Even though there’s no time like all year to eat scrumptious, authentic Bengali food, there’s special something in the air when the Pujo bells start ringing.

Of course, bhaat and mangsho on a usual Sunday afternoon is a festivity in itself, but we’ve rounded up some more of our favourite Bengali restaurants and recommendations.

City Of Joy

Photo source: City of Joy

Photo source: City of Joy

Encapsulating the nostalgia that’s ubiquitous in Calcutta, this eatery {with cane furnishings and B&W maps and posters} makes a mean Chicken Rezala.

City of Joy is known to procure their fish and spices from Bengal, and their kitchen crew is Oriya – a combination predestined to dish out amazing food! Must tries are their signature Diamond Fish Fry, Prawn Malai Curry, Aloo Dum and Amshotto Khejur Chutney.

Bijoli Grill

With one stall at Dilli Haat, and a second sit-down restaurant inside Banga Bhawan, the outsourced Bijoli Grill is best experienced by tasting one of the thalis on offer.

Hi Kolkata

Photo source: Hi Kolkata

Photo source: Hi Kolkata

This nondescript little joint in Dwarka serves the most delicious Mochar Chop and Chingri Mochar Chop {banana flower cutlet with shrimp}.

The staff here insists one try the Daber Payesh {rice kheer with tender coconut}. Those who like to tuck in at home, fret not – they also have a very prompt delivery service.

Oh! Calcutta

There is a reason this restaurant has the creds it does. It is the ideal place for the uninitiated to explore this complex, yet delicate cuisine. With elaborate english descriptions and extremely helpful staff, this is the perfect place to try some of the unusual items.

We highly recommend the buffet for a languid Bengali meal, with the rabindra sangeet adding to the ambience. We’re fans of the Bhapa Ilish {boneless}, Daab Chingri, Kosha Mangsho, Cholar Daal and Potoler Dolma with the luchi.

Probashi

Photo: Kasturi Roy /LBB

Photo: Kasturi Roy /LBB

Probashi literally translates to ‘a Bengali who lives outside Bengal’. A foreigner who is nostalgic about home. And this is exactly what makes the food here so heartwarming.

We all love the touch of home and the taste of Bengal in the food here. Try the Mete Bhaja {liver fry}; the peas cutlet and kofta are equally good, should you want something vegetarian.

#LBBTip: They have tiffin services starting as low as INR 75 a meal.

Bong Appetit

For those who miss College Street in Calcutta, this nook does a fabulous Paramount Style Tender Coconut {a concoction of fresh coconut water, coconut chunks, malai and sugar} and aam pora.

The Golbari Style Kosha Mangsho as well as the crab masala are our favourite dishes on the menu. And if you’re looking for something sweet, the Baked Mishti Doi is our go-to dessert.

Maa Tara

Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

With dhaba-like seating in the inner courtyard of CR Park Market 2, Maa Tara doles out plates of fish curry and rice throughout the day to their extremely loyal clientele.

Extremely affordable, this place stands out for the freshness of its fish. Vegetarians must try the sukto {tempered mixed veg} and Dhokar Dalna {on the lines of gatte ki sabzi}.

Ki Hangla

We’ve sampled the Kolkata Kathi Rolls at Ki Hangla {egg chicken FTW}, and if those are anything to go by, we look forward to sampling more off the menu.

The repertoire includes popular street snacks {Beguni Bhaja, Egg Devil}, as well as local favourites like Deem Tadka {dal with egg drop}, Mughlai paratha and Matar Kochuri.

Madly Bangalee

Photo source: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Photo source: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Madly Bangalee does homely as well as rich flavours like no other. We loved the utterly butterly Chicken Ala Kiev. This is the only place outside of big hotels that offers Shutki Maach {dry fish}, so all the Bengalis in the house can now celebrate.

And let us give you a tip, the First Class Railway Mutton Curry is going to make you want to take a trip {to the pantry car}, so order carefully.

Kolkata’s Royal Biryani House

The most regal fare in Bengal consists of biryani and chaap: Both of which you will find here. The various kinds of biryanis and combo offers make us want to sample a little of everything.

A hidden gem, this restaurant has an expansive menu that has our inner Bong reeling from the surprise of it.

Maachh Bhaat

Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Even though they do delicious maachh-bhaat, we insist that you also try out the prawn biryani. Moreover, as symbolised by the name itself, this is a fish lover’s heaven. We hear good things about the fish fry platter and the Shorshe Illish.

The best part is that you can even get your food cooked the specific Bong way that you want.

Big Bongg Theory

If anyone is up for some Prawn Malai Curry, you must try out this little joint in Shahpur Jat. Along with their classic Bengali seafood dishes and vegetarian dishes, which include delicacies such as Raw Banana Kofta and Aloo Posto, Big Bongg Theory also functions as a tea room.

They offer single-garden teas sourced straight from the gardens of Darjeeling, the Castleton as well as Jungpana Estates. They do a High Tea with fish and chicken cutlets, Egg Devil, Beet Chop, Dal Bora, and a slice of cake.

Street Eats At CR Park

Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Market No. 1 has a row of little kiosks that serve customers day in and day out. Our favourites are the ghoognee, phuchkas, Fish Cutlet, Egg Devil, jhal muri, and kathi rolls.

Bengali Mishti

We genuinely feel that Bengali mishti can be made a standalone meal of, and thus, deserves as much attention. Be it the many variants of the delicious shondesh, the creamy misti doi, pati shapta {stuffed sweet crepes}, lobongo latika {clove flavoured sweet pastry}, or chitrakoot – they’re all available, if you know where to look.

Kamala Sweets

What To Order: Kacha Gola, Mishti Doi, Radhaballavi {stuffed puri}, Aloo Dum, Sita Bhog {sweetened cottage cheese noodles}

Annapurna Sweets

Photo source: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

Photo source: Anand Mohapatra/LBB

What To Order: Calcutta Style Singara {samosa}, Mishti Doi, Cham Cham

Annapurna Bhandar

What To Order: Chitrakut, Malai Chop, Kheer Kadombo {sondesh with a surprise rasgulla inside!}

Featured photo: Anand Mohapatra/LBB