The cultural capital of India, Kolkata is just enriched with history and romance, but is the home to some of the best culinary experiences in the country. From authentic regional flavours at 6 Ballygunge Place to the iconic Kolkata Biryani at Arsalan, there is something to enthral everybody’s tastebuds here. Vogue India brings you a round-up of the iconic Kolkata restaurants you have to pay a visit to at least once in your life—whether you’re planning a weekend getaway in the city or just looking for new eateries to try.
Located in one of the most beautiful suburbs in Kolkata, Peter Cat offers warm mouth-watering sizzlers that will definitely not leave you disappointed. Make sure to place an order for their iconic Chelo Kebab—the delicacy is prepared with mutton seekhs and chicken kebabs in rare Bengal spices, which are then blended with Persian herbs and served on a bed of rice with butter and a poached egg.
Address: 18 A, Stephen Court, Park Street, Kolkata
With multiple branches across the city, Arsalan Restaurant is a biryanienthusiast’s delight—with their Kolkata biryani topping the list as the most-loved dish. What makes this delicacy different from the others is a big piece of potato. With a unique smell of desi ghee mixed with rich masalas, spices and juicy, tender pieces of mutton cooked in rice, this is a dish you cannot afford to miss. Try their Mutton Chaanp, Chicken Malai Kebabs and Egg Rolls for a meal you’re not likely to forget any time soon.
Address: 28, Circus Ave, Lower Range, Beck Bagan, Ballygunge, Kolkata
BaanThai, The Oberoi Grand
For a taste of Thailand, step into the timeless charm of the grand Thai haven in Kolkata, Baan Thai at The Oberoi Grand. All the dishes are served home-style here, and the decor draws inspiration from Thailand with intricate khantoks (traditional Thai trays) on the walls and a rich Thai tapestry. The restaurant’s chef Klae Somsuay hails from the island of Isaan in Northern Thailand, and learnt cooking from his grandmother. He carries forward the heirloom recipes handed down by generations at this joint. Make sure to try their Baan Thai Kaeng Luang (chef’s special homemade Thai yellow curry) and the Kai Hor Bai Toey (marinated chicken wrapped in pandanus leaf and fried). To end your meal on a sweet note, order a plate of their Kluay Thod (batter-fried banana, honey and toasted sesame with vanilla ice cream).
Address: The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata, 15, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata
This one is a Park Street icon. If you’re every hungry after a night out with your girlfriends—this is your answer. As the name suggests, the eatery’s all about kathi rolls, and we’re sure that the Double Egg Kathi Roll and Double Chicken Kathi Roll here will have you going back for more.
Address: 21, Park St, Park Street Area, Kolkata
One of the most popular restaurants in the city, this eatery is spread across three floors and boats a seating capacity of 300. If you’re visiting on a Saturday night, make sure you reach the place before you get extremely hungry—there may be a long queue. Opt for their Stuffed Tofu and Prawn Fuyong, or pre-order the Slow-Cooked Suckling Pig for a feast unlike any other.
Address: Tangra 50/1, Topsia, Matheswartala Road, Kolkata
6 Ballygunge Place
If you’re looking for authentic Bengali cuisine, 6 Ballygunge Place is a must-visit. Hidden among crumbling mansions in the bylanes of Ballygunge, the restaurant is hosted in a restored, starch white heritage home and serves an all-day Bengali buffet on the ground floor. And an à-la-carte menu is served on the first. Try the Prawn Cutlet here, followed by the Hilsa, which comes steamed with mustard sauce in a banana leaf. If you’re vegetarian, go for the Chholar Dal with Fried Eggplant and Steamed Rice. And for dessert, the Nolen Gurer Ice Cream is a must.
Address: 6, Ballygunge Place, Ballygunge, Kolkata
Indian Coffee House
A proud part of Kolkata’s heritage, Indian Coffee House is adorned with the history of the colonial era—it is known as the place where intellectuals, literati, poets and students of Presidency College and other institutions on College Street used to (and continue to) hang out.
Address: Sharda Book Stall, No.15 Near, Bankim Chatterjee St, College Square, Kolkata
8th Day Café & Bakery
A beautifully designed cafe set up in a colonial-style building, 8th Day Café and Bakery is the ideal place for your morning cup of joe. Perfect for a brunch, the cafe offers a variety of coffees including the Nitro Coffee and Signature Pour-Over Coffee, along with tea sourced from the Glenburn Tea Estate in Darjeeling. Pop into the white brick-walled and dark wood furniture, dotted with board games, books and merchandise, to spend a cosy afternoon in with your friends. Make sure to try their Cream Cheese Bagel and the Quiche with Caramelised Onion, Mushroom and Gruyère for lunch, and end your meal with an Ice Cream Sandwich.
Address: Arcadia, 6, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Rd, West Range, Kolkata
Balwant Singh’s Eating House
Despite being a small eatery, Balwant Singh’s Eating House is an icon in its own right. Open till the wee hours of the morning, the place is famous for their Doodh Cola, a mixture of milk with Coca-Cola. (Yes, you read that right.) Along with this, their Paneer Tikka and Kesar Chai are also must-haves. Disclaimer: They only serve pure vegetarian food, so your kebabs will have to wait if you’re visiting here.
Address: 10/B, Harish Mukherjee Rd, Bhowanipore, Kolkata