Filter Kaapi To Banana Chips: Where To Eat, Shop & Drink In Kolkata's Mini South India

Anuradha posted on 05 December

Pick Up Spices, Oils And Pappadums

Craving some filter coffee, or looking for a good filter to make the coffee? How about some banana or tapioca chips to go with evening cha or coffee? Lake Market is the one-stop place everyone heads to stock up on goods from south India. The lingering smell here is of spices and coffee. The stores here (like Dakshin Stores) stock every kind of spices, coconut and gingelly (sesame) oil, sambhar and rasam powders, pappadums, dried sarsaparilla seeds, ghee, sachets of kasturi haldi, chutney powders, and much more. 

Food Stores

24-B, Lake Place Road, Lake Market, Kalighat, Kolkata

Have Filter Kaapi

Get a quick fix of filter coffee and idli-vada at the Flavours Of South kiosk. The store next to it stocks every kind of magazine and religious book from South India. You will also find audio cassettes of Carnatic music.


15-B, Kavi Bharati Sarani, Lake Market, Kalighat, Kolkata

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Shop And Eat At Motherland

Motherland is a cosy place located in an old house tucked away in the lanes near Charuchandra college on Lake Place. The store stocks carefully chosen handicrafts and clothing sourced from Bengal and parts of South India. The cafe at the back of the store is the newest addition to the already thriving food scene in the area. They have a small area at the back serving fresh, hot and crunchy dal vadas and buttermilk. They also stock organic honey from The Last Forest (a brand based out of Kotagiri and Coonoor), handmade soaps and box sets of Southern spices.

Bring Home The Smell Of Filtered Coffee

Put your hands up, all those who think Madras kaapi is the best filtered coffee in the world. Real filter coffee- strong and black — smells and tastes heavenly. You have to have the right powder for it and the right kind of filter. You’ll get these both at many stores in Lake Market. Try Mohan Stores or further ahead, there’s Jai Man Santoshi Bhandar. Stock up on pulses and spices at Prem Bhandar.

Ramakrishna Lunch Home

The area has some of the finest vegetarian eating houses in the city of which Ramakrishna Lunch Home is famous for inexpensive and delicious South Indian breakfast and lunches. The idles are soft and the dosas are golden and crisp. The place opens by 6 am, but you need to come here early as food gets sold out fast. Then it opens for lunch later in the afternoon.

Casual Dining

Bhupendra Mansion, 36, Kabi Bharati Sarani, Sarat Bose Road, Southern Avenue, Kolkata

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Rao's Udipi Home

Outside this place, you will find large sign saying former president APJ Abdul Kalam loved eating here. This cosy and very irregularly designed space has been around since 1969. They make great dosas and every dish is accompanied by three chutneys — coriander, onion and coconut.

Casual Dining

25, Jatin Das Road, Opp. Carfill Petrol Pump, Lake Market, Kalighat, Kolkata

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Banana Leaf

One of the most popular South Indian joints in the city, this restaurant offers a large variety of south Indian items along with an array of thalis and mini meals. Their menu is huge, so let us help you our — we suggest you try the uttapam platter which has five different varieties.

Casual Dining

73 & 75, Rash Behari Avenue, Opp. Bata Shop, Lake Market Area, Kalighat, Kolkata

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Prema Vilas

This basic, formica-topped table and chair place is very popular and older than Banana Leaf. Their dosas and vadas are way better (as die-hard fans claim).

Casual Dining

63/1, Lake Market Area, Kolkata

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Kotakkal Arya Vaidya Sala

This is a branch of one of the pioneering Ayurveda institutions in the country {the original is based out of Kerala}. They have a visiting doctor coming in every morning and evening and will check you out for anything from spine issues to Parkinsons. We can also vouch for the many hair and body oils formulated with herbs.


199, Sarat Bose Road, Near Deshapriya Park, Lake Market, Kalighat, Kolkata

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