The city of Delhi is chaotic, messy, and filled with millions of people. This city has existed for over a thousand years and has been nurtured and influenced by the various empires which ruled over it. Today, Delhi is filled with relics of ancient empires, parliament buildings, and power. Delhi also happens to be the food capital of South Asia. Its long history has paved the way for a food culture which is unparalleled. You can find restaurants tracing their roots back to the sixteenth century side by side with fancy, chic venues. From succulent mutton kebabs and classic vegetarian restaurants to gourmet outlets and Michelin-starred restaurants, Delhi has it all. Here we pick the best vegetarian restaurants in the city.
If you ever visit this restaurant and read the menu, you will notice that it’s a bit different. The menu doesn’t list out any starters, mains or desserts. You will only find thalis and nothing else. Thalis are traditional Indian meals and the food items in the thali change according to the region where it originates from. Suruchi serves three thalis: Punjabi, Rajasthani, and Gujarati. Order any of them and expect to find servings of three to four vegetables, different types of bread, sweets, lentil soups, curry and an Indian dessert. To say the meal is filling is an understatement. There are plenty of things to love about Suruchi, from the Ghee (clarified butter) spread over the bread (called rotis in India), to the cheerful staff. Don’t be deceived by the smiles, they will make sure you order additional servings even when you are full.
Situated near the GTB Nagar Metro Station, Indus Flavour is a major hit among college students. The restaurant is Asia’s first Indus Valley (an ancient civilization) inspired restaurant. It serves food from that region – present day North-West Frontier, Punjab and Rajasthan. The restaurant specializes in North Indian and Mughlai cuisines, but it also serves Chinese food. Interiors are attractive with red tablecloths and a map of the Indus Valley sketched onto the walls. Service is a bit on the slower side, but it’s worth the wait. The food is superbly presented and the kebabs are the major attraction.
Housed in Hotel Ashok, Shraman is a great place if you want to experience the rich cuisines from the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and of the Jain community. The restaurant is quite exquisite, with elegant flooring and a beautiful peacock painted on the walls, which will make you feel as if you are in a place in Jaipur. The food is authentic, from the paneer (cottage cheese) dishes to mocktails, it’s a treat to dine at Shraman
Shudh, which in Hindi means ‘pure,’ is a childhood favourite of many present-day young Delhi people; it was the go to place before the advent of McDonalds and other such fast food outlets. Known for its simple ambiance and tasty food, Shudh still manages to draw many visitors, old and new. You can find four cuisines here: North Indian, Chinese, South Indian and Italian. The interiors resemble a food court and it’s a great place to dine with your family as the diverse cuisines take care of everyone’s tastes.
Located on Pandara Road, more often known for it’s met-seriving restaurants, this vegetarian kitchen restaurant has managed to hold its own. It’s often crowded and you will have to book a table, but it’s worth it. There is a huge number of options for vegetarians, even for those who prefer no onions or garlic; they have a whole section on the menu dedicated to this. If you ever visit this restaurant, try their achari paneer.
Tucked inside the ISKCON temple, Govinda’s is a gorgeous restaurant serving vegetarian food based on ISCKON’s principles – no onion and garlic. You will feel the tranquil ambiance the moment you enter as calm and soothing instrumental devotional music welcomes you. The restaurant has paintings of Krishna inside, and outside are pretty gardens. The food is served in a buffet system and is multi-cuisine. From Indian to Chinese and to a bit of Thai too. You can also access the Vedic literature (holy literature of the Hindus) while sitting at the restaurant, although it’s not about religion here, but rather finding peace and happiness when you have a simple and appetizing meal.
Value for money, that’s what the Karnataka Food Centre is all about. It’s one of the best places and also one of the few places where one can get to taste authentic South Indian cuisine. Always crowded, this place manages to keep itself sane even though there is often a flood of people waiting outside. The menu is rich in flavour and apart from the regular dosas (crepes) and idlis (rice cakes), they also serve traditional items like Bisibele Bhath, Puliyogare Rice (Tamarind rice) and Lemon Rice. The price is perfect and not too heavy on the wallet. Ask for their filter coffee, it’s unlike any coffee you have ever tasted. Delhi Karnataka Sangha Rao Tula Ram Marg Sector 12, R.K. Puram New Delhi, Delhi, India +91 11 3296 1674