They say the best way to explore an unknown city is with its culinary delight. This saying is even more true when we talk about Delhi, with its rich and diverse street food culture. Street food, you wont find in fancy restaurants and can only be discovered by mingling with local crowds and following them through the narrow gullies of the old city just to discover yet another hidden Delhi street food joint. Its a well known fact that Delhi and Delhi-ites love their food and more over love sharing them with other foodies. Delhi is a popular hub for any cuisine you can think of from Indian to international variety. This too reflects on the street food culture of Delhi with its diverse variety and ever improving nature. If you are a local or especially a visitor to Delhi here are few hidden Delhi street food joints which you should never miss.

#1. Lotan Chole Wala, Chawari Bazaar

What is Kulche?

Wikipedia defines Kulche as

A type of leavened bread originated from the Indian Subcontinent, eaten in India, and Pakistan made from wheat flour. It is particularly popular in India & Pakistan usually eaten with Chole. Chole is the common name for the larger and lighter colored chickpea.

Started in 1920 by Lotan and now continued by his great grandson, (4th generation) Lotan Chole Wala is a must visit place for Chole Kulche lovers and definitely falls as one of the hidden Delhi food joints. Mahaveer, grandson of Lotan currently runs the place, satisfying the taste buds of hundreds daily. Fresh hot spicy Chole gets scooped out from a steaming copper vessel and gets served with potato and masala (a red concentration of all spicy ingredients). You can opt for the varying level of spiciness - less, medium or high. Be warned though, the medium is spicy enough for the most and only those hardcore chilly lovers and brave souls can tolerate the full dosage. Additionally and if you are not so calorie conscious you can opt for a spoonful of butter just to enhance the flavors and tickle the taste buds a bit more.

An interesting fact is in spite being ranked as number one by all major networks Lotans Chole Kulche didn't go for commercializing their food by expanding into franchises. They remained constant with their food quality over the years even when serving in the tiny Lanes of Chandni Chowk satisfying hundreds of food lovers.

  • Location

    2663, Chatta Shahji, Chawri Bazar, Delhi 6 (see map)

  • Known for

    Chole Kulche

  • Cost

    INR 50 to 100 for two (approx)

Additional info

Timing : 7.30am to 10.30am

Spiciness : Quite spicy

P.S. : Exit from Chawri Bazar metro station from gate no. 3 and ask locals for location.  

#2. Atul Chaat Corner

What is Chaat?

Wikipedia defines chaat as

Chaat is a savory snack, typically served as a hors d'oeuvre at road side tracks from stalls or food carts in India, Pakistan, Nepal & Bangladesh. With its origin in Uttar Pradesh chaat has become immensely popular in the rest of South Asia.

Another one of the hidden Delhi street food joints, Atul Chaat Corner is a must try. Located in the middle of the main market in Rajouri Garden they offer various items like golgappe, bhare hue golgappe, kulfi falooda, pav bhaji and much more.

The main reason shoppers who come to Rajouri visit this place is the same high standard of taste & quality they maintained since the beginning. They serve fresh food in hygienic manner. Some unique dishes this hidden Delhi food joints offer are Kulfi falooda which basically is a creamy kulfi covered with sevaiya and some sugar syrup. Another dish bhare huye golgappe includes crispy golgappe stuffed with a mixture of potato and chickpeas topped with fresh curd, sev, pomegranate and chopped ginger. Even the Pav Bhaji offered here are amazing and a must try. 

  • Location

    H-44, Main Market, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi

  • Known for

    Aloo Chaat, Pav Bhaji, Gol Gappe

  • Cost

    INR 100 for two (approx)

Additional info

Timing : 11am to 10pm

Spiciness : Medium

P.S. : Takeaway only with no seating arrangement.

#3. Khandani Pakodewala

What is Pakoda?

According to Wikipedia

Pakoda also called Pakora or ponako is a fried snack which originated from India. It is found across the Indian subcontinent, especially in Pakistan, India, Nepal & Bangladesh. Pakoras are created by taking one or two ingredients such as onion, eggplant, spinach, plantain, cauliflower, tomato or chilli pepper. The most popular variety is made from onion and potato.

Another one in the list of hidden Delhi food joints Khandani Pakodewala in Sarojini Nagar is in its 3rd generation serving customers Pakodas ever since the beginning. A very popular place for Pakoda lovers Khandani Pakodewala's unique feature is in its sheer variety of Pakoda choices available to its customers. Some of the most populat items include aloo bhonda Gobhi pakoda (potato & cauliflower ), bengan Pakoda (Eggplant Pakoda) and paneer Pakoda  (farmer's cheese).

The Khandani Pakodewala food joint might be small in terms of space & sitting arrangement however they make most of it up with their mouth watering Pakodas with ample flavor choices.

Check menu here.

  • Location

    Ring Road Market, Nauroji Nagar, Near Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi

  • Known for

    Onion Pakoda, Potato Pakoda, Paneer Pakoda

  • Cost

    INR 100 for two (approx)

Additional info

Timing : 9am to 10pm

Spiciness : Varying

P.S. : Takeaway only with no seating arrangement.

#4. Multan Moth Bhander

What is Kachori?

According to Wikipedia

Kachori is a spicy snack from India. Originated in the states of Uttar Pradesh or Rajasthan Kachoris are usually a round flattened ball made of fine flour with a stuffing of baked mixture  of yellow moong dal or Urad dal (crushed and washed horse beans), besan (crushed and washed gram flour), black pepper, red chilli powder and other spices.

At number 4 for the list of hidden Delhi street food joints is the 75 year old Multan Moth Bhander at Paharganj. Among its limited menu that too communicated verbally the Kachori is its most famous. Other items in the menu includes kadhi chawal (rice with yoghurt based tangy gravy), rajma chawal (rice with kidney bean gravy), veg chaap chawal (Rice with veg cutlet based gravy).

The kachori , a flat round ball with spicy stuffing of goodness is usually served in a small leaf bowl being accompanied by a side dish.  Made from boiled rice, sprouted moth beans topped with vinegar and onion and seasoned with some masala spices this side dish is a specialty in itself. If you are bored with the generic taste of kachori then this choice among hidden Delhi street food joints is a must. 

  • Location

    9283. Gali 6, Multani Dhanda, Paharganj, New Delhi

  • Known for

    Kachori

  • Cost

    INR 100 for two (approx)

Additional info

Timing : 8am to 7pm

Spiciness : Low

P.S. : The place might look unhygienic but still brave away and have a bite. Its worth it.

#5. Dolma Aunty ke momos

What is momo?

Wikipedia defines momo as

A South Asian dumpling native to Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling district of India. A traditional delicacy in Nepal momo is made from simple white flour and water dough with ground / minced meat filling.

Situated in Lajpat Nagar Market Dolma Aunty Momo joint is forever packed up with momo loving foodies from all over the city and outside. Established in 1994 by Dolma Tsering a Tibetan woman you will find varying momo choices here like Veg Momo, Paneer Momo, Chilli Potatoes, Chilli chutney, French Fries and dumplings. The soft perfectly steamed momo served with really spicy chutney is bound to make your mouth water.

Apart from the varying choices of momo offered by Dolma Aunty, the red fiery sauce which accompanies each plate of momo is a favorite among foodies too. The bright red colored, hot and spicy chilli garlic chutney just adds to the appetite of momo lovers. Even if you have never tasted momos before Dolma Aunty's momo is a must visit among hidden Delhi food joints.

  • Location

    Shop 39-B, Central Market, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi

  • Known for

    Momos

  • Cost

    INR 100 for two (approx)

Additional info

Timing : 12 noon to 9pm

Spiciness : Medium

P.S. : Definitely try the accompanying chutney.

#6. Old famous Jalebi Wala

What is jalebi?

According to Wikipedia

Jalebi, also known as zulbia is a sweet popular in countries of South Asia, West Asia, North and East Africa. It is made by deep frying plain flour or purpose flour batter in pretzel or circular shape. This is then soaked in sugar syrup. They are particularly popular in the India sub-continent.

Adding a bit of sweetness in the long list of 10 Hidden Delhi street food joints is Old famous Jalebi wala from old Delhi. Established in 1884 this 4th generation shop serves piping hot, thick and juicy, freshly made jalebis. The key difference in jalebis from old famous Jalebi wala is the use of natural khandsari sugar rather than the regular variety for making the syrup.

At an additional cost you get served rabri (a thick white creamy delight) along with those hot jalebis just to tingle your taste buds a bit more. Apart from the tasty jalebis, the process of making jalebi is a treat for the eyes in itself. A cloth bag filled with the batter and guided by expert hands gets squeezed in circular loops into the boiling hot desi ghee for deep frying. The magic then begins and the white batter turns deep golden color in matter of seconds. All this visual delight just gives your appetite a good enough boost preparing it for all those munching. If you are a sweet lover and like Jalebis then this one from the list of hidden Delhi street food joints is a must try.

  • Location

    Dariba Kalan, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

  • Known for

    Jalebis

  • Cost

    INR 100 for two (approx)

Additional info

Timing : 8am to 9pm

Spiciness : Nill

P.S. : Definitely try the raabri - jalebi combo

#7. Kuremal Mohan Lal Kulfi

What is kulfi?

According to Wikipedia

Kulfi is a popular froozen dairy dessert from the Indian subcontinent. It is often described as "traditional Indian ice-cream". It has similarities to ice-cream in appearance and taste, however it is denser and creamier.

Kulfi with a pedigree - the Kumermal Mohan Lal Kulfi shop established in 1908 has been making kulfis ever since. From humble beginning of a single cart  to a multi cart affair and finally a permanent shop the Kumermal kulfi journey is a history in itself. Know more about the amazing story here.  

Among the multiple variety of Kulfis offered there the most attractive and unique of them is the Mango stuffed kulfi.  It is made by extracting the mango stone and most of the pulp and stuffing it with rabri or plain kulfi mix. The mixture is then frozen. When served the skin is peeled off and ice sliced making a great combo of rabri and froozen mango pulp. Other kulfi types offered from the 50 or so choices are pomegranate, tamarind, rose and custard apple. This is yet another must visit place in the list of hidden Delhi street food joints.

  • Location

    526, Kucha Pati Ram, Bazar Sita Ram, Near Chawri Bazar Metro Station, Chawri Bazar, New Delhi

     
  • Known for

    Kulfis

  • Cost

    INR 200 for two (approx)

Additional info

Timing : 9am to 10.30pm

Spiciness : Nill

P.S. : Definitely try the stuffed mango kulfi

So these are the seven hidden Delhi street food joints which every food lover visiting Delhi must try once. The type of food delicacies offered here on the streets of Delhi are unique and cannot be found in fancy restaurants making Delhi a street food lovers paradise.