Everything You Must Eat At Mandi House & Bengali Market In 12 Delicious Picturesby Saundarya Srinivasan | Wed Sep 13 2017
Mandi House used to be the residence of the Raja of Mandi. The palace was once located at Copernicus Marg. It has long since been demolished to create space for smaller office complexes. One can still see Himachal Bhawan and the Door Darshan office in this area. The small eateries, sweet shops, and restaurants in Mandi House that are here since years, still draw crowds.
There are small shops and stalls all over the place that are budget friendly. There really is something for everyone. Whether you have just enough money to buy yourself a quick snack before you go to your dramatics practice, or you’re feeling rich enough to indulge in shawarmas, you could get something for every budget.
Mandi house is the hub for art aficionados. One can see students sitting on footpaths from late afternoons to early evenings drawing everything that contributes to the life here. If you love watching plays, you can just walk down to any of the auditoriums and check out the listings if you see something that catches your fancy.
As you approach the metro station, you see vendors selling sweet potatoes, bhel puri, and other street side snacks to quickly satiate your hunger for a quick bite. There’s an old lady who’s often seen sitting here wearing dark aviators and selling guavas. She looks like she’s quite the badass, and one may even be intimidated enough to not bargain with her.
The fruit and vegetable vendor is as much a part of Mandi House, as are the big eateries. Since this is majorly a residential area, places like Mother Dairy and the veggie vendor are just as popular as the coffee shops you’ll see in Bengali Market.
Shree Ram Center’s Canteen and Triveni Kala Sangam’s Cafe are spots that are almost always crowded with people between the age of 18 and 40. You’ll be amazed at the variety of conversations that people have at these spots. Politics, culture, the arts, you name it and you’ll find people talking about it. You could even join in on some of these conversations and you wouldn’t be met by judging eyes.
This chaiwalla opposite Shree Ram Center is very popular. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, he’s always here making saucepan after saucepan of hot, aromatic chai. He even has a few savoury snacks that you can buy from him should you need something to go with the chai.
One can’t go to Mandi house without exploring all the options that Bengali Market provides. It’s walking distance from the metro station and down the lane from Mandi House. This is one of the oldest markets in Delhi and was made after it was declared capital. It’s a little-known fact that it is actually called Bengali Mal Market and was established in 1930. Also, the name has nothing to do with the state of West Bengal. The popular eatery, Bengali Sweet House took its name from this market and has been a popular place for some of the biggest, most delicious golgappas.
One can also find other popular places that sort of first made its mark here. Nathu’s Sweets is one of them. The fruit shop has been around for countless years now and one can still find some of the best quality fruits here.
The tobacconist in Bengali Market too is from before the turn of the century. They still sell some of the best quality tobacco for hand rolled cigarettes and other implements that one associated with smoking.
While many old eateries remain, you can find newer restaurants in Mandi House crop up every now and then. Since this market is quieter than others, you’ll find that you’ll only ever have to wait for five minutes or so to get a table at any point of time at any of these places.
Photo Courtesy Of: Vipin R. Varghese
If you ever choose to walk around this area instead of just going from one point to another, you will come across many hidden spots where you can catch a bite or two to refresh yourselves before going on to your destination. Ramprasad, here, has been serving chhole kulche and chhaach since over a decade now. This sweet tempered man’s stall, among others, are hidden gems that one could stumble upon.
Photo Courtesy Of: Vipin R. Varghese
People in Mandi House also find their own little corners to smoke hookahs while engaging in idle chatter. Saturday afternoons are probably the best time to be here if you’re someone who likes observing people or just strolling down largely empty roads. It’s even better in the months from November to February when the air is chilly and you’re wearing all your warm sweaters and cradling a cup of chai in your hands.
Photos Courtesy Of: Saundarya Srinivasan