People of Delhi love their food and Delhi offers a big list of restaurants and hotels to choose from. From the by lanes of old Delhi to swanky localities of New Delhi, you would find eateries and restaurants suiting all pockets. However, if you ask a resident of Delhi about the best place to have a taste of Delhi, he would undoubtedly point to Old Delhi where every food lover in Delhi has a favorite food destination.
With the influence of western culture in Delhi, International brands like McDonalds, Wimpy’s, Pizza Huts, TGIF and Pizza Express have found their place in Delhi. Residents of Delhi love to hang around these places with their friends and mates as these brands have chains all across the city.
Apart from the small restaurants and eateries, there are elegant hotels and restaurants in the city filled with world class ambience. Five star hotels in Delhi have restaurants and bars serving quality food of all taste and types. The vast buffets of these hotels are worth the splurge, their coffee shops are surprisingly affordable. Most of these restaurants regularly demonstrate expert cooking with themed food festivals.
Café 100 , B-Block, Connaught Place. Ice creams galore, plus pizzas, burgers and fries to take away or eat in (standing). Long lunchtime queues; buy a meal ticket before you reach the counter.
Don't Pass Me By , 79 Scindia House. Friendly, inexpensive and tasty veg and non-veg Chinese restaurant just off Janpath, popular with travellers staying nearby. Go early for full-on breakfasts. They also run a reliable travel service.
El Arab , Sansad Marg. Great place for Middle-Eastern dishes on the corner of Sansad Marg and the outer ring of Connaught Place, with prices ranging from medium to high. Tasty hummus, baba ghanoush and Lebanese salads in an excellent-value daily lunchtime buffet.
Gaylord, near Connaught place, Originally Delhi's top nightclub, now limited to serving standard but expensive Indian dishes in plush surroundings lit by glittering chandeliers.
Host , F-Block. Air-con relief from the Indian heat, and a good place to sit with a beer, silver-service tea, or strong filter coffee. The standard multi-cuisine, however, is unexciting and meals are overpriced.
Kovil , 2 E-Block, Connaught Place. Fresh, no-smoking restaurant and takeaway serving exclusively south Indian veg dishes, with great dosas , and delicious full thalis (around Rs150) at lunch-time.
Kwality , Regal Building, Sansad Marg. High standards of service and hygiene, with good but unspectacular international cuisine; renowned for its channa batura , a particular speciality of Delhi.
National , opposite L-Block, Connaught Place. The best of a bunch of inexpensive sit-down restaurants, with great fiery curries, and an endless supply of chapatis.
Nirula's , 135 L-Block, Connaught Place. Choose from the downstairs snack bar (serving packed lunches), the Chinese or tasty multi-cuisine rooms upstairs, or sample some of the fifty flavours of delicious ice cream in the parlour. A second branch on N-Block, near the Wimpy , is a popular snack bar with smooth ice-cream shakes.
Parikrama , Kasturba Gandhi Marg. Novel and expensive Indian and Chinese cuisine in a revolving restaurant worth a visit.
Pizza Express , D-10 Connaught Place. An ambience and menu identical with their restaurants abroad; so are the prices, which makes it expensive for Delhi, especially their drinks menu.
Rodeo , 12 A-Block, Connaught Place. New-Mexican restaurant with Wild West waiters, crooning karaoke, swinging saddle bar stools, pitchers of beer, cocktails, excellent fajitas and moderate prices.
Sona Rupa , 46 Janpath. Good Indian and Chinese food, extremely popular with families. No-nonsense prices, and dramatic dosa -flinging in the open-fronted kitchen downstairs. Beer and north Indian food upstairs; buy a food ticket at the till and present it to the cooks.
Spice Route , Hotel Imperial , Janpath. The beautifully decorated and expensive restaurant specializes in spicy Thai and Kerala cuisine and is widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in Asia.
Standard , 44 Regal Buildings, Connaught Place. Close to the Regal Cinema, with two food halls, one for the best-value south Indian thalis in town, and the other for north Indian and tandoori specials and chilled beer on tap.
Surang , Alka Hotel , 16-90 P-Block, Connaught Place. A minor treat - delicious tandoori and Mughlai specialities. Vegetarians should try the Vega restaurant (also in the Alka Hotel ), where the purest Indian veg dishes are served with ginger kulcha . United Coffee House , 15 E-Block, Connaught Place. Together with the Host , this is a long-standing favourite, and does great coffee and cold beer. The food is very good and portions are ample, but as a whole it's overpriced.
The Dhaba , Claridges Hotel , 12 Aurangzeb Rd. Designed to look like a trucker's café, with a reconstructed truck to add atmosphere - for those who want really good dhaba cooking without the grime of a roadside truck stop.
Fujiya , Malcha Marg Market, Chanakyapuri. A pilgrimage place for homesick Chinese tourists and well worth the queues. Superb, piping-hot Chinese dishes and fast service.
Karim's , Nizamuddin. Unmissable Mughlai cooking, although not as good as its Old Delhi counterpart. The sumptuous food is very rich, offering much-renowned specialities, plus kebabs, korma and rumali roti (super-thin bread).
Moti Mahal , Netaji Shubash Marg, Darya Ganj. On the noisy main road south of Jami Masjid, this once smart restaurant, established in 1947, may have seen better days but is still renowned as the home of tandoori chicken.
Natraj Bhalla Corner , Chandni Chowk. Right next to the Central Bank, midway along Chandni Chowk. Cosy first-floor snack bar with a few window seats and a limited menu comprising Indian, Western and Chinese options.
Paratha Wali Gali , Chandni Chowk. Opposite the Central Bank, down an alley that leads behind Kanwarji Raj Kumar Sweet Shop. Follow the smell of rich ghee (the lane's hallmark from more than a century dedicated to paratha -making) to any of the several tiny rooms squeezed behind counters displaying pure veg food. Here you choose a paratha to go with standard veg dishes, filled with anything from paneer and gobi to mutter and mooli, all cooked to order, a culinary treat that will set you back around Rs30.
Soni Bhojnalaya , Nai Sarak. First-floor restaurant at the top of a yellow staircase opposite Bina Musical Stores, 30m off Chandni Chowk. Great thalis in typically Indian unfussy surroundings.