Kolkata is a city where you can get every type of street food you are looking for. A variety of gastronomic delights are available on the streets of the capital city, and that too, for cheap. The city displays a special attitude towards food, cooked and served hot on the streets. Every nook and corner of the city has stalls serving lip smacking dishes. Once the city of just jhal muri (puffed rice mixed with other ingredients), phuchka (golgappa), singara (samosa), kachauri and telebhaja (oil fries), street food graduated to hot kathi rolls (kebabs rolled in a paratha) and Mughlai paratha (paratha with potato filling laced with egg) in the 1960s.
Sometime during the 1980s, chowmein (mixed noodles) turned into a favourite street food with kiosks and carts mushrooming in nearly every locality. Around that time, Kolkata adopted paw bhaji, a favourite Maharashtrian dish that is extremely popular in Mumbai. As influx of migrant population increased, hotels sprung up, serving maach-bhaat (fish and rice) around various localities. The substantial meal is still sold at extremely affordable rates. Around the same time, south Indian fare comprising dosa, idli and vada became popular. These were followed by chola- bhatura and kulcha-chana.
At the turn of the millennium, more exotic dishes were added to the street food platter. Momo (dumplings) and thukpa (noodle soup) is now a major hit and sold on streets across the city. Biryani, that was available only in restaurants, has also become a regular fare in streets, particularly in office localities like BBD Bag and Camac Street.
Exploring the famous street food joints of Kolkata, especially in the BBD Bagh area, Dalhousie Square area, Sudder Street, A.J.C Bose Road. The kiosks along Dacres Lane are the ultimate destination for foodies. This tour will give you an opportunity to learn how to cook without a kitchen and how to make the most out of not very much. You may experience the different flavours of Kolkata’s street food (at your own risk, of course).
Dacres Lane - This is one of the most famous street food places in Kolkata. From China to Punjab, the food map here charts all delicacies one can want. This is a safe place to try out Kolkata’s street food with family as WHO has rated the food here as one of the “Best Street Foods of the World”. One can bite into a myriad variety of dishes—chicken cutlet, fish fry, fish roll, mutton/chicken/vegetable stew, ghugni, chowmein, fried rice, chilly/schezwan/garlic chicken, luchi/puri sabzi, chola-bhatura, kulcha-chana, momo, biryani, a wide range of sweets, lassi, firni and lots more. For almost 200 years, Dacres Lane was the eating ground for sailors who came to Calcutta from various countries. Dacres Lane served as a platform where sailors used to hang around and exchanged tales of their voyages and heroics over generous platters of food. In the 19th century, after the British left India, the tradition has been since carried forward by the city’s fiercely food loving residents. Dacres Lane is a must visit for street food connoisseurs.
BBD Bagh - One of the prime business centres of the city, BBD Bagh sees a lot of businessmen flock to the street food stalls here for a quick lunch. Join the experienced locals and take a food walk down the square which is known for the numerous vendors who flock to this place to sell their wares. Some of the best vendors here are located near Fairlie place, by the backside of Writer’s Building and Near the Bankshall Court. You can try the Luchi, Kochuri and Aloodom, Cholar Dal, Rice and Fish Curry and Lanchan when here.
Dalhousie Square - The alleys off N.S.Road, the famed office area surrounding Writers Building (the administrative centre of West Bengal) offer a lip-smacking variety of snacks and meals, with choices ranging from typical Bengali and South Indian to Mughlai, Punjabi and Chinese cuisine. In fact the entire area, loosely referred to as the "Dalhousie para", encompassing the Calcutta High Court and the Stock Exchange on Lyons Range (to name just two of the many landmark buildings), is a foodies` paradise where one can spend weeks sampling new dishes.
Sudder Street - One of the best places to enjoy Chinese street foods in Kolkata, ranging from dumplings to noodles and thukpa, Sudder Street is a retreat of spicy repose for foodies. All this bounty of taste involves the risk of falling ill, so be warned!
AJC Bose Road - If you are in the mood for some juicy Kathi Rolls which taste like they are food poetry then head to AJC Bose Road for fulfilment. Once here, walk to Gorky Sadan and see these culinary delights being prepared just across the road. Take your pick from a stuffing of paneer, mix veg, egg, curried chicken or chopped mutton, select from the roomali bread or parantha bread and get for yourself the personification of good taste wrapped in paper. Just walk to the vendor who is enjoying the longest queue and walk out with Kolkata’s gift to the food world, a Kathi Roll.