Lajpat Nagar Part II's famous market has something on offer for shoppers of all hues. Most well-known for its garments and on-the-go jewellery, this is where most South-Delhi residents head while looking for clothes, accessories, footwear et al. From sophisticated, designer-boutique-experience seekers, to bargain-hunting, roadside-fashionista, college students, no breed of shoppers is untouched by the charm of Lajpat Nagar's Central Market. Not surprisingly, also on offer are some of the most delectable seasonal and all-year-round local food specialities. Small, efficient eateries hand out delicious snacks perfected through the years of serving multitudes of shoppers. Perfect for an in-between-shopping break, these are craving-worthy dishes that are often reminisced over by patrons near and far. For some of the best eateries to head to, read on.Some helpful tips to keep in mind while planning a food soiree at Lajpat Nagar:
- Lajpat Nagar market is officially closed on Mondays.
- It's perpetually crowded and weekends draw double the footfalls.
- Parking is a huge issue on most evenings.
- Best way to reach the market is to take the Delhi Metro till the Lajpat Nagar stop and a rickshaw from there till the market.
- Finding your way through the market can get confusing. Keep in mind the shop numbers.
Just as you enter the market, is a tiny, well-lit eatery to your right, Golden Fiesta. A great first stop for hungry folks who believe in filling their bellies before their bags, Fiesta’s been here for a long time, standing witness to the surging crowds with each passing year. It is best known for its 'Chinese Chat', which is an irresistible mix of all things deliciously Chinese - noodles/rice, spring rolls, manchurian balls, chilly potatoes and anything else that you’d like to add in your customized chat. Sandwiches are the next best option, combined with a glass of fresh fruit juice. The chat truly has its fans, which makes it a little difficult to get anytime of the day; the ingredients of the chat oftentimes finish faster than anything else in the store. Must Have - Chinese Chat. Also Try - Sandwiches and Pastries.
A good walk, scouring for the perfect purchase-worthy goods and lugging around your fresh acquisitions will surely build a healthy appetite for the next food stop. Everyone knows it as the Big Store, or at least that’s what I like to call it. Right in the middle of the market, conveniently located for a quick bite from any corner of the market, is this popular eatery serving soft, melt-in-your-mouth dahi bhalle. Dahi bhalle are lentil fritters soaked in water to make them moist and soft before they are dunked in sweetened, beaten curd and chilled. A quick dash of spices is sprinkled on top just before serving with a garnish of freshly chopped coriander. Big Store has a lot of other delicious food on its menu including crispy kachoris and more filling options such as chole bhature and kadhi chawal. Must Have – Dahi Bhalle. Also Try – Chole Bhature and Kadi Chawal
Towards the back of the market is The Rama Palace which is the landmark you need to get to this little place called Jhakkas Pav Bhaji. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it eatery, it almost goes unnoticed unless a pav bhaji or vada pav fan points it out. As the name goes, they do serve some jhakkas (jhakkas means spectacular in Mumbai-style hindi) dishes at really reasonable prices. Must Have – Pav Bhaji. Also Try – Vada Pav and Fried Rice.
Also on offer, close to Rama Palace, is a bustling Moong daal ke pakode (fritters made from moong dal) stall. They prefer calling themselves the Rama Palace Pakode Wale. A bunch of men working and goofing around, laughing and happily serving customers is the identity of this place. The pakode are served off the frying pan with a mix of chutneys (and a bunch of grated radish during winters). Mix both the chutneys and wait for a second till the crispy pakoda softens slightly. Must Have - Moong dal ke pakode. Also try - Mirchi ke pakode and other chats.
A trip to this market isn't quite complete if you haven’t had Avantika Momos! This semi-stall, semi-shop is run by a bunch of smiling folks from Nepal. They make the most sumptuous,steaming-hot momos in Lajpat Nagar and serve them with a signature garlic-tomato chutney. A must-try if momos are on your food list. Must Have – Chicken/Veg Steamed momos. Also Try - Honey Chilly Potatoes and Fried momos.
There are also umpteen golgappe / pani puri vendors all around. In case you happen to try some of them and find one exceptionally good, do drop us a message so that he can find a mention here. Sometimes it's worth it to visit Lajpat Nagar market just for these food experiences, but braving the crowds calls for serious inspiration. It's best to combine the eating and the shopping to make it one memorable experience all the way.