No longer a staid residential area for government officials, Delhi's Lodhi Colony neighborhood has been undergoing a metamorphosis in recent years. Vibrant street murals, part of the open-air Lodhi Art District, have transformed the facades of buildings between Khanna Market and Meher Chand Market. Trendy restaurants, serving eclectic fare, have also established themselves in the area. Here's what you can eat in Lodhi Colony.
If you're there during the day, take a stroll in Lodhi Garden and admire historical monuments from the 14th-16th centuries afterwards.
Jamun opened in Lodhi Colony Market in December 2017, and quickly won diners over with its gorgeous plum-hued interiors (jamun in a type of indigenous plum) and rare rustic recipes that celebrate India's regional diversity. The menu has around 60 dishes from across the country and is changed regularly to keep customers coming back for more. There's a separate section for vegetarians, and it doesn't disappoint with interesting offerings such as Kerala Raw Mango Curry. The food is combined with a good dose of nostalgia and some inventive signature cocktails. Jamun Kulfi (ice cream) is a hit for dessert. Home-made pickles are on sale too.
Award-winning Tres re-launched in its new Lodhi Colony Market location in 2018 and is perfect for a romantic meal. The seasonally-curated, farm-to-table menu of this fine-dine restaurant features quintessential European dishes with a global spin. Attention has also been given to crafting innovative botanical cocktails and an impressive wine list. The restaurant's earthy chic interior has a 14-feet long dining bar and private dining corner, in addition to its spacious main dining area. There's also a secluded, cozy outdoor patio under the shade of a leafy mango tree. Opening hours are daily from noon to 3 p.m. for lunch, and 6 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. for dinner.
Carnatic Cafe moved into Lodhi Colony's Mehar Chand Market in late 2019. It serves up a tantalizing array of authentic vegetarian south Indian dishes in ambient surroundings, with an emphasis on cuisine from Karnataka. Dosas are the restaurant's specialty and the signature Malleshwaram 18th Cross Dosa is what everyone raves about. It's named after a nostalgic street in Bangalore, is crispy yet fluffy on the inside, and comes smeared with tangy chutney powder and three special chutneys on the side (a tomato chutney, a dal chutney and a coconut chutney). Wash it down with south Indian filter coffee.
Following on from the success of Elma's Bakery in hip Hauz Khas Village, Elma's Brasserie opened in Mehar Chand Market in 2013. This cozy European-style cafe is renowned for its English, French, Italian and also Moroccan cuisine. Afternoon tea, served from 3.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. with a selection of gourmet sandwiches, is a highlight. However, Elma's is open for brunch (from 10 a.m.) through to dinner. Or, simply drop by for fresh cake and coffee. The signature red velvet cake is quite famous!
Ping's Café Orient eclectically pairs potent cocktails with nutritious street food from all over Southeast Asia, and even has a beer garden where you can enjoy a Singha lager from Thailand. This unusual restaurant, with its quirky decor (including a neon "love you long time" sign), has attracted a lot of attention since it opened in a corner of Lodhi Colony Main Market in 2016. This isn't surprising though, as it's the newest venture of the brother-sister duo behind the speakeasy cocktail bar Pass Code Only (PCO) and private members club À Ta Maison. Their childhood in Thailand provided inspiration for the restaurant's cuisine, which is relatively unexplored on the Delhi food scene. Try the baos to share, or the restaurant's special roast duck pancakes or red snapper. There are low calorie options for the diet-conscious.
Guppy, named after a type of fish, has a whimsical anime theme but don't let that fool you. The restaurant, located in Lodhi Colony Market, is very serious about its Japanese cuisine. As is to be expected, there's plenty of sushi and sashimi to choose from. However, the menu extends way beyond that to provide a diverse foray into contemporary Japanese dining. The food is freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients and includes a number of vegan dishes. The slow braised pork belly is legendary. The signature miso black cod, tempura tiger prawns and seafood salad are also recommended. Wash your meal down with some Japanese sake.
Head to this small hole-in-the-wall shop in Lodhi Colony's Khanna Market for a quite bite on the run. Its unique, fusion-flavored momos are super sought-after. Choose from popular Mughlai dishes, such as Butter Chicken and Vegetable Korma, encapsulated in plump dumplings. Many other varieties of momos are available as well. Plus rolls, tikkas, and biyani. Opening hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. There are few tables scattered around but it's mainly standing room only.