In Kolkata For Durga Puja? Here Are Some Must-Have Street Foods

The City of Joy is known for the most amazing street food, with street stalls selling everything from chowmein and chilli chicken to cutlets, momos, and fantastic biryani
Kolkata kathi roll in the making
Kolkata kathi roll in the makingShutterstock

With Durga Puja around the corner, Kolkata is getting ready for week-long festivities. People are already out on the roads in their festive attire, checking out pujo pandals. For Kolkata, Durga Puja is not just a festival, it is more like a carnival. From streets to trams, everything gets decked up. The days of Durga Puja festivities are packed with pandal hopping, sessions of quintessential adda (free-flowing conversations) while hanging out with friends, and bhuribhoj (eating out). The latter is a big part of the Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata.

Food is one of the many tiny details that contribute to the character of Kolkata's Durga Puja. Bengalis love to eat, and feasting with family and friends is a very important part of the celebrations. You will find people mapping out their culinary trail through the city with as much diligence as their pandal-hopping trail. After all, the City of Joy is known for the most amazing street food, with street stalls selling everything from chowmein and chilli chicken to cutlets, momos, and fantastic biryani. In fact, in January 2023, Kolkata's legendary street food made it to a list of places to sample the world's best street food compiled by Eater, an award-winning international media brand dedicated to all things food and dining. If you are in Kolkata for Durga Puja, bookmark this list of the best street food in Kolkata.

Kochuri With Alur Dom

After a night of pandal-hopping, you may find people digging into an early morning breakfast of deep-fried golden kochuri or a radhaballabhi (fried flour discs with a filling of lentils) with alur dom (a spicy dry potato dish) and chholar dal (a lentil preparation). They wrap up the meal with some Bengali mishti (sweets) like a pantua. There are countless streetside food stalls that sell this, as do Bengali mishti shops.

Where To Try: Maharaja Snacks or Maharani Tea and Tiffin on Sarat Bose Rd, near Lake Market. And Adi Haridas Modak at Shyambazar five point crossing.

Kolkata kathi rolls are flaky and famous
Kolkata kathi rolls are flaky and famous@foodzrole/Instagram

Kathi Rolls

One of the most popular street foods in Kolkata, you will often find Bengalis stopping for a quick evening snack of a roll on their way back home from work. As the story goes, it was the iconic eatery Nizam's, which wrapped meat in a paratha for a fussy firang who did not want to get their hands dirty. That's how the kathi roll came in to being. With succulent kebabs inside and a topping of sliced onions, green chilli, ketchup, and chilli sauce, this makes for a filling and satisfying meal.

Where To Try: Nizam's and Badshah, near New Market. Kusum Rolls off Park Street, on a driveway in Kankaria Estate, Park Street. Zeeshan on Park Circus and Sarat Bose Road.

Phuchka And Churmur

Another very popular streetside food, you will find phuchka sellers in every neighbourhood in Kolkata. They stand out with their phuchka stand wrapped in red cloth. Phuchkas are hollow fried maida (flour) balls filled with spicy potato filling and dipped in tangy tamarind water laced with coriander and mint.

Where To Try: You will find phuchka sellers almost everywhere. They generally sit after 4 p.m. The ones around Vivekananda Park and Deshopriyo Park are popular.

A phuchka seller and bhelpuri stall
A phuchka seller and bhelpuri stall JanetandPhil/Flickr Commons


The Kolkata street food scene reflects the melting pot influences of various cultures, from the British and Mughal eras to regional cuisines. One of the most popular dishes in Kolkata is biryani. Kolkata biryani is recognised for its delicate flavours and the use of potatoes (sometimes with a boiled egg), which lends a unique aspect to the meal. It draws on Awadhi and Mughlai traditions.

Where To Try: At the streetside stalls around Park Circus. The seller is opposite Priya Cinema, on Rashbehari Avenue.

Cha Bishkoot

The streets of Kolkata are dotted with tea shacks selling "bharer cha"—milky and liquor tea in clay cups. These are run by men and women. We recommend you stop by one on your pandal-hopping trail, and have a refreshing cuppa. The tea stalls also serve a variety of "bishkoot" (biscuits in Bengali lingo) from local bakeries in glass jars. Try the ones embedded with kalo jeera (nigella seeds), jeera (cumin), or the flaky projapoti. These crunchy butterfly-shaped biscuits are influenced by the French palmiers and come with sugar sprinkled on top.

Where To Try: Most pavements in North and South Kolkata have tea shacks. Try the ones in front of Deshopriyo Park.


Momos are a relatively new addition to the street food scene in Kolkata. These meat dumplings are popular snacks with stuffing made of chicken or vegetables. You will also get pork, though that's mostly in eateries, not so much at streetside stalls.

Where To Try: Several places in Kolkata have momo stalls. Try Elgin Road and the area around South City Mall.

Potato chops
Potato chopsTapas Kumar Halder/WikiCommons

Chop-Cutlets And Teley Bhajas

Bengalis love fried food so much that they can coat anything in a batter of besan (chickpea flour) and fry it. From cauliflower cubes, slices of potato or onions, capsicum, and eggplants. These fritters of various vegetables or teley bhaja (which literally translates to fried in oil) are a favoured evening snack for Bengalis. They have it with a packet of muri (puffed rice) to counter the oil and grease. Another fried food they love? Chops and cutlets made with minced meats. These are also made with vegetables. For instance, mocha chop (made with banana flowers) and a chop made with minced beetroot and nuts.

Where To Try: Laksmi Narayan Shaw and Sons, Hatibagan, North Kolkata and Mitra Cafe (Golpark).

Fishball Soup And Noodles

Kolkata is famous for its Chinese food. The community was among the first group of migrants to settle in the malarial swamp of Sutanuti and Kalighat back in 1780. There are many stalls selling chowmein and fried rice with side dishes like chilli chicken. You can also sample the Chinese breakfast fare at Tiretta Bazaar, the Chinatown of Kolkata. Here, you can have soups and broths with noodles, spicy Chinese sausage, etc. You could also buy ready-to-fry prawn chips, strings of sausages, and homemade sauces.

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