10 Best Delhi Bars and Clubs from Casual to Classy
Delhi's nightlife is varied, but you'll find the classiest bars and clubs in luxury hotels. These establishments attract an immaculately dressed rich crowd and a cover charge to match. However, numerous trendy casual stand-alone bars have recently opened up and are proving to be popular alternatives. Many are centrally located in Connaught Place. Do note that the legal drinking age in Delhi is 25 and proof of age may be required. In addition, most bars close by 1 a.m. due to the nightlife curfew that's in place.
1. International DJs: Kitty Su
Famous for hosting renowned international electronic music artists, Kitty Su is decked out for dancing and DJs. The sound setup is top quality, the dance floor is large, and the multiple bars mean that you don't have to wait long to get a drink. The club's funky decor adds to the party vibe. Not surprisingly, Kitty Su has been frequently named Delhi's best nightclub since it opened in 2011. It's also the only Indian club to have been featured in DJ Mag's Top 100 Clubs of the World.
- Address: The Lalit hotel, Barakhamba Avenue, Connaught Place. Phone: (11) 4444-7666.
- Opening Hours: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 p.m. until 3 a.m.
2. Futuristic Luxury: Privee' the Ecstasy
The hottest new entrant on Delhi's clubbing scene, Privee' won the 2017 Times Food & Nightlife Award for Best Nightclub. This sprawling party place is spread over 10,335 square feet, and includes a massive dance floor and VIP area. It aims to provide a world-class, luxurious and futuristic experience. The music is mostly commercial, Bollywood and EDM. But, here's something unique in India, you can actually breathe alcohol in their exclusive Breathe n Booze room! Thursdays is Expat night and there's free drinks for the ladies.
- Address: Shangri-La's Eros Hotel, 19 Ashoka Road, Connaught Place. Phone: 8595-202020 (cell).
- Opening Hours: 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.
3. Newly Opened: Lithiyum
Luxurious Lithiyum opened in July 2017 and replaces the Ashok Hotel's iconic club Capitol. Its goal: to charge you up and be highly explosive. The venue has had a complete makeover and is divided into three sections -- a nightclub, lounge, and fine dining restaurant. Apparently, the club has one of the best sound systems in the world. Depending on the night of the week, the music ranges from Bollywood to house. The food is curated by internationally renowned celebrity chef Akshay Nayyar.
- Address: The Ashok, B-50 Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. Phone: 93102-72000 (cell).
- Opening Hours: 10 p.m. until 4 a.m.
4. Cool with a Pool: The Blue Bar
The elegant Blue Bar has an opulent ambiance, with both indoor and outdoor seating. The open-air alfresco lounge fronts the swimming pool, which gives it a soothing blue outlook. If you're into cocktails, their Cosmopolitan ranks among the best in the city! There's music and dancing after 11 p.m.
- Address: Taj Palace hotel, Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg. Phone: (11) 6650-3699, (11) 6650-3665.
- Opening Hours: 12.30 p.m. until 12.45 a.m. Happy hours from 6 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
5. Creative Decor and Rooftop Views: Tamasha
Sprawling Tamasha opened in early 2016, and is spread over 16,000 square feet and three floors. It has five separate areas, including courtyard and hookah lounge, backyard, rustic-style mezzanine, and rooftop overlooking central Delhi. The bar shaped like a truck at the entrance gets top points for creativity. Delicious fusion food and cocktails, along with great music, add to the tamasha (meaning "a grand show or commotion").
- Address: 28 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Connaught Place. Phone: 99994-77661 (cell).
- Opening Hours: Noon until 1 a.m.
6. Travel Inspiration: Tourist
This travel-themed bar serves up a global street food from 40 countries across the seven continents, combined with innovative cocktails (you can even make your own). Recline on the hostel-style bunk beds, order from the passport menus, and be transported around the world! The bar has three levels, including a classy rooftop terrace with a fabulous view.
- Address: 1 Scindia House, Janpath, Connaught Place. Phone: 98114-51116 (cell).
- Opening Hours: Noon until 12.30 a.m.
7. Bombay Style: Bombay Bar
For a taste of Mumbai (Bombay), head to this new themed restaurant and bar. It opened in September 2017 and has the same founder as Tourist (restaurateur Dinesh Arora), so you know it's going to be special. Dedicated to recreating the nostalgia of Bombay, the retro interiors have Bollywood glamour and disco balls. The food and drinks are named after the city's famous landmarks and food destinations. Think Khao Galli Platters, Mumbai Chowpatty Chakna, and cocktails such as the Queen’s Necklace (Marine Drive) and Baadhshah Journey. Of course, there's Bollywood music as well!
- Address: P-21/90, Outer Circle Connaught Place. Phone: 98113-11106 (cell).
- Opening Hours: Noon. until 1 a.m.
8. Recycled and Upcycled: Junkyard Cafe
Ever wondered what you could make out of old junk? You'll really get some amazing ideas at the Junkyard Cafe! In fact, you'll find it hard to tear your eyes away all from the weird and wonderful installations made from old tyres, barrels, car parts, radios, TVs, gas bottles (think upcycled stools) and beer bottles. Pitchers of cocktails are served in plastic buckets. Live bands and DJs regularly perform on weekends.
- Address: 91 N Block, Connaught Place. Phone: 98114-51116 (cell).
- Opening Hours: Noon until 1 a.m.
9. Great Gigs: Summer House Cafe
Summer House Cafe was inspired by sultry summer vacations, barbecuing on the lawn with cold beer. This versatile bar has both indoor and outdoor seating over two levels, with superb rooftop. The bar is renowned for its unique gigs, and there are special electronic music acts most weekends. It's so cool that Chris Martin from Coldplay even did a surprise impromptu performance there. No surprisingly, it gets very crowded. Don't miss it!
- Address: DDA Shopping Complex, Aurobindo Market, Hauz Khas. Phone: 93509-67000 (cell).
- Opening Hours: Noon until 1 a.m.
10. Secret Speakeasy: PCO
Go back to the time of the Prohibition era in America in the 1920s at PCO. Short for Pass Code Only, this exclusive bar has been set up as a speakeasy, where alcohol was clandestinely served. Located in an upmarket alleyway in south Delhi, there are no signboards indicating its presence and you'll need to put a secret code into a black phone box to gain entry. Inside, the atmosphere is distinctly vintage with dark wood, plush chairs, hardbound books, classic cocktails, jazz and blues. If you're not in the know, call up well ahead and make a reservation to get the code.
- Address: 4, D Bloc Market, Local Shopping Complex, Paschimi Marg, Near Punjab National Bank, Vasant Vihar. Phone: 97111-08482 (cell).
- Opening Hours: 5 p.m. until 1 a.m.