Best Breakfasts in New Delhi
Credit: MBI / Alamy

The idea of what makes the best breakfast is a bit of a tough one for me; I’ve always held the opinion that if my morning allowed me an extra five minutes, I’d prefer to spend them dreaming rather than eating. But age, wisdom and my mum have finally caught up with me and forced me to correct my errant ways, at least in the brekkie department.

It’s oddly comforting that breakfast is probably the most uniform meal in the world. No matter where you travel around the globe, you’re likely to be served some form of bread and butter, eggs, cereal, juice, and tea or coffee in the morning. Even in India, where we have plenty of our own traditional breakfast specialties, muesli is found on many breakfast tables. But when you’re in New Delhi, you shouldn’t miss some of the local morning treats, like poha and idli sambhar (which are just as winning at any other time of day). Here’s a round up of where to feed the morning tummy grumbles in the city.

Yellow Brick Road

To be fair, waffles or parathas could work just as well for after-party munchies. Since YBR (as we call it here) is a 24-hour restaurant always capable of wizardy, it’s perfect for times when late nights spill into early mornings. But to tuck into the breakfast buffet and the breakfast à la carte menu, wait till the clock strikes 7 a.m.

The Blue Door Café

This Khan Market café that opens its blue doors at 7.30 a.m. offers eight full pages of morning menu delights. Of the usual breakfast suspects, the omelets deserve special mention. Egg whites only, if that’s what you please. Although they charge for extra cheddar, you’ve got to admire that sort respect for cheese.

The All American Diner

This place is as advertised—down to its checkerboard flooring, jukebox and healthy-sized milkshakes. As a friend once said, you’d almost expect to see Archie and the gang at the table next to you. The breakfast skillets come with varying combinations of eggs done your way, sausages, bacon, hash browns and pancakes.

Carnatic Café

If dosas were given a day to speak, I’m quite sure they’d agree that Carnatic Café truly represents. It’s got a compact menu, but everything on it is always done right. The specialty dosa called Malleswaram 18th Cross is a nod to the café’s Bangalore-born authenticity, as is the homestyle Bisi Bele Baath. Finish up your meal with a traditional filter coffee.

Saravan Bhavan

If anyone knows you have no time to waste in the mornings, it’s the efficient service team at this Central Delhi legend. Also streamlining the ordering process is their extensive South Indian specialty menu —which includes 14 different mini idlis, three kinds of pooris, two vadas or a single dosa with a double barrel of chutneys. It’s specific, it’s South Indian, and it’s solid morning fuel.