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A market takes over a street in Delhi, with vendors selling colorful clothing receding into the distance in the center, an empty rickshaw to one side, and groups of locals walking.
On the streets of Chandni Chowk
Subodh Agnihotri / Shutterstock

The 38 Essential New Delhi Restaurants

Where to find the best flame-grilled kebabs, deep-fried chaat, and rose-scented sweets in the Indian capital

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On the streets of Chandni Chowk
| Subodh Agnihotri / Shutterstock

Food is everywhere in Delhi: in the old city where Dilliwale (Delhi locals) and tourists stream past flaming kebabs and stacks of rotis fresh from tandoors, in bustling immigrant neighborhoods, in plush new restaurants where young chefs challenge traditions in a city full of them. For every beloved restaurant there is a family, an origin myth behind a time-honored dish, a feud with a rival eatery, or a crowd of loyal customers proclaiming their affection.

“The city moves in terrifying, rapid technicolor, pausing only to eat, so a plate of food is arguably the best way to understand Delhi,” says Sharanya Deepak, a local food writer from the city. Meals can last minutes or whole days. Many well-known spots are in the grand, crumbling old city, but surprising meals can be found in every corner. “If a smell beckons from a side street or small storefront, abandon your plans and follow your instincts,” Deepak says.

It’s impossible in one list to completely summarize a city that defies linearity, but these 38 essential restaurants should get you started. They are spaces of comfort, labs of experimentation, and far-flung destinations that inspire pilgrimages. Many are stuffed in bustling lanes or shoved into tight buildings, so you may need to ask a local for directions once you get close.

A note on getting around: It’s a mistake to take a taxi into Old Delhi. Instead, use the metro, then walk or take a rickshaw the rest of the way. Use Uber to reach places in Delhi’s Central, East, South, and West districts.

Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

Price key per person:

$ = Less than RS 300 (under $4.20 USD)
$$ = RS 300 - 800 ($4.20 - 11.20 USD)
$$$ = RS 800 - 1500 ($11.20 - 21 USD)
$$$$ = RS 1500 - 3000 ($21 - 42 USD)
$$$$$ = RS 3000 - 5000 ($42 - 70 USD)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tibetan Food Tour of Majnu Ka Tilla

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Majnu-ka-tilla, New Aruna Nagar
Delhi, India

When the Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India in 1959, Tibetan immigrants followed, bringing along momos, the stuffed, steamed dumplings that have since become one of Delhi’s most popular street snacks. Nepali vendors sell them by the roadside all over the city, but you can also find them in the Majnu Ka Tilla area, home to some of Delhi’s Tibetan community. Near the neighborhood monastery, you’ll find a stall selling laphing, a flat, translucent pancake stuffed with soybeans and tossed with red chile paste and green onions. Then hop to the Himalayan, a beloved restaurant that serves all kinds of momos and other Tibetan favorites like shabaley (large, deep-fried, savory stuffed pastries), tingmo (yeasty bread shaped like a mountain and eaten with tea or stewed meats), and a cold beer. For tea and cake, head to the small AMA cafe, which is popular among students. Ask your taxi to drop you on the side of the monastery and then walk down the only lane to find the stalls and restaurants. [$]

Three diners sit with drinks around a small coffee table in front of a wall covered in art large and small.
Interior of Ama Cafe
AMA Cafe / Facebook

2. Noora Nihari

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Barahindu Roa Road, Gali Umrao, Pahari Dhiraj, Sadar Bazaar, Pahari Dhiraj, Sadar Bazaar, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India
099535 22481

Popular in North India and Pakistan, nihari is a fragrant goat or beef stew cooked with heaps of ginger and served with freshly made khameeri roti (light, dry flatbread) to soak up the succulent meat. At Noora Nihari, a little shack in one of Delhi’s oldest neighborhoods, the nihari cooks for 12 hours before servers dole it out to hundreds of early risers on their way to prayer and tipsy youngsters ending their night at dawn. [$]

A stack of khameeri roti flatbreads sit in the foreground on a wooden table with a server working in the background against a pale interior.
Khameeri roti at Noora Nihari
Sharanya Deepak

3. Snack and Sweets Crawl Through Shahjahanabad (Old City)

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1396, Main Road Beside Central Bank, Sis Ganj Guru Dwara, Kucha Mahajani, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

Shahjahanabad, the old city, is a haven of shops and vendors selling snacks and sweetmeats. Savory bites like dahi bhalla (fried lentil balls in yogurt) and aloo tikki (potato cutlets topped with yogurt and chutneys made of tamarind and mint) are best at iconic chaat shop Natraj. Kanwarji Sweets, a favorite local sweets shop, does the best gulab jamun (solidified milk soaked in cardamom-rose syrup), while Chaina Ram makes a perfectly sweet halwa from simmered lentils. To make daulat ki chaat, vendors combine sugar, saffron, and heavy cream, then leave the mixture outside to blend with early-morning dew before selling the treat to early risers (the dessert spoils in the city’s heat). [$]

A pile of a creamy dessert known as daulat ki chaat with a disposable wooden spoon on a paper plate.
Daulat ki chaat in the old city
Sharanya Deepak

4. Ashok and Ashok Meat Dhaba

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5826/42, Deshraj Bhatia Marg, Basti Harphool Singh, Ahata Kidara, Sadar Bazaar, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India
096675 65232

Locals come to the Sadar Bazaar for deals on everything from steel pipes to apples. Navigating the market can be an adventure, but Ashok and Ashok, situated on one of the bazaar’s quieter lanes, is reason enough to make the trek. The shop serves what they call “meat gravy,” chicken or lamb cooked for more than six hours in a special iron kadhai (shallow frying pot) in house-made clarified butter or desi ghee. The meat is soft and buried in spices, and comes with small rotis made from makka (corn flour) topped with chopped green chiles and coriander. Note: Because it’s so delicious, the lamb sells out between noon and 1 p.m. almost every day, but the chicken is more easily available. [$-$$]

A plate of bright meat gravy sits in a drab industrial corner.
Meat gravy at Ashok and Ashok
Sharanya Deepak

5. Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala

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1104, Gali Bhojpura Rd, Maliwara, Katra Lehswan, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

Kachoris are one of North India’s most ubiquitous breakfasts. Pushcart vendors stuff flaky pastries with lentils or potatoes, deep-fry them, and serve them with chutneys of anise or mint. Jung Bahadur in the historical Chandni Chowk nook of the old city is one of the city’s stalwarts. The stall sells kachoris stuffed with lentils and herbs, alongside stewy potatoes, chiles, and coriander. A plate makes a snack or a meal, depending on your appetite. Either way, take yours onto a neighboring street to eat as you admire the shops and homes stacked on top of each other like a house of cards. [$]

Two puffy fried kachoris stand upright out of a soupy paper bowl with chunks of potatoes and clumps of herbs visible floating in the stew.
Kachoris from Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala
Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala / Facebook

6. Bade Mian ki Kheer (Old Kheer Shop)

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2867, Bazar Sirkiwalan, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India
098116 21763

Delhi has many little shops serving the sweet rice pudding known as kheer, but the Siddique family have distinguished their stall in the middle of Old Delhi as a culinary landmark. Locals say the transcendent bowls of kheer can spark love between young couples who share them. Come with time to chat — owner Jamaluddin Siddique is prone to deep conversations and offers specks of advice with every bite you take. Kheer — creamy, soft, and transportive with the scent of ground cardamom — is a dish that has lived in the old city for centuries and represents Delhi comfort food at its best. Fun Bollywood fact: Madhubala grew up in the house above the shop. [$]

A vendor scoops a thin layer from a massive pan of kheer into a small bowl.
Kheer at Old Kheer Shop
Sharanya Deepak

7. Shyam Sweets

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H.NO, 112, Chawri Bazar Rd, Near Chowk, Manohar Market, Hauz Qazi, Barshahbulla, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

Breakfast is rowdy business at this famous stall in the middle of one of Delhi’s oldest neighborhoods. The owner barks at customers to behave as they dig into plates of bedmi aloo (slow-cooked, spicy potatoes) and nagori halwa (semolina cooked in saffron and sugar). Everything comes with thin, fluffy flatbreads called poori that are spiced, shaped, and fried to order. Pair your meal with a lassi, which can be thick and sweet or thin and salty with black pepper, depending on your mood. The shop also offers a plethora of sweets to take away for a midday treat. [$]

Paper bowls with chunky stews of potatoes and spices, beside stacks of kachori flatbreads.
Bedmi Aloo at Shyam Sweets
Sharanya Deepak

8. Al Jawahar Restaurant

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8, Near, Matia Mahal Rd, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

The Jama Masjid, a mosque built by emperor Shah Jahan (the man behind the Taj Mahal) is one of Delhi’s top attractions, but it’s worth visiting just to try some of the city’s best food nearby. The lane from the old city to the mosque is dotted with kebab shops and dessert spots, but for sit-down Old Delhi fare, head to Al Jawahar, which locals prefer to its oft-recommended neighbor Karim’s. Al Jawahar is a classic lunch room, with basic tables, uniformed waiters, and an unchanging menu of classics. Bring friends and share a lunch of seekh kebabs (minced chicken spiced with coriander), thick and peppery mutton korma, and sheermal (sweet, saffron-dipped bread). Finish off with cardamom-spiked phirni rice pudding set in clay pots, and if you have room, a sweet, milky chai. [$$]

A lunch room with no windows filled with small tables where men of various ages sit for lunch.
Interior of Al Jawahar
Sharanya Deepak

9. Prem Di Hatti

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J1/162, Near Rajouri Garden Metro Station, Rajouri Garden, Main Red Light Chowk, Opposite Metro Pillar No. 402, Block J, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi
Delhi 110027, India

Unlike most naan in Delhi, which is merely an accompaniment to dips or meats, naan from the Punjabi city of Amritsar, at the border between India and Pakistan, is a meal unto itself. In West Delhi, home to many Punjabi immigrants and their favorite foods, naan-ghar (naan house) Prem Di Hatti stuffs Amritsari-style naan with fresh, house-made paneer, before cooking it in a tandoor and delivering it to the table with a smear of butter and a side of pickled onions. The joy is simple: soft crumbly paneer and fresh bread hot from the oven, paired with a thick, sweet lassi garnished with pistachios. Prem Di Hatti sells out as the day rolls on, so it’s best to visit for breakfast. [$]

A segmented plastic plate with crumbled buttery naan, spice-dusted pickled onions, chickpea stew and peppers, alongside a cup of lassi.
Amritsari naan at Prem Di Hatti
Sharanya Deepak

10. Kuremal Kulfiwale

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1165-66, Sunaron Ki Dharamshala, Bazar Sita Ram, Near Network S, Bazar Sita Ram, Kucha Pati Ram, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

Kulfi, often called Indian ice cream, usually consists of milk cooked with saffron, cardamom, and pistachios, and frozen to a stick like a popsicle. Kuremal Mohanlal began freezing local fruit into kulfi a century ago. On a lane tucked in the old city, the small shop makes kulfis from mangoes, the favorite Indian cheeku (sapodilla), sugarcane, litchis, and jamun (a sour purple fruit that is eternally in vogue in the subcontinent). They also do kulfis with fig, cream, coconuts, and dates, and a more adventurous version involving fruit-based ice cream set inside hollowed apples and pomegranates. Kuremal is a legend with locals and a rare joy on a hot Delhi day. [$]

A pile of bright pomegranate kulfi stuffed into pomegranate skins
Pomegranate skin filled with pomegranate-flavored kulfi
Kuremal Kulfiwale / official

11. Minar Restaurant

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L-11, Near Haldiram, Block L, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Delhi 110001, India
011 2341 8778

While Delhi’s famous butter chicken dish originated at another restaurant (the classic but waning Moti Mahal), the version at Minar is the current pinnacle. At this flashy, old-school family restaurant, the chicken is creamy and soft, mildly spiced but charged with a buttery tomato jus. Butter chicken is best eaten with a large group that can share sides like dal makhani (slow-cooked black lentils) and naan sizzling under heaps of butter. The parade of rich entrees and bread fresh from the tandoor fulfills any yearning for typical New Delhi indulgence. Wash it all down with a cold beer. [$$]

Small dishes on a tray with a bowl of thin daal with a spoon, followed by a bowl of stewy butter chicken, followed by a bowl of stacked naan.
Butter Chicken, Daal and Naan at Minar
Sharanya Deepak

12. Wenger's

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Shop No:A/16 Near Inner Circle Road, Rajiv Chowk, Block A, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Delhi 110001, India

Inside the crumbling walls of one of Connaught Place’s Georgian-style relics, Wenger’s cake shop has hosted generations of fervently loyal Delhi residents. In keeping with English tradition, Wenger’s serves fresh cream-stuffed buns and biscuits dotted with jam, but the shop also offers specialties like baguettes stuffed with cheese and chopped pieces of tandoori chicken, as well as shami kebabs (fried minced lamb cutlets). Get a “pastry,” which in Delhi just means a piece of cake. Or if you feel like something savory, try the patties, flaky bread rolls stuffed with cheese and mushrooms that make great tea snacks. [$]

A sugar-dusted pastry sits on a napkin on a marble counter
Cream bun at Wenger’s
Sharanya Deepak

13. Bhimsain’s Bengali Sweet House

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Bengali Market, 27, 28 & 29, Todermal Road Area, Mandi House, New Delhi
Delhi 110001, India

Golgappe (known as panipuri in Mumbai) are abundant in stalls across the city. The crispy, hollow semolina balls are stuffed with tamarind, potatoes, and chickpeas, and then filled with cold, tangy tamarind juice. Bhimsain’s Bengali Sweet House was one of the first to popularize the dish in the city. The shop also offers traditional Indian sweets like ladoos (small sweets that come in many shapes, textures, and fillings) and jalebis (intensely sweet spirals of wheat flour fried in hot oil, and dipped in sugar syrup and saffron) that are eternally popular among locals and tourists. A family feud led rivals to open a similarly named shop nearby, but you’ll know the right store by the large crowd lingering out front and the big red facade. [$]

A man stands next to his cart, which is loaded with trays of puffy round golgappas
A vendor serves golgappe at Bengali Sweet House
Sharanya Deepak

14. Triveni Terrace Cafe

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205, Tansen Marg, Opp. FICCI Auditorium, Todermal Road Area, Mandi House, New Delhi
Delhi 110001, India

Located inside one of Delhi’s independent art centers, Triveni transforms the roadside chai tradition into a sit-down space, where artists, potters, and dancers come together over steaming cups and small bites. The casual cafe offers classic Indian snacks like masala cheese toast — a sandwich stuffed with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and cheese — and West Indian sabudana khichdi, a cool, lightly spiced snack made from tapioca and peanuts. In Delhi’s scorching summers, Triveni’s version of masala chaas (a thin, spiced yogurt drink) is a respite from the heat. [$-$$]

A plate of flattened, cylindrical kebabs with dipping sauce, a bowl of palak patta chaat, and a glass of chai tea sit on a wooden table outside the cafe
Palak patta chaat, shammi kebabs, and chai tea at Triveni Terrace Cafe 
Sharanya Deepak

15. Andhra Pradesh Bhavan

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1, Ashoka Rd, near India Gate, Pataudi House, New Delhi
Delhi 110001, India
011 2338 2032

Delhi’s favorite thali restaurant is a bustling, raucous affair that dishes out more than 3,000 plates a day. Andhra Bhavan brings home-style cooking from the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh — the home of some of the spiciest food in the country — to diners in the capital. Get a thali, which consists of rice, pooris (deep-fried flatbreads), and two kinds of lentils, along with fragrant sambhar (lentils cooked with vegetables) and the spicy tamarind soup known as rasam. Like other thali specialists, the restaurant offers unlimited vegetables, as well as chutneys made from beetroot, yam, and okra. But it’s the spicy, peppery fried lamb that’s essential. Go on a Sunday afternoon with an empty stomach (custom demands you eat several portions and finish everything on your plate) and the courage to wait in line. It’s well worth it. [$]

A tray of many small dishes making up a thali, with flatbread, a pastry and rice in the foreground.
Andhra Thali at Andhra Bhavan
Andhra Pradesh Bhavan / Facebook

16. Cafe Lota

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Gate No. 2, National Crafts Museum, Bhairon Marg, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Delhi 110001, India

Cafe Lota offers a breezy indoor-outdoor space perfect for lunch on a day when Delhi weather is kind. The kitchen tackles the daunting task of pan-Indian cuisine, also highlighting dishes from outlying areas of the country that sometimes get lost amid the fuss over rich northern fare. Among the nearly endless variety of dishes are breads made from ragi or millet, palak patta chaat (crispy spinach leaves topped with sweetened yogurt and chutney), and dal dhokli (a one-pot comfort meal from Gujarat with spinach and paneer dumplings simmered in lentils). In the summer, come for dessert in the form of mango golgappe (crispy, fried semolina balls filled with fragrant mango cream). If you’re not in the mood for a full meal, the cafe also serves drinks like aam panna (a sour mango drink) and excellent iced coffee. [$$$]

A tray of puffed pastries receding into the background, each topped with whipped cream and a small slice of strawberries
Mango Golguppe at Cafe Lota
Cafe Lota / Official

17. Mangla Chaat Wale

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D-9/C Acharya Niketan, Fine Home Apartments, Mayur Vihar, Delhi
110091, India

Chaat stalls are North India’s most democratic food culture. On any given street corner, you will find people lining up for fried snacks that differ from vendor to vendor in recipe, technique, and backstory. Mangla, a bustling little spot in a predominantly residential area of Delhi, is a local legend, but you may recognize it from its turn on the Netflix series Street Food. For aloo chaat, owner Dalchand Kashyap fries chunks of potato to a crisp in ghee and tops them with two chutneys: a fresh green version made with coriander and mint, and an aromatic, sweet red chutney made from tamarind, fennel seeds, and jaggery. Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds zest, and a garnish of grated radish provides quick relief from the rich flavors. Novelty is a big part of the chaat experience, and Kashyap’s trademark spices and condiments are well-kept secrets. [$]

A griddle with chopped potatoes and puffy kachoris sizzling, and a vendor stirring items behind the grill.
Aloo Chaat at Mangla Chaat Wale
Sharanya Deepak

18. Perch Wine & Coffee Bar

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71, Khan Market, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi
Delhi 110003, India

This high-end bar in the city center is well stocked with wines and makes some of the best cocktails in Delhi. Perch has won over locals with its minimalist interior and delicious mixed drinks, made from fresh, local ingredients; infused gins; and artisanal coffees. The staff will gladly recommend a specialty cocktail, but sure bets include the turmeric-infused gin and the rum bunch, a shaken concoction of rum, orange, rosemary, lime, and egg white. Perch also serves an all-day menu, should the drinks make you peckish. [$$-$$$]

A coupe glass with a frothy cocktail topped with a sprig of rosemary.
Rum Bunch cocktail at Nimtho
Perch / official

19. The Big Chill Cakery

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4-b, Khan Market, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi
Delhi 110003, India
011 4004 1600

An offshoot of Delhi restaurant the Big Chill, this small cake shop decked out in floral wallpaper is known for its European-style desserts, like a Viennese sponge berry cake made with fresh citrus juice and layers of berry-infused frosting, or a French chocolate eclair filled with coffee cream. The shop also offers an array of silky-smooth cheesecakes in flavors like vanilla, blueberry, and — perhaps the best — peanut butter and Kahlúa. In the morning, grab a coffee, sandwich, or almond croissant to go. The sprawling and picnic-ready Lodi Gardens are just a two-minute walk away. [$$]

20. Sab Ke Khatir

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Lodhi Rd, Near Ispat Bhawan, CGO Complex, Pragati Vihar, New Delhi
Delhi 110053, India

An after-hours stalwart, this small shack under an overpass has been owned and operated by the same man for decades. According to Haji Yad Ilahi, the proprietor who usually goes by the honorific chacha (uncle), meat grills better by moonlight. Try his kakori kebabs, a classic style in Delhi that dates back to the time of emperors, particularly one toothless Asaf-ud-Daula who liked meat so moist that he didn’t have to chew. At Sab Ke Khatir, the kebabs consist of delicately spiced ground lamb marinated in mashed papaya and yogurt, and they emerge rich and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Be sure to order a plate of shami kebabs, round minced lamb patties, with a side of fresh mint chutney. Eat your kebabs with a paper-thin roomali roti, and finish off with phirni, Delhi’s favorite rice pudding made in mud pots with nuts and cardamom. [$]

21. Ghalib Kabab Corner

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Mirza Ghalib's Grave, हज़रत निजामुल्मुल्क मागे, Nizamuddin, Nizammudin West Slum, Nizamuddin West, New Delhi
Delhi 110013, India
098107 86479

In the historic Nizamuddin neighborhood, near the shrine to the Sufi saint of the same name, you’ll find a small kebab shop. Ghalib is named for one of Delhi’s most famous romantic poets, and the owner likes to say that the beef kebabs here are made with the writer’s eternal love. The mix of Bollywood film stars and local mosque-goers who frequent the tiny hole in the wall would have to agree. Do like the regulars and get one plate of the beef kebabs, two roomali rotis, and paper plates with puddles of Ghalib’s trademark chutney for dipping. Taxis don’t go inside Nizamuddin Basti, so get out on the side near the mosque (Nizamuddin Dargah) and ask for directions. [$]

A plate of cylindrical beef kababs on a metal surface.
Beef Kebabs at Ghalibs Kabab Corner
Sharanya Deepak

22. Indian Accent

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The Lodhi, Lodhi Rd, CGO Complex, Pragati Vihar, New Delhi
Delhi 110003, India

Since Indian Accent’s opening, chef Manish Mehrotra’s modern take on traditional cuisine has received resounding approval from Delhi locals (and the Michelin Guide). Mehrotra spent nine years traveling Asia to explore the region’s varied cuisines before launching what’s become the most famous restaurant in India. (He opened a New York branch in 2016.) His contemporary spin on raita combines yogurt, water chestnut, and wasabi, while his braised lamb shanks come with a traditional Punjabi lobia (black-eyed pea curry). Note: Reservations are booked up to two months ahead. [$$$$$]

A scallop shell with a scallop sitting in the center with a slice of cauliflower elegantly balanced on top on a stark background
Butter Baked Scallops, Saffron Cream Cauliflower
Rohit Chawla

23. MI Food Center

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43, Lodhi road, Meharchand Market, Lodhi Colony, Meharchand Market, Lodi Colony, New Delhi
Delhi 110003, India

Malai tikka (grilled chicken tossed in cream) is the specialty at this small butcher turned meat-focused restaurant in Central Delhi. Owned by two brothers, who can be overheard roaring orders to the kitchen, the restaurant serves chicken perfectly coated in a signature spice mix and tendered on the grill. Get yours with a roomali roti and a heap of chopped onions. The shop also does an excellent korma (meat cooked in a thick peppery gravy), but the real star is what comes alongside: a large, thick, yeasty roti known as khmeri. [$]

Skewers of chicken rest over a bed of hot coals while a vendor prepares more skewers in the background.
A vendor prepares chicken tikka at MI Meats
Sharanya Deepak

24. Kadimi Sweets

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7, Church Ln, Samman Bazar, Bhogal, Jangpura, New Delhi
Delhi 110014, India

For four decades, Kadimi Sweets has drawn throngs of locals for many dishes, but the shop especially excels at samosas and jalebis. The samosas stuffed with potatoes will be familiar to visitors from around the world, but the version with peas and dal is even lighter, crumblier, and more flavorful. Meanwhile, the jalebis are skinny, crisp, and syrupy with sugar, rose, and saffron. On a rainy day, you’ll see them vanish into paper bags within seconds. [$]

A vendor dispenses batter in spirals into a large pan full of hot oil to make sweet jalebis.
A vendor making jalebis at Kadimi Sweets
Sharanya Deepak
26A, Main Market, Block A, Defence Colony
Delhi 110024, India

Cramped and intimate, 4S is a popular dive bar among Delhi youth for its basic interior and low prices. Get a rum and Coke made with the city’s favorite spirit, Old Monk, and pair it with thoroughly greasy bar snacks that haven’t changed in decades. Try the chile potatoes, which are crisped and tossed in honey, ginger, and garlic, or opt for Sichuan lamb sprinkled with sesame seeds for crunch. The bar gets very crowded almost every night with regulars streaming in after work, so come prepared for a short wait for a table. [$]

26. Mazaar Restaurant

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shop no i, 78, Block I, Lajpat Nagar II, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi
Delhi 110024, India
011 4160 6041

Afghan immigrants have carved a corner for themselves in Lajpat Nagar, one of Delhi’s most thriving neighborhoods and home to some of the city’s best street food. There, Mazaar strives to replicate Kabul cuisine for Delhi customers. Get the borani banjan, a stewy dish made from eggplant and tomatoes, or the chellow kebab, chicken lightly spiced and marinated in lemon and yogurt, served with rice. Also look for the occasional sheer yakh, cold yogurt topped with pomegranate seeds from the mountains of Afghanistan, but even if it’s not available, you can still enjoy unlimited cups of green tea and Afghan naan, searing red and patterned from the oven, to be eaten with sides or topped with butter as a snack. [$-$$]

A plate with eggplant and tomato stew, a plate of skewers, and a small basket for flatbreads share a wooden tabletop.
Borani Banjan at Mazaar
Sharanya Deepak

27. Baba Nagpal Corner

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Nirmal Puri, Vikram Vihar, Lajpat Nagar IV, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi
Delhi 110024, India
098717 86680

Wherever you go in Delhi, you’ll often see locals crowded around plastic tables eating chhole bhature, a thick, spicy chickpea stew, or chhole, with thick hunks of a double-fried flatbread called bhatura. Everyone has their own thoughts on the best version of this ubiquitous dish, but Nagpal, in the city’s bustling and diverse central market, is almost universally beloved. Get a heaping plateful, ask for onions and green chiles on the side, and wash it all down with a tart lemon soda. Bhature are a speciality of the capital, and Nagpal carefully double-fries them so they are soft on the outside and crunchy inside. Hot chhole bhature is best enjoyed for lunch with a friend. [$]

A dish with fried flatbread chhole bhature, behind a mound of chickpea curry, along with sliced onions, herbs, other garnishes and serving utensils.
Chhole bhature at Baba Nagpal Corner
Sharanya Deepak

28. The Categorical Eat-Pham

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168, Ground Floor, Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi
Delhi 110029, India

Categorical is one of many gems in Humayunpur serving Manipuri food from the hilly state in Northeast India. The restaurant’s unstoppable young chefs are helping to change the discourse around foods typically excluded from sweeping notions of Indian cuisine, serving dishes like fish-head curry, ametpa (chutney made with fermented fish and Naga king chiles, aka ghost peppers), sweets made from black rice, fragrant duck curry, and the region’s special red tea. The eco thalis include tastes of the restaurant’s best dishes, with a main fish, meat, or vegetable selection alongside a filling mound of sweet, sticky Manipuri rice. Try the atingba, rice beer traditional in many tribes in Manipur. The version at Categorical is sweet and light. [$]

Seen from above, a bowl of curry with chickpeas, loose dumplings, onions, herbs and shaved cabbage, sitting on a decorative patterned tablecloth.
Pakora Thongba at Categorical Eat Pham
Categorical Eat Pham / official

29. Hornbill Restaurant & Cafe

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104A/1, Chaudhary Hukum Chand Marg, Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi
Delhi 110029, India
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Hidden in a basement in Humayunpur, a suburban neighborhood that’s home to many immigrants from Northeast India, Hornbill focuses on the cuisine of the Angami Naga tribe, one of the 19 ethnic communities that live in the state of Nagaland. Naga dishes are unique, commonly featuring smoked pork, fermented fish, bamboo shoots, and axone, a local variety of soybean that is ground into a paste and used to cook meat. Ghost peppers (called by many names in the state) are also common in Angami cuisine. Hornbill’s kitchen doesn’t dilute the peppers’ intense heat, freely tossing them into dishes and using them to marinate the restaurant’s popular pork ribs. [$-$$]

Seen from above, dishes on a wooden tabletop including a mound of purple rice beside slices of pork and garnishes,
Smoked pork thali at Hornbill
Sharanya Deepak

30. Leo’s Artisan Pizza

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Priya Complex Market 28, Market, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi
Delhi 110057, India

It’s an unusual feat for a restaurant serving international cuisine to be embraced as a neighborhood fixture, but with Leo’s, Delhi has found its favorite pizza restaurant. Leo’s won customers over quickly with its casual atmosphere of wood tables and familiar servers, mixed with a small but reliable menu of Neapolitan-style pizzas. Amol Kumar, the restaurant’s primary pizzaiolo and owner, swears by the classic margherita and pepperoni pies, paired with an afternoon beer. The restaurant focuses on sourcing high-quality ingredients and serving loyal customers, or as Kumar puts it, “getting pizza right.” Leo’s is also one of the only places in the city that is dog friendly, and there’s an expansive wine menu. [$$$]

The hand of a pizza cook adds a dusting of grated cheese to a pizza already layered with arugula and prosciutto, with other, blurred dishes filling the table in the background.
Prosciutto di Parma and arugula pizza at Leo’s
Nayantara Parikh Photography / Leo’s Facebook

31. Little Saigon

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E-16, Market Ln, Hauz Khas Market, Block D, Hauz Khas, New Delhi
Delhi 110016, India

Vietnamese chef Hana Ho runs the one-woman show at Little Saigon. Try her summer rolls stuffed with chicken and vegetables, or opt for Ho’s own favorite, the hand-made cao lau noodles tossed with thin, pink slices of pork and fresh herbs. It is hard to find good Southeast Asian fare in the capital, but Ho is a vigilant crusader for her country’s dishes: braised pork cooked inside a traditional clay pot, artichoke-based drinks, and one of the few great banh mis in the city. The chef panders to no one, changes her menu briskly with the season’s produce, and has gathered a loyal following among the city’s diners. [$$-$$$]

Seen from above, a bamboo tray covered with a leaf mat and several dishes including a bunch of greens, fried rolls, and rice noodles topped with slices of pork and herbs.
Tasting plate at Little Saigon
Little Saigon / official

32. The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe

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Top Floor, 116 C, Behind UCO Bank, Shahpur Jat, Siri Fort, New Delhi
Delhi 110049, India

Overlooking a wide green outdoor space, this cafe serves regional dishes from the rural areas of Bihar, a state in East India. Bihari cuisine is known for rustic, wholesome flavors, as well as grains like millet and flax, spicy chutneys, and charred meats. To start, get a basket of pakoras, fried fritters made with aubergines, potatoes, and onions served with coriander and tomato chutneys. Follow that with a Bihari burger made with onion-coated minced lamb and a fierce garlic chutney. Or try the gol mirch chicken cooked in a fiery pepper curry. The restaurant also has thalis with specialities from the region, featuring chokhas (fish or vegetables cooked to a paste), fried pooris flavored with spinach, signature dalpittis (flattened whole wheat dumplings served with lentils), fried potatoes, raita, and deep-fried chickpea flour snacks called boondis. [$$]

A plate of two messy sliders and fries sits on a patio table alongside a glass of iced tea with a bendy straw and a cocktail shaker.
Bihari Burger at The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe
Sharanya Deepak

33. Nimtho

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1st Floor, 304, Block R, Greater Kailash I, Greater Kailash, New Delhi
Delhi 110048, India

The state of Sikkim, nestled under the Himalayan mountains, boasts a distinctive cuisine, with dishes that merge tribal heritage with Tibetan influence and tastes of immigrants from elsewhere in India. Nimtho takes diners on a journey through the state’s many characteristic foods, from indigenous chiles to soups made with foraged plants to fermented Tibetan breads that keep diners warm during brutal winters. Get the jhol momos, plump pork dumplings in a spiced, soothing broth made from tomatoes, spices, and peanuts in sesame oil. Or try the sisnu ko raas, a soup made from garlic, bone marrow, and indigenous grass that is known for its immune-boosting benefits. The restaurant also does an excellent sukuti (spicy, stringy dried beef popular among tribes in India and Nepal) and tai-pos, bao-like buns stuffed with meat and egg that show off Tibet’s heavy influence on Sikkim. The Sikkimese thali is also excellent. It comes with rice, dal, salads made from regional herbs, and gundruk, a juicy, aromatic, leafy green eaten throughout Northeast India, Nepal, and Bhutan. The restaurant also offers a selection of Sikkim’s rare teas. [$$]

Dumplings in a bowl of thick tomato broth on a wooden table with condiment shakers nearby
Jhol Momos at Nimtho
Sharanya Deepak

34. Kamala Sweets

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Block K 1, Chittaranjan, New Delhi
Delhi 110019, India
078554 26324

In Chittaranjan Park, known as Delhi’s “Little Calcutta,” immigrants have built a wonderland of Bengali foods. This small but well-stocked sweets store is renowned for its Bengali treats, as evidenced by the ever-present line out front. Get a mishti doi (sweetened, thick yogurt fermented in small clay pots). Or try the heavenly sandesh (small, brightly colored sweets made from thick curds called chhena and sweet golden jaggery), which the shop infuses with saffron. Kamala Sweets is also one of the few places in Delhi (and India) to eat doodhpuli, sweet rice-flour dumplings stuffed with coconut and date palm jaggery, available only from October to February. [$]

A glass display case with rows of small pastries stacked in trays.
Bengali sweets at Kamala Sweets
Sharanya Deepak

35. Carnatic Cafe

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Ground Shop No. M-21, Block M, Greater Kailash II, Greater Kailash, New Delhi
Delhi 110048, India

For perfect dosas, fanatics will send you to Malleswaram or old Bangalore, where the favorite South Indian breakfast comes in many varieties. Carnatic Cafe brings those varieties to Delhi in a rustic, comfortable setting, where diners from South India can get a taste of home to start the day. Get the soft and buttery Malleshwaram 18th Cross dosa, which is smeared with a fragrant powder made from coconut, lentils, and red chiles, or go for the plain rava dosa, a simple rendition made with semolina and served with an array of chutneys. For snacks, the cafe does a plate of puddu, deep-fried balls made from rice flour and ghee. To drink, there is coriander-spiced buttermilk and strong South Indian coffee brewed with freshly ground beans in a steel pot. [$-$$]

A collection of food items on a tray including a large rolled dosa flatbread and individual small plates of dips.
Mysore masala dosa at Carnatic Cafe
Carnatic Cafe / official

36. Lavaash By Saby

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Kalkadass Marg, H5/1, Ambawatta No.1, Seth Sarai, Mehrauli, New Delhi
Delhi 110030, India

At Lavaash, acclaimed chef Sabyasachi Gorai — known simply as chef Saby — has created a menu dedicated to the Armenian community in Bengal. Waves of Armenians arrived in East India over many centuries, integrating local ingredients into their cuisine, and Lavaash is an ode to their recipes. Options include a skewer of paneer marinated in tamarind and mint, a Bengali-style baked fish in mustard served inside thin lavash bread, and the must-have khorovats, a traditional Armenian cheese platter comprising many of India’s disappearing cheeses. [$$$$]

Flatbread formed into a dumpling garnished with herbs, onion and pomegranate seeds.
Fish baked in flatbread
Lavaash by Saby / official

37. Blue Tokai Coffee

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Khasra No. 258, Lane Number 3, Saidulajab, Saiyad Ul Ajaib Extension, Sainik Farm, New Delhi
Delhi 110030, India

Opened in 2016, Blue Tokai coffee was one of the first to bring single-origin coffee from South India to the generally coffee-shy Delhi. The slick cafe, with a minimal, vast, blue space, puts out carefully made cappuccinos, lattes, and the usual roster of iced espresso drinks. Blue Tokai is one of India’s only independent roasters, and its beans are available for purchase or delivery at many places around the city. The cafe serves sandwiches, including one with brie, onion jam, and arugula. There are also cakes, such as coffee cake and dense chocolate cake, which is a favorite among regulars. [$-$$]

A close-up of a cappuccino in a ceramic cup as a barista pours in frothed milk.
Cappuccino at Blue Tokai
Sharanya Deepak

38. Sibang Bakery

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245, Golf Course Road, Saraswati Vihar, DLF Phase 1, Sector 28, Gurugram
Haryana 122002, India

This bakery inhabits a sleek space in outer Delhi’s Gurgaon business district. Locals flock to Sibang for a variety of Korean baked goods, like red-bean buns and donuts — twisted with sprinkled sugar or square with lemon curd frosting — all to be eaten with tall glasses of strong, iced coffee. The bakery also offers a handful of freshly baked cookies, as well as ham sandwiches with thick, fresh slices of cheese stacked between bread straight from the oven. Popular with the city’s young residents for its simple interior and endless supply of caffeine, Sibang is a good stopover if you find yourself in the outer rings of the capital. [$$-$$$]

A close-up on a plate with several pastries torn and staked in various directions filling the plate
Pastries at Sibang Bakery
Sibang Bakery / official

1. Tibetan Food Tour of Majnu Ka Tilla

Majnu-ka-tilla, New Aruna Nagar, Delhi, India
Three diners sit with drinks around a small coffee table in front of a wall covered in art large and small.
Interior of Ama Cafe
AMA Cafe / Facebook

When the Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India in 1959, Tibetan immigrants followed, bringing along momos, the stuffed, steamed dumplings that have since become one of Delhi’s most popular street snacks. Nepali vendors sell them by the roadside all over the city, but you can also find them in the Majnu Ka Tilla area, home to some of Delhi’s Tibetan community. Near the neighborhood monastery, you’ll find a stall selling laphing, a flat, translucent pancake stuffed with soybeans and tossed with red chile paste and green onions. Then hop to the Himalayan, a beloved restaurant that serves all kinds of momos and other Tibetan favorites like shabaley (large, deep-fried, savory stuffed pastries), tingmo (yeasty bread shaped like a mountain and eaten with tea or stewed meats), and a cold beer. For tea and cake, head to the small AMA cafe, which is popular among students. Ask your taxi to drop you on the side of the monastery and then walk down the only lane to find the stalls and restaurants. [$]

Majnu-ka-tilla, New Aruna Nagar
Delhi, India

2. Noora Nihari

Barahindu Roa Road, Gali Umrao, Pahari Dhiraj, Sadar Bazaar, Pahari Dhiraj, Sadar Bazaar, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
A stack of khameeri roti flatbreads sit in the foreground on a wooden table with a server working in the background against a pale interior.
Khameeri roti at Noora Nihari
Sharanya Deepak

Popular in North India and Pakistan, nihari is a fragrant goat or beef stew cooked with heaps of ginger and served with freshly made khameeri roti (light, dry flatbread) to soak up the succulent meat. At Noora Nihari, a little shack in one of Delhi’s oldest neighborhoods, the nihari cooks for 12 hours before servers dole it out to hundreds of early risers on their way to prayer and tipsy youngsters ending their night at dawn. [$]

Barahindu Roa Road, Gali Umrao, Pahari Dhiraj, Sadar Bazaar, Pahari Dhiraj, Sadar Bazaar, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

3. Snack and Sweets Crawl Through Shahjahanabad (Old City)

1396, Main Road Beside Central Bank, Sis Ganj Guru Dwara, Kucha Mahajani, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
A pile of a creamy dessert known as daulat ki chaat with a disposable wooden spoon on a paper plate.
Daulat ki chaat in the old city
Sharanya Deepak

Shahjahanabad, the old city, is a haven of shops and vendors selling snacks and sweetmeats. Savory bites like dahi bhalla (fried lentil balls in yogurt) and aloo tikki (potato cutlets topped with yogurt and chutneys made of tamarind and mint) are best at iconic chaat shop Natraj. Kanwarji Sweets, a favorite local sweets shop, does the best gulab jamun (solidified milk soaked in cardamom-rose syrup), while Chaina Ram makes a perfectly sweet halwa from simmered lentils. To make daulat ki chaat, vendors combine sugar, saffron, and heavy cream, then leave the mixture outside to blend with early-morning dew before selling the treat to early risers (the dessert spoils in the city’s heat). [$]

1396, Main Road Beside Central Bank, Sis Ganj Guru Dwara, Kucha Mahajani, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

4. Ashok and Ashok Meat Dhaba

5826/42, Deshraj Bhatia Marg, Basti Harphool Singh, Ahata Kidara, Sadar Bazaar, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
A plate of bright meat gravy sits in a drab industrial corner.
Meat gravy at Ashok and Ashok
Sharanya Deepak

Locals come to the Sadar Bazaar for deals on everything from steel pipes to apples. Navigating the market can be an adventure, but Ashok and Ashok, situated on one of the bazaar’s quieter lanes, is reason enough to make the trek. The shop serves what they call “meat gravy,” chicken or lamb cooked for more than six hours in a special iron kadhai (shallow frying pot) in house-made clarified butter or desi ghee. The meat is soft and buried in spices, and comes with small rotis made from makka (corn flour) topped with chopped green chiles and coriander. Note: Because it’s so delicious, the lamb sells out between noon and 1 p.m. almost every day, but the chicken is more easily available. [$-$$]

5826/42, Deshraj Bhatia Marg, Basti Harphool Singh, Ahata Kidara, Sadar Bazaar, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

5. Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala

1104, Gali Bhojpura Rd, Maliwara, Katra Lehswan, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Two puffy fried kachoris stand upright out of a soupy paper bowl with chunks of potatoes and clumps of herbs visible floating in the stew.
Kachoris from Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala
Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala / Facebook

Kachoris are one of North India’s most ubiquitous breakfasts. Pushcart vendors stuff flaky pastries with lentils or potatoes, deep-fry them, and serve them with chutneys of anise or mint. Jung Bahadur in the historical Chandni Chowk nook of the old city is one of the city’s stalwarts. The stall sells kachoris stuffed with lentils and herbs, alongside stewy potatoes, chiles, and coriander. A plate makes a snack or a meal, depending on your appetite. Either way, take yours onto a neighboring street to eat as you admire the shops and homes stacked on top of each other like a house of cards. [$]

1104, Gali Bhojpura Rd, Maliwara, Katra Lehswan, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

6. Bade Mian ki Kheer (Old Kheer Shop)

2867, Bazar Sirkiwalan, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
A vendor scoops a thin layer from a massive pan of kheer into a small bowl.
Kheer at Old Kheer Shop
Sharanya Deepak

Delhi has many little shops serving the sweet rice pudding known as kheer, but the Siddique family have distinguished their stall in the middle of Old Delhi as a culinary landmark. Locals say the transcendent bowls of kheer can spark love between young couples who share them. Come with time to chat — owner Jamaluddin Siddique is prone to deep conversations and offers specks of advice with every bite you take. Kheer — creamy, soft, and transportive with the scent of ground cardamom — is a dish that has lived in the old city for centuries and represents Delhi comfort food at its best. Fun Bollywood fact: Madhubala grew up in the house above the shop. [$]

2867, Bazar Sirkiwalan, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

7. Shyam Sweets

H.NO, 112, Chawri Bazar Rd, Near Chowk, Manohar Market, Hauz Qazi, Barshahbulla, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Paper bowls with chunky stews of potatoes and spices, beside stacks of kachori flatbreads.
Bedmi Aloo at Shyam Sweets
Sharanya Deepak

Breakfast is rowdy business at this famous stall in the middle of one of Delhi’s oldest neighborhoods. The owner barks at customers to behave as they dig into plates of bedmi aloo (slow-cooked, spicy potatoes) and nagori halwa (semolina cooked in saffron and sugar). Everything comes with thin, fluffy flatbreads called poori that are spiced, shaped, and fried to order. Pair your meal with a lassi, which can be thick and sweet or thin and salty with black pepper, depending on your mood. The shop also offers a plethora of sweets to take away for a midday treat. [$]

H.NO, 112, Chawri Bazar Rd, Near Chowk, Manohar Market, Hauz Qazi, Barshahbulla, New Delhi
Delhi 110006, India

8. Al Jawahar Restaurant

8, Near, Matia Mahal Rd, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India