By Garima Bakshi & Avantika Sood

When ‘SPJ’ fan and LBBD writer Suchita asked us to set aside a day to explore Shahpur Jat, we were slightly skeptical. The picture that came to our minds was a dreary, muddy path with a few scattered stores located in a desolate gaaon of Delhi. We sighed, accepted it as part of our internship requirements, and then procrastinated as much as we possibly could.

The day we finally decided to head to Shahpur Jat {SPJ} was particularly hot and sunny. We lost our way a couple of times, but when we arrived we were- and there’s really no other word for it- flabbergasted! Delhi never ceases to surprise us. We perceived Shahpur Jat to be a village located in a far off, lonely pocket, where no one really ventured…Only to find out that not only is it conveniently located {all you need to do is to turn left from Siri Fort Road}, but it’s also a hub for some really interesting people and enterprises, and has a future that’s bound to take the city by storm- including the SPJ ‘Open Nights’ which are organized every few months. What we saw were winding, maze-like allies of ambient cafes and beautifully decorated stores. We hopped from store to store, exclaiming  ‘I love Suchita for sending us here!’. God only knows where our designated 2 hours for SPJ wandering went; from colourful and unique Indian clothes, to stunning tops, dresses and funky, unique jewellery to splendid décor pieces, Shahpur Jat has it all. This multi-faceted locale is now home to a French clothing & decor store, a Bihari restaurant, and a café run by a Greek designer, amongst other eclectic finds.

Are we making another trip to SPJ? Oh, yes! And until we scout for more, here’s a list of the places we loved at Shahpur Jat, and your guide to exploring it.

LET’S GET SOME FOOD, DUDE

food

The PotBelly Rooftop Café | The walk up the four flights of stairs to get to Potbelly is more than worth it! We’d go here for a sunset view of Asiad Village and mouth watering Bihari cuisine; we recommend the phish phingers, pakoras and masala chai.

Where | 116 C, 4th Floor, Shahpur Jat; 011 41612048, +91 9811122764; Price | INR 900 for two {Approx}

Les Parisiennes Cafe | This black & noir decorated French Café is situated inside a beautiful haveli-esque structure. Finger foods, quiche, salad, desserts and Lavazza coffee is what’s on offer. Find out more, here.

Where | 5 B, Dada Jungi House, Shahpur Jat; 011 26490203, +91 8826518943; Price | INR 800 for two {Approx}

The Drawing Room/Arte Cafe | Walk into a room painted bright orange, with art on the walls, eliciting that warm & welcoming feeling, and you know that you’re in The Drawing Room. We’ve binged on tuna sandwiches in foccacia bread, nespresso coffee and chocolate chip cookies here.

Where | 36A Shahpur Jat; 011 4100 6563; Price | INR 600 for two {Approx}

Slice of Italy | While this is generally a take-away and delivery outlet, the Shahpur Jat branch has seating. Not authentic Italian per se, visit Slice of Italy for freshly baked pizzas, breads and desserts.

Where | 118, Shahpur Jat; 011 41750333, 011 41751445; Price | INR 450 for two {Approx}

Mad Teapot | Situated inside The Wishing Chair, it’s the perfect place for a quick snack including sandwiches, coffee and cupcakes. We also like their range of teas {try the blackberry tea}; they organize ‘high tea’ soirees, which we’re excited to check out.

Where | The Wishing Chair, 86 A, Shahpur Jat; 011 46572121; Price | INR 600 for two {Approx}

Coffee Garage | We quite enjoyed the fresh salads and sandwiches along with kathis and pita rolls Coffee Garage offers.

Where | C 116, Shahpur Jat; +91 7838537926; Price | INR 300 for two {Approx}

Café RED | Apparently, their menu is inspired by suppers and comfort food; one can choose from pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and more. A good place to spend a quiet afternoon, reading and eating. We’ll drop by this joint when we visit next.

Where | C 116, Shahpur Jat; +91 7838537926; Price | INR 300 for two {Approx}

Old Town café | All sweet and sugary cravings are satiated at Old Town. They have plenty of cupcakes and muffins to choose from, and different types of tea as well.

Where | 111 Shahpur Jat; +91 9910070342; Price | INR 400 for two {Approx}

Sweet Nothings | Run and owned by Avanti Mathur, we’d indulge in desserts created by her for the sake of tasting art {and also because they’re bloody good!}

Where | 213 A, 1st Floor, Shahpur Jat; Price | INR 600 for two {Approx}

Motuu’s Qila | MQ comes with its quirky, village-themed décor- khaats, rustic wooden tables et all. Maggi, rolls, frankies, pao, chaat and sandwiches; you’ve got heaps to choose from at budget friendly prices.

Where | 5G, Roof Top, Jungi House Lane  Shahpur Jat; 8130078410; Price | INR 35-120 per head {Approx}

Juice Lay | As the name suggests, this small shop serves a refreshing array of juices.

Where  | 125, Shahpur Jat; Price | INR 50

Kunu’s Kitchen | Ideal for momos, rolls and other fast food. The service is quick; pack a bite and get on the move to continue your shopping sojourn.

Where | 116 B, Ground Floor, Shahpur Jat; +91 8750897987, +91 8744055586; Price | INR 250 for two {Approx}

Nooral Tea Stall | Nooral’s stall has been in Shahpur Jat for the past couple of years, and had witnessed the transition in the village. It caters to everyone- from shop owners to workers, local designers and SPJ locals as well.

 

PLAYING DRESS UP!

jewellery

White Champa | They had us at their color palette! Anjana Das’s baby, White Champa blends European style tailoring with Indian fabric and embroidery. Their tunics and pants guarantee a comfortable fit. Click here for more.

Where | 125 B Shahpur Jat; +91 11 41023460 or +91 9873825563; Price | INR 3,000-10,000

Lila | Minimalistic in approach to design, and retailing affordable, ready to wear tunics, pants, skirts and more, we feel their USP lies in the use of pure and natural fabrics.

Where | House No 8, Shahpur Jat; 01126493958; Price | INR 1000 onwards

Sahiba Singh | Think gorgeous displays of racks of clothes in cooling, pastel hues and deep tones, in quintessential summer fabrics such as chiffon, silk satin and cotton. Get your shop on! It’s a must-shop for casual evening and work wear.

Where | 87 A Shahpur Jat, 9810618987; Price | INR 3700 onwards

House of Blondie | This store has an array of funky, colourful jewelery as well as clothes. This is a Shahpur Jat must, so don’t miss it!

Where | 5G, Jungi House, Shahpur Jat; 08860139864; Price | INR 500 {accessories} and INR 1000 {clothing} onwards.

Les Parisiennes | A multi-speciality store, they retail in clothes {think vintage-inspired}, accessories {shoes, brooches, scarves & bags}, and home-décor that’s beautiful & rustic-chic. From tableware to lamps, crockery, cushions & quilts, in pretty prints, monotones & patterns, they’ve got it all covered.

Where | 5 B, Dada Jungi House, Shahpur Jat; 011 26490203, +91 8826518943; Price | INR 800 onwards

Alecca Carrano | Retailing in wraps, shawls & dresses, Alecca Carrano’s sartorial curations and designs exude the FIT graduate’s sensibilities. Flowy and light fabrics, pastel colors, a plethora of prints, each item from Alecca’s collection has something new and unique to offer.

Where | 36 Shahpur Jat; 011-41006563; Price | INR 2,500 onwards

Olivia Dar Accessories | Olivia Dar offers a range of own label fashion accessories: jewelery, collars, headbands, bags and belts. We recommend splurging on an Olivia Dar wallet.

Where | 5H First Floor, Jungi house, Shahpur Jat; +91 99 99 38 60 20; Price | INR 1000 onwards

Kyra | While SPJ may have tons to offer for those looking for Indian wear, Kyra’s one that caught our eyes. None of that over-Swarovskied and glittered Indian wear- Kyra’s ideal for suits, sarees and lehengas {can do custom too!} in bright colors, elegantly topped with embroidery and zardozi details.

Where | 6H/1B Shahpur Jat; 24969743; Price | On request

Nirvana | Modern, chic and casual, the collection at Nirvana is a refreshing take on fashion. They have a range of tee’s, accessories and cute scarves.

Where | 5K Shahpur Jat, Jungi House; 9911143435; Price | INR 500 onwards

Melon | If you’re looking for contemporary Indian wear- casual anarkalis, crinkled skirts, jackets, tunics- Melon’s a spot to shop. We haven’t shopped here yet, but there’s always the next trip!

Where | 139 Shahpur Jat; Price | On request. Contact: Surinder Gill at 9810131433 or sgill276@gmail.com

 

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

decor

The Wishing Chair | This is a store we just couldn’t get enough of! TWC houses a range of really fun and quirky home accessories. Think inscribed tin cans in pastel hues, ‘magic potion’ jars in silhouettes of blues and greens, cushions and mirrors, kitschy trunks, and more super funky ways to brighten up a space.

Where | 86-A, Shahpur Jat; 011-46572121; Price | INR 700 onwards

Second Floor Studio | Walking into this space transports you to some fabulously decorated up-scale store in SoHo or the likes. Punit Jasuja’s done a fabulous job in curating eclectic brands like 1701, En Inde, Olivia Dar, and added a modern take on vintage inspired furniture & accessories. We really liked the bright cushions with details, and funky prints. And the Nappa Dori trays!

Where | 417 Shahpur Jat; 011-41420324; Price | INR 800 onwards

More at SPJ |

Bookwise Café | Bookwise has one of our favourite collections of coffee table books- one could spend hours browsing through books on design, photography and art here over cups of coffee and cookies. Their stationery section is pretty well stocked as well!

Where | 125-A Shahpur Jat; 011-26499568

Fender Music Academy | If you walk by Fender on weeknights, you’re likely to here hints of beautiful music being played inside. It’s a popular recording and rehearsal space for local bands.

Where | 113 Shahpur Jat; 011 4166 7570, 9999252006; Price | INR 250 per hour of studio time and INR 4100 per month for music lessons

Printer’s Devil | LBBD’s Tanvi Mishra actually told us about this photographers haven situated in SPJ. Also run by Akshay Mahajan {who’s a brilliant photographer himself}, Printer’s Devil is a professional photographic lab,  for specialist printers for artists and photographers around India.

Where | 252/A2, Shahpur Jat; 088 26 126416; Price | INR 400-10,000

Fun Facts & Other Stuff |

 

Notes in our Little Black Book |