• Karim’s Goat-meat specialists in the heart of Old Delhi's Muslim quarter.
  • Vishalla Delectable Gujarati thalis in a lantern-lit open-air setting.
  • Tunday Kababi The original Lucknow kebab house that spawned a thousand imitations.
  • 6 Ballygunge Place Top-notch Bengali treats in a 20th-century Kolkata mansion.
  • Guru-Ka-Langar A humbling temple-canteen experience alongside thousands of Sikh pilgrims.
  • Peacock Rooftop Restaurant Five-star food at budget prices, and with views of a crumbling fort.

North Indian

  • Oudhyana The last word in Awadh cuisine.
  • Under the Mango Tree Unrivalled kebabs in a Bhopal palace hotel.
  • Alchi Kitchen Traditional Ladakhi treats with a modern twist.
  • Kesar Da Dhaba Paratha (flaky bread) thalis and silver-leaf-topped puddings, tucked away in Amritsar's bazaars.
  • Ambrai Impossibly romantic restaurant on the shore of Udaipur's Lake Pichola.
  • Pancham Puriwala No frills, but no shortage of stories at this century-old puri bhaji (puffed-up bread with potato-and-pea curry) joint in Mumbai.

South Indian

  • Villa Maya Supreme Keralan seafood in an 18th-century Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) mansion.
  • Naivedyam Like eating thali in a temple, in Delhi's arty Hauz Khas.
  • Wildgrass Restaurant Odishan delights served up in thatched garden pavilions.
  • Andhra Pradesh Bhawan Canteen Sharpen your elbows and join the queue for Delhi's best-value thali.
  • Mavalli Tiffin Rooms A legend on the Bengaluru idli (fermented rice cake) and dosa (savoury crepe) scene.
  • Bait Keralan-spiced seafront restaurant with fresh fish and blazing sunsets.