Cocktail called Violet, La Roca, Aerocity, Delhi, India

Quick Guide to Eating Out in Delhi

From the popular butter chicken to fresh fruit smoothies and slow-sipping Negronis, Delhi has a dish and a drink for every traveller. Find a dining outlet around the Capital with this gastronomical guide, compiled through personal experiences

International Flavours

1. Olive Bar & Kitchen, Mehrauli
Beetroot Salad, Olive Bar & Kitchen, Delhi
Beetroot Salad, Olive Bar & Kitchen

It offers Mediterranean, European, Italian cuisines. Olive is where you enjoy the meal in cool Mediterranean surroundings. It is all white décor, pebbled grounds, well-lit garden seating and oodles of sophisticated art and favoured by arty Page 3 lot. The flavours are light, lots of green, fruits and fresh dips, plating is also an arty affair here. Anyone will enjoy the greens and pickled veggies. Then there’s freshly ground salsa. The portions serve two people easily. Ended the meal with an Espresso Martini, which is black coffee’s cold cousin.

To try: Pan Grilled Scottish Salmon, Nantua, Grilled Jumbo Prawns, Mango Panna Cotta, Chocolate Fondant. The Dirty Martini, a striking cocktail bar set in the 1920s with a treetop terrace overlooking the Qutub Minar, offers some of the best martinis in town. Open: 12-3.30pm; 7.30-12pm

2. La Roca, Aerocity
Desserts in India, Peanut Butter and Jam, Coco and Soil, La Roca, Aerocity, Delhi, India
Peanut Butter and Jam, Coco and Soil,
La Roca, Aerocity

It offers Turkish, Modern Indian, European cuisines. The tapas bar has taken traditional flavours to another level. The décor is also very Spanish with a dome-like ceiling and a horse-shoe shaped bar. Cocktails from Nectar, the bar, are made from cold pressed juices, fresh herbs and home-made infusions. Saffronisation comprised coffee and bourbon. Scarlet had berries, flowers and strawberries.   

The Beetroot Carpaccio is a mean fresh eel nigiri. The pork ribs are melt-in-the-mouth. Pork Khurchan Bao is another good dish. Then there are dimsums. The Peanut Butter and Jam and the signature Coco and Soil desserts are yum. The dessert tree made of five kinds of chocolates must be savoured. The ingredients are fresh and the presentation an art. Good music, peppy lighting and small helpings symbolize the food at La Roca. Open: 1pm – 1am

3. Plum by Bent Chair, Aerocity
Plum Tropical Fruit Citrus Cheesecake , Plum by Bent Chair, Aerocity, Delhi, India
Plum Tropical Fruit Citrus Cheesecake , Plum by Bent Chair, Aerocity

This retail-cum-dining outlet offers a plethora of finger-licking Pan-Asian dishes in colourful surroundings. It offers a delicious array of tapas, starters and plated delicacies. Flowers, artefacts, paintings, colourful sofas and a huge bar—what more would a diner need to feel good.

The menu has about 16 different dumplings. Must try are Crystal Dumplings with a crunchy filling of chestnuts, carrots and mushroom.  salt. Another must try here is White Fungus Chicken which is minced chicken with a dash of Asian herbs and bird chilli. Another treat is the Chicken Puffsome filled with roasted chicken and mixed with five spices. Spicy Barbecued Chicken is a yummy saga. The chicken is marinated with Szechuan pepper-infused oil overnight. Signature cocktail Elderflower and Blue Berries is good. There’s sushi, pizza, rolls, soups and more on the menu. Dessert worth a try is Plum Tropical Fruit Citrus Cheesecake which comes with diced apple and pomegranates. Open: 12noon – 1am

4. Dirty Apron by The Piano Man, Safdarjung Development Area
European dishes at Dirty Apron by The Piano Man, Delhi

This offers European and Asian cuisine. The cool, flowery ambience is quite a bright spot. It is located above The Piano Man, which is famous for its jazz evenings. Light flavours and fresh ingredients are the mainstay here. There’s Hungarian Mushroom soup with fragrant herbs and mushrooms with dollops of sour cream. Other interesting ones are Seafood Chowder, Vietnamese Chicken Pho and Pumpkin and Peanut Butter soup.

The Beetroot, Orange and Feta salad is a cool one. Then there’s Pesto Chicken and Sundried Tomato salad. Korean nachos and Steamed Aubergine with Sesame and Spring Onion are good. The nachos come with khimchi salsa.  Interesting mini bakes are Ratatouille, Eggplant and Zucchini Parmigiana and Keemaroni. The Orange and Chilli Chocolate Mousse is a good way to end the meal. Open: 1pm – 12midnight

5. Caffe Tonino, Connaught Place, Delhi
A taste of Tuscany dishes at Caffe Tonino, Delhi
A taste of Tuscany dishes at
Caffe Tonino, Delhi

It serves Italian food, Tuscany-style. Light airy interiors, a menu to suit all palettes, Caffe Tonino offers a healthy mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Italian food has all kinds of flavours, especially who love eating greens. The salads and lasagnes are a great way to satiate your stomach. There’s also Pizza Sandwich, V Insalata di Barbabietole e Caprino, Inslata Caesar. The salads are fresh and light. Inslata di Barbabietole comprises beetroot, artichokes, goat cheese, sunflower seeds and house dressing. Beet’s Beauty is a healthy mix of beet root and cranberry juice. Dessert to try is Arabian Honey Cake–a dry cake best paired with a strong coffee. There’s also Strucatti Pizza. Open: 11:30am-11pm

6. 38 Barracks, Connaught Place
Progressive World Cuisine, 38 Barracks, Delhi

The menu is designed around progressive world cuisine. There’s Italian, North Indian and more. With extensive use of fresh fruits, there is a special Barracks Molecular Mixology menu. A good one is Regiment Spring Cocktail which has cucumber, basil and lemon juices mixed with cointreau. Gunner is made with watermelon juice and Chief of Staff has orange juice with a good dose of vodka and cointreau. 

With a preference of local and imported ingredients to enhance local flavours, the portions are good. Chicken and paneer dishes are popular. Other intesrting ones are kumbh kee galouti, dahi ke kabab, chicken duet tikka. The army-styled café has a seating capacity of 125 people. Despite the rifles, guns and pistols around you, no one carries them on person! Open: 12noon – 1am

7. What A Comic Show, Safdarjung Development Area
Enjoy Chinese food at What A Comic Show, Delhi
Inspired by comics–What A Comic Show, Delhi

This offers Continental, Italian, Chinese and Pizzas. Owned by Manipur native, Pooja Moirangthem, this offers wine and beer too. Elektra wine cocktail with Lemon Chicken and Chicken Momos is good. The serving is large enough to suffice two people. As the name suggests, you will find your favourite comics Batman, Superman, Chacha Chaudhary, Phantom and more here. Open: 11am-Midnight

Indian Cuisine

1. Dhaba by Claridges, Epicuria, Nehru Place
North Indian cuisine at Dhaba by Claridges, Epicuria Mall, Nehru Place, Delhi
North Indian cuisine at Dhaba by Claridges, Epicuria Mall, Nehru Place

A place for kebabs and kadi chicken—the well-rounded spices and good techniques make the experience a flavourful one. Lawrence road ki tikki is softer and melt-in-the-mouth; Tawa chicken chaap not-to-be-missed. The food has been kept a little lighter than the dishes you would taste in Punjab. The marination, spices, chutneys and pickles add to the flavours.

Another interesting dish is the bharwan omelette and comes with a choice of chilli chicken or chilli paneer, served with garlic naan. Another must eat is tawa ananas. Ending this Punjabi meal was the unique dhaba da meetha—a layered combination of vanilla ice cream, shahi tukda and mini gulab jamun with saffron rabri. Famous for the tawa, tandoor and patila dishes. Open: 12noon – 1:30am

2. Pirates of the Grill, DLF Mall of India, Noida
Indian cuisine, Pirates Of The Grill, DLF Mall of India, Noida
Indian cuisine, Pirates Of The Grill, DLF Mall of India, Noida

The buffet here reminds you of times when the king’s army feasted after a victory. The interesting part is the grill in the middle of your table. The food is complemented with mocktails and ice-smoothies. Famous dishes are paneer, prawn and chicken tikkas.Not to miss are Cilantro Sui Mai, Bhatti da Murgh, Firangi Prawns Tikka and Churrasco Pineapple. Among the many starters on offer, these are a must-not-miss. Interesting mocktails are Masala Cola and Pirates Devil.  

The main course offers a choice of Mongolian live platters and lots of Indian dishes. I loved the pakoda kadi with some missi roti and pudina paratha. Among the desserts, there’s crisp jalebi and a round of live Tepanayaki Ice Cream. But there’s a lot more. The marinades and spices blend perfectly with the palate of the Indians living in the northern belt. Even though, it’s a lot of food, nothing is heavy and the ambience suits the young and the old alike. Open: 12noon – 4pm, 6:30pm – 11pm

3. Filmy Bar & Café, Connaught Place

Fast food and Indian cuisine at Filmy Cafe and Bar, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Fast food and Indian cuisine at Filmy Cafe and Bar, Connaught Place, New Delhi

Next to the entrance of the PVR Plaza cinema hall, this one is from the house of Deez, which is best known for its biryani. With a range of cocktails, mocktails and different kinds of cuisines, the café and bar is the brainchild of Thakur Bhuvan Singh. A film buff, like most Indians, he offers kebabs and curries along with pastas and burgers here.

The ambience–you could be sitting on the cushion which has the face of legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan or suddenly find Aamir Khan’s PK radio near your elbow. The restaurant has a Hollywood and Bollywood corner. The cuisine ranges from Indian, Chinese to comfort and Italian. The music ranges across genres with dialogues of popular movies. Open: 12noon – 12midnight

4. DeeZ Biryani Kebabs Curry Roll
DEEZ Biryani comes in a handi
DEEZ Biryani comes in a handi

This takeaway is famous for its delicious handi biryanis. Packed Indian style, the warm earthen pots had silver foil covering. Beneath lies a seal of dough. On unwrapping, the room is filled with aroma of spices. The long grained basmati rice and vegetables in one and chicken in the other, these come with raita, chutney and some curry. It’s blended with flavours of cinnamon, green cardamom, curd, green chilli, saffron, chicken.

One mini handi could work well for a single person. And Deez has many outlets across Delhi-NCR. Coming from a family of hunters, ex-NRI Daleep Singh, with a vast experience of over 40 years in handling multiple national and international businesses, founded DėėZ Biryani Corner over three decades back.

He revived this Mughal dish. Chef Abdul Ali of Lucknow (belonging to the clan of famous chef Imthiaz Qureshi), who was later former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s personal chef at Hyderabad House,, was engaged for the authentic Awadhi cooking. Ever since DeeZ has been maintaining the same taste and quality.

The most popular biryani has been the DeeZ special biryani which is an in-house recipe created by Chef Abdul Ali way back in 1987. Deez has periodically launched new biryanis from different regions like Pakistani Biryani (a Sindhi-style biryani), Hyderabadi biryani, Heart Healthy biryani (a zero cholesterol, zero transfat, low calorie biryani for the health conscious), and Dilli 6 biryani, the famous old Delhi style biryani.

The USP of DeeZ is in the fact that it gives DUM to all its biryanis in handis (Patented concept of DeeZ) which are available in six different sizes that serve up to 60 people from a single handi. The handis keep the biryanis hot and fresh upto three hours. Apart from this DeeZ is the only biryani chain that provides biryanis from more than five regions and is constantly adding more biryanis to its menu. Open: 11am-11pm

5. Paradise, Gurugram
Hyderabad-style biryani at Paradise, Gurugram
Hyderabad-style biryani at Paradise, Gurugram

With a legacy going back six decades, the outlet offers Nizami biryani, coming straight from Hyderabad. It was started in September 1953 at Secunderabad in Telangana (erstwhile Andhra Pradesh) as a small 100-seater restaurant-cum-provisional store, targeting the people visiting Paradise theatre. Though the theatre shut down, the café continued. Between 1978 and 1996, there was re-structuring, renovation and modernisation to match the evolving food habits. In 2004, the management decided to expand to other cities and other localities in Hyderabad. Now, it has more than 20 national outlets.

With focus on keeping the ingredients authentic and food close to the original flavours, chefs have been trained in Hyderabad in the parent kitchen. For those who want their daily dose of north Indian fare, there is the traditional butter chicken and dal makhni on offer. Open: 11am-11pm.

6. Paatra, Jaypee Vasant Continental
nawabi-thali-with-meerut-kee-roti, Paatra, Jaypee Vasant Continental, Vasant Kunj, Delhi
Indian thali at Paatra, Jaypee Vasant Continental

Paatra, meaning vessel, has a relaxed ambience with wide chairs and a live kitchen. All the lost North Indian recipes are on the menu here. The restaurant has an iron tandoor. Everything here is about good ingredients and great preparations. The best part is that the cooking style is in sync with authentic flavours. If a tandoor is needed, it will be procured to keep the authenticity alive. The restaurant even makes its own pickles.

Dipping kababs and Dum ki Pasliyan into the fresh mint chutney, the meats are marinated to perfection. At Paatra, nothing is hurried. Whisky is the most popular drink with Indian cuisine here. Dal Tadka is another popular item and starters with chicken are a favourite. The restaurant can even cater to Jains and vegetarians with their special needs. Open: 12.30pm – 3.30pm; 7.30pm – 11.45 pm

Healthy Delights

1. Getafix, Greater Kailash I
Healthy bowl meals at Getafix, Delhi
Healthy bowl meals at Getafix, Delhi

This place offer healthy salads, sandwiches, burgers and beverages—a mix of Italian and American food. The restaurant is filled with aroma of fresh ingredients. The menu comprises pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, burgers, bowl meals and starters. Drinks are fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, soups, teas and coffees. The brainchild of Dhruv Chawla and Aanandita Chawla, the café is named after the tall Getafix from Asterix comics. ‘Get a fix’ is about guilt-free indulgence.

This café is interesting for its handpainted wall, books rack and cozy reading section, teal-lime green-yellow colours, quinoa burger, bowl meals, air fried fish and chips, jaggery-based desserts, free wi-fi. Open: 10am-10pm

2. Keventers Milkshakes & Ice Creams

Milkshakes and ice creams at Keventers, Delhi
Milkshakes and ice creams at Keventers, Delhi

With a legacy going back around 100 years, the first milkshake from this dairy came to the public in 192​5. With many classic flavours and new ones, it is a mean bottle of milk. The four classic flavours are Vanilla, Butterscotch, Kesar Pista and Strawberry. The milk is fresh and the quantity enough to make you feel you need to walk around a bit to let it settle in the body. The bottles are reminiscent of the days gone by when the milkman left them on the doorstep. Among the new flavours is Choco Peanut butter with crunchy peanuts, Mint Oreo is refreshing, and then there’s the pink Tutti Frutti. The outlets also offer gelato. Open: 10am – 10am

3. Diggin, Anand Lok
Fresh fast food and more at Diggin, Delhi
Fresh fast food and more at Diggin, Delhi

This casual dining café serves European, Continental, Italian, fast food. This café is right opposite the famous Gargi and Kamla Nehru colleges, hence there is no alcohol and non-vegetarian food. The décor is very cosy and friendly with a wooden swing, plants, terrace. The ambience is light, airy and homely. The red wooden bricks on the live kitchen, little tea pots on the side, a tree painted on a white wall, Diggin makes you feel relaxed. There is a bakery on the ground floor and wooden seating on the outside. It has a special DU or Delhi University menu at a nominal price for students with ID cards.

The founder Digvijay Singh was inspired by his stay in London and the restaurant carries many British nuances. There is a choice from soups and salads. Diggin Special Salad comes with apples, chicken, roasted beets. In starters, Crispy Zucchini Fries and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Legs are a must try for all meat lovers. The pizzas are thin crusts and topped with fresh flavours. The Ravioli is filled with spinach, broccoli and ricotta cheese blend. The Chocolate Fondant is a must eat. There is a variety of sandwiches and burgers. The place has positive vibes and a cool ambience. Open: 11:30 am to 11 pm

Bars

1. Nero, Le Meridien, New Delhi
sparkling cocktails, Nero, Le Meridien, Delhi
Sparkling cocktails, Nero, Le Meridien, Delhi

The day you look for that quiet, dark corner to sink into, then Nero could be your choice. With its dim lighting, black walls, you could just melt into the walls without anyone giving a damn. All you got to remember is that this is a place for some hi-end unwinding, nothing ostentatious works, except the wallet and maybe a shine of the silver sitting stools.

The black bar reminds one of the ancient dukes and duchesses and hidden secret agendas with its high-backed chairs sitting against the wall. I preferred the sitting space in the centre with silver stools. With some yummy broccoli to go with the Negroni, Nero is a time to share your secrets because what happens in Nero, remains in Nero.

The place is best known for its sparkling cocktails and there are around five good ones which are packaged to suit the ‘destination unlocked’ mantra that the parent company Starwood has adopted for Le Meridiens across the globe. The experts take the best picks of spices and ingredients of the location and develop drinks around that. The fusion goes thus:

  • Negroni, a mix of Campari, Vermouth and dash of orange, is for those who like the bitter drinks.
  • Amore with its five spices, honey infused grappa and Spumante (the famous Italian sparkling white wine) was another good one. I think the ladies would enjoy the sweet taste and the subtle flavour of the spices.
  • Mizzle, if you like creamy drinks. This was not my kind of a drink. Made of Amarula (creme liquor from South Africa), black pepper and soda water, this has a melted ice cream like taste but the black pepper does add a twist.
  • London Mule made of Gin, fresh lime, ginger and ginger beer. I didn’t try this but the gin lovers said go for it. It takes time to prepare and must be enjoyed with a lot of snacks and gossip.
  • Bavarian Mojito with Larger, fresh mint lime and brown sugar was a healthy mix of honey and mint. A drink for all times.

The menu has a range of 76 cocktails, besides the regulars. A dash to Nero could really add some sparkle to a dull evening. Open: 11am- 12:59am (alcohol is not served on dry days)

2. Grappa, Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, New Delhi
Orange-flavoured bitter Grappa Negroni , Grappa,, shangrila's Hotel, Delhi
Orange-flavoured bitter Grappa Negroni , Grappa,, Shangrila’s Hotel, Delhi

Greeted by the blue-green scooter, the two wheeler ride for which Italy is well known, Grappa  has a cool alfresco space too. This can be a romantic heaven with the lush gardens giving it a zing. Small platters and cocktails from Grappa, it is a fun place to be in. The orange-flavoured bitter Grappa Negroni went well with bruchettas, salads, and more–all this comes under the Cicchetti (small platters) umbrella. This Negroni has flavours

of Campari, Martini Rosso, and orange and lemon bitters. What I would recommend is Baked artichoke romana with hazelnut chili crumble and fontina glaze; Lightly fried wild mushrooms, olives, pickled chili, blue cheese dip; Roasted chicken, wild mushrooms, parmesan snow. Grappa entices with its well-stocked bar and cool platters. Open: 3pm to 1am

Do share your experience of dining out in Delhi with us.

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27 thoughts on “Quick Guide to Eating Out in Delhi

  1. OK, my views on eating out in Delhi has been changed a bit and loving some of these options. I know there are probably international options creeping in but I rather try the local cuisine and I am loving the look on some of the sauces with the meal. Cant wait to get to India and just eat…(and see the sites also) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m amazed to see such a big variety of high end restaurants in Delhi, even healthy ones. But to be honest with you, I love Indian food so much that if I make it to India I’ll only eat that, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like there is a lot of diversity in the food scene in Delhi. When I was there I remember eating out on Connaught Place but I can’t remember which one. It didn’t look as fancy as the places you mention, but I remember some very tasty dishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love food in Delhi, especially street food. I love flavors and smells. I don’t know too many restaurants, although I was in Delhi three times so far. Next time I would love to visit some places on your list. Dhaba by Claridges, Paatra, Plum by Bent Chair, 38 Barracks seem perfect to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Can’t believe, even after living in India for so many years, I still haven’t visited Delhi. And frankly, I always thought I would visit Delhi for the History, never for the food scene (before today!) There is do much diversity and pomp to it all! Every place you have mentioned is drool-worthy. But two places in your list, that I definitely wanna try are 38 Barracks and Paatra! 😀 Very well curated list btw!
    – Vaisakhi

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are so many options. Caffe Tonino will be my first choice though. Followed by Diggin and Keventers. But I wonder whether food in the international restaurants have authentic tastes or converted to Indian tastes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Delhi is a place to eat and try different food. I was in Delhi a few years ago and all I did was eat. There are so many street vendors and restaurants catering for all kinds of foodies. I especially loved the chats and paranthas, so delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A foodie trip to Delhi has long been in our bucketlist! Being immersed in the food culture definitely calls to us, especially if it involves street food and seeing the local life and the people selling it. Thanks for this, we’ll keep an eye on these dishes once we get to visit Delhi.

    Liked by 1 person

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