Most travellers reach the transport hub much earlier than their bus is scheduled and there is generally a wait of around three hours or more. A gourmet feast is always welcome in between that train or flight and trip to the Himalayas. There are a few options like kadhi rice and chole available, as well as Delhi ka chaat. Chandini Chowk is close to ISBT and you can take a metro, bus or a shared  rickshaw.

Chandani Chowk is always buzzing and filled with a lot of energy. It has a old Delhi vibe and has a Gurudwara which serves Langar and distributes food amongst the poor.  Now there are plenty of chaat places and food joints ranging from chaat to thali to kebabs and rolls. 


Haldiram’s  is always a crowded nut and offers a good variety of food items like Indian desserts, Farsan, Snacks such as chole bature, Bombay vada pav and chaat items. Surprisingly without any festivity, it still had food gift hampers ranging from Indian sweets, snack items, dry fruits to chocolates and confectionery. Need to pick a fancy looking food gift hamper, head to Haldiram’s.  

Aromatic masala chai, grill and sandwich corners and papdi chaat are all around the corners. Crushed papdi chat with a generous serving of sweet yoghurt was seasoned with chilli powder, salt, and an a mix of what felt like pepper and roasted cumin with a hint of chat masala. It fit the spot and fit the bill. The papdi chat was for Rs.30 and other options like dahi bhalla, pani puri were the same price. It was yummy, filling and the guy gave a repeat of dahi and the seasoning. The place may look tiny, but gives out good food.

Aloo tikki was mashed potato with a spicy lentil filling inside fried to perfection and downed in oil, served with sweet tamarind and coriander sauce. Gone in 60 seconds. It was delicious and crispy fried on the outside and still mushy and flavorful inside. Price, Rs.50, worth every atom of it. 

The start of the street facing the Red Fort has some good lime juice for Rs.10. There are also places frying fresh jalebis and a jalebi was big to fit a small plate. Rabdi jablebi was for Rs.75, a little over budget. But it was just perfect. The jalebi did not have any added artificial food color. The rabdi and jalebi felt the best way to end my short trip to Delhi.

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Text & Photography – Vijaya Nair

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