1135 AD

Tucked way in a private courtyard of the Amber Fort, this opulent restaurant is a great spot for a quick respite or lunch. Order the thali (a portioned selection of curries, kebabs, vegetables and dessert, served with bread), or linger over a cup of chai and take in the views.

Lounge at 51 Shades of Pink, Jaipur, India

51 Shades of Pink

The most delicious-looking dining room to open in India this year bears the cheeky name 51 Shades of Pink. Well-known Indian designer and the creative director of Delhi housewares emporium Good Earth, Adil Ahmad was tasked by Princess Diya Kumari to enliven the royal guesthouse of the Rajmahal, so he played on Jaipur’s nickname, “the Pink City,” and drawing inspiration from the City Palace’s Sarvato Bhadra courtyard, he designed a hot pink wallpaper that plays with familiar Moghul archways. Massive crystal chandeliers and long beveled mirrors up the glamour quotient. Custom dining chairs with curvy Arabesque lines further the hint of harem appeal. Open all day for hotel guests and to non-resident guests for lunch, the restaurant serves a creative continental menu, but it is really the setting that is the main draw.

A. Ramanayak Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding

In the bustling neighborhood of Matunga, this decades-old vegetarian establishment is known for its homey South Indian cooking. The line for lunch often curls around the corridor, with everyone from businessmen to students waiting for their portioned meal of vegetables such as coconut cauliflower, roti (bread), rasam (a spicy, tomato-based South Indian broth) and sweets all served atop a banana leaf.

Aap ki Pasand

The gallery for this reputable company welcomes guests to come, sit and sample different brews of Sancha tea. Guests have the opportunity to talk with "tea sommeliers" and learn about the history of the famed beverage.

Dinning Area at Anokhi Cafe, Jaipur, India

Anokhi Café

This delightful café is part of the Anokhi block-printing store, but most of its patrons aren’t shoppers at the boutique, they’re locals that have come for the simple, seasonal food. The café’s menu emphasizes salads, sandwiches and fresh juices, and is often a welcome change to travelers needing a break from heavier Indian fare. Better still, most of the greens and fruit used are sourced from the Anokhi farm on the outskirts of Jaipur. Given that Anokhi runs the restaurant, it’s only fitting that tables features fabric-covered cane chairs.

Badshah Pure Veg Snacks & Cold Drinks

Off of the frenetic bylanes of Crawford Market, this century-old casual spot is famous for its Royal Falooda, a dessert drink that originated in Iran and features rose syrup, vermicelli, basil seeds and milk. The late and famous Indian artist, M. F. Husain, known for modernist pieces, is said to have asked for a Badshah falooda on his deathbed two years ago.

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Bar Palladio

Bar Palladio is an Italian-style lounge, designed by Marie-Anne Oudejans, is free-spirited, fanciful and saturated with color.
Dinning Area at Bukhara, Delhi, India


Specializing in tandoori cooking, this restaurant, which is located in the hotel where all dignitaries visiting India stay (was a Sheraton and feels very ’70s), has been a must stop on itineraries for Delhi travelers since the 1970s. Guests are given checkered aprons to wear and suggested to eat the traditional cuisine with their hands (but they will give you utensils if asked). The dal is considered the best in the country, and the fare famously led Bill Clinton to quip that he wished he had two stomachs. It’s touristy, but the food is excellent and there’s something deliciously satisfying about digging into a lamb kebab with your bare hands.

Editors' Picks

Café Kooba

This lounge bar on a leafy rooftop terrace draws a trendy crowd, including polo players and the expat jewelry designer and fashion set. A good choice for a relaxed evening when you feel like a few drinks and a pizza or burger.

Exterior View - Cafe Madras, Mumbai, India

Cafe Madras

Though the exterior might not seem like much, this no-frills café has a cult following for its South Indian fare, namely steamed idlis (rice patties) and dosas (savory crèpes often stuffed with spicy fillings). Other specialties include the spicy rasam vada (a fried doughnut-shaped dumpling dunked in tomato broth) and butter idlis. Wash it all down with their Indian-style milky coffee served in stainless steel cups.

Bar at Chokelao Garden Terrace Café, Jodhpur, India

Chokelao Garden Terrace Café

At the base of the Mehrangarh Fort is an 18th-century garden that has been converted into a lovely café. Tables are set on the upper terraces of the stone building that encompasses the garden area so you have great views of the “Blue City” below and the towering fort above. The café is open for lunch from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. but it can also be rented out for private dinners, which are magical.

Bar at Cinnamon, Jaipur, India


This unassuming restaurant at the back of the Taj Jai Mahal property is swathed in lavender and blue tones, for a mood that’s equally regal and serene. The menu is a modern interpretation of traditional Indian dishes, but patrons can also opt to “Trust the Chef” and be surprised. Drop by the Marigold Bar for a single malt on your way in.

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Coast Cafe

This casual café, located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Ogaan boutique, is a great spot for a light bite while exploring the trendy Hauz Khas village.
Outdoor Bar at Darikhana, Jodhpur, India


The chic rooftop restaurant at the Raas Hotel offers spectacular views of the grand Mehrangarh Fort towering above the city. The romantic setting is enhanced by white linen loungers, flickering candles and the lush gardens that surround the terrace. The menu highlights the rich flavors and spices of Northern Indian cuisine and features fresh vegetables grown in the hotel’s garden.

Editors' Picks


Think of this South Indian food restaurant as a palate cleanser since the steamed idlis (rice patties) and crèpe-like dosas, served with coconut chutney and sambar, a lentil soup, will be a welcome change from the heavier North Indian fare.

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The more casual of the Lodhi’s two restaurants, Elan has a sleek minimalist aesthetic and an airy feeling thanks to the large glass windows. The menu mixes Indian cuisine and international options so you can have a delicious chicken tikka masala wrap or make your own pizza. The cuisine is sophisticated but the atmosphere is not stuffy.

Four Seasons

This trusted vegetarian restaurant serves simple fresh food in an unpretentious comfortable setting. The dosas are some of the best in town and the paneer korma (cheese curry) and naan bread are rated highly by Jaipur foodies. My friend, needing a break from Indian food, gave the pizza a thumbs up. It has a robust Chinese, Continental and Indian menu, including Rajasthani thali meals. The service is attentive and the menu is available in English. The restaurant is not at all touristy and is consistently busy with local families and office workers.

Giardino at Jai Mahal Palace

This Italian restaurant is set in the stunning gardens of Jai Mahal Palace. It’s a great choice for a break from Indian food.

Indian Accent

For those who want to try gourmet modern Indian cuisine, Indian Accent is the place to come. The sleek, contemporary restaurant with stone floors and black and white photos on the walls is considered one of the best in the country and specializes in Indian cuisine for the 21st century . For example, the menu features paneer tikka quesadillas with Swiss gruyere; pulled pork phulka tacos; tandoori bacon prawns with wasabi malai cream and soft shell crab, flame roast coconut and tomato pickle chutney. This is a must stop for foodies, and the restaurant offers fun lunch cooking demos with the chef for those who want to learn before they eat.

Indian Coffee House

The Indian Coffee Workers Cooperative Society set up hundreds of cafés across India in the 1950s. They remain places for a hit of nostalgia with old world prices. Enter through a gate on MI Rd, past the courtyard full of two wheelers (motorbikes). The café is a series of rooms adorned with old India Coffee Board posters and neon menus. The chairs reveal its history, beginning with the original wooden and cane ones, the later orange vinyl and then the new grey plastic chairs. The clientele ranges from college students to old friends catching up over endless coffee. Best at breakfast is a masala dosa (crispy crèpe with spicy mashed potato filling). There are several other branches in town.

Dinning Area at Indigo Deli, Mumbai, India

Indigo Deli

A New York-style deli in Mumbai? Leave it to husband-and-wife team Rahul and Malini to Akerkar to challenge and defy expectations. Following the success of Indigo, their gorgeous European (with Indian inflections) restaurant in South Mumbai, comes casual deli-style eateries that have taken Mumbai by storm, one burger and brie sandwich at a time. Great for lunch, but almost always packed.

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For some of the best views in town, head to the small historic hotel called Pal Haveli, whose rooftop terrace restaurant, Indique, is a fantastic spot for pre-dinner drinks. Take in a fantastic perspective of all of the great sights of the blue city.

Jagdamba Paratha

This roadside café specializes in parathas (flat breads often stuffed with vegetables). The café sits near Amber Fort, so many hired drivers drop off their clients and then head to the café afterward. Foodies will be rewarded with flaky and piping hot parathas, stuffed with gobi (cauliflower), aloo (potato) or pyaz (onion). The parathas are accompanied by yogurt, served from the traditional terracotta bowls, and a fresh salad of tomato, red onion, lime, salt and cumin that was freshly ground using a mortar and pestle. Wash it all down with the masala chai (spicy tea).

Food at K Rustom & Co,  Mumbai, India

K Rustom & Co

This 60-year-old little ice cream shop, near Churchgate, barely has a sign, but you'll see the freezer-cum-counter from the street. Order the Walnut Crunch, a slab of creamy, nutty and toffee-studded ice cream between paper-thin wafers. Take a seaside stroll along Marine Drive, and you'll know one of Mumbai's simplest true pleasures.


This is a tourist classic that is in every guidebook but it draws the crowds for a reason. The restaurant, which is a simple-looking, no-frills spot, proudly declares itself non-vegetarian. The experience is amusing, and the food is reliably good but expect to be surrounded by foreigners.

Dinning Area at Konkan Café, Mumbai, India

Konkan Café

This casual restaurant features authentic dishes from up and down the Konkan coast, a 450-mile region along India's western coast that includes Maharashtra, Goa, and spreads south to the state of Karnataka. Veteran Mumbai chef Ananda Solomon, who oversees the hotel restaurant, is known for his precision, whether it's picking tamarind and coconuts at their peak or grinding spices daily, so expect your fish and appams (rice pancakes) to be absolutely perfect.

Dinning Area at Le Cirque, Delhi, India

Le Cirque

Diners at New Delhi’s Le Cirque are treated not only to the New York restaurant’s famed cuisine, but also to watching their dinner being prepared in the open kitchen. There is outside seating that is ideal for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail.


Indagare employees walking up stiars

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