Coffee & Culture: Reasons Why You Should Visit Kolkata's Iconic Coffee House
What Makes It Awesome
The Indian Coffee House is a Kolkata legend, and was around much before Barista and Starbucks came along. Just opposite Presidency College on the historic College Street, it plays host to an eclectic crowd of college students chilling over adda (including those who have graduated but keep coming back to this spot) and coffee.
The place was once the hub of intellectual debate, and a favourite hangout spot for many freedom fighters, revolutionaries and influential people since pre-Independence. So metaphorically speaking, you will be rubbing shoulders with personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Subhas Chandra Bose, Satyajit Ray and Manna Dey. Who knows? You may come across Amartya Sen sitting here.
The kabiraji is a plateful of deep fried mutton goodness served with a side of potato fries – an absolute winner. A favourite among the regulars, this cutlet has become synonymous with the Coffee House. Other snacks that you must try are the awesome sandwiches, the Chicken Pakora and the Fish Finger. When it comes to coffee, it may not be your fancy frappe, but boy, the coffee here sure hits all the right notes. We love it because it is the old-fashioned brew without the cloggy cream. Served in both hot and cold variety and with and without cream, it’s a satisfying cuppa to enjoy.
The iconic Coffee House has ridiculously high ceilings, small square tables, murals and paintings on the walls that will take you right back to India’s past. Steeped in culture and heritage, the intensity of this place is palpable. Previously known as Albert Hall and renamed ‘Indian Coffee House’ post Independece, it has been a centre for the arts for around 300 years.
Super pocket-friendly prices that are ideal for a student budget, Coffee House makes for the most reasonable adda session. With prices as low as INR 20 for a coffee and INR 35 for snacks, you won’t find a better deal anywhere else.
Carry lots of change – only cash is accepted. And plug into Manna Dey’s iconic number – “Coffee Houser Sei Adda Ta”.