India is known for its impressive abundance of street food, and the Delhi street food is no exception. From sizzling samosas to freshly-baked flatbreads, this is a city that’s rich in the smells, sights, and sounds of food. To really experience Delhi, sampling its classic dishes and snacks is essential. Amid the chaos and the endless narrow streets, there are kitchens churning out melt-in-the-mouth shawarma rolls and roadside vendors frying pakoras.
With so much variety on offer, exploring the Delhi street food scene can seem overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of ten don’t miss street food dishes, along with the best places to get them in Delhi. And if you have any concerns or nervousness about whether it is safe to eat street food, check out our blog on Street Food Safety Tips.
10 Kinds of Delhi Street Food You Must Try
1. Chole Bhature
Chole bhature is a delicious combination of chana masala (spicy white chickpeas) and bhatura, a fried bread made from maida flour (soft wheat). A classic Punjabi dish, chole bhature usually comes with a pickled salad or green chutney and achaar. The best place to try it is Chacha di Hatti in the North Campus of Delhi University. But you’ll need to get there before noon because they sell out every day.
2. Warq Laden Barfis
If you’re a fan of sweets, make sure to try some warq laden barfis. These traditional Indian sweets are made with milk powder. Eating them with a cup of tea in the evening is one of the best ways to enjoy them. Juneja’s in Amar Colony Market, Lajpat Nagar, is famous for its delicious warq laden barfis. Although a tiny shop by any standard, it packs in an impressive variety of sweets and savoury snacks.
3. Pan Ki Chaat
Locals often consume betel leaves as a mouth freshener after dinner. But pan ki chaat is a dish that changes the texture and taste of the leaves entirely. To make pan ki chaat, betel leaves are deep-fried and coated in batter until crisp. Then, they’re broken into pieces, seasoned with spices and served with chutneys and curds. Pan ki chaat can be difficult to find in Delhi, so head to Prince Paan in Greater Kailash and Gurgaon. It’s one of the few places that regularly sells this delicious street food snack.
Kulfi-faluda, otherwise known as Indian gelato, is a popular frozen treat. Typically made from cream, saffron, and pistachios, kulfi is irresistible on a swelteringly hot day in Delhi. Visit Roshan Ki Kuli in Karol Bagh Marketplace, which makes some of the most delicious kulfis in Delhi.
5. Shawarma Rolls
When it comes to satisfying Delhi street food, shawarma rolls are up there with the best. The rolls consist of tender meat, spices, and salad, all wrapped up in thick pita bread. Spice Aangan in SDA Market makes shawarma rolls that are full of flavour. If you want to explore SDA Market further, this guide should help you to make the most of it.
These classic Indian savoury treats are simple but delicious. Potato, cauliflower, and onion are the most common pakora fillings. But at Khandani Pakora Wala, you can also find pakoras stuffed with paneer, corn, and even lotus stems.
7. Dahi Bhalla
Dahi bhalla is a much-loved street food snack in Northern India, particularly in Delhi and Punjabi. A hearty dish, it consists of papdis (fried flour crisps), boiled potato cubes and cooked chickpeas in thick curd, served with tamarind chutney. Natraj serves excellent dahi bhalla and it’s worth stopping by while you’re exploring Delhi. There are just two items on Natraj’s menu – dahi bhalla and dhal-filled tikkis. The shop is a two-minute walk from the Chandni Chowk Metro Station.
One of the most popular flatbreads in India, paratha has a thicker consistency than rotis. It’s made by baking whole wheat dough on a tray and then shallow frying it. Paratha is cheap, filling, and you can order it either plain or stuffed. Paranthe Wali Gali, which translates to “the bylane of the flatbread”, is a narrow lane of shops selling paratha.
9. Gobi Mutter Samosas
These crispy samosas are filled with a cauliflower and pea mixture. They’re a Delhi street food classic and are available all over the city. But for a truly authentic version, head to Lala Babu Chaat Bhandar (opposite McDonald’s). If you’re not a fan of cauliflower or peas, there are plenty of other kinds of samosas to try.
Singju is a traditional Manipuri salad, that has plenty of kick. The recipie combines chopped cabbage, lotus stems, methi leaves, herbs, roasted sesame seeds, roasted beans, chilli powder, and chunks of dried fish. The Manipur Stall in Dilli Haat food market serves up classic Manipuri.
Street food in Delhi is an array of flavors, textures, and ingredients. With so many options available, your biggest challenge will probably be finding time to try the many dishes Delhi has to offer.