The article was written in 2021.
Kolkata - The city of joy has a very colorful and tasteful history when it comes to food and culture. When you think of Kolkata, you will definitely think of food! You will find food of all kinds and cuisine in Kolkata today! Be it Authentic Bengali cuisine, or Chinese cuisine, or a fusion of different dishes and cuisines from all around the world!
There are quite a lot of eateries and restaurants in Kolkata which are famous not just in the city but throughout India and outside of the country as well! People travel from all corners of the globe to try the amazing food and to experience Bengali cuisine.
Be it Indian street food or chaat or fine dining restaurants, Kolkata has got it all! But there are a few restaurants and establishments in the city which opened their doors decades ago and brought Kolkata on the map! And some of these establishments are still standing strong.
Today we will be looking at some of the oldest restaurants in Kolkata which have become legendary due to the history and taste of their food!
Let's not wait any further and let's get started!
Famous oldest restaurants in Kolkata
1. Flury's, Park Street
Flury's originally was opened as a tea house in the year 1927! This decades-old establishment on Park Street is one of the most iconic eateries and confectionery serving some of the best freshly baked food items. If you love Authentic English breakfast, Flury's has an all-day English breakfast on their menu which is an absolute delight! Their cakes and muffins taste so good! You need to head to Flury's, sit down and enjoy the flavor of their muffins coupled with a cup of coffee! This is also a great spot to take your partner on a romantic date! Flury's is definitely one of the most iconic and legendary establishments which have made Park Steet such a popular spot! Talking about the place, it has an English feel to it, you would feel like you're sitting in an English cafe from the early 80s' when you enter Flury's with the vintage furniture, black and white checkered flooring and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling lighting up the place. The staff is also quite friendly and the service is decent. Their signature dish - Baba cake is a must-try!
INR 400, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
2. Nizam's, New Market Area
The dish Kathi Roll was invented in this restaurant, that's how iconic and famous this restaurant is. Kathi roll which has now become one of the most popular and most eaten Indian street food was first conceptualized right here at Nizam's Nizam's is probably the most popular eatery from the early days when Kolkata was known as Calcutta. Established in the early 1930s', Nizam's serves amazing Mughlai, North Indian cuisine. Their biryani and kebabs are something you have to try! If you love Hyderabadi biryani, you'll definitely be impressed by Nizam's mutton biryani! The flavor just bursts in your mouth the minute you take the first bite! Talking about the place, it's a simple casual dining restaurant on the busy streets of the New Market Area, with simplistic interiors and minimal decor. Although the food served here is really delicious, the staff is not very friendly, so watch out for that. Other than that the place is amazing. Their menu is priced quite reasonably, so it won't hurt your pocket if you do decide to feast on tasty, mouth-watering food at this legendary restaurant.
INR 400, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
3. Mocambo, Park Street
The reason why Park Street is so popular is because of the amazing establishments and restaurants that are located in the area. One of those restaurants, and should we add one of the most iconic restaurants in the area is Mocambo. Opened in 1956, Mocambo in its initial days was for the elite population of Calcutta and their fancy steaks and sparkling wine. Mocambo was considered a fine dining restaurant and they have still kept the charm and vibes of the 60s' as part of their interiors and decor, making this place legendary to date. With the vintage furniture, dim lighting using red lampshades, and unique uniforms for their staff. Taking about the food, they serve North Indian, Continental, and Italian cuisines. The food is really tasty! If you visit Mocambo and don't try their signature dish - The Devilled Crab, you're really missing out on something really special! All the non-vegetarian people are in for a special treat as well! Other than their devilled crab, they're famous for their steaks as well. They have the juiciest steaks and the portion of each steak is enough to make you full!
INR 800, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
Legendary pubs & clubs in Kolkata
4. Olypub, Park Street
If we are talking about legendary pubs in Kolkata, we cannot complete the list without mentioning Olypub! Opened originally as Olympia Bar & Restaurant, Olypub is the most iconic pub in Kolkata! Established in 1947, Olypub reigned the pubbing scene at the time. Olypub is a famous bar in Kolkata amongst college-goers because of its very pocket-friendly menu. Talking about the food, they serve Continental, North Indian, and Mughlai food dishes. Their Indian food dishes are really tasty and definitely worth trying! Their signature dish - Chicken Ala Keiv is also a must-try. If you visit Olypub, it's a tradition to order steak, gulp it down along with a chilled beer! it's an evergreen combination that will never go wrong! During peak hours, you'll find the pub operating at full capacity, the room is filled with groups of people having a good time and enjoying their evening! The ambiance of the place is really happy and pleasant. You should definitely visit Olypub with your gang at least once!
INR 900, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
5. Trincas Restaurant & Bar, Park Street
If live music, good food, great drinks, and the company of your friends is the definition of a perfect evening for you, Trincas is the place you should head to! This iconic restaurant & bar is one of the only places where you can still enjoy truly amazing Jazz music along with your drinks and food in the city. Opened in the 1930s', this place still has its charm and cozy environment, with the white-out walls covered with paintings from the 30s' and 40s', red lanterns hanging from the ceiling to your tables illuminating your food and drinks, simple tables and chairs as seating arrangements, and a stage for artists to perform on. Trincas host some of the most talented artists since the beginning, making it an iconic restaurant in the city of joy. Talking about the food, they serve delectable Continental, North Indian, and Chinese cuisines. The Chinese dishes they serve are heavily influenced by Indian taste and flavor, kind of making their dishes Indian Chinese. So if you're in the mood for authentic Chinese, this is not the best place to have Chinese food. Their North Indian food however will make you feel like you're having food straight from a restaurant in North India.
INR 900, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
6. Shaw Brothers (Chhota Bristol), Esplanade
Shaw Brothers otherwise known as Chhota Bristol is kind of a hidden gem and a legendary bar in Esplanade! If you want to experience true Calcutta then Shaw Brothers are the place you need to head hands-down! One of the oldest bars in Kolkata, dating back to the 1910s', this is a men's-only bar. The place in itself is nothing too out of the ordinary, rather it's quite simple. The interiors of the place are kept to a minimum, with normal tables and chairs for customers to sit and enjoy their drinks. The reason why Shaw Brothers are always full is because of their prices. You can get a whiskey(30ml) for Rs.60 and a beer for Rs.100! They have a lot of regular customers so if you'd like to spend your evening at Shaw Brothers and enjoy cheap drinks head there early and grab a table! They serve almost all Indian brands of alcohol and some international brands as well. They don't have their own kitchen, they serve you fast food from the street vendors selling street food outside the bar. The service is fast, you will always get a chilled drink, and the food from the street food vendors is rather tasty and a perfect combination with your drinks! The place tends to get a little loud at peak hours with the place completely full, you'll hear a lot of drunk men loudly talking, but that's the charm of the place. The chaos has its own ambiance and vibes.
INR 600, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
Pre-Independence eateries in Kolkata
7. Paramount Sherbets & Syrups, College Street
Talking about eateries from the pre-independence era, Paramount is one of the most interesting establishments in Kolkata. Opened in 1918 by a freedom fighter, this establishment was a front to hold meetings for freedom fighters! Revolutionaries like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Pulin Behari Das, and Satin Sen conducted a secret meeting in the establishment. Today this place is a must-visit establishment if you're headed to college street. Paramount is known to serve some of the most refreshing Sherbets in the entire city. They are priced reasonably as well since their customers are mostly students. Paramount is the usual adda for all students after their classes are over in the evening. There is a very friendly vibe to the place. Talking about the place, it's a nice small cozy establishment with decent seating capacity, old newspaper articles are framed and hanged on the wall along with photos of freedom fighters who have visited them as decor. They have a lot of options to choose from, but we will recommend you to try their daab sharbat, vanilla sharbat, and green mango!
INR 250, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
8. Indian Coffee house, College Street
Another legendary establishment in College Street, Indian Coffee House, formerly known as Albert Hall was founded in 1876, it is the oldest bookstore in Kolkata! Notable personalities like Rabindranath Tagore and Subhas Chandra Bose used to visit the Indian Coffee House to get a cup of coffee while working! This is one of the most iconic establishments where quite a few cultural and political movements took birth! Today, it is still one of the most famous bookstores in the city, and book lovers frequent this establishment to read a good novel and sip on their coffee. Talking about the food, they serve Chinese, Indian Chinese to be specific along with other fast food items, their fish dish is really tasty, you'll find this dish on almost all tables. Their filter coffee is something really special and should definitely be tried. Talking about the place, it has a high ceiling setting from which fans hang low for ventilation. They have quite a lot of seating capacity with 2 stories. This place is one of the legendary establishments that should be a must-visit if you are in Kolkata!
INR 300, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
9. Allen Kitchen, Shoba Bazaar
For all food lovers, Allen Kitchen is one restaurant that you should definitely not miss if you love Bengali food and seafood! Started almost 100 years ago, Allen Kitchen is a hidden gem in the city of joy! You will find people traveling from all over India to taste their signature dish - prawn cutlets. They once had 5 outlets in the city, but now is reduced to only one. Their main chef who has been with the restaurant has been with them for the last 50 years! If you're a meat lover, this place will leave your mind blown! They have a lot of options to choose from and let us tell you something, each and every dish is cooked to perfection! Part of the reason why Allen Kitchen is so popular, other than the amazingly tasty food is their prices. It's one of the most affordable places to dine in. Their fish curry is something you'll find every person who has visited Allen Kitchen complementing! Talking about the place, it will give you complete vibes of the old Calcutta. The place is quite small and can seat only a limited number of guests, the furniture is very simple and minimalistic. The staff is extremely friendly, which adds to the overall experience and ambiance.
INR 450, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
Oldest sweet house in Kolkata
10. Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick, Bhowanipore
One of the oldest sweet houses in Kolkata, Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick has been making incredibly tasty sweets since 1885! Their best sweet being the Nolen Gur Sandesh, they make a lot of Bengali sweets. The name is synonymous with tasty and high-quality sweets since its inception. Every food lover in Kolkata who has a sweet tooth has definitely had sweets from this establishment at least once! Their sweets are known to literally melt in your mouth the minute you take a bite and will leave your taste buds in bliss. Apart from sweets they also make chaat items and other fast food items like samosa's which are equally delicious! As you know Bengali's love sweets, you will find at least one sweet dish from Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick in every Bengali household on any given day! They have several outlets all across the city. They have, not so long ago, also started baking cakes and other confectionery food items which taste good, but we will recommend you to have their sweet dishes as that's in their wheelhouse and taste better, in fact, their taste is so good, famous personalities like Lakshmi Mittal often orders sweets to be delivered to his London residence.
INR 100, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps