While restaurants have begun embracing global cuisines across the country, these time-tested eateries carry with them a whiff of nostalgia.
Though many of them have evolved with time, these quaint eateries make for an interesting stop for every traveller looking to get a taste of history and local culture.
1. Tunday Kababi, LucknowThe eatery still uses the same age-old intricate blends of spices to make its non-vegetarian gourmet preparations, such as its famed korma.
2. Indian Coffee House, KolkataThe cafe has seen the likes of Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen and Satyajit Ray, and continues to serve the famous mutton cutlet and chicken kabirazi.
3. Britannia & Co, MumbaiBritannia first opened its doors to British officers stationed in the Fort area in 1923. Must-tries include their mutton and chicken berry pulav.
4. Mavalli Tiffin Room, BengaluruDuring World War II, a significant shortage of rice supply resulted in MTR inventing the RavaIdli, a much-loved breakfast dish of south India.
5. Delhi Misthaan Bhandaar, ShillongThe place entered its name into the Guinness Book of World Records in the year 2008 for frying the world’s largest jalebi ever, which was 75 inches in diameter and 15 kg in weight.
6. Leopold's Cafe, MumbaiA symbol of the old world charm of Bombay, Leopold’s also plays a central role in the 2003 novel by Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram.
7. Glenary's, DarjeelingThe quaint bakery cum restaurant is over 100 years old and is famous for cinnamon buns and apple pies.
8. Karim's, DelhiIn the middle of Chandni Chowk, Karim’s has an arsenal of recipes, like its chicken jahangiri, carried forward from the days of the Mughal empire.
9. Favourite Cabin, KolkataBest known as the haunt of freedom fighters like S C Bose and poets like Kazi Nazrul Islam, this unassuming tea cabin has been quenching Bengalis’ thirst for chai and adda for over 94 years.
10. Joshi Budhakaka Mahim Halwawala, MumbaiMahimhalwa is prepared by rolling out a cooked mixture of wheat, sugar and ghee in the form of sheets that are cooled and cut into delicate squares.
11. Rayar's Mess, ChennaiRayar’s Mess was established in the 1940s by Srivivasa Rao and has been spinning a delicious tale for over 70 years. One of the best items is their ghetti chutney.
12. Hari Ram & Sons, AllahabadThe more-than-a-century-old shop is famed for its delicious snacks made in pure ghee and lip-smacking chaat, palak ki namkeen, masala samosas, and khasta kachauri.
13. Flurys, KolkataThis pre-independence tea room of the British has a beautiful old-world charm and is famous for its rum balls, meringues with cream and delicious English breakfast.
14. Dorabjee & Sons, PuneDorabjee and Sons use time-tested recipes handed down through generations to create signature Parsi specialities such as Dhansak, Patrani Machchi and Salli Boti.
15. United Coffee House, DelhiThe place is still frequented by diplomats, bureaucrats and tourists who are drawn to the lamb kebab platter and badhshahi kofta chicken.
16. Shri Sagar, BengaluruShri Sagar is Malleshwaram’s landmark thindi joint. It offers South Indian bites such as benne masala dosas and feather-light idlis.
18. Shaikh Brothers, GuwahatiAccording to a report in The Telegraph, cheese sippers from this bakery were regularly served on Nehru’s breakfast table when he visited Guwahati.
19. Mitra Samaj, UdupiBelieved to be almost 100 years old, Mitra Samaj is an authentic Udupi restaurant famous for its delicious dosas, bullet idlis and Goli Baje, also known as Mangalore Bajji.
20. Nizam's Restaurant, KolkataThe story goes that one day a customer was in a big hurry and asked for something light, dry and minimally messy. Thus was born Nizam’s kebab roll.
21. Bademiya, MumbaiOpened in 1942, the Bademiya stall was started by Mohammed Yasin who came to be known as Bademiya for his long flowing beard. The shop is famous for its spicy succulent kebabs.
22. Kesar da Dhaba, AmritsarThe dhaba’s velvety dal makhani, slow-cooked overnight and garnished with fresh cream before being served is legendary.
23. Confeitaria 31 de Janeiro, PanajiThe 80-year-old Confeitaria 31 De Janeiro is one of the oldest bakeries in Goa, famous for its walnut cake, bebinca, creamy sweet rolls and prawn risois.
24. Pancham Puriwala, MumbaiPancham Puriwala’s crispy golden puris were so popular with the locals that his shop survived and expanded over seven generations.