The city of Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is a large city and culinary hotspot on the east bank of the Hooghly River in West Bengal. There are many places to eat Indian street food in Kolkata. The city boasts a wide array of cuisines that range from Bengali to Chinese to the flavors of other Indian states, with each one tastier than the last.
The flavors are even more varied than the cuisines themselves and range from mild to spicy and can be found in every texture imaginable. It’s no surprise that foodies from all over the world journey to Kolkata to eat its street food. It’s a mind-blowing and mouthwatering experience that everyone should experience at least once. That is why we’ve put together this guide to help travelers find the best food that Kolkata has to offer. These are the 5 places to eat Indian street food in Kolkata, India.
One of Kolkata’s most interesting locations, especially for history buffs like me, is the White Town, which is where the colonial area rulers stayed during the British Raj. While remnants of the British Empire’s time in Kolkata are a popular attraction, another reason to visit White Town is its fantastic street food.
Fresh sugarcane juice is a popular drink you can buy from street vendors all over India, and White Town is no exception. It makes for a sweet and refreshing treat, especially because Kolkata is sweltering most of the time.
Look for a street vendor selling Dim Pauruti, a bread that is soaked in egg, grilled, and served with a chickpea curry. The curry contains onions, green chilies, and a squirt of lime. The bread is nice and sweet and is toasted to perfection. It pairs well with the savory, spicy curry and the vegetables, which add a different texture and give it a nice crunch. Don’t miss out on it! This dish alone makes White Town one of the top places to eat Indian street food in Kolkata!
I also recommend the Kolkata-style Chinese Noodles, which unlike regular Chinese noodles, contains lots of chilies. While you might expect this dish to be unbearably hot because of the chilies and red sauce, it isn’t hot at all. Instead, it’s both sweet and sour and has a nice crunch from the onion inside it. It’s also very filling, so be sure to pace yourself if you plan on eating more afterward!
There’s also a tasty puffed rice dish with tomatoes, onions, potatoes, green chilies, and gram you have to try called Jhaal Muri. The tomatoes add a nice moistness to the dish, which has a spiciness that isn’t evident with your first few bites. It sneaks up on you later, so be prepared for it! Also try the Malai Toast, which is toast topped with fresh cream. It’s slightly sweet and the bread has a delicious crunch to it. It’s pretty addictive!
The final food you should get in White Town is a lentil pancake made from moong dal batter, salt, and green chilies called Dal Chilla. It’s topped with onions, tomatoes, and coriander and served with a mint chutney and a garlic chutney. The mint chutney is pretty spicy and becomes explosion of heat in my mouth when it’s combined with the green chilies in the Dal Chilla. I recommend skipping the garlic chutney unless you really love garlic. It’s super potent and was way too strong for me!
And because chai is one of my absolute favorite things to drink in India, end your night with this creamy, frothy tea-based drink. I got some from a chai master, who put on an amazing show by tossing the flowing tea six feet back and forth between two containers to cool it down while making it super frothy. The creamy richness and cardamom flavor almost gave it a flavor similar to that of hot chocolate. I loved it and I think you will, too!
Travelers and foodies looking for the best street food Kolkata has to offer need to carve out some time to visit Decker Lane. The street is located in the center of the BBD Bagh business district and offers a wide variety of cuisines. Browse the street food stalls and you’ll be sure to find vendors offering Bengali, Tandoor, and even Chinese dishes!
Decker Lane is a great spot to start your day, so I recommend going there for breakfast. Start with a nice and frothy chai. In my opinion, there’s always room for chai! As is usually the case, it will likely be served to you piping hot, so take a few minutes to let it cool down so you don’t burn your mouth.
A little further along, you should find a stall offering a dish called luchi ghugni. This dish consists of a puri and a somewhat spicy curry made up of yellow peas, chickpeas, and potatoes. It’s served with a fantastic tamarind chutney that adds a wonderful sweetness to the dish. The combination of the heat from the curry and the sweetness from the chutney create the perfect balance and a very memorable dish!
As you continue to wander Decker Lane, be on the lookout for dhokar dalna, a fried bar of compressed lentils in a flavorful curry. The dish is served with rotis on the side. Take the rotis and wrap them around the dhokar dalna. It’s like a delicious, Indian taco! I also recommend the egg toast, which is a piece of toast that is cooked into an omelet. The eggs contain green chilies, which add a nice amount of spice!
If you still have room in your belly, a visit to Aaheli Xpress is a must. They serve a crunchy, savory samosa that is filled with peas, cauliflower and potatoes that is amazing on its own. To make the dish even better, though, it’s served with a divine mustard that enhances the flavors and. This is my favorite samosa of all-time. You have to try it!
While at Aaheli Xpress, try the banana flower chop, a crunchy, fried dis that is similar to a Cuban croqueta. The banana flavor pairs very nicely with the spicy ketchup it’s served with. It’s a combination you can’t miss!
Finish up at Decker Lane with Aaheli Xpress’s fish fry jumbo cutlet, a fried piece of fish that is essentially a Bengali take on British fish and chips. The flaky fish is coated with a peppery and crispy breaded crust that is out of this world! With so many outstanding dishes in one place, it’s no wonder Decker Lane is one of the best places to eat Indian street food in Kolkata!
Roadside food and snacks are king in India, and when you visit Kolkata, you have to try the street food in the Shobhabazar area. This neighborhood on the north side of town is a great place to grab some amazing snacks in-between meals.
Search the roadsides for a vendor selling a delicious chaat made from peanuts, lentils, onions, and coriander chutney. It’s crunchy and spicy, but is also quite refreshing and makes for a fantastic palate cleanser. Try it out!
I highly recommend getting some puchka from a street vendor. Puchka is the Bengali name for pani puri, which you’ll find in Maharashtra and other parts of India. It consists of a hollow, fried flatbread ball called a puri, which is filled with a mouthwatering soup-like combination of mint and tamarind chutneys, spices, chilies, and a potato mash. I love the way they explode all over your palate when you eat them in one bite!
Finally, make your way to Allen Kitchen, an incredible eatery that has been serving the people of Kolkata for 125 years! I highly recommend the fried prawns with ghee and mustard. The three distinct flavors work so well together and were a highlight of my time in Shobhabazar.
The prawns are crunchy on the outside, tender in the middle, and even though they were deep fried, they’re not greasy at all. Between the roadside snacks and the prawns, Shobhabazar is easily one of the best places to eat Indian street food in Kolkata!
Kolkata is known for its significant Chinese population. Naturally, this means that much of the food in the city is influenced by Chinese cuisine. Kolkata is actually the birthplace of Indo-Chinese food, a type of cuisine that blends both Indian and Chinese flavors. Trying authentic Indo-Chinese food is a must while in Kolkata, and to do that, I suggest heading over to Territy Bazaar.
Upon entering the bazaar, you should spot a vendor selling dishes like baos, momos, and fish balls. Everything there is worth a try, especially the red meat bao. This meat-filled bun is thick and fluffy on the outside, while the filling is juicy and creamy. I was transported back to my time in China after just one bite!
You can’t leave without trying the momos, which are similar to wontons or dumplings. The chicken momo is very nice, while the salty fish momo packs a yummy and very fishy punch! I also recommend the fried pork spring roll, which contains delicious minced pork, onions, and spices. Despite it being fried, it’s quite soft and spongy!
The last dish you should try at Territy Bazaar is the fish ball and pork ball soup, which consists of fish balls and pork balls in a fragrant, herbal broth. The fish balls are soft and full of fish flavor, and the pork balls contained nice chunks of meat and had a really pleasant, meaty texture.
I didn’t get any notes of Indian flavors in the broth; instead, it reminded me of an authentic wonton soup. Eat the pork and fish balls with some hot sauce for an added kick of flavor!
Territy Bazaar is definitely one of the best places to eat Indian street food in Kolkata. You’ll be hooked after just one taste of the Indo-Chinese delights there!
One of the best places to eat Indian food in Kolkata is the Shyambazar locality. It’s close to the Shobhabazar neighborhood, so if you can, try to visit both localities in one go! This neighborhood in the northern part of Kolkata is noted for its flavorful and aromatic Indian street food. Every dish I came across there blew my mind and made my mouth water in anticipation!
You must try the slow-cooked mutton with paratha and onion at a tiny eatery called Golbari. The goat meat is slow-cooked, in its own juices, on a stone slab, for eight hours. Because of the cooking process, the meat is so tender and buttery, it practically evaporates in your mouth. The peppery curry only has a slight tingle of heat to it and isn’t full-on spicy. That said, it’s still bursting with savory flavors that permeate every bite. I could not get enough of it! I’ve eaten mutton all over the world, but Golbari’s mutton is easily one of my favorites of all-time!
If you’re able to tear yourself away from the Golbari’s magnificent goat dishes, make your way to Bhojohori Manna Restaurant next. My friend and guide, Avik, told me that the name and image of the restaurant was chosen to be the fictional representation of a glutton. Trust me, you’ll feel pretty gluttonous when you try the food there. It is outstanding!
Bhojohori Manna is known for its outrageous Bengali seafood, which includes a massive, buttery prawn that was bigger than my hand! The prawn is super meaty and bathed in a delicious curry made from coconut meat, coconut milk, and milk cream. The curry reminded me of a light version of the kind you get with butter chicken. Combine the prawn meat with your rice and eat it with your hands to sink into Indian food bliss! The meat practically melted in my mouth!
Check out Top 15 Places to Visit in India
There’s also a fantastic a light fish in a mustard gravy. Its flesh is incredibly tender and the crispy skin is addicting! This fish was perfect for people like me who are wary of bones and spines, as there’s only one large spine. The fish isn’t too salty and is super light. When eating this fish, go for everything, including the head and the eyes. They’re a fantastic and underrated treat!
Kolkata is a food lover’s paradise. Whether you want Indo-Chinese food, Bengali seafood, or something else, you’ll find it there. The flavors will tantalize your taste buds and make you dream of your favorite Kolkatan dishes long after you’re gone. Book a trip to Kolkata today to taste them all for yourself!
NOTE: Whenever you travel, I suggest you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself in case any emergency situations come up. In my opinion, AXA Travel Insurance is the very best because it covers a wide array of issues. Buy your AXA Travel Insurance protection plan here!
If you need to check the visa requirements of a particular country, click here. To apply for a visa, find up-to-date visa information for different countries, and calculate the cost of a particular visa, click here!