Kolkata is a city on the rise. With more tourists than ever choosing the West Bengal capital for a break, you may have it on your own bucket list. And with food being such a major draw in Kolkata, here are some of the best places to dine during your very first visit.
Street food is a major component of the cuisine in Kolkata, and Russel Street is one of the city’s very best places for it. Situated next to the famed Park Street, it’s here that you’ll be able to indulge in traditional Indian dishes such as jhalmuri – a concoction of puffed rice with ingredients such as potatoes and onions. It’s a favourite in Kolkata, and a great introduction to the city’s cuisine.
Other outlets here serve up dishes such as sandwiches, sweet such as laddoos and cups of fresh masala chai, alongside tens of other options. For a diverse look at Kolkata’s delectable dishes, Russel Street is undeniably an incredible place to get started.
6 Ballygunge Place
An extremely popular eatery in Kolkata, 6 Ballygunge Place is set in a British Raj mansion. It’s actually now a chain of restaurants, with branches set up in London and Manhattan, its Bengali dishes impressing many customers worldwide – but it doesn’t get better than the original.
The architecture of the restaurant is stunning enough, fashioned like a traditional Bengali household with paintings adorning the walls, bright yellow colours and a suspended hand fan in the centre of the lobby. And the food is a continuation of the restaurant’s attention to detail, with a buffet menu, a la carte options and even an extensive range of vegetarian dishes to cater to every visitor.
Another hotspot for street food is Chinatown, where you’ll find a unique blend of Indian and Chinese cuisine resulting in some incredible dishes. Tiretti Bazaar is the main spot for it here, opening at 5am every day for visitors looking for a delicious bit of breakfast.
Fresh vegetables, seafood and pork are the main ingredients in many of the dishes here, and it’s a very refreshing thing to be able to start your day watching your meal being made from scratch. The chefs and cooks here in Chinatown are experienced, and the food is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike – it’s the perfect place to get an authentic insight into Kolkata’s culture.
How about some Indian fast food? Nizam’s is famed in Kolkata for its kathi roll – the dish itself has become one of the city’s absolute staples, and Nizam’s is where it is said to have originated.
Almost like a burrito, the kathi roll consists of various spicy meats packed into a rolled fried paratha, complete with fried egg and onions alongside some herbs and spices. Rick Stein, a famous TV chef, went as far as to call the kathi roll “legendary Indian street food” – it makes sense to try one yourself.
A quirky, low-key and authentic choice for food, Dacres Lane plays host to plenty of hole-in-the-wall restaurants serving up quick and affordable dishes – but with no compromise on taste.
Don’t judge a book by its cover, or in Dacres Lane’s case, a restaurant by its exterior. You’ll be able to indulge in some of Kolkata’s very best curries, rice dishes and thali – as recommended by 1Cover – within the small, rickety food outlets here. It’s a district steeped in history and culture, and you’ll learn a lot about the area whilst you dine.
A Bengali influence is prominent throughout Kolkata (as mentioned previously with 6 Ballygunge Place), and Kewpie’s Kitchen is another great eatery for traditional Bengali dishes. Headed by chef Rakhi Purnima Dasgupta, the restaurant has a very homely feel – dishes are filling and hearty, with recipes passed down from the chef’s mother and served to diners every day.
That’s just a small taste of the food that Kolkata has to offer. This intoxicating city is one of the world’s best – don’t hesitate to come and explore.