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The best Delhi restaurants for winter lunches!

Last updated on: January 16, 2014 09:58 IST

Image: The name is quirky and location, scenic. Cafe Lota not only meets one's expectations but exceeds them.
Photographs: Courtesy Cafe Lota Facebook page

There's nothing quite like a wonderful lunch on a crisp winter day in Delhi. Harnoor Channi-Tiwary recommends five such places that you absolutely must visit before the onset of summer.

There is something about Delhi winter afternoons that just beg to be taken advantage of.

And I don't mean sitting in the sun, getting a head massage, eating mungphali (peanuts) and reading a book.

A great way to enjoy yourself on a weekend winter afternoon in Delhi is to head out for lunch to one of these amazing places:

Cafe Lota

Everyone loves surprises and it is an amazing feeling to discover something new in your own city that you never knew existed.

Located right next to Pragati Maidan, the Crafts Museum is a wonderful place to spend a Sunday morning. With crafts from all over the country displayed, it shows us how little we know about the true wealth of our nation.

But, the best reason to visit the museum is the outdoor restaurant within it called Cafe Lota.

With a name as quirky as that and a location as scenic, Cafe Lota not only meets one's expectations but exceeds them.

A lovely patio with only a few tables strewn around, it seems to be popular with foreigners as well as the 'arty' crowd.

The menu boasts of an interesting array of dishes representing regional cuisines.

Harnoor recommends:

  • For starters, do try the Palak Chaat.
  • Crispy leaves of palak complemented by a tangy mix of yoghurt, chutneys, sev, anar and a lot more, this dish is refreshing and the portion generous.
  • Or you could go for a spicy Chicken Ghee Roast (from Kerala) served atop a Ragi Appam. For mains, the Salli Boti (Parsi) has little competition.
  • The meat literally falls off the bones and it is served with 2 home style chapatis. The perfect accompaniment to your food, Café Lota brews up the perfect Masala Chai as well.

Address: National Crafts Museum, Bhairon Marg, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Meal for two: Rs 1,000

Click here for more recipes and food features!

Triveni Tea Terrace

Image: Offering standard Indian fare, Triveni Tea Terrace is the place to hang out when your wallet's light.
Photographs: Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

A canteen within the premises of the Triveni Kala Sangam, an art heritage gallery, there is an indoor as well as outdoor seating. We suggest that you do not think twice and head straight for the outdoor seating.

At one end of the gallery, overlooking an amphitheatre, Triveni Tea Terrace is constructed to remind one of chilled out college canteens.

They do not appreciate people who just hang around though and there are notices on the walls that disallow meetings or kitty parties here.

That aside, this is the perfect place to meet up with friends when your wallet is on the emptier side.

The menu is fairly simple and has standard Indian fare.

Harnoor recommends:

  • The Shami Kebabs are the best thing at Triveni and since they are priced at Rs 45 a piece, you don't have to stop at one!
  • The Paneer Bhurjee and Meat Curry are home-style and go perfectly with raita and paranthas on the side.
  • Surprisingly, they also make a delectable Walnut Brownie and it is the best way to end your meal.

Address: Triveni Kala Sangam, 205, Tansen Marg, New Delhi

Meal for two: Rs 200

Amour: The Patio Restaurant

Image: Give the dessert course at Amour a miss at your own peril.
Photographs: Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

There are two kinds of people in Delhi: those who love Hauz Khas Village (HKV) and those who hate it.

Whichever sect you belong to, it is tough to deny that HKV does have the best al fresco dining options in the city.

Much better than the cramped balconies of Khan Market, the restaurants here not only offer a wide variety of cuisines to choose from but also sunny spacious terraces to soak up the sun.

Fat Ninja has a nice terrace as well as a glassed in area to keep the cold away and Imperfecto is perfect for a casual afternoon.

If money is not too much of a constraint, the best Sunday brunch in the village is served by Amour: The Patio Restaurant.

One may choose to go for the all-you-can-eat buffet or complement their food with unlimited drinks. Very Mediterranean in its decor, the terrace has various seating options.

But it's the food that's the star of the show.

Harnoor recommends:

  • A buffet where every single dish represents the Mediterranean region (and is not confused with Indian/Chinese dishes like most buffet spreads), it is tough to know where to begin.
  • There is an extensive salad bar, main course options including Spanish Paella, Moroccan Lamb Stew etc, a live grill serving chops and sausages of various meats, a live pasta counter, pizzas made to order in their wood-fired oven and of course lovely desserts to choose from.
  • For dessert, go for the fresh churros. Dipped in chocolate sauce, these are the closest one can come to sweet heaven.

Address: Hauz Khas Village, Near Green Park, New Delhi

Meal for two: Rs 3,000


Image: Three words that best describe Tonino: Wood-fired pizza!
Photographs: Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

Tonino may not serve up a buffet but it makes up for it in its set up. Walking into the sunny courtyard, one is transported to the cobbled streets of a tiny Italian village.

They may suggest you take a seat indoors but insist on sitting out in the sun, it is the best way to enjoy this lovely restaurant.

The food here is pricey but that is true for most restaurants on the MG Road like Olive.

Harnoor recommends:

  • The pizzas are to die for and arguably the best in town; perfect to bite on while you sip on a glass of wine.
  • The Tonino Fantasia Wood Fired Pizza comes highly recommended.

Address: 76/27, Near Andheria Modh, Mehrauli

Meal for two: Rs 3,000

On The Waterfront: The Lodhi

Image: Go for the dimsums and hearty soups of On The Waterfront.
Photographs: Courtesy Official website of The Lodhi

If only the best will do, On The Waterfront is where it's at.

The understated elegance of The Lodhi seeps into every corner of this bright restaurant as well.

There is seating indoor or if you book in advance, you may be lucky enough to be seated in the gorgeous glass jetty that is an enthralling experience in itself.

Classy and opulent, On The Waterfront is the perfect place to go to for a special occasion.

Harnoor recommends:

  • The lunch buffet is the best way to try the food here as it is a multi cuisine restaurant. Do not miss the dimsums, they are exceptional in every sense.
  • There is also a range of winter salads or hearty soups, perfect for the weather!

Address: The Lodhi, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

Meal for two: Rs 4,000