Think of Delhi and there are three things that anyone can immediately think of – politics, memorials and food. Being the center of power, Delhi is known for its iconic buildings, which are for everyone, especially the stunning Lutyens architecture. But apart from all the lush green parks, wide roads and beautiful monuments, Delhi is a food heaven. From Tibetan momos to gol gappas, world-famous dal makhani, best butter chicken or everyone’s favorite chola bhature, Delhi has street food. Really, everyone! It is not called the food capital of India without any reason.
And if you are a foodie who wants to make a list of the most iconic food places of Delhi, then we have got you covered. Here are the 21 oldest and still the most popular dining places that you must visit to experience the best food items of Delhi. These restaurants have literally stood the test of time, even in this age when pop-ups and new restaurants disappear in a blink of an eye!
(Also read: 21 pocket-friendly food joints in central Delhi)
No list of Delhi’s iconic restaurants is complete without this old-fashioned restaurant that will definitely take you back to the 1940s. Established in Connaught Place in 1948, just after partition, the embassy maintains a strong influence in its wooden interiors, along with European and British culture, as well as its expanding menu. This is a milestone in Delhi that is remembered by parents and grandparents of today’s millennium (read nights)!
where: 11-D, Connaught Place, New Delhi
2. Madras Coffee House
Not a place with luxurious interiors or a luxurious setting, Madras Coffee House is the kind of cafe for you where you can formally hang out with your friends. It is filled with the air of the pre-independence era and the stories of those days, when it was probably the only joint meal at Connaught Place that served Chinese cuisine and was open to British people only. Today it would be hard to believe, but if you are someone who loves colonial era stories, then Madras Coffee House is an enduring proof for all.
where: P-5/90, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
With a menu that caters to everyone, the host is a classic in terms of host and the menu that hasn’t changed one bit and maybe that’s what works for it. Apart from Asian flavors the authentic Mughalai cuisine has us hooked!
where: F-8, Inner Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
4. United Coffee House
What a great restaurant it is made of! The United Coffee House is probably a place that has been the audience for all major changes in our country. Founded in 1942, Fine-Dine keeps the old-school dining experience alive with its royal, eye-pleasing interiors and scrumptious food, which hasn’t changed one bit.
where: E-15, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Do we even need an introduction for this? With a running time of more than 75 years, Wenger has a swoon over his millennials as his parents too! The line outside the bakery will tell you exactly the same and the iconic aspect will be sure to take you back to the era when it sold the evergreen chicken patty for Rs. 1.
where: A16, Connaught Place, New Delhi
6. Bhimsen Bengali Sweet House
All your cravings for chaat can be saturated in this evergreen restaurant in Bengali market that serves lip smacking gol gappas, papadi chaat, chole bhature and even Indian sweets! Probably one of the oldest in Delhi, Bhimsen Bengali Sweet House was established in 1937 and now has two separate shops next to each other.
where: 27-29, Bengali Market, Mandi House, New Delhi
(Also Read: Every Gol Gappi Lover in Delhi Needs 9 Spots)
The recently renovated Kwality drips from the gloom of old world charm. With a traditional high tea menu on the table, could it be any more colonial? Apart from this, an expansive menu full of Mughlai cuisine is sure to spoil with your liking.
where: 7, Regal Building, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Founded almost 25 years ago, Zen is probably one of the first to offer authentic Asian cuisine in Delhi and still thrives today with mouth-watering sushi on the menu!
where: B-25, Connaught Place, New Delhi
9. Indian Accent
The world knows the culinary miracle of Chef Manish Mehrotra, who has put Indian food on the global map with this award-winning restaurant at The Lodi Hotel. With an inventive spin to classic Indian dishes like chicken khurchan, phulka taco and daulat ki chaat, Indian Accent promises a gastronomical delight.
where: Lodhi, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
If you are a passionate eater, there is no chance that you have not heard of the legendary Dal Bukhara. Established in 1978, Bukhara at ITC Maurya has earned Delhi’s historic place by serving the same luxurious taste with an impeccable service. Not only has it served and influenced notable personalities from around the world, it has consistently won prestigious awards.
where: ITC Maurya, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
11. Moti Mahal
Moti Mahal and Butter Chicken are often talked about in the same breath and this is due to the story of how the dish was invented at this place. While there are many debates around this, we cannot deny how butter chicken is served here!
where: 3703, Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj, New Delhi
12. Sita Ram Diwan Chand
Starting with a buggy, Sita Ram Dewan Chand has made her way to the top with her incredible chola spear! Situated in the streets of Paharganj, Sita Ram has started delivery across the city!
where: 2246, Near Imperial Cinema, Paharganj, New Delhi
13. Kake Da Hotel
Almost every chicken lover in the city has lined-up outside the KK Da Hotel for their famous chicken curry and we cannot blame them! If you are in the city then do not miss it and do not try but be prepared to wait for a long time.
where: 67, Municipal Market, Connaught Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Purani Dilli and Karim shake hands, no matter how many outlets open! The littered streets near Jama Masjid retain the authenticity and vibrancy of the oldest Karim, which was opened years ago. Nihari, changzi chicken and tikkas are a trademark here and you cannot resist it!
where: 16, Gali Kabbiyan, Jama Masjid, New Delhi
Ask Dilliwala about a family restaurant serving the finest cuisine of North India and Gulati would definitely be an option. Be it kebabs or rich curries, the menu is an extension and the vibe is just the subtlety you need at occasional dinner with your family.
where: 6, Pandara Road Market, New Delhi
With an old school vibe similar to other iconic restaurants in the heart of Delhi, the tower is one of the most amazing fish tikka, kebabs, dal tadka and kadhai chikan in the city!
where: L-11, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
There is talk of Best Butter Chicken in Delhi and it is likely that everyone will vote for Havamore in Pandara Road. Can we question that? No, and yes, because Hamor has now opened an outlet in Saket and fans are over the moon as they don’t have to struggle for parking in Pandara to calm down their butter chicken craving!
where: 11-12, Pandara Road Market, New Delhi
(Also read: You should not miss out on 21 butter chicken in Delhi-NCR)
18. Roshan de Kulfi
Right in the middle of the Karol Bagh market, Roshan Di Kulfi is essentially popular for Kulfi, as the name suggests, but it is a legend when it comes to street food. Pav Bhaji to Pav Bhaji, the small restaurant serves all the classics!
where: 2816, Block 34P, Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh, New Delhi
19. Rajinder da Dhaba
A look at the premises of Rajinder da Dhaba in Safdarjung will reveal its immense popularity! A host of picture mouth-watering kebabs, tikkus and tandoori dishes for decades! It is a paradise for anyone looking for a pocket-friendly dinner until midnight!
where: AB 14, Safdarjung Enclave Market, Safdarjung, New Delhi
20. Al Beck
You can call it the king of shawarma, AL-Bake can be credited with popularizing shawarmas in Delhi and how! With numerous outlets across the city, it serves superb shawarmas that are hard to resist!
where: Shop 21-23, Community Center, New Friends Colony, New Delhi
21. The Big Chill
Did you think we would miss it? A place that truly unites pasta lovers in Delhi, The Big Chill now boasts multiple outlets throughout the city and NCR and you cannot find a single outlet that is even half empty. Delhi can proudly boast an authentic Italian cafe, where you cannot find a single bad dish. Don’t miss their grilled fish in mustard and white wine sauce! Or Mississippi mud pie, or Caesar salad, well, the list goes on!
where: HS 5, Kailash Colony Market, Kailash Colony, New Delhi
Do you know more such iconic places that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below! In the meantime, tick these off your bucket list if you haven’t already!
About Anchal MathurAnchal does not share food. A cake in its vicinity disappears in a record time of 10 seconds. In addition to loading on sugar, she also likes binging on FRIENDS with a plate of momos. Most likely he can find his Soulmate on a food app.