While Delhiites graze all day on the city's masterful, taste-tingling Dilli-ka-Chaat (street-food snacks), the city's dining scene is also becoming increasingly diverse. Creative cuisine at Delhi's modern Indian restaurants now sits alongside traditional purveyors of delicate dhals and meaty Mughal delights.

Reservations are recommended for high-end restaurants.

Taxes

Apart from at some cheaper restaurants where taxes are included on price lists, your restaurant bill will end up being more than the prices listed on your menu by either 22% (in non-AC restaurants), 28% (in AC restaurants and restaurants that serve alcohol) or 38% (in luxury hotels or same-category restaurants). These extras comprise a 10% service charge and either a 12%, 18% or 28% GST (Goods & Services Tax). Luxury hotels and same-category restaurants levy a 28% GST, meaning your bill will end up a whopping 38% higher than the prices stated on the menu.

Delhi Street Food

Old Delhi sizzles with the sound of Dilli-ka-Chaat (street-food snacks) being fried, boiled, grilled and flipped. Chaat to look out for include: dahi bhalle (fried lentil balls served with yoghurt and garnished with chutney); aloo tikki (spiced potato patties); shakarkandi (sweet potato) baked on coals on a flip-out table; and aloo chaat (fried pieces of parboiled potato mixed with chickpeas and chopped onions, and garnished with spices and chutney).

Street Sweets

Devilishly sticky jalebi (orange-coloured coils of deep-fried batter dunked in sugar syrup) are served hot from numerous holes-in-the-wall across the city; Old Delhi's Jalebi Wala is the most famous of the lot.

Those with a sweet tooth should also seek out one of the old kheer (rice pudding) makers, and on a hot day you can do no wrong with a kulfi (traditional Indian ice cream), while some Old Delhi lemon-drink sellers still serve handmade lemonade from glass bottles sealed with a marble.

Delhi Specialities

Aside from Dilli-ka-Chaat (street-food snacks), Delhi specialities include breakfast-favourite chole bhature (spicy chickpeas, accompanied by puffy, fried bread with a light paneer filling); and chole kulche, a healthier version of chole bhature made with boiled chickpeas and less-greasy baked bread. Nihari (goat curry eaten with roti) is a popular breakfast for Delhi's Muslim population, and the only breakfast item at legendary Karim's.

Punjabi Imports

Some specialities have been brought down from Punjab by Delhi's large Punjabi population. Butter chicken, for example, and stuffed paratha (flaky flatbread), as well as rajma chawal (kidney beans and rice),