When in New Delhi, it is impossible not to notice India Gate, an impressive WWI memorial towering over one of the most overwhelmingly chaotic, bubbly and colorful cities in South Asia. But it is easy to overlook the little restaurants dwelling in its shadows, snugly pressed between the food stalls, saree sellers and crumbling buildings. Here we explore the 10 restaurants diners absolutely must visit while near India Gate.
The Monkey Bar calls itself a “gastro-pub”, already establishing it as a hip place. The interior design lives up to the name; the factory-like loft with brick walls and wooden tables have a New York feel to them, and the pool tables are a popular pastime in between courses. It is a great place to hang out with friends, share a plate of starters and drink exotic cocktails. The main menu varies between Indian dishes, Thai curries and the well-known burgers.
The legendary Gulati Restaurant is found just around the corner from the India Gate. For over four decades, this restaurant has been famous for its authentic North Indian dishes and great hospitality. Gulati is the real deal when it comes to traditional, authentic recipes, and no other place can even remotely compete with their delicious butter chicken. Or their garlic naan. And don’t forget to try the palak paneer. Better yet – just have it all at the buffet during lunch hours.
It’s a 20 minute walk from the India Gate to Khan Chacha, but it’s totally worth it. Located in the bustling Khan Market, this little restaurant serves the best rolls, rotis and kebabs in Delhi, with delicious chutneys on the side. It is the kind of food you can’t eat without getting messy – quintessential street food. Better avoid it at rush hour though, as the restaurant tends to get cramped with people craving for a taste of Khan Chacha.
Varq Restaurant has stunning decor; wooden ornaments adorn the walls and everything is bathed in a soft red light -but it is the exquisite dishes that are the real masterpieces. Expect traditional Indian cuisine with a modern twist, beautiful presentation and rich flavors. The Taj Mahal Hotel is the perfect venue for a star quality restaurant like Varq; extravagant, distinguished and above all, luxurious. This is Fine Dining with capital letters.
Just south of India Gate you’ll find the lively Pandara Road, full of coffee bars and small restaurants. One of them, Pindi Restaurant, serves the best Indian naan. You haven’t tasted India if you haven’t tried the different types of naan made by Pindi’s. Hot plain naan, butter naan, garlic naan, aloo naan – every single one is delicious. The menu has a number of curries and kebabs to accompany the naan bread, resulting in a delicious meal.
The Imperial Hotel is located a short distance from India Gate, and it houses the most beautifully designed restaurant in Delhi. The Spice Route is completely hand painted with floral patterns in soft yellows and greens, and depicts the journey of spices in the Orient. Entering this restaurant is like entering an ancient temple; eating here is a unique experience. Awarded one of the top 10 restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, The Spice Route can’t be missed when visiting New Delhi.
If you want the whole of Asia on one plate, you should definitely visit Mamagoto. Being the best Pan-Asian fusion restaurant in Delhi, it combines the different region’s cuisines into one single eating experience. Pop-art blends with Asian manga, Thai fried rice is served alongside Chinese dumplings, and everyone is happy.
If after a few weeks in India you crave something other than tandoori chicken or biryani, but don’t want to go for fast food options, then the Yellow Brick Road Restaurant is a great alternative. With tasty Italian pastas and pizza to die for, as well as American burgers and French fries enjoyed in a colorful environment, it might just be the variation you needed. No worries if your companion can’t get enough of the local food; there are plenty of Indian curries and paneers to choose from too.
This restaurant’s unique premise matches its unique name. SodaBottleOpenerWala‘s Persian inspired food is delicious and entering this little place is like entering a story from the 1001 Nights. The rooftop terrace is a relaxing hide-out from the city’s continuous hustle and bustle. Not too far from India Gate, this is the perfect place in which to have a quiet evening overlooking the city lights.
With many describing it as divine and delicious, Andhra Bhavan is only a humble canteen, but it serves amazing food at drop dead cheap prices, which makes it a hot spot for backpackers and budget travelers. Don’t be shy, share your table with the Indian family next to you or the old man enjoying his rice biryani. After all, it is the folksy atmosphere which makes Andhra Bhavan the most enjoyable budget restaurant in Delhi.