There are some shared memories that cities hold: It’s the sort of sentiment that makes locals still refer to landmarks that no longer physically exist—and when you give directions to a Delhiite using them as reference, you’re pretty sure they know exactly what you mean. It’s the same thing with the classic Delhi restaurants on this list. They may not be extraordinarily rated online, and there’d be no way to pick them out of a long line of reviews that we can now access all too easily—but if you had to decide where to eat in a New Delhi minute, I bet this is where many of us would land. These restaurants don’t have stars or hats, but when I have out-of-towners in town, and I want to secretly show off the city’s appetite for fabulous food, this list is made up of exactly what I wouldn’t want them to miss.
The Big Chill Cafe
If this Americana-eclectic café has been open and roaring for close to 15 years now, they must be doing something right. Even though Big Chill has four outlets in the area, most Delhiites love the pilgrimage to the original Khan Market location, where we first fell in love with their now-famous Blueberry Cheesecake.
Yeti – The Himalayan Kitchen
Yeti serves up superb Himalayan cuisine that most of us would climb a mountain for. The highlights: The crispy tossed spinach, which comes with ever-so-slightly caramelized onions, and the Ema Datshi (green peppers in cheese sauce) that is the best kind of sinful. Steaming, yummy momos are served with blow-your-socks-off peanut chilli sauce.
Yum Yum Tree
If I could get out of the airport and head straight here every time I landed into Delhi, I would. Besides plenty of acclaim, Yum Yum Tree has won over tummies and every shred of loyalty with their superb sushi and dim sum. Try one of their unlimited deals during weekend lunches or on Tuesday nights. The best seat in the house is by the sushi conveyor belt.
Gung The Palace
I didn’t know that I loved Korean food (besides the occasional encounter with kimchi) until I entered the palace gates of Gung. We Delhi folks were only too happy to drop the slippers, settle down to the low seating and discover the beauty of thinly sliced meat cooked on a hot stone at your table, accented with just a sprinkling of spring onions. Don't miss the seafood omelet and the complimentary veggie dishes.
Le Bistro Du Parc
Our relationship with French-style bistros went official when this incarnation opened at Meherchand Market. You can enjoy gorgeously simple yet beautifully flavored French dishes at your table overlooking a park, featuring starry lights and occasionally a live Jazz band. Delhi is still discovering this one, but it’s safe to say that it’s not going anywhere tout suite.