ZamZam, Ripon Street
At one point of time, it was considered a challenge to polish off a plate of ZamZam’s Beef Biryani. And it still warms my heart to think of my school days, during which a weekly visit was almost mandatory. Ah, the bliss! Their biryani is one of the best in the city and it goes supremely well with the Beef Bhuna and a glass of Ghol (spiced Lassi or Burhani). Yes, those 3 items, will take your bill a tad above 100 bucks, but for the quantity and fulfillment, it will feel more like 50 bucks once you are done. Grab a bench and devour the food, that’s the way to go about things when at ZamZam. Finger licking good.
New United Café, Behala
Kolkata’s South Indian fare is often ignored, but there are non-descript and hidden joints all around if you have the heart to look. This one, situated on Diamond Harbor Road, next to Ashoka Cinema, is a steal for the prices they offer. The Dosas are really amazing and you can order almost anything off the menu – be assured the quality will be fresh and yum. Their Sambar is one of the best I have had and their chutney is fresh, demanding to be licked off the bowl. You can pair up you Dosa with Sambar Vada or DahiVada – which are both delicious – and get back to me if your bill crosses the 100 rupee mark. I guarantee that it won’t.
BaapiDa’rMomo, Salt Lake
Situated right next to the Karunamoyee bus stand, this is not even a roadside joint. It is a cart run by Baapi Da, a cart that is set up every day at 5 pm and a cart whose items are exhausted within 2 hours. He sells momos, sandwiches, lollypops and fried chicken – and all the items are bloody brilliant. The cart is overflowing with customers, who even wait around from 4: 45 pm so that they can get their order quickly. The lollypops and the fried chicken bowls are emptied as soon as they come out of the wok, and trust me, you would not waste even the tiniest piece of crumb from these deep fried dollops of goodness. And yes, all the items are crazy cheap, and a 100 bucks in your pocket would mean a satisfied you after the experience.
Located at a stone’s throw distance from Anadi Cabin, Ralli’s is one of the oldest chaat joints of Kolkata. With all items priced below 50 rupees, this place serves a variety of vegetarian delicacies meant for the soul. Order a plate of Mixed Chat or DahiKachori and pair it up for a flavored Lassi or Kulfi. Their South Indian fare is great too, and I also like their Lemon Sodas. In short, this is a place for the explorers, just grab the menu and order what captures your imagination. The quality is awesome and the flavors are delectable, so no need to worry there. And of course, the 100 rupee upper limit will not even be threatened unless you are full to the brim.
Rayaz Hotel, Prince Anwar Shah
This place is another of the must-do beef joints in Kolkata, and though it wouldn’t look so hygienic, you’d be more than ready to forget everything after a few bites into their famous Beef Roll. I started having it when it was 8 Rs. Per roll, and I would inevitably grab two on the run. The identifier of this place is the constant queue in front of the roll counter, which never diminishes after 7 pm. The kababs are prepared on an open barbeque and tossed into the assembly line where rolls are constantly completed and handed over. Their Beef Chanp is also one of the tastiest and oiliest you would get, but hey, that is perfectly alright on occasions! A roll and a plate of Chanp with a Rumali Roti will be around 60 rupees.