Food Trail of Freedom

India is turning 68 soon, but the legacy of India, and Indians in terms of food has been timeless, be it spice and coffee trade or the multitude of flavors in all our dishes. India has put itself on the culinary world map. On the eve of independence day, we decided to list some of our favourite places, which have stood the test of time and taste, and have served the men and women during the British Raj and continue to do so, even today.  This is the food trail of freedom, Happy Independence Day to all of you!

Featured Image by Kanishka Samrat

Karims      Where: Old Delhi

The place that draws its name from the Islamic god that represents bounty and generosity, Karims has been known for it’s scrumptious, liberal portions. It is rumored that the origins of Karims lie with the chef of Bahadur Shah Zafar, among the last of  the Mughal Empire, the chef taught his sons recipes which are in use even today, Karims spice mix is easily among the most guarded secrets in the history of Delhi. This place has been around for 101 years now. Image: Ankur Bordoloi 

Tandoori Chicken



Wenger’s           Where: Connaught Place, New Delhi

Standing strong in all it’s glory on Connaught Place, since the 1920s is Wenger’s. Wenger’s was the first bakery to introduce French bread, Swiss chocolates and margarine pastries to New Delhi. The Swiss couple that owned Wenger’s made it popular among British Bureaucrats, Indians of a higher economic class and people with a taste for “fancy”
After Independence however, they could never make that mark on the people, they lost their huge ballroom and now, you will probably find this place to be less than half the size it used to be. You should try this hidden gem nonetheless, especially if you have a sweet-tooth! Image:

Wenger’s at CP



Paranthe Wali Gali              Where: Old Delhi

Even though the food here didn’t shoot to fame till the 1960s, it has been around for quite some time. Since the first shop Pandit Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan Paranthewala was established in 1872, these narrow lanes with large glasses of lassi and different innovations and versions of the parantha have been frequented by Indians alike, it is even rumored that Pandit JawaharLal Nehru and daughter Indira Gandhi would spend time here, feasting on parathas and “kele ki saunth”

Lip Smacking Parantha
Lip Smacking Parantha



Kwality and Embassy             Where: Connaught Place, New Delhi

Technically, these two places are as old as India itself, having been established in 1948, they have seen the capital come up and become what it is today. They have seen decades pass, and yet their reputation is such that “the name is enough” to remind our grandparents of their childhood days. Personally, I have eaten here so many times simply because my grandparents knew it since decades, and for them, the place never changed. Both places are known to serve exceptional non vegetarian fare and heavy dose of old Bollywood music. Image :- Cooking in Tounges

Excellent non vegetarian Selection
Excellent non vegetarian Selection


United Coffee House             Where: Connaught Place, New Delhi

United Coffee House, established in 1942 was a melting pot of sorts, where young and old india collided, socialised and made it a happening place of the time. From Artists to tycoons to politicians have sipped a fine blend of coffee here and it’d be a shame if you don’t give this beautiful, Victorian styled coffee house, a chance to impress you. Forget Starbucks for once, try United. Image : Gastronomebychoice

United Coffee House



Leopold Cafe         Where: Colaba, Mumbai

The one place no foreigner will miss when visiting the maximum city has found it’s way deep into the heart of the city. The very first place people want to try when they come here, the place where there are lines to see the bullet holes from the tragic 26/11 attacks, the place that is always noisy and crowded, but equally exciting; Leopold Cafe has cemented it’s place in Mumbai’s memory and the hearts of Mumbaikars since it opened in 1871. Image:

Bun maska and cutting chai with Mr. Boman Kohinoor? It’s a date!



Britannia & Co.                    Where: Fort, Mumbai

Set up in 1923, the owner of this cafe is now 94 years old, and Boman Kohinoor aims at providing classic Iranian food to the people. Till around 1950s, there were reportedly 550 Irani cafes in Mumbai, now, there seem to be less than 50, and so the survival of such a landmark makes it historic in its own right. Image:

Berry Pulao in Britannia
Berry Pulao in Britannia



Bademiya                          Where: Colaba, Mumbai

Set up in 1946, this place is the one everyone flocks to for their late night grub. With two separate counters for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and an endless line no matter what time you go, this place serves the most mouth watering kebabs in all of Mumbai. The street where this is set up also has a church, which goes to show that Mumbai is a melting pot of cultures and traditions, old and new. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Crunchy Paneer Tikka !
Crunchy Paneer Tikka !



Olympia Coffee House                         Where: Colaba, Mumbai

This coffee shop was set up in 1918, Typical of India at the time it was set up, Olympia is a no-frills place, its crowded, but serves delectable non-vegetarian fare other than beef. They also strictly prohibit alcohol but is it truly necessary when your motive is to feel the rush of Mumbai while sampling mutton gosht? Feeling gutsy, go for the bheja fry!  Image:

Kheema Pao
Kheema Pao
















Flury’s                                   Where: Park Street Area, Kolkata

Founded in 1927 in one of the most upmarket locations of Kolkata, and frequented by Satyajit Ray, these two things were probably enough to guarantee Flury’s it’s success. Their reputation was cemented because of the European food on offer, and most importantly, their cheesecakes.  Image: Deepa Kumar


Kidney Bean Toast at Flurys
Kidney Bean Toast at Flurys



Gupta Brothers                                  Where: Ballygunge, Kolkata

Known for it’s specialty, Abor Khabo, It is one of the oldest sweet shops in Kolkata, having been set up in the early 1900s, what makes it special is the fact that for a state in the east, it serves up delicious North Indian sweets too! Image: Gupta Brothers


Strawberry flavoured and chocolate flavoured rosogollas are now quite popular.
Strawberry flavoured and chocolate flavoured rosogollas are now quite popular.



Ganguram                                        Where: Chowringhee, Kolkata

Having been set up in 1885 on a small plot of, this joint is run by non-Bengalis, they however, are known for creating the best Bengali sweets in Kolkata. They claim to make the best Chocolate Mishti Doi in all of Kolkata.

Mishti Doi from Ganguram.



Mavalli Tiffin Room                               Where: Lalbagh Road, Bengaluru

Set up in 1924, this joint was opened up by three men from Udupi. It is a vegetarian restaurant. This place set a standard for South Indian fare at low prices, often utting even expensive places to shame. The reason you should visit this place though, is because they claim to be the inventors of the Rava-idli. Image:

Masala dosssaaa...
Masala dosssaaa…


Happy Independence Day to all of you, if you know of more places that have existed and been popular since the era of the British Raj, let us know in your comments below!


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