We must admit, until recently our south Indian vocabulary didn’t extend beyond idli and dosas, with a side of sambhar. But now, we can’t stop raving about everything from appam to chettinad, and chutney to rasam at Southie bhavans, cafes and more.

LBB’s Loving

Carnatic Cafe

Reader’s Vote

Sagar Ratna

Coast Cafe

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This is hands down one of the best coastal restaurants in the city, and the divine cocktails and near-perfect ambience just makes it better. Don’t go home without trying the Fish Tacos, Prawn Moilee, the Masala Fish Curry, Goan Prawn Curry or the Malabari Cokum Fish Curry. PS: The Red Rice and Malabar Parantha are fabulous too.

Where: H 2, Second Floor & Third Floor, above Ogaan, Hauz Khas Village

Nearest Metro Station: Hauz Khas

Prices:  INR 1,500 plus taxes

Contact: 011 41601717

For regular updates, follow their Facebook page here.

Carnatic Café

Modelled as a home-style South Indian Kitchen, the dosas over at Carnatic are lovely. Start your meal with their buttermilk, and as for dosas, skip the staple masala and ask for the Malleshwaram 18th Cross or the Rava Coconut. Also try their traditional South Indian filter coffee.

Where: India Mall, Community Centre, New Friends Colony

Nearest Metro Station: Kalkaji

Price: INR 600 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 41008630

Follow their Facebook page here.

Amreli

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Although not traditionally a coastal restaurant, their coastal inserts in the menu are worth raving about. The Kerala Vegetable and Mutton Stew, Chicken Chettinad and Sole Meen Moilee are all winners.

Where: Hotel Diplomat, 9, Sardar Patel Marg, Chanakyapuri

Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh

Price: INR 2,000 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 46050200

Follow their Facebook page here. 

Saravana Bhavan 

Although the service is slow {relatively}, the food is worth the wait. You need to order the Rava Kesari, 14 Mini Idlis in Ghee & Sambhar, Panchavarna Utthappam and the Onion Rava Masala Dosa. The thalis are great for when you’re really hungry. PS: They open at 8am for breakfast, if you want to beat the crowds.

Where:P-13 Connaught Circus; Food Court Select Citywalk; 46, Janpath

Nearest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk; Malviya Nagar; Janpath

Price: INR 400 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 28844305 {CP} and 011 23316060 {Janpath}

Follow their website here.

 Dakshin

Dakshin

The Meen Varuval and Dakshin Yera are much talked about. Bookmark for the finest fare from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Where: The Sheraton, Saket

Nearest Metro Station: Saket

Price: INR 2,000 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 42661290

Follow their Facebook page here.  

Andhra Bhavan

Andhra Bhavan provides the feel of a college canteen. Arrive early if you’d like to sit, and get ready for lightning-speed service, and communal/mess style dining. You will get served rounds of food, and you must order non-vegetarian dishes separately. Definitely try the Prawn and Mutton Fry. Biryani is only served for lunch on Sundays. They are also open for breakfast.

Where:1 Andhra Bhavan, Ashoka Road

Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh

Price: INR 400 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 23382031

Follow their website here.

 Mahabelly

Mahabelly

A Keralite foodie destination, the restaurant came to life because its founders craved home-style, traditional Keralite fare. The menu features food influenced by the Syrian Christians, traditional Nairs, the Malabar region’s Moplah coastal cuisine, and authentic food from the toddy shops of Kerala.

Where:MA A-05, Restaurant Block, DLF Place Mall, Saket

Nearest Metro Station: Malviya Nagar

Price: INR 1,500 for two {approx.}

Contact:  +91 9911462757

Follow their Facebook page here. 

Karnataka Food Centre

Always crowded and with long waiting lines, Karnataka Food Centre is a popular dosa-idli hotspot. Must trys are the Onion Rava Masala Dosa, Mysore Masala and Plain Dosa, and the Maharaja Sajjige Dosa. Start the meal with their rasam and papad combo and end it with the Rava Kesari.

Where:Delhi Karnataka Sangh Building, RK Puram

Nearest Metro Station: AIIMS

Price: INR 300 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 26187357

Zambar 

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Another one from the fine-dining family, Zambar offers South Indian fare from four different states—Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradhesh. They’re most popular for their authentic and interactive cuisine {live appam station and show kitchen}. If you’re spoilt for choice, the Chicken Chettinad, Malabar Vegetarian Stew and Allepey Prawn Curry are good bets.

Where:Ambience Mall in Gurgaon; 19, Ground Floor Cyber Hub

Nearest Metro Station: Sikanderpur; Cyber Hub

Price: INR 2,500 for two {approx.}

Contact:  +91 9958564400

Follow their Facebook page here.

Chidambaram’s New Madras Hotel 

Again, contrary to its name, you’ll also find Indian Chinese options, but we suggest sticking with their South Indian menu. We recommend sampling their uthappams {especially the paneer and Nilgiri}, and a side of fried idlis.

Where:Shop no 7, Lodhi Road, Khanna Market

Nearest Metro Station: JLN Stadium

Price: INR 500 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 24611726, 011 24617702

 Kerala Food Channel 

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A one-page menu, no air conditioning, and food to write home about. We recommend ordering in the Chicken Curry and Set Dosa, and if you’re really hungry, get the Kerala Meals, complete with a shot of rasam, a bowl of sambhar, and vegetables on the side.

Where:1220/52 DDA Flats, Kalkaji

Nearest Metro Station: Kalkaji

Price: INR 600 for two {approx.}

Contact:  +91 9717789571

Follow their Facebook page here.

Anantha, Kerala Food Stall

Part of Dilli Haat’s state-specific food stalls, skip this option if hygiene is your number one priority. If you can look the other way, they offer a great budget Fish Curry and Appam/Porotta with Veg Stew.

Where:Dilli Haat, Aurobindo Marg

Nearest Metro Station: INA

Price: INR 400 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 24678368

 The Toddy Shop 

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We all collectively grieved at the demise of Gunpowder, but worry not, now there’s the Toddy Shop. For the non-vegetarians, ask for the Liver Fry, and don’t go home without getting the Kerala Style Spicy Beef Fry, Malabar Kozhi Korma, and the Toddy Shop Mackerel Curry. PS: Ask for a portion of the Gunpowder Chutney to go with… everything.

Where:1 A Hauz Khas Village

Nearest Metro Station: Hauz Khas

Price: INR 1,000 for two {approx.}

Contact:  +91 9560256426, 011 40519338

Follow their website here.

Kerala Hotel

A dhaba by any stretch of the imagination, you’re probably better off taking the food home and eating off your own sanitised crockery. The Prawn Curry and Egg Curry should definitely accompany you home, but be warned, it’s only for iron-cast stomachs.

Where:211A, Mohan Singh Market, Aurobindo Marg

Nearest Metro Station: AIIMS

Price: INR 400 for two {approx.}

Contact:  +91 9810549978, +91 9891643087

 Karnataka Restaurant

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Although the name might suggest otherwise, they also serve Chinese and North Indian fare. A limited South Indian menu; order the Andhrapesarattu, Appam and the Set Dosa. Their Mysore Paneer Dosa is also a winner.

Where:60/5 Yusuf Sarai Market

Nearest Metro Station: Green Park

Price: INR 450 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 26511222, 011 26862026

Kerala Express 

Get the Malabari Meat Roll, Mutton Chili Fry and the Prawn Moilee with Appam for a taste of authentic Keralite food.

Where:Epicuria Mall, Nehru Place

Nearest Metro Station: Nehru Place

Price: INR 600 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 26213089

Sagar Ratna 

Sagar Ratna

Still the best paper plain dosas in town. We also love the Masala Fries here {Idli Fries guys!} Also, the rasam is free.

Where: To know more and find a location, click here.

Price: INR 600 for two {approx.}

Naivedyam

You cannot go wrong while choosing from the dosas, idlis and vadas. If you’re looking for a switch up, definitely get the curd rice and lemon rice. We love all the little boxes of chutneys that come along with every delivery.

Where: 1 Hauz Khas Village; Vipul Square B Block, Sushant Lok; F 12 Main Road, Kalkaji; Sector 63, Noida; 41 Vatika City Market, Golf Course Extension Road; East Patel Nagar

Price: INR 400 for two {approx.}

Contact:  011 26960426, 011 26536045 {HKV}; 01244049810 {Sushant Lok};01126236364 {Kalkaji}; 01204223609 {Noida}; 0124 4109810 {Sohna Road}, 01165457986 {East Patel Nagar}

 Swagath

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Sagar Ratna’s not so distant cousin has the best Butter Garlic Crabs and Koliwada Jumbo Prawns on the menu.

Where: To find a location, click here.

Price: INR 1,500 for two {approx.}