Authentic Bengali Food in Kolkata : 15 Heritage Places



Authentic Bengali food in Kolkata? Don’t worry, you don’t have to splurge. Every time someone comes to Kolkata and asks me where can s/he authentic Bengali food in Kolkata, I don’t recommend fine dining or specialty restaurants but I recommend to go to old heritage places which serve authentic Bengali food and in an authentic way. Well, Kolkata offers the perfect gastronomic journey for a foodie.

Kolkata serves unique food from breakfasts to dinner and you have to taste and try it yourself. One word of caution the places suggested here doesn’t have the best of the décor, however, one assurance you will find the tastiest foods here and will be able to pamper your taste buds with authentic Bengali food.

In search of authentic Bengali food in Kolkata, in this blog post, I will start with Breakfast and then move to lunch/dinner and end with evening snacks.
The pocket pinch in the below places is not more than Rs 200/300 per person. This price is for lunch and for breakfast and evening snacks it will be below Rs 100 per person.

Authentic Bengali Breakfast 



You ask any Bengali what do they like to have as a Sunday morning breakfast – you will promptly hear “Luchi Mangso” ( Puri and Mutton) and ending with rosogolla. The other variety we Bengalis love is “Luchi or Kochuri with aloor torkari” , simply meaning Puri and aloo ki sabzi in Hindi.
Puri (also spelled Poori) is an unleavened deep-fried bread, which originates from India and is mostly served with potato curry or similar curry.
That’s is an authentic Bengali food for breakfast.

So where should you head for such an amazing authentic Bengali breakfast. Wake up early morning and head to the below places.

Potla Da r Snacks 


Address: 18C, Bagbazar St, Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata, West Bengal 700003
Approximate Years: 97  years
Famous for : Kochuri and aloo r torkari ( A type of poori and potato curry) and telebhaja ( deep fried food items)

If you want to have authentic kochuri and aloo r torkari head to Potla Da r snacks. The shop opens from 7:30am – 10:30am and then again in the evening. It’s a small roadside shop serving authentic Bengali food in the form of kochuri & aloo r torkari. The telebhaja of Potla da r snack is equally famous and you need to go there in the evening to savor it.

authentic bengali food in kolkata
Potla Da r Snacks Outlet



authentic bengali breakfast in kolkata
Kochuri and Potato Curry


Adi Haridas Modak Mistanna Bhandar 


Address : 220, Shyambazar More, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Rd, Fariapukur, Kolkata, West Bengal 700004
Approximate Years : 200+  years
Famous for : Though the shop is famous for its sweets but it is also famous for serving mouthwatering luchi and aloor torkari.

Head to Adi Haridas Modak in the morning and order for luchi and aloor torkari (potato curry). The best part they serve it on a banana leaf which is extremely authentic way of having Bengali food. The specialty of the potato curry is that the potato is unskinned and it adds a unique taste to the potato curry.

bengali breakfast in kokata
Luchi and Aloo r Torakari served on Banana Leaf

authentic bengali breakfast in kolkata
The Delicious Potato Curry

Putiram sweets 


Address: Adjacent City College of Commerce, 12B, Surya Sen St, Lalbajar, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700012
Approximate Years: 167
Famous for: Kachori and Cholar Daal 

If you want to have authentic Bengali food as breakfast head to Putiram sweets. They serve city’s most famous cholar dal (aromatic lentil dish flavored with spices) and radhaballavi (stuffed puri), Putiram opens at 6am much ahead of other places where you can find authentic Bengali food.

Putiram Sweets Kochuri and Cholar Daal
Kochuri and Cholar Daal



Authentic Bengali Food in Kolkata: Lunch & Dinner



These hotels are also called as Pice hotels in Kolkata. As per the owners of the hotels the word “Pice” has been derived from Paisa. Before independence, the food here costed less than a paisa which was called as pice and which was the smallest monetary value. Hence the word pice.

Pice hotels serve authentic Bengali food, however, you need to keep the following things in mind while visiting a Pice hotel. Albeit the below points you can rest assured that the food is always fresh and extremely tasty.

1. For authentic Bengali food in these pice hotels go before 2pm as, post that the restaurants will run out of most of the dishes due to high demand.
2. You will not get an ambiance or an upmarket dining experience. The tables and chairs are basic.
3. Expect to share tables with others as during rush hours people share tables so that everyone gets a chance to have lunch as soon as possible.
4. You will not find the price same every day as the prices of the food items depend on the price at the local market. However, the cost of vegetables, daal, and rice remains the same every day.
5. The menu is handwritten on a blackboard at the entrance of the pice hotel and mostly in Bengali. So ask the waiter about the items and the price of the food.

Head to any one of the below pice hotels to get a taste of authentic Bengali food and yes the best part these pice hotels are more than 100 years old and was frequented by many eminent freedom fighters.


Swadhin Bharat Hindu Hotel


Address: 35, Bhawani Dutta Ln, Calcutta University, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700073
Approximate Years:  92 years
Famous for:  Mutton curry, Bittergourd, and potato fry, all types of fish curry

This hotel was frequented by the freedom fighters like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and eminent personalities like Rishi Aurobindo to name a few. This place was often used by the revolutionaries to hold a secret meeting. Every meeting ended with the chant of “Vande Mataram”.Before independence the hotel was called “Hindu Hotel”, however post-independence the hotel was renamed as “Swadhin Bharat Hindu Hotel”.
During the great Bengal famine of 1943, this hotel used to provide free meals to everyone who was starving.
         
This hotel has kept the tradition alive and still serves food on banana leaves and serves water in earthen pots.
End your authentic Bengali food with sweet chutney and papad.


Swadhin Bharat Hindu Hotel
Prawn Malaikari

Authentic Bengali Lunch in Kolkata
Bengali Food in Kolkata


Jagatmata Bhojanalaya


Address: Kailash Bose Street, Near Vivekananda Road and Bidhan Sarani Crossing, Kolkata
Approximate Years:  120 years
Famous for:  Shol maacher tawk (sour thin gravy of shol fish), mourola machher tarkari ( a fish curry, and the sizes of fish are not more than an inch and are eaten at one go), jhurjhure aloo bhaja ( crisp potato matchstick fries).

While enjoying authentic Bengali food, have a meal the way Bengalis used to have in earlier days at Jagatmata Bhojanalaya. The specialty of this restaurant is that they still serve food on “Kanshar Thala” (alloy metal which is costly and was mostly used by royalty) and also gives you an option to sit on the floor and have a meal. Any day you will find lots of people who are sitting on the floor to have meals. Don’t think the food is cheap or the service is different if you sit on the floor, it’s just a way how Bengalis used to have meals in earlier days. One word of caution, don’t get repelled by the interiors. They don’t whitewash or paint the walls often to maintain the old rustic charm. 

Bengali lunch in kolkata
Kanshar Thala and Bengali Food

Jagatmata Bhojanalaya Menu
Jagatmata Bhojanalaya Menu

Mahal Restaurant


Address: 6/3, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Sarani, Amherst Street, Near College Street, Kolkata
Approximate Years:  30+ years
Famous for:  Illish macher matha diye kochu shak (saag mixed with the head of a hilsa fish- This is a seasonal dish) and alur khosa bhaja with posto (fried potato peels with poppy seeds), sukto ( a mixture of vegetables).

Well, this is not an old pice hotel, however, this hotel has gained prominence due to its location. Its in the middle of boi para (college street). On any given day you can find lots of students frequenting here for the food.
If you want to observe the student community of Kolkata while having lunch head to Mahal restaurant. 

Golbari 


Address: Shyambazar 5 point, 211, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Rd, Fariapukur, Kolkata, West Bengal 700004
Approximate Years:  96 years
Famous for:  Mutton curry

If you come to Kolkata and don’t have kosha mangso (a type of thick mutton curry) then it’s a sin. It should be on the top of the authentic Bengali food list. Head to Golbari to have kosha mangso and this kosha mangso not only have a unique taste but probably the tastiest kosha mangso in town. Be ready to wait for sometime before you get a seat. The Golbari is just at the famous Shyambazar crossing. Just ask anyone where is it and everyone will be able to tell you the exact location, such fame Golbari mutton curry has. Order parathas with your mutton curry.

bengali kosha mangso




Authentic Bengali Food in Kolkata: Evening Snacks




In the below list of places for authentic Bengali food, you will find lots of places whose name is Cabin. So what are these cabins? Well before I explain you the concept of the cabin, these cabins serve the quintessential authentic Bengali food in the form of fast food. You will find all types of authentic Bengali fast foods in the below places.

Now back to history, these cabins of Kolkata, which is pronounced as “Kay-beens” are known for having divided compartments and sometimes you can find heavy curtains to give a closed atmosphere to these compartments. These cabins date back to 100-150 years. These are the specialty restaurants of the old days which were frequented by women from the rich families in Kolkata. The cabins were made so that the women can enjoy their privacy and meals too.

These days the cabins are dwindling in numbers and the cabins which exist have removed the actual compartments to make for more table and chairs. Head to one of the below cabins to get a real feel of the authentic Bengali food and fine dining experience of the yesteryears.

Mitra Café


Address: 47, Jatindra Mohan Ave, Raja Nabakrishna Street, Sovabazar crossing
Approximate Years:  109 years
Famous for:  Mutton Kabiraji, Lamb brain chop

This small café is extremely famous and have been frequented by the all famous personalities of Kolkata. You will hardly find any imminent personality of Kolkata starting from the 1900s till date who have not visited this café.
These days there is an AC section inside the café.

authentic bengali food mitra cafe
Egg Devil


Favourite Cabin


Address: 69B, Surya Sen St, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700009
Approximate Years:  109 years
Famous for:  Bread Toast & Tea


Best known as the haunt of the freedom fighters such as Subhash Chandra Bose and poets such as Kazi Nazrul Islam, the Favourite Cabin at 69B Surya Sen Street was founded in 1918 by Nutan Chandra Barua and his elder brother Gaur Chandra Barua. This unassuming tea cabin is north Kolkata’s oldest tea stall and has been quenching Bengalis’ thirst for chai and adda for over 101 years. The staple here is still the same even after all these years – hot tea, complemented by biscuits, cakes, and different toasts.
There is a hidden tunnel at the backside of the favorite cabin (which is closed now) through which the freedom fighters used to run away from the Britishers. The owner used to sit near the door and whenever they saw Britishers they used to drop a spoon to signal the freedom fighters.

kolkata adda at favourite cabin
 Kolkata Adda at Favourite Cabin

Famous Tea of Favourite Cabin in Kolkata
The Famous Chai at Favourite Cabin

authentic bengali food favourite cabin
The Antique and Heritage Oven at Favourite Cabin

Anadi Cabin


Address: 9A, Jawaharlal Nehru Rd, Esplanade, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700013
Approximate Years:  94 years
Famous for:  Mughlai paratha

Head to Anadi cabin and order a plate of mughlai paratha One caution carry antacid with you as you would require this after having the Mughlai paratha fried in oil. The quality of food has detoriated over the period however it’s still worth visiting just for the sheer nostalgic value.
After having authentic Bengali food here just cross the road and walk for 100 mtrs and you will find the famed Bourne and Shepard photo studio here.


Dhiren Cabin


Address: Sovabazar St, Rabindra Sarani, Sovabazar, Beniatola, Kolkata, West Bengal 700005
Approximate Years:  93 years
Famous for:  Mutton Stew

Dhiren cabin is near Sovabazar crossing however not easy to find. It is not as famous as Mitra Café however one of the best cabins in town.
This is one place where you will still find the cabin structure intact. You can sit inside the cabin and order your food. The food is amazingly tasty. Order mutton stew here to get a taste of authentic Bengali food.  The chicken cutlet here is also one of the most ordered dish and arguably one of the tastiest mutton cutlet in town.

Cabins of Kolkata Restaurant


Allen Kitchen  


Address: No. 40/1, Jatindra Mohan Avenue, Kolkata, West Bengal 700006
Approximate Years:  130 years
Famous for:  Prawn cutlet


Allen kitchen was initially located in Chitpur and later shifted to the current location. It is said to have been started by a Scottish gentleman named Allen. He then handed over the restaurant to his Bengali staff and their descendants run it now.  When you enter Allen, you walk past avuncular chefs who have been working here since their childhood. You will see them frying the chops and cutlets that would then be served to you on marble-topped tables in a tiny room inside. The crisp, ghee fried maida (refined flour) batter is very subtly spiced and the prawn inside it is very juicy.

Allen Kitchen


prawn kabiraji


Lakshminarayan Sau & Sons


Address: 158, Bidhan Sarani, near Hedua, Sovabazar, Darjipara, Kolkata, West Bengal 700006
Approximate Years:  101 years
Famous for:  Telebhaja ( Deep fried vegetables in a batter)

This shop used to be frequented by Netaji Shubhash Chandra Bose and it was his favorite shop to have telebhaja. Later many revolutionaries started visiting this place. This was also a place where secret information was passed by wrapping the telebhaja with papers.
On 23rd of January i.e. Netaji Shubhash Chandra’s birthday telebhaja is distributed free to all the people and this ritual is still followed.

netaji shubhash chandra


Dilkusha Cabin


Address: 88, Mahatma Gandhi Road, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700009
Approximate Years:  108 years
Famous for:  Kabiraji, Doi Chicken, Egg Devil and Meat Potato Chop

The Dilkhusha cabin is extremely strategically located just at the crossing of the college street. Famous personalities like Kaji Najrul Islam, Ganesh Pyne and many other visited Dilkhusha cabin.The owner says that since the food was so good that it used to make everyone happy hence the name Dilkhusha – from Dil (Heart) and Khusha (Happy or content). There were 6 cabins however they have broken it and set up tables. Now it is just a casual eatery with a formal seating arrangement.


dilkhusha cabin mutton kabiraji
Mutton Kabiraji



Paramount Cold drinks & Syrups


Address: 1. 1/1/1D Bankim Chatterjee Street, B. C. Street, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700073
Approximate Years:  101 Years
Famous for:  Juices ( Daab Sherbet)

Well, this is where you don’t get authentic Bengali food but you get juices Bengali style. 
Paramount was a meeting place for freedom fighters and revolutionaries before independence. Paramount still maintains the old world charm and you can find lots of students enjoying juices and adda at Paramount. The ambiance has still old-world charm with old marble top tables, narrow benches, glass framed menus and the deer torsos hanging on the wall. This is one place where almost all imminent personalities of Kolkata like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy, etc. have visited this place. 


Paramount Juice Kolkata
Adda at Paramount

interior of paramount
Interior of Paramount

daab sherbat paramount kolkata
Daab Sherbat


So next time you visit to Kolkata head to above places to enjoy authentic Bengali food in Kolkata. If you stay in Kolkata then you should visit the above places as soon as possible.

Happy Eating and share your experiences with Shoestring Travel.

5 comments:

  1. Wow I love Bengali food ya. Prawns or any fish dishes r welcomed

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow thanks for sharing! Now I know where to look for the best Bengali food when I'll be in Kolkata

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovely post! Thanks for sharing the best places for Bengali food

    ReplyDelete
  4. Being a food I always enjoy different cuisines. For me Benagli food is rasgulla and puchkas.. Thanks for giving so many options

    ReplyDelete
  5. One of the things you will most like about Albania is the food. There are many traditional and delicious dishes.

    ReplyDelete

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