Kolkata is definitely a food lover’s paradise. The city boasts of the variety of street food it offers to its people. Almost every lane and alley has its own parar dokan selling an array of delicious dishes. Some local shops and their items are so popular that people come from far off areas just for the love of it. Of all among these one of Kolkata’s favourites is the very popular Chitto Babur Dokan in Dacres Lane situated in Kolkata’s Esplanade area and that has been holding on to its legacy for 74 years.
Starting decades back Chitto Babur Dokan is a favourite eating spot of daily commuters, office goers and almost every food lover. People flung into here for morning breakfast to lunch and dinner and also numerous tea breaks. Not just that the place is also visited by many popular celebrities and personalities.
How to reach Chitto Babur Dokan in Dacres Lane
You can reach the place quite easily either by metro, bus or taxi. From the Esplanade metro station, you need to cross the street at the Chowrangee more on the left-hand side and reach K.C. Das Sweets. From K.C.Das Sweets just keep walking straight for about 200 metres. You can read the signboard just at the mouth of the lane. That is the famous Dacres Lane where Chitto Babur Dokan is situated.
The lane is the crazy hub of various kinds of shops selling street foods. From Chinese to North Indian, South Indian, Mughlai and lassies, where you can eat to your heart’s content and without burning a hole in your pocket.
Another shop named Suruchee which is also a part of Chitto Babur Dokan is famous for the chicken rezala. A shop named Apanjan sells Mughlai dishes, cutlets and a lot more. There is something for everyone in Dacres Lane.
The best time to visit Dacres if you want to avoid the regular rush is in the morning. From lunchtime, the place gets really crowded. But most of the shops open a bit late. When I visited it was around 11.30 am and saw some of the shops were open while some preparing to flag off the day.
It was fine for me since my main attraction was to enjoy the famous Chicken Stew at Chitto Babur Dokan. From early morning tea to evening snacks Dacres lane has it all covered.
From the time I saw many Youtube videos and read blogs about this Chicken Stew served with bread in Chitto Babur Dokan, I knew I had to visit this place when in Kolkata. But not just that the dokan (shop in Bengali) is also famous for its other dishes like Fish Kobiraji, fish finger, chicken pakora and a lot more.
There are wooden benches placed parallel along the boundary walls of the lane where you will see people from various age groups sitting or some are standing enjoying every bit of food. This shop was started by Shrish Ranjan Roy in the year 1947.
Initially started as a small shop that only sold boiled eggs now stands as nostalgia for people over many decades. Two years later since the shop began selling its mouth-watering dishes and grew not just in the terms of business but also earned a lot of name and fame.
There are waiters who are prompt in taking orders and serving you food piping hot. I visited Chitto Babur Dokan in Kolkata with my friend Amrita who has been my constant exploring various places in the city. There is nothing more enjoyable than good food with great company.
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The famous Chicken Stew with bun or bread
We ordered two plates of Chicken Stew which cost Rs100 per plate. The taste of the chicken stew is indeed one of a kind and the taste kept on lingering in my mouth. It had big slices of papaya and carrots and two large pieces of chicken very well cooked with a rich flavour of various species, mainly pepper.
To go with the chicken they serve two big slices of fresh bread smeared with butter. Feel free to ask for a second helping of the stew. Although the second serving doesn’t include chicken pieces but a decent amount of soup and vegetables.
Just a plate full of chicken stew and two pieces of bread worked well for me. I wanted to have some more stew but since I had a lot of walking ahead and did not want to feel boated somehow controlled my urge. It tasted so delicious that simple words cannot justify the taste. You need to taste the chicken stew at least once when in Kolkata.
The shop also sells hot tea with which you can start off your day. Something around 500 cups of tea was sold on a daily basis here. But mostly I saw customers ordering the chicken stew.
All traditional methods are used in making the dishes. The shop owner claims that neither the recipes nor the crockery used in serving has undergone even the slightest change in past decades. With so many stories and memories attached to it, Chitto Babur Dokan in Kolkata is very aptly a heritage eatery in Kolkata.
Even Dacres Lane in Esplanade has a history attached to it. This 200-year-old narrow lane was named after Calcutta’s then Collector Philip Miner Dacre who used to meet sailors at this place. British left India but kept behind this tradition were a huge number of people came and meet and enjoy a hearty meal throughout the whole day.
Well, there are so many eateries still left to visit in Kolkata’s Dacres Lane as I have a long bucket list. Hoping to visit on my next trip to Kolkata. Let me know about your experience if you have visited Chitto Babur Dokan.
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