Kolkata is not an early waking city.
I went on numerous 7 am walks around town searching for something to eat, only to discover taxi drivers washing their cars, bathers on the streets, and just a number of tea stalls firing up their kerosene stoves.
Real food is hardly available early morning in Kolkata.
That is unless you go to Terreti Bazar (also spelled Territi or Territy), a fascinating street that’s Chinese yet Indian at the same time.
Here you’ll find an interesting mixture of Chinese Indians, Indians, shoppers, eaters, and depending on what day you go, a crowd that has just finished partying the night away and is looking for something tasty to eat.
As one of the top things to do in Kolkata, visiting the Terreti Bazar in the morning is a must!
The entrance of the market (known as a bazar in India), sprawling out onto the main road, is dominated by fresh vegetables plopped right down on the tarmac.
Potatoes, onions, tomatoes, carrots, and a variety of fresh greens are all available in abundance.
Being in the West Bengali state of India, seafood plays a major role in Bengali food, and fish is widely available.
At the morning Terreti Bazar, I especially enjoyed watching fish vendors slice up fish using a sword like knife that sits upright. Though it’s pretty effective in slicing up fish with ease, one slip and your finger or face could be sliced up too.
Fish vendors simply lay out a plastic tarp, throw their catch on the ground, and wait as customers walk past. Interested customers pop a squat to pick their choice.
Pork, which is commonly eaten in China and throughout Southeast Asia, is not commonly eaten in most parts of India (apart from the northeastern provinces lik Nagaland).
But at Terreti Market, where lots of Chinese shoppers come, they have a fresh pig butchery to fulfill all your porky needs.
Here’s the man to visit when you’re looking for a hunk of pig that’s been freshly butchered just moment before.
One of my comfort foods, being half Chinese, is a sausage known as Lap Cheong. It’s fatty and oily, and right up there in tastiness with SPAM musubi.
I was happily surprised to see freshly made Chinese sausages being dried in the early Kolkata morning sunshine. I wanted to fry one up right then and there and devour it along with a hot fresh plate of rice.
Enter Sen Yat Sen Street a little further and you’ll find vendors selling all sorts of mostly a Chinese influenced selection of Kolkata street food.
Like any normal human being, I started to become incredibly hungry after seeing and smelling all the delicious looking things.
My first stop was a few plates of dumplings from this friendly man. I proceeded to order two plates of his dumplings, which in this part of the world are known as “momos.”
The steamed fish momos were like huge fishy meat balls, solidly full of compressed fish. A dip in the hot sauce and I was pretty happy.
Even better than the steamed fish dumplings were the deep fried pork dumplings!
After a double round of dumplings, I proceeded on to order a bowl of soup filled with fish meat balls again, but I took a video instead of photos.
Standing up, while resting my bowl of soup on a wobbly circular table, I thoroughly enjoyed my Chinese breakfast in the middle of always entertaining Kolkata.
On the way out of the Terreti Bazar, I purchased a fresh coconut, which proved to be not overly sweet, but it was still a good way to wash down the breakfast.
Terreti Bazar is open daily in the morning and occupies Sun Yat Sen Street (NOT in Chinatown).
To get there, it’s easiest to jump in a taxi. I took a taxi from Sudder street to Terreti Bazar for 100 Rupees, but I think you could get it cheaper than that if you really bargain. If you’re visiting the city, be sure to check out many more tips and suggestions in my Kolkata travel guide article.
To get a good feel of the Terreti Bazar, here’s a video:
Thank you for watching and enjoy the food!