Old Delhi Food Tour
$70 | Rating 4.85 / 5 [74 ratings]
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Thanks largely to its luxury hotels, Delhi’s food scene is as varied and cosmopolitan as you’ll find anywhere in India.
North Indian cuisine – Punjabi in particular – is ubiquitous in Delhi. Typically dominated by rich meat and vegetable dishes using clarified butter, or ghee, as a base for their sauces, they’re accompanied by a range of leavened and unleavened breads such as chapatis, rotis and naan. A healthier option is meat cooked in a clay oven, or tandoor, with its distinctive spices and flavour.
Carnivores might also embrace ‘frontier (as in the Northwest Frontier of present-day Pakistan) cuisine’ with its simple rustic style and predominance of tandoor-cooked kebabs.
Chaat, or savoury snacks, are served from an array of hand carts, stalls and eateries across the city. This ever-popular tasty ‘street food’ typically encompasses combinations of potatoes, dal, chickpeas and fried dough garnished with onions, spices, curd and sauces. Perhaps the only downside is that delicate stomachs might struggle with the hygiene.
Chole bhature – spiced chickpeas and puffed fried ‘pancakes’ – is a ubiquitous street-food breakfast. Punjabi specialities like butter chicken and dal makhani are very popular.
Be sure to try ‘frontier (as in Northwest Frontier) cuisine’ in high-end restaurants – standout dishes include murg peshawari (chicken in gravy), dal bukhara and sikandari raan (leg of mutton or lamb).
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Many of Delhi’s best restaurants are in the luxury hotels, though there’s a scattering of options elsewhere – notably on Connaught Place and the shopping enclaves in South Delhi, including Hauz Khas, Khan Market and Greater Kailash.
Street food abounds across Old Delhi in particular, particularly on Chandni Chowk, though for those of a delicate disposition hygiene might be an issue. In general, basic but busy eateries are probably a safer bet. Avoid food that looks like it’s been sitting around for long and possibly unwashed items (such as salads); ice is a no-no.
Stand-alone pubs and bars close before midnight, so much of the action centres around top hotels in polite bars.
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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience
India’s intense sight- and monument-filled capital is a compelling blend of the modern Raj-influenced New Delhi, and the sights, sounds and smells of Old Delhi’s heaving and exotic lanes and bazaars.
India’s cultural essence combined with its most iconic sights and greatest bucket list experiences, all distilled into one compact, diverse and vibrant region.