A Bengali Babu without his box of paan is an Englishman without his case of cigars.
In Bengal, Paan is not simply a mouth freshener but a legacy of an age old culture. It is still a common sight to see Bengalis, along with their paan-danis spend hours gossiping with each other, with their mouths stuffed with the paan and the red residual juice dripping from the lips.
Today though, the concept of paan has changed slightly. Stuffing a Paan after dinner has become more of a style statement. These days in Kolkata, people often drive out to their favourite paan shops after dinner to relax over a paan with their family or friends.
And a glimpse of the array of cars, lined up outside these shops is enough to give an understanding of their demand.
Here is all you need to know about the legendary 5 paan shops in Kolkata
At 78 years, Kalpatru Bhandar is safely the oldest among the others. The current generation running the shop takes deep pride in their craftsmanship of paan making. From the cheapest paan at Rs.5 to the most expensive one for Rs.1001, there is a paan for one and all here. What is special in the Rs.1001 paan? Well, try it out to know the secret!
Address: 6/1 Bankim Chatterjee Street
Price range: Rs 5 – 1001
The legendary paan-shop enjoys a huge fan following among the more senior members of society. From married couples after dinner to a toon of an entire family after a movie, all can be found queuing up here for the special gundi paan.
Address: 26 Shakespeare Sarani
Price range: Rs 15 – 40
PRINCE PAAN SHOP
The jolliest paanwala in the city, this shop is a must-visit if it is a conversation over paan you seek. Thronged by office goers through the day, this shop provides the ultimate stress buster for the working professionals nearby.
Address: Ballygunge Circular Road, opposite Tivoli Court
Price range: Rs 5 – 40
TAJ MAHAL PAAN SHOP
Mohammed Rafi songs playing in the background and a nostalgic paanwala over the counter mixing the perfect spices for the perfect paan, Taj Mahal Paan Shop is a place for the paan aficionado. After a sumptuous meal of Biryani in Aminia, it is quite but natural to crave for this ultimate mouth freshener and the chacha at Taj Mahal Paan Shop does just that.
Address: 6 A SN Banerjee Road, Next to Hotel Aminia
Price range: Rs 5 – 20
A favourite of the night-club regulars, this place is thronged almost every night by the young and merry. From the newest sports cars to countless fancy bikes, all line up in front of this shop for their favourite ice paan. Guess the ice in the paan brings in the cool factor!
Address: Sarat Bose Road
Price range: Rs15 – 55