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Street food is something that makes a city special. The identity of a city is dependent upon many things like its landmarks, monuments, lifestyle and food culture. And when it comes to food, especially street food, Kolkata is a city that claims its prominence. Officially, Kolkata is the cultural capital of India. However, if you have not explored the famous street foods of Kolkata, you would know nothing of the city's foodie culture.
In Kolkata, street food is not a taboo. People from all socio-economic backgrounds and age groups eat street foods in this city. And why not; after all, the famous street foods in Kolkata are just too good to resist. How can you live in Kolkata and not eat phuchka. And missing out on the street side Indo-Chinese version of chowmein is just impossible.
Street food in Kolkata is thus a part of the city's composite culture. The old Chinese settlements in the city have given rise to chowmein and momos that are sold like hot cakes by street vendors. The people from the neighbouring state of Bihar contributed to the tradition of having Alu Kabli (a chat made with boiled potatoes). And the fish fries are most certainly a die-hard Bengali specialty.
If you are in Kolkata, you simply cannot afford to miss the following street food places. Boldsky gives you the best of street foods in Kolkata and also where to find them.
Chicken, egg or vegetable kathi rolls in Kolkata have an unique recipe. Till date, no one has been able to replicate the taste of these rolls in any other place. Ballygunj Dhaba would be the best place to try rolls if you are visiting Kolkata.
Every street corner in Kolkata has 'Chinese' stall and they sell spicy 'chowmein' that will shock the people from China out of their wits. Go to 'Tangra' for having the best chowmein which is a type of fried noodles in Kolkata.
Bengalis are extremely emotional about their food. And we therefore believe that our version of pani puri, namely phuchka is the best in India. It is stuffed with boiled potatoes and dipped in tamarind water. The older sections of Kolkata like College Street, Sealdah and Tollygunge would be best for having this street delicacy.
Ghugni is a special Bengali dish in which channa and potatoes are cooked in a thick gravy. Ghugni is served with buns in most cases. You must have it outside Howrah station to get your money's worth.
Jhalmuri is a mixture of puffed rice with sev and a number of spices. The indigenous Kolkata jhalmuri cannot be matched in taste by any other place. The best place to have jhalmuri and indulge in some 'cheap' romance in Kolkata is Victoria Memorial.
Churmur is a special derivative of phuchka that only Kolkatians know about. The phuchka puris are broken, crushed, mixed with mashed potatoes and spices to create a whole new dish.
Bengali's call tea or 'chai' as 'cha'. It is served in tiny earthen cups that contribute to the flavour of the tea. You need to have at least 2 cutting cha (s) to get the high if you are a tea drinker.
Deep frying is a special art in Kolkata. If you want, you can even get fried chocolate bars in the telebhaja stalls of this city. It is rumoured that the oil used to fry these batter wrapped pakoras is actually diesel but that doesn't discourage people from eating them.
Fish is quintessential Bengali delicacy. That is why; crispy and deep fried fish cutlet is something that you must try out at Park Street or Gariahat.
And if you are a vegetarian which is rare in Kolkata, you can have the vegetable chop instead.
Alu Kabli is a special chaat made with boiled potatoes and a blend of tangy spices. This chaat is served out at all places raided by love birds like Gorer Math and Nandan.
Kachoris are often referred to as Radhabalobi in Bengali. The best place to have this Bengali version of stuffed puris is outside temples like Kalighat or Dakshineswar.
Since it is Kolkata, we cannot end without a sweet dish. Jalebis are fried hot at every sweetmeat shop in Kolkata and every area has its special shop.