Must-have winter food in Delhi

Gulab jamuns get a different flavour when eaten in chilly weather

As the temperature dips and the fog sets in, in the capital, keep warm by digging into piping hot – and fattening – food that is sure to keep those winter blues at bay. After all, is there anything more comforting than digging your teeth in to that juicy tenderloin burger, dunking marshmallows in divinely rich chocolate fondue or biting into some hot jalebis straight out of the frying pan? Let winter be your guilt-free pass to enjoying some drool-inducing food on this list.

Indian desserts

Let’s put it straight and simple. Winter is incomplete without sinful desserts like gajar ka halwa, gulab jamun and crispy, golden jalebis. Even if you have eaten these throughout the year, the piping hot desserts get a different flavour when eaten in chilly weather. They are definitely worth the extra calories.

Where to eat: Haldiram’s, Evergreen, Ghantewala Halwai, Bengali Sweet House, Nathu Sweets

Sarson ka saag

If you have a Punjabi friend make sure that you get invited to their house for lunch on a weekend, as there are strong chances that you’ll be served the legendary winter special – sarson ka saag with makki di roti, oozing with ghee and served with dollops of homemade butter, and jaggery. It’s absolutely delicious. Since it’s a seasonal dish you’ll only find it on certain restaurant menus during these months.

Where to eat: Pind Balluchi, Gulati, Punjab Grill, Punjabi By Nature


A true foodie will understand the meaning of a melted pot of gooey cheese or chocolate

Cheese and chocolate fondue

Picture this: it’s foggy and extremely cold outside and someone brings a pot of bubbling melted chocolate or cheese to take away those winter blues. A true foodie will understand the meaning of a melted pot of gooey cheese or chocolate – its divine, its rich and its heavenly. Fondue is taken from the French verb ‘fondre’, meaning ‘to melt’. The pot is kept on a slow burner while you dip in cubes of crusty bread using two-pronged fondue forks into the cheese.

Where to eat: Cafe Delhi Heights, Chocolateria San Churro, SF Bar & Restaurant, Market Cafe


The sheer variety of paranthas available in Delhi is mind-boggling. From basic ones like aloo, egg, gobi, mooli to more interesting stuff like green chilli, keema, kaju and rabri paranthas you get it all in the capital. Have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with pickle, white butter or curd, and your love affair with this dish will carry on forever.

Where to eat: Gali Parantha Wali, Not Just Paranthas, dhabas at Murthal

The thick beef Mo Bar burger at Monkey Bar is quite chunky
Image courtesy: Kunal Chandra


They have become bigger, meaner and juicer over the years. Today you can get a chunky tenderloin burger at many restaurants in the city, but the trick is to know where to get them. Now they don’t cheat on the meat and give you a thick 250/300 grams patty to bite into. The thick beef Mo Bar burger at Monkey Bar is quite chunky and so is the lamb Juicy Lucy at Café Delhi Heights. It’s so massive that you won’t be able to bite into it at one go. The Legendary 10 oz Burger at Hard Rock Cafe is a solid beef burger that may take you a while to finish.

Where to eat: Monkey Bar, Hard Rock Cafe, Johnny Rockets, Smokey’s BBQ & Grill, Fork You

Kashmiri Food

Spicy meat dishes form the backbone of Kashmiri cuisine. Some of the dishes that you must try are yakhni (meat in a curd-based sauce made mildly minty with fennel), rogan josh (rich, red mutton curry), gushtaba (pale meatballs in saffron-yogurt curry), rista (meatballs in a red gravy) and tabak maas (fried lamb’s ribs). It is so rich that you cannot have it any other time but in winter.

Where to eat: Chor Bizarre Hotel Broadway, Kashmiri Kitchen, Dilli Haat, Coriander Leaf

In winters it’s a sin not to have fried dumplings

Fried momos

You can stick to steamed ones for rest of the year but in winter it’s a sin not to have these fried dumplings. A huge variety is available so you can choose from pork, chicken, vegetable and bite into them when they are crisp and are served when they just off the fire. One of the best places to have them is Yashwant Place, the lane behind Chanakya cinemas. Some restaurants have come up with interesting variations such as mushroom, paneer, spinach, keema and many more.

Where to eat: Yashwant Place, Yeti, the Himalayan Kitchen, Dilli Haat, Majnu ka Tila, State Bhawans

Hot beverages

Ginger tea, strong coffee, hot chocolate with marshmallows, these things help winter pass with ease. There are plenty of cafes and tea rooms where you get these, but there’s nothing more satisfying than having it from a road-side vendor or dhaba. Of course you cannot do that with hot chocolate or coffee, but masala chai is best had from these people. Delhi spoils you with its variety of hot chocolate. While some come with a hint of cinnamon others are super thick and laden with butter.

Where to drink: Choko La, Elma’s, Mocha, Di Ghent Cafe, and Chocolateria San Churros

AUTHOR'S BIO: A traveller and foodie at heart, Pallavi Pasricha has explored many destinations across the world. But that never seems to be enough and she’s always ready to hit the road again. Her obsession for travel is combined with a love for photography. She is currently working as a Commissioning Editor at Lonely Planet India.

  • Mariellen Ward

    Hello Pallavi,

    I spent the winter living in Delhi, enjoying “Dilli ki sardi” and all the warming foods. I’m writing about it now on my blog, Breathedreamgo, and I will be using this excellent article for inspiration, and to reference and link to.

    P.S. I completely agree with Lonely Planet’s designation of Delhi as the food capital of India. Cheers,


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