Shahjahanabad is the name of the grand city established by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan in 1648. This city was considered as the jem of the Mughal Empire In India and a religious and cultural hub. Today it is called as Purani Dilli (Old Delhi, Old City) or referred to as the Chandni Chowk Area. This crazy food walk takes you to an experience which transforms the Delhi culture to an era mostly forgotten. In the countless bazaars and the narrow lanes of the old city, you will come across burqa clad women, bearded men, poverty stricken homeless, laborers, countless vendors, urban Delhiites and swanky tourists. The Chandni Chowk area is one of the most crowded areas in Delhi. If you are really interested in trying the food popular with locals, are confident about your stomach handling street food and want to experience the super crowded bazaars and riksha rides - we will recommend Chandni Chowk for an amazing and indigenous food experience. You can also consider combining the food walk with a visit the Red Fort (a World Heritage Site) by coming in a bit early or after the walk.
Itinerary: This route works from the Chawri Bazaar Metro Station (Yello Line).
- Jama Masjid: Take a rickshaw (Rs. 20 for two) ride to reachJama Masjid. Take a quick walk inside (entry free; Rs 200 for cameras; Rs 20 for spire ticket). We highly recommend a visit to the spire from where you can get a paranomic view of Chandni Chowk.
- Karim's - Head over to Karim's and try the Mutton Burra and Mutton Seekh Kebab for starters. Update - we have started skipping Karim's altogether.
- Al Jawahar: Head down to Al Jawahar next door. This is where we start our meal. Go for the Mutton Korma, Changezhi Chicken and Tandoori Roti. There is big rivalry between Karim's and Al Jawahar. My vote goes to Al Jawahar. I have been to both outlets many times - and Karims is highly inconsistent. When it is less crowded the food is excellent! But on crowded days (especially Friday and weekends evening - the food is quite average). On the other hand - the consistency of Al Jawahar's curries has made us their fan - always the same excellent taste.
- Dulli Chand Naresh Gupta, Kulfi Wale - The long walk to this hard to find shop located on a narrow lane called Kucha Pati Ram in Sitaram Bazaar will allow you to observe the ancient architecture and give you a rustic feel of the streets here. For the less adventurous, take a rickshaw (though explaining him the location may be a challenge).
- Original Giani - Giani icecream outlets are available today in locations across Delhi, but the rabri faluda here is the real thing (caution - they use crushed ice; foreigner's can avoid).
- Old Famous Jalebiwala - Jalebi is a polular North Indian Sweet. Deep fried in desi ghee, this is super sweet! This vendor has the best Jalebi in town.
- Nirmal Restaurant - For the vegetarians who missed out the meal at Al Jawahar, this 1st Floor restaurant serves exellent paneer paranthas. The ancient burnt down feel and the busy balcony view from the place makes this my favourite vegetarian outlet.
- Ghantewala - this legendry sweet shop is good for picking up some authentic Indian sweets. Some popular ones include the habshi halwa and the sohan halwa.
- Paranthewali Gali - Can't complete a food walk without entering this lane. Paranthas here are not cooked in a tandoor or a pan, they are deep fried in desi ghee! And available in a crazy variety of vegetarian stuffings
- Haldiram - How can one come to Delhi and NOT try Raj Kachori at Haldiram! Also worth trying is the Onion Kachori and Matar Samosa.
- Natraj Bhalla corner - Finally we head to the Natraj Bhalla corner for a plate of dahi bhalla (no wonder metro travellers curse it for crowding the narrow entrance to the metro station)
Other notable mentions include Annapurna (for Bengali Sweets), Chaina Ram (for its sticky Karachi Halwa) and Shakahari (a Vegetarian only Restaurant). If you are looking to get a taste of Old Delhi, do not hesitate to give us a buzz!