Kolkata is well known for serving delicious food that satisfies a wide range of tastes. The hottest new food trend in the city is the rising popularity of purely vegetarian restaurants, and some of these restaurants also come with interesting themes, novel food preparations, live bars and sports screen. Some of the best vegetarian restaurants that one must definitely visit while in town are:
1. Fly Kouzina
This is a one of a kind themed vegetarian restaurant. The interior is made to look like the inside of an aeroplane. The restaurant provides authenticity to the experience with specially designed aeroplane seats, the staff dressed as flying crew members, and also by providing boarding passes to all the foodies who visit! Located in Sector 1, Salt Lake, the restaurant serves a variety of Cuisines: North Indian, Chinese and Continental. It provides WiFi and also has a live sports screen. It is one of the handful places in the city that serves Jain food. Drop in and have a fantastic journey to delicious food!
The house of Iskcon presents Govinda’s, a restaurant that serves North Indian and South Indian food. It’s a heritage restaurant and one of the first purely vegetarian restaurant that had opened in Kolkata, where the dishes are served without garlic and onion. It is well known for its thalis and combo meals. It also has a separate desserts counter for all those with a sweet tooth. Some of their must-have dishes are Corn Saag and Kashmiri Aloo Dum.
3. Kaidi Kitchen
This is another themed casual dining restaurant in this list. It also boasts the added advantages of free WiFi and valet parking. The restaurant is located on Camac Street, in the heart of the city. It is themed in the form of a jailhouse. The interior is designed in the form of a prison cell. The available cuisines include North Indian, Thai, Mongolian, Chinese, Italian and Mexican. So there is a huge menu of food items to select from. The restaurant also rents its space for private parties.
A fairly old hookah parlour on Elgin Road, this is one of the cafes from before cafes popped up in every corner of the city. The highlight of this restaurant includes breakfast and a wide variety of continental dishes. This restaurant is designed in the style of a café and is known for its finger food and delicious Italian cuisine. There are three different seating areas: typical high stool areas near the lounge area; a normal seating area where one can sit cross-legged on cushions; and finally, a place where you can dip your feet in the water. This is the most popular area and is difficult to get a place at. Loud music, a crowded inside, and ageing decorations are more than made up for by the speed of service, the efficacy of the waiters and the quality and quantity of food served. It is a perfect place for school and college goers to hang out at.
Located in Sector 3 of Salt Lake, the restaurant is marketed as a Benarasi Cuisine restaurant. However, it resembles a Rajasthani eatery more closely. The décor is authentic and there is well-spaced seating arrangement. The menu is a novelty in the way it’s provided as well as the content. The food tastes authentic and is extremely tasty. Most of the staple Rajasthani dishes find a place on the menu and are quite accurate in their taste and presentation. The dishes are served on thalis and bowls made from clay. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful and are a wonderful addition to this excellent eatery.
6.The Yellow Chili
It is another restaurant which serves Jain food. It also boasts of a live sports screen. This restaurant is associated with the famous chef, Sanjeev Kapoor. This means the items on the menu are delectable and tasty. The food served is North Indian or Mughlai style. There is a wide range of food items present. A few of the items that one must try are Shabnam ke Moti, Malai Kofta, Lasuni Naan, Laal Mussa Dal and Chocolate Chilli Fruit Sundae.
7. Hakuna Matata
Hakuna Matata is the latest place to take the Park Street food scene by storm. It is a cozy restaurant with a laid back air. It aims to build on a theme of travel and adventure. The interior is decorated extensively by art installations by Chhatrapati Datta and there’s a staircase, leading up to the upper level that looks like a hanging bridge. What adds value to the place is that almost everything, from sauces to bread, is prepared in-house. The menu is global fusion, serving up the best vegetarian fritters, burgers and salads you’ll find anywhere in the city. They have an extensive bar menu as well.
8. Mumbai Local
Mumbai Local is a casual dining restaurant specializing in North Indian and street food. A novel feature is that it has a lively bar and a separate smoking area. This is one of the new restaurants in town and it is designed to resemble the very quintessential Mumbai local trains. This is from where the restaurant derives its name. Some of the must-have dishes include Dahi Kebab, Stuffed Kulcha, Dal Makhani and Mudh Island. A notable feature is the interesting names they put on their menu that make the dishes sound like they are delivered to your plate straight from the heart of Mumbai! This food joint is definitely worth a visit, not only for its quirky décor but also for its delectable food.
9. Pai’s Malgudi
Located opposite Hazra Law College, in the alley Beside Bhandari Automobiles Gariahat it is an excellent place for authentic, yet different dosas. The restaurant provides regular South Indian dishes with a nice twist making them more in sync with the college age crowd that usually frequent this place. Helpful staff, a decor befitting the name and great food at economical prices makes it a great place to go with friends or for a family get-together.
10. Rajdhani Thali
This food joint is one of the best places in the city to have vegetarian thalis. The ambiance is royal and luxurious. The dishes are mostly Rajasthani and Gujrati, cuisines that aren’t commonly available in the city. Rajdhani Express is also one of the few purely vegetarian restaurants that serve buffets at very reasonable prices. It is easily accessible being located on the very famous Park Street, one of Kolkata’s primary roads. The staff is known to be very courteous. To enjoy authentic Gujarati or Rajasthani food, Rajdhani Thali should definitely be on the list.
11. Rooftop View
Rooftop View is a one of a kind restaurant that gives a beautiful view of the city while giving the opportunity to enjoy some pocket-friendly and delicious food. The restaurant specializes in South Indian. The dosas and cold coffees are the highlights. The Dhaniya Dosa is a must-have from this place.
This restaurant is known for its beautiful ambiance, vegetarian delicacies, and buffet. With interiors to simply stand and behold, this place is one of the city’s finest exclusively vegetarian restaurants. It serves North Indian, Chinese and Continental food. The buffet is known for its wide variety of soups and starters. This is the perfect restaurant for a family gathering.
13. Casa Kitchen
Part of Hotel Casa Fortuna, Casa Kitchen makes it to every list of top vegetarian buffets in the city. Located around the Minto Park area, Casa Kitchen is open all day, right from 7 AM to 11 PM, serving everything from breakfast to lunch. As with most vegetarian places in the city, the menu is a combination of North Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines. The Chef’s Daily Specials are priced reasonably and offer up a five-course meal, that’s more than enough for a person. Their signature corporate meals are perfect for working lunches, with generous portions. The extensive bar menu only adds to the overall value of the place. Other benefits include valet parking and free WiFi.
14. Banana Leaf
Banana Leaf is known for its authentic South Indian cuisine. It is one of the first and most reputable South Indian restaurants in the city. It is a popular choice of restaurant for breakfasts and lunch. It is very reasonably priced with a wide range of items in their menu. Located in close proximity to the Lake Mall, it is the regular hangout place for shoppers.
15. Suruchi Veg Restaurant
Located near Quest Mall, in the heart of South Calcutta, Suruchi Veg Restaurant serves Indian vegetarian fare from Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Punjab. This is a no-frills place and their menu focuses squarely on the thali or combo meal system. For a fixed amount, you get unlimited refills of almost everything on the meal list, except dessert. Their service is prompt and the prices are very reasonable. The inside is done up with lampshades, mirrors and hanging puppets, with instrumental Hindustani music in the background. It has a quintessential North Indian charm to it.
16. Jyoti Vihar
This is the place to go to when craving South Indian food after a Sunday morning jog. Neither authentic nor experimental this restaurant serves South Indian dishes in a way that is only available in Kolkata. People who go here swear by the dishes available and claim that they are better than any other place in the city. A simple establishment, extremely pocket-friendly, the only drawback is the possibility of having to wait, not because they are slow but because they have a huge, loyal patronage. Any mention of this restaurant would be incomplete without mentioning their brilliant, special chutney, which is truly special.
17. The Yellow Straw
This tiny little paradise is located in the older parts of the city, near BBD Bagh, Dalhousie. It has gained popularity among the young and the office goers owing to its healthy food. This bistro has gained its popularity for its fruit juices and shakes. It has a very quaint décor and is maintained with impeccable cleanliness.
A Rajasthani restaurant located off Park Street, on Russel Street, this place is an absolute gem of what can be called Calcutta’s food district. As one walks, the beautiful Rajasthani décor is the first feature that attracts attention and it is sure to transport anyone to the north-western parts of India. Teej is one the oldest fine-dining vegetarian restaurants in Park Street. The cuisine is evenly distributed between Continental and Rajasthani. For any foodie, the Rajasthani Thali at this place is a must-try, as is the Manchow Soup. It is one of costlier vegetarian restaurants in the city, but it’s worth every penny.
18. The Chutney Co.
The Chutney Co. is located at the heart of the city, directly opposite Lalit, Great Eastern Hotel. This food joint specializes in making South Indian food less boring. They provide the usual mundane dishes with a bit of twist and that is the secret behind their outstanding popularity. The chutneys are new and delicious. One must try the mango chutney. Even a simple Masala Dosa is served with six different chutneys. Another interesting thing to note is that The Chutney Co. shares its space with another purely vegetarian restaurant “Piccadilly Square”, which specializes in Italian and Continental dishes. So, there is no dearth in variety. One must definitely give this restaurant a try.
19. Raj Restaurant
The oldest and quite possible the most famous South Indian cuisine restaurant in Kolkata, ‘Hotel Homely Raj’, formerly known as Raj Hotel Restaurant is still evergreen in the mind of its patrons. Located on Manoharpukur Road near Rash Behari Avenue, this place in Hazra serves yummy Dosa and Sambhar and has been doing so for 50 years. The quality, ambience and most importantly taste is as exquisite as ever. It is a pocket-friendly and great place to enjoy a dinner out with the family.
20. Second House
This restaurant is located as part of Second House Guest House near Kalighat Metro off Rash Behari Avenue. It might be slightly difficult to trace the place, but the food more than compensates for the effort. The seating is a mixture between restaurant and lounge implying that it can be used to hangout, as well as for hosting events. Most of the preparations are excellent to taste; the Malai items are particularly so, though a bit on the sweeter side. The best dish would be the bread basket: an assortment of various Indian bread. The restaurant boasts of live music and sports screening. They also have a separate smoking area for the convenience of their guests.