Feuding cousins Delhi and Mumbai fight it out as we kick-start the unrelenting debate on social media and let our followers throw the last hook for our first crowd-sourced story.
By Apeksha Bhateja
Gastro hunt down
The new, the old, and everything in between—an updated gourmet black-book to Delhi and Mumbai.
Del, named after Delhi’s airport code, is an all-day diner with different menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and after-hours. The best part? Each dish has the aero-code of the city it is from.
A Mexican restaurant with snazzy décor and alfresco dining, Arriba has Mexican skewers, tortillas, and guacamole on the menu. Don’t miss its tequila shots and cocktails. Tabula Rd, Siri Fort; +91-11/2649-7706.
A quirky restaurant that recently came to Cyber Hub, Circus is a casual diner that reminds you of childhood. From Indian snacks and tiffin meals to pizzas and rolls, the menu offers a lot of variety. Cyber Hub, Gurugram; +91-11/3958-5921
Lady Baga is inspired by a Goan beach shack and recreates the hippie setting. Indulge in Konkan thails, pork vindaloo, and bebinca on the make-shift beach of this restaurant. Connaught Place; +91/813-065-6644.
The British equestrian gastro-pub from Dubai has launched in Mumbai. Reasons to visit: Rustic, Victorian-era interiors; cocktails like Blood Horse and Oscar Sangria; and sticky toffee pudding. Andheri Kurla Road; +91-22/4091-2345.
Potted plants and living walls, a European menu, and morning yoga classes—this new restaurant in Mumbai by the Pali Village Café owner Suren Joshi has face-lifted the Bombay Art Society area. Bandra; +91-22/2651-5511.
Visit this cafe and bar that pays homage to colonial-era gymkhanas with an eight-foot clock on the façade, Raj-era-inspired décor, and desi specials. Raghuvanshi Mills, Lower Parel; +91-22/6533-3535.
Romil Ratra’s restaurant brings flavours of China, Japan, Burma, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand. The diner takes inspiration from a shop-house and delights with its Asian décor and authentic dishes. Lower Parel; +91/704-500-4138.
Restaurants that are in both Delhi and Mumbai
An all-vegetarian Burmese cuisine restaurant that uses handed-down family recipes, Burma Burma is your go-to place for khowsuey and samosa soup. A wide range of tea menu is comforting.
The bakery with the meanest brownie in Mumbai has made its debut in Cyber Hub, Gurugram. Try their signature Millionaire’s Brownie, artisan breads, and choco-chip cookies.
This modern Caribbean lounge has been making Delhiites and Mumbaikars dance to its tunes. Go for live gigs, music performances, and lively ambiance.
Classics in Delhi-Mumbai and dishes you should not miss out on!
An old-world charm spins around this restaurant. Not only coffee, but you come here for elaborate meals and evening cocktails.
This confectionery is one of Delhi’s oldest and has been on every kids’ favorite list growing up. Their pastries, chocolates, and patties are as popular with locals today as they once were with Lords and Ladies.
ITC Maurya’s famed luxury dining restaurant has served Northwest Frontier cuisine to global leaders and celebrities. The star attraction here is Dal Bukhara (lentils cooked for 18 hours).
Dishes not to miss!
Masala Dosa: Order this South Indian classic at the no-nonsense restaurant Saravana Bhavan in Connaught Place.
Butter Chicken: Delhi has umpteen restaurants that serve butter chicken, but for the real taste, go to Moti Mahal in Daryaganj (where it originated) or Delhi Pavilion at Sheraton New Delhi.
Laping: Little-known Tibetan colony Majnu Ka Tila is famous for hole-in-the-wall eateries and street shops. Come here for Tibetan delicacies such as laping (called laughing here) and try momos and a Nepalese thali.
Established in 1971, Leopold is a tourist magnet, but book lovers come here in search of Shantaram.
Romances happened over Irani chai and bun maska here. This modest, century-old café is the grandfather restaurant in the age of Social and Indigo Deli. Marine Lines; +91-22/2201-1492
Ironically, the sexagenarian restaurant was opened by Delhi-based owners. It recently introduced new dishes last year on turning 60. Churchgate; +91- 22/2282-1259.
Dishes not to miss!
Berry Pulao: A longstanding Parsi kitchen, Britannia is still the go-to place for berry pulao. It’s also the nostalgia that brings patrons to one of the last remaining Parsi cafés.
Tea and waffles at Kala Ghoda Cafe: Sip your mint tea or soya latte in this tiny art café and enjoy the sights of Mumbai’s art district.
Fruit Cream at Haji Ali Fruit Center: Right outside the dargah, this popular joints offers a variety of fresh fruit juices, milk shakes, and fruit creams.
They won’t let you go back empty-handed—from one of-a-kind stores to glittering malls with high-street brands, there’s too much ground to cover.
"From piping hot aloo parathas to chuski pan, Jama Masjid to Birla Mandir, Qutub Minar to Agrasen Ki Baoli—Delhi’s diverse food and architecture leave an impression." —Girish Rai Vasuja
Local markets in Delhi
Markets in Delhi have gone urban chic. What were once small villages have now turned into hip bazaars, their narrow lanes filled with attractive displays. From budget shopping to high-fashion labels, you get everything here.
Hauz Khas Village has become the hub of everything cool in the city— restaurants, pubs, and newage designers with a distinct artistic expression. Must-stop here is Indian Popular Art that sells old Bollywood posters.
Shahpur Jat was discovered by artists when rent skyrocketed in Hauz Khas; now it mushrooms with concept stores. Think earthy and sustainable; quirky and stylish; artisanal and jazzy.
Meher Chand Market and Khan Market are two other areas hottest shopping areas in Delhi.
Local markets in Mumbai
Say shopping and everyone will point towards Colaba Causeway. If you know the right places to look, you will find more than just street stalls selling dirt-cheap clothes. There are trendy boutiques, jewellery stores (remember the name Curio Cottage if you love antique pieces), and international brands.
Bandra, where stars shine, gives you the latest in fashion. Stroll down Hill Road, Pali Road, and Linking Road and pop into stores on the way. Malabar Hill also has many boutiques (Creo and Flirt) that are worth a visit.
For a luxury shopping experience, head towards Lower Parel. High Street Phoenix mall houses more international brands than you can probably cover in one go.
Stores and boutiques
Owners Nikhil Mehra and Ishita Saluja have gathered upcoming designers for their multi-brand stores in Delhi and Gurugram. Come here to browse through sections of Indian and fusion wear.
The 3,000-square-foot store at One Style Mile features contemporary and ethnic designs with a bridal section and ‘The Pink Room’ that adds a dash colour to the otherwise subtle interiors. Mehrauli; +91-11/6565-2597
Dreamy eyes walked into the celebrated designer’s store when it opened last year and came back with a twinkle. The 13,500-squarefoot store has a Victorian charm with a grand staircase, antique furniture, and Tanjore paintings— every art piece is picked by the designer himself. The collection includes ready-to-wear, bridal wear, and bridal jewellery by Kishandas & Co.
When you need a cutesy décor piece, head to The Wishing Chair in Shahpur Jat or Gurugram. The brand hosts ‘Crafternoon Workshops’ and houses a tiny café for those who wish to linger.
A travel-inspired concept store, Serendipity is set in a haveli and has a rooftop café with views of the city. The seven-room house has soft furnishings, clothes, jewellery, and furniture, all designed and produced in-house.
Ami Jhaveri’s store is a hub of upcoming talents and fashions. It also features established labels in its innovative boutique—the mezzanine floor, designed with four white goblets of steel, cast resin, and acrylic resin, rises above the ground and displays outfits.
After its previous lease expired, the concept store moved to its new address at Wankhede Stadium with a jazzy 3,000-square-foot area displaying furniture, clothes, and pretty kids fashion. Look for it behind the Sachin Tendulkar stand. Colaba; +91-22/2281-9880
Friends Masaba Gupta and Nitya Arora are sharing an art deco-themed store in Mumbai’s art district, Kala Ghoda, offering patrons Gupta’s prints and Arora’s jewellery.
A multi-designer store, it offers designs by JJ Vallaya, Rohit Bal, and Suneet Varma. The expansive 2,000-square-foot boutique has a store-in-store concept and also provides bridal services. Santacruz West; 91-22/2660-6705
Pick up one-off pieces for smaller spaces at home or buy unique wedding gifts—this store by husband-wife duo Candice Pereira and Jarret D’Abreo has interesting knick-knacks that will cheer you up.
In Delhi, you find a McDonald’s next to a century-old sweet shop (Ghantawala), just a kilometre away from a historic monument (Red Fort). There is a Sarojini and Lajpat for a Khan Market and Greater Kailash; a ramshackle Anand’s Restaurant for a Bukhara; a JNU for an Amity; and a Daryaganj book bazaar for an Oxford bookstore.
A work of art
We tell you the places to find the best of music, culture, art, and comedy in Delhi and Mumbai.
A must-visit for art lovers, this gallery run by the Ministry of Culture has a collection of paintings dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries.
A photography-based gallery in Vasant Kunj, it presents exhibitions from contemporary artists and digitally catalogues photographs and creates archives.
Delhi’s favourite venue for workshops, exhibitions, poetry recital and book readings, movie screenings, and talks. Many interesting events are hosted here for free; check the website for calendar.
Founded in 1972, Akshara is to Delhi what Prithvi is to Mumbai. It houses four performances spaces, a library, studios, and a classroom to conduct workshops. Some of the best theatre artists in the country take the stage here.
Open mic nights, stand-up comedy, and plays—the versatile space in Gurugram welcomes the ‘creative type’. They serve meals and drinks all through the day.
Counted amongst the best places in Delhi for live jazz performances, the bar is a musical theatre with a performance every night of the month.
"Mumbai… where you can find a good cup of chai, omelette pao, and cigarettes even when the city is asleep. Where you can find a Jewish synagogue down the road from a mosque. Where people will always stop to help you out. Where distance is measured in time, not kilometres."
Since 1952, this gallery in South Mumbai has been a meeting point of national and international contemporary artists as well as students and art admirers. It has four exhibition halls and it hosts more than 300 shows in a year. It is also the venue for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.
A new kid on the block, this gallery by collector Tushar Jiwarajka goes beyond the traditional boundaries and showcases all mediums of art including videos, installations, and performances.
An institution when it comes to live performances, the NCPA opened in 1969 on land reclaimed from the sea. The multi-venue centre has five auditoriums to host a range of performances, from intimate classical dance performances and poetry readings to concerts and plays.
Comedians that are now YouTube sensations (AIB, East India Comedy, Abish Mathew, and Kanan Gill) have been regulars at the Canvas Laugh Club. Come here for live stand-up and theatre performances such as the Vagina Monologues.
A theatre established in the late 70s, Prithvi is the centrestage of acting in the city with more than 643 performances hosted in a year.
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