There are few cities that can rival Kolkata’s impressive food scene. From the Afghan-influenced alu-kabli to the Hakka chowmein, the Bihari litti-chokha to the Brit-style chops and cutlet, we present our pick of the pack.
10 Street Foods In Kolkata That You Have To Try
The little open kiosk-like eatery – Maa Kali – at the corner of the seriously cool Free School Street has some of the best sandwiches and toasties in town. You won’t get these many interesting blends in a café – banana and honey, potato with onions, cucumber, peppers, and grated carrots and tomato; chicken with vegetables.
Beetroot stew and Litti Chokha
Did you see that episode of Great Escape that had Gordon Ramsay in India? He was at Dacres Lane in Kolkata trying to outdo the street food vendors in sales. The vendors won, we think. If you haven’t already, do check out the amazing array of food at Dacres Lane. Before Didi decided to move the government out of Writers, it used to be the go-to spot for lunch for all the babus. You must try the beetroot stew – the flavours are a lip-smacking mash-up of beets and mutton. A;so the litti chokha – chhatu cakes baked in a tanddor with a flavoured tomato and potato mash.
Kochuri and alu dom
Have you seen those early morning joggers who do a 1 hour run at the Lake and then hotfoot it to the nearest kochuri-alur dom place? Stuffed and fried kochuris are a breakfast favourite in the city. They usually sell out by mid-morning. So if you want to taste fresh Kolkata kochuris, you’ll have to have them for breakfast. Almost every sweet shop sells them, but you must try the ones at Maharani near Deshapriya Park, Putiram in College Street and the stalls at Fairlie Place, Stock Exchange, BBD Bag.
Probably the most popular street food in Kolkata (though momos seem to be catching up fast). Our picks – the double egg chicken roll from Kusum in Park Steet, and Campari in Gariahat; ad the kathi rolls at Nizam near New Market. There’s always a line at these places, but be patient because you are on to a good thing.
Chop and cutlets
This city has a chop-cutlet culture. The deep fried savories were introduced by the Portuguese and Brits. There are so varieties of chops. Which one do you like? Fish, chicken, mocha, or everyone’s favourite – the vegetable chop with beetroot? We recommend the ones at Kalika on Surya Sen Street, and Chittoda on Dacres Lane. For the king of cutlets, the kabiraji, try Mitra Café in Golpark. Have it with a dash of the tangy kasundi, Bengal’s signature mustard sauce.
Onion rings, potatoes, cauliflower, huge green chillies – batter fried. What could be better in the rains? You must try the ones at Putiram in College Street, Mukhoruchi on GLT Road, the daler bora at Kashiramer Telebhaja on Beadon Street, the tomato and the capsicumer chop at Jihobar Jol, RN Das Road. Have some antacids handy after your binge.
You all know that the city is crazy about Chinese food, right? How many times have you ordered a Hakka chow? The city is peppered with stalls selling greasy (but delicious) chow with vegetables or chicken strips. We love the ones we can get at Tiretta Bazar’s morning breakfast. Go early as it runs out by 8am.
A healthy and filling combination of yellow peas boiled and topped with chopped onion, coriander and chilly. Super tasty. There’s a lady who has a piping hot, handi-full of ghugni in the evenings in front of Deshapriya Park. Also try Dacres Lane and the road in front of New Market.
Phuchka and Churmur and Alu-Kabli
Don’t you just love the crunchy sour and tangy Kolkata phuchka? So much better than the paani puri and the golgappas, no? Have you had the ones infused with gondhoraj lebu yet? The phuchkawalas in front of Priya Bishoi saree shop in Triangular Park, and at the corner of HSBC Bank in Dover Lane have the best ones. Like a true-blue Kolkata resident, follow it up with churmur and alu-kabli.
Have you eaten off a food truck yet? Kolkata’s own version of ‘Eat Street’ is here, though, granted, the numbers are still kinda low. We recommend TGIF (that is Thank God It’s Fresh) in front of Calcutta Rowing Club. They roll out early at 5am to catch the joggers and walkers. If you work or live in Salt Lake Sector 5, try TFT (That Food Truck). They serve a good Chicken Burger and fries.