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Food & Beverages

Planning A College Re-Union? 15 Budget-Friendly Cafes The Youth Of Delhi Swears By: February, 2024

By Somdutta Mazumder

Updated - Feb. 20, 2024 9 min read

The charming lanes of Delhi-NCR are teeming with places to eat, and that is no news to any Townie! But when a large chunk of the city's population comprises of students, the element of affordability becomes a major screening factor. Especially if you tend to go out often, spending a pretty penny on every meal is not exactly feasible, or even pleasant. Thank the stars for there are umpteen options for those looking to venture out on the streets of Delhi and leave with their life savings intact! 


Affordable Cafes For Small Bites


1. Big Yellow Door

Hipster, affordable and quirky, the Big Yellow Door Cafe is an essential visit for anybody scanning for reasonably priced delicious food in the colourful lanes of Satya Niketan. A large majority of DU South Campus students regularly flock to this rustic cafe and for good reason!


Image Courtesy - Little Black Book


Highlights: Student Friendly Ambience, College Hangout Spot, Quirky Decor

Must-Try: Chilli Chicken Spaghetti, Cheese Nachos, White Sauce Pasta, Kitkat Shake

Cost For Two: INR 800 (Approx)

Cuisine: Cafe, Italian, Fast Food 

Timings: Monday to Sunday; 11 AM to 11 PM

Contact: +91 7042294297, +91 7042294298

Where: Satyaniketan (Get Directions)


2. T'Pot Cafe 

If you believe that the key to achieving world peace is a refreshing cup of tea, we believe we are leading you to just the right place! This beautiful cafe recognised for its delicious snacks and lightning-fast service gives you the holistic college cafe experience by being light on the pocket!


Image Courtesy - magicpin


Highlights: Breakfast Deals, Ideal Workspace 

Must-Try: Pao Bhaji, Keema Pao, Ginger Tea, Hibiscus Iced Tea, Garlic Bread

Cost For Two: INR 300 (Approx.)

Cuisine: Cafe, Fast Food 

Timings: Monday to Sunday; 9 AM to 3 AM

Contact: +91 8882447722, 011 41420516

Where: Begumpur, Malviya Nagar (Get Directions)



3. Wood Box Cafe 

If you are looking for the perfect cosy cafe to spend a low-key evening with friends in, the Wood Box Cafe at Satya should definitely be on your radar! Dirt cheap scrumptious finger food, cutesy homely decor and a chirpy crowd make this affordable cafe an important feature on this list—also a budget-friendly cafe for couples. 


Image Courtesy - Fuccha


Highlights: Cosy Reading Space, Conducive For Conversations, Shakes Paradise 

Must-Try: Peri-Peri Chicken, Penne Arrabiata, Fererro Rocher Shake, Burgers 

Cost For Two: INR 850 (Approx.)

Cuisine: Cafe, Fast Food, Italian, Chinese, Salad 

Timings: Monday to Sunday; 11 AM to 11 PM

Contact: +91 8882447722, 011 41420516

Where: Satya Niketan (Get Directions



4. Ricos

Wrapped in modern, chic decor and resonating with a comfortable, casual ambience, Rico's is a great place to satisfy your hunger pangs at without incurring exorbitant prices. The graffiti adorned walls and the colourful vibe further amplify the irresistible taste of the cafe food.


Image Courtesy - Little Black Book 


Highlights: Trendy Background For Instagram Pictures, Alluring Burgers 

Must-Try: Chicken Burger, Creme Sauce Veg, Waffles, Chicken Florentine Steak, Peach Iced Tea

Cost For Two: INR 900 (Approx.)

Cuisine: Cafe, American, Italian 

Timings: Monday to Sunday; 11 AM to 11 PM

Contact: 011 66103821

Where: GTB Nagar (Get Directions


5. Cha Bar 

One of the most popular hang-out spots in all of Delhi NCR, Cha Bar features as a favourite for most book lovers in town. An almost extended part of Oxford bookstore, this place is perfect to grab a quick, reasonably priced bite while picking a new read. 


Image Courtesy - D For Delhi


Highlights: Cosy Ambience, Great Collection Of Books, Conducive For Conversations

Must-Try: Kulhad Pav Bhaji, Tiramisu, Maggi Sandwich, Hot Chocolate, Chai 

Cost For Two: INR 600 (Approx.)

Cuisine: Cafe 

Timings: Monday to Sunday; 11 AM to 9:30 PM

Contact: +91 9958005985

Where: Connaught Place (Get Directions)


Economic Full Meal Eateries


1. QD's Restaurant 

If you are looking to grab the full flavour of Delhi food without spending a fortune, QD's should be your go-to option. The food here is good enough to make your mouth water and the laid-back atmosphere adds to the classic QD's charm!


Image Courtesy - Just Dial 


Highlights: Friendly Staff and Prompt Service, Aesthetic Decor 

Must-Try: Chicken Tandoori Momos, Clear Soup, Dahi Ke Sholey, Arrabiata Chicken Pasta 

Cost For Two: INR 1,000 (Approx.)

Cuisine: Chinese, North Indian, Fast Food 

Timings: Monday to Sunday; 11:30 AM to 1 AM 

Contact: +91 8882997777

Where: Hudson Lane, GTB Nagar (Get Directions


2. Khan Chacha 

Approved by a majority of the Delhi populace, Khan Chacha is a restaurant recognised by most for its mouth-watering kebabs and rolls. The delectable food options at Khan Chacha are replete with excellent quality and general quantity, all at sensible prices. 


Image Courtesy - LimeTray 


Highlights: Perfect For Casual Dining, Convenient Location, Popular Favourite 

Must-Try: Spicy Chicken Roll, Chicken Biryani, Mutton Khati Roll, Mutton Kakori Kebab

Cost For Two: INR 650 (Approx.)

Cuisine: Mughlai, North India, Kebabs 

Timings: Monday to Sunday; 11 AM to 11 PM

Contact: 011 43680449, 011 24633242

Where: Khan Market (Get Directions


3. Mezbaan Restaurant 

Home-like comfort at a reasonably priced restaurant offering appetising choices. What more could you ask for? This casual dining place located near the gorgeous JNU campus offers delectable North Indian dishes, full of flavour and zing. 


Image Courtesy - magicpin


Highlights: Lightning Fast Service, Family Friendly, Flavoursome Local Food  

Must-Try: Dosa, Malai Kofta, Mattar Mushroom

Cost For Two: INR 700 (Approx.)

Cuisine: North Indian

Timings: Monday to Sunday; 10 AM to 3:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 10 PM

Contact: +91 11 2696 6398

Where: Secular House, JNU (Get Directions


4. Mama's Buoi 

The combination of mesmerising, dreamy decor and gratifying dishes is not one to be missed out on! The food is scrumptious and the beverages are refreshing, but the prices remain low. If that isn't reason enough, there is also a roof-top area filled to the brim with a vibrant, young crowd! You can also celebrate you birthday here with college friends. 


Image Courtesy - Baromeeter 


Highlights: Impressive Music, Great Ambience, Casual Hangout Spot 

Must-Try: Keema Pav, Mama's Sangria, Chicken Spring Rolls, Pizzas

Cost For Two: INR 1,000 (Approx.)

Cuisine: Continental, Italian, Chinese, Tibetan 

Timings: Monday to Sunday; 11 AM to 12 AM

Contact: +91 11 3310 555 

Where: Hudson Lane, GTB Nagar (Get Directions)


5. Saravana Bhawan 

A crowd favourite restaurant for casual dining, Saravana Bhawan offers fresh, hygienic and mouth-watering preparations at affordable prices. Simple food, cosy area and homely feeling, this pocket-friendly restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a breezy dinner with friends! 


Image Courtesy - Flikr


Highlights: Breakfast Deals, Family Friendly, South Indian Delights

Must-Try: Ghee Paper Masala Dosa, 12 Mini Idli, Basundi, Thalis, Filter Coffee

Cost For Two: INR 500 (Approx.) 

Cuisine: South Indian 

Timings: Monday to Sunday; 8 AM to 11 PM

Contact: 011 28844305, 011 23345577

Where: Connaught Place (Get Directions) 


Nostalgic Campus Canteens Of Delhi


1. St. Stephens

When it comes to St Stephens, everything has a legacy of its own including the canteen. The rustic old coffee house charm, dirt-cheap food and the vast variety in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes make this one of the top features in a list of affordable campus canteens of Delhi. 


Image Courtesy - D For Delhi 


Where: Sudhir Bose Marg, University Enclave (Get Directions

Must-Try: Mince Cutlets, Chicken Curry Rice Dish, Dill Pickle Sandwiches, Scrambled Eggs With Toast 


2. Lady Shri Ram College For Women

Elsas (as the students call themselves) pride themselves on their beautiful lush green campus always buzzing with enthusiasm and activity. A crucial feature of this quaint campus is the expansive canteen. Wait sorry, the "cafe". The cafe at LSR is resplendent with wide options from a variety of different cuisines and flavours. Pro tip from an ex-Elsa? There is a Chinese food stall right outside the back gate which was opened by the previous cafe contractors. Their prices are very low due to the on-going business "war" and their food is exceptional! However, getting inside the campus might be an ordeal if you are a guy (obviously). 


Image Courtesy - Shiksha 


Where: Nandi Vithi RdLajpat Nagar 4 (Get Directions

Must-Try: Amritsari Naan, Masala Dosa, Rajma Chawal, Brownies 



3. Hansraj College

Suffice it to say, there is more to Hansraj than Sharukh Khan. Looking beyond the obvious like the academic rigour and excellent faculty, the canteen in Hansraj enjoys the reputation of being one of the best DU canteens, ever. It reminds you of a college canteen straight out of a Bollywood movie, with a seamlessly managed self-service counter. The low prices and the delish food are worth visiting the Hansraj campus for!


Image Courtesy - Hansraj College 


Where: Mahatma Hans Raj Marg (Get Directions

Must-Try: Spring Rolls, Honey Chilli Potato, Samosa


4. Hindu College

The canteen in Hindu College is known for its clean, tasty and hygienic food. The wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes makes for an extensive menu with an abundance of yummy bites to snack on. If you wish to feast on some flavour-some street food without actually venturing out on the streets of Delhi, this is the perfect place to grab that plate of Bhel Puri from! 


Image Courtesy - The Better India 


Where: Sudhir Bose Marg, University Enclave (Get Directions

Must-Try:  Aloo Parantha, Bhel Puri, Gol Gappe, Shahi Paneer Dosa


5. Ramjas College

The following words will change the way you look at life: three-floor DU canteen. That might seem like a thing of fantasy, but with Ramjas's spacious canteen offering a range of regional dishes, it is a dream come true. One floor is even air-conditioned, a fact we are still struggling to come to terms with, to this day!


Image Courtesy - Whatsup Life 


Where: University Enclave (Get Directions

Must-Try: Chole Bhature, Chole Rice, Veg White Sauce Pasta, French Fries 

Now that we have provided you with ample budget-friendly options, the only thing you need to do is, text your old college buddies, and make a plan to meet at one of these cafes! What will follow is a great time with great friends and delicious food. All without spending a fortune! Now, that's an offer than can't be refused. 


Q. Are we allowed to get outside food?

A. No, you are not allowed to get outside food or drinks. If you visit these cafes or restaurants, you will have to order the food and beverages listed on their menu. 


Q. Is there any service tax?

A. Some cafes or restaurants do choose to levy a certain proportion of service tax based on their discretion. However, this information will most likely be conveyed to you pre-emptively. If it is not, feel free to ask!


Q. Is there any book cafe in Delhi?

A. There are several cosy book cafes in our capital city. Check THIS out for a list of the best book cafes in Delhi NCR. 


Q. Which cafe is the best for a date? 

A. There are a number of serene cafes with romantic decor that you can have your perfect date in. To read about the most romantic restaurants in Delhi, check THIS out. 

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