Kolkata Food Guide: The Insider’s Guide to Eating in the City

From Chinese breakfasts to authentic Bengali cuisine and the city's best kathi rolls. | By Rumela Basu, Neel Paul & Anushka Dey  
Mishti Doi Kolkata
Mishti doi is commonly found across the city. Photo: nasir khan/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Kolkata is a foodie’s delight. Get started with our recommendations; prices are approximations.

6 Ballygunge Place Thali

Come here for authentic Bengali cuisine. The restaurant isn’t very large, but the black-and-white posters of the Calcutta that was, and Kolkata, accompanied by Bengali music playing in the background, make for an immersive experience. Try their thalis; there aren’t too many vegetarian options. Thalis are also available at the 6 Ballygunge Place Thali outlets in Behala and Salt Lake. ₹350 per person. Rajdanga Main Road, Kasba.

Kasturi Restaurant

The most famous dish on the menu is the chittal maacher muitha (fish kofta). Also try the chicken sheel-e-batta (chicken ground to a coarse paste). ₹400 per person. Near Patha Bhavan Montessori School, Anil Moitra Road, Ballygunge.

Bohemian

Bohemian serves Italian and Continental cuisine, but is really known for the wonderful twist it gives to Bengali food. Try their fusion Bengali recipes like baked crab with aam kasundi, grilled pork with nolen gur and kalo jeere (black cumin), and gondhoraj lemon sharbat. ₹900 per person. Old Ballygunge 1st Lane, Ballygunge.

Sharbat Kolkata

Cool down with a glass of sharbat. Photo: nasir khan/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Bombay Brasserie

If you’re hankering for North Indian food, particularly Lucknowi fare, head here. The prices are steep but the kebabs are good. ₹1,000 per person. Quest Mall, 33, Syed Ali Amir Avenue, Ballygunge.

Cafe Pranah

If you’re looking for a more health-conscious option, try the salads at this little cafe. It has both indoor and al fresco seating. ₹600 per person. 22, Ashutosh Chowdary Avenue, Ballygunge.

Nizam’s

Go to Nizam’s for their kathi rolls. It is celebrated as the first Kolkata restaurant to serve kathi rolls, and Nizam’s still makes a good one. There’s no fancy seating area, but everything tastes really good. ₹250 per person. Hogg Street, New Market Area.

Kathi Rolls Kolkata

Kathi rolls make for a quick yet filling snack. Photo: Scott Dexter/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Flury’s

Head to Flury’s for a slice of colonial Kolkata. Go for their English breakfast, the almond horse shoe, chocolates with mint centres, and a hearty scoop of old-world charm. ₹450 per person. 18, Park Street.

Peter Cat

Head to this fine-dining restaurant for their fantastic chelo kebabs. ₹750 per person. 18A, Park Street.

Kusum Rolls

This stall is known for their rolls. We recommend their double chicken and double mutton egg rolls. ₹100 per person. 21, Park Street.

Mocambo

Mocambo Steak Kolkata

Order the chicken and beef steaks. Photo: Sayamindu Dasgupta/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Bloody Mary Kolkata Mocambo

Mocambo does a fine Bloody Mary. Photo: Sayamindu Dasgupta/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

 

This is one of Park Street’s finest offerings. Order the mixed grill (a platter of chicken steak, beef steak, bacon rashers, sausages and vegetables), the prawn cocktail and devilled crabs. They also do good whisky sours, gimlets and Bloody Marys. ₹800 per person. 25B, Park Street.

Paris Cafe

Tiny round tables and pastel walls add to the cafe’s Parisian vibe. They have good desserts and a range of vegetarian breakfast options. There’s one outlet of the cafe in Ballygunge, but the one at Salt Lake is much closer to the venue. ₹400 per person. Sector 5, Salt Lake.

Chinatown

The Tiretti Bazar area may be a little far from the venue but it’s definitely worth a visit. The city’s Chinese residents gather along Tiretti Bazar Lane every morning to sell fish-ball soup, momos, and pork buns. It’s all wiped clean by around 10am so be there early. There’s also Sun Yat Sen Street, which you can read more about here. ₹250 per person. Tiretti.

Tangra

Kolkata has a sizeable Chinese population that has called the city home for generations now, and the Chinese quarter of Tangra teems with glorious aromas of food every night. Feast at the roadside stalls and restaurants and, while you’re in the area, scope out the old shoe stores for fun, custom-made leather boots. ₹500 per person, depending on quantity. Tangra.

Arsalan

Hit this spot for Kolkata biryani. There are outlets across the city, including one in New Town. ₹350 per person. Various locations.

Aminia

Head here for great biryani and firni. ₹300 per person. Various locations.

Moharani

Stop by for a hearty breakfast of khasta kachoris, aloo bhaji, hot jalebis and tea. ₹50 per person. At the crossing of Lake road and Lansdowne road.

Olypub (Olympia)

Originally called Olympia, this dive bar serves great beef steaks and beer. The mustard sauce is addictive. ₹500 with beer. 21, Park Street.

Cafes in Kolkata

More than the coffee, Kolkata’s Indian Coffee House (left) is famous for the people who’ve sat at its tables; Olypub (right) offers good steaks and cheap alcohol. Photos: Soumyadeep Paul/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa) (coffehouse), abalonia/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa) (olypub)

Indian Coffee House

This coffeehouse is a legendary adda, having served generations of literary scholars and artists such as Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray. Order their cutlets and kabiraji (chicken fried in egg and breadcrumbs) with coffee or tea. ₹100 per person. College Street.

Kookie Jar

This bakery has several outlets in the city. The nut corners and chocolate boats are so good that you’ll be ordering more to take back home. ₹200 per person. Various locations.

Golbari

This tiny eatery dishes out some of the best kosha mangsho (spicy Bengali mutton curry) in the city. ₹200 per person. Shyam Bazar.