Savour Delhi with the best of the capital’s street food

written by Punita Malhotra April 1, 2024

Crunchy bites, sizzling aromas, and explosive flavours come together on the streets of India’s capital city to create a roadside menu that captivates the heart and tastebuds of every food enthusiast. Many Intrepid trips to India begin or end in Delhi, which means you’ll have enough time on your hands to sample the city’s irresistible food.

Shaped by centuries of conquests, trade, and migrations, Delhi’s street food is rooted in a vibrant diversity of tastes, textures, and traditions. From the Mughals’ aromatic spices to the vegetarian delights of the Marwaris, Delhi’s roadside eateries are stories from mighty empires and eclectic communities. A deep passion for good food is an integral part of the city’s heritage. So, buckle up for an epicurean adventure with these must-try street foods when you’re in Delhi. 


This crispy golden-brown flatbread comes as is or filled with warming mashed potatoes, cauliflower, or succulent minced meat. While you wait for your order, you can watch the precision with which dough is kneaded and rolled out into thin circles before being pan-fried in hot oil. You’ll taste layers of flaky perfection with each bite. The ultimate spot for this staple treat is Pandit Gaya Prashad Shiv Charan’s humble little eatery in the historic Parathe Wali Galli in Chandni Chowk. 

Aloo tikki

This mashed potato patty is cooked on a sizzling iron griddle and served with coriander, mint and tamarind chutneys. Finely sliced onions and pomegranate are also added for flavour and texture. These potato morsels are best enjoyed at Shri Prabhu Chaat Bhandar, outside the UPSC building near India Gate.  

Aloo tikkis are normally served with coriander, mint and tamarind chutneys.

Chole bhature 

Indulge in a plate of spicy chickpea curry garnished with a vibrant medley of green chillies, crisp sliced onions and zesty lime. This dish is paired with a deep-fried bhature, a thin, pillow-like, fluffy bread, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The slow-cooked chole have a deep, subtle flavour, while the bhature brings a delicious crunch. Experience this beloved dish at the famous Nand Bhature Wale Di Hatti in Chandni Chowk. 


Brace for a surprise as you pop these thin, puffy wheat pastry shells into your mouth. They are filled with mashed masala potato or chickpeas and topped with tamarind chutney and tangy water. A vendor will swiftly assemble the crispy shell with potato or chickpeas, dip it in the tangy water and pass it to you in a small bowl. You must eat the whole thing in one go so you can enjoy the fun of the shell cracking and different flavours and textures bursting in your mouth. Try it at Prince Chaat Corner, Connaught Place. 


It’s near impossible to miss the smell of tender pieces of meat, expertly marinated and skewered, grilling on an open flame. From minced mutton seekh kababs and smoky chicken boti kababs to veggie options like paneer tikka and harra bhara kababs, there’s something for everyone. Accompanied by a refreshing mint chutney and crunchy onion slivers, kababs are a nod to Delhi’s rich food culture and a blend of tradition, innovation, and culinary expertise. Sample a variety of kababs at Qureshi and Karim in Chandni Chowk. 

a paneer tikka being cooked over a flame
From minced mutton seekh kababs and smoky chicken boti kababs to veggie options like paneer tikka and harra khara kababs, there’s something for everyone.

Dahi bhalla

Beat the Delhi heat with this dish. Crispy on the outside and soft within, these round fried lentil flour balls are doused in velvety yoghurt, creating a blend of cool, creamy and crunchy tastes on your tongue. They are served with tangy tamarind and juicy pomegranate seeds. Find this popular summer snack at Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala, an iconic establishment that has mastered the art of dahi bhalla since the 1940s.  

Bedmi aloo with nagori halwa

Bedmi aloo is a savoury flatbread made with whole wheat flour and spiced lentil and potato filling. It is served with nagori halwa, a decadent dessert of semolina, ghee and a generous sprinkle of chopped nuts. You can indulge in this traditional dish at Shyam Sweets, Chawri Bazaar, and Chandni Chowk. 


Watching these pretzel-shaped Indian sweets being made is fun. The batter, a mixture of fermented all-purpose flour and yoghurt, is skillfully piped directly into scalding oil to create twisty shapes. The jalebis are cooked until crisp. After they are pulled out of the oil, jalebis are soaked in a cardamom sugar syrup. Jalebis have a chewy, crumbly texture that gives way to a soft, spongy interior. Bookmark Jalebi Wala in Chandni Chowk, where crafting these sweet treats has been perfected over decades. 

jalebis being cooked in a big wok of oil
Jalebis have a chewy, crumbly texture that gives way to a soft, spongy interior.


You can’t leave Delhi without enjoying this ancient version of ice cream. A much-loved frozen dessert, kulfi is made by simmering milk for hours with sugar, cardamom and saffron (and sometimes even nuts) until it transforms into a thick, creamy concoction. The mixture is then frozen in moulds. You can have it straight up or try it with different toppings. Moet’s in Defence Colony and Kuremal in Chandni Chowk are the best places to grab a kulfi.  

Sink your teeth into a small group adventure in India.

Feeling inspired?

You might also like

Back To Top