Rajinder Da Dhaba – Delhi’s Most Delicious Street Food Success Story

By Mark Wiens 2 Comments
Rajinder Da Dhaba
Rajinder Da Dhaba

Rajinder Da Dhaba is a legendary restaurant in Delhi, India.

Beginning as a small roadside “dhaba,” or roadside street food restaurant, Rajinder Da Dhaba has grown to overtake an entire little strip mall shopping center.

Its popularity is one of the greatest street food, rags to riches, success story in Delhi.

And the best thing is that despite the popularity they have received, while some restaurants go down in quality, Rajinder Da Dhaba has continually served outstanding food, as one can easily testify as soon as arriving and seeing the crowds!

Mixed veg aloo gobi
Mixed veg aloo gobi

There are many different sections to Rajinder Da Dhaba, and I was honestly a little confused and I’m still not fully sure if I have it correct.

But the basic is this: There’s a sit down nice restaurant, a lesser nice sit down restaurant, and the giant parking lot where customers takeaway or just stand around while eating. So there are really three (or maybe more?) branches of Rajinder Da Dhaba all in the same shopping plaza.

Since eating is one of the top things to do in Delhi, Rajinder Da Dhaba shouldn’t be missed!

Along with my wife and a local Delhi friend, we arrived and went into the nice dining room first, a small room with about 6 tables in it.

Though Rajinder Da Dhaba primarily serves up huge platters of grilled meats, my friend, who is vegetarian, said, “they also serve some amazing vegetarian dishes.”

The mixed veg aloo gobi, a thick tomatoey stew full of potatoes and other veggies was wonderful.

Dal makhani
Dal makhani

But the vegetarian dish that was a real stunner was their dal makhani, a thick lentil stew that almost eats like a gravy.

Using primarily black lentils, plenty of ghee, and a perfect amount of spice, this dish full of dal makhani was incredible along with our stack of tandoori roti.

The North Indian flavors were so different from the Bengali food I had been eating, having come from Kolkata (both incredibly rich and amazing).

My very first taste of Afghani Chicken
My very first taste of Afghani Chicken

I had eaten tandoori chicken plenty of times before, but my friend said that his meat eating friends had spoken very highly of the Afghani chicken at Rajinder Da Dhaba.

Having never heard of Afghani chicken, I decided to go for it, and it was amazing!

I’m not even sure what was all included on the chicken, but it was surely marinated in thick yogurt or cream along with the perfect amount of spice before being roasted in the tandoor oven.

The Afghani chicken came out tender and juicy and absolutely bursting with flavor. One of the best plates of chicken I’ve ever had.

The outdoor meat station at Rajinder Da Dhaba
The outdoor meat station at Rajinder Da Dhaba

I liked the Afghani chicken at Rajinder Da Dhaba so incredibly much, that after we finished out meal indoors, we went outside for another plate of the same chicken, but with a much different ambiance – the parking lot.

My 2nd plate of Afghani Chicken at Rajinder Da Dhaba
My 2nd plate of Afghani Chicken at Rajinder Da Dhaba

The outdoor parking lot section at Rajinder Da Dhaba (video) is the most popular.

Every night, especially on the weekends, there’s a huge crowd of mostly men standing around ordering plates of grilled meats while standing or sitting on top of cars.

You walk up to the ordering counter, pay, and after your meat has been cooked, they’ll put it on a styrofoam plate.

The aroma of grilled chicken is all through the air, and I was even more excited for my second plate as I was my first plate.

Again it was incredible, the Afghani chicken had so much flavor. It was rich and creamy, combined with hints of spice and a smoky roasted flavor.

Here’s a video of my awesome meal at Rajinder Da Dhaba:

(If you can’t see it, watch it here)

Rajinder Da Dhaba – Delhi, India

How to get there: The restaurant is located in the Safdarjung Enclave strip mall. The closest Metro station is either AIIMS or Green Park, and from there you’ll have to take an auto rickshaw which should cost 30 – 50 INR.

Word of Warning: The outdoor parking lot section is very male dominated, so it’s not the best environment for females, my wife felt much more comfortable at the indoor section.
Address: AB 14, Safdarjung Enclave Market, New Delhi
Open Hours: 5 pm – 11 pm daily

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Note: For more awesome tips, check out my Delhi travel guide!