The thing about Delhi is, we cannot miss its lively streets even if we wanted to! Unlike European cities, where we see shops closing down, one after the other, with the arrival of larger chains; Delhi is filled with tiny local stalls. Everything can be bought for a song here!
The first few shops I noticed when I arrived in Delhi and which seems to be ever-present are ice-cream vendors! After choosing your favourite ice cream, the seller will rummage through his pushcart freezer to find you your ice-cream of choice. This is refreshing on a hot Indian day, and it will cost you only around Rs. 30.
Other stalls you’ll see often are corns cooked in charcoal, called the masala corn, similar to the American version, but of course, with an Indian touch. Fresh sugarcane juice and lemonade stalls are also easily available, and perfect for the weather!
Chai stalls, or chai ki tapri, are also found in almost every corner, with other Indian snacks, sodas, and cigarettes.
If you want fresh and healthy food, there are fruit and vegetable stalls throughout the city! You’ll always have different varieties, but the most common one is the mango, also considered to be the national fruit of India. It is juicy and sweet and is everything compared to the ones we find in the West. As for vegetables, I was surprised to see a few ones I did not recognize, or have even tried— Indian marrows and bitter melon!
For all other purchases, convenient stores are easily accessible; they are small but have everything from household products, toiletries, and even food! I’m pretty sure you’ve already noticed that meat is a little more challenging to find, but not impossible! You can find them at international supermarkets or a local butcher selling chicken, lamb, and sometimes, pork.
The local stalls for me are a better experience because it gave me more contact with the locals than big supermarkets. They are very much a part of India’s spirit. Even though I was skeptical about hygiene, in the beginning, I’ve never felt sick so far. These places fed so much more than my curiosity and were useful for my daily life!