Chinese restaurant, large and looks upmarket, but is very reasonable and the food is good! Try their 'eat as much as you want' buffet at lunchtime.
It's also on Church Street (off M G Road) and it's a good place to know becuase this street is full of restaurants, all sorts of food and nearly all very good).
Price: Buffet lunch, around 215/Rs per person (about 3 and a bit euros).
Mainland China, Church Street.
Phone: 2559 7722 / 7755
Second-hand bookshop, very well-stocked and well-ordered; books are in good condition and very reasonbly priced. And they actually know what they stock so can ask for a title and they will know if they have it and where it is located. Or you may just browse.
Plus point, you can then go out and peruse your finds over a great (cheap!!) cup of coffee at the nearby Indian Cofee House.
M. G. Road (in a turn-off near the Indian Coffee House) on the main road.
Just outside this market in the south Delhi area of the same name are a number of second-hand bookshops. You can pick up real bargains here, and they have the books organised according to collections. They even have a buy-back policy if you are aorund for longer, so you get 75% of what you paid when you return for more! All sorts of standard ficiton but you can find some lesser known authors and genres too.
Tip: If you are travelling from abroad and are being tempted by all the cheap books available which you cannot pack into your 20kg weight limit, just buy all that you want. Stack them into packs of about 5 kgs (about 20 or so paperbacks). Go a stationary shop, get some bubble wrap, some clear wide tape and some brown paper. Make packages- Ist bubble, then brown paper. Leave a large window on one side when wrapping the brown paper. Address it to your home, write Books, Printed matter only in large letters, go to a Post office and send it by seamail. It will cost about 170 Rs (hardly 3 euros) for a 5 kilo packet. In about 6-8 weeks you will get your packet at home.
Vasant Vihar Market
Most people won't ever be in Ludhiana except on business, but if you do land up here don't miss this bookshop. It must be one of the largest and most diversely stocked bookshops in India, and also the most eccentric!
It has been there for as long as anyone can remember and it looks it. The opening is pretty normal, in the middle of the bazaar, and then it just gets longer and longer and some terribly rickety stairs lead you to the upper floor stocking more books: if you trust the wood to hold you up that is.
They never throw any stock away, so if you dig around hard enough, you may come across "rarities" that have been unsold, lets say, since the 1950s and the owner will carefully convert the shillings and pence at the back to charge you (I picked up a cookery book for 2 Rs).
And if you are academically minded or just a university student, there is not a bookshop that I have seen that staggers under such a wide variety of books on any subject you may be pursuing, be it organic chemistry, engineering geology or vast amounts of English literature.
Staff are knowledgeable about their own section, and helpful (they go around switching fans on and off according to the section you are in) and no one cares if you spend hours browsing.
Warning: bring a duster, as they never seem to have got around to cleaning any but the most popular sections, and that is ususally limited to the top layer!
Lyall Book Depot
OK you need to know someone who is a member to get invited to the Habitat Centre Restaurants, but if someone offers to, just grab the opportunity. They are faboulous and reasonable. The Indian, Chinese and the Bar serving snacks, are all equally good.
Habitat World at the Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Tel: 91 11 4122 0000
Most amazing bookshop. Looks small and crowded but has an amazing collection of titles on every subject. Ask if you can't find something and the staff know where everyhting is!
Tel: 011 2332 2260
If you want real cotton or khadi clothes, both Indian and Western style, this is the place to go. Reasonable prices. Across the market is their Home Furnishings, just as good. In fact the whole market is becoming a Fab India outlet!!
Think of a bookshop in a shopping mall and you expect a lot of glossy coffee table books and best sellers. You would be wrong, because this is a very serious, large, well-stocked bookshop in every subject (2 floors) and you can spend hours browsing.
If you are amazed by the number of people browsing everything from cookery to music, be prepared for the check-out. There are nine tills, and from the crowd it looks like they are giving books away. Be patient and enjoy the fact that you are in crowd of people who don't mind waiting for 20 minutes to pay for books! It's not to say the bookshop is inefficient, it's just the number of people it attracts.
Small but stainless steel spotless vendor on the second floor of Ansla Plaza. A healthy but extremely tasty (and hygienic!) version of India's staple street food of chickpeas (both black or white or a mixture of the two) with bread. Here it is no-fat, comes with a grilled "kulcha", with the channas in a disposable paper bowl.
If you are not into channas, they also have some absolutely delicious steamed momos, both veg and non vegetarian.
An opticians in Delhi's G.K. I M-Block market, an amazing range of top-level frames and the latest glasses and lenses. Prices for a designer frame will be around 35-40 euros, latest reduced thickness, anti-glare coating etc lenses will set you back another 20 or so, depending on number.
Rest of the market is great for shopping where Indians do (silver, gold jewellery, designer wear) and at the same time also cheaper stores with belts, shoes, Indian cosmetics, etc.
Greater Kailash I
Tel: 011 642 0017
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