Discovering Kolkata's Top 10 Famous And Iconic Foods
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Think Kolkata and you immediately imagine a crowded and busy city that is packed with the humblest people who know their food like very few others do. When it comes to the art of cooking and eating, even regular street food joint in Kolkata creates a medley of dishes that are loaded with incredible flavours, and so do the most high-end sweet shops and restaurants. Kolkata’s food has immense variety, ranging from innumerable street foods that are consumed by thousands every day to special dishes that are cooked in restaurants and homes. And of course, Kolkata is famous for its iconic sweets too. 

The most famous and iconic foods of Kolkata are perhaps quite well-known to you. After all, tourists and visitors have been flocking to the city to get a taste of these delicious dishes, both sweet and savoury, since time immemorial. From the crunchy delights of Jhalmuri to the soft, sweetness of Rosogolla, the savoury allure of Telebhaja to the meatiness of Kolkata Biryani, this city’s most famous and iconic foods are now available all over the world, thanks to the Bengali diaspora. 

And yet, to get a true taste of Kolkata, coming to the city is a must. While in the city, here are some of the most iconic Kolkata foods that you must try.  

Video Credit: YouTube/Bong Eats


Don’t confuse Kolkata’s iconic Phuchka with Golgappas or Pani Puri, because they are simply not the same. Phuchkas might look similar to these other snacks, but Kolkata’s Phuchkas are the perfect balance of sweet-sour-savoury-spicy and umami thanks to the way the stuffing is prepared with everything from mashed potatoes to tamarind water and spices. Don’t forget to frequent places like Triangular Park and Gariahat for this dish. 

Mishti Doi 

One of the most popular sweet dishes Kolkata is known for, Mishti Doi in the city is served in earthen pots—which adds a new flavour dimension and sustainability factor to it too. Prepared traditionally by blending caramelised sugar with yoghurt bases, sweet shops across Kolkata now also infuse seasonal flavours to Mishti Doi to make mango- or chocolate-flavoured sweets you will fall in love with all over again.  

Kolkata Biryani 

Kolkata is synonymous to the biryani innovated by one of the residents of this city, Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh. Exiled to Kolkata, the last Nawab of Lucknow added potatoes to his beloved Lucknowi biryani and gave Kolkata one of its most iconic dishes. From old shops like Rahamania and Aminia to new favourites like Arsalan, you simply must try Kolkata biryani at any of these places. 

Kathi Roll 

Whether it is loaded with just eggs or has a delicious mix of tandoori chicken or mutton chunks, kathi rolls are extremely popular across West Bengal as a quick-fix for your hunger pangs. And yet, nobody makes these rolls as well as Kolkata’s vendors do. Most street food vendors and eateries across Kolkata know how to nail the perfect ratio of paratha to stuffing, and are now even including paneer and other vegetarian ingredients to make Kathi Rolls more popular.  


What North Indians refer to as Pakodas, Bengalis across West Bengal and the world call Telebhaja. These delicious street foods are basically deep-fried vegetables. Peyaji made with onions, Beguni made with eggplant, Phuluri made with cauliflowers—these are just some of the varieties of Telebhaja you can find not only at street corners across Kolkata but also at high-end restaurants. 


Synonymous to Bengal’s love for sweets, Rosogolla is perhaps the one iconic dish that everyone knows Kolkata makes the best of. From century-old shops like Balaram Mullick and Radharam Mullick to Nalin Chandra Das & Sons, to more recent confectionaries, everyone in this city makes delicious earthen pots full of Rosogollas. In winters, don’t forget to get a taste of Nolen Gur Rosogollas while in Kolkata. 

Mutton Rezala 

Inspired by the Mughals and perfected beyond compare by age-old shops and eateries across Kolkata, Mutton Rezala is a dish that is relished on all occasions. Made with mutton pieces marinated and cooked in a yoghurt- and white onion-based gravy, mutton rezala is always cooked without turmeric, giving it its signature whitish colour and sublime flavours. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Bong Eats

Luchi-Cholar Dal 

On any given day during the week, you can walk along the busiest streets of Kolkata and find vendors, stalls and restaurants alike serving this delicious combination of Luchi and Cholar Dal. Luchi is a refined flour-based puffed flatbread prepared across West Bengal, Assam and Odisha, while Cholar Dal is simply a chana dal dish that is flavoured with chillies and coconut. The sweet and savoury combination makes a great breakfast option for Kolkata residents and visitors alike. 

Kosha Mangsho 

When in Kolkata, indulging in the Sunday-favourite Kosha Mangsho with either Luchi or Basanti Pulao is a must because this iconic Kolkata dish cannot be missed even if you eat it regularly. Inspired by Mughlai cuisine and Bengal’s love for mutton curries, this slow-cooked meat dish is often loaded with potatoes too. You can enjoy this one spicy or not, but make sure you do eat this when in Kolkata. 


Another favourite street food dish enjoyed by Kolkata residents every evening is the chop. This iconic Kolkata food is not one dish but many since a chop is basically a breadcrumbs-coated pakoda that is shallow-fried or deep-fried. From the simple aloo chop to the seasonal Mochar Chop, the beetroot-loaded Veg Chop to fish and egg chops, these delicacies must be enjoyed with Kasundi, puffed rice and planty of sliced onions.