These 5 Cafes In Kolkata Are Inside Stunning Heritage Houses

The City of Joy is known for its magnificent old houses and striking architecture. In the heart of the city, you'll find a plethora of atmospheric cafes that have been repurposed from these homes, and are the perfect blend of the old and the new
Kolkata has held on to many old houses and structures that are being revamped into lifestyle spaces
Kolkata has held on to many old houses and structures that are being revamped into lifestyle spacesRadiokafka/Shutterstock

The City of Joy, Kolkata, is known for its vintage charm that is reflected in the quaint old houses which have stood the test of time. However, the recent construction boom has led to the demolition of many of these buildings to make way for high-rises, burying much of the city's past. Nevertheless, all hope is not lost, as many heritage homes have been preserved and renovated for travellers who want to catch a glimpse of the past. Some of these homes have been beautifully refurbished and converted into atmospheric stays, boutiques, and cafes that preserve their architectural roots. We have handpicked five cafes in Kolkata that are set inside striking old buildings. If you ever find yourself in Kolkata, step into these cafes which are all excellent examples of adaptive reuse and repurposing of incredible old buildings.

The Red Bari

The striking red structure has several beautiful balconies
The striking red structure has several beautiful balconies @theredbarikolkata/Instagram

Located in the heart of the Kalighat Temple neighborhood in South Kolkata, this three-storeyed structure is nearly a century-old with windows on each level, and balconies that offer views of the surrounding area. A great example of adaptive reuse, it has been repurposed into an atmospheric cafe whose striking red façade, complete with green teak wood lattice windows, is sure to catch your eye. But this cosy coffee shop is just the beginning. There are plans in the works to convert the upper floors into co-working spaces and a private residence that can be rented as an Airbnb accommodation.

Address: 18, Sadananda Rd, Kalighat, Kolkata, West Bengal 700026

That Red House

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a cosy afternoon break at That Red House. Tucked away in a serene lane in Ekdalia, one of South Kolkata's charming old neighborhoods, the Red House is a remarkable space that exudes the warm ambiance of a classic South Calcutta home. The cafe is set in a large rectangular room, where simple tables and chairs are bathed in natural light that pours in through louvre windows. Artfully scattered throughout the space are collectibles, including a fascinating cluster of fridge magnets from all over the world. The menu is kept simple with a variety of coffee, tea, sandwiches, a few Bengali snacks like Dimer Devil and Fish Fry, and interesting mains such as Anglo Indian Chicken Stew. Savour your coffee and sandwiches while getting lost in a good book from their collection.

Address: 7/9, Cornfield Rd, Ekdalia, Ballygunge, Kolkata, West Bengal 700019

The Bhawanipur House

The sunlit corners are perfect for sampling their collection of Darjeeling tea
The sunlit corners are perfect for sampling their collection of Darjeeling tea @thebhawanipurhouse/Instagram

This sunshine-yellow heritage bungalow with high ceilings and an incredible old-world charm has been transformed into an eatery that offers a range of options. With a special focus on tea, The Bhawanipur House aims to convert a new generation to the joys of tea. Their aim is to bring back those days of "rawk-er adda" in Kolkata when folks would sip on some cha accompanied by long-drawn conversations with friends on the front step ("rawk") of typical old Kolkata houses.

Address: 13/1B, Priyanath Mallick Rd, Bakul Bagan, Bhowanipore, Kolkata, West Bengal 700026

Byloom Canteen

This boutique in South Kolkata's Hindustan Park area is known for their signature handloom sarees, stoles, dresses, tee-shirts, shirts, and kurtas. Tucked inside is the Byloom Canteen which offers a range of handcrafted beverages perfect for the heat and dust, Darjeeling tea, coffee, sandwiches, and Bangla snacks (think Kolkata's famous chop-cutlets, luchi-mangsho, fish fry, and more).

Address: 58b, Hindustan Park Rd, Golpark, Hindustan Park, Gariahat, Kolkata, West Bengal 700029

The Glenburn Cafe

The cafe decor will transport you to a tea room in Europe
The cafe decor will transport you to a tea room in Europe@glenburncafe/Instagram

Nestled within the grand Edwardian architecture of the Kanak Building, which has stood tall for over a century on Russel Street in central Kolkata, lies a hidden gem - an old warehouse space that has been transformed into The Glenburn Cafe. A part of the renowned Glenburn tea estate located in Darjeeling, it has a European tea room vibe. As soon as you step inside, you'll be captivated by the charming louvred white windows, the chequered marble flooring, vintage decor, and boxes filled with flowers beneath each window. The green and white color palette, along with the warm wooden accents, make it the perfect spot to savour Glenburn's legendary tea while enjoying the cool air-conditioned interiors along with some delicious cakes and pastries.

Address: The Glenburn Cafe, Kanak Towers, 7A Russel Street, Kolkata 71

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