Oldest Restaurants in India That Every Passionate Foodie Must Visit


We Indians are food lovers. Whatever be the mood be all we need is good food to cheer our senses. There are some food joints that have been here for ages, since the time of our great grandparents and even been around since the pre-independence era.

Many of these restaurants have evolved over time, but the best thing is that the taste in every dish has still remained intact. Here are some of our favourites:

(c) Tunday Kababi

Photo of Tunday Kababi, Old Nazirabad Road, Beside St.Marry Inter College, Khayali Ganj, Aminabad, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Ginny Bansal

This place is famous for the delicious Galouti Kebabs, Kormas and Biryanis. Lucknow’s Tunday Kababi is believed to be established in 1905 by Haji Murad Ali, the one-armed cook. This place is tucked in the gallis of the old area of Lucknow and the eatery still uses age-old spices to make the non-vegetarian gourmet preparations. These kebabs melt in the mouth and the kebabs made here continue to follow a secret recipe. The women of the family make a special masala for the kebabs. Over the years, these delectable kebabs have been enjoyed by people across the country. So the next time you visit Lucknow, make sure you don’t miss out on these mouthwatering kebabs.

Where is it: No: 168/6, Naaz Cinema Road, Khayali Ganj, Aminabad, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh- 226018

Contact: 0522 262 2786

Must Try: Mutton Biryani, Mutton Curry, Firni, Chicken Biryani, Kheer, Mutton Korma

Meal for two: Rs 300 (approx.)

(c) Flurys

Photo of Flurys Bakery, Park Street, Park Street area, Calcutta, West Bengal, India by Ginny Bansal

This restaurant is situated in the park street in the heart of Kolkata and it was founded in the year 1927. This tea-house was set up by a Swiss couple, Mr. and Mrs. J Flurry, who made Kolkata their home. Today, this place is the most famous coffee shop in Kolkata. This place has beautiful old world charm and is famous for its rum balls, meringues with cream and delicious English breakfast. It is also loved for its omelettes, cream of mushroom on toast, doughnuts and hot chocolate. Satyajit Ray used to visit this place every Sunday for breakfast. At present, Flurry’s has 15 outlets across Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Visitors from all over the world come back for a taste of Flurry’s whenever they are visiting Kolkata.

Where is it: 18A, Park St, Park Street area, Kolkata, West Bengal- 700071

Contact: 033 4000 7453

Must Try: English Breakfast, Coffee, Spaghetti, Tea, Lamb, Chocolate Mousse, Sandwiches

Meal for two: Rs 1000 (approx.)

(c) Leopold Cafe

Photo of Leopold Cafe, Colaba Causeway, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Ginny Bansal

Leopold was a known name even before the 2008 attacks. Established in 1871, this cafe is one of Mumbai's oldest restaurants. It is a go-to place for locals and attracts a lot of tourists as well. The menu is vast with everything from Chinese to Italian to Indian. The Leopold special vegetarian pasta, red pepper chicken, prawn chilli and soya wine chicken are a must try. Leopold captures the old world charm of Bombay. It also makes a mention in the 2003 novel Shantaram. A bit overpriced but a must-visit due to its legacy.

Where is it: Opposite Olympia Coffee House, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Contact: 022 2282 8185

Must Try: Mutton Keema, Roast Chicken, Mojito, Salads, Chocolate Ecstasy, Kung Pao Chicken

Meal for two: Rs 1600 (approx.)

(c) Glenarys

Photo of Glenary's— Bakery, Resturant & Pub, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Ginny Bansal

This bakery-cum-restaurant located on Nehru Road is over 100 years old and is a hit with locals and tourists. The desserts at Glenary’s are beyond excellent. You can see their various options out on display—yummy apple pies, sticky cinnamon buns and fresh meat pies. Thier Darjeeling tea is a winner too.  They have two branches - one at Chowk Bazaar and other at Bagdogra Airport. This is the perfect place to sit back and marvel at the mountains and valleys.

Where is it: Nehru Road Near Clock Tower, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling, West Bengal- 734101

Contact: 0354 225 8408

Must Try: Hot Chocolate, Pizza, Tea, Sandwiches

Meal for two: Rs 250 (approx.)

(c) Shaikh Brothers

Photo of Shaikh Brothers, Hem Baruah Road, Pan Bazaar, Guwahati, Assam, India by Ginny Bansal

Established by Shaikh Ghulam Ibrahim way back in the late 1800s, this eatery is one of the most popular bakeries in Guwahati. This place was a favourite with Nehru’s family and set out by selling bread loaves and biscuits. The assortment of bread, cakes, biscuits and cookies at the bakery is now being run by the third generation of Shaikhs. 

Where is it: 95, Hem Baruah Road, Pan Bazaar, Guwahati, Assam- 781001

Contact: +9194358 18155

Must Try: Cakes, Cookies, Biscuits

Meal for two: Rs 150 (approx.)

Courtesy: MTR

Photo of Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, Saint Marks Road, Shanthala Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Ginny Bansal

Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (commonly referred to as MTR) was founded by Parampalli Yajnanarayana Maiya and his brothers in the year 1924. It's the oldest idli dosa place in Bengaluru, and classic must try. The food served at the MTR is known to be regular, wholesome south Indian comfort food. Highest priority is given to cleanliness and quality of food. They're also known to open the kitchen for the customers to scrutinise. Back in the day, MTR was famous for serving rava idli to the soldiers when there was a lack of rice supply during World War II. Their Rava Idli and the Masala Dosa are a must-try. 

Where is it: 14, Lalbagh Road, Mavalli, Basavanagudi, Bangalore

Contact: 080 2223 0471

Must Try: Idli, Rava Dosa, Masala Dosa

Meal for two: Rs 250 (approx).

(c) Wikimedia

Photo of Karim's Original from Jama Masjid, Janaki Nagar Colony, Toli Chowki, Hyderabad, Telangana, India by Ginny Bansal

One of the favourites with Delhi-ites is Karim's. Established way back in 1913, this eatery continues to be the most frequented place whenever you want to eat some good, mouth-watering non-vegetarian food. The original Karim's is bang opposite Jama Masjid close to Darya Ganj. You might need help from locals to get here. The restaurants opened its first branch in the 1990s in Nizamuddin West, followed by Kailash Colony, Noida, Gurgaon and at Kamla Nagar, all in Delhi-NCR region. Vegetarians are going to have a tough time figuring out what to eat here. You have a wide range of kebabs to choose from—Seekh Kebabs, Shammi kebabs and Mutton tikka. Try the Khamiri roti, which is an interesting deviation than the traditional tandoori roti. The service at Karim's restaurant is impressive despite the huge crowd. Next time you feel the need for a satisfying meal, you know where to head.

Where is it: 16 Urdu Bazar Road Infront of Jama Masjid Gate No.1, Gali Bhairo Wali, Kababiyan, New Delhi- 110006

Contact: 011 2326 4981

Must Try: Nali Nihari, Seekh Kebab, Chicken Jahangiri, Bhuna Gosht

Meal for two: Rs 500 (approx.)

(c) Instagram

Photo of Delhi Mistan Bhandar, Police Bazar, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Ginny Bansal

Located among the hustle bustle of police bazaar, this place has been here for more than 88 years. This place was established in 1930 and has treated people ever since with their delicious gulab jamuns and jalebis. This eatery is also well-known because of the fact that it made a world record by producing the largest 75 inches long jalebi weighing about 15kgs. Now that's some record! The Delhi Mistan Bhandar has a dedicated section for treating your sweet tooth. If you are missing Chandni Chowk, try their finger-licking choley bhature, gulab jamuns and cutlets, you won't be disappointed.

Where is it: Police Bazar, Shillong, Meghalaya- 793001

Contact: 094361 03136

Must Try: Jalebi, Chole Bhature

Meal for two: Rs. 200 (approx.)

These novelty restaurants and cafes might have grown commercially with their chains pan India, but their origin has something magical that you must experience.

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