From Old Delhi’s tiny holes in the walls to Insta-smart delivery options, there’s evidence of Delhi’s love affair with biryani everywhere in the city with longest name. In 2021, food delivery app Zomato sent out two biryanis every two seconds, according to the company’s annual report, while rival Swiggy said it got 115 biryani orders a minute. It’s not a new phenomenon – biryani has topped the list for most ordered food in India for a few years now.
And it’s easy to understand why the dish is so popular. For one, it has so many versions – mutton, chicken, prawn, buff, vegetable, jackfruit, egg, potato – and so many styles – Awadhi, Hyderabadi, Irani, Dindigul, Malabar, Thalassery – that there is literally a biryani for everyone. There is possibly no Indian dish that has as many styles, and styles within styles, as biryani, and the capital, such a melting pot of communities, is the perfect place to try all of them. We made it easy for you by asking some of Delhi’s best and best-known chefs and restaurateurs to tell us their favourite biryani spots in the city with longest name.
Best biryani in Delhi
Aminia, CR Park
“Being a Bengali, I’d recommend the Bengali mutton biryani at Calcutta’s legendary Aminia restaurant, which has an outlet in Delhi’s CR Park (K1/52, CR Park Main Rd, near Singh Sabha Gurudwara, Block K 1, Chittaranjan Park). Their biryani comes complete with boiled eggs and potatoes, just the way Bengalis love it. My other favourite is also in CR Park, and is called Kolkata Biryani House (Shop No. 49, Market No 1, Block C, Chittaranjan Park). For flavours of Old Delhi, my top choice is Taufiq’s DilPasand Biryani and Shahi Mehfil, both in the bylanes of the Matia Mahal market. When I am ordering to dine-in, I would prefer Itminaan Biryani for their simpler mutton matka biryani or the chicken tikka matka biryani, which mixes Awadhi flavours with tikka pieces. A less spicy and reasonably priced southern-style biryani is available at Andhra Bhawan (1, Ashoka Rd, near India Gate, Pataudi House).” Ramit Mitra, chief explorer, DelhibyFoot
Dum Pukth, ITC Maurya
“As someone who grew up with the real McCoy (in Lucknow), I am extremely fussy about my biryani. I have found that people usually end up ruining the dish by overloading it with spices and flavours. But if you want to have a good Awadhi biryani in Delhi, then there is no better place than Dum Pukht at ITC Maurya ( ITC MAURYA, Sardar Patel Marg, Akhaura Block, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri). Dum Pukht continues to maintain its position as one of the best fine-dining restaurants for serving authentic Awadhi food in the capital. The biryani here is rich without being overpowering. The flavours are distinct and delicate. And the best part is that the biryani is not a bilious orange in colour. I would suggest you start your meal with their succulent kakori kebabs, then do full justice to the biryani and finally end the meal with their inimitable gulab ki kheer. For vegetarians I recommend the gucchi pulaw, which gives serious competition to the mutton biryani.” Neha Prasada, Food Writer & Author
“Just off Janpath, there is a small road that leads to a backstreet where you will find Anand Restaurant (Scindia House, 15-96/97, Kasturba Gandhi Marg), an undiscovered place for some of the best biryani in Delhi. It’s not really a place for a date, well, not one for ambience—a bit cave-like to be honest—but with that first bite of biryani, it takes you to a better place. The chicken biryani with gravy is spicy and moist, has immense depth in flavour, and is just the best greasy food you can get in a small cardboard box.” Siddharth Mathur, Director, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality, Founder-Director, Khoya Mithai
Andhra Bhavan and Jama Masjid
“If you can beat the lines on a Sunday, or the crowds of lawyers who throng the place on weekdays in between court hearings, the chunky, delicious Andhra Biryani at the cramped haven called Andhra Bhavan has made itself a staple with Delhiites.
Another favourite of mine is Dil Pasand Biryani Point (735, Haveli Azam Khan, Chitli Qabar Chowk, Jama Masjid). Started by Mohammed Taufiq, this small place in the bylanes of Jama Masjid serves up the chunkiest, tenderest buff biryani. It’s a must.” Radhika Khandelwal, Chef-owner Ivy & Bean, Fig & Maple
“Born and brought up in Chennai, I have always enjoyed the South Indian flavours of biryani. My favourite is the Thalassery biryani from Bhawan (@bhawandelhi on Instagram, delivery only). Short-grain rice, robust masala, and the fact that it is wrapped in banana leaf and cooked, all come together to make its flavours so unique and rich.” Jamsheed Bhote, Chef and Co-owner, Plats, Chard