RESTAURANTS SINCE DECADES
We are lucky right!
We can still find restaurants that are running from the generation of our grandfather’s father. In this blog, I’m going to write about the historical restaurants which are running for decades and are wonderfully atmospheric.
Have patience and go through it.
- LEOPOLD CAFÉ, MUMBAI
Leopold café is a popular hangout place in Mumbai. It is running since 1871 and is one of Mumbai’s oldest Irani cafes, Distinct from Paris, Iranis, and Zoroastrians who came to India much later, in the 19th century. The Leopold restaurant is getting better with age. Undoubtedly, it’s true! Not only does Leopold feature prominently in the epic Shantaram, in which Gregory David Roberts recounts his checkered past in Mumbai, it also survived the 2008 terrorist attack. Bullet holes of the attack remain on the wall, as a reminder and tribute to those who lost their lives. The food is diverse that is Indian, Chinese, and Continental and serving is large. There is a cozy upstairs area with DJ playing tunes into the night.
- BRITANNIA & CO, MUMBAI
Britannia & Co is running since 1923 and is the most iconic Irani café and is one of the last of its kind remaining. It is a popular place to try Parsi cuisine, which curiously blends Persian and Gujarati influences. The restaurant is made in a grand Renaissance-style building designed by Scottish architect George Wittet, who also designed the Gateway Of India. Recently, the delightfully eccentric owner passed away in his 90s. However, his legacy lives on. It is also famous for berry pulao. It’s made using the secret recipe of the owner’s late wife.
- KWALITY, DELHI
It is one of the oldest restaurants in Delhi which was started in Connaught Place in 1940. It was given an extensive nostalgia drenched makeover in 2018 as it withstood the test of time. Photographer Madam Mahatta, has taken almost 70 original images of Connaught place, line the restaurant’s wall reflecting decades of the city’s history and post- Independence lifestyle. Velvet curtains, period furniture, a piano lounge, and a polo bar add to the retro feel. A pianist is playing live music every afternoon during high tea, and jazz bands at the night. North Indian and Continental food are served. The restaurant signature dish is channa (chole) bhatura. It’s prepared using a secret blend of spices and recipe that the owner is said to have obtained from a cook in Rawalpindi, a city in the Punjab province of Pakistan that was the original “channa capital”.
- MAVALLI TIFFIN ROOM, BANGALORE
Mavalli Tiffin Rooms commonly referred to as MTR was established in 1924 in Bangalore. It is popular for south Indian vegetarian cuisine. It’s the oldest idli dosa place in the city and a classic must-try restaurant there. The restaurant’s main claim to fame is that it invented the Rava idli, during World War 2 when food was scarce. MTR food has grown to become one of India’s leading packaged food companies. However, During the 1970s the restaurant was forced to temporarily closed when the government called a state of emergency and forced it to lower prices to unsustainable levels. During this time, the innovative owner diversified into selling ready-to-make packaged mixes for idlis and dosas. The restaurant’s trademark dessert, Chandrahara, is only served on Sundays.
- BHARAWAN DA DHABA, AMRITSAR
Bharawan Da Dhaba is a century-old restaurant it has even crossed the century. It was established in 1912 in a tent in Amritsar, Punjab. It is one of the must-visit restaurants on the Amritsar. It also survived the economic turmoil of subsequent Indo- Pakistan wars. It serves authentic Punjabi cuisine. According to the current owner ( the founder’s grandson), What makes the food special is the way it’s cooked over a slow flame with the use of mild spices to not overpower the flavor. Only vegetarian dishes are served and those dishes are made using pure ghee.
- INDIAN COFFEE HOUSE, KOLKATA
The Indian Coffee Board founded the first Indian Coffee House in Mumbai in 1936. This establishment was a popular meeting place for all freedom fighters, social activists, etc. However, business declined in the 1950s, and The Indian Coffee Board decided to shut down. Employees who lost their jobs got together and formed a series of worker co-operative societies and run the coffee houses themselves. So, the Indian Coffee House, Kolkata branch is one of the most famous branches of Indian Coffee House. It was established in 1942 and is located Opposite Presidency College on Kolkata’s College Street. As per the restaurant name it serves coffee.
Restaurants which are doing their business for, decades are like a monument to our country. This should be protected and should not be let to collapse. Those historical restaurants are like a bridge between a past generation to the future generation and this bridge should be protected to let our coming generation know about their past generation.