Ghantewali, on the Chandni Chowk main road, is an Old Delhi institution. As far as reputation is concerned, among their large variety of sweets and namkeens, the sohan halwa is considered iconic. The sticky sweet golden imarti too is the best you will get. Children, of course, love the Chhena Murki, the dry baby rasgullas. But have all this after their delicious pyaz kachoris, aloo subzi and imli ki chutney.
Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala is another Chandni Chowk landmark, obviously a go-to place for delicious dahi bhallas. These are just the right mix of spicy and sweet. But their tikki is excellent as well. Which is why Natraj’s restaurant with seating, is still way behind the crowds on the road.
Giani di Hatti is the original rabdi-Faluda haven. Starting from this base at Church Mission Road near Fatehpuri Masjid, their empire of ice cream may have spread tentacles all over Delhi, but their kulfi and the other-timer urad ki dal ka halwa still rule the roost.
The Bengali contribution to Chandni Chowk’s cosmopolitan flavours, Annapoorna is celebrated for its mishit doi. The sweetness of the caramelized sugar and the soothing effect of the dahi come in a satisfying earthen kullhar.
At Pt. Kanhaiya Lal Durga Prasad Dixit Paranthe wala, sin comes fried deep, and served with subzis, achaar and chutney. All paranthas you can think of (Aloo, matar, gobhi, paneer, mooli)… and those that you can’t ( Nimbu, Kaju, bhindi, khurchan…) have been served here since 1875! Only two other shops remain in this one is the best.
The spicy nihari is a satisfyingly rich mutton stew, cooked overnight and served as a hot nourishing traditional breakfast, usually with Kulchas. Visit Ballimaran and ask around for Bismillah’s nihari, close to Dilaram hotel, early in the morning.
Thick, soft and redolent of ghee, the Old Delhi jalebis are different from thin crisp versions available elsewhere. Have them at the Old Famous Jalebiwala its self-explanatory name, right where Dariba Kalan begins.
With its formidable list of snacks and the most wanted Special Thali, Bikanerwala, in Kucha Ghasi Ram, is one of the most popular mithai shops in the city.