They are made by deep-frying flour in a pretzel-like shape, which is then soaked in sugar syrup. So yes, like pretty much all sweets in India - sweet is what you get. It will give you the sugar rush of a life-time!

The Old Famous Jalebi Wala is -as one would expect- old and famous. This little corner shop is 100 years old and serves some of the juiciest jalebis in Delhi.

I shared my plate with the cycle-rickshaw driver that brought me back to the metro station. There is in fact such thing as too much sugar.

Good to know

Just in case they’ve run out of Jalebi, you won’t have to go hungry! The shop is pretty much next to the Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, a Sikh temple where you can receive a free langar, just like at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Just be aware that in the evening time this draws a bit of a rough crowd of mostly homeless people.

How to get here? The little shop is within walking distance from Metro Station Chandni Chowk on the yellow line.

Address: 1795, Dariba Kalan Road, Dariba Corner, Opposite to Central Baptist Church, Chandni chowk

Opening hours: Daily from 08:00 - 20:00 hours

10. Chole Bhature at Dilli Haat Janakpuri

Chole Bhature Dilli Haat Delhi - One of 15 foods you HAVE to try in Delhi!

Chole Bhature is a popular Punjabi dish which is popular all over India. Bhature stands for fried leavened flat bread and chole is the spicy curry made with white chickpeas.

The Dilli Haat is a handicraft market which can be found on three different locations in Delhi. I visited the branch in Janakpuri, which has a theme: music. There is a music library, where you can trace back the history of Indian music via books and records.

It also has a large amphitheater (where two teenage girls were practising their street-dance routine when I was there - so sweet) and an exposition hall for exhibitions and workshops.

So after browsing through the handicrafts and checking out the music library, you can have a bite in the food court. Besides the Chole Bhature, there is a variety of other foods you can try here.

Good to know

You are charged 100 rupees to enter the Dilli Haat (as foreigner). Indian nationals pay 30 rupees.

How to get here? If you’re traveling on the magenta line, get off at Dabri Mor - Janakpuri South. Alternatively, coming from the blue line, you get off at Jankpuri East. From both metro stations is a short rickshaw ride to reach Dilli Haat.

Address: Lal Sai Mandir Marg, Virender Nagar, Janakpuri

Opening hours: Daily from 11:00 - 22:00 hours

11. Afghani chicken at Jant-A

Afghani Chicken at Jant-A in Karol Bagh Delhi - One of 15 foods you HAVE to try in Delhi!

Now this chicken is not coming from Afghanistan. Really

So why it is called Afghani chicken I may never know, but I did find out that the secret to this dish lies within the marinade. It is based on hung yoghurt - a whole-milk yogurt that is tied in cheesecloth and hung over a bowl to let the whey drain off. The yogurt gives the chicken a tangy flavor and has an incredible tenderizing effect.

I found this restaurant when I wanted to visit next door’s Ganesh Restaurant but found it closed for the day. Jant-A quickly became my favourite restaurant in Karol Bagh and I came back several times for more.

Pretty much everything on their menu is lip-smacking good!

Good to know

How to get here? Take the blue line to Karol Bagh Metro station and walk for 10 minutes or grab a rickshaw. The driver might not know Janta Restaurant, but they will for sure know Ganesh restaurant which is next door.

Address: Gurudwara Rd, Ghaffar Market, Block 24N, Beadonpura, Karol Bagh

Opening hours: Daily from 10:00 - 21:00 hours - Tuesdays closed.

12. Mutton Seekh roll at Jant-A

Mutton seekh roll at Jant-A restaurant, Karol Bagh, Delhi - One of 15 foods you HAVE to try in Delhi!

I’ve got to admit that I already had the Afghani chicken in this restaurant. And even though that was a generous portion - I just wanted to keep on eating!

I know - I have issues with food.

So I went for the mutton seekh roll. These Seekh rolls are part of Pakistani cuisine. They’re made from minced meat and spices - which are then char-grilled on skewers until they turn golden-brown. Together with some onions and other veggies, the seekh is wrapped into a roll and ready to be eaten!

Check out the information on how to get here on the item above.

13. Coconut Rava Dosai at Saravana Bhavan

Dosa at Saravana Bhavan - One of 15 foods you HAVE to try in Delhi!

The DOSA! It had been so long since I had one that I was seriously craving some dosa-love! These gigantic South Indian pancakes are made from a fermented batter, based on rice and black gram.

This list of dosa varieties is endless, and I opted for the coconut dosa. It was so rich in flavour that I managed to finish the entire beast. Too good!

Good to know

There are a few Saravana Bhavan restaurants within Delhi - I went to the one at Connaught Place.

How to get here? Located in the outer circle of Connaught Place and within walking distance of metro station Ravij Chowk on both the blue and yellow metro lines.

Address: P-13/90, Connaught Circus, Block P, Connaught Place

Opening hours: Daily from 08:00 until 23:00 hours

14. Dahi Bhalla at Natraj Cafe

Dahi Bhalla at Natraj Cafe Delhi - One of 15 foods you HAVE to try in Delhi!

Dahi Bhalla is a popular snack in North India, especially in Delhi and Punjab. The dish consists of deep fried dal (lentil) dumplings - served in chilled yoghurt and chutney.

The name of this place suggest a cafe - you know, with seating and all. But in fact it’s only a tiny corner shop. You’ll just have to shove this deliciousness in, standing on the streets.

Given the crowd in front of the shop and the finished plates and spoons spread out on the pavement - it’s a pretty popular place. I can only confess that I had another one after finishing #1..

Good to know

How to get here? Take the yellow line to Chandni Chowk Metro Station. From here it’s a 10-minute walk through one of Delhi’s busiest and congested parts! Or, opt for the violet line and get off at Lal Quila. Coming from this side, it’s a 10-minute walk as well.

Address: 1396, Main Road, Beside Central Bank, Kucha Mahajan, Chandni Chowk

Opening hours: Daily from 11:30 am until 21:00 hours. On Sundays they open and close by one hour earlier (12:30 - 20:00 hours)

15. Icecream at India Gate

Ice cream at India Gate, Delhi - One of 15 foods you need to try in Delhi before you die!

Do as the locals do and munch on an ice-cream at famous India Gate. The ice-cream stalls are spread out around India Gate - you cannot miss them!

Now there is this rule that in countries like India - with sometimes questionable hygiene standards - you never eat an ice-cream. NOT EVER!

I remember vividly that one time, during my first visit to India 8 years ago. I’d become a bit too confident. I hadn’t been sick in a while, so I figured I could eat an ice-cream.

Bad mistake.

I made it back to my hotel just in time to pay a looong visit to the toilet. I passed out on the bed after that and woke up a few hours later completely disoriented. I promised myself to never eat an ice-cream in India ever again.

And here I am - promoting eating ice-cream in Delhi for goodness sake.

But! At India Gate you can buy packaged ice-cream, which is a lot safer than the street-stall-dairy-based-creamy thing I had 8 years ago. And this time, I didn’t get sick. Totally safe.

Good to know

How to get here? There is no metro station within walking distance, but the violet line practically makes a wide circle around India gate. You can get off either at Janpath, Udyog Bhawan or Khan Market. The Central Secratariat Metro Station on the yellow line comes pretty close too. For about 30 rupees you can grab a rickshaw from any of these stations to India Gate (bargain hard!).

Address: Rajpath, India Gate

Opening hours: Whenever you want - 24/7 and 365 days per year.

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The food in Delhi is lip-smacking good, but you have to know where to find it! These are 15 foods you HAVE to try in Delhi before you die!

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