I have long been goaded by my friends and fellow bloggers to compose a blog-post that boasts of Kolkata’s famous eateries, renowned since my Grandfather’s time!
We are a family of foodies, like may be many other Bangalis in the world, the word ‘gastronome’ sounds a cliche in our community. And frankly speaking, Kolkata is one place in the entire Universe, which can offer you gustatory boggling varieties of all and every kind of food, often customized ( think: Indian Chinese, Indo-Italian/Thai/Mexican, even adapted/modified South Indian/ North-eastern dishes). And Price? Irrespective of purse capacity( and health worries for some), when it comes to food- money is never a concern for us, because that’s the only luxury we indulge in other than spending good time in futile debates over countless cups of tea. In nutshell, Kolkata is a Foodies’ Paradise.
I have had plenty of opportunities to explore some of the major hypes we Kolkatans love to follow. Mostly because my family and friends are absolutely gungho about anything and everything with the mention of food in it! The explorations continue till date, but having said that, you will also find in the following compilation places I’m yet to hit as well.
Gear up now, as I reveal the ultimate guide to Kolkata’s epicurean treasure trove!
1. Telebhaja: Kalika. 29, Surya Sen Street.
Important Info: Open hours, 4 p.m to 8 p.m.
Kolkata: North/Central. Kolkata-9
Specialty: Bengali street food, deep-fried snacks, served in ‘thhongas’ (Paper bags) with chopped cucumber and onion, salt sprinkled.
Wow Bites: The Fish(bhetki) Fry, Prawn/ Chicken Cutlet, Vegetable Chop, Mochar Chop, Mutton chop, ‘Beguni'(deep-fried brinjal slices in gram flour batter), Egg Chop.
FYI: The “Kalika Mukhorochok Telebhaja” shop is famous since 1965, established by Mr. Sukumar Dutta, a freedom fighter, on the auspicious day of Kali Puja (Diwali). The Legacy well taken care of still by his 3 sons, Gour, Nitai and Bablu. Just take the Surya sen street towards college square during one of your visits to college street, while in Kolkata, you sure deserve a treat of heaven in your mouth!
2. Mutton Afghani Cutlet: Coffee House, College Street.
Open Hours: 12p.m to 8p.m
Kolkata: North/Central. 15, Bankim chatterjee street.
Specialty: Adda and passive smoking, Oh and food as well!
Wow Bites and FYI: The cutlets/Kabirajis are really good, served piping hot along with a cloud of smoke from surrounding tables. I need not say any more, can’t risk another reason for people to call me ‘Aantel’ (Intellectual, with a sarcastic allusion!)
3. Fish Cutlet/ Roll: Bijoligrill, (Any outlet in Kolkata)
Open Hours: 1 p.m to 9:30 p.m
Kolkata: South, 38, SP Mukherjee Road, Near Bhawanipur Police Station.
Specialty: Any Fish item, name it.
Wow Bites: Fish Orly, Fish Kabiraji/cutlet/Roll, Chicken cutlet.
FYI: Has a very Bengali feel to it, looks humble but tastes 7 star. They create magic with the fish fillets.
Chicken cutlet and Afghanis/ Kabirajis are also renowned at Regent (S.N. Banerjee Road) and Baked and Fried (Ballygunj Place). I haven’t been there personally, I don’t think I’ve missed out on anything, since I’ve heard pretty average reviews from my friends. However, there’s but some old hype about these two places. Let me know if you’ve been there in recent times.
Also, I intend to visit Chacha’s Hotel (Gourmohan Road, North Kolkata) for their famous fowl cutlet and mutton chop. Anybody game?
4. Kati/Kathi Rolls: Hot Kati Rolls, Park Street.
Open Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Kolkata: Heart!! 1 B, Park Estate, Park Street. Asiatic society Building.
Wow Bites: Any Non-veg Roll!
FYI: Started by the famous Nizam’s Kolkata, the non-veg Kati rolls are kebabs-filled and wrapped by a soft yet firm ‘Paranttha’ wrap. At Hot Kati’s, the chicken kebabs are succulent and Juicy, they put in a generous amount, which is so much worth the meager bucks. One roll can make you not crave for food for 5 hours at least( tested!).
Kusum (Park Street), Nizam’s (near New Market) and Bedouin(Gariahat) are other good options for double egg chicken rolls.
5. Hinger Kochuri: Putiram, College street.
Kolkata: North. 12 A, Surya Sen Street, College Street.( from Medical college 2nd Gate take the left just before CU building, the continuation of Colootola street, near Orthopaedic association).
Wow Bites: khasta kochuri, radhaballavi with aloor dum , cholar daal and the singaara. Langcha to lap it up.
FYI: Heritage sight alright, but people from south Kolkata can satiate their early morning Kachori cravings from Sree Hari Mistanna Bhandar, Bhawanipur (near Hazra More,opposite Bhawanipur Police station). Exactly similar spread. And if you want to teem it with ‘Torkari’ (Potato veg curry), go Tasty Corners (swinhoe street,Ballygunj).
6. MOMO: Momo Plaza, Elgin Road.
Open hours: 12 p.m – 10p.m.
Kolkata: South. Near Rabindra Sadan metro station.
Wow Bites: Thukpa, steamed chicken/pork momo, Kothey.
FYI: They make the best sauce in the entire Kolkata, that’s served with the rich fat momos! Authentic thukpa. But don’t look beyond the Tibetan spread.
7. Phuchka, Alukabli, Churmur: Vivekananda Park.
Kolkata: South, southern avenue, Vivekanada park and Ballygunj.
For phuchka, my friends and I prefer the Ballygunj Phari petrol pump phuchkawalah (he is the best by far, needs more publicity though. He uses Ghugni to make the churmur and phuchka stuffing, how great is that?)
Another one would be the old guy near Park Street metro station, the stop before the Indian museum.
8. Chai/ Tea: 1. Balwant Singh’s (Kesaria chai, doodh cola, and samosa)
2. Maharani’s ( Elaichi Tea, Kachori and Lonkar achar (chilly pickle)
3. Dolly’s tea shop (Dakshinapan)
Kolkata: South 1.Near Elgin Road Gurudwara, 10/B Harish Mukherjee Road.
2. 174, Sarat Bose Road, Deshapriya Park
9. Sherbet: Paramount, College square.
Open hours: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m
Specialty: Sherbet and syrups.
Wow sips: Daaber Sherbet, coco malai, strawberry malai, tamarind syrup.
FYI: You can direct them on the use of sugar if you’re particularly going for the syrups. Non A.C, yet it feels so cool even on a sultry 40 degree celsius summer afternoon. Since 1918! And damn easy on the pocket.
10. Chicken Shawarma: Go Lebanese.
Open hours: 12:30p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Kolkata: South, Sarat Bose Road. Opp. Marco Polo, ahead of Royal Lebanese.
Specialty: Lebanese and Arabian cuisine, Grilled chicken whole.
Wow Bites: Shawarma rolls/wrap and salad, Hummus and PITA bread.
FYI: Good for takeaway, worth the long wait.
Not to forget Bangali’s favorite light snack, adding flavour to every discussion/debate since inception:
CHANACHUR: Ujjala’s (Hazra), hot papdi chanachur with badam. O-M-G. I’m Salivating as I type!
This for now is the top 10 hyangla hangouts comprising of snacks/starters mainly. I could have added ANADI’S CABIN (Mughlai Parota with mutton kosha), Phulkopir Shingara (@ MS lansdowne), AMBER (baked fish and chicken princess) with more details, but I haven’t tried on one yet and so I thought better to just mention them as places I would like to hangout with my buddies some day.
Wait till I write about the second round of serious food. More foodgasms promised in part:2.
P.S: Email us if you want to join us on our food expedition around the city.