An LGBTQ+ guide to Delhi: what to see and do
Delhi’s thriving LGBTQ+ scene is steeped in history and culture that’s not to be missed out on. From fabulous parties and captivating historical sites, this guide is a passport to discovering the best queer-friendly happenings and locales that Delhi has to offer the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Whether you’re a local looking for new adventures or a traveller eager to explore this dynamic metropolis, join us on a journey through the city’s cultural treasures and inclusive hotspots that embrace diversity and celebrate love.
Where to eat and drink
Summer House Cafe
The Summer House Cafe in Hauz Khas is known for its laid-back atmosphere, with charming wooden interiors and throwback couches stretching across its two floors—the warm, colourful interiors make you feel right at home. Don’t miss out on their LGBTQ+ galas throughout the week, comedy nights every Tuesday and salsa nights every Sunday. Go for their smoked salmon bagel, lemongrass chicken satay and spaghetti cacio e pepe.
Address: 1st Aurobindo Place Market, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, Delhi 110016
The brainchild of hotelier Keshav Suri, Kitty Su New Delhi is one of the country’s first openly queer-friendly bars. Located at The LaLiT in Connaught Place—an area known within the community to be a launching pad for many queer icons across India, providing them with a platform to express and experiment with their art—the venue features extravagant décor, LGBTQ+ parties and resident DJs. Go for their beluga pizza, the 3am burrito-burrito, catch a performance by one of the star drag queens or book the place out for a private party.
Address: The Lalit Hotel, Barakhamba Rd, opp. Modern School, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Chef Ritu Dalmia’s Diva – The Italian Restaurant—the first of the Diva Restaurants family— began its journey almost two decades ago in Delhi’s chic GK-2 area. Today, the queer-owned business has a café with al fresco seating at The Italian Cultural Centre; and Latitude 28, in partnership with Good Earth, at Khan Market. Go for their fresh takes on Italian classics and more, along with a stunning selection of Italian wines.
Address: M-8A, M Block Market, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi, Delhi 110048
Combining the comfort of a Parisian sidewalk café and the soul of a Delhi chai shop, Jugmug Thela offers a contemporary take on India’s tea obsession. The cosy yet chic space in Saket is the perfect pick to become your local hangout, mostly built from recycled wood, brick, glass and metal. Their packaging and disposables are biodegradable, and the place is explicitly queer-friendly. Go for their masala chai, filter coffee and mango cheesecake.
Address: Shed #4, Khasra #258 Westend Marg, Lane #3, behind Kuldeep House, Saiyad ul Ajaib, New Delhi, Delhi 110030
This acoustically treated live music venue with café-style food comes with a Tex-Mex-inspired menu including a quesadilla and guacamole bar. Their LGBTQ+ events, like Pink Thursdays, create thriving safe spaces for queer individuals. Depot48 contributed to the revival of the independent live music scene in Delhi in mid-2014 with consistent crowd-pleasing shows. Since opening in Greater Kailash, it has hosted over 4,000 performances across genres and styles. Go for the Depot magic cocktail (featuring tequila, pomegranate, vanilla and rosemary), lamb kofte and chorizo hummus.
Address: M9, Level 1 & 2, M Block, Market, Block M, Part 2, Greater Kailash, New Delhi, Delhi 110048
If you are looking for an American-style speakeasy with vintage furnishings and password entry, Vasant Vihar’s PCO (Pass Code Only) is your best bet. Their cocktail menu mixes age-old classics with more innovative drinks that never leave you bored—plus, their queer-friendly policy allows you to expect a great time. The basement houses dim lights and a more underground aesthetic while the floor above is filled with regal paintings and wooden accents. Go for their elderflower spritzer, gingerbread martini and skin-on cajun fries.
Address: D-4, D, Block Market, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, Delhi 110057
What to see
Madras Coffee House
A go-to place for people from the community, especially LGBTQ+ activists, to meet and mingle in the ‘90s. The story goes, one table was known to be adorned with red roses at Madras Coffee House in Connaught Place; the flowers represented a meeting spot where discussions on the queer rights movement in India could take place in a safe space.
Address: P-5/90, Connaught Cir, Block P, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Once a popular cruising area, the park ignited India’s first media-covered public demonstration by queer men in the 1990s. Uniting against the arrests of men found at the park ‘on suspicion of homosexuality’, activists from AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan (ABVA) decided to lead the protest.
Address: Rajiv Chowk, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
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