Traditional Indian street food in Delhi

Must-try street food in Delhi: from parathas to kulfi

Simran Raju

Contributing writer

Planning a trip to Delhi? Here are our top picks...

Stay: Maidens Hotel New Delhi

City tour: New and Old Delhi

Sacred sites: Temples and spiritual sites tour

Food tour: Old Delhi street food tour

Day trip: Taj Mahal and Agra

The streets of Delhi offer a range of scrumptious food which appeals to the majority of passers-by.

Often called the food capital of India, Delhi offers a huge variety of food (both non-vegetarian and vegetarian options) not only in restaurants but on the streets too.

As you wander through Delhi, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the aroma of spices, with the mouth-watering dishes of Delhi never far away.

Here are just a few of the delicious foods which are found on the streets of Delhi and are a complete must-have when you are in the city.

Parathas stuffed with vegetables and served with dipping sauces

1. Parathas

A popular breakfast option in Indian households especially in north India, the humble paratha is one of the most popular street food options in Delhi. Considered healthy by locals, parathas are usually served with butter and pickles to enhance the flavour – it’s magical just to think how a mere combination of dough, spices, and vegetables can make something so delightful. The parathas can be stuffed with a variety of fillings including potatoes, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, paneer, and mushrooms. A stuffed paratha is not only a great breakfast option, but is suitable to have at any time of the day. In short, if you are looking for a relatively healthy street food option, nothing can beat a paratha.

Best places to eat parathas in Delhi

  • Prisha Paratha Junction (Uttam Nagar)

  • Paratha King (Rohini)

  • Moolchand Parantha (Lajpat Nagar)

A platter of Chole Bhature with accompanying sauces in the background

2. Chole Bhature

A plate of chole-bhature is every Indian’s delight. Chole translates as chickpea whereas a bhatura is a puffed deep-fried bread and the combination of the two is delicious. Usually served with pickle, chutney, and salad, chole-bhature is a wholesome meal and can be eaten as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In Delhi, you can find a plate of chole-bhature in either a roadside kiosk or an eatery with a proper sitting area. While Chole Bhature tends to be oily and is loaded with calories it’s still worth tasting, if only to understand why it is loved so much by locals.

Best places to eat chole bhature in Delhi

  • Chache Di Hatti (Kamla Nagar, New Delhi)

  • Bhimsain Bengali Sweet House (Mandi House, New Delhi)

  • Roshan Di Kulfi (Karol Bagh)

A plate of gol gappa (also known as panipuri) with dipping sauces

3. Gol Gappe

Gol gappe is undoubtedly the most popular and best loved street food in India. Gol means “round”, while Gappa refers to how should it be eaten - in one bite. So, the tricky part with this snack is opening your mouth really wide, to eat the whole thing in one go. The crunch of the fried ball filled with spiced potatoes and tangy flavoured water satisfies the foodie in everyone. Gol Gappa has different names throughout India – in the east, they are called puchka, while in western and south India they are known as panipuri.

Best places to eat gol gappa in Delhi

  • Nathu Sweet House (Bengali Market)

  • Grover Sweets ( Rajouri Garden)

  • Shree Balaji Chaat Bhandara (Chandni Chowk)

A platter of chicken biryani

4. Biryani

Like chole bhature, biryani is considered a wholesome meal - if you order a biryani, you should expect a rice platter. Unlike other street food options, which are mostly vegetarian, you can also choose from mutton or chicken biryani. The fusion of the flavours the spices, rice, vegetables and meat is extremely appealing and biryani is filling enough to satisfy even the largest appetite. Just keep in mind that biryani can be a bit on the spicier side if you aren't used to eating Indian food.

Best places to eat biryani in Delhi

  • Deez Biryani (many outlets)

  • Dil Pasand Biryani Point (Chitli Qabar Chowk, Jama Masjid)

  • Anand Restaurant (Scindia House)

  • Andhra Bhavan

A plate of momos with chilli sauce in the centre

5. Momos

Originally from Nepal, momos first appeared in Delhi in the early 2000s. Since then they have become extremely popular among young people and Delhi has some of the best quality and delicious momos in the country. Momos are basically layers of refined flour stuffed with either minced chicken or minced vegetables. They can be fried or steamed and are usually served with an extremely spicy red chilli sauce. While not a full meal, moms are certainly a good snack and are reasonably filling. You can see momo vendors standing at every nook and corner on the streets of Delhi.

Best places to eat momos in Delhi

  • Chimneys ( Yashwant Place)

  • Chalte Firte (Kamla Nagar)

  • Hunger Strike (Amar Colony Market)

Street vendors cooking kebabs in Delhi

6. Kebabs

This one is for the meat eaters out there, although it is possible to get vegetarian options. You can get chicken and mutton kebabs in Delhi (don't ask for beef, as it's banned in India) and they are usually grilled or roasted cooked on skewers. If you are a health freak, this is the perfect street food for you. When cooked well, the meat is extremely soft and tender, and just melts in the mouth. It is served with sauce and onions and makes for a wholesome meal.

Best places to eat kebabs in Delhi

  • Qureshi Kebab Corner (Jama Masjid)

  • Ghalib Kabab Corner (Ghalib Road, Near Lal Mahal)

  • Nizam Kathi Kebab (many outlets)

Plates of samosas and jalebi

7. Samosa and Jalebi

The samosa is the king of street food and when add jalebi, you get an unbeatable combo. Samosas are usually conical / triangular and are filled with mashed potatoes and peas. Nowadays other types of fillings are available (including noodles, keema, paneer) but usually, if you order a samosa, you will get one with a potato filling and that is what I recommend. Jalebi is a spiral-shaped treat, made with flour and dipped in syrup. It's served hot and is best eaten fresh and crispy. It is also extremely sweet. While it may seem like an odd combination too visitors, samosa and jalebi is a universal favourite in India - from children to grandparents, everybody loves it. It is a popular evening snack combination in Indian homes and offices too.

Best places to eat samosas and jalebi in Delhi

  • Janta sweets (Paharganj)

  • Banke Bihari Samosewale (Paharganj)

  • Nathu Sweet House (Bengali Market)

Aloo tikka on a plate covered in sauce

8. Aloo Tikki

Made of aloo (potatoes), this is another incredibly popular street food in Delhi. Potatoes are pressed gently into a patty which is then cooked in a hot pan. If you order a Tikki platter, you can expect to get carrots, peas, coriander and spices mixed into the potato patty. With it, you will be given a mint and tamarind sauce. Spoon on the sauce and enjoy the sweet and tangy flavours.

Best places to eat aloo tikki in Delhi

  • Bittoo tikki wala (many outlets)

  • Nathu Sweet House (Bengali Market)

  • Natraj (Chandini Chowk)

Plain and flavoured kulfi served with nuts and dried fruits

9. Kulfi

Last but not least, we come to a street food dessert. Kulfi is Delhi's answer to ice cream and is a perfect dessert to soothe your tongue after eating the spicy dishes above. Kulfi is thickened milk, usually with nuts, dry fruits and saffron tossed in. Once it is prepared, it is put in terracotta moulds and served cold.

When ordering, you can pick a plain kulfi (only milk) or kulfi with dried fruits. There are also a wide range of flavours. Traditional flavours include cream (malai), rose, mango, cardamom (elaichi), saffron (kesar or zafran), and pistachio. Nowadays, fruitier flavours like apple, orange, strawberry, peanut, and avocado are also very popular.

Best places to eat kulfi in Delhi

  • Roshan di Kulfi (Karol Bagh)

  • Krishna di Kulfi (Pandara Market)

  • Ravi Raj Di Kulfi (Karol Bagh)

If you're visiting Delhi and want to try some of these dishes, consider booking a Delhi street food tour.

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Simran Raju

Author - Simran Raju

Simran Raju is a travel writer based in Delhi, India. As well as travelling extensively throughout India, Simran has visited many destinations in the US, UK and Europe. She particularly enjoys experiencing different cuisines and cultures when she travels.

Last Updated 31 January 2024

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