Great Indian Food Trail – Street Food In Old Delhi
Street food lover in me always finds a reason to explore lanes and by lanes of Old Delhi, where food evolved for all over many centuries, under the patronage of multiple rulers. In last 12 years of my stay in Delhi, I have explored many places from Chandni Chowk to Bengali Market to Saket to CR Park to Karol Bagh relishing best-in-class street food in typical Delhi style. However, Chandni Chowk or Old Delhi Or Walled City of Delhi or Shahjahanabad is unparalleled when it is about Street Food for here food was made by the connoisseurs and for the connoisseurs that is now available for all.
In this section of Great Indian Food Trail, lets explore some iconic street food locations from the narrow lanes and various corners of Old Delhi. Idea is to give a reason to the salivating foodie souls out there to live the rawness of Old Delhi. A loud shout out to all foodies out their to experience the journey from Salivation to Salvation.
Also read – INSIDER TRAVEL TIPS – 10 MUST EXPLORE EXPERIENCES IN DELHI
Ultimate Street Food Guide – Old Delhi
Padam Chaat Bhandar For Golgappa
For me, it has always been clear, Samosa is the king of Indian street food and Jalebi is the queen of Indian street food but one day I faced a conundrum, where to place my beloved Golgappa aka Pani Puri aka Phuchka aka Gupchup, which is a connoisseur’s dynamite full of flavours. And, then after much deliberation, I realized, for me Golgappa is the the God of all Indian Street Food.
Its omnipresent; its legendary; it comes in so many variety; many many rituals attached to it; it has stories around it; people compete for it; so it has to be treated like a God. To have best Golgappas in Delhi, I die to visit Padam Chaat Bhandar at Kinari Bazaar, Chandni Chowk. Its just not the taste which takes me to this food abode, but the way Pandit Ji creates the environment. he acts as a Golgappa Jockey.
The famed Pandit Ji, while serving Golgappa with utmost love always, has the power to transport you to some other world. His ways of creating bond with his customers, while preparing unique servings of each Golgappa, are legendary. He does his own magical tricks mixing things and then serving a sumptuous Golgappa, which when bursts in mouth tickles all senses. His Pani or spicy water is prepared using Indian Gooseberry (Amla) and green chutney is a unique preparation of tangy star fruit known as Kamrakh in north India.
Best Places For Street Food in Old Delhi
Old & Famous Jalebiwala For Samosa & Jalebi
Once you have paid your foodie’s respect to the God of Street Food i.e. Golgappa, now its time to meet the King and the Queen of Indian Street Food at Old Famous Jalebiwala at Dariba Kalan, Chandni Chowk. Started in 1884 by a Jain family, they serve the best Samosa and Jalebi in all over Delhi. Its an iconic and heritage shop that has survived the great Indian partition in 1947 that changed demographic of Old Delhi. They claim to have served to all the prime ministers of India starting from Jawahar Lal Nehru to Narenda Modi. Also, this place has been frequented by celebrities like Raj Kapoor, Devanand, Akshay Kumar, Shahrukh Khan etc. who have spread good words about this iconic food corner across India and beyond.
The great grand father of Mr. Kailash Jain, came to Delhi from a small place near Agra and started as small vendor in Old Delhi in 1880s. Since then generations after generation have put in efforts to sustain and flourish the business making it an iconic place. Currently, fifth generation of Jain Family is managing this shop. Mr Kailash Jain joined the business in 1970 and His son Abhishek is an MBA and has big plan for the business.
They are famous for thick and juicy Jalebi and varieties of Samosa, both are prepared in Desi Ghee using secret spices & ingredient all around the year. They have perfected the art of Jalebi and Samosa making after a lot many experimentation over many decades. Samosa here is not prepared with boiled and meshed potato but with fried potato widgets giving it a distinct and unique flavour.
Recently they have introduced, Rabri also which is a milk based sweet delicacy and the combo of Rabri and Jalebi is the real deal.
The Unique Places For Street Food in Old Delhi
Pandit Ved Prakash Lemon Wale For Lemonade
Pandit Ved Prakash Lemon Wale right at the Chandni Chowk, has the real concoction to relish while finding ways through the rush called Old Delhi. A landmark shop in Chandni Chowk, established in 1870s, serves Lemon Soda aka Shikanji commonly known as Banta in Delhi. They are the pioneers in preparing Banta or Soda Shikanji (Lemonade) and visited by Delhiwalas to live the nostalgia refreshingly. They use best quality soda water and sprinkle a secret spice blend to prepare the drink, which has an iconic status in Delhi.
Indeed, it is again a heritage shop, which must be visited to taste potent lemon based drink which saves you from the heat and dust of walled city. Without using dispensing equipment, every serving of drink tastes the same every time here, and that’s the reason of their unmatched popularity.
In winters, they serve Bread Aloo Tikki which is an Indian street food savory prepared with fried potato patty topped with tamarind sauce and wrapped with a bread. A unique preparation believed to be invented at this heritage food joint.
Explore Street Food In Old Delhi
Kedarnath Premchand Halwai
If old Delhi is heaven for Foodie, Kedarnath Premchand Halwai is the custodian of heavenly food tradition of India. This street food joint is right at the T-junction where Kinari Bazaar and Parathewali gali intersect and lead to Maliwara. This junction gets its liveliness from Kedarnath Premchand Halwai who are famous among locals for freshly fried Bedami Poori, Nagori Halwa and Masala Lassi. It is one of the oldest shop of Chandni Chowk serving variety of dishes and snacks since 1958 and since then its a weakness for thousands of people who throng to this place.
Being an all day opened shop, there cannot be a better place to have Sunday breakfast which brings all hues and colors of traditional Indian food on the platter. We go there primarily to please our taste buds with Bedmi Poori served with spicy gravy followed by Lassi.
UPDATE – 13th Jan 2021 : Sad to inform this iconic shop has been closed by the owner in the first week of January 2019. No body, so far, knows where have they gone. For us, its a sad jolt. As a tribute to this shop, and goold old memories, we will not remove them from this list.
Bedmi Puri lovers can instead go to Shyama Sweets in Chawri bazaar or Ra, Prasad Makhan Lal in Khari Baoli.
Also read – THINGS TO DO IN & AROUND KHARI BAOLI, OLD DELHI – INSIDER TIPS
The Best Street Food In Old Delhi
Natraj Dahi Bhalla
Established in 1940, Natraj is extremely famous food corner serving melting Dahi Bhalla and tangy-spicy Aaloo Tikki (Fried Potato Patty). They serve only these two dishes in the menu and always have a constant flow of foodies all the time. They have perfected the art of preparing best in class Dahi Bhalla and Aaloo Tikki which brings people to this shop from all over Delhi and beyond.
They are known for their Dahi Bhalla, which actually made them famous. They keep bucket full of Bhalla ready for customer and on demand, serve in their signature style topping it with curd, tangy sauce and secret black Masala. In all our food trails all across India, we never ever had such mouth melting Dahi Bhalla. Even if you want to hold them inside your mouth, it will keep exploding mix flavors. You gotta find your self in the midst of catch-22 situation whether to hold it or let it melt.
Having tasted Aaloo tikki all over India, we find the best crunch at Natraj Only. It is just perfectly fried, stuffed with grounded lentil and topped with just enough spice and a mix of green and red chutney (sauce).
For us, food trail is the best way to experience Old Delhi and feel the changing nuances of tradition and habits. Street Food in Old Delhi is not just these five iconic food joints, it is much beyond and larger. These legendary street food joints are the true guardians of traditional food that evolved with the walls of Old Delhi catering to world traders, royals and commoners since many centuries.
Many gems are present in Old Delhi to burn you with desires which will be unearthed during our next Great Indian Food Trail – Salivation to Salvation.
Also read – SARAFA BAZAAR, INDORE: INDIA’S ONLY NIGHT FOOD-STREET
Would love to know your story of Indian Street Food. Comment with your favorite street food joint or corner.
If you feel motivated, please share this blog post with your foodie friends so that they can also feel salvation through food.
35 thoughts on “5 Iconic Street Food Corners Of Old Delhi – Great Indian Food Trail”
Thanks for sharing a great post. I am really impressed with the way of representing the pictures with the correspondent information. This post will be really helpful to many people to taste local delicious foods who are planning to travel in various locations of Delhi.
Wasn’t hungry until reading this post. I agree, samosa is the king of Indian street food (and maybe all street food!). And I’d really like to try the black Masala. Yum!
Wow, this was a very well-researched post – I loved that you included the background and history of each place. It made me feel like I actually know the owner/family personally 🙂
Although everything looks delicious, I would love to try the Dahi Bhalla the most because you made it sound so enticing!
It was interesting to hear samosa called the kind of Indian street food. And that they are made with fried potato. We had rabri when we were in India and we loved this sweet treat. Lemonade with a sprinkle of secret spice would be a great way to cool down. So many choices to find street food in Delhi. Thanks!
Oh man, all of this looks delicious! I’m planning a trip to Sri Lanka this Winter and I think I might do a stopover in Delhi, this convinced me even more 🙂
This whole post definitely made me hungry, everything looks so delicious! I would love to visit Pandit Ji and experience his ‘magical tricks’, sounds amazing! I love how Natraj Dahi Bhalla only serves the two dishes that they know they are popular for!
The joy of living in Delhi is heightened with all the fabulous food options around. Street food in Old Delhi is one of the iconic experiences anyone can have here. Did you have the parathas?
Thanks for your comment. Yes Parathas we have tried many times but now prefer other things as old delhi has much more to experience.
Everything looks so tasty Himanshu. Right up my alley. Not visited Delhi yet but it is on the list. We only saw Southern India so far. Pinned and Tweeted buddy.
Thanks Ryan, you are always a source of inspiration. Do let me know whenever you plan your Delhi Trip.
I love street food, and love your analogy of the king and queen (and god) of Delhi street food! I love a real samosa, but it was nice to hear about other street food options such as Dahi Bhalla. I would love to try all these tasty bites one day!
Come to Delhi as it has many more street food options to try.
Reading this post with great photos made me so hungry. I haven’t tried most of the food you names. I think I have never tried a milk based sweet, but it sounds so tempting
These street food items are the best things to try when in India and Delhi is the best place.
I always love Indian Culture. Are you still staying in Delhi now? Would travel there this year. Would love to catch up with a coffee and Jalebiwala!!
Hii, yes I am still in Delhi. Do let me know when you plan your Delhi trip. Will be an honour to meet you over coffee and Jalebi.
The fried potato samosas look SO good! I haven’t tried samosas before so I’d be very interested to see what it tastes like. It must have been very hard to do all the research for this blog post lol!
Thanks for dropping by.
My love for food made it easy to research for this 🙂
I think you are correct that one of the best ways to explore a city is to follow a food trail, especially street food. You really get into the nooks and crannies that way. I cannot believe how long some of these outlets have been up and running and kept within the same family! There are some delicacies here of which I have never heard, probably because I have never been to India, but I would love to try.
Those Jalebiwala look like heaven! I think they have to be up there with my very favorite desserts.
So many foodie treats in Old Delhi! You would have to roll us out of there bellies bursting. I had to loosen my belt buckle just reading this post.
Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!
I am a big fan of street foods of Old Delhi. It is a heaven for foodies. There are many non-vegetarian shops also here which serves delicious kebabs and tikkas. Thanks for sharing these places, will check out them next time.
I just read a post about street food in Mumbai the other day, and now this- makes me want to visit India and try all these delicious foods I’ve only read about so far. I don’t think I ever had proper Indian food, except for one I tried to make at home (but since I haven’t tried the real thing, I don’t have anything to compare it to. :)). Anyhow, street food in Old Delhi looks succulent, and I’m curious about golgappa- what is it? Some kind of a soup or a stew?
Everything looks so delicious! I’d love to try it all! However, I have a really sensitive stomach.. so I was wondering.. how sanitary were the conditions in which the food was prepared?
Each one of this shop prepares food with super hygiene.
I am so happy to read this post and am glad someone is sharing more street food options beyond parathe wali galli in old Delhi. Your post has ignited a (hunger) spark to go back to Old Delhi now on a food trail and try that jalebi, chaat and dahi bhalla! Yummy!
And I am too glad to know that people want to explore beyond Paratha wali gali. Actually, I just do not like that overrated Galli.
You must plan a visit soon.
My dream is to eat my way around India. I especially love street food around the world so this post is great. Give me all the samosas! my mouth is watering.
i hope this concept soon organized in Birmingham Streets.
where some Indian Restaurant in Birmingham, use this type of food concept.