Food & Restaurants
Kolkata is one of those cities of the country which offers a variety of tasty food on the streets. Tasty as well as cheap, there's little doubting as to why the tummies of Kolkatans is more times than not appeased!
The street food culture has taken influence from not only other states of the country, but has also taken cross-border influences. The Chinese dishes available on the streets have gained a huge fan-base and is often referred to as “Kolkata ka Chinese”.
This is a list of the 10 tastiest food items available on the streets here, which you simply cannot afford to miss!
Known as “gol gappa” and “paani puri” in other parts of the country, just like everything else in this city – Kolkata has developed its own perception and way to make paani puris, rather puchkas; how it's known here.
Over here puchkas are offered with mashed potatoes, mixed with spices and tamarind water. Even though one can find a puchka stall in every area of the city, the best ones are situated in and around Vivekananda Park and Gariahat.
This one is a typical Bengali dish, which sometimes might give you a familiar home-cooked taste. Ghugni is made of yellow dried peas, boiled and mixed with chopped coriander leaves, coconut, tomatoes, onions and chillis. Spices and tamarind water is added later on.
The people of Kolkata probably cannot spend long hours without having a cup of tea, err...a bhaanr (earthen cup). This is the biggest USP of the innumerable tea-shacks which line almost every lane of this city. Anyone who's had tea from these earthen cups will definitely say how the taste seems to be different from that of having tea from ceramic and plastic cups. Lebu chaa (lemon tea), raw chaa or plain milk tea, are some of what these shacks have to offer. The true essence of Kolkata won't be felt till one has a cuppa from these shacks.
The Chinese food available on the streets of Kolkata is very distinctive. A plate of chowmein is available almost everywhere, and every small to big restaurant. Kolkata's chowmein has become a crowd favourite among teenagers, and office goers alike.
The added advantage is that this dish is available 24x7 at a certain few places!
Parathas stuffed with potatoes and chicken chunks,served with vegetables and salad.
This is essentially a main course, and is filling to the core! The parathas are huge in size, tasty as well as cheap.
This actually comes in the form of puri sabzi and is usually available in the mornings, as office goers flock the kachori stalls before going to work. The kachoris are generally complemented with chola daal or aloo dum.
This dish is extremely filling and easy on the pockets too.
Chicken/Fish fingers, cutlets and fries
Fish and chicken fingers are immensely popular here and can be found in any of the small shacks as well as the big restaurants in town.
The meat is usually minced and fried in a batter before serving with ketchup, mustard sauce and salad.
Kulfi is Kolkata's very own ice-cream, just like the ice golas in Mumbai.
A popular frozen dessert around here, which comes in a variety of different flavors. The difference between Kulfi and ice cream though is the fact that kulfi is much more creamier and heavier than a regular bar of ice cream.
This, especially is much in demand during the scorching summers of Kolkata. A normal kulfi will cost around five to ten bucks, which is completely worth it!
Samosoa / Shingara
What was originally an evening snack, shingara or samosa, as it is known in other parts of the country has in recent memory become a 24x7 snack of sorts.
What's special about the samosas here though is that sometimes, and in a few select stores they come with a filling of mutton keema (minced meat), chicken and also noodles!
The samosas which have a noodles filling is known as “Chinese samosa” and could cost anywhere around 10-15 bucks.
Beguni, Alu chop and peyaji – these are all from the traditional list of Bengal.
Just like tea shacks, the city is also dotted with shacks selling deliciously oily & fried food items, just like these. Other fried items also include – onion rings, potatoes, raw mangoes et al.