Central Kolkata is the beating heart of the city, based along the West banks of the Hooghly River. This is where the local business class and aristocracy reside, as you’ll find several government offices and some of the finest business houses in the city center. There’s also plenty for travelers to explore, including amusement parks, art galleries, auditoriums, cinema halls, and – of course – several superb eateries. Here’s our list of the 10 best restaurants in Central Kolkata.
Peter Cat is a legendary restaurant in Kolkata, standing tall after surviving both a fire and the simple passage of time; it remains as popular today as it was when it first opened in the 1960s. The dimly-lit interiors and the crisp Rajasthani red and white costumes of the servers will transport you back to this bygone era. Their delightful, cat-shaped menu offers a wide range of Continental and North Indian cuisine, and is famous across Kolkata for its delicious meat dishes. If it’s your first time in Kolkata, then this restaurant should serve your first meal.
Though their venue is always low-lit, Mocambo’s menu shines brightly in the Kolkata food scene. They offer Indian, Mughlai and Tandoori food, but their Continental preparations are what really do the trick. They enjoy a sizable crowd throughout the week mainly to sample their Fish à las Diana, Baked Alaska, and Cream Caramel. Pair these memorable dishes with a classic cocktail from the bar, all served by their incredibly quiet and respectful wait staff, for the full Mocambo experience.
If you’re craving momos and want great Chinese food that won’t empty your wallet, The Blue Poppy is the place to be! Its casual college-canteen-style seating, refreshing AC and welcoming smiles create a perfect setting for gorging on scrumptious food at low rates. Try the pork momos, the steamed chicken, or the chicken meifoon soup. Their tables are often crammed with college students and office workers, so be sure to get there early if you’d like a quieter meal.
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Head to Katsuri for a taste of authentic Dhakai fare at a comfortable rate. They prepare some of the finest seafood the city, and their menu includes unmissable delicacies like Bhetki Paturi (slow-cooked, steamed fish wrapped in banana leaf with mustard paste), Shorshe Hilsha (hilsa fish in mustard sauce), and the Ruhi Kaalia (a rich and spicy fish curry). After one dish of Katsuri’s fish, you’ll be hooked. End on a sweet note with a delicious dessert like the rasmalai (paneer balls in sweat creamy milk) or the misti doi (a fermented sweet yogurt).
With its gigantic, elegant seating area decked out in striking Chinese artifacts, Tung Fond offers quality Chinese food in a memorable, inviting atmosphere. You’ll see plenty of work colleagues coming in from Park Street offices to treat each other to tasty lunches here, like the Thai garlic chicken (or fish) and the drums of heaven. Feel free to relax with a drink from the bar as you wait for your lunch or dinner, and don’t leave without snagging one of their chocolate brownies.
A fresh face in town, Edesia now offers sweet relief to locals who craved higher quality breakfast options. Inside you’ll find creamy white walls swirled with pink graphics, comfy couches and shelves packed with coffee mugs soon to be filled. Their impressive décor is backed up by an extensive menu that goes above and beyond with its traditional American-Italian fare: their cheese platter and their waffles are not to be missed. This worthy newcomer to the Kolkata food scene has injected an espresso-like shot into the local breakfast and brunch scene.
Baan Thai in the Oberoi Grand serves authentic Thai cuisine, with the bulk of its ingredients imported directly from Thailand. The venue itself is impressive, beginning with the gorgeous life size statue of the Buddha waiting to welcome you at the reception desk. The striking Thai wooden masks and wood carvings decorating their walls lend a regal touch to the restaurant’s interior. Their thoughtfully prepared menu offers a range of vegetarian delicacies, as well as a number of highly popular seafood and meat delicacies. Start with the Tom Yum soup or the yam neua salad, then proceed to the chicken or pork phad bai krapo (stir fried with chili and basil), or the prawn khao phad (Thai fried rice). For dessert, be sure to try the khao neiw ob krati (a coconut-based treat with water chestnuts).
Fire And Ice is heating up, as this review comes hot on the heels of its nomination in the Best Italian Restaurant category of The Times Food and Nightlife Awards 2016. This is India’s most prestigious culinary award, and the nomination was well-earned: this is one fantastic place for Italian food. Their authentic Italian menu branches far, far beyond the standard pizzas and pastas you’ll find in most Italian restaurants in India. That said, the pepperoni pizza here is in a league of its own, along with their delectable antipasti and rich risotto with artichokes. Fire And Ice easily serves the best Italian cuisine in the city, and may soon prove itself the best in all of India.
Hakuna Matata means ‘No Worries’ in Swahili (as a certain meerkat and warthog once famously sang), and it’s now also the name of a new restaurant that’s popped up on Kolkata’s bustling Park Street. Inside you’ll find a warm and cheery atmosphere, with ample sunlight washing over shades of bright yellow and light wood. The food is as fresh as the daisy-like décor: from tasty nibbles, sandwiches, wraps to full Italian dishes, this is truly a globetrotting menu. Try the chicken falafel pita pockets, the pumpkin gnocchi, or the soba miso noodle salad.
Nizam’s need no introduction to the people of Kolkata: this local gem is nothing short of an institution. Over many long decades, their Kathi rolls (meats and spice wrapped in a paratha) have kept generation after generation coming back for more. The succulent Seekh Kebab is a timeless taste of heaven, wrapped in fresh, hot parathas with a generous sprinkling of raw onions and chilies. The quality ingredients in their delicious dishes, coupled with the warm and friendly service, have elevated Nizam’s to iconic heights in this city. To dine here is to fully understand Kolkata’s lasting love of food. By Shreyas Kulkarni