Must-Try New Delhi Street Food
New Delhi Food Culture
New Delhi, India’s chaotic and historical capital is known for many things, one of those being its incredible food scene. The megacity is a foodie paradise, with thousands upon thousands of street stalls and famous local shops to choose from.
Perhaps one of the cheapest places to be a foodie in the entire world, New Delhi street food will get you stuffed on just a few dollars. From meat dishes to vegetarian delights, to desserts, snacks, and everything in between, Delhi’s streets undoubtedly have something for everyone.
Though New Delhi can be overwhelming, it is 100% worth a visit for, if nothing else, the delicious and iconic Indian street food that will have your tastebuds absolutely hooked. I know mine certainly were!
But in a city this big and chaotic, it can be hard to know exactly where the best places to eat are. So that’s where I come in! Here are some of the best Delhi street food dishes that you absolutely cannot miss while wandering around the city.
To get the most out of the diverse Indian cuisine one can find here, make sure you plan to spend at least 3 days in the capital, there really is just that much to eat.
Must-Try New Delhi Street Food
Paratha--Delicious Flatbread of India
Paratha is a New Delhi street food specialty and an Indian food you absolutely MUST try in Delhi. The leavened flatbread of India is relatively thin compared to Indian naan, and tends to be crispy on the outside while remaining soft and chewy on the inside.
Some parathas in New Delhi cuisine contain fillings such as a masala potato mixture, while others are served plain. This particular bread is native to North India. Although historians found references of it as far back as 1000 AD, it is still one the most popular Indian dishes today.
While this Indian flatbread appears to have originated in Punjab, it’s said to have been in New Delhi for centuries.
The best place to eat this street food of Delhi is at none other than Paranthe Wali Gali, a narrow old lane with several shops that have been open for generations. The best thing about these locations is they serve paratha with some truly delicious chutneys, including mango and banana!
Raj Kachori—Famous Food of Delhi
Raj Kachori is the king of New Delhi chaat, a category of Indian cooking that can be best described as a savory and crunchy snack. The dish itself is said to have been invented in Uttar Pradesh, the Indian state that Delhi (which is classified as a Union territory) is closely associated with. So, on your itinerary of things to do in New Delhi, eating Raj Kachori should definitely be one of them!
Raj Kachori is a deep-fried flour ball stuffed with a spicy potato and dal mixture. But what really makes this dish stand out is that it combines so many different textures and tastes into one.
Instead of being served with just a chutney or two like other New Delhi snacks, Raj Kachori is topped with yogurt, cilantro, pomegranate seeds, onions, tomatoes, and multiple spicy sauces.
Don’t wear something nice while eating this- things can quickly get messy! Many foodies find this famous Indian dish at Haldiram’s in Chandni Chowk, though it can be found pretty much anywhere in the city.
Momos—Tasty New Delhi Street Food
While momos are more common in India’s Himalayan regions like Parvati Valley, you might be surprised to learn that some of the tastiest momos outside of Tibet are actually in New Delhi.
Momos are a popular food in Delhi these days, and you can order them with a variety of fillings. Though their exact history is unknown, the dish is believed to have spread through caravan routes across Central Asia many centuries ago, and the variety you can find in Delhi is native to Tibet.
These steamed dumplings are usually served with a side of spicy red chutney and are best enjoyed at Dolma Aunty Momos, where chicken, veggie, paneer fillings are all on the menu.
Pakora—Popular Street Food in New Delhi
No list of New Delhi street food is complete without pakora, a fritter that Indians all over the country know and love. Pakoras are deep-fried Indian snacks with a wide variety of fillings.
To make this famous Delhi food, everything from cauliflower to potato to paneer is dipped in flour and then tossed in hot ghee.
The fried treats are then spiced and often served with cilantro chutney. You can find pakora on virtually any street in New Delhi, but one of the best places to try them is Khandani Pakode Wala, a delicious road-side stall situated on Ring Road.
Jalebi—Famous Sweets in Delhi
You can find jalebi everywhere in India and Pakistan, but it’s also a specialty street food of New Delhi thanks to one very well-known shop.
Jalebi is a pretzel-shaped, super-sweet treat that’s made by deep-frying maida flour and then soaking it in syrup.
These famous Delhi sweets have been found to have been mentioned as long ago as 1450 CE, and it remains uber-popular today.
Jalebi can be found in every New Delhi neighborhood, but you cannot pass up a visit to Old Famous Jalebi Wala, which has been open since 1901 and might just serve up the best jalebi in Delhi, if not the world.
Chole Bathure—Breakfast in Delhi
Chole bathure is a North Indian specialty and must-have breakfast in New Delhi. The simple street fave consists of a piece of puri bread (usually refillable) and a serving of chole, which is just chickpeas in a hearty masala sauce.
This New Delhi breakfast is one of the cheapest foods you can try in Delhi, with some stalls serving it for the equivalent of less than 50 cents.
Chole bathure is said to have originated in Uttar Pradesh and is often enjoyed with a thick lassi, AKA the best liquid street food in Delhi!
Considering its popularity amongst Delhiites, it’s harder to miss chole bathure than it is to find it. Even so, one of the absolute best places in the city to taste it for the first time is Sita Ram Diwand Chand, located in Delhi’s energetic Paharganj neighborhood.
Lassi—Refreshing Indian Drink
The lassi is one of India’s most delicious creations. The yogurt-based drink is served cold and often mixed with mangos when they’re in season. Though Punjab is said to be the reigning king of lassis, New Delhi definitely holds its own with hundreds of shops serving up the satisfying beverage.
The lassi is said to have originated in 1000 BC, and the recipe has not changed much to this day. Bille Di Hatti in the Kamla Nagar section of the city is sure to give you a decadent introduction to the lassi, which is the perfect way to cool down on a boiling summer day.
Pani Puri—Staple Food of Delhi
Pani puri is one of the street foods of Delhi that foreigners will find strange at first, but will quickly grow to love. A perfect small snack, pani puri are made from hollow, sphere-shaped crisps that are filled with a heaping of chutneys and other ingredients.
Each pani puri stall puts its own spin on the snack, but it’s typically filled with some liquid and a variety of spicy and sweet sauces, pomegranate, chickpeas, sev (small crunchy noodles) or yogurt.
As it is a famous street food in Delhi, you can find pani puri on literally any corner of New Delhi, and I recommend trying multiple stalls to really get a feel for the variety of the snack!
Daulat ki Chaat—Indian Dessert & Delicacy
Perhaps the most unique street food in Delhi, daulat ki chaat is a sweet that’s only available during the winter months of November, December, and January.
This restriction is due to the fact that the creamy, milk-based treat could easily spoil in hot weather. The thick, foamy Delhi dessert is made out of buffalo milk and resembles a cloud. The Indian delicacy is usually served in a clay dish and topped with nuts.
Don’t miss this Indian dessert if you happen to be in New Delhi at the right time! The best daulat ki chaat can be found in the famous old market Chandni Chowk.
Soya Chaap—Vegetarian New Delhi Cuisine
Soya chaap is an interesting Delhi street food that’s made out of soybeans, and while vegetarian, it’s now loved by meat-eaters, too.
Soya chaap is made out of pieces of soy that are then grilled in the same way that meats typically are, in the traditional Indian style of tikka.
These days, soya chaap comes in numerous flavors and styles and has become a welcome and cheap alternative to chicken, which can be slightly pricy in the city.
Sadar Ji Malai Chaap Wale in Subhash Nagar is one of the best places in New Delhi to introduce you to this one-of-a-kind meal!
Final Thoughts on New Delhi Street Food
New Delhi is home to some of the best food in India, all whilst maintaining an extremely impressive and diverse variety of options.
Though visitors to the capital may be wary about trying Indian street food, you really shouldn’t be.
The best food I’ve had in India has always been on the streets, or in small shops sans seating.
Let go of any fears you may have, and dive right into the foodie heaven that is New Delhi. You’ll be grateful you did.
About the Author
Samantha is a budget backpacker, travel blogger at Intentional Detours, and freelance writer from the US. Since taking the leap into full-time travel, she has spent nearly a year in South Asia, thus far exploring India and Pakistan. Samantha is passionate about slow and immersive travel, and can often be found getting to know a place through food as well as photography. Keep up with Samantha: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest