Think of Delhi and there are three things anyone can immediately think of- Politics, Monuments and Food. Being the centre of power, Delhi is known for its iconic buildings that house it all, especially the stunning Lutyens architecture. But besides all the lush green parks, wide roads and beautiful monuments, Delhi is a foodie's paradise. Be it the street food that ranges from Tibetan momos to tantalising gol gappe, world-famous dal makhani, best butter chicken or everyone's favourite chole bhature, Delhi has it all. Literally, ALL! It isn't called the food capital of India for no reason.
And if you are a foodie who wants to tick off the list of most iconic food spots of Delhi, we have got you covered. Here are 21 oldest and still the most popular food places you MUST visit to experience the best of Delhi's foodscape. These restaurants have literally stood the test of time, even in this age when pop-ups and new restaurants disappear in the blink of an eye!
(Also Read: 21 Pocket-Friendly Food Joints In Central Delhi)
1. The Embassy
No list of iconic restaurants from Delhi is complete without this age-old restaurant that will definitely take you back to 1940s. Set up in Connaught place in 1948 right after the partition, Embassy holds a strong influence of European and British culture in its wooden interiors as well as its expansive menu. It is today a landmark of Delhi which the parents and grandparents of today's millennials have fond memories of (read date nights)!
Where: 11-D, Connaught Place, New Delhi
2. Madras Coffee House
Not a place with stunning interiors or a luxurious setting, Madras Coffee House is your go-to café where you can hang out with your friends casually. It is filled with the air of pre-independence era and stories of its hey days when it was perhaps the only food joint in Connaught place, serving Chinese cuisine and open only to Britishers. It would be hard to believe today, but if you are someone who loves colonial-era stories, Madras Coffee House is a standing proof of all if it.
Where: P-5/90, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
3. The Host
With a menu that caters to everyone, The Host is a classic in terms of ambiance and the menu which hasn't changed one bit and perhaps that is what works for it. The flavours of authentic Mughlai cuisine besides Asian has us hooked!
Where: F-8, Inner Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
4. United Coffee House
This is what legendary restaurants are made of! United Coffee House is perhaps one place that has been the audience to all major changes our country has been through. Established in 1942, the fine-dine has kept the old-school dining experience alive with its royal, eye-pleasing interiors and sumptuous food that hasn't changed one bit.
Where: E-15, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Do we even need an introduction for this? With the running time of over 75 years, Wenger's has even the millennials swooning over it as much as their parents! The line outside the bakery will tell you exactly that and the iconic facade is sure to take you back to the era when it sold the evergreen chicken patty for Rs. 1.
Where: A 16, Connaught Place, New Delhi
6. Bhimsains Bengali Sweet House
All your cravings for chaat can be satiated at this evergreen restaurant in Bengali Market that serves lip-smacking gol gappe, papdi chaat, chole bhature to even decadent Indian sweets! Perhaps one of the oldest in Delhi, Bhimsains Bengali Sweet House was set up in 1937 and now has two different shops next to each other.
Where: 27-29, Bengali Market, Mandi House, New Delhi
(Also Read: 9 Spots Every Gol Gappa Lover MUST Try In Delhi)
Recently renovated Kwality drips from nostalgia of the old-world charm. With a traditional high-tea menu on the table, can it get any more colonial? Besides that the expansive menu packed with Mughlai cuisine is sure to leave you spoilt with choice.
Where: 7, Regal Building, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Established almost 25 years ago, Zen is perhaps one of the first ones to introduce authentic Asian cuisine to Delhi and well continues to flourish even today with mouth-watering sushis on the menu!
Where: B-25, Connaught Place, New Delhi
9. Indian Accent
The world knows the culinary marvel of Chef Manish Mehrotra, who has put Indian food on the global map with this award-winning restaurant at The Lodhi Hotel. With an inventive spin to the classic Indian dishes such as Chicken Khurchan, Phulka Taco and Daulat Ki Chaat, Indian Accent promises a gastronomical delight.
Where: The Lodhi, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
If you are a passionate foodie, there is no chance you haven't heard about the legendary Dal Bukhara. Established in 1978, Bukhara at ITC Maurya has earned the place of Delhi's landmark by serving the same great taste with an impeccable service. Not only has it served and impressed notable personalities from across 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 that is due to the story about how the dish was invented at this place. While there are several debates around it, we cannot deny how heavenly the butter chicken served here is!
Where: 3703, Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj, New Delhi
12. Sita Ram Diwan Chand
Started from a small cart, Sita Ram Diwan Chand has made its way to the top with its incredible chole bhature! Situated in the by lanes of Pahadganj 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 Kake Da Hotel for its legendary chicken curry and we cannot blame them! Do not miss it if you are in the city and haven't tried but be ready for a long waiting time.
Where: 67, Municipal Market, Connaught Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Purani Dilli and Karims go hand-in-hand no matter how many outlets it opens! The oldest Karims in the tattered lanes near Jama Masjid retains the authenticity and vibe it had when it opened years ago. Nihari, changezi chicken and tikkas are a trademark here and you just can't resist it!
Where: 16, Gali Kababian, Jama Masjid, New Delhi
Ask a Dilliwala about a family restaurant serving best north Indian delicacies and Gulati would definitely be one option. Be it the kebabs or rich curries, the menu is expansive and the vibe is just the subtle one you need on those occasional dinner nights with your family.
Where: 6, Pandara Road Market, New Delhi
With a similar old-school vibe of other iconic restaurants in the heart of Delhi, Minar serves one of the most amazing fish tikkas, kebabs, dal tadka and kadhai chicken in town!
Where: L-11, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Talk of best butter chicken in Delhi and chances are everyone would vote for Havemore in Pandara Road. Can we question that? No. And yes, because Havemore has now opened an outlet in Saket and fans are over the moon since they no more have to struggle for parking at Pandara in order to satiate their butter chicken cravings!
Where: 11-12, Pandara Road Market, New Delhi
18. Roshan Di Kulfi
Right in the middle of 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. Form chole bhature to pav bhaji, the small eatery serves all the classics!
Where: 2816, Block 34P, Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh, New Delhi
19. Rajinder Da Dhaba
One look at the complex of Rajinder Da Dhaba in Safdarjung would tell about its huge popularity! Picture mouth-watering kebabs, tikkas and a host of tandoori delicacies since decades! This one is a paradise for anyone looking for pocket-friendly dinner up till midnight!
Where: AB 14, Safdarjung Enclave Market, Safdarjung, New Delhi
20. Al Bake
You may call it the king of shawarma, AL-Bake can be credited for popularising shawarmas in Delhi and how! With multiple outlets across the city, it serves scrumptious shawarmas that are hard to resist!
Where: Shop 21-23, Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi
21. The Big Chill
Did you think we'll miss this one? A place that actually united pasta lovers in Delhi, The Big Chill now boasts of several outlets across the city and NCR and you cannot find a single outlet that is even half empty. Delhi can proudly boast of an authentic Italian café where you can't find a single bad dish. Do not miss their grilled fish in mustard and white wine sauce! Or the 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 out on? Let us know in the comments section below! Meanwhile, go tick these off your bucket list if you haven't already!
About Aanchal MathurAanchal doesn't share food. A cake in her vicinity is sure to disappear in a record time of 10 seconds. Besides loading up on sugar, she loves bingeing on FRIENDS with a plate of momos. Most likely to find her soulmate on a food app.