Walk down the memory lane to restaurants from pre-independence India

Walk down the memory lane to restaurants from pre-independent India
Walk down the memory lane to restaurants from pre-independent India

As there is a saying, wine tasted better with ageing, the same applies to India’s vintage restaurants. The number of cafes and restaurants is increasing by the day in India, however, as much as we would enjoy exploring them, there would come a point when we would like to go back to our favourite oldies.

Some of the vintage restaurants in India are as old as the historical sights of the country and have maintained consistency in their quality and standards of food. And, it is true that when you enter a restaurant that has prevailed from longer than you were born, it feels like a different era you are entering.

Here is a bucket list of restaurants in India that have existed since before independence and need to be visited or re-visited.


Moti Mahal

Moti Mahal was started in the year 1947 in Delhi and it was the first restaurant in India that introduced North Indian and Tandoori cuisines, specialising in Butter Chicken and Tandoori Chicken. The best part is that the restaurant still maintains the same charm in its decor and consistency in the food, and the voices of the qawwali singers are still as vintage as earlier.

Where: 5051/21-22, Netaji Subhash Marg, Dariya Ganj, New Delhi

Call: 011 23273011

Timings: 12.00 noon – 12.00 midnight

Meal for two: Rs. 1200

Indian Coffee House

This is another historic restaurant of Delhi with the first branch in Bengaluru in August 1957 followed by Delhi in October 1957. The coffee with pakoras, antique furniture, and servers even today would fill you with nostalgia any time you go there. Owing to its old-world-charm, it has been acclaimed as one of the best vintage restaurants in Delhi.


Call: +011 23342994

Timings: 9.00 AM – 9.00 PM

Meal for two: Rs. 400


Started in the year 1913, Karim’s is truly a heritage restaurant of India in its true sense. Being a haven for non-vegetarians, vegetarians would hardly be found around this restaurant, and the only few items on the menu for them would be palak paneer and dal makhani. It is extensively popular for the nihari, tandoori bakra, mutton biryani, and makhani murg.

Where: 16, Jama Masjid, Gali Kababian, Old Delhi, New Delhi

Call: 011 23264981

Timings: 9.00 AM – 12.30 AM

Meal for two: Rs. 800

Roshan di Kulfi

Established in the bustling lane of Karol Bagh, Roshan di Kulfi is popular for its kulfi falooda and piping hot choley bhature. If you have had a satiating meal in Chandni Chowk, it would be a great idea to end the meal with an Indian dessert and that is what this place has to offer to its patrons. The queues outside the shop will leave standing for hours, however, it is worth the wait.

Where: 2816, Ajmal Khan Rd, Block 34P, Beadonpura, Karol Bagh, New Delhi

Call: 011 28724230

Timings: 8.00 AM – 10.00 PM

Meal for two: Rs. 600



The quaint cafe in Kolkata was started in by a Swiss couple in the year 1927. This is undoubtedly the best coffee shop in Kolkata and always has guests. Their bakery items like the cakes, pies, quiches, and breakfast specialities are often ordered by the customers.

Where: 18, Park Street Area, Kolkata

Call: 033 40007453

Timings: 7.30 AM – 11.00 PM

Meal for two: Rs. 1000

Allen’s Kitchen

Allen’s Kitchen is almost 130 years old and has still managed to retain its fame in spite of the new restaurants in Kolkata. Started off by a family of Kolkata, it has now been taken over by the fourth generation and is popular for its fried snacks. Owing to the pocket-friendly prices, you can always find huge crowds here.

Where: 40/1, Jatindra Mohan Avenue, Shobha Bazar, Kolkata

Call:  +91 9836803572, +91 8013821055

Timings: 4.30 PM – 9.30 PM

Meal for two: Rs. 300

Britannia & Co.

When you hear this name, the first thing that strikes your mind must be the berry pulav. People fight the traffic to visit this eatery in Mumbai. Everyone in Mumbai would have tales to tell about Britannia & Co. Serving customers for decades even before independence, the same quality is delivered till now.

Where: Wakefield House, 11 Sprott Road, 16 Ballard Estate, Fort, Mumbai

Call:  022 22615264, 022 30225264

Timings: 12.00 noon – 10.00 PM

Meal for two: Rs. 800

Leopold Cafe

This cafe was set up in the year 1957 after the sepoy mutiny and till now, they have been dishing up brilliant preparations and leaving customers satisfied. You can order any cuisine of your choice including North Indian, Chinese, and Italian. Their French fries are recommended by many Mumbaikars.

Where: S.B. Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, Colaba, Mumbai

Call: 022 22828185, 022 22848054

Timings: 7.30 AM – 1.00 AM

Meal for two: Rs. 1500


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