Written by Ivy. S. Horo.
Delhi’s Majnu Ka Tilla is a Tibetan colony set up in the 1960s, this bustling colony composed of bylanes has become a landmark for all things Tibetan. Home to a lot of Tibetan refugees, Majnu Ka Tilla abbreviated as MKT houses some of the most popular hangout spots for college going kids and tourists who are on a budget, being deluged with tremendous (and economical) eateries, salons, costume and footwear merchants and stores specialising in Tibetan and Buddhist items. What began as a refugee camp post the Sino Indian war is now a fluttering society of Tibetan, Nepalese, Bhutanese workers.
With its attractive austere and lovely ambience, narrow winding streets with colourful Tibetan flags and the chime of soft prayer bells from the monastery, MKT is very divergent from the usual Delhi hangout. It has an abundance of options for a foodie without burning a hole in the pocket, a meal here for two can amount to as less as 300 INR.
From street food like Laphing, buff fry, fermented bamboo shoots and dried fish to tiny, pretty bakeries and cafes to lavish restaurants serving authentic Tibetan, Nepalese, Chinese, Korean and Japanese food, Majnu ka Tilla is sure to amaze you!
Here’s a list of the best places on the hippiest food paradise in Delhi, the darling MKT.
1. AMA CAFÉ
This is my most favourite place in MKT, serving flavoursome coffees, shakes, smoothies, cakes, pies and muffins. AMA is sure to leave you begging for more. The unique wallpapers of landscapes of Ladakh, comfortable couches, exemplary furniture, Tibetan handicrafts and curios and free Wifi is sure to enchant all.
Perfect spot for insta worthy pictures. Indulge in some Tiramisu or cheesecake and conversation after a hectic day or drop in with your buddies for an early breakfast and enjoy their mouth-watering pancakes. Their Chicken Sandwiches are the best, also the thought of AMA’s Apple Pie or Mud Cake is enough to make you crave it. Pure bliss
Cost for two: 400-500 INR
Address: House 6, New Colony, Majnu ka Tilla, New Delhi
2. HIMALAYAN RESTAURANT
This very aesthetic and pleasant restaurant situated in the bylanes of MKT promises to take your heart away. Quick service with great food, stunning ambience and decor, it is perfect for quiet dates and family dinners. Serves Tibetan, Thai and Chinese cuisines. The Chicken and Beef Momos, Sea Food and Pork Chilly are the biggest grosser. Make sure you try their Chicken Chowmein too!
Cost for two: 600 INR approx
Address: House 26, Outer Ring Road, New Aruna Nagar, MKT, New Delhi
3. RIGO RESTAURANT
The veteran among the MKT eateries, Rigo Restaurant boasts of personable ambience with aesthetic decor, prompt service and cordial staff. The upper floor provides a marvellous view of the rest of the Tibetan area as well as beyond the confines of it. Rigo is popular for Thentuk or Tingmo with beef curry, the Chicken Devil Momos, Chilly Garlic Noodles and Thai Red Curry. Also, don’t forget to accompany their Apple Beer along with the dishes.
Cost for two: 600-700 INR approx
Address: 180, Nyingma House, Tibetan Old Camp, Majnu ka Tilla, New Delhi
4. Kori’s Cafe
With the most appealing, fanciful and unique interior amongst all the restaurants in the area, Kori’s has effervescent walls, chic and comfortable couches. It is the coolest place for grabbing burgers, sandwiches and as the name of the cafe suggests, Korean food like Dosirak, Kimbabs etc
Serves food with in house dips and top-notch presentation. Kori’s is sure to provide you with good food as well as good pictures.
Cost for two: 800- 900 INR approx
Address: 18-19, Tsampa Guest House, New Aruna Colony, Majnu ka Tilla, Delhi
5. BUSAN KOREAN RESTAURANT
Quiet, warm and cosy, hidden in one of the alleys of MKT, you sure can’t afford to miss this place that serves marvellous, authentic delicacies like Bimbimbap, Kimchi, Sujebi, Soju, savoury pancakes and fish. Their Pork Momos are the tastiest. With a comfortable and congenial seating space, live grill and home-like aura, Busan allow you to make your own dish right at your table with the ingredients of your choice. Need another reason to check it out with yours.
K- Pop and K- Drama obsessed companions?
Cost for two: 900 approx
Address: Ground Floor, House 9B, Block 10, New Aruna Nagar, Majnu ka Tilla, Delhi
6. TEE DEE RESTAURANT
The cutest restaurant of MKT, it is also known as The Yellow House. Tee Dee’s serves some lip-smacking dishes like Shabalay and Thentuk apart from their famous pork delicacies. Having a pretty as a picture, cosy feel to it, this miniature restaurant has a variety of pancakes, Tibetan speciality bread being everyone’s favourite. Pork Chilly Dry and Chilly Potato are must-haves.
Cost for two: 500 INR approx
Address: 32, New Aruna Nagar, Majnu ka Tilla, Delhi
7. YAMUNA CAFE
Situated at an area which gives a direct view of the river Yamuna, this cafe is the best place to grab a satisfactory breakfast with affordable rates. The pancakes here cost as less as 40 INR. The cafe specialises in oats porridge, scrambled eggs and burgers. Their pizzas are to die.
Cost for two: 500 INR approx
Address: D-34, East House, Majnu ka Tilla, Delhi
8. KOKO RESTAURANT
The best place for Thukpas and Buff dishes in the area. A modest casual hangout spot, this little gem located in a corner of the Tibetan market often goes unnoticed. It is an amazing place right at the heart of MKT with its welcoming aura and lows seating arrangement. Spacious yet cosy, their Nepalese food including beef is surely a hit. They also have a wide variety of yummy beverages.
Cost for two: 500 INR approx
Address: Outer Ring Road, New Aruna Colony, Majnu ka Tilla, Delhi
9. DOLMA HOUSE
You can’t talk about MKT without the mention of Dolma House that has been operational since 1984. It’s high on popularity and there are legit queues here. It has canteen like mood associated with it. Its Gyuma, Tingmo, Lowa Khalsa are arguably the best, also the beloved Dolma Chowmein. This place is sure to provide you lip-smacking food leaving you craving for more
Cost for two: 400 INR approx
Address: H1, Block 10, New Aruna Nagar, Majnu ka Tilla, Delhi
The ideal escapade, with efficacious vibes and a diverse range of food at reasonably pocket-friendly prices, you know where to head when hunger pangs kick in, the next time you’re in Delhi!
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Ivy. S. Horo is a contributor at The Strong Traveller. A student of English Literature at the University of Delhi, Ivy is an ardent reader and has a keen interest in painting and sketching, she is a travel enthusiast and considers herself a foodie with a small appetite.