20 Oldest Restaurants In Kolkata

Kolkata, the City of Joy, has all the reasons to be renamed to the City of Food. For all those who have grown up or even remotely lived here for a while will have valid arguments to emphasize the importance of food in this metropolis. It’s almost as if, if you take out food from it, Kolkata would just cease to exist. From patrons of Rasgulla (argumentative) to the potato combined biriyani, Kolkata offers an array of cuisines for all gourmands out there. From the time when it used to be the Capital till 1911, to now in 2016, food has been an integral part of city influenced by a century of immigrating cultures and cuisines, which is a well-known fact amongst the residents of the city. What most of them don’t know is that, it also hosts few of the oldest restaurants in the nation. I believe that was the only upside of the colonization by the East India company which influenced a lot of modern day, yet old restaurants which still exist in the city are loved by all.
So here I present my list of the top 20 Oldest restaurants in the city.

1

Indian Coffee House

Standing tall in the middle of College Street, this place has been a usual stop for students over generations for ‘adda’ over a good cup of coffee and cutlet/ pakora. What started off in Albert Hall in 1942, is still a favourite spot amongst present day youth. In Spite of the busy schedule they allot time to come to Coffee House for their intellectual conversations over never ending cups of coffee. No wonder, this place served as an inspiration for the well acclaimed Bengali song by Manna Dey. Apart from the social contribution of Kolkata’s favourite cafe, this place contributes architecturally as well. With the French windows and double height storey’s, this place gives us plenty of reasons to be remembered in many ways than one in the years to come.

Where:

15, Bankim Chatterjee Street, College Street

Must Have:

Cold Coffee With Cream, Chicken Afghani Cutlet

Cost for Two:

Rs. 200

2

Flury’s

A must stop for all those with a sweet tooth. This place was a famous one amongst the English, as a popular tearoom. Established in 1927, Flury’s primed in serving confectionary items to all its customers. Other than the regular cakes and pastries, the English breakfast is a favoured choice for all its regulars. If you want a taste of the city’s one of the finest baked cakes, pastries and other such Swiss and English delicacies, then this is the place not to be missed at all!

One of the most frequent customer is Satyajit Ray who visited every Sunday morning for breakfast without fail.

Where:

18, Park Street, Park Street Area

Must Have:

English Breakfast, Rum balls

Cost for Two:

Rs.1300

3

Golbari

Kolkata is incomplete without its North Kolkata charm, which brings me to my next place. For generations on end, Golbari and Kosha Mangsho have been synonymous. What’s so exquisite about this place is that even after 94 years of running, it has never changed its menu. This places once known as the New Punjabi restaurant is now colloquially been renamed to Golbari for its spherical facade ( ‘gol’ meaning circle in Bengali). What most people do not know about this place is that Golbari famous for serving Bengali delicacies like Kosha Mangsho was started by a Punjabi and not a Bengali. If you are in Kolkata, your trip won’t be worthwhile until you try the soft mutton cooked in the dark velvety texture of gravy otherwise popularly known as Kosha Mangsho. And mind you, they have no branches!

Where:

New Punjabi Hotel, 211, A.P.C. Road, Shyam Bazaar

Must Have:

Kosha Mangsho

Cost for Two:

Rs. 500

4

Olypub

Located in Park Street, Oly Pub is a pilgrimage for college and school students for redefining the meaning of inexpensiveness. Serving a range of alcohol, one would sit here for hours with a chicken steaks and unlimited dalmoot while emptying beer bottles at a go. As a remarkable spot for youngsters, it’s difficult to find a table during peak hours. One of the oldest surviving pubs in the city, it is probably one of the few places which have an area reserved for men only. For those frequenting the place, the smoking lane would have added to a couple of stories you would probably never tell your children.

Where:

21 Park Street, Park Street Area

Must Have:

Mixed Grill Platter, Chicken A La Kiev

Cost for Two:

Rs. 1000

5

Dilkusha Cabin

Serving for more than a century, located in the center of College Street, this was once a renowned place for their rendition of the legendary dish called Kabiraji Cutlet. Dilkusha literally means ‘ heart-pleasing’, and is still running serving its legendary Kabiraji and cutlet. It bears testimony to the culture and the tradition of the older generation. This 108-year-old cabin had six other cabins spread in the city, which have been home to many romances, in these private cabins. Although the rest of the cabins were closed down in 2011, the one in College Street still survives.

Where:

88, Mahatma Gandhi Rd, College Square

Must Have:

Kabiraji Cutlet, Doi Chicken, Meat Potato Chop

Cost for Two:

Rs. 300

6

Anadi Cabin

Another illustrious cabin in the city, it still receives a number of visitors for its history of serving for generations till now. It is one of those timeless eat outs with customers of all age groups. Famous for its keema filled Mughlai paratha served with a side of potato curry and onion salad, a taste of its specialties has kept its customers wanting for more for over 60 years now.

Where:

9, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, New Market Area

Must Have:

Mughlai Paratha, Kabiraji Cutlet

Cost for Two:

Rs 150

7

Peter Cat

For all those who know Kolkata, even a little bit will realise that Park Street will be a frequent on this list with a large number of legendary restaurants its boasts of, one of them being Peter Cat. Located in Park Street, Peter Cat popularised for its unique Chelo Kebab has been in the business since 1975. Their Chelo Kebab Platter which is a combination of buttered rice with poached eggs and grilled kebabs and veggies is so unique that it is no surprise that you will often see customers queuing up for the privilege of tasting the specials, especially during the festivals and the New Year’s.

Where:

18A, Park Street, Park Street Area

Must Have:

Chelo Kebab Platter

Cost for Two:

Rs 1000

8

Chinatown

Chinatown, the part of the city where most if not all Chinese inhabit, is the only Chinatown in India. Once home to over 20, 000 ethnic Chinese Indian nationals, now has a population of around 2000. The earliest of Chinese had immigrated to India in 1820 which over time led to the development of Chinatown as we see it today. Present day Chinatown in Tangra is an area full of restaurants which serve you slightly Indian based authentic Chinese food. No matter how big or small the restaurants are, once you’ve had a taste of Chinese restaurants here, you are bound to return. The frequented restaurants are: Beijing, Big Boss, Kim Ling etc. The older Chinatown is based out of Tiretti Bazaar.

Where:

77/1, Christopher Road, Tangra, (Beijing)

Must Have:

Chinese

Cost for Two:

Rs 800 – 1000

9

Mocambo

Mocambo is a regular destination for families who have been visiting the place as a course of its lineage. Known for its courteous staff and the treatment to its customers, Mocambo is on the list for all the right reasons. Pioneering in dishes like Fish A La Diana, Chicken Ala Kiev, Angels on Horseback, this place has been a favourite for foreigners and expatriates in the city. For those who do not know this, Mocambo is such a legendary restaurant that it had been scripted into the Bollywood movie, Kahani.

Where:

25B Park Street, Park Street Area

Must Have:

Angels on a Horseback, Devilled Crab, Fish A La Diane

Cost for Two:

Rs 1000

10

Amber

For those with friends who grew up in Kolkata, a lot of the family gathering stories would mention a common name Amber. Amber is a fine dining restaurant where most family gatherings took place over a three-course meal of North Indian delicacies.

Where:

11, Waterloo Street, Esplanade

Must Have:

North Indian, Chicken Tandoori, Chicken Bharta, Mutton Saagwala.

Cost for Two:

Rs 1000

11

Mitra Cafe

This century old cafe, once a worshipped destination for sighting celebrities, is all about the old world charm. Still famous for its Kabiraji, Brain Chop, Mutton Chop, the place is full most of the times and the specials disappear within an hour of its opening. Established during the 1920’s, it is one of the remaining ‘cabins’ in Kolkata now. Located near Sovabazar metro station, it is recognised by a visibly cluttered room with a long queue proceeding from the shop.

Where:

47, Jatindra Avenue, Shobha Bazar

Must Have:

Mutton delicacies, Brain chop,

Cost for Two:

Rs 300

12

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge with its iconic windmill facade in Park Street is undeniably one of those iconic places you cannot afford to miss. Specialising in sizzlers, Moulin Rouge has been a legendary destination for years now. Rekha dancing to ‘Nayi Nahi Nahi Yeh Baatein…’ in Moulin Rouge in the movie Parineeta, would probably explain of the legend of this place. It is one of those chic restaurants with the perfect servings and classic interiors, making it a endearing choice.

Where:

31, Park Street Area

Must Have:

Prawn/Chicken Thermidor

Cost for Two:

Rs 900

13

Royal Indian Hotel

A Biryani place, which arguably the first ones to bring Biryani to this city. It competes with its multiple adversaries (other biryani chains in the city) with the difference of the potato being absent from any of the biryanis they serve. According to their history, they have since their establishment served Lucknowi Biryani. Even though it does not contain a Bengali’s favourite element of biryani, this place is full most of the times.

Where:

147, Rabindra Sarani, Bara Bazar

Must Have:

Chicken/ Mutton Biryani, Mutton Chaap

Cost for Two:

Rs 500

14

Aminia

Serving Biryanis from a numerous centers, the first Aminia was opened in Dharmatala near New Market. What very few people would know is that this place came into existence on the day of independence and saw itself into popularity because of the young and novice footballers of Bengal who would turn up for a plate of biryani from their favourite Biryani place after a good game.

Where:

6A, S.N. Banerjee Road, New Market Area

Must Have:

Aminia Special Curry, Mutton Rezala, Mutton Burra Kebab. Special Biryani

Cost for Two:

Rs 600

15

Lakshmi Narayan Shaw And Sons

Not so much of a restaurant as much as of a corner store, this store is famous for serving only vegetarian Bengali delicacies otherwise known as telebhaja. Telebhaja literally meaning ‘fried in oil ‘refers to the variety of veggies in a chickpea/ gram flour batter deep fried in oil. Telebhaja is a favourite breakfast for any Bengali and Lakshmi Narayan Shaw and Sons, undoubtedly serves the best in town. For those wondering how old this place is, it was alternatively also known as Netajir Telebhaja with two of his birthdays even been celebrated at this shop itself.

Where:

158, Bidhan Sarani, Hatibagan

Must Have:

Telebhaja

Cost for Two:

Rs 100

16

Paramount

Paramount is an unusual yet extraordinary joint which serves a variety of beverages only. Located on College Street, this store has been serving customers which included quite a few famous personalities since 1918. Paramount adds to its unique flavours of sherbets with its extremely fast and humble service. One can simply not have tasted any of what they serve anywhere else.

Where:

Bankim Chatterjee Street, College Square, College Street

Must Have:

Dub Sarbat, Green Mango Sherbet, Kesar Malai, The Rose Malai

Cost for Two:

Rs 200

17

Trincas

Located on Park Street, Trincas was once a favourite live music destination. Legends like Usha Uthup have performed within the closed doors. Once treasured as the Mecca of live music in the 1950’s, it still invites people of great taste in music to its tables. It is still one of the few restaurants in the city where you can listen to live music while enjoying a nice drink and dinner.

Where:

17, Park Street, Park Street Area

Must Have:

Shredded Lamb, Trincas Special Mix Grill

Cost for Two:

Rs. 1200

18

Allen Kitchen

This 132-year-old restaurant is a proud landmark of the city’s exquisite cuisine serving a variety of finger food. This restaurant operates only for 5 hours between 4 pm to 9 pm but is always packed no matter when you decide to go. It has been a favourite for generations for its reliable cooking and lip-smacking dishes.

Where:

40/1, Jatindra Mohan Avenue, Shobha Bazar

Must Have:

Special Prawn Cutlet

Cost for Two:

Rs 300

19

Nizam’s

No matter wherever you are in the country, Kathi rolls and Kolkata are synonymous. Much of it is due to the famous Nizam’s in Kolkata which pioneers in Kathi rolls. It has served a number of delighted customers who keep coming back for more.

Where:

23/24, Hogg Street, New Market Area

Must Have:

Egg Chicken Roll, Chicken Roll

Cost for Two:

Rs 400

20

Eau Chew

Not many would have heard about Eau Chew, and it would surprise a lot of people that it is one of the oldest family owned Chinese restaurants in Kolkata and in India. Other than serving authentic Chinese food, they have often invented originals such as the chimney soup and the Josephine noodles. The restaurant which operates for only 7 hours a day, strictly maintains its secrecy of recipes for generations now. One thing unique about this place is that since its establishment in around 1920, it has a strict cash only policy. So remember to not rely on electronic money when you’re there.

Where:

12, Ganesh Chandra Avenue, Chandni Chowk

Must Have:

Chimney soup, Josephine noodles.

Cost for Two:

Rs 600

Special Mention:

Ballygunge Phari Dhaba

As a pre-Independence establishment, famous for its North Indian delicacies, it was a landmark restaurant which shutdown this year. It has since then been dearly missed by all.