Kolkata is known for her warm hospitality. Interestingly, due to the various colonial influences and settlements over the years, the food scenario sees an amalgamation of culture and tradition from all across the globe. From a Parsi Dharamsala serving laganu custard and saag-chicken to Lebanese joints offering Shish taouk, from hundreds of Tibetan food shacks to Anglo-Indian cuisine od roasts and casseroles – all of it are integral parts of the Calcutta Cuisine scenario. And let us not even begin talking about street foods. Each Kolkatan has her/his favourite neighbourhood stall that she/he swears by – be it roll, phuchka, jhaal muri or even tea in earthen cups – and all of it are served with compassion, love, and enthusiasm.
Interestingly, even seasonal food stalls pop up here. During Ramzan, Haleem and Kabab stalls are always crowded, Winters see foodies lining up for piping hot Naharis as early as 6 am, Christmas time sees plum cakes and fruit cakes taking over every nook and corner of the city. Kolkatans see themselves as epicures – they enjoy Punjabi sarson da saag makki di roti, South Indian dosa, Rajasthani daal baati with the same fervour as they patronise their fish curries and sweets. Naturally, when you hit this town, a food tour is simply a must.
Top things to keep in mind when travelling to Kolkata
Best time to travel Kolkata to enjoy its exclusive cuisine — The best time for your road trips in Kolkata is definitely when the festivals like Durga Pujo and Diwali are in full vigour in the city. Or even Eid and Christmas. This lets you enjoy some really exclusive and traditional cuisine of the city. And for the weather, Kolkata is moderate and pleasant all throughout the year.
Best Places to visit in Kolkata
There are some incredibly impressive places to visit in Kolkata and enjoy its rich heritage and culture. You can just read below and decide which place to visit in Kolkata when you are in town: Howrah Bridge — Whenever you see a pictorial representation of Kolkata, you would see a bridge over the river Ganges with a yellow taxi plying on it. This bridge which is so iconic is the Howrah Bridge. So, if you are in Kolkata, you simply cannot miss the hustle and bustle of a busy day in town on this bridge. This is one place that is abuzz with activities day and night.
1. Belur Math
Belur Math is a devotional centre that also emphasises on a lot of philanthropic work and upholds education of children, even underprivileged ones, apart from spreading the messages for spiritual awakening. It is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission Foundation and attracts tourists and devotees alike from all across the globe.
2. Fort William
An absolutely mesmerising monument of Kolkata is the Fort William. Known for its exclusive sparkling white structure and classy architecture, it’s certainly a must explore place in Kolkata.
3. Victoria Memorial
Want to get a glimpse of the Queen’s Palace of London without visiting there? Just visit the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. It’s an absolute replica of the queen’s palace and looks rich, fabulous, and glamorous and houses memorabilia of the colonial realms. You’ll be certainly awed by its structural and classical beauty. It also has a beautiful natural surrounding that is like a green oasis in the concrete jungle of the metropolis.
Enjoy the most succulent food experience at the various locations in Kolkata!
- Terreti/ Tiretta Bazaar
- Sarat Bose Road
- New Market
- College Street Area
- Shyambazaar Street
- Indian Coffee House
- Park Street
- The various sweet shops of Kolkata
The food of Kolkata is as rich as its culture. So, if you want to take a sneak peek into the lifestyle of the people and understand their cultural richness, then even tasting their food is compulsory. Ask any local foodie about the best places to eat in Kolkata and the person would give you a never-ending list. Confused? We have tried to consolidate it all for your convenience:
1. Terreti/ Tiretta Bazaar
Love Chinese? Then it’s time to explore the Kolkatan version of Chinese made mostly by Chinese dwellers of the city who have lived for generations in India. Breakfast here with fish ball noodle soup, dim-sums, Chinese sausages, or pork bao is a must. Located centrally around the Lalbazar area, this place is a perfect example of the exotic mix of street food available in Kolkata and just how!
2. Sarat Bose Road
Another happening location to enjoy the yummy food of Kolkata is the Sarat Bose Road. Though there are many enticing street food stalls available in this place, but the Kathi Rolls at Zeeshan are especially the most loved one by the foodies visiting here. If you want to taste authentic Bengali cuisine, visit Oh! Calcutta – don’t miss their daab chingri and nolen gurer ice cream while you are there. Apart from that there are also cafes and tea stalls at every nook and corner (not to mention phuchka and jhaal-muri vendors) who would not only hand you good food, but also some warm conversation.
3. New Market
The New Market area has some very good and famous food outlets in Kolkata that offer you a delightful experience. From the vegetarian and non- vegetarian delights to the enticing deserts, you’ll get everything in the New Market area and that too at reasonable rates. And while you are headed to this destination, do visit the Nahoum and Sons Jewish Bakery which lets you enjoy some of the very delicious cookies, pastries, brownies, rum balls, and more. You simply cannot leave without trying the Bengali fare at Prince or Kasturi where you shall celebrate the amalgamation of tastes from the undivided Bengal (Psst: not for the faint-hearted!). Or, if you want it a little elegant, try Aaheli at Peerless in for a huge authentic Bengali spread in a sophisticated ambiance. And no true-blue Bengali would consider your food pilgrimage complete unless you taste a roll from Nizams, Kusum, or Badshah. Apart from iconic restaurants, the street throngs with vendors selling sugarcane juices (fresh), lemon coolers, kulfi in earthen pots and so much more.
4. College Street Area
As the name aptly suggests, this street is for books, colleges, hostels – in a nutshell a buzzing place for students and the working class. No wonder the place shall be peppered with pocket friendly eateries. We shall lose count if we even try to list them all. But the iconic ones are Basanta Cabin and Dilkhusha Cabin – both famous for fried snacks and savouries, Paramount – who have served sherbets and syrups to commoners and eminent personalities for about a century now and prides to have hosted many freedom fighters as well. Putiram is one of the famous sweet shops in Kolkata where you must have lyangcha, mishit doi, but never forget to taste their iconic kachori with chholar daal.
5. Shyambazaar Street
This street is another hub for awesome places to taste the varieties and flavour of Bengali food. And the most recommended stall at this street is the Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar where you can enjoy the most juicy and succulent rosogollas of Kolkata. If you have a sweet tooth, do visit Dwarik and Son’s Sen Mahasay for soul satisfying sweetmeats. But before heading for the desserts, do stop-over at the iconic Mitra Café for their fries, chops and cutlets (Bengali fries, chops and cutlets are league apart – nothing like their colonial counterparts) and the hole in the corner Golbari that is famous for dishing out kosha mangsho (mutton) for about a century now that you can enjoy with their soft parathas.
6. Indian Coffee House
This one is a hot favourite place of foodies and students alike. If you have been a student in Kolkata and not been to the coffee house your intellectual journey is deemed incomplete. This is one place where all the famous writers, journalists, singers, actors, and people from all walks of life come together to exchange thoughts and ideas. The ambiance itself would take you down the memory lane and don’t forget to order a chicken sandwich here along with your coffee.
7. Park Street
Visiting Kolkata and missing the Park Street isn’t just acceptable. It is the most active commercial centre of Kolkata with a variety of exclusive shopping experiences and eateries. The old school charm of this street embraces the food delights and distinct restaurants perfectly. Get to taste some authentic Bengali food, continental cuisine or simply a fusion of both when you are here. What’s most interesting is that you shall see a mix of five-star places and road shacks happily cohabiting along this street. And naturally the cuisine offered is as diverse – from the very American and swanky Hard Rock café to the Burmese restaurant Burma-Burma, from the very colonial continental iconic Flury’s to the club-style Trinca’s – you get it all here. The other famous food places located here that are highly recommended by foodies are The Park Hotel, Charcoal Grill, Peter Cat, Mocambo, Tung Fong Restaurant and numerous other small food stalls.
8. The various sweet shops of Kolkata
We just couldn’t ignore the sweeter side of Kolkata. The famous Bengali sweets are so much a part of the existence of this city. So, never ever return home without dipping into these delicacies. Let’s talk about the best places to head to devour these. The Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick are the oldest in selling saffron rosogullas, chocolate mishtis, nolen gurer sondesh and jaggery soufflés. Then you can also head to Girish Chandra Dey and Nukur Chandra Nandy to enjoy their exclusive Sandesh, mishti doi, kalakand, and rasmalai. Even KC Das a is one of the notable names selling the best lyangchas and nolen gur rolls – but what makes them travel to all corners of the globe is perhaps their canned rasogollas. And finally, Bhim Chandra Nag, the oldest sweet marts of Kolkata, is certainly the place where you will get all the varieties of Bengali sweets prepared in a traditional way. The buck does not stop here. In fact, it would never rest for the sweet shops – iconic or contemporary – are uncountable and each with their own USP.
– When you have so many places to explore, a car rental in Kolkata from Revv would be a life saviour. But what you read above are only some of the cream eateries dotting the cityscape. If you have time, hit the Sharma Dhaba in the Ballygunge Circular Road which is famous for its butter naan and Chicken Bharta. Then there is Jabbar Afghani near Salt Lake which serves truly enticing chicken and chicken tikka roll. Even the Balwant Singh’s Eating House near the Bhawanipur Gurudwara stays open all day and night and serves some delicious Doodh Cola (must try – milk + Cola), saffron tea, savouries like nimki, kachori, samosa and many other delicacies on a budget. And if you are a chaat lover, then the Maharaja Chaat Centre in the Lake Terrace area is renowned for the famous puchka and churmur. So, don’t you have a list of some really incredible and amazing food outlets and places of Kolkata to savour during your next trip there? Happy Hogging!