It is fast, it is hassle-free, but it can burn a hole in your wallet, too. Eating out at cafés in Delhi has long been a rather expensive proposition for locals and travellers alike; usually only dhabas serve affordable meals. But the new food hub at GTB (Guru Tegh Bahadur) Nagar, where a host of chic new cafés have come up recently, is a game-changer of sorts in Delhi. Just get into the Metro, surface at GTB Nagar, part of the student neighbourhood of North Campus, and take your pick from cafés serving scrumptious food – for prices that would leave you shocked, in a good way.
Jack n Chill
This café stands true to its name. The general atmosphere here is that of a very chilled out place with lots of colourful sticky notes everywhere and a very interestingly shaped (rather empty) book-shelf which will definitely catch your eye as soon as you enter. The owner of the place is a chef and foodie himself and it quite reflects on the café’s menu. From beer-battered chicken crispers to NYC chicken on rice, the menu is an eclectic mix of American, Italian, and Mexican street food. I decided on beer-battered chicken crispers, NYC chicken on rice and grilled veg pesto pizza along with a blueberry shake. The beer-battered chicken crispers were great with the amazing honey mustard dip. The slight flavour of beer was prominent in a good way and to my surprise the chicken was very light. No oil oozing out on your plate. Perfect. The NYC chicken on rice was the best. It is now a part of my favourite-comfort-food list and the best part was that the spice level can be moderated according to your taste. Highly recommended. The grilled pesto pizza had a nice layer of perfectly made pesto sauce topped with grilled veggies and cheese. It is a nice change from the regular pizza that you get to eat everywhere. The thick and creamy blueberry shake was perfect as well. You must give this place a try.
Phone: +91 9871846400
Address: Jack 'n' Chill, F-19, First Floor, Opposite NDPL Office, Vijay Nagar, New Delhi
Cost for two: Rs 600-700
This place reminds me of a quote by Da Vinci, ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’. True indeed. With simple interiors and wall studded with pictures of people like Oscar Wilde, Sunita Williams, Nadal, Kishore Kumar and Julia Roberts, this place appealed to me since the moment I set foot inside. I was only hoping against hope that I wasn’t falling prey to its looks. After all what mattered was the quality of food that they were going to serve and boy, they didn’t let me down. For starters I ordered baked potatoes; it was stuffed with mushroom and cheese and baked just right. The main course, pepper chicken steak with cream sauce, was ordered rather sceptically as I was expecting it to be too bland for my taste. Sometimes I love it when I am wrong because it was heavenly. The chicken was cooked to perfection without losing its juiciness, the flavour of pepper was subtle and the cream sauce was yummy. The vegetables served along with the dish were sautéed to perfection. The pomegranate virgin mojito is a must try as well. I finished off my meal with a slice of banoffee pie. It was the perfect end to a perfect meal.
Phone: 011 47092424
Address: YOLO 21, Ground Floor, Hudson Lane, Delhi University-GTB Nagar, New Delhi
Cost for two: Rs 700
Taxi - World Food Café
This little cafe located in Single Storey, Vijaynagar, was on my wishlist ever since I first saw it. It was probably because of the name and its striking entrance - its yellow and black signboard inviting me in. The colourful interiors looked very cheerful the moment I walked in. I chose a table next to the glass store-front. It was evening time and I could see the colourful lights of the traffic whizzing by minus the sound. The waiter got me the menu and I instantly fell in love with its design. It had funny quotes in Hindi scrawled all over it. I had to force myself to focus on the food! I noticed the food was an interesting combination of Chinese, Mexican, Lebanese, Indian and Italian. I decided on the tuna eggie nachos, chicken lasagna and lemonade to wash it all down. I never knew tuna and nachos would go together so well. The lasagna on the other hand was ordinary whereas the lemonade was the best lemonade I have ever had. I would definitely go back to this place.
Phone: +91 9999966053, 011 45064872
Address: Taxi - World Food Café, G 15B, Ground Floor, Vijay Nagar, New Delhi
Cost for two: Rs 800
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Ricos is the long queue that extends to the main road. It always made me wonder what this place had to offer that was so great that not just college students but families including grandparents were willing to wait for so long even during peak summer. I never had the patience to stand and wait but then eventually I gave in to my curiosity. I made sure I went early but I still had to wait for good fifteen minutes. The interiors were bright and colourful with sticky notes in every corner. The menu was again a mix of Italian, Mexican, Lebanese and American. I immediately got lost in the bookshelf which had an impressive collection of books. I ordered the chicken shawrma platter along with a non-alcoholic sex on the beach to drink. Meanwhile I fervently went through Linda Goodman’s book on horoscope. I almost squealed with delight when the shawrma platter was served. It looked beautiful. It had strips of chicken marinated in garlic and Lebanese spices and was served with pita bread, hummus, fattoush and lebeneh. The chicken strips were very flavourful and the hummus took my heart away but the pita bread was slightly under-cooked. My drink was a delicious mix of orange, cranberry and peach and the best part was that all these drinks are also available in pitchers which serve 5-6 glasses. So I finally unravelled the mystery behind the long queue and went back feeling like Nancy Drew.
Phone: 011 3303642
Address: Ricos, 2526, First floor, Above Café Coffee Day, Hudson Lane, Kingsway Camp, Delhi University, GTB Nagar
Cost for two: Rs.700
I have a thing for Korean cuisine and I discovered this place the very year I came to Delhi. It’s a cute little place with Korean animated pictures at the entrance and traditional Korean-style seating arrangement. The menu is very easy to understand for those who are trying Korean food for the first time. Each dish has a picture and a description in English. The kimbaps (or the rice rolls) served with a very nice clear soup and kimchi salad are great. I ordered the chicken dupbap which is chicken cooked in Korean spices served with sticky rice. The best part of eating in a Korean restaurant is that even if you order just two dishes, there are scores of pretty looking side dishes that comes along with the main dish - from pickled cucumbers to kimchi, clear soup, wilted spinach and the list goes on and on. Everything looks so colourful and appetising. You actually walk out of the restaurant feeling good that you gorged on some healthy food for a change.
Phone: +91 9818962596, +91 9818470530
Address: Korea Restaurant: 1612G/F, Outram Line, Kingsway Camp, Delhi University-GTB Nagar, New Delhi
Cost for two: Rs 800