The Best Restaurants in Delhi

Make a reservation at one of Delhi’s highest rated restaurants, featuring a range of modern and classic cuisine. From the iconic, cutlery-free dishes at Bukhara to the Michelin starred dim sum and dumplings at Yauatcha, top chefs have made their mark in India’s capital. The award-winning restaurants offer intimate dining spaces, views of Delhi’s skyline, and live jazz bands.

Ground Floor Taj Palace, Sardar Patel Marg, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110021, India
Imagine a scene from Scott F. Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby where a live jazz band serenades guests as they subliminally move to the rhythm of the music, with hors d’oeuvres in one hand and a vodka martini in the other. Expect a mirrored image of the same vibrant energy and posh ambience of Gatsby’s soirees aboard the Orient Express. Orient Express, the most expensive restaurant in Delhi and voted one the world’s best restaurants, offers a world-class dining experience alongside live jazz bands and fresh food flown in daily from France. The luxurious culinary journey begins in private booths on faux carriages that beautifully mimic the legendary train. The crisp menu offers cuisines of all countries through which the Orient Express traversed, with the classic French fare remaining triumphant. Revel in the seven-course meal, with an appetizer to whet your appetite and the signature dessert to perfect the extravaganza, and of course, succulent sorbet bites in between dishes to neutralize your overwhelmed, yet gratified palate. The individual carriages of the Orient Express are illuminated by gleaming brass fittings, polished wood paneling, and steel facades which not only mesmerize, but promise to fiercely invigorate your senses.
ITC Maurya, Sardar Patel Marg, Akhaura Block, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110021, India
Global celebrities like Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bruce Springsteen have all been spotted at Bukhara. Ranked as one of New Delhi’s top (and priciest) restaurants since 1977, the legendary spot—now located at the ITC Maurya hotel—celebrates India’s rugged North West Frontier region in both its décor and menu. Though the faux-rustic design seems a bit like that of a theme restaurant (think cracked stone walls, low seating, lots of wood beams and clay pots), the cuisine is legit. So legit, in fact, that there’s no cutlery, so guests eat with their hands. (You are issued an apron for protection.) The dishes of the Frontier region tend towards the warm, hearty, and comforting, crafted using tandoor clay ovens and wood fires, so expect staples like marinated kebabs, rich lentils, fluffy bread, and lots of meat; the signature Sikandri Raan mutton leg, burrah (lamb) kebabs, and off-the-menu Chicken Khurchan are particular favorites, along with overflowing shareable platters. Reservations are recommended as the place does gets packed.
Dum Pukht is not just a meal. It is a royal experience. The restaurant has won numerous awards, including “Delhi’s Best Restaurant” and “Asia’s Golden Fork Award.” Indulge in traditional Indian dishes which are created with a special method involving cooking the food in heavy bottomed and sealed vessels to intensify flavors of the dish. Along with Bukhara, another of Delhi’s best, Dum Pukht is located in the ITC Maurya Hotel. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Ground International Trade Tower, American Plaza, Lala Lajpat Rai Rd, Block “E, Nehru Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110019, India
Let’s be honest. It’s so much fun to say the name of this restaurant. Inflections aside, Oh! Calcutta undeniably has the best Bengali food in Delhi. Oh! it’s delicious! Their specialty is seafood, but definitely try the Koraishutir Dhokar Dalna (lentil cakes) and papaya chutney. Oh! and be prepared to wait without a reservation.
The Lodhi, Lodhi Rd, CGO Complex, Pragati Vihar, New Delhi, Delhi 110003, India
The 50 best restaurants in the world, the top restaurants in Asia, the best restaurants in India—this elegant eatery has made all those award lists and more, often for several years in a row. Helmed by chef Manish Mehotra—himself a perennial “best chef” winner and MasterChef India judge—Indian Accent first opened at The Manor in 2009, where it quickly garnered acclaim for its modern take on subcontinental cuisine. It moved to The Lodhi hotel in 2017, where—in a striking, contemporary space lined with windows, paneled with mother-of-pearl, and centered around a “floating” glass-box private dining space—the high-quality and creativity has continued to soar. Some dishes skew “new Indian,” while others are more global with an Indian twist; either way, plates are colorful, flavorful, and artfully presented. Don’t miss signature dishes like galautis (kebabs) stuffed with fois gras, pulled pork tacos, butter popcorn upma, and duck khurchan served in a cone and topped with yogurt and chili. Get your carbs on with one of the nine types of bread—some layered with potatoes or Camembert—and wash it down with a “chat” sangria or masala-infused martini. While there are now Indian Accent outposts in New York and London, the Delhi location remains a must-visit—and, as of 2018, is still the one of the only restaurants in India to make all those award lists.
NH 8, Ambience Island, Gurugram, Haryana 122002, India
India is very lucky to have three locations of this Michelin-starred, London-based restaurant: Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi. Yauatcha is a casual yet modern Chinese tea and dim sum house. They also offer loose-leaf teas, wok items, and unbelievably good truffle edamame dumplings. Don’t forget to sample their signature macaroons on your way out.
Lodhi Road
The intimate, dimly-lit setting of Lodi – the Garden Restaurant provides the perfect place for a romantic rendezvous or a business dinner. There’s a beautiful outdoor deck that overlooks the lush Lodhi Gardens or you can opt for the cozy confines within. The food is absolutely something to rave about, bagging the award of one of the best restaurants in Delhi. You’ll find all the Mediterranean staples like hummus, tabouli, shish taouk, and shwarma, but their specialties are Pistou Soup and River Sole Steak Creole. It’s one of the very few places in Delhi that serve actual beef, so feast your senses on real steak. And the best of all is the dessert menu — it’s killer! There’s also live jazz bands for your entertainment, usually on the weekends, but call before you go to check. You’ll come in hungry and leave happy!
P-13/90, Connaught Circus, Block P, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
Dosas, thalis, and tiffins! Saravana Bhavan specializes in South Indian cuisine. Each dosa comes with unlimited sambar and three chutneys - the tomato chutney being the house favorite. It is authentic, vegetarian, and very popular with the locals. Waits, especially on weekends, can be lengthy. Be sure and sample the Rava Masala Dosa, washed down with fresh lime juice.
D-33, Kamla Nagar, Block G, Kamla Nagar, Delhi, 110007, India
In a city of almost 22 million people, perhaps 20 million of them would recommend Chacha’s for their specialty - Chole Bhature. The classic North Indian dish is spicy chickpeas with fried bread. Sounds simple enough, but nothing can come close to this iconic stand in Kamla Nagar. There are only two tables without chairs, so you either eat standing or take it elsewhere to enjoy. My husband, born and raised in the same neighborhood and a frequent patron, has actually talked about Chacha Di Hatti in his sleep. I believe that says it all.
1, Ashoka Rd, Near India Gate, Pataudi House, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
Andhra Pradesh Bhavan (or AP Bhavan), as the name suggests, offers traditional dishes from the state of Andhra Pradesh. AP Bhavan is absolutely packed on weekends with lines of 100+ people waiting for an authentic taste of thalis and biryani. The space is more like a canteen instead of restaurant and an unlimited thali will cost under $2/person. Biryani is served on Sundays, but visit by noon. There is very little elbow room past 1pm.
1862 A, Chandni Chowk, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Ghantewala Halwai is an icon not only in Delhi, but all over India. Established in 1790, it is considered one of the oldest sweet shops in the country. Ghantewala has served Mughal Emperors, dignitaries, and of course the locals and tourists who scramble to sample the Pista Barfi. The Sohan Halwa, or traditional Persian sweet, is so good that folklore claims it stopped impending battles in the capital. Make sweets, not war.
382, Kucha Seth Rd, Gachi Ram, Fatehpuri, Chandni Chowk, Delhi, 110006, India
In 1950, two halwais—or confectioners—from the Rajasthani city of Bikaner ventured to big city of Delhi to ply their traditional snacks together. Setting up a stall in the Old Delhi Chadni Chowk market, they crafted sweet and savory treats like rasgollas (cheese dumplings in a sugary syrup) and Bikaner bhujuia (fried flour and lentil crisps), based on family recipes—and soon became so well-known that the people of Delhi bestowed them with the nickname of “Bikanervalas,” in honor of their hometown. Today, the brand has over 50 outposts across India, from the Himalayan foot hills of Dehradun and the Mumbai airport to the upscale Hyderabad neighborhood of Banjara Hills, but that Old Delhi original remains. Come for classics like till chikki (nut brittle squares with sesame seed and brown sugar), rich halwas and milk cakes, fruit-and-nut chocolates, and more, as well as seasonal choices. All of the locations are casual, but some are take-out shops only, while other serve a fast-food menu of chaat, Indian and Continental main dishes (including parathas, veggie burgers, and pizzas), desserts, and shakes.
C-98, Cement Godown Gali, Swarn Park Udyog Nagar, Mundka, Rajpath Area, Central Secretariat, New Delhi, Delhi 110041, India
Spice Route is a heavenly experience where deep colors meet exotic spices. Located in the grand Imperial Hotel, I found the restaurant to be one of the most visually stunning places I’ve ever seen. Restaurants in 5-star hotels are generally known to display lavish and extravagant decor, but this restaurant is on a whole new level. It feels as if you have walked into a dark forest with rich gold branches and heavenly waterfalls, and a pervasive aroma of mysterious spices to match. It’s an escape into nature. And it’s not as if the stunning decor is trying to compensate for the poor quality of food. The food is absolutely scrumptious, offering food from all the places that fell under the ancient spice route, from the Malabar Coast of Kerala to the shores of Thailand. I think it’s one of the very few restaurants in Delhi that has amazing Keralan food. The restaurant is really romantic, making it a perfect place for a date. It is very upscale and they are quite serious about implementing a strict dress code. It’s even rated as one of the top restaurants by Condé Nast Traveler. It’s not just a restaurant, it’s an experience!
Shop No. 8, Near India Gate, Pandara Rd, Market, New Delhi, Delhi 110003, India
I have two words for you. Butter Chicken. Gulati is an unassuming, casual spot near India Gate serving unforgettable butter chicken. Lines can be long but just the thought of the gravy will keep you happily waiting. Don’t want to venture out? Stay in your PJ’s and opt for delivery service. Another bonus: Gulati’s is open until midnight, so grab some drinks and then indulge in the mughlai fare.
Outer Ring Road
Smokehouse Grill is a true novelty in the hospitality scene of Delhi. It’s an absolute treat for beef-starved tourists in India. It’s one of the very few places in Delhi that has started serving India’s holy animal on a plate. Aside from the tantalizing steak dishes, the vivacious ambience and live house music complete this lounge/bar. Prices are on the high end, but it’s well worth it when a night on the town is in order. The martinis and classic cocktails are made well, so do give those a try. There are two floors, but the top floor is generally reserved for VIP guests or private parties. Although there is no cover charge, do make reservations, or you might be waiting ages for a table! There is no set dance floor, but you’ll see plenty of youngsters groovin’ to the hottest house/lounge beats at the bar. It’s considered one of the swanky, upscale lounge bars of Delhi, so naturally you will find that the crowd consists of foreigners, expats, and a wealthy local crowd. It’s located right next to Kuki Bar in Greater Kailash II, in Masjid Moth.
First Floor, Hyatt Regency, Ring Road, Bhikaiji Cama Place, Near Fire Station,, Bhikaji Cama Place, RK Puram, New Delhi, Delhi 110066, India
La Piazza is regarded as one of the finest Italian eateries in New Delhi. And rightly so. It’s been highly ranked by various local magazines year after year. Every bite of every dish oozes with freshness and is cooked to perfection. It’s one of the few restaurants where I found that they offered healthy substitutes such as whole wheat pasta. The ambiance is dimly-lit and romantic, mimicking somewhat of a sidewalk Italian cafe with cascading white pillars, stone tiles, and wooden louvres. Top off your experience with scrumptious desserts and crisp Italian wine…and VOILA, you’re in Italian heaven! As expected, the dress code is upscale and classy. They will refuse service, so dress up! To try: the wood-fired pizzas!
No. - 4, Khan Market, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110003, India
Along with stylish boutiques and design shops, the narrow lanes of the upscale Khan Market are lined with all manner of eateries, from cafés and cocktail bars to food stalls and fusions restaurants. As of late 2018, the roster also includes Sly Granny, which arrived on a wave of buzz generated from its original Bengaluru location. Through this often-packed bi-level outpost is smaller than the sprawling first location, the concept here is the same: a space “inherited” from a mythical globetrotting grandmother and inspired by her favorite recipes and eclectic style. Here, that translates to a décor of plush velvet sofas, old cookbooks, and crystal bric-a-brac, statement tableware, and bold, quirky artwork in the snug dining room, plus a cozy upstairs bar that converts to a cocktail lounge come dark. Drinks there range from the creative (crafted with ingredients like elderflower, yogurt, or honey-ginger syrup) to the classic (twists on G&Ts and Pimm’s cups), not unlike the style of the food menu below, which starts with pastas, steaks, and burgers, then veers towards tacos, schnitzel, chicken liver pâté, and Kerala-style fish moilee. You won’t need a granny’s encouragement to eat up dishes like bacon-gruyere mac-and-cheese balls, house-cured salmon, chocolate lava cake, and a twist on grilled cheese with ricotta, onion jam, tomato chutney, and two kinds of chilies.
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