The Delhiite’s Guide to Top 25 Restaurants in Delhi

Posted on March 16, 2012 in Specials

By Apurva Desai and Tushar Aggarwal:

New in Delhi? Need a place to eat at and the restaurant reviewing websites don’t seem to help? Well, look no further, as Youth Ki Awaaz presents to you The Delhiite’s Guide to Top 25 Restraunts in Delhi:

1. The Big Chill Café
Where? Khan Market, DLF Place Saket and Kailash Colony Market
Not that a true Delhiite (or anyone who knows about the existence of Delhi) needs to be told about Big Chill, but for those who do not know for some reason- GO THERE ASAP! A to-die-for shake, a huge portion of pasta and a scrumptious dessert (Mississippi Mudpie Ohyeah) – one definitive meal that’ll get you hooked for life. Adorned with posters of Classic Hollywood flicks and vintage product commercials, there’s not a single dull moment in Big Chill.  A meal for two will set you back 1500 bucks, but that’s 1500 bucks spent very, very well!

2. Legends of India
Where? Connaught Place
Picture this- India’s best street food chefs flown into the heart of Delhi, cooking their regional specialties and you get Legends of India. Some exotic-sounding kabab, a frivolous little mutton gravy, a puffy, unheard of naan and a silky phirni- by the time you devour all this deliciousness, you have a very overwhelmed stomach and a very empty pocket. A meal for two in Legends Of India will cost you about 1500 bucks, but then again, it’s one of those places where you ask your friends to treat you on birthday 😉

3. Fujiya
Where? Malcha Marg Market, Chanakyapuri
Not too authentic, not too Punjabi- Fujiya is the perfect kind of Chinese. Huge portions, good crowd and friendly servers- Fujiya is the place to go to with your family. Do not forget to order their wontons… they serve these crisp, warm and light delights in a big basket, enough to fill you up for an entire week. With an average of about Rs. 800 for 2 people, Fujiya is the place to be next Sunday with the family.

4. Veda
Where? Outer Circle, Connaught Place
Gaudy, overdone, extravagant and uptight- that’s what Veda is. Amidst all the local eateries and street shopping CP, Veda is a high-class, amuse bouche-serving, Rohit Bal-designed restaurant that serves some pretty good food. It’s completely candle-lit and you see more chandeliers and crystals than people. With uptight staff and melt-in-your-mouth chicken tikka, Veda forces you to ditch Sula and try Pinot Noir. Dress in your Sunday best and take a glimpse into the life of a Page 3 celebrity. A rather pricey indulgence, Veda will cost you about Rs. 1500 for a meal for two.

5. Café WTF
Where? Defence Colony Market
11 a.m., and the rest of the day’s lectures got cancelled? Hit the road or board the metro, and go to Café WTF in Defence Colony. It has absolute rubbish on the walls and an eclectic mix of food. But the best part about the café is the board games. And lots of them. You can spend hours, drinking beer and playing Jenga, Ludo, Scrabble or Life. Delhi University crowd ensures lots of young energy in the air. Hours of casual time-pass and delicious food will cost you no more than Rs. 1500 for a group of four.

6. Fio Country Kitchen and Bar
Where? Garden of Five Senses, Saidulajab, Saket
Fio in Garden of Five Senses is complete with beautiful outdoor seating and perfect music. Excellent food, an eclectic selection of drinks and a guaranteed-burn-a-hole-in-your-pocket-bill, this is one place you go to appreciate the beauty of the ambience. A meal for two will cost you around Rs. 2500.

7. Sizzlers
Where? Defence Colony Market, Cross Points in Gurgaon
The minute you open the gate to Sizzlers by Moets, all you’ll see is smoke and all you’ll smell will be delicious. But fear not, step right in and get yourself a table. Get their fresh and garlic-butter smeared bread. Choose from their very confusing Sizzler options and wait. Want to know what will power and self control are all about? Go to Sizzlers and find out. A delicious but piping hot sizzler will sit in front of you and you’ll have to wait for it to cool down. Don’t want to wait? Dig right in. You’ll have a burnt tongue and all that, but the saffron rice and fries will straight away put you into a coma anyway. At about Rs. 300 a sizzler, Sizzlers by Moet’s gives you your money’s worth.

8. It’s Greek to Me.

Where? Green Park
Looking for a place to serenade your beloved? Fed up of the Punjabi-Chinese-Italian routine? Want to reminiscence the Mediterranean feel from your EuroTrip? It’s Greek to Me is your answer. The hospitality, warmth of the staff will pull you back to the place at any given time. The restaurant has two floors, one modelled as a by-the-sparkling-sea café, and the other a more cosy, dimly lit lounge, complete with dig in couches. The authenticity is brilliant, and the variety, mind-boggling. It’s actually heart breaking to see the waiter clean up the last of your dishes. A meal for two shall cost you around 2000 bucks. But, what’s that for a hung-up-on-you look from your beloved, eh.

9. Wenger’s
Wenger’s. If the name isn’t enough to send you into a drool frenzy, then shame on your knowledge of the city. Wenger’s is perhaps the oldest bakery in the city. It was started by a German couple, and was the posh place for the young and dashing to spend their evenings at. Wenger’s regains the old world charm of English baking and hosts the most delicious varieties of pastries, cakes, cookies, tarts, pizzas,  breads, macaroons,  sandwiches, chocolates… You name it and they have it. If you have given up on dieting, Wenger’s is the place to accumulate fat, the stylish and delicious way. Do try the Chocolate Ruffle cake and the Christmas cookies.

10. Khan Chacha
Where? Connaught Place
From a hole in the wall, to a swanky two storey building, to a branch in the heart of Delhi, CP, Khan Chacha has come a long way, but has retained the grandeur of it’s humble roll. Since the building has come into the picture, the prices have shot up, but hey, we do have a place to sit and take in the goodness of Khan Chacha. The wooden floors, the viewable kitchen — all remind you of the simpler times that are long gone. The never ending photographs of Javed Bhai with actors, cricketers, even international footballers make you feel special, being “one of them”. Khan Chacha outlets are the stuff which give the phrase, ‘you have to see it to believe it’ a new perspective altogether. A meal for two would cost you around 400 bucks.

11. Thadi
Where? Hauz Khaz Village
Itshady entrance sends back a thousand prospective customers, and that’s what you should rejoice about. Thadi is the café all of us have been looking for, all our lives. Thadi was started by two frustrated engineering students, and the frustration comes out beautifully in the graffiti that adorns this roof top café. Hookah, low seating, great food, and nobody to kick you out for lazing around. Nestled in the beauty of the Hauz Khas village, overlooking the vast expanse of lake and those little spot-me ducks, this place is a check on all the little quirky needs of us youngsters. It’s quiet atmosphere is home to budding entrepreneurs, musicians, artists and even singers. You can spot the next MF Hussain, I say.  It’s a little expensive to fall under the daily outings, but good for monthly dates. Rs 900 for two, including the hookah.
Tip: Look for snapdeal vouchers for this place!

12. Zambar
Where? Ambience Mall, Gurgaon
Coconut Water Iced Tea. 4 words that summarize the entire Zambar experience. The Nelluri Mushrooms and Malabar ‘Parotta’ might haunt you in your dreams, but nothing really comes even close to the brilliance of the iced tea. A long walk all the way to the back of the food court, this lovely closed restaurant had tables designed like little ships. Get one of the window tables… you get to see the Gurgaon skyscapers while hogging on these Coastal delights. A rough Rs. 2000 for a meal for 4, Zambar is a gem.

13. The Great Kabab Factory
Where? Various locations in Delhi
If you have to go to Kabab Factory next month, stop eating from today. Unlimited supply of kababs, unlimited supply of dal and sabzi and a selection of no less than 15 different desserts await you at The Great Kabab Factory. The non vegetarians can say that it’s pointless for the vegetarians to go there, but do NOT listen to them! The Veg Galouti Kabab melts in your mouth, the sweet bread they serve with kababs smells so divine that it gives you goosebumps. The non vegetarians, of course, consider it heaven. Prices per head vary from branch to branch, but people would trade their children to eat at Kabab Factory, so money is basically insignificant.

14. Al Bake
Where? New Friends Colony
It’s Arabic, and not a fancy name for a bakery. It’s the joint which has the most number of infringement cases after the never-ending Aggarwal Sweets. Yet, nobody can ever copy more than the name. The mouth watering Shawarma is; was and shall forever be Al Bake’s forte in Delhi. The jostling and over enthusiastic crowd and the “khat-khat” of the lamb and chicken being minced instantly pulls you in. The greasy mayo, the elbow to elbow fight for space, the barely there cleanliness is all forgotten with the first bite of the beautiful Shawarma. It’s a must visit for all you non-vegetarians out there. A meal for two shall set you back by Rs 300.

15. Rajdhani
Where?  Various Locations throughout the city
Rajdhani is the closest to sampling authentic Rajasthani cuisine in the capital. The mouth watering Gatte ki Sabzi, Moong Dal ka Halwa and the Daal Baati Churma would make you want to take the next flight to the desert land. The best part? It’s heaven for indecisive people. They have a fixed menu, with the Rajasthani thaali, which showcases every inch of Rajasthan on a copper platter. The ambience is perfect for that long due family dinner, with darbans greeting you at the door, attendants attending to you, the royal style. The secret that I will lead you on to? The second, third, fourth… Nineteenth, all helpings are free! A thali costs a little more than Rs 250, including taxes.

16. Hard Rock Café
Where? DLF Place, Saket
We’re not saying that the food at HRC is bad, but if you’re going to The HRC, you go there for the experience. You go there to see what the buzz and hype are about. You order a beer, order some chicken wings and have a good time. Also, before going there, you save up money for a while because those are 2000 bucks (for two people) you will never see again.

17. Nagpal/ Sitaram
Where? Nagpal: Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar/ Sitaram: Paharganj and Pitampura
After a long and heated argument about the best Choley Bhature joint in Delhi, we finally settled with a tie between Nagpal and Sitaram. What’s better? The onion-smeared aloo ki sabzi with choley with paneer stuffed bhaturey at Sitaram or ‘it’s 11 AM, and they are gone’ spicy affair at Nagpal’s? Having grown up on both of them, it’s a choice only the devil can make. Sample them, and join in our dilemma. Rs. 50 a plate.

18. Saravana Bhawan
Where?  Janpath
The wait to find a place to rest your derrière is the real deal that the place offers. It’s a two storied, deep into the building restaurant, and even at four in the evening on a busy working day, you cannot find a place. Blame it on the population, you say. I beg to differ. Saravana Bhawan, a unit of Andhra Bhawan (Go ahead, call us partial) has the magic. It offers you the South Indian delicacies with panache. Want to impress your ‘phorener’ friends? Ditch the Khan Market routine, and head to Saravana Bhawan. Not into South Indian? Go in, have the fresh smoothies and shakes. Or sample the luscious in house brand of ice cream. Fig ice-cream. A must. It’s fancier than Andhra Bhawan, so a meal for four will cost you around 1200 bucks.

19. Andhra Bhawan
Where? Ashoka Road
Some rules to follow: Leave your fab diets at home. Shed the too-sophisticated-to-dig-my-fingers-in-the food image. Enter. Enter the world of Gunpowder and ghee, mutton fry and gonkura pickles. The unlimited helpings of rice and rasam, combined with the delightful south Indian hospitality are a match made in heaven. If you aren’t the daring variety, settle down for the tried and tested Idli and Dosas. The steam from the piping hot food there can put even the mightiest of steam engines to shame. It’s the place for homesick South Indians and the rest of us, who crave for authentic South Indian cuisine. It’s cheap, delicious, and different! A meal for four will cost you about 700 bucks. Oh, and brownie points for scoring a seat within ten minutes during the lunch hour!

20. UPSC Ki Chaat
Where? Shah Jahan Road
Rumour has it, that the owner of this humble chaat shop has a bungalow in GK and drives around in a Merc. Why not, we want to ask.  According to us, this guy is the last word in the Chaat business. ‘The Aloo Tikki or the Papri Chaat’ (which, by the way, is more serious than the next upcoming economic crisis).  The crisp, perfectly-done underground wonders or the papri doused in painstakingly whipped yoghurt with the lip smacking sonth dancing on the top? We say, both. UPSC’s Chaat should be given a high honour status and should be replaced with your lunch for the day. Babu Sahebs in the overshadowing building next door would all burp in agreement. Rs 80 per person for the aforesaid ‘lunch’.

21. One Café/ One Boulevard
Where? Select Citywalk, Saket
A casual, laidback café with terrible service but decent food and good hookah. One might think it’s just another café, but wait till you go for one of their karaoke nights. The entire place is filled with South Delhi kids, jamming to the tunes of Bollywood movies and International hits. It’s a rare sight to find Karaoke nights in Delhi and this is one you mustn’t miss. You’ll shell out about a thousand bucks for 2 people, and your voice, of course, from all the singing!
Tip: Use your TAF Cards/ DU Discount Cards here and avail up to 20% off!

22. Nathu’s in Bengali Market
I think we can all establish that almost all of us have had that moment where you cross Bengali Market enroute to somewhere and everyone in the car agreed upon stopping for a quick plate of gol gappe, a papri chaat here, crisp aloo chaat there, asking the younger sibling to run and get some kulfi and then continued with your journey. It’s a real disappointment when you don’t see the bhaiya with the really big moustache, but the food compensates for that. Home to Mahi from Mahi Way, us Delhiites have been asking for extra pani after finishing gol gappe long before her. A family of 4 can eat it’s heart out in less than Rs. 200.

23. Chicago Pizza
Where? Various outlets throughout Delhi
From a slice of classic cheese to something as crazy as a pizza with pineapples- Chicago Pizza serves big slices of delectable pizza. A slice of pizza is a meal in itself. Also, Friends fanatics can feel like Joey and gorge on these humungous slices. The Chicago’s Monster Fizz is a must have. At Rs. 75 a slice, Chicago Pizza keeps you coming back for more.
Tip: Use your TAF Cards/ DU Discount Cards here and avail up to 20% off!

24. United Coffee House
Where? Inner Circle, Connaught Place
If you want to revisit the 90s, United Coffee House is the place to go to. It’s almost as if time stopped in this 2-storied restaurant in CP. From a cup of coffee to a full course meal, from Samosas to risottos- UCH has it all. Polite and experienced servers and simple, yet lip smacking food ensure a very quiet and peaceful time. A meal for two costs about Rs. 1000.

25. Giani’s
Where? The original Giani di Hatti at Chandni Chowk, New Parlours at various locations throughout the city.
“As long as Delhiites have a sweet tooth, no downturn can affect us.” — says the owner of Giani’s. Even statistics couldn’t have been more precise. The original Giani’s is the stuff our fathers’ pot bellies are made of. The Kulfi Faluda there sells like hot cakes.  Gelato ice-cream, you whimper. Taste the kulfi and the whimpers shall die down. The rich creamy texture of the kulfi, combined with smooth, almost divine faluda, and the sprinkles of dry fruits is a delight superior to Katrina in Sheila Ki Jawaani. The new parlours can give any of the MNC brands a run for their money. Clean, minimalistic décor and a drool-worthy array of ice creams can give you sleepless nights for a month in a row. That comes from personal experience. What’s more? You can create your own personalized sundaes and combinations. Perfect for a cute, light-on-the-pocket ice-cream date. It’s Rs 45 for the heaven-sent Kulfi, and Rs 50 — Rs 200 for the ice creams at the parlours.