Wine and friendships are best served old, goes a popular saying. The same logic can be extended to these Indian restaurants that have been around since pre-independence days. They make for an interesting stop in the itinerary of every traveler looking to get a taste of culture besides, of course, finger licking delicacies.
1: Glenary Restaurant, Darjeeling
Dareeling is known as the queen of the hills and Gelnary has been its reigning restaurant for 100 years now. It serves the most fresh Cinnamon buns that make for an excellent pairing with Darjeeling tea. Meat pies and sizzlers are some of the other impressive offering of this bistro.
2:Britania & Co, Mumbai
This restaurant, established in 1923, offers the best parsi fare in all of Bombay. The loyal clientele of this restaurant went into a tizzy when news came of Britania shutting down. The octogenarian restaurant owner put paid to the rumours by serving bhel Puri with fresh lime soda.
3: Leopold Cafe, Mumbai
Nothing, not even the ghastly terrorist attack, could keep the 141-year old Leopold cafe down. It was back on its feet within four days and became a symbol of the national resistance. From its modest beginnings, it has grown into a modern multi cuisine eatery that is the favourite of Mumbai's versatile crowd.
4: Flurys, Kolkata
This 88-year-old bakery in Kolkata serves the most fresh pastries and sumptuous buns in the City of Joy. It was set up by a Swiss couple in 1927 and now occupies a prominent place in the heart of the city, Park Street. It was the favourite of filmmaker, Satyajit Ray, for Sunday morning breakfasts.
5: Indian Coffee House, Kolkata
ICH has more than 400 branches in India, but none as popular as the branch situated in the College Street, founded in 1936. It has many famous dishes to its name such as crispy fried cutlets and cheese omlettes. Budding writers, poets, playwrights often stop here for a cup of tea/coffee to get their creatives juices flowing.
6: Karim's Delhi
Hazi Kareemudin started this modest establishment in 1913 saying, "I want to earn fame and money by serving royal food to the common man." Today, the fourth generation of the family runs arguably the most famous mughali food restaurant in India's capital.
7: The Embassy, Delhi
Hundreds of restaurants have mushroomed in Connought Place, however, Embassy has continued to draw customers since the summer of 1948 when two businessmen, N. Malhotra and G.K. Ghai, left Karachi and decided to establish this eatery. The tables have a handwritten card wit the the speciality of the day and there is pickled lauki on the house. Raj Kapoor, the famous actor, was particularly fond of the restaurant.
8: Mylai Karpagambal Mess, Chennai
When this Mess started in Chennai sixty five years ago, the owner used to serve the customers personally. The quality of the food and customer service has remained the same leading to an extremely loyal customer base. Mr, Prabhu, the owner of the join, attributes the success to the recipes passed on by his grandmother.
9: Buhari Hotel, Chennai
With the onset of the independence, came the freedom to start your own establishment. Buhari hotel, located on Mount Road, made the most of the opportunity with its signature dish, Chicken 65. The deep fried chicken continues to draw a large crowd and is the ideal combination with a few rounds of whisky.
10: MTR, Bangalore
MTR is widely credited with doscovering the Rava Idli breakfast combination. When the supply of rice dried up during WW-II, they experimented with Rava and the sales picked up. The 91-year old eatery hadn't looked back since. The restaurant has an old world feel to it with the waiters still dressed in shirts and veshtis.
Both locals and foreigners visit these cafes to taste their timeless servings. How was your experience at these restaurants? Please share your comments below.
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