Indian food is one of the tastiest, spiciest and most aromatic in the world. In Calcutta, it is not difficult finding mouthwatering dishes in different styles and affordable prices. Eating and drinking in Calcutta means getting a taste of Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Asian, and Western dishes in addition to traditional Indian cuisine.
The most popular restaurants with the cheapest foods are Raj Restaurant and Jyoti Vihar (vegetarian). They are known to serve clean and tasty foods, which makes them popular to both locals and foreigners. Local favorites include sweets and desserts such as Rasagolla, Pantua, Rasomalai, Mishti Dahi, Sandesh, and Puchkas.
The most popular and inexpensive foods are kati rolls, egg rolls and chicken rolls sold by street vendors. A specialty is Mughali Paratha, which is flat bread with minced meat. People love shopping and eating at Chowringhee Road where there are rows and rows of street stalls selling food and a variety of clothes, handicrafts and souvenir items. Chowringhee Road is also considered a leading tourist attraction in Kolkata.
Other cheap Bengali foods to sample are the fish curry called Macher Jhol, marinated fish Hilsa and a variety of sweets such as Mishti Doi (sweet yogurt), Roshomalai (cheese balls dipped in sweet milk), Roshogolla (cheese balls in sugary syrup), and Panthua (fried version of Roshogolla). Indians love sweets, especially for the fact that sweets are traditionally eaten, exchanged and offered as gifts during Kolkata’s leading religious festivals. The most delicious sweets are sold at Jugal’s, Bhim Nag, K.C. Das, Nakur Nandy, Ganguram, Sen Mahasoy, and Mithai.
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Meanwhile, located in Park Street are other well-known restaurants with mid-range priced foods. Some of the restaurants here are Peter Cat, Biriyani, Nizam’s, Kwality, and Flury’s. They serve Indian, Chinese, Japanese, continental and Mughlai food that cost about 100 to 300 rupees. Tibetan dishes are a specialty in Kolkata, and they are served at Dim Sums and Momo Plaza along Let Road.
More about Flury’s: this restaurant is one of the oldest in the country. It began serving delicious bread in Park Street a hundred years ago. It was once considered the best English bakery in all of Asia and was enjoyed by most British generals and officials who visited Kolkata. Back then, Calcutta was the most important city since it was the capital of British India. Other century-old restaurants are found in the Esplanade area.
The most expensive restaurants in the West Bengal capital city are Oh Calcutta!, Zaraang and Aheli. Prices are justifiable, though, since these food places serve the best and most delicious dishes in the coziest places in the city. Meanwhile, there are also excellent food choices in five star hotel restaurants.
Also, Chinese food is very popular in Kolkata and the rest of the country. Chinese restaurants are all over the city, serving the well-loved spicy Chinese chicken and hot and sour soup. Popular for serving authentic Chinese dishes are the Mainland China and China Town restaurants.
Drinking, on the other hand, is not as popular in Kolkata or the rest of the country since Indians are very conservative and therefore disciplined when it comes to drinking. Foreigners normally fill up the bars, and one of the most popular bars is Shibuji’s Soda Shikanji. A variety of drinks is served here, including lime with cola or cream soda. Eating and drinking in Calcutta is very satisfying despite the lack of the usual liquor and alcohol enjoyed by most people in other countries.