Street food in Delhi is an experience for the taste buds. The rich aromas are definitely going to hit your olfactory senses as you walk through the streets, and there really is no chance that you are going to stop yourself from looking at the dish that caught you by your nose. Of course, when you look at it and it looks the way it does, you will want to try it out.
India’s love for food can be seen on its streets. Indians love snacking and so they love chaat, the most common type of street in Delhi. The quantity of it is perfect; it fills you but not like how a meal does. The majority of the people in Delhi, especially people who do not belong to the 1% had chaat as their primary source of food consumption.
This was because of their availability, the price points at which it was sold, the taste of it. Chaat is the art of containing the same ingredients but creating different combinations with it in terms of temperature, texture and flavours. This street food was an essential part of many people’s lives growing up, an integral part of their days and lives.
The street food in old Delhi has no bounds.
It is not just consumed by one particular religion or caste or region. It shares the same love throughout the city and the country. Thanks to advances in transportation, chaat which had its origins in the North made its way to the South, peninsular states. The vendors must truly receive all credit, as they are responsible for most of this chaat creating and selling process. And they serve billions of people.
So you see when it is this important to Indians, it needs to be tried out. to truly understand where and how the people in the region/city live how they do, it is important that you must live like them, at least for a day and see the world as they see it. As a guide, we have curated a few dishes of street food in Delhi you can get started with.
Best Street Food In Delhi
Chole Bhature is where it all started. When you think of street food in Delhi, Chole Bhature is the food that you should try first because Chole Bhature is meant to be street food in Delhi, everywhere else it’s just a dish. This beautiful ensemble was for workers who had to keep their food budgets small and their stomachs full, and this chickpea rich dish does just that. With all that being said, do not exit Delhi without grabbing a plate of this.
Where to have it: Nand ke Chole Bhature in Sadar Bazaar, Sita Ram at Paharganj, Roshan’s at Koral Bagh, Baba Nagpal Corner in Lajpat Nagar.
When you are in Delhi it’s Golgappe and not Pani Puri, which belongs to Bombay. Now that we have cleared that confusion if you have not tried this legend of street foods yet Delhi must be just the place that can make you get hooked to it. This broken puri carrying its armut-like flavoured paani, which can be spicy, sweet or both, is the must-have street food in Delhi.
Where to have it: Wherever you see the Golgappa bhaiya standing with his bucket loads of puris.
A speciality of Delhi that needs to be had. French fries might stop becoming your favourite variety of potatoes after you have tried the street food in Delhi and one of those favourite could be this puri-aloo combination.
Where to have it: Chaina Ram in Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh Market
Remember when we said French fries might lose their fame, yeah Aloo Chaat can get you attached! This delicious street food delicacy with all its colourful bits, tomatoes, onions, green chillis, sev mixture, peanuts can be the best snack for you while you shop around.
Where to have it: Taram Bazaar in Chandni Chowk, Prabhu Chaat Bhandar in Khan Market, UPSC Bhawan
Maybe spices are not your thing and you are wondering if there is anything that is not going to burn your tongue and the simple answer to that is, there is! Please feel free to get your hands on this wonderful dessert on a stick made of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and HEAVY cream; can you imagine the creaminess? To this creaminess add nuts of your choice and well the most popular and definitely a must-try when it comes to street food in Delhi, Elaichi.
Where to try: Roshan di Kulfi and Ravi Raj di Kulfi in Karol Bagh, Jain Kulfi Bhandar at Shahdara, Kuremal at Chawri Bazaar
Samosa with Chole
See how vendors work with the same stuff and make different dishes? Geniuses! And they all taste great because if you like one of the dishes chances are you would like all of them. Okay so now that we have gone through a few street-food items, guess what the samosa pockets hold in them? Potatoes. This Potato Samosa-Chole combination is just everything in one. It has all the macronutrients you need in it too.
Where to try: Chandi Chowk eateries, Tilak Munjal in Pitampura
Let us try something different now from aloos and chole and puri and onions; Kebabs. One of the ultimate famous street food in Delhi for meat lovers are kebabs. The word kebab means ‘to roast’ and that’s exactly it. it is basically meat, usually lamb, beef, or chicken, roasted on skewers, or not, with loads of flavour and a bunch of spices on it. They can be had with rice or a salad as well. The famous ones are Seekh kebab and Shammi Kebab, but it does not just end there. Do explore the Kebab world in Delhi and find your own favourites.
Where to try: Kebab points in local markets, Chawla’s at Tilak Nagar, Al Kakori at Vasant Place Market
Moving on to bread, we have Delhi’s favourite breakfast food- Parathas. You can not really describe what a Paratha is. They literally come in different ingredients, shapes, stuffing, toppings and you just have to find the one for you. Make this could be an activity for you in Delhi, to discover what your favourite Paratha is. For starters, you have the plain but not boring Paratha, add a little charm with butter as toppings or gobi as stuffing, or wheat for that fibre intake, wherever your priority lies.
Where to try: Parathe Wali Gali, Moolchand ke Parathe, Not just Parathas at Rajouri Garden
Another street food in Delhi that has a huge fan base is this savoury snack. Sure it had its origins in Bombay, but Delhi is different. How is it different you might ask? Try for yourself. Find this lovely mixture of wholesome love of bhel, puri, sev mixture, and everything they could possibly put on chaat and please devour it because you will definitely want to make this simpleton when you go back home.
Where to try: Connaught place and Bhajan Lal’s Bhelpuri under Nagar.
Disclaimer: we’re bringing the aloo back.
Aloo is going to be your best friend in Delhi if you had not figured that out by now. Pav Bhaji has got to be in the Top 10 street food in Delhi list. The beautifully butter/ghee toasted buns, to bring out its contrast of crispy outsides and soft insides, is paired with Bhaji which is an aloo gravy, with of course other vegetables, has gained fame all over India, but Delhi is where it all began.
Where to try: New Arjun Bombay Pav Bhaji, Model Town, Vaishno Chaat Bhandar, Kamala Nagar
This heavenly dessert is one of the most famous street food in Delhi. It has songs named after it, well, does it need more attention? You have to try this orange oily, honestly might take a hit at your health, at least once. Or maybe twice. Or like occasionally when you feel like it. It is in its core a pretzel, but better. The sugar syrup makes it what it is, along with the saffron that is added to it.
Where to try: Jalebi wala in Chandni Chowk, Pandara Road, Bangla sweets in CP, Jalebi store in Chandni Chowk
Sweets And Chaats
Bottom line is, it is Delhi. The streets have the best food ever, some would even be Michelin star worthy. The best way to know what you love is to just go all out and explore. For pointers, however, it would be great to keep an eye out for the classic ghee filled Indian Mithai.
The Indian desserts you need to try in Delhi are
If you thought Jalebis are the best thing in sugar syrup, you are only half right. These soft round brown lovelies are sure to melt your heart while they melt in your mouth leaving you in a sugar rush. You still would not be able to stop at one.
Although not a typically sweet, it is a sweet drink famous from Amritsar. These come in so many flavours that there is going to be a different favourite for everyone.
This Bengali sweet dish is loved all over the country. This means Delhi is not excluded. Another wonder dipped in sugar syrup which is made of semolina dough is actually a competition to its brown maida counterpart, Gulab Jamun. So try them both and join the debate.
Is this not the dessert that comes to your mind when you think of an Indian sweet? Well, it should be because it rightfully fits the role of being a prototype. The round boondi cluster comes in two colours mainly, yellow- the famous one and the orange one (Motichoor)- the better one. Delhi makes these laddoos which are pure ghee in Tewari Brothers in Chowk.
But of course, the famous chaats– Dahi Bhalle, Papdi Chaat, Samosa chaat, Boondi chaat.. the list goes on!
We also understand that street food might not be everybody’s cup of tea because the hygiene of the preparation of these delights can create suspicion and ruin your experience. So enjoy the street food in Delhi where you would not have to compromise
Hygienic places to eat street food in Delhi
One of the most famous brands all over India for chaat items and sweets. You can buy these packeted products from grocery stores and supermarkets, so you are assured about the quality of the products they sell. They are located in various places in Delhi.
Om Sweets & Snacks
With almost ten thousand google reviews, this place has received enough feedback, positives ones, for you to have your street food without risking the quality of it. Their menu not only has chaats and sweets but even rice and curries when you need more for that hungry stomach. Make it a meal!
Chaina Ram Sindhi Confectioners
CRSC has been in the business of Mithai for over a hundred years, so obviously they are doing a lot of things right. The sweets they provide are known to be legendary. The stores are never empty! The best sellers that you might want to try from here are the Karachi Halwa, Dodha, Paneer Jalebi and Besan Ladoo.