Food by Gulf News has complied a list of old and iconic eating outlets and coffee houses in India, their history and popularity among food enthusiasts from around the world is testament.
1. Bademiyan in Mumbai, India
Located in one of the poshest areas of Mumbai - Colaba, is Bademiyan. This iconic restaurant started in 1946 and is popular for its seekh kababs (kabab with an 'a' and not 'e'), baida rolls and roomali rotis. This 75-year-old-restaurant, was once a shack or a make-shift counter (small run down building) at Apollo Bundar, near Mumbai's naval port. Back then, it's loyal patrons were naval officers and locals looking for a late-night snack. The mutton seekh kabab, chicken baida roll and mutton keema are popular among locals and tourist, all year round.
2. Leopold cafe, Mumbai, India
Located in the classic cliche of the East meets West is this 150-year-old cafe and bar. Started by Iranians, who came to India in the 1800s, has been a popular eating place among foreign tourists and locals. With an extensive contintental menu of food, drinks and desserts, one can get a look and feel of cosmopolitian Mumbai here. Their classic dishes include Leopolds special noodles (non-vegetarian), cheese cakes and chocolate pastries.
3. MTR or Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, Bengaluru, India
This iconic south Indian brand in Bangalore, started in 1924 buy serving coffees and idlis (steamed rice cakes). Today, it is a popular food enterprise with several international branches too. Hundreds of people queue at the door of this iconic outlet at their flagship outlet in Lalbagh, Bengaluru, India. The service resembles an assembly line, with every staff coming by to place each item, precisely by accounting for every second of time. Ensuring nothing is missed or misplaced, making it a food experience to try.
4. Shri Sagar, Bengaluru, India
Also known as CTR or Central Tiffin room, this eating place is famous for its 'benne masala dosa' or butter masala dosa (a crepe like savoury made of rice batter). Started in 1920s, this eating place sees both the young and old devour their favourite snack such as medu vada, rawa idli and filter coffee.
5. A bakery from 1880s - Crown Bakery, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India
Nestled in the Western ghat mountains is a quaint hill station - Conoor, Tamil Nadu with a 141-year-old bakery. They used to bake breads for the British barracks, stationed in Wellington back in the 1880s. Now they have a range of baked items on their menu, which includes breads, tea cakes, biscuits and cookies. Their baked items are typically wrapped neatly in a simple butter paper packaging. Nothing fancy!
6. Indian Coffee House, Thiravanthapuram, Kerala, India
Started by the Coffee board in the 1940s is the popular Indian Coffee House in the city of Thiravanthapuram, Kerala. This iconic building was built by a British-born Indian architect - Lauri Baker. The cylindrical structure of the building is what makes it unique. Indian coffee houses attract loyalists, tourists and anybody wanting a pocket-friendly meal or snack. What is interesting across all their food chain is the unique serving cap that their servers wear.
7. Dorabjee & Sons, Pune, India
A 141-year-old parsi restaurant in the state of Maharashtra's city - Pune, is Dorabjee & Sons. This restaurant attracts people from all over the city and India. It is famous for its meaty Parsi dishes like mutton and chicken dhansak, paya (trotters cooked in spiced curry), mutton cutlets and biryanis. On their list of soft drink menu is the famous Ardeshir's raspberry from the city's oldest soft drink makers.
Here is a recipe to a vegatarian dhansak.
8. Glenary’s, Darjeeling, India
Glenary's is the ideal hill station cafe where one can sit in and order a breakfast, sipping the famous Darjeeling tea while overlooking the panaromic mountain range. Popular for its tea, cakes and their breakfast menu, this restaurant has been attracting tourists and locals since 1935.
9. Nizam's Kolkata, India:
The place where India got its kathi rolls from is - Nizam's Kolkata. Located in New Market, the dish was once a favourite among locals and the British. Back then, kebabs were prepared the usual way - chared on iron skewers, but the greasy texture made it difficult to eat. Hence they started wrapping them in parathas and that's how we know Kathi rolls of today. A popular snack from the streets of Kolkata has worked its way into every food enthusiast's heart.
10. Since 1927 - Flury's Kolkata, India:
A popular tea room of the yesteryear British and affluent Indians, Flury's is an iconic bakery in Kolkata. Established in 1927 by Mr and Mrs J Flury, this landmark bakery has opened up branches across various Indian cities. Their large window overlooks Park street and looks festive during christmas.
11. Karim's, Old Delhi, India:
In the bylanes of Delhi's Jama masjid is the iconic restaurant - Karim's. A popular eating restaurant, this 1913 eatery is known for its kebabs, tandoori bhara, mutton korma, chicken Jahangiri and chicken Mughlai.
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