By Abhishikta Mallick

You know how sometimes we go out to a nice dinner, then dancing, then come home to hang out, only to realize we’re hungry all over again? Or enough times when watching TV at 3 am, you just have to eat a greasy cheesy sandwich cause nothing else will taste right. Or what about when you go for a drive, or as people in good old dilli call it, a ‘gedi‘, at 2am, and feel like some biryani, or obscenely rich chocolate dessert. Eating at odd hours, while disastrous for the figure, has a charm of its own. I’ve never been able to explain why, but midnight snacks taste better than dinner, and more often that not, we tend to believe that the calories just don’t count. So if you’re going to indulge anyway, do it right! Hit these places if you’re out on a ‘gedi,’ and if you’re tucked in with a good book or a movie, order in from the now growing list of kitchens that totally get the value of a midnight meal, and seem to have cracked the menu.

Take notes, and you’re welcome, Delhi!


Machan, The Taj Mahal Hotel, Mansingh Road | The one coffee shop that most of us gravitate towards, be it a post-wedding coffee or a late night bite.  Their strawberry milkshakes and pau bhaji are famous.

Yellow Brick Road, Taj Vivanta, Khan Market | Delightful décor, pastel colored furniture; its like being in a vibrant candy store in the dead of the night. The YBR Chicken {grilled chicken in a basil pepper sauce} and the Bull’s Eye have kept many a Dilliwala waiting and wanting in the wee hours.

The Pavilion, ITC Maurya, Sardar Patel Marg | If Nawabi biryani is what you crave, or a mindblowing lamb burger, think no further, this is your destination. Also if you want an all you can eat affair – their buffet on Saturday nights goes till 3AM {Rs.999+taxes}.


Paranthas at Moolchand | Nothing beats hot paranthas on chilly winter nights {or any time of the year!}The daal-pyaaz and anda paranthas with the boondi raita are devour-worthy! Word is, Shah Rukh Khan is a fan too!

JNU Dhaba | Buzzing with activity, students in the trademark kurta and jeans, chilling over hot cups of chai, momos, crispy corn and rolls among other things – JNU never sleeps! The milkshakes at Ganga Dhaba, chicken lollipop at Northeast Dhaba, Raju Bhaiya’s maggi and Lohit Hostel’s nimbu pani are totally worth driving down here for. There’s a catch however, you need to know someone on the inside to make it past the main gate.

Paranthas and Chai at Safdarjung Hospital Gate, Opposite AIIMS | For the yummiest milky tea, and average-but-filling paranthas, stop by at this little nook opposite AIIMS that works 24/7, churning out anda, bread, paranthas, and chai for nearby dwellers, local police patrollers, and late night revelers.  Find this at Ansari Gate, near the chemist stores.

Bun-Butter-Chai at Patel Chest {North Campus DU} | Anyone who has spent enough time in north campus holds this place very close to his/her heart. Burning the midnight oil, this guy serves sizzling hot bun-butter with delicious omelettes till 5 in the morning! Watch the sun rising as you sip your hot cuppa! Find his stall on the pavement next to the Maurice Nagar Police station.

Rajma Chawal at CP | Served with dollops of butter, the food at this place portrays Delhi in the true spirit! You will always find it packed with people from all walks of life. You can also choose from paranthas, chole-bhature, fried rice, naan and dal makhani. This place is a vegetarian’s delight. Find the 4 shops lined together next to the Narula Inn opposite PVR Rivoli, Cannaught Place – its open throughout the day, up until 1 in the morning.

24*7 Convenience Stores, Multiple outlets | Perfect for midnight snacking, their hot dogs and chicken tikka biryani seem to be the favorites, and they have sandwiches and other confectionery, as well as kathi rolls and Indian mini-meals.

Comesum Food Junction, Multiple outlets | Irrespective of when you visit, this place is buzzing with activity. It caters mostly to in-transit passengers, or those waiting to start their journey; so the general ambience isn’t always genial. However, the variety on the menu will make up for it – kachori, dhokla, idli-dosa-vada, north Indian thalis or non-vegetarian fare – everything is available round the clock, and at very affordable rates. Also, if you’re travelling, there’s the option of having  food delivered inside the train {how cool is that!}.


You don’t have to get our of your PJs and scramble for the car and house keys anymore. Nor do you have to take two minutes off from meeting a deadline to make 2 minute noodles {which take nothing less than 10 minutes} to help keep you fueled and fired up. And you definitely do not want to have to fit the 8 {possibly not sober} people at your house party into a tiny hatchback to head out, or get behind the wheel when you’ve been drinking. So, like a responsible and hungry citizen, pick up your phone, and…

Midnight Munchies | The menu can be found on their Facebook page and consists of a wide range of options, from salads {yes, some people actually crave green leafy vegetables at 2:45am, or maybe they just don’t want the zipper on that dress to pop} and sandwiches, to pizzas and pastas, red velvet cupcakes {drool!} and Prince Pan Nimbu Masala. My personal favorites are the pasta in white sauce {creamy sauce, well cooked penne and just the right amount of seasoning; I’d be happy to tuck into this dish every night} and the chicken bomber sandwich {freshly toasted brown bread with a stuffing of chicken and greens, doused in a high calorie but oh-so-yummy cheese sauce}.

Batman Delivers {Gurgaon} | Currently working out of a home kitchen, they deliver a wide range of dinner options, beverages and ready to eat snacks and chocolates {check out their Facebook page here}. They have gone one step further to include party items, cigarettes, basic over-the-counter drugs and even contraceptives to their product portfolio. In the village that works round the clock and where all-night dhabas usually don’t have a decent crowd, we welcome this service with open arms.

Slice of Italy, Multiple outlets | A birthday in the family and forgot to pick up a cake? Fret not, this pizza chain can cater to a small midnight feast in the comfort of your own house till 1AM. The Chocolate Truffle cake is divine and you can order a pizza to add to the celebration {I LOVE the Oink Oink; there’s nothing like a late night bacon rush}.


New Town Café, Park Plaza | While their regular buffet is very average, the midnight buffet is worth writing home about. The menu is limited to a biryani, dal makhni, raita, salad and dessert, but at INR 349+taxes, it’s a steal!

Palmyra, The Bristol Hotel | Another popular eating spot for the late night revelers, they dish out an Indian buffet till 3.30am every night. Why deny yourself some sumptuous curry! {INR 599+taxes}

Zodiac, Fortune Select Excalibur | The weekend biryani buffet is popular amongst night revelers. Running Friday through Sunday and priced at INR 499+taxes, its rich and unhealthy, but so fulfilling!

Paranthas @ Dhaba below E&Y building, Golf Course Road | Undoubtedly, the tastiest aloo and keema paranthas I’ve had across NCR.  They also offer Maggi {good to have while you wait for your paranthas to be prepared fresh}, anda, bread, and chai.  Open at all odd hours, and a favourite haunt for call centre employees and other night owls in the area.

Convergys Dhaba, NH8, Gurgaon | The kind of things they do with simple instant noodles is unbelievable; keema, egg, onion, and chilli garlic Maggi among others make for a perfect snack. Don’t miss the coffee at the van opposite the dhaba. {Note: It isn’t the best ambience, if you know what I mean; don’t venture out there alone.}

Route 69 | Not a dhaba, or anything close, but this has been a favourite for years, and boasts of a dedicated clientele.  Route 69 is lively, offers great food, perfectly safe even for groups of girls {a rarity for a place in Gurgaon}, and plays fantastic Psy music. In fact, this place was once best described as a little slice of Goa in Haryana heartlands. A good bet for late-night eating and/or partying needs {liquor store right outside the entrance} up until 3AM.  Entry charges – INR 500 per person {covers food and beverages}.


Murthal | About 50km from Delhi, on NH-1, beyond Sonepat, is a lane of small dhabas which have been churning out hot delicious delights from the tandoor, giving Murthal the name “The Parantha capital of the world”. Large, crisp paranthas {as big as the plates, I kid you not}, bursting with the vegetable stuffing, and topped with a huge dollop of white butter – this defines comfort food. Aloo, paneer, pyaaz, or mixed; take your pick. And if there’s still space for more, fill it with a glassful of lassi. {Insider tip: For a brief window in winters, the dhabas serve amazing makke ki roti and sarso ka saag too!}

McDonalds, Manesar | On the way to Jaipur {NH8}, about 40 minutes from the Gurgaon toll gate, this drive through McDonalds is to your left, and its open 24*7 {YAYYY!}. PS. If you’re in time for the breakfast menu, don’t miss the pancakes and hash browns!

We will continue to update this list and would love to hear YOUR recommendations for what ought to be featured on this list, so send in your responses to or drop a comment here!

Dilliwalas, 4 baj gaye lekin party abhi baaki hai!

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