Rao’s Udupi – Vegetarian South Indian Food in Kolkata

Jul 13, 2021 | Food

Durga Puja 2021 countdown has already started in Kolkata and many are making travel plans. A vintage gem from breakfast places in Kolkata is Rao’s Udipi Café that has been around since 1969.  Udupi Cafe can easily be listed among the Best South Indian restaurants in Kolkata. This post goes out to all our vegetarian friends.

Breakfast places in Kolkata

We are breakfast people and take the morning grub seriously. Whenever we are at a new place, Bedabrata is trying to study “breakfast places near me” as bedtime reading! During the course of our visit to the City of Joy, we have explored breakfast places in Kolkata. Territi Bazaar Chinese breakfast is a legend and we have a variety of posts on that. But this time we go a little south…and a little pure.

It all started when our Jain friend back in Delhi was visiting Kolkata. It was his first time and he wanted recommendations for veg breakfast in Kolkata. Contrary to popular notion, a huge population in Bengal is strict vegetarian. Consequently there is a rich heritage of Bengali vegetarian dishes. But last Sunday, we had some solid South Indian breakfast in Kolkata at Rao’s Udipi Home, commonly known as Udupi restaurant Kolkata. This place ranks high among South Kolkata restaurants.

Rao’s Udipi Home menu

If you are scouring restaurants for South Indian food in Kolkata, any online search throws up many options. If you are a local, you would surely have your favourites. But if you are a visitor, then Rao’s Udipi is a place we recommend for vegetarian South Indian food. Rao’s Udipi Home menu has a wide variety of dosas, including rawa and Mysore dosa variety, uttapams, idlis, sambar vadas, so on and so forth. Pongal and Upma are their breakfast specials. They also serve South Indian thalis or platters at very reasonable prices. The thalis comprise sambhar, rice, idli, a vegetable dish, papaduum, pickle etc.

Our favourites here are dosas and vadas. The vadas or fried dumplings are freshly made and somehow not very oily. All the dishes are served with coconut chutney, a separate garlic chutney and sambar. But our absolute must-have at Udipi Home is their filter coffee. Smooth and not too strong, a cup of coffee is must to complete the experience.

Rao’s Udipi Home ambience

Kolkata still oozes oodles of old world charm. Udipi Café is no exception. The café was apparently established in the year 1969 and is more than 50 years old. It is a fuss free set up along the corridor of an old Bengali mansion. Tables and chairs are placed in columns and we love the early morning sunlight pouring in from the lattice walls.

The food is still served in steel utensils and not plastic thankfully. In fact, the filter coffee is served in the small steel glass and tumbler set that adds a lot to the drinking pleasure.  They also have some chairs in the open on the footpath outside and you can sit alfresco very early in the morning, or during winter months.

Rao’s Udipi Home timing

Udipi café has a hugely dedicated set of patrons some of who are coming to this place for generations. This is a hot spot for early morning catching up, or what is called adda in Kolkata. The place therefore starts early to cater to the breakfast crowd of the region. Their timings are 7.30 am to 9 pm.

Rao’s Udipi Home – How to reach

Udipi Home is in southern part of Kolkata on Jatin Das Road, near Deshapriya Park. All the aforesaid names are famous landmarks. The first metro rail in India was started in Kolkata and it is a very popular mode of transport in the city. The nearest metro to Udipi Café is Kalighat and it is a 10 minutes’ walk-through Lake Road. In addition, you can take a radio taxi to this place or go all Kolkata and take the iconic yellow taxi of the city.

Last but not least, you can take the glorious tram car and drop at Deshapriya Park. The café is very close to this spot and anybody, including online maps, would guide you there.

They also have a modern branch near Vivekananda Park, but we prefer the original restaurant.

Other attractions near Udipi Home

Udipi Café is conveniently located in the southern part of the city. The Rabindra Sarovar Lake is in the vicinity and you can take a leisurely stroll down this piece of haven in the city. The Gariahat Market, where you get all things and crafts Bengali, is also in the walking distance. Last but not the least, the 2 leading ladies of Kolkata, Goddess Kali and the current Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, live in Kalighat. This area, that houses the famous Kalighat Temple, is also not far from the café.

Pro-tips

  • Rao’s Udipi Café is one of those places where the food is never disappointing. If you are in confusion, you can safely come here.
  • The place is very busy round the year, and waiters are just running around. It may take some time for your order to get delivered.
  • The café is not overtly crowded during Durga Puja as well.
  • The café is conveniently located and you can do a full day South Calcutta tour dropping in for a meal here.

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31 Comments

  1. Afreen Ansari

    Woww had been to Kolkata but wasn’t aware of such amazing Udipi places. The list and how to reach there is quite informative and will totally explore when next in the city

    Reply
  2. Ambica Gulati

    I went to Kolkata in 2001. And saw only the old city. The beauty is that you can see every part of the country here. South Indian food is my fave and I would like to enjoy it at Rao’s Udipi cafe sometime in the future.

    Reply
  3. Michelle Tirkey

    The post made me so nostalgic! A walk at Rabindra Sarovar followed by grabbing some food at Udupi cafe was like a ritual during the three years I spent in Kolkata. Been quite a few years that I have left Kolkata now and your post reminded me of all the delicacies at this cafe. Definitely going to be my first stop when I land back at Kolkata.

    Reply
    • Seema Bardeskar

      I’m a fan of the Udupi south Indian delicacies and especially their sambar. Rao’s udipi cafe seems like a must visit place.

      Reply
  4. Amrita

    I live in Kolkata and I have only been to Rao’s Udipi Cafe a handful of times. The place is known for its South Indian fare as you mentioned, and I am planning to go back there soon after I read your post!

    Reply
  5. Lancelot Quadras

    Oh my god. How did I miss this? It looks quite fab and I should have checked it out. Maybe I was too busy runing inside mithai shops dedicated to chocolate… Hehe ..

    Reply
  6. Pamela Mukherjee

    Woow , I have been to Kolkata so many times but never visited this place. I would love to visit all the famous food joints whenever I will visit Kolkata next.

    Reply
  7. Milan Singhal

    This is a helpful guide for people who want to enjoy south Indian delicacies in Kokata. the pictures of the food are droolworthy.

    Reply
  8. Sanjay Thampy

    South Indian cuisine is what I always look forward to breaking fast in the mornings.
    Nice to know of this authentic udipi restaurant in kolkata.

    Reply
  9. Sandy N Vyjay

    Rao’s Udupi Cafe seems really vintage and charming. The food too must be authentic fare. The beauty of these Udupi Cafes is that you can find them in most if not all parts of India, says a lot for the entrepreneurial zeal of the people running them. Sandy N Vyjay

    Reply
  10. Jenifer

    It looks tempting. I will visit this place when I am in Kolkata next time for sure.

    Reply
  11. Karthik Murali H

    That Vada and Dosa itself is enough to convince anyone to come here and try the food here 🙂

    Reply
  12. hema gayatri

    I look the cooking style of Udupi, the menu looks super duper yum and wow . The dosa and vada stole the show . gonna visit

    Reply
  13. Gurjeet Chhabra

    2 year back I have visited kolkata and wish to taste aunthentic food but haven’t got any recommendation. Next time will check out ur food joint spots.

    Reply
  14. Humaira

    South Indian food is my fave and Definitely include Rao’s Udipi cafe in my bucketlist.

    Reply
  15. Rakhi Parsai

    Oh, my this place indeed looks so authentic for south Indian food. I have heard a lot about the charm Kolkatta offers and how people are crazy about good food there. Would love to visit Kolkata someday. In the meanwhile sharing about this lovely joint with friends who stay in Kolkatta.

    Reply
  16. Sandy N Vyjay

    The place seems to be perfect to head to if one is looking for authentic south Indian fare in Kolkata. The old-world charm comes across so endearingly and the food seems really authentic and homely.

    Reply
  17. Raksha

    Wow its so cool to see Udupi vegetarian food in Kolkata. The food definitely looks delicious. I will try Rao’s Udupi restaurant when I am in Kolkata the next time.

    Reply
  18. Solopassport

    Rao’s Udupi has such tasty and delicious food. Would love to try the authentic south Indian food when I am in Kolkata, this is so amazing for people who want to enjoy south Indian food.

    Reply
  19. Tanvi Khare

    Those are some must visit spots in Kolkatta….Definitely bookmarking this for my next trip….

    Reply
  20. MeenalSonal Mathur

    Udupi restaurants are my favorite to have breakfast, and the south Indian hot dishes are surely to make anyone hungry. Your post sheds light on many aspects of Udupi restaurant.

    Reply
  21. Rahul Prabhakar

    I have been meaning to visit Kolkata someday … and when I do, my first place to eat out will be Rao’s Udipi Home I promise. I love South Indian cuisine a lot and can’t thank you enough for the coverage ☺️

    Reply
    • Delhifundos

      You eat non-vegetarian, you can try many other places concurrently. Do check our website.

      Reply
  22. Tanayesh

    Being from Kolkata and staying here i didn’t know about this place. Post everything becomes better i will surely have to try this out. And South Indian food is my favourite

    Reply
  23. Sindhu

    I’ve been here once and I love the food here. So authentic justbas we get here

    Reply
    • Delhifundos

      Good to get company 🙂

      Reply
  24. Docdivatraveller

    Veg food is so difficult to find in Kolkata! Thanks for sharing this place. Will take my vegetarian husband there.

    Reply
    • Delhifundos

      There are many vegetarian dining options in Kolkata. We will try and write about more vegetarian places.

      Reply
  25. Sweta Papaiyawala

    This cafe seems to have fantastic options in menu. I am sure I am going to recommend it to my friends over there

    Reply
  26. The Other Brain Inc.

    Rao’s Udupi cafe wow it made me hungry in the morning itself. This post of yours gives me more reasons for visiting Kolkata

    Reply
  27. Hansa Kajaria

    Kolkata has a very old town feel to it and I have always wanted to go there once. Enjoying South Indian food in kolkata would be a different experience altogether.

    Reply

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