The Best Cafes For A Regional Indian Lunch In Delhi

With multiple choices for dining out in Delhi, it gets tough to select one place when going out. Fine dining restaurants are aplenty, but the capital also has some unassuming cafes that make great lunch spots. Some of these cafes specialise in regional Indian food, bringing cuisines from around the country to Dilliwalas. We recommend the best ones:

Cafe Lota

Set in the National Crafts Museum, Cafe Lota is a charming place with lots of air and natural light pouring in. The menu is extensive and creative, and includes regional specialties from around the country. These include sabudana popcorn with hari mirchi thecha, mini rava idlis with molagapodi, railway masala omelette pao, palak patta chaat, Mahabaleshwar corn pattice, Andhra-style chicken, sattu paratha and chokha, and Kerala vegetable stew. Don’t miss the selection of artisanal coffee. 

Triveni Terrace Cafe

With the same management team as Cafe Lota, Triveni Terrace Cafe is a pretty al fresco spot with a few tables and lots of greenery. Simple and filling regional fare features on the menu, which includes snacks like pakoras, aloo tikki, grilled sandwiches, masala cheese toast and poha. Mains change daily and can be found on the specials board. The thalis (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) are a permanent fixture, though, and make a wholesome meal at very reasonable prices.

Potbelly Rooftop Cafe

Potbelly’s first outlet opened in Shahpur Jat but there are now two other restaurants: one in Gurgaon, and the other at Bihar Niwas in Chanakyapuri. The place specialises in Bihari food and has a menu full of tasty dishes from the state. Start with maar, a Bihari soup that uses local Bihari rice and is served with a dash of lemon juice and coriander. The thalis are filling and more than enough for one person, sometimes needing another person to share. Classics like litti chokha and dal pitti make an appearance, too. 

Carnatic Cafe

Despite having become Delhi’s darling when it comes to dosa, Carnatic Cafe still has its feet firmly on the ground and hasn’t modified its humble pricing at all. A meal for two usually costs around ₹700 including soft drinks like buttermilk or fresh coconut water. Named after a street in Bengaluru, the Malleshwaram 18th Cross dosa is Carnatic Cafe’s specialty and must not be missed. Slathered with white butter, podi and a traditional chutney, it’s one of the restaurant’s bestsellers. The thatte idli is incredibly soft and comes with a small dollop of ghee.