Of all the cities in India, Kolkata has one of the most vibrant student cultures in India. Strewn all over the city are some of the legendary colleges and universities, including Jadavpur University in South Kolkata, Presidency University in North Kolkata, St. Xavier’s College in Central Kolkata, and more. Naturally, with so many students, the City of Joy has always had fascinating eateries that border on incredibly inexpensive and marvellously mouthwatering. Here’s looking at five such places that have been student favourites for a while.
Olypub, Park Street: The quintessential college favourite!
Very few people in Kolkata have not been to Olypub. Aged over decades now, Olypub has attracted generations, and now, functions as a major attraction for students looking to enjoy sumptuous portions of A la Kiev or Mixed Grill. Situated in Kolkata’s shining heartthrob, Park Street, Olypub holds a special place in everyone’s hearts, from the present batch of college freshers to corporates well into their 50s.
Cost for two: Rs. 600 (approx.)
Denzong Kitchen, Jadavpur: North-Eastern extravaganza!
While Denzong Kitchen has not been around for the proverbial “millennia”, it has been around for at least half a decade. Unlike established restaurants, Denzong is situated inside an alleyway, and has a single room with slim benches and plastic stools. What makes this place incredible are the juicy steamed momos, the pitch-perfect thupkas and the fried noodles, all of which combined makes you feel like you are indeed in one of the North-Eastern states. The ridiculously affordable prices also work wonders in making this a student favourite.
Cost for two: Rs. 300 (approx.)
Bon Appetit, Salt Lake Sector 1: To sweet teeth!
This possibly lies among favourites for students residing in Salt Lake/Lake Town and thereabouts. The neat, treehouse-like design helps attract high school students looking for a light, casual ambience, and the excellent chocolate mousse has every potential to give the biggest of restaurants a run for their money. The filling club sandwiches and pastas are also great for evening snacks!
Cost for two: Rs. 350 (approx.)
Paramount Sherbats & Syrups, College Street: The legend of North Kolkata!
Paramount is not a mere student favourite – after decades of service, Paramount Sherbats & Syrups is separated from the iconic Presidency University by two book-laden lanes of Kolkata oldest romance, College Street. The place has hosted some of Kolkata’s and India’s greatest legends, and not until you take the first sip of Grape Crush that you realise exactly why Paramount is a legend. From my father to my young cousin barely in secondary school, none of us can get enough of Paramount. Ever.
Cost for two: Rs. 150 (approx.)
Saima Restaurant, Rabindra Sadan: Outrageous brilliance!
If you ever thought that an excellent kitchen set in a low garage behind a metro rail station in a busy office district of a metro city can give the greatest mughlai restaurants a run for their money, Saima has been doing the same for years now. The everlasting taste is accompanied with outrageous pricing – aloo dum for Rs. 25, paneer roll for Rs. 28, and a princely sum of Rs. 20 for a large glass full of lip-smacking lassi! It is also a non-vegetarian’s paradise, and nearly every student has been to Saima. Find someone who hasn’t – we dare you!
Cost for two: Rs. 250 (approx.)
For honourable mentions, it would only be right to include Blue Poppy (Middleton Row) for the excellent chop suey, Anadi’s Cabin (New Market) – a legend of similar proportions as Paramount, for Mughalai Paranthas, and inevitably, Arsalan – the widely popular Kolkata biryani joint. Think we missed something out? Let us know, please!
The author, Shouvik Das, is Tech Journalist with a leading Tech Magazine and a foodie.