Drinking and nightlife in Delhi

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in New Delhi

    1911

    The Imperial, built in the 1930s, resonates with bygone splendour. This bar is a more recent addition, but still riffs on the Raj. Here you can sip the perfect cocktail (₹1000) amid designer-clad clientele, against a backdrop of faded photos and murals of maharajas.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in South Delhi

    Piano Man Jazz Club

    The real thing, this popular, atmospheric place with proper musos is a dim-lit speakeasy with some excellent live jazz performances.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

    Jugmug Thela

    Another hidden surprise in Champa Gali – the mini art enclave down Lane 3 behind the fake Dilli Haat store – this tea specialist has more than 180 herbs and spices to work with. It serves delicious ayurvedic teas and other blends, plus organic coffee and fabulously unique sandwich combos (spicy potato and pomegranate; almond and banana) that shouldn't work, but do.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in New Delhi

    Unplugged

    There's nowhere else like this in Connaught Place. You could forget you were in CP, in fact, with the big courtyard garden, wrought-iron chairs and tables, and swing seats, all under the shade of a banyan tree hung with basket-weave lanterns. There's live music on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings: anything from alt-rock to electro-fusion.

  • Nightlife in New Delhi

    Indian Coffee House

    Up on the 2nd floor of Mohan Singh Place, Indian Coffee House has faded-to-the-point-of-dilapidated charm, with the waiters' plummage-like hats and uniforms giving them a rakish swagger. You can feast on finger chips and South Indian snacks like it's 1952, and the roof terrace is a tranquil spot to linger, although watch out for marauding macaques!

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

    Blue Tokai

    Found in a magically unexpected art enclave called Champa Gali, down a lane beside the fake Dilli Haat shopping centre ('Delhi Haat'), Blue Tokai is one of a few cool cafes here – but it's the one the coffee aficionados come to. They grind their own beans here and you can get serious caffeine hits such as nitrogen-infused cold brew.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in South Delhi

    Hauz Khas Social

    This chilled-out restaurant-bar-club is a Hauz Khas hub, and has an urban warehouse-like interior with stone walls, high ceilings and huge plate-glass windows overlooking lush greenery and the Hauz Khas lake. There's an extensive food menu (dishes ₹200 to ₹500) plus beers, cocktails and regular live music and DJs in the evenings.

  • Nightlife in New Delhi

    Chai Point

    This buzzing, split-level cafe specialises in healthy chai infusions (masala, ginger, cardamom, lemongrass; ₹75 to ₹100) but also serves good lassis (₹119 to ₹129) and fresh coffee alongside banana cake and other sweet treats. Ask for a glass cup; otherwise you'll get your chai in a less-than-satisfying disposable paper cup.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in New Delhi

    Atrium, Imperial

    Is there anything more genteel than high tea at the Imperial? Sip tea from bone-china cups and pluck dainty sandwiches and cakes from tiered stands, while discussing the latest goings-on in Shimla and Dalhousie. High tea is served in the Atrium from 3pm to 6pm daily (₹1500 plus tax).

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in South Delhi

    Ek Bar

    On the upper floors of a building in the exclusive area of the Defence Colony, this place has stylish, kooky decor in deep, earth-jewel colours, serious mixology (cocktails from ₹475) showcasing Indian flavours (how about a gin and tonic with turmeric?), modern Indian bar snacks, nightly DJs, and a see-and-be-seen crowd.

  • Nightlife in South Delhi

    Summer House Cafe

    Close to Hauz Khas, this roomy, rustic 1st-floor bar has a spacious terrace and is a popular, lively evening haunt for a mixed crowd of men and women. There's frequent live music or DJs (from 9pm), a wide-ranging multi-cuisine menu serving everything from fish and chips to Thai curries, and a Kingfisher costs ₹195.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    PT Ved Prakash Lemon Wale

    Quenching Chandni Chowk’s thirst for over a century now, this stalwart has a menu comprising just one item: homegrown fizzy lemonade that comes from a glass bottle sealed with a marble. Summer days find this hole-in-the-wall completely engulfed by loyal fans seeking much-needed relief from the heat.

  • Nightlife in New Delhi

    Cha Bar

    Connaught Place’s Oxford Bookstore contains the hugely popular cafe Cha Bar, with more than 150 types of tea to choose from, as well as a good-value food menu including a range of tasty biryanis (₹170). At lunchtimes it buzzes with happy, chattering, 20-something locals.

  • Nightlife in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    Ama

    This is the most comfortable and most popular of the many cafes in the Tibetan enclave and does good strong coffee plus a range of set breakfasts (until noon) as well as sandwiches, decent pizza and a tempting selection of cakes.

  • Nightlife in New Delhi

    Keventer’s Milkshakes

    Keventer’s has a cult following for its legendary creamy milkshakes (₹80), slurped out of milk bottles on the pavement in front of the stand.

  • Nightlife in Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

    Cocktails & Dreams Speakeasy

    A small neighbourhood bar built along the lines of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, Cocktails & Dreams (called simply 'Speakeasy' by regulars) is a local favourite, and serves a full menu of classic cocktails (from ₹425), such as the Bronx and the Old Fashioned, as well as new creations whipped up on the spot by the house mixologists. It's 4km from the metro.

  • Nightlife in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Café Turtle

    Allied to the Full Circle Bookstore, this brightly painted boho cafe gets busy with chattering bookish types, and is ideal when you're in the mood for coffee and cake in cosy surroundings, with a leafy outdoor terrace as well. There is also a branch in Nizamuddin East.

  • Nightlife in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    Sam’s Bar

    If you can nab one of the two tables by the big window overlooking Main Bazaar this is a fine place to chill with a couple of beers (from ₹115). Sam’s Bar is more laid-back than most Paharganj bars, with a mixed crowd of men and women, locals and foreigners. There's a full food menu as well as drinks.

  • Nightlife in New Delhi

    Aqua

    If you feel the need for some five-star style after visiting Jantar Mantar or shopping in Connaught Place, Aqua is an ideal place to flop, forget the world outside, and sip cocktails by the pool. Accessed from a path to the left-hand side of Park Hotel.

  • Nightlife in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Big Chill

    Popular, film-poster-lined cafe at Khan Market, packed with chattering Delhiites. The menu is a telephone directory of Continental and Indian dishes (₹290 to ₹625). Nearby is its spin-off cakery (for cakes and pastries) and creamery (for ice cream).