Kolkata a city that is synonymous with nostalgia, is somewhere still stuck in the loop and holds shades of the past in literally every bylane one crosses it's only legitimate we talk about one such story which is handing out slivers of the yesteryear narratives in full swing, ofcourse with moderations made to fit the changing times—the pice hotels. Rolling out home-like food at very nominal rates to ensure people from every social stratum could afford a seat at the table. Taking its name from the word 'paisa', pice hotels essentially took shape during the 1930s-40s with an aim of feeding hungry workers, and have been consistently belting out authentic delicacies ever since, warped in all things humble. The lack of interior decor is (more than) compensated with the flavourful maach er jhol (Bengali fish curry), mangsho kosha, chutney, papad and more that has been cooking in their kitchen for years now.
We've listed a few that still operate at its finest. Keep scrolling to know all there is about them.
Sadhin Bharat Hindu Hotel Spearheaded by Mangobindo Ponda, this humble pice-venture was established in 1927 and is currently helmed by the 96-year-old Prahlad Chandra Ponda. Tucked amidst the bustle of the busy boi-para (book-lane) of Kolkata, this place never fails to belt out the most toothsome meals that include the best variety of mach-er-jhol, bhaat, shobji torkaari (a vegetable dish) and more. We recommend you give their sing/magur/koi type fish a chance along with chitol macher muithya, topse fry or the macher dimer bara which makes frequent appearances on their regular menu.| Location: 8/2, Bhawani Dutta Lane, College Street, Kolkata
Siddheshwari Ashram Hotel Run by the duo Rita and Debjani currently, this ever-so-popular eatery was originally established by Khudiram Sarkar in the year 1928. Siddheshwari Hotel has undergone quite the adjustments to stay at par with the ever-changing scenario, an attempt to stay as relevant as possible, but it hasn't lost out on its originality in the process. This place continues to serve its people a delectable range of options at reasonable rates till date. I'm personally in love with the multitude of fish specialties they present. Should you find yourself here, remember to try their kobiraji jhol, a must-try whenever you visit along with their mutton er jhol, prawn malai curry to name a few. Location: 19, Rani Rashmohani Road, New Market Area, Kolkata
Tarun Niketan Hotel Tarun Niketan opened its doors for the daily-wage earners back in 1915. Led by Eshan Chandra Deb then, this place continues to maintain its pace under the guidance of Arun Deb. Walls adorned with a typical shade of green and yellow, this place reminds us of Kolkata as showcased in most films of the yester-years. If you'd like to share a slice of the purono-Kolkata (old Kolkata) nostalgia while enjoying a mouthful of bhaat and mangsho (rice along with a mutton dish), this place is your go-to Location: 88 1/B Rash Behari Avenue
Parvati Hotel Brought to life in the 1960s by Kundu babu, the daily conundrum at the ever-so-packed Parvati Hotel is now looked after by Souvik Das who claims, what distinguishes Parvati from its contemporaries is it's a mighty range of fish options to choose from. This place oozes with the fresh smell of fish fillets dipped in piping hot mustard oil and all things bangali that reminds the regulars of a home outside home. Do drop by this humble-looking khabar-ghor (food house) to indulge in some mouth-watering thaalis or go for their tangra'r jhaal, pabda shorshe ( a typical bengali delicacy where the pabda fish is cooked in mustard mix), which we assure you, you can't get enough of! Location: Bhabanipur Near Jadu Babur Bazar
Shreyasee who has always remained a foodie has now embarked upon the journey of channelling her love for the same through her writing. An ardent theatre-lover, she's always on the look-out for new avenues to express her creative self. Apart from writing and working on social media, she also never misses an opportunity to crack a joke, every now and then.