How to Explore New Delhi, India Like a Local

By Tim Kroeger October 6, 2015 Asia, Best Things To Do In, How to Explore like a Local, India

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How to Explore New Delhi, India like a Local: Locals introduce their city.

In today’s MYCITY interview Sonal from “Drifter Planet” introduces New Delhi where she lives since 1999. Send me an email when you’d like to present your city.

NAME, Profession

SONAL KWATRA PALADINI, a corporate executive during the day and a blogger at night.

Please introduce yourself:

I’m a dreamer, backpacker, dog lover, adventure enthusiast and a hippie at heart. I have a blog called “Drifter Planet” with my husband – Sandro Paladini, who I met while backpacking.

My city:

New Delhi, India

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Tombs inside Lodhi Garden
Tombs inside Lodhi Garden

My favorite place to eat in New Delhi:

It’s difficult to pick one place to eat in Delhi because the city is famous for its good food, so I will list a few places for different cuisines and budgets:
Dilli Haat: I love Dilli Haat which next to INA metro station. Dilli haat is an open air area that features cuisines and handicrafts from all over India. This place has many options and offers meals at very affordable prices – from INR 100 Rupees to 200 Rupees per person.
Coast Café in Hauz Khas Village: I also like Coast Café in Hauz Khas Village which has some mouthwatering Indian coastal seafood curries. This will cost you INR 200 to 400 per person.
Sitaram Diwan Chand Chana Bhatura: This small eating place is in crowded Paharganj market. It sells only one thing – Chana Bhatura or commonly known as “Chhole Bhature”. It’s a delicious vegetarian meal of chickpeas with fried Indian bread. A meal here will cost only INR 50 per person.
Big Chill Café: Visit this place if you’re bored of Indian food and want some seriously delicious Italian food and desserts. I love the ravioli and four cheese pizza here. A meal here will cost you between INR 400 – INR 700 per person.
Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid area: Visiting old Delhi is an experience in itself and will provide you many photo opportunities. Please wear something that covers most of your skin. Karim’s and Al Jawahar are two legendary restaurants in this area that are famous for their meat curries. However, my favorite food here is street food: kebabs and more.

Beef Skewers outside Old Delhi's Jama Masjid Area.
Beef Skewers outside Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid Area.

A typical dish of New Delhi:

Butter chicken with naan. Butter chicken is a typical “Delhi” dinner dish. It’s a kind of chicken curry with chunks of chicken tikka in a thick tomato and butter based curry. I recommend you eat it with a garlic naan. Naan is a soft Indian bread. For vegetarians, I recommend Daal Makhani or Kadai Paneer with garlic naan. Daal Makhani is curried lentils and Kadai Paneer is homemade cottage cheese (paneer) with thick gravy of onions, tomatoes and capsicum.

My favorite bar in New Delhi:

Hauz Khas Social in Hauz Khas Village or Monkey Bar in Vasant Kunj.

Deer Park and Lake view from Hauz Khas Village
Deer Park and Lake view from Hauz Khas Village

What about the Nightlife in New Delhi?

Delhi has a culture of an “early nightlife” because most bars don’t have the permit to remain open post 12:30 AM. However, I recommend you try visiting Hauz Khas Village for a pub crawl. Hauz Khas Village is an area which is next to Hauz Khas metro station. The backdrop is of many historical tombs from Mughal era which makes this place visually appealing. You can also visit a few interesting bars located in Khan Market, Connaught Place, Vasant Kunj and Cyber Hub. They are all easily accessible by Delhi Metro.

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