Independence Day Food Trail In The City Of Joy

Independence Day Food Trail In The City Of Joy
The Indian Coffee House in Kolkata has held on to its old world charm, Photo Credit: Modern Artisan /

On this Independence Day, we look at the many cafes and eateries in the former capital of India which have a rich legacy dating back to the freedom struggle

Trinetra Paul
August 15 , 2020
16 Min Read

Yet another Independence Day is upon us. Bengal, and mostly Kolkata (then Calcutta), the capital of India until 1911, was quite the hotspot for revolution and a place that saw the rise of several prominent figures who led the struggle for freedom. Ever wondered which places they used to hold their meetings in the city? Here's a food trail through Kolkata touching places that were often visited by a host of freedom fighters.

Favourite Cabin

View this post on Instagram

This month's @natgeotravellerindia (June 2018) has more photographs by me and I am thrilled. Here is one of them from the magic which is North Calcutta. This one clearly is my favourite! ;-) Will share the whole story soon. © Manjit Singh Hoonjan, 2018. All rights reserved.· · · · · · · · · · #streetphotography #calcuttadiaries #photography #kolkata #amarkolkata #calcalling #streetphotographyindia #creativeimagemagazine #ourcitykolkata #calcuttacacophony #calcutta_minimalism #streetsofcalcutta #streetphotographykolkata #_soi #ig_calcutta #storiesofkolkata #kolkatagram #kolkatadiaries #sokolkata #thekolkatabuzz #calcuttauncut #onlyinbengal #india #hellokolkata #withlovekolkata #yourshot_india #kolkata_lanes #calcutta #kolkata_igers #manjitsinghhoonjan

A post shared by Manjit Singh Hoonjan (@the.manjit) on Jun 4, 2018 at 2:14am PDT

Established by Nutan Chandra Barua in 1918, this hole-in-the-wall eatery in College Street has a legacy of over a century. Located around two minutes (walking distance) from College Square, this place was a favourite hangout for poet and songwriter Kazi Nazrul Islam, Shibram Chakraborty and many others who would regularly drop by to sip on the tea and discuss strategies and policies. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose used to visit to listen to Nazrul’s songs and poems during his stint at Presidency University. 

Indian Coffee House

View this post on Instagram

Coffee house aya bosha jomiye adda

A post shared by shree (@shree_tunga2021) on Aug 12, 2020 at 9:37pm PDT

Formerly built as the Albert Hall in 1876, it became the popular ICH in 1942. The Albert Hal was a famous seat of several important meetings and discussions including the swearing in ceremony of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as the Congress president in the 1920s. It was frequented by several noted leaders of the freedom struggle like Mahatma Gandhi, Shishir Bose, Aurobindo Ghose and others. Later, the coffee joint became a seat of political and cultural discussions and was visited by Satyajit Ray, Saumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Sen and others. Holding an irreplaceable place in the city as well as its people, the Indian Coffee House has become a landmark of the city.

Putiram Sweets

View this post on Instagram

A #century old shop run currently by #sixthgeneration owners serving probably the best #Kochuri & #Radhabollovi with that mouthwatering #AlurTorkari (undoubtedly the best you can get) at #CollegeStreet - that's how I would like to describe #PutiramSweets to all of you.. 😍 Even the #Mihidana and #Rabri were out of the world - can't wait to go back again at the earliest.. 😍 One needs to reach between 7 and 11am to get hold of the kachoris otherwise Radhabollovi is available from 12 noon onwards.. Don't even ask about the pricing because it's unbelievably low.. 🕺 What are your memories with this #iconic sweet shop?? My humble two cents: #MUSTTRY (if you haven't already) ðŸ¤Â #SupportHospitalityIndustry 🙏 #LifeofaFoodnTravelBlogger 🕺 #ShotonOneplus7pro by @frames_personified ðŸ¤Â Journey of an @epicureancinetrotter continues.. 👣 Thank you all for being a part of our Facebook family - @kolkatafoodtrotters ❤ï¸Â

A post shared by Kolkata Food Trotters (@kolkatafoodtrotters) on Jul 8, 2020 at 1:17am PDT

Located at the head of Amherst Street in North Kolkata, Putiram Sweets is a 160-year-old sweet shop serving classic Bengali snacks, sweets and their signature radhaballavi and aloo dum. Back in the day it is said that the famous freedom fighter Chittaranjan Das used to visit the sweet shop on his way back home. Close kin to poet Atul Prasad Sen, Satish Ranjan Das and Lady Abala Bose, the sweet shop was his favourite and many freedom fighters would come here to meet Das.

Swadhin Bharat Hindu Hotel

View this post on Instagram

Swadhin Bharat Hindu Hotel is famous for their home cooked style Bengali food. One of the oldest restaurants for Bengali cuisine it goes back in time of the British rule. It serves very good Bengali food cooked by Oriya & Bengali ‘Thakur’s. Location : 8/2, Bhawani Dutta Lane, Kolkata #PiceHotel What I tried out : Prawn Malaicurry, Chicken Curry, Rice, Aloo Bhaja, Chutney & Fish Curry! Verdict : 4.7/5 They serve water in Bhaar & the food on banana leaf. The place remains crowded during lunch hours making it difficult for one to grab a seat! Also, tastewise, the food is delicious, I must say. Service is quick as well. There's a different charm and vibe that this place has once you enter it! A lot of varieties of curries and items are there on the menu and the menu keeps changing daily! My experience turned out to be a great one, to be honest! Highly Recommended. âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž– 📮 Follow, Like and Tag #KolkataDelites âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž–âž– #Prawn #BengaliFood #StreetFood #Calcutta #Chicken #Lobster #IncredibleIndia #Kolkata #KolkataDiaries #IndianFood #IndianFoodie #KolkataGram #TheKolkataBuzz #KolkataSutra #Ig_Calcutta #Calcutta #CalcuttaCacophony #SoKolkata #KolkataFoodie #KolkataFoodBlogger #KolkataBlogger #Kolkata_Igers #FoodTalkIndia #Kolkata_Calcutta_City #StoriesOfKolkata #StreetsOfCalcutta

A post shared by Soham | Kolkata Blogger (@kolkatadelites) on Nov 28, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

Referred to as a ‘pice hotel’, this popular eating joint was established in 1927 by a Bengali family from Odisha who made their home in Kolkata. Located near the Central metro station in College Street, the place would serve authentic Bengali lunch at very afffordable prices. The pice hotel concept gained momentum during the Swaraj movement, with support from many freedom fighters and reformers  The place remains a hot favourite among Kolkatans who would flock here for the ‘chorchori’ (mixed vegetable with fish head) and ‘macher jhol’ (light fish curry).

Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Nandy

View this post on Instagram

A heritage sweet shop in North Calcutta, Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Nandy has been selling sandesh since 1844. So good is their sandesh that nothing remains unsold at the end of a day. Even though the unassuming shop retains its old world charm, it hasn’t stopped the makers from experimenting with new flavours and getting them right. Apart from the regular varieties of sandesh, the traditionalist in me is a little embarrassed to confess that I loved their chocolate sandesh. Such is the magic of their sweet making. #kolkata #sandesh #bengalisweets #heritage #culture #history

A post shared by Adya Parashar (@adya.parashar) on Sep 17, 2019 at 10:40pm PDT

If you are a true-blue Kolkatan with a love for sweets, the name of Girish Ch Dey and Nakur Ch Nandy would be known to you. Started in 1844 by a father-in-law and son-in-law duo, the place is not known for the usual Bengali sweets like mishit doi, rosogolla, chom chom, pantua or dorbesh. They spcialise in one thing: the chhana sandesh.

‘Nakurer sandesh’, as they are popularly called, was started in their first store in Girish Park. At a time when Park Street was being made up in a typical English style, the duo started this shop to popularise Bengali culture and serve sweeets which were less messy, healthy and delectable in taste. .

Paramount Cold Drinks and Sweets

View this post on Instagram

Walking in Paramount because that's the best place in this earth ðŸÂÂÂ’“ reason #101 I can't line without kolkata. #collegestreet #kolkata #ig_calcutta #kolkatagram #calcuttadiaries #sherbet #paramount

A post shared by Malaicurry, Paturi & Co (@malaicurry_paturi) on Mar 19, 2020 at 3:00pm PDT

The iconic juice and sherbet shop in College Street celebrated its 100th anniversary two years back. Located very close to the Indian Coffee House, the shop used to house many secret underground meetings of freedom fighters namely Rashbehari Bose, Subhash Chandra Bose and many others who would come here to meet up, away from the gaze of the police. The establishment is still run by the founders’ family and is well known for the numerous varieties of juices and drinks made from seasonal fruits. If you visit the shop, don’t forget to try their Daab Sherbet (tender coconut drink).


Kalpataru pan bhandar ,not kalpanara Sorry
Amitabh Chattopadhyay September 22 , 2020

Kalpanara Pan bhandar located near Paramount cold drinks should have been included Try to include popular tele bhaja shops on Bidhan Sarani
Amitabh Chattopadhyay September 22 , 2020

Related Articles

Joyful Renewal

Uttara Gangopadhyay September 18 , 2020

Gormei Feast: Curated...

Uttara Gangopadhyay September 10 , 2020

Current Weather

Calcutta, India
Partly sunny. Hot.

33 C Today
Humidity: 61%
Wind: 3.71km/h


41 C


42 C


39 C

Here to there

Explore Directions(Routes) and more...
to Go

Our Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe