“First we eat, then we do something else”
Food is the way to a man’s heart is what people all over the world say. Growing up in an Indian household, the concept of diet or eating less voluntarily was never an option. Mothers or grandmothers no matter how much you ate, would sympathetically say “How have you become so thin?”
The curiosity to taste different kinds of food comes naturally to most people. Eating one particular food every day is not possible especially when you have the means to explore. Noodles, pizzas, burgers, fries, noodle soup, pasta, different types of cheese, croissants, cakes, pastries, doughnuts, waffles, churros, ice creams and so so much more. Each city in the world boasts of something different. No matter how much you explore the food around the world, it just doesn’t seem enough. Does it?
The Beauty of Food
But when you travel, food is a part of the culture, the norms and a way of life for a particular city or a country. Even in a country like India, the food differs from one state to another. The contrast of colours, tastes, spices, meat, vegetables come together and blend into one beautiful dish or dishes.
Such is Bengali cuisine.
A culture going back centuries, Bengal as it was known before the partition of India was a pinnacle of culture, food and a juxtapose of Hindu, Muslim and Christian culture due to its British influence; such is the beauty of Bengali cuisine.
If you take a trip to Kolkata, you can see the city transform as you travel. From the skyscrapers, it comes down to age-old buildings standing strong since the time of British rule.
Places to eat in Kolkata: The What and Where
It’s very simple when you are in the land of Bengalis. There is food any time of the day, it is not like a continental breakfast where you only get it during a certain interval of 8 in the morning to 12. As they had once said for the Romans – in Bengal, do as the Bengalis do. Indulge in pure Bengali cuisine.
Let’s start with breakfast
You start with a good breakfast in different places to eat in Kolkata which is available even in the evenings, mind you. Breakfast in Kolkata is Kachori with a preparation of gravy made with potatoes (Kochuri Aloor Torkari) which is best made in Sri Hari Mistanna Bhandar. A shop more than a century old and has been selling this dish since then without a single tinge of change. It is located in Bhowanipore. It goes beautifully with a plate of Jalebis or a plate of Roshogollas. It is without a doubt one of the best places to have a good meal in Kolkata.
When in Search of food in Kolkata
When you have good food and more importantly food which fills your stomach, it gets difficult to travel. So you don’t really have to walk. Take a cycle rickshaw and take in the sights in and around the city, or take the Tram. Unfortunately, the accessibility of the tram has become limited nowadays but you can still roam on it to explore food in Kolkata.
Let’s talk lunch
For lunch, it totally depends on your taste in food. It doesn’t matter if you are in the mood for Italian, Continental, Bengali or even Chinese, Park Street is the place to be. Places to eat in Park Street as the name suggests is a street which on either side are full of restaurants. Travelling would mean walking amidst an ocean of lip-smacking food. You can drop by Peter Cat for some yummy kebabs, Mogambo, for some Chinese or drown in some beautiful Bengali cuisine signature dishes at Koshe Kosha where the Mutton Curry is to die for.
Do not forget to travel around Park Street. It is filled with street vendors who sell books, posters and everything else you can think of.
A cuppa in the evening
In the evening, while travelling along the streets of Kolkata, Cha is a religious tradition. By Cha, I mean Tea. A biscuit along with it doesn’t hurt but that is your call. Any small shop will give you good tea no matter what time of the day it is. At most of the places to eat in Kolkata, there will be tea.
Travelling through the city, the lack of lustre in old Calcutta brings out the rustic beauty of it. Especially in North Kolkata. Do not forget to see the Victoria Memorial in the evening.
Time for dinner
The nights in Kolkata are exceptionally bright. For dinner, survey around the streets as in the places to eat in Kolkata, around you can eat anything, choose from some authentic Chinese from Chinatown, or some amazing preparations of fish at Bhojohori Manna.
Must try: Whatever you eat for dinner, head to Bhowanipore after to Radharaman and Balaram Mallik’s sweet shop for the best Mishti Doi in the city. I challenge you to stop at one serving.
With travel, comes food as a friendly companion and no matter which city or country you visit, try to always do justice to the local cuisine because that is something you will not get everywhere. Travelling and food will always go hand in hand, no matter which corner you are, which colour, caste or creed you belong to. It is how it’s meant to be.
Before you leave, also read these 5 road trips from Kolkata to take over a weekend