Kolkata’s food scene can be described with two words – diverse, and cosmopolitan. The variety of cuisines available throughout the city is truly mesmerising, and definitely something to behold. So today, we are going to take a look at the top 10 must-visit eateries in Kolkata, which you, a tourist, simply cannot afford to miss. Read on to find out more.
If you are looking for authentic Bengali cuisine prepared in the most succulent of ways, then 6 Ballygunge Place at Ballygunge Place is the place to go to. Located at a stone’s throw distance from Kolkata’s landmark South Point High School, this restaurant, located in one of the oldest bungalows of South Kolkata, offer delicious and authentic Bengali items, such as the spicy mutton curry or Kosha Mangsho, as well as a common favourite Daab Chingri, which is basically prawns marinated and mixed with mustard and coconut paste and cooked in a hollow coconut for a few hours.
Oh! Calcutta is the perfect amalgamation of authentic Bengali cuisine and a fine dining ambience. One can enjoy dishes like smoked bhetki and smoked bonesless hilsa, which is boneless bhetki or hilsa fish, marinated in and mixed with green chilli and mustard paste and cooked on steam inside a banana leaf. The dessert items on offer at Oh! Calcutta are truly astounding, including the sweetened yoghurt or mishit doi, and the crowd-pleaser ice cream made with date palm jaggery, more commonly known as Nolen Gurer Ice Cream, which is extremely delicious.
Kewpie’s Kitchen is located in a traditional Bengali home, which is the perfect ambience for serving quality Bengali cuisine. Headed by Chef Rakhi Purnima Dasgupta, the food served in this restaurant is authentic and home-cooked, prepared with the help of recipes passed down by Meenakshi Dasgupta, the chef’s mother. The main attraction of this restaurant is the thali platter, where the dishes are served in small terra cotta pots kept on a plate. The crowd on weekends can be overwhelming, but you will always get served if you make it a point to visit while on tour in Kolkata.
Nahoum Israel established this bakery in 1902, and since then, Nahoum and Sons has been an icon of Kolkata’s diverse cuisine. The city, once home to more than 5000 Jewish immigrants, plays home to quite a few Jewish bakeries, out of which, Nahoum’s is and always has been the most successful one. Located in the heart of New Market in central Kolkata, Nahoum’s offers delicious baked savouries, such as lemon tarts, Madeira cake, pineapple pudding, macaroons, etc. If you have plans to visit New Market for shopping purposes while on your trip, make it a point to pop into Nahoum’s and try some or all of their items at least once.
Although Kolkata is home to thousands of biryani destinations, Arsalan is the official brand name when it comes to Kolkata biryani. Located at two locations at Park Circus, Arsalan serves perhaps the finest biryani in Kolkata, and caters to hundreds of food lovers every day on a per outlet basis. Other than the chicken and mutton biryanis, one can order other items from the menu, such as the various kabab options, including chicken achari kabab, chicken hariyali kabab, mutton kabab reshmi kabab and fish Arsalan kabab, as well as their famed chicken chaap and the 8-KG bakra mussallam, which takes about 18 hours to cook.
Kolkata is the best place among all the other cities in the country to have kathi rolls, and there is no better place to have kathi rolls in Kolkata other than Nizam’s at New Market. Named as the PERFECT STREET FOOD by Chef Rick Stein, the kathi roll at Nizam’s has been a crowd-pleaser for decades. If you are in the New Market area, you simply cannot afford to miss out on the duck egg kathi roll, egg chicken cheese roll, mutton ran mussallam, lachhedar paratha, and the chicken and mutton bamboo biryanis.
Bengal is known all over the world for its succulent and delicious desserts and confectionaries. Most of Bengal’s desserts are made with sweetened curdled milk or chhena. The distinct love for sweets and desserts that Bengalees harbour is quite evident from the varieties of sandeshes and roshogollas available in hundreds of sweet shops all over the city of Kolkata, as well as the rest of the state. Out of all these shops, Bhim Chandra Nag is a must visit for any first time tourist in Kolkata. The delectable and delicious sandesh served by Bhim Chandra Nag truly has no other comparison anywhere in the city, and is made with the best quality chhena or curdled milk.
Deckers Lane is not a restaurant. It is basically a street, located just opposite to Curzon Park, and is the unofficial street food capital of the city. The variety you will get when you go to Deckers Lane, now renamed James Hickey Sarani, is truly astounding and mind blowing. You can enjoy items like jhal muri, phuchka, samosa or singara, dosa, kathi roll, chowmeins of various kinds, chola bhatura, etc. The prime attraction of Deckers Lane is Chitto Babur Dokan, or Chitto Babu’s Shop, that is famed for serving perhaps the best chicken stew with toasted bread. The stew is a perfect mixture of chicken, potato, carrots, and spices, and is simply heavenly no matter what the season is. You might have to battle a crowd to get your hands on this stew, but it is truly worth it.
Located in Park Street, which is the official heart of the city of Kolkata, Flurys has been in service of food lovers since the 1920s. With Chef Vikar Kumas at its helm, Flurys offers indulgent pastries, luxuries cakes, high quality English tea and rich puddings. Flurys is also known for serving perhaps the finest chocolate anywhere outside Europe. Simply pop in on a summer evening and enjoy their iced coffee or English cream tea, coupled with tea cakes and pastries, and relive the flavours of the British Raj with ease.
Set up in 1885, Ganguram is famed for both authentic Bengali sweets, as well as innovative desserts they have prepared over the years based on recipes from the past. The milk chamcham, strawberry and mango shandeshes, kesharia rasmalai and rasmadhuri are some of the items you simply cannot afford to miss out on. Over the many decades, Ganguram has had a steady and loyal following of Kolkatans, who love to visit the many outlets not only for the sweets, but also for the perfectly prepared mishit doi or sweetened yoghurt, which is considered to be the best in the city of Kolkata.