Beating Mumbai, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, and New Delhi, Kolkata has been deemed as the best destination for a staggering variety of street food, according to the survey ‘Taste of Travel’ mentioned in a report in The Times of India.
The research was conducted independently among 56,727 respondents over 30 markets. The results focused on Indian travellers only, which consisted of 2,023 respondents. Findings by Booking.com suggest that 67% of Indian travellers base their destination as per the cuisine and food experiences that the place offers.
With a staggering number of street food stalls across all its quirky localities, it is little wonder that Kolkata has topped the list. Encompassing a wide variety of tasty treats, here are the ten must-try street food experiences in the City of Joy:
The undisputed king of street food in Kolkata, the humble phuchka has cemented its place in the heart of street-food lovers. Visit the Maharaja Chaat Centre on Southern Avenue, or visit Bhawanipore to try the best phuchka in the city. The phuchkawala will also rustle up tasty treats like papri chat, dum aloo phuchkas and dahi phuchkas so that you can eat to your heart’s content.
2. Kathi Rolls:-
Invented in Kolkata, it is little wonder the some of the best Kathi Rolls in India can be sampled here. With the delicious stuffing wrapped in soft roti, the rolls here are in a different league. Visit Nizam’s in New Market, or Kusum’s or Hot Kathi Roll in Park Street, to try the delicious speciality that has become a Kolkata staple.
3.Chinese/Tibetian street food:-
You will need to rise early for this one, as stocks finish by 7 am. Visiting Tiretti Bazaar for the most sumptuous Chinese breakfast, and dig into soup, dumplings, momos and Tibetian bread. The area is a favourite for both morning walkers, and people returning from a late-night party. Other popular spots for lip-smacking momos are the stalls right outside the Rabindra Sadan Metro exit.
These lip-smacking deep-fried snacks are a favourite among young and old alike. Best complimented with a cup of tea, you can have brinjal fries, aloo chops, peyaji, daler bora and the veg chop or phuluri. Iconic telebhaja joints in Kolkata include Mukhoruchi, at GLT Road, Jihobar Jol, on RN Das Road, and Narendrar Dokan, on Harish Chatterjee Street.
This is the flag-bearer of street food in Kolkata. The iconic fish-fry is available all over the city, yet there are a few spots like the Golpark 5-point crossing on the Gariahat side, and in Tollygunge. Fondly known as ‘Mach Bhaja’, the fish fry is made using small fish like Mourola (Anchovies), Parshe (Mallet), and large fish like the Rohu, and Katla.
6. Aloo Puri/Luchi Aloo:-
Nothing comes close to a piping hot luchi, accompanied with spicy aloo. A plate of luchi aloo could be yours for as little as Rs 15! Visit Tasty Corner in Ballygunge, or the Arun Tea Stall, near St Xavier’s College, to dig into the best luchi aloo the city has to offer.
A typical Bengali food item made from a combination of white and yellow peas boiled together, the dish contains onion, coriander and chilly, as well as tamarind and mint. Inexpensive and filling, ghugni is popular among the rich and poor alike and is found on almost every street corner in Kolkata. Visit Dacres Lane, or the stalls opposite Bombay Dyeing, near New Market, to dig into the best ghugni.
8. Jhal Muri:-
Requiring almost no preparation, jhal muri comes to be when puffed rice is mixed with chopped onions, chillies, tomatoes, coriander, spices and nuts with the entire mixture tossed in mustard oil. For the best jhal muri, take a walk along the banks of the Hooghly River, near Babughat or visit the stalls near the Victoria Memorial, and the Kolkata Maidan.
Known as samosas in the rest of the country, the Kolkata Singara is slightly larger than a regular samosa and is stuffed with either potato or mutton, chicken or moong-dal. Tastes best with piping hot tea, the humble Kolkata singara can set spirits soaring during dull, rainy days. Singaras are widely available at all street food vendors across Kolkata.
10. Bhel Puri:-
The Bengali version of bhel puri is full of spicy goodness. The crisp papdi, the tasty muri, and chopped onions and other vegetables, together with the tangy and spicy masalas, make this a favourite among everyone. For the best bhel puri in the city, visit the street stalls near the Kolkata Maidan and the Victoria Memorial.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)