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1911 Bar
Photograph: Courtesy 1911 Bar

The 9 best bars in Delhi

To truly experience the Indian capital, visit the best bars in Delhi, where old and new seamlessly and gorgeously mingle

Written by
Ariel Sophia Bardi

The Indian capital is a thriving metropolis of more than 20 million people, a chaotic place where the old and new snuggle up tight like long lost lovers. Delhi’s best attractions cover centuries, but the bars and pubs here are completely focused on having a good time in the present, and we’re all the richer for it.

Delhi doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of Mumbai and its Bollywood stars, but that has nothing to do with enjoying a crisp beer or a masterfully mixed cocktail. The best bars in Delhi are setting their own trends, allowing revellers the chance to party next to the half-crumbling remnants of empires long dead.

Best bars in Delhi

Hustle by day, party by night in this sprawling, multi-floor and millennial-packed co-working and nightlife hub. Though smack-dab in the middle of Hauz Khas Village—South Delhi’s main party mecca—this crowd-pleaser pub boasts serene views over the tree-lined lake in Deer Park, plus a something-for-everyone roster of special events. The hipper-than-thou hotspot was even featured in the 2015 Bollywood hit Tamasha.

The rooftop bar of the iconic (and recently revamped) luxury hotel The Oberoi is open late and boasts a touch of old-school sophistication. If you’re itching for a classic gin and tonic but haven’t ticked off enough tourist sites on your to-do list, then ease your conscience with postcard-perfect views of Humayun’s Tomb from the panoramic terrace. Bonus points: the hotel has its own cigar lounge.


You don’t have to be a guest at the palatial Leela Resort—one of Delhi’s most opulent hotels—to enjoy its stylish, mood-lit lobby bar. But you do have to be over 25, so college-aged revellers be forewarned. This is the ultimate retreat from Delhi’s unrelenting hustle and bustle, with cosy corner banquettes making for the perfect date night. Whiskey aficionados will appreciate the 172 brands of single-malt and premium brands on offer.


This time-warp bar—part of the stately old Imperial Hotel in Janpath, which opened in 1936—gives a nod to the year in which New Delhi became the capital of British India. Come for the first-rate cocktails—there are over 500 beverages on offer—and stay for the museum-worthy military memorabilia that decorates the blue-wallpapered, Downtown Abbey-esque Hardinge Room.

Summer House Cafe
Photograph: Courtesy Tripadvisor

6. Summer House Cafe

Located in laid-back Hauz Khas Market (just a stone’s throw away from rowdier Hauz Khas Village), this hip South Delhi watering hole and music venue tends to draw a diverse crowd that includes the embassy workers and aspiring DJs. The eclectic clientele makes for first-class hobnobbing, especially during special theme nights throughout the week.


Located near the 12th-century Qutub Minar in fashionable Mehrauli, this Italian restaurant and bar is a pitch-perfect venue for a boozy Delhi brunch. Italian gastronomy isn’t the easiest sell in Mughlai-crazy Delhi, but this food and drink menu more than holds its own— especially if you like flavoured martinis. Plus, you might just rub shoulders with the biggest names in the city, from fashion designers to movie directors. In the evenings, the venue hosts everything from disco nights to film screenings.

This stylish, down-to-earth bar and eatery combines finger-licking-good cuisine from Nagaland with homey decor and an unpretentious drink menu. Nothing pairs quite so well with a Kingfisher beer or Black Dog whiskey as a sampling of fiery-hot northeastern snacks, like house-made crispy shredded pork or Naga chicken wings. If sprawling out on cushions is your thing, then this should be your go-to spot.


Don’t be put off by the speakeasy-like entrance within Connaught Place. This ambience-heavy restaurant-cum-bar is well-worth the find, even if it involves stumbling through a clothing store to get to a confusingly tucked-away staircase. Connaught Place—the horseshoe-shaped, Georgian-style shopping arcade completed by the British in 1933—is practically built for bar hopping. Wallet-friendly cocktail pitchers and a menu full of tantalizing, fusion snacks (goat cheese Tikki, anyone?) will give you a good head-start.

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