Not a guide by any means, just my experiences. My map is here.
Karim’s Hotel Pvt Ltd (Elementary B+), 16 Urdu Bazar Road, infront of Jama Masjid Gate No.1, Gali Bhairo Wali, Bazar Matia Mahal, Kalan Mehal, Kababiyan
This legendary restaurant is a must do if you’re visiting the old town for the first time. Be warned though that it’s so famous that it has spawned several imitators, there’s even one on the street outside the original! Half of the fun is just coming here as it’s quite difficult to find by yourself, but you’ll pin it down eventually if you keep asking the locals.
The place you want has many seating areas off a central courtyard. As you walk into the courtyard, you’ll see the kitchen immediately in front of you with the chefs stirring several large Handi cooking pots.
Behind the kitchen is the bakery area where they make the breads. It’s fun to watch the two bakers working in tandem to provide a steady stream of fresh naans.
Once baked and hooked out of the tandoor, the bakers would throw the naans across the room into a metal bin which makes a resounding noise (goal!). The waiters would be waiting to pile them up and ferry them to the tables.
The original old man Karim was the last royal chef. Four generations later his descendants have gone down market but the reputation has stayed. The food is very good for what it is; basic Mughlai cuisine with no frills. I went a couple of times and had the Mutton Burra and Tandoori Fish to begin, followed by various curries (all B).
It’s probably also best to go outside peak hours because its fame and cheap prices mean it’s always packed, although there are plenty of seats.
Al Jawahar Restaurant (Elementary B), near 8 Matia Mahal Rd, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid, aljawaharrestaurant.com
Another famous restaurant, just a couple of doors down from Karim’s. A good plan B if you can’t get into its more popular neighbour.
Bade Mian ki Kheer aka Old Kheer Shop (Elementary B), 2867 Bazar Sirkiwalan, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk
For an alternative dessert, this old place is just a short walk away from both the restaurants above.
Kheer is a pudding made by boiling milk and sugar with either rice, broken wheat or tapioca, and flavoured with cardamom, saffron, cashews, raisins, pistachios or almonds.
This shop sells nothing else. Prince, Julian, Sandy and I can all recommend it.
And that my friends is the end of my write up for my experiences in India. The next and final post brings together all my remaining photos…