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Indian Accent
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor

The 12 best restaurants in Delhi

India's culinary capital? From traditional eateries to hidden gems, the best restaurants in Delhi make a compelling case

Written by
Anum Mulla
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Delhi is a bustling metropolis, and the best way to grab hold of the city is by stuffing your face with all the food you can. Don’t literally stuff your face, of course, people can see you, but eating as much as possible is definitely one of the best things to do here. The best restaurants in Delhi showcase a city at its best, shimmering with variety and ingredients from all over.

The Indian capital is thrillingly multicultural, and quality food is everywhere, from high-level fine-dining restaurants to lick-your-fingers street stands. Okay, you can stuff your face at the latter; we won’t tell anyone…

Best restaurants in Delhi

Bukhara
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/Gaelleloe

1. Bukhara

Bukhara proves to be, without a doubt, the mother of all authentic Indian food experiences. The signature (and massive) hot naans and malai kebabs join the slow-cooked dal bukhara in taking your palate on a journey that will delight it. You’re also encouraged to eat with your hands within the earthy and rustic interiors. Be sure to make a reservation.

 

Starting out as a tiny counter in Safdarjung Enclave Market years ago, the man behind Rajinder De Dhaba has branched out to include five more pseudo counters to his roster over the years. Serving malai tikka rolls and mutton seekh kebabs in plastic silver plates, this is the ultimate joint to soak in the Dhaba experience. Be prepared to stand in line to wait for your food; it’ll be worth it.

 

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Olive Bar & Kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/WANDERLUST_KAUSHIK

3. Olive Bar & Kitchen

Helmed by celebrity chef Sujan Sarkar, Olive Bar & Kitchen stands tall on a gorgeous cobblestoned street, nestled among boutiques and bars, boasting an almost European vibe. The bohemian vibe with an open-air courtyard has turned it into a quintessential spot for Sunday brunch, filled with Mediterranean food.

Indian Accent
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor

4. Indian Accent

Literally accenting Indian food with global touches, chef Manish Mehrotra’s unique fusion menu includes the likes of blue cheese naan and chicken tikka meatballs. The restaurant is located in the swanky Lodhi Hotel and also has locations in New York and London. We highly suggest opting for the chef’s six-course tasting menu—each one comes paired with a wine selection.

 

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Karim’s
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/Samuel R.

5. Karim’s

Opened in 1913, this iconic spot serves arguably the best Mughlai food in the world. Even the walk through the narrow streets of Old Delhi to get here is iconic. A hop, skip and jump away from Jama Masjid, the restaurant’s preserved original structure is historical. Don’t miss out on the famous mutton bara and brain curry.

 

Arguably Delhi’s trendiest destination, this beautifully done rooftop restaurant and bar is quickly becoming a favourite among locals. The scenically located eatery in Mehrauli (the ethereal Qutub Minar is right around the corner) serves an experimental Thai menu that includes some funky must-tries, like tamarind crab cakes.

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Andhra Bhavan
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/AnilKumarBR

7. Andhra Bhavan

Although Delhi is home to a whole set of “state Bhavans,” this one paying homage to Andhra Pradesh, stands out. A simple canteen in the Lutyens Delhi area, the venue is all about dipping into the South of the country with the non-vegetarian thalis. You cannot leave without sampling the mutton curry (available only on weekdays) and the Hyderabadi biryani on the weekends.

 

Sagar Ratna
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/Joanna L

8. Sagar Ratna

Efficiently serving perfectly crispy, paper-thin stuffed dosas and mini idlis, Sagar Ratna is a one-stop shop for South Indian food (mostly vegetarian). There are franchises all over the city, but the original location in Defence Colony Market is utterly magical: don’t miss out on the South Indian coffee offered in funky steel glass.

 

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A bit of a hidden gem, this fun and quirky pizza parlour serves scrumptious freshly baked pies daily. Named after the owner’s dog, notice adorable pictures of the late Leo all over the place, with tons of sunlight falling through large windows, funky old-school rock music in the background and a cosy vibe.

A super cute café including a co-working space area, 80% of Greenr’s menu is vegan. The staff here makes everything, including ketchup, and the cosy industrial vibe is the perfect environment to enjoy the plant-based dishes. The music is Shazam-worthy—so have your phone handy.

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Town Hall
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/Narsingh T

11. Town Hall

Town Hall’s interiors are colonially curated, with different seating sections among high ceilings, stacked library books and old-school room dividers. Expect to find just about anything on the detailed world cuisine menu, but keep in mind that chef Augusto Cabrera is best known for his sushi. The spot, one of the best dining destinations in the iconic Khan Market, gets groovy at night, so you might want to stick around for post-dinner drinks.

Café Lota
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/ManishKumarGoyal

12. Café Lota

Tucked away in Delhi’s National Craft Museum, this quaint outdoor restaurant has a super laid-back feel, complete with bamboo sticks as a ceiling. The spot is best visited for breakfast, brunch or a late lunch. Make sure to try the palak chaat before hopping around the museum and soaking in the visually stimulating handicrafts and handlooms on display.

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