College Street- A Walk with Books, Budget Hotels and Iconic Places-To-Eat
College Street is an iconic place in the map of Kolkata. Not only College Street is the habitat of many historic education institutions of Bengal and India’s largest book-market, but also it is one of the most important landmarks of India, according to TIME magazine. But College Street is not only about books and colleges- there are many restaurants and Kolkata cheap hotels in College Street that have become almost heritage sites.
Below I have listed four such iconic eateries in College Street that should be in your must-to-visit list while you plan your trip to Kolkata this summer. But before that, don’t forget to research about quality hotels in Kolkata well ahead to book your room in time.
Indian Coffee House
Popularly known as ‘Coffee house’- Indian Coffee House is synonymous with culture, history and intelligentsia of Kolkata. In College street (or more famous as boi para in Bengali), you have to visit Coffee house to soak into the atmosphere where once stalwarts like- Satyajit Ray, Soumitra Chattopadhyay, Amartya Sen, Manna Dey used to visit and hobnob with their friends.
But once you hit Coffee House, don’t forget to taste the delicious baked fish and kobiraji cutlet that coffee house offers to its connoisseurs. Not only the size and quality of food, but also the price will make you feel happy and comfortable.
Putiram is another gastronomic heritage at College Street, Kolkata. A sweetmeat/confection shop or plain mishtir dokan in Bengali- Putiram is standing tall and proud for decades, in the face of stiff competition from contemporary fast food/ cake-pastry shops. If you love Bengali-style fast-food or even have the slightest curiosity about how Bengali sweet and fried foods taste like- you need to visit Putiram to sample their unforgettable luchi (flour based, deep fried flatbread) with cholar daal (lentils with spices and coconut) or alur dom (a type of dry potato curry) and feel a piece of heaven inside your mouth. Apart from that, their shingara (Bengali samosa), mishit doi and various sweets will take you into another state of euphoria.
Another little gem tucked inside the alley of College Street, Dilkhusa Cabin in its glorious past, had seen many literary stalwarts and hotshots from other notable spheres of Kolkata frequenting this place. If you visit Dilkhusa for the first time, you might get disappointed as the place lacks glitz and glamour and has only bare, minimal decorations. But the menu is more than enough to compensate every lack of modern-day-comfort.
From chicken kobiraji cutlet to ‘dimer devil’ (Egg devil) – Dilkhusa has still retained the old-world charm and recipe of original Bengali junk food.
Your visit to College Street will be incomplete if you don’t pay a visit to Paramount- the cult, almost hundred years old, sherbet and syrup shop of College Street. I can go one step ahead and declare that during summer, Paramount could be the only reason to visit Kolkata, if you don’t have any other cause in your bucket.
But keep it in mind that you won’t get the comfort of AC, or cushions or even enough space to stretch your legs inside Paramount as it’s a tiny shop with limited seating arrangements, and moreover it’s always crowded. But what you will get is pure bliss in the form of daab malai, coco malai and various curd-based sherbets.