Delhi is definitely a place giving meaning to ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’. Before all Dilli-lites write me off, hear me out. It is a place that can seem grey and messy, but if you look closely it is filled with colourful treasures, in the nooks and corners of the city. Here I’m not referring to the elaborate malls, that stands tall along the main roads, but the small cafe’s and restaurants, local markets and shops that you won’t just find – unless you know what you’re looking for or where to look. This is my take on a city guide for all looking for organic and natural choices for eating, personal care, clothing and just generally living.
Where to buy groceries
The Altitude Store
Located on the funky and luxurious market of Meherchand, The Altitude Store, makes for a great visit – even if you’re not doing your weekly food shopping. It is probably the place I’ve found here in Delhi with most options in one place, selling everything from organic fresh vegetables and other food, household and personal care items and their own range of ready made food – called Altitude Fine Foods. Basically every natural and organic item I’ve found in Delhi is sold in Altitude – so in that way it’s a single stop destination for anyone wanting to get a kick start on natural living.
You can order from their website The Altitude Store and they deliver free for orders over 500 rupees. Though, some items in the shop isn’t featured on the website, so I recommend giving them a visit in person.
Organic Farmers Market Delhi
This is a new discovery – but an all time favourite. Even though the market is very small, it has the heart of a lion. The market is run by a small group of Organic food sellers, selling produce from their own farms and homes, and other home made goods such as cheese, sweets and personal care products. The market is set up every Sunday from 9-12, with shifting locations – so it’s necessary to follow their Facebook page to get updates on new locations. Breakfast is always served, with tea or coffee, and the sellers are always ready for a chat about food, sustainability or life in general.
Originally I came across this company because I wanted to find an alternative to the milk normally sold in plastic pouches. That this milk was also organic was just a pure win-win. They deliver before 8 – charge 60 rupees for a liter in a glass bottle – and you can manage your supply via their app (though keep in mind you need to update any changes before 7 pm). You can subscribe through their website.
Original Indian Table
Started by foodies and travellers, Original Indian Table brings together the ‘forgotten’ foods of India. The concept is simple, yet brilliant – by sourcing traditional food crops, grown in natural, organic ways from small scale farmers, not only do they bring these treasures to costumers all over the country but also promote sustainable food and farming. They have a small selection, mostly consisting of rice sorts, millets, nuts and salts. You can buy from their Website but they are also open to people bringing over their own jars to be filled – if you want to avoid the plastic packaging.
Where to eat out
The Fab Cafe
Located on the top of Fab India’s 4 story store in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, this cozy place is definitely worth a visit. The Fab cafe serves both breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as cake, coffee and ice cream. The food is prepared from local, natural ingredients and has something for both vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters. A great place for sustainable eating, which includes ‘no plastic’ straws. Check them out of Facebook.
The Altitude Cafe and Deli
This little place, is a great place to grab a sandwich and coffee after shopping at The Altitude Store (See: where to buy groceries). There’s very limited seating, so you might not get a place to sit if you’re more than 4 people. The places serves all organic and natural foods and drinks, and is also a great place to buy cheese, stock, tea, coffee and snack foods. Visit them on Facebook.
Where to buy supplies
Moksha lifestyle products
Moksha specializes in high quality natural carrier oil, essential oils, butters, clays and floral waters from all over the world. They also sell glycerin, aloe vera gel, dead sea salt and natural colourants. Even though they are on the expensive side, they are a brand to be trusted, selling to several major companies in India. A long list of their products are USDA Organic certified. If you order through email ordering more than 1 litre/kg, they give a discount of 30%. You can buy from their website or contact them. Bonus info: if you ask nicely, they will let you come pick up the oils and avoid courier charges.
Where to buy clothes
No Nasties is 100% organic and fairtrade clothing, which includes ethical packaging and sending. It’s a bit on the price side, but the clothes is sturdy and great quality. As for style I would say it is a little niche, so I wouldn’t be able to stock my whole closet only using No Nasties. Non the less, it’s beautifully designed and crafted, and they continuously design new collections. You can visit their website here: No Nasties . They sell all clothes from their online shop, and send pan India.
Soma is a clothes and home style shop in the funky Meherchand market. Soma sells a mix of organic and non organic cotton collections in clothes and home items such as quilts, pillows, curtains and place mats. They keep a very good mix of traditional Indian style with a modern twist, and does excellent patterns and color work. They have an online shop which you can visit here: Soma Shop.
Anokhi is a 40 year old company, that’s quite widespread in India. Besides their beautiful craftsmanship and general artisan esthetic, they always carry several pieces made by organic cotton. They don’t have any online shop, so it’s only possible to buy through their shops. Though you can still see their collections, and find shop locations on their website.