Culinary Delights: Must-Try Food In Kolkata For A Taste Of Culture

Kolkata's culinary scene is as renowned as its art, culture, and heritage. Food is an integral part of every Bengali's life, and a visit to Kolkata remains incomplete without savoring its exquisite cuisine. Explore the most beloved delicacies from Kolkata that you absolutely must not miss.

Published On Nov 04, 2023 | Updated On Feb 26, 2024

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Kolkata, known for its rich cultural heritage in music, art, literature, and, of course, culinary delights, is a paradise for food enthusiasts. The city offers a wide array of mouthwatering dishes that cater to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. From flavorful curries to fluffy biryani and the freshest seafood, Kolkata's cuisine is a treat for the taste buds.

One of the city's culinary claims to fame is its iconic sweets, each more popular than the last. Kolkata's cuisine is renowned for its use of spices, fresh ingredients, and aromatic flavors, resulting in dishes that are simply irresistible. Many of these recipes have been handed down through generations, carrying not only heavenly flavors but also cultural significance. Food in Kolkata often triggers cherished memories, taking people back to their childhood. For some, it's the street food that evokes memories of vibrant markets with their mothers, while for others, it's the comforting dishes that transport them back to their mother's kitchen. Food, in many ways, becomes a symbol of precious memories, made even more special when shared with loved ones. Join us as we explore some of the best food items to try in Kolkata.

Kolkata’s most delightfully delicious to check out

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There can be no list without Kolkata biryani being at the very start of it. With biryani already being a large part of India’s rich cuisine, the Kolkata variant stands out from the rest of them thanks to the addition of potatoes to it. More than half of Kolkata’s food will have potato in some form or the other, making biryani a prime example of the same. Relish the soft, succulent meat with the freshness of the rice, enhanced to a greater taste by the potato and the heavenly spices and flavors.

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Chelo kebabs are one of the most delicious kebabs in India. Originating in Iran, these tasty kebabs have now become one of Kolkata’s very own. Immensely popular with the locals, these juicy and succulent kebabs are a must-try when in Kolkata.

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Macher jhol might just be one of those dishes that people have grown up eating. This homely, warm fish curry will instantly hit you with the flavors that can be found in every Kolkata household. With fish being one of the staples of Kolkata’s food, macher jhol is something that is the comfort food for many. The mustard oil, spices, curry, and fish all come together in a heavenly combination to leave you with an unforgettable taste.

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One of Kolkata’s popular chaat items, the locals claim this puchka beats gol gappas, paani puri, and other variants of the same dish known by different names in different cities of India, any day. With a filling of mashed potatoes full of addictive flavor, tangy, refreshing water, and the crunch of a shell, puchkas might just become your favorite version as well.

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Sondesh, or Sandesh is one sweet that might just be the representation of Kolkata. These delicious sweets come in many beautiful shapes, sizes, and forms, from simple to fancy and everything in between. These buttery pieces of heavenly goodness are considered the perfect end to a proper Bengali feast, even being served as one of the main sweets in all functions and events.

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The first choice of every Bengali who happens to be a potato lover, this dish is relished by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Used as a side dish to non-vegetarian curries and also as a main dish as well, this is one dish that you will almost always find being prepared in Kolkata households. Made with poppy seeds and a curry paste that will have you salivating, this dish tastes amazing with a side of rice and dal, making it the definition of comfort food.

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Another famous chaat item, this popular street food is loved by every Bengali for its amazing taste and the explosions of flavors one has while devouring it. Made of boiled chickpeas mixed with spices, lemon, and other garnishings, this makes for a perfect quick snack.

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Mishti doi is another sweet from Kolkata that has become famous not just in India but in the world. Sweet, soft yogurt combined with the richness of the dry fruits added as garnishing, and for a touch of crunch, this dessert is almost mandatory to try while in Kolkata.

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One of Kolkata’s favorite non-vegetarian curries, this mutton-based dish with a curry made of onions, tomatoes, and complementing spices, might just be one of the heartiest dishes you try in your life. A foodie’s haven, this curry will taste gobsmacking whether eaten with rice, luchi roti, etc.

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A popular breakfast item of Kolkata households, luchi is a fried bread, served usually with a side of a dal and a potato dish. This filling, yet simple meal is the favorite weekend treat for many locals. You must try this dish once for the tangy flavor of the side dishes balanced perfectly with a piping hot lunch.


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