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

By Mark Wiens 14 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

View Delhi Travel Guide – Migrationology.com in a larger map

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

14 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • The SEO Buck

    3 years ago

    Yummy Indian food…!!

  • High Rated Gabru

    3 years ago

    Awesome blog post. Thanks for share man!!

  • Russell Garcia

    3 years ago

    Yes, some restaurants go down in quality as they become popular and busy.But, Rajinder Da Dhaba never compromises on the quality and the quantity is more as well. I love their grilled chicken!

  • Garett

    8 years ago

    Mark, for a few years now I have (and my family) has been living vicariously through your food adventures shared on YouTube. This week I finally got a chance to try some of the places you went to… including Rajinder Da Dhaba. The Afghan Chicken was just as you described…. incredible. Really nothing like I ever tasted before, with the roasty, yogurty, savory mess of delicious chicken. Thank you for your channel/blog, and this recommendation. (Not having the experience with “street food” that you do, I was worried about cleanliness… however I have had no ill effects. Hooray!)

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Garrett, awesome to hear from you,thank you very much. And that is so great you had a chance to try the Afghan chicken, I still remember that first bite years ago. Glad it’s still doing well and that you enjoyed it!

  • Rana

    10 years ago

    “Remember that Bengali households still are known for their amazing food culture and this fact is known world-wide 🙂

    tanSEN was bengali my dear friend, so were a lot of other people! want to see the entire list as it stands today? so was subash chandra bose and sri aurobindo 🙂

    and i can name a million others and i am proud to say our greateness can be exerted beyond our national borders.

    we are the fifth largest speakers!

    we bengalis have won pretty much every award in the world stage
    you name it we have it and we are damn proud of what we have 🙂

    its the only country in the world which took rebellion because it couldn’t speak its mother tongue and it won! and won so hard that the UN had to adopt that day as the international language day, which celebrates languages from all over the world.

    did you know that the FAMOUS SEARS TOWER is architectured by another bengali?”

    (MBA, IMT Ghaziabad)
    Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

  • Harish @Hostel Smyle Inn

    11 years ago

    This places is so old that I remember from my school days. After school (senior school) few friends would collect our pocket money go for a movie in the nearby theater. And after movie all the remaining money was splurged on this place. Back then it was a small make shift stall on the forest land in front of the cinema hall. After government reclaimed the forest land, he bought the shop nearby from where it is located now. Originally only one small counter and now it is a collection of few shops in the same market. Food has been his real success story. The best part is that the quality, quantity, presentation and taste has remained what it was back then. I am talking about year 1989 when I was in Senior School.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Hey Harish, wow thank you for sharing. This place is definitely legendary and I’m so glad one of my local friends brought me to eat here when I was in Delhi. As soon as I tasted the food, I knew it was something special!

  • Amit

    11 years ago

    Rajinder da dhaba is special for their seekh kabab..
    I know it cause i am from Delhi..

  • Gerard ~ GQ trippin

    11 years ago

    Holy cow. Wish we ventured outside of old town for this.

  • Maria

    11 years ago

    If the food is half as good in person as it looks in your photos, it’s no wonder why the Rajinder Da Dhaba is a legendary.

  • Anwesha

    11 years ago

    I absolutely loved Rajender Dhaba when I was a student living in Delhi. My favorite was the Anchari Chicken. Awesome 🙂
    I hope you are having fun in Tanzania.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Thank you for sharing Anwesha, no I want to go back and try the Anchari chicken!