Khan Market is one of the many things that brings Delhi to life. Immersed in a colourful vivacity and a rustic ambience, this corner of Delhi meets all your needs. You can shop till you drop, stuff yourselves with good food or just take a peek into the history around you. There is no dearth of fulfilling experiences in Khan Market. Located in the heart of Delhi, it’s just a stone’s throw away from some gorgeous landmarks such as the Lodhi Gardens and India Gate. What’s more, ask any Delhiite and they’ll have a list of exclusive dining establishments that will put even Paris to shame. So if you are popping into Delhi over the weekend or moving into this magical city, spend a day in the best shopping market in Delhi. There is no better way to see the vintage charm and the contemporary glam of Delhi better. Here are the top things to do in Khan Market and around it:
Diving into the world of vintage bookstores
The founding dates of most bookstores in Khan Market set them apart from the rest. Think pre-Independence India. Fascinating, right? Add to this the fact that they’ve not changed one bit since, and continue to retain their vintage charm. If you are not a fan of the other Khan Market shops, these will make you one!
1. Faqir Chand and Sons Bookstore
In the year 1931, a man called Fakir Chand opened a bookstore in Peshawar. However, when the uncertainty of partition loomed over his head, he decided to move to India. The bookstore was reopened in 1951 and has been a jewel of Khan Market Delhi since then. The tiny hole-in-the-wall establishment is piled with books all along the walls and is a heaven for all book lovers.
2. Bahrisons Booksellers
Entering the Bahrisons Bookstore is like stepping into a feeling. Balraj Bahri moved from Pakistan hoping for a better life in post-partition India. While he always dreamt of being a teacher, this quaint bookstore became his reality. It has stood tall and nurtured readers for almost 70 years now. Their extensive, beautiful shelves and unending choice of books can make anyone giddy.
3. Full Circle Bookstore and Cafe Turtle
If bibliophiles have one dream, the Full Circle Bookstore has made it come true. This independent family-run store comes with an attached cafe so you never have to leave. Not even when you get hungry! So pick up a book, catch up with your loved ones and don’t forget to indulge in their delectable desserts. It’s one of the best things to do in Khan Market.
Find places to eat in Khan Market
Delhi is foodie haven, and Khan Market restaurants are more so. The bustling street is home to some high-end dining spaces such as Laduree Khan Market Delhi, Mamagoto and Latitude 28. There is no dearth of places to eat in Khan Market. You’ll also find tucked away in corners Delhi’s old favourites such as Khan Chacha and SodaBottleOpenerwala. After spending hours in all those Khan Market shops, you will need to refuel. Here are the top five you must check out:
1. Green Mantis
If you are craving Asian food in Delhi, Green Mantis in Khan Market Delhi is where you should be! Its exclusive range of dim sums, baos, and other Asian platters will leave you wanting more. Their specialities cover Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Japanese and Tibetan cuisines. What’s more, they are easily complemented by their delicious in-house cocktails. You will never be confused about places to eat in Khan Market after this one.
2. Town Hall
Craving some good sushi? The fine dining spaces in Town Hall have your back. The brainchild of Master Chef Augusto Cabrera, the restaurant is the perfect place to taste his passion. Indulge in his signature rolls and don’t forget to finish it off with dessert. It will easily become one of the best places to eat in Khan Market for you.
3. Perch Wine & Coffee Bar
Some days are meant for cute cafes and wholesome conversations. Perch in Khan Market Delhi is one place that pulls together the cosy aesthetic. You can bring in a book, a friend, a date or just your music and pair it up with their wonderful food and drinks. If you hang around for too long, you can just replace your coffee with a glass of wine and call it a day. Sounds like a plan, right?
4. Khan Chacha
Mughlai platters, rajma chawal and chhole bhature generously douse Delhi in their flavours. While the latter can be found in every nook and cranny of the city, there is no better place than Khan Chacha for succulent Mughlai specialities. Skip your breakfast and spend a lazy afternoon downing their famous rolls, kebabs, biryani and phirni. They have some amazing vegetarian Mughlai options too if you don’t eat meat.
Indulge in some nostalgia with this Irani-cafe-inspired eatery amongst the many Khan Market restaurants. They serve mouthwatering Parsi dishes and all-time Bombay favourites. Their specialities include the vada pav, kebabs, pav bhaji, dhansak, haleem and even maska bun! These pair well with their in-house cocktails and Irani chai, depending on what you are in the mood for. You are highly advised to not leave without grabbing a bowl of lagan nu custard too. It will raise the bar for Indian places to eat in Khan Market.
Lose yourself in the Lodhi Art District
The Lodhi Colony was just one of those whitewashed government colonies until it wasn’t. Its prominent facades and rustic charm inspired several artists to bring their creativity to life. As a collaborative effort by several organisations, Indian and international artists came together to paint a rainbow. Today, it boasts more than 50 murals all of which focus on prevalent social issues. These creations have doused Delhi in the magic of street art adding another facet to Delhi’s vibrant personality. Moreover, each piece of art has a story behind it. While some may be easy to understand, you can find others on St+ART ‘s socials and websites.
Places to Shop in Khan Market
Khan Market shops are a treasure trove of high-end and fashionable items. Walk through the winding lanes and find a variety of stores for all your needs. You can easily buy elegant souvenirs and classy fits that match your style and budget. These are the top five stores in Khan Market you will not want to leave:
1. Manan, Khan Market Delhi
Who doesn’t love dainty cottonwear? Manan is a well-loved store that gives an edge to the Khan Market shopping experience. They sell handwoven linen and cotton clothing for both men and women. Indulge yourself in a range of kurtas, saris and even jewellery from the exclusive collection at Manan.
Amrapali is a luxe and exclusive establishment catering to India’s jewellery needs. The best time to visit this store is around the wedding season. With their designer jewels and intricate contemporary pieces, shopping here can never go wrong. Amongst the many Khan Market shops, this one is a popular favourite amongst locals.
If you are considering sprucing up your home, Oma is the place to go. Their sophisticated collection of elegant home decor is a must-have in your living spaces. Pick from chic glassware, bathing ceramic sets, cutlery and other knick-knacks to give your home that contemporary edge. Try not to exceed your budget on your Khan Market shopping spree though!
4. The Fragrance People
Did you hear? Self-care and scented candles are in. That said, the only place that offers you a soul-satisfying scent is the Fragrance People in Khan Market. You get a wide array of candles with nature-infused smells such as roses, lavenders and jasmines to choose from. It does not stop there when it comes to Khan Market shopping. They have an extended collection of oils, incense, sleep-friendly scents and even anti-pollution fragrances. You know what you have to do!
5. Hydeout Boutique
You deserve to flaunt your best looks on those important soirees. When you look good, you feel good and that’s all you need to make a powerful impression. The Hydeout Boutique captures the essence of a powerful wardrobe with its designer shoes and bags. Whatever the occasion be, they have just the thing for you. Delhiites know that their range of heels and contemporary bags is an investment worth making. Hydeout is an easy choice between all the Khan Market shops.
A walk through Lodhi Gardens
About 800m meters from the Lodhi Art District, Lodhi Gardens welcome visitors for a quiet moment of joy. Needless to say that it’s a slice of green in a growing concrete jungle. The 90-acre large space is also home to the tombs of Delhi’s past rulers - monuments that are representative of 15th-century architecture. Plan a beautiful picnic with a book, a friend or a meal, after a tiring day at the Khan Market. It’s perfect for families and people looking to spend some quality time outdoors in nature. What’s more, the Lodhi Gardens are not too far away from the Safdarjung tomb so you check that out too!
Take a walk on Rajpath
Champs-Elysees? India can do better. The Rajpath is the expansive road that connects the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate. It’s a lavish stretch surrounded by greenery and historical government establishments on both sides. The promenade comes to life on Republic Day in India, replete with parades and delightful air force displays. However, on the other days of the year, the Rajpath is at its most stunning during sunset. Watch the sky turn golden as you walk towards the India Gate for a heartwarming end to your day. Among the many things to do in Khan Market, nothing compares to this.
Purana Qila (Old Fort)
The Purana Qila is a 10-minute walk from the Khan Market. Located on Mathura Road, it has currently been uninhabited for the past 2500 years. The fort is also known by the name Sher Garh (Fort) after the emperor Sher Shah Suri who completed its construction. It offers a rich historical perspective into Delhi’s past and how the city evolved. Historians believe that the fort is built on what was once the capital of the Pandava kingdom - Indraprastha. Today the fortress offers a magnificent view of the Yamuna river and its own Purana Qila lake. The space magnificently spans over acres and is perfect for a slow evening with your loved ones.
National Zoological Park
The Nehru National Zoological Park was constructed to encourage wildlife conservation and education. It was intercepted and completed in the 20th century in collaboration with international wildlife researchers. Today, it is home to a wide range of flora and fauna from the Indian subcontinent that allows education, research, conservation and preservation. It is a must-visit for little children and adults so they can be exposed to the rich natural diversity of India. What’s more, the Zoological Park is a quick 20-min metro ride away from the Khan Market.
India Habitat Center
The Indian Habitat Center was founded to encourage cultural representation through exhibitions and performances. On any given day, this space is a vivacious interaction of communities and intellectuals over meals, events, performances and festivals. Established in 1933, it spans over 9 acres and has a multitude of resources to keep you engaged. You can start with their expansive library that houses some culturally relevant work for you to partake in. You can benefit from its quiet environment and abundance of resources (WiFi, coffee and computers) to catch up on your work as well. Apart from that, check out the Habitat Hub for a classic American brunch, the Lotus Pond for a slice of nature and the Visual Arts Gallery for some mind-blowing exhibitions. The IHC has a lot more to offer through its Amphitheatre, the Stein Auditorium and the chic Mediterranean Restaurant that leaves you wanting more. However, it may not be possible to cover all of it in just a day and you can always go back for a second helping!
If you are still in doubt about why this street is the place to be in Delhi, check out some Khan Market photos. The bustling life, the many colours and the post-sunset lights will not fail to dazzle you. Moreover, Khan Market takes the modern mall-shopping experience and gives it a cosy, vintage Delhi touch. You get a taste of Delhi through all its changes and leave with a bag full of some exquisite goodies too!