Kolkata is city that is famous for its intellectual conversation locally known as adda. The tradition Chai Adda has gradually given way to coffee culture. The old cafe like Flurys has reinvented itself while iconic Coffee House still banks on its history and nostalgic value.
As a tourist, whether you love coffee or not, may visit these coffee shops to learn more about every thing Calcutta stands for and its culture.
Coffee in Kolkata is surprising affordable with prices ranging from Rs 150 (US$2) to Rs 300 (US$4).
Address: 18A, Park St, Park Street area, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071
This iconic coffee shop has seen all, from British raj to communist rule to 21st century liberals. It has managed to reinvent constantly to address the ever changing needs of its patrons. It is located in a heritage building perched at the corner of Park Street and Middleton Row. This iconic cafe has been a darling of 5 generations of Calcuttans. Go there to sample food from their heritage menu or just to chill with friends over a cup of finest Darjeeling tea. To know more about Flury’s read this post
2. 8th Day Cafe & Bakery
Address: Arcadia, 6, West Range, Park Circus Area, Kolkata 700020
Open: 9 am to 9 pm
This is a new entrant on the block. Yankee owned cafe delivers refreshingly great coffee paired with some wholesome food. They opened in 2014 in a lane near AJC Bose Road. What they lacked in location has been more than compensated by friendly service and good coffee. This place has been a favorite for expatriate and foreign visitors that meets up usually every Sunday morning.
The cafe believes in sourcing local beans and has its own small roastery. The tea is also sourced from local gardens. Cupcakes, cookies and pies along with bagels are served. There is also option of limited but healthy sandwiches, soups and salads.
3. Coffee House
Address: Sharda Book Stall, No.15 Near, Bankim Chatterjee St, College Square, Kolkata, West Bengal 700073
This coffee house is no longer a meeting place for contemporary writers, artists and intellectuals but it stoically reminds us what Calcutta stands for in terms of cultural legacy. So many artists, writers including Nobel prize winners frequented this place that it has its own wikipedia page. Regular visitors included likes of Satyajit Ray, Amartya Sen, Mrinal Sen and Aparna Sen. Cafe traces its root to Albert Hall in 19th Century. In the heydays of 1960s it became the intellectual battleground of the famous Hungry generation
The coffee house is famous for its adda (intellectual discourse) sessions. It shaped several political and cultural personalities and movements. Many people use to come here just to take a part in the long talking sessions.
If you love history then this is the place for you. The coffee shop has high ceiling, period furniture and imposing paintings of famous patrons.
Indian Coffee House has seen a gradual decline in service in past few decades. It has failed to modernize even after generous offers from businesses due to lack of funds and internal disputes among the managing members of its cooperative society.
Go there to witness its glorious past and nostalgia. Arrive early to avoid heat (No air conditioners). You can expect simple cup of tea or coffee along with traditional Bengali cutlet and Kaviraj. Don’t expect great service or good coffee as this famous institution is merely a shadow of its former self.
4. Sienna Store & Cafe
Located in sleepy neighborhood of Hindustan Park this cafe adorns bare mortar and brick walls, ceramic tile decor from their workshop and dim industrial lights.
Once should visit once atlas for its quirky furniture, wholesome food and casual atmosphere if not for a great cup of coffee. The cafe has its own cult following who would visit often. There is a store within the cafe that sells arty ceramics, handloom cloths and home decorations.
The food menu is limited but doesn’t cut corners when it comes to taste and portion size. They also have a new branch at Development House, 1st Floor, Shop 24, Park Street, Kolkata.
Cafe Blue Mug
Address: 121, Jodhpur Park Rd, Jodhpur Park, Kolkata, West Bengal 700068
Blue Mug Cafe may be a late entrant but it is a favorite place for young students to meet up in south Kolkata.
Apart from coffee they also serve tapas, savories and pastries. Go there to enjoy their shakes and mocktails. Outdoor seating tends to fill up quickly during evening hours.