10 am: Most cafes here have a dedicated breakfast menu and you can always look forward to a fresh batch of pancakes and eggs or bite into something out of the norm. The Tibetan breakfast plate at Rigo Coffee House, which includes a bowl of tsampa and Tibetan tea, will set you back by just INR 150, while the Himalayan breakfast consisting of Aloo Khatsa and Tibetan bread at Ama Café will feed you well at a price of INR 160.
12 pm: Walk down the lane (on the Ama Café side) and head to the basement on the right for a mid-day bite at Coffee House. Split a smoothie (INR 90) and share a slice of their divine mud cake (INR 75) before heading down for a stroll in the prayer flag-laden garden area at the end of the street.
2 pm: Park yourself on a window seat in Dolma House, a balcony-side table in Himalaya Rigo Restaurant or on the floor seating at Koko or Tara (the last three are also among the few places which would serve you beer).
Start with a plate of kothey momos (steamed and then pan-fried) and/or shabaley (imagine a delicious savoury gujiya). Proceed to some chilli pork or buff shapta accompanied by tingmo (fluffy steamed buns), or indulge in a steaming bowl of thukpa or thenthuk (hand-torn noodles with vegetables and meat in broth). Tee Dee also does the rhuchoze (INR 150), which combines momos and soup – a win-win on a chilly winter afternoon. However, if this routine sounds too mainstream, try the Bhutanese ema datshi, Naga-style pork at Hornbill, or the Oriental tacos at Rigo. In any case, you should be able to have your fill at about INR 250 per stomach.
4 pm: Head over to the cosy refuge of Kham Coffee House for some quiet time over a book and a cup of their ginger honey lemon tea (INR 50).
5 pm: Resume your exploration of the colony and pick up a souvenir from any of the stores lining the lanes. Choose from the plethora of Free Tibet bags, t-shirts, decorative figurines, junk jewellery, or essential oils and incense. In the middle of the shopping spree, stop by one of the laping stalls run by the local Tibetan women and get yourself a plate of the spicy snack for about INR 40.
6:30 pm: Allow yourself a break from all the grub and retire to the Yamuna Café for a riverside view and a breezy cocktail (or two, since they go as low as INR 155). Make plans to come back here for the pizzas over a glass of their Kiwi & Pineapple Margarita.
8 pm: Keep things light at one of the Korean places in Majnu ka Tila for dinner. Our vote goes to Busan Korean Restaurant because it gets the basics of food, service and ambience all right. Also by the Yamuna, its cosy warmly lit interiors and well-portioned dishes win our hearts. If the menu looks confusing, we recommend beginning with the kimbap, and opting for bibimbap, the bulgogi with rice, or their seafood with hand-torn noodle bowl for the main course. Wind up dinner at no more than INR 300 per person. Besides Busan, you can find Korean cuisine at Kori’s, Dragon House and even Rigo Restaurant.
9:30 pm: Saunter into Ama Café, which should be emptier and more inviting at this hour. Pick up the last of the day’s desserts before they shut shop – a slice of their banoffee pie, tiramisu (both INR 145) or cheesecake (INR 165), if you are lucky – and head home.
There you have it – a whirlwind tour of the best of Majnu ka Tila. (And if you ask us, an entire day’s worth of meals for an adult human being at just a bit above 1k does not cut too bad a deal.) You can choose between sticking to this route or taking a detour and discovering a hidden eatery tucked away in a different corner –but rest assured you would be fed with care and generosity either way. Taking a friend or two in tow on this trip is highly advised to make the most of the menus. Now go forth and conquer.