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Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor

The 14 best restaurants in Delhi

India's culinary capital? From traditional eateries to hidden gems, these are the best restaurants in Delhi

Written by
Anum Mulla
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Is Delhi India’s culinary capital? We aren’t about to disagree with that sentiment. The soul of this massive place is intricately linked to its flavours, and visitors will not struggle to find something delicious to gorge on here. Delhi is an intensely multicultural place and that shows up in its restaurants, with a range of menus that seem to cover every metaphorical corner of the globe.

Of course, picking out the best restaurants in Delhi means covering the entire scene, from fine-dining majesty to lick-your-fingers street goodness. Eating in Delhi is one of the finest experiences India has to offer, but these restaurants help lift that joy into the stratosphere. Come for the food, stay because you’ve eaten so much you can hardly move.

Best restaurants in Delhi

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. You’re also encouraged to eat with your hands within the earthy and rustic interiors. Pro tip: make a reservation.

Rajinder De Dhaba
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/Vikram K

2. Rajinder De Dhaba

Starting out as a tiny counter in Safdarjung Enclave Market way back when, the man behind Rajinder De Dhaba has now 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, we promise it’ll be worth it.

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Leo’s Pizzeria
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/mohitmodi

3. Leo’s Pizzeria

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 kind of vibe.

Efficiently serving perfectly crispy, paper-thin stuffed dosas, 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 a funky steel glass.

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Andhra Bhavan
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/AnilKumarBR

6. Andhra Bhavan

Although Delhi is home to a whole set of “state Bhavans,”  paying homage to Andhra Pradesh, stands out. A simply fashioned 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.

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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 do 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.

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 now also boasts 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.

9. Karim’s

Open since 1913, this iconic spot serves what is 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.

Bo Tai
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/Delhiciouss

10. Bo Tai

Arguably Delhi’s trendiest (and newest) destination, this beautifully done rooftop restaurant and bar are 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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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.

Greenr
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor/adityacbj

12. Greenr

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

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Yes, you can find Japanese food in Delhi. And delicious food at that. Visit Wasabi by Morimoto, helmed by ex-Nobu chef Masaharu Morimoto inside the luxurious Taj Mahal Hotel, for a curated spread of delectable sushi alongside epic teppanyaki grill dishes. Dimly lit and offering an excellent Japanese whiskey list, this is one place you’ll keep coming back to.

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