Tasty trails: Five of Kochi's oldest restaurants still charming foodies

Kochi is the land of many flavours. From traditional Kerala to Anglo-Indian to Dutch to Konkani to Jain to Jew and many more, Kochi's culinary influences are as wide as its ethnic spectrum.

This is without taking into account the new age global cuisine eateries that have been popping up across the city since the early 2000s.

Now, we can’t gloss over the fast food culture too. From global chains to local favourites, Kochi has thousands of eat out spots that would tempt you to make every day a cheat day.

Despite all these, the city holds some quaint, little eateries that witnessed its growth and evolution through years, close to its heart. They carry Kochi’s heritage proudly, telling tales and memories of significant moments and events that the bustling city went through.

Onmanorama compiled a list of five Kochi restaurants which would probably be older than you but still succeed in delighting foodies.

Bharat Coffee House, Broadway

Much has changed in Kochi over the decades. The Broadway became not-so broad way. From multi-lane highways to flyovers to metro to shipping terminal, Kochi has embraced the city-esque attributes. But one thing that remains a constant in one of Kochi's key spots would the Bharat Coffee House (BCH). This 60-year-old eatery, frequented by regulars and those who come in search of history, documents the city's past right next to their drool-worthy snacks stacked up in the glass shelves. The restaurant was opened on a building formerly owned by AD Luiz. A plaque on it's wall reads ‘Luiz Hall 1919’ -- proving this story. The eatery was founded by B Govind Rao. It started functioning on January 26, 1956. It's safe to say the menu didnt change much in the next six decades.

BCH's masala dosas are out of the world. But if you are hoping for something light, go for the crispy cutlet (along with piping hot tea for sure!)

Hotel Colombo, Marine Drive

Founded in 1952, Hotel Colombo has proven itself to be a foodie paradise over the years. The mutton chaps, along with other non-vegetarian dishes and traditional Kerala meals have found many admirers from laymen to Academy Award-winning writers.

Hotel Colombo even made it into Mollywood. in the 1989 Mohanlal-starrer Varavelpu, a bus driver played by actor Innocent lavishes praise on the eatery to a fellow bus employee saying "If you are planning to eat beef, you should try it from the Colombo Hotel. I have never had a better beef dish than theirs in my whole life".

Kayees Rahmatulla Cafe, Mattanchery

The place that serves the best mutton biryani in Kochi -- and probably in Kerala or even South India! A celebrity favourite, the special charm of Kayees biryani never fails to amaze food lovers. The restaurant was founded by V K Kayee in 1948. Kayee ventured into the restaurant business with some experience he gained working at a Mumbai (Bombay then) hotel. With its version of mutton biryani gaining immense popularity, Kayees has now opened several branches. No wonder, Kayees is also a most-sought after caterer.

Grand Pavilion at the Grand Hotel, MG Road

This 1963- restaurant serves a variety of dishes ranging from traditional Kerala fish delicacies to North India chicken dishes. But we would recommend going for the typical Kerala dishes like Karimeen or porotta beef. Have the creme caramel for dessert and you are set!

Quality Bakers, Pattalam Road, Fort Kochi

Have you ever tried a slice of ‘Breudher’? Don’t let the fancy name intimidate you. It just means a sweet bread of which a bite would leave you craving for more. Head to Kochi if you wanna grab a bite of it.

Quality's signature item - Breudher - could well be a playback to Kochi's Anglo-Indian culture. The traditional Dutch sweet bread is a memoir of the time when Fort Kochi was a Dutch colony. The dish passed through the Anglo-Indian generations and became a quintessential part of their cuisine.

The bakery was founded by C V Chandran some five decades ago. The 1963 eatery Elite Hotel located at the Princess Street in Fort Kochi also sells authentic Breuther.


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