Oldest & the Best Eating Joints at Chandni Chowk

I hate being in crowded places. But there is something about the narrow streets of erstwhile Shahajahanabad, the capital of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, that I am never able to get over it. And that is mouthwatering delicacies!! The streets in Chandni Chowk, are full of eating joints and you can sense spices everywhere in the air. Each of these joints, claims to be the best and to be a century old. Most of them might be good but not all can be the best.

Masala Tea being prepared by a hawker at Chandni Chowk

A big time foodie myself, I have been there many times to try different flavors and spices of Old Delhi. The trials have helped me to lock in my favorites. I have accompanied several of my friends and family to try these favorites, and each one of them loved these. I thought, what better way to capture the excitement and thrill my folks experienced, than a blog about my favorite delicacies at Chandni Chowk! And hence this page on my blog. I am vegetarian and so are all my favorites!

Rickshaw pullers at Chandni Chowk, Delhi

The best way to reach Chandni Chowk is through the Delhi metro (yellow line). Once youare here (11 AM is an ideal time to reach), you can walk/ take a rickshaw to explore the streets. At the Chandni Chowk metro station, take the exit for the Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib. Once you are at the Gurdwara (about 100 m from the station exit), take a right on to the main street of Chandni Chowk. Keep walking another 100 m and enter the Paranthe wali gali and cross it. The road will take a turn towards the right. Keep following it to reach the dead end of the road and our first destination, for having Bedmi and aloo sabzi. A staple breakfast dish of Old Delhi, it is usually over at this shop by 12 Noon. Enjoy the blend of spices in this dish to kick start a spicy day. Make sure you save some appetite for the rest of the day.

Next you can head towards the Natraj Dahi Bhalla shop. You can retrace your path to cross the parathe wali gali and reach the main street. Walk a little ahead on the main street and you will see this shop in a small corner on the opposite site of the road. Take a bite of this Dahi Bhalla and it will dissolve in your mouth instantly. The flavour and the texture of the curd (dahi) goes perfectly with the bhallas. If you are an aloo tikki fan, you can try it here. It’s served with sweet and spicy chutneys and is good but not a part of my favorites.

Vishan Swarup Chaat Shop, Chandni Chowk

Till now you have tried a spicy and a sweet dish. To ensure the best mix, now its time for  another spicy dish.i.e. Aloo Chaat. After having the Dahi Bhallas, start walking backwards on the main street itself. After about 100 m, you will see the Aloo Chaat shop (Vishan Swarup Chaat Bhandaar) towards your left. It’s not even a covered shop. Its just a blue tin sheet with a window. Ashok Sharma stands on one side and the customers stand on the other side of the sheet along with the server ‘Bharat’. This is by far the best aloo chaat that I have ever tried. You can tell him the level of spice that you prefer (low, medium, high). The spice and the flavor of his chutney, which he has been making for the last few decades, will blow away your mind. Just relish the taste and be lost in it. He serves fruit chaat as well but that’s again not a part of my favorites.

Dinesh Kumar serving customers at Shyam Kanji House

By now you might be feeling a bit thirsty. And now is the perfect time to enjoy the Kaanji Vada, another perfect blend of numerous spices. Just walk back from the aloo chaat shop for another 50 m on the main street. You will see Shyam Kanji House on the same side as the aloo chaat shop and right opposite to a bridal store. The Kanji wada is sold by Dinesh Kumar in a small red tin enclosure towards the bottom of a tea shop. From this tiny space, that can barely accommodate him, he has been serving the traditional, kaanji with hand made dal vadas for years. These vadas are so soft that they will disappear in your mouth in seconds. Feel drenched in this shower of spices.

If you like Daal Biji (a spicy namkeen/ savory snack), I will recommend you to try Kanwarji’s Confectioners. This shop is on the main street of Chandni Chowk, just at the entry of Paranthe walli gali. You can get Dal Biji packed for home, as I am sure that you might be too full by now to try anything else.

If you enjoy visiting historical places, do take a guided tour of Red Fort and offer a prayer at Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Feel lost in the royal splendid life that Mughals led in this very area a few centuries back.

It’s time to walk back to the metro station and to think about when you want to be here next!

Read more about Monuments to Visit in Delhi

35 Comments Add yours

  1. I really hope I can visit someday! So exciting😊

  2. Ana Ojha says:

    I’ve been to Delhi many times but never got a chance to visit Chandni Chowk! I was always scared of crowd, chaos and its narrow streets. But now you gave me enough reason to visit there next time!

  3. JAMES says:

    I love Indian food especially the tandoori chicken and the mango lassi. Your post is the ultimate guide to chandni chowk, which I will refer to any of my friends that head up there.

  4. Ana De-Jesus says:

    Aloo Chaat is one of my favourite Indian Foods, after chickpea curry and mango lassi of course . I would love a guided tour of the red fort as well!

  5. Yukti says:

    Beautiful pictures specially of that kettle. It really looks hot tea is being served right now. I too like masala tea of Chandni chowk. Eating joints in Chandni chowk is must for all who visits Delhi. Nicely written.

  6. Wow. That’s quite a culinary adventure. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try such a thing. Okay, I’m pretty sure I’m not brave enough!

  7. Combination of my two favourite things food and history! Thanks for a great recommendation, cant wait to one day have a chance to eat here

  8. arv! says:

    It’s a great guide to treasures of chandni chowk

  9. findinglala306 says:

    What a fabulous place to visit and described so well. Your photos are beautiful which just add to the intrigue.

  10. Dash the Map says:

    Your post has now made me very hungry! Thank goodness it is almost dinner time. How is the cost of food at these food joints?

  11. I’ve rarely felt like I couldn’t conquer a city in a few days, but New Delhi was one place I could not crack at all. Shahajahanabad sounds amazing, and like districts I fell in love with in other parts of India. If ever I make it back to New Delhi, I will for sure but Shahajahanabad on the must-see list!

  12. My experience with Indian food is limited, but what I’ve eaten (and made) was brilliant. I would love to try these joints, see what the fuss is all about. I am with you on not loving crowded places, but sometimes it’s worth it.

  13. Joanna says:

    I somehow must have missed Chandni Chowk when I visited Delhi. I have been in the area but I’m not sure if I passed by or not. I think I must have but I didn’t stop to eat. I love Indian food and I had some amazing breakfasts in Paharganj market. And the lassi…. oh the sweet lassi, can’t get any better drink in India. Except masala tea. 🙂

  14. Janine Good says:

    This looked fab! I was hungry just looking at the pics! Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. you just reminded me of home. 🙂 I have been to Delhi twice but missed Chandni Chowk. Will definitely visit it this time.

  16. travelerettenyc says:

    These dishes sound amazing! I’m not vegetarian but I love vegetarian Indian food. I especially would like to eat the chaat!

  17. travelerettenyc says:

    These dishes sound amazing! I’m not vegetarian but I love vegetarian Indian food. I especially would like to eat the chaat!

  18. Gabi says:

    The whole article is so inspiring it makes you want to grab your backpack and leave right now. You are a very gifted photographer, the B/W pictures are works of art, I also loved the one with the kettle, it has a perfect light. Besides the aesthetics aspects, I must say I enjoy crowded markets, alleys, cities in general, but I must admit that when I walk around places like that with my kids, I tend to get a bit nervous 🙂

    1. Sona Sethi says:

      I truly appreciate your compliments. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts here. 🙂

  19. carmyy says:

    I would love to visit one day! Great write up!

  20. polly674 says:

    I have my mouth watering while reading your story and watching at the pictures!

  21. vishvarsha says:

    That was some virtual food tour! Haven’t been to Delhi ever but loved the post and the monochrome clicks 🙂

  22. wanderingwagarschristina says:

    I have not yet visited India and Dehli is definitely on my bucket list. I will keep this post handy for future planning.

  23. I’m not a big fan of crowded places either, but it looks like it’s well worth it in this case!

  24. Stunning photos! Will definitely use this guide the next time I’m in the area!

  25. Ami Bhat says:

    Just a post that I know I will need as a guide soon. Hoping to make a trip to Delhi and wanted to explore Old Delhi. Thanks for all the suggestions and tips.

  26. Indrani says:

    I hope this Chandni Chowk happens for me soooon! Too many delicious pics… felt like grabbing them off the screen. 🙂
    Loved the B&W pic of kettle.

  27. Jen Morrow says:

    Oh wow, with all of that food, you need to include plenty of walking. I think if I followed this full list, I would be waddling by the end.

  28. I love this post! Super detailed in your writing, with gorgeous photos to splice up the text for easy reading. Thank you so much for sharing – I can’t wait to try all these eating joints one day!

  29. Elena says:

    Amazing culinary tour!

    Elena | http://www.inspiredtoexplore.com

  30. The Editor says:

    I also hate going to very crowded places. But if there is some interesting food joints then I would prepare myself for this adventure!

  31. verushka143 says:

    I felt like I was walking with you and eating too ! Fantastic post on this famous market. Looking forward to eating here one day.

    1. Sona Sethi says:

      Thank you Verushka! Yes, it is amazing how this place has still retained its charm over the last 100 years and plus.

  32. Described so well…!!!

    1. Akshat Jain says:

      Thanks a lot Vivek!

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