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Old Dhaka or Puran Dhaka, as it’s more commonly referred to, is a food lover’s paradise. You will find food that has its roots in Mughal cuisine. Every food there promises an incredible depth of local flavor. Puran Dhaka food is so culturally diverse and plentiful that it might make you wonder where to start. While all the food there deserves at least a try, you may rather want to know the most popular dish or items that you must try and also where to find them.

Well, in this article we have carved up a list of traditional foods and restaurants of Puran Dhaka that you must try and visit respectively at least once in your perpetual endeavor to please your palate.

Biriyani

Kacchi biriyani
A delicious plate of Kacchi Biriyani

Biriyani is the royal cuisine of Puran Dhaka. The traditional aroma of biriyani is so magnificent that you will feel compelled to test it. The succulent chunk of meat and a brilliant fusion of aromatic flavor is what makes the cut. 

This popular Puran Dhaka food has its uniqueness in its cooking method. That also defines the distinctiveness of each biriyani house as well as its reputation. Kacchi biriyani is very famous for its delectable test that lies in the tenderness of the meat. Normally, goat meat is used in the preparation of kacchi biriyani. 

Kolkata Kacchi Ghor at Abdul Hasnat Road, Satrawja is one such place that offers one of the best kacchi biriyanis in town. The specialty of their biriyani lies in its basmati rice and the tender and juicy meat that just melts in your mouth.

Haji’r Biriyani at Kazi Allaudin Road, Nazira Bazar is historically famous for its culinary arts and cuisines. Hazi biriyani is different from kacchi biriyani. Unlike kacchi biriyani, Haji biriyani uses small sized cubical shaped beef. Then the meat is infused with the pre-steamed rice and then slow-cooked to perfection.

Haji Nanna Biriyani at Becharam Dewri is also very famous for its delicate cuisines. Their kacchi is full of flavors and the quantity is plentiful. Unlike Kolkata Kacchi Ghor, they do not use basmati rice. Instead, they assimilate pulao rice with a variety of spices and meat to bring out the delightful taste.

Junu Polao Ghor at Narinda is not a kacchi house like the other’s here but deserves a mention. The authentic taste of their pulao is beyond comprehension and needs to be sampled to truly get a feel of what it is all about. And as for the aroma, its richness is on another level that engulfs you from the first contact.

Other popular places for kacchi biriyani include Royal restaurant at Lalbagh, Hotel Al-Rajjak at Bongshal, Hanif Bryani at Nazira Bazar (for their beef biriyani and kacchi biriyani).

Kebab

Kebab place
Very famous for kebabs and tikkas

This Middle Eastern cuisine is one of Puran Dhaka’s best offerings. This legendary Puran Dhaka food is considered to be a heritage of Old Dhaka. There are ample kebab houses around the Puran Dhaka but if you want to have the best experience, you have to go to Bismillah Kabab Ghar at Kazi Alauddin Road, Nazira bazar. Their chicken chap, beef boti kebab, and beef chap are most delicious.

Rahmania Kabab at Gandaria is another locally famous place for enjoying kebabs. 

Bot Tolar Kabab at Thatari Bazar is also very popular among the locals for its kebab variety.

Mira Mian’s chicken fry and beef shik at Lalbagh is a local kebab place and famous for its delicious chicken fry and beef shik kebabs. Every juicy bite of their beef shik kebab is bound to satisfy your taste.

Snacks

Traditional snack
Snack is a popular delicacy

Local snacks of Puran Dhaka are more reasons to take a trip through the vicinity. If you want to have the best snack experience then go to Lakshmi Bazar to try the Luchi vaji of Chawrangi restaurant and Mashur Sweetmeat. These places are very popular among locals and may very well be among your favorite too. With mouthwatering side dishes such as dal and vegetables, luchi will amaze you. 

Special taki mach’er (Taki fish) puri of Hotel Khan at Tipu Sultan Road is also very unique and renowned for its pungent taste.

Café Corner at Bangla Bazar is well known for their cutlets and chaap. Other locally favorite places include the Dalpuri of Hasem Bangali at Batikhana, Gandaria; Buddur Puri at Sutrapur Dalpotti.

Drinks

Lassi
Lassi is thick and rich in yogurt

You will find some of the most refreshing and flavorsome drinks in Puran Dhaka. Among all the places, Beauty Lassi at Johnson Road is well known and very popular for its rich thick delicious lassi. Not only does this Puran Dhaka food quench your thirst, it also makes you crave for more. They also serve faluda and lebur sharbat. Speaking of which, Jafran badamer sharbat from Royal restaurant at Lalbagh is yummy and very popular among locals.

Nurani sharbat at Chakbazar is another place to enjoy a cool glass of lassi.

Desserts

Sweets
Dessert is an after meal delicacy

Ddesserts are amongst the traditional Puran Dhaka foods. Doyal Sweets at Abdul Hasnat Road is one such place where you get to taste delightful sweetmeats. The milky richness of the sweets will soothe your taste buds, while Mazher Sweets at Siddik Bazar will allure you with its wide collection.

If you want to experience the crunchy taste of Zilapi, Green Sweets at Thatari Bazar is the place to go.

Bonus

There is one restaurant that is so famous for its unique cuisines that we could not help but talk about. You have probably heard of Nirob Hotel at Nazimuddin Road. This restaurant is renowned for its variety of ‘bhorta’ (mashed items). There are 20 items of bhorta for lunch and dinner. Give it a shot, if you want to complete your Puran Dhaka food experience.

Haji Nanna’s morog-pulao is also renowned for its sapid taste. It is not a biriyani but this delicacy demands a mention. While you are on their biriyani, try their morog pulao too.

Shamser Ali’r Vhuna Khichuri at Bongshal (not a biriyani or pulao house but it’s that good!) is also a place to visit if you want to indulge yourself into the heavenly taste of this popular cuisine.

These are our top picks for food and restaurant that you must try and visit in Puran Dhaka. So what do you think of our list? Did we miss anything mention-worthy? Let us know in the comment section below.

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