Terreti Bazar – Chinese Street Food Breakfast in Kolkata

By Mark Wiens 47 Comments

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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 sprawl of fresh vegetables
The sprawl of fresh vegetables

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.

Ladies selling fish at the morning Terreti Market (Bazar) in Kolkata, India
Ladies selling fish at the morning Terreti Market (Bazar) in Kolkata, India

Being in the West Bengali state of India, seafood plays a major role in Bengali food, and fish is widely available.

Slicing up fresh fish
Slicing up fresh fish

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 stall in Kolkata, India
Fish stall in Kolkata, India

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.

The pig butchery
The pig butchery

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.

This man has the bacon!
This man has the bacon!

Here’s the man to visit when you’re looking for a hunk of pig that’s been freshly butchered just moment before.

Lap Cheong - Chinese Sausage
Lap Cheong – Chinese Sausage

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.

Breakfast at Kolkata's Terreti Bazar
Breakfast at Kolkata’s Terreti Bazar

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.

Soup noodles, steamed baozi buns, dumplings in both steamed and deep fried forms, fish meat ball soups, and congee (known in Thai as joke), were all breakfast options.

This guy serves good food!
This guy serves good 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.”

Steamed fish momos at Terreti Bazar
Steamed fish momos at Terreti Bazar

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.

Deep fried pork momos in Kolkata, India
Deep fried pork momos in Kolkata, India

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.

A coconut to end breakfast!
A coconut to end breakfast!

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.

Video

To get a good feel of the Terreti Bazar, here’s a video:

Thank you for watching and enjoy the food!

47 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Biswajit pegu

    1 year ago

    I am sorry to say but it was a good market a year before but now most of the Chinese people have returned to China …..only 2 or 3 stalls are left now….territy market is almost finished .

  • Biswajit pegu

    1 year ago

    Hi Mark, I regularly follow your videos,I liked them very much

  • J S Roy Choudhury

    3 years ago

    It is one my favourite food spots. And I am a die hard foodie. The food here is authentic, feels like home cooked, and most of them can not be found in a regular restaurant menu. Of course you have to disregard the regular street grime and bustle. My daughters love the fresh food too – it is the right place for a sumptuous sunday morning breakfast followed by shopping for fish, meat and vegetables.

    Hot steaming pork baozi (buns) are on the top of my list, closely followed by steaming meatball soup. The overall ambience is like a street fair – it has a distinct flavor of its own. A must visit place for anyone who loves food for its authenticity.

    Do not forget to visit the old chinese temples nearby – they are priceless too!

  • SAM

    3 years ago

    Not worth going at this place if u r going for early morning momo / dumplings. Had a very bad experience today. …..

  • Rajib Chakrabarti

    3 years ago

    The best way to kick off the day especially Sunday.I used to stay in Burabazzar and the sunday breakfast used to be here, great job Mark. your pics are making me nostalgic.

  • Gp Capt SS Dhavala

    3 years ago

    Territy street may have been good at one time but it is lousy now (June 2016) . It is over priced , the street can compete with any other dirty street of Kolkata. The shop keepers I suppose are high-headed. Not at all recommended

  • kallol

    3 years ago

    i will go there ..

  • kallol

    3 years ago

    wao…what a breakfast ….thank u …

  • sayan dutta

    3 years ago

    should have tried the steamed pork dumplings .. i find it better than the fried ones — the shop which you bought i from is usually run by his wife … affectionately called aunty — steamed ones are to die for … they did not have the shell fish dumpligs that day did they ?? also you missed out on the store which is directly opposite the soup lady .. also run by a chinese lady who still does her calculations on an abacus .. good place to buy some chinese rice noodles .. not cooked ofcourse and dried peach candy and tiger balm. And you should have visited this street in the evenings .. home to legendary eataries such as tung nam famous for their pork in hamei sauce and pao hing right behind where uncle was sitting serving you momos some of the best chinese chicken dishes in this side of the world … okay next time maybe 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Sayan, thank you. If I recall, the day I went it was right after a holiday, and so I think there wasn’t as much and not everything was open yet. Would love to go back again in the future when I’m in Kolkata. Thank you for the suggestions.

  • Dipu Pramanik

    3 years ago

    Mark,
    I am amazed that you can sample all these foods in India and not get sick. You must have a cast iron stomach. I am originally from India and live in the USA and can no longer eat anything from the streets ( or smaller restaurants) in India without getting the runs. In your journeys to other places in Asia , how do you compare the street food with that in India – relative to the impact on ones stomach. Some places like Taiwan and Singapore seem to have excellent hygenic conditions but how about Indonesia and Thailand ?

    • sayan dutta

      3 years ago

      you sir are a light weight … .

  • kaushal

    4 years ago

    Mr Mark i stumbled upon to ur blog and found this amazing article. I am a chartered accountant student in Kolkata n felt Happy to know u liked the place .
    PS the pics are amazing

  • Shouvik

    4 years ago

    Hey Mark nice post. Momos are good there.. But next time you decide on coming to India .. Try the north east.. Amazing place with some amazing delicacy !!

  • Sandeepan B.

    4 years ago

    The irony is that I live in Kolkata and I have crossed both C.R. Ave. and Lal Bazaar area but I have never heard of Terreti Bazaar before and after hearing about it and watching this video, I realized I have cycled my way through here before but never discovered it is the Terreti Bazaar. :v
    And the way the first pedestrian waved his hand toward the camera, I hate my fellow citizens for these actions. -_-

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Sandeepan, great to hear you’re from Kolkata, it was really one of my favorite cities I visited in India. For me it was such a beautiful mixture of cultures, Chinese food and snacks mixed right into Kolkata, I loved it.

  • Shaunak Guharay

    4 years ago

    Funny, how I stay in Kolkata since birth, and have never been to Territi Market.

    Gotta try it out sometime soon.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Shaunak, great to hear from you. I’ve heard it’s not as good as it was before, but I think it’s still worth a visit. Hope you can make it.

  • alpana mansingh

    6 years ago

    i live in kolkata. thank you for showing it to the world. there is more in it. you are doing a fabulous job. cheers !

  • Dipanjan

    6 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    That sword like knife that sits upright is called a ‘bothi’. I am a Bengali and my mother uses it at home. However, she has trouble squatting so hers fixes onto the kitchen table and is operated while standing.

    Love your food videos and your expression after you have had a mouthful 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Great, thanks for sharing Dipanjan. I appreciate you watching my videos!

  • Avinandan Kundu

    6 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    I have been living in Kolkata and a Bengali. Funny thing is, I have never been to Terreti Bazaar. And after having come across this little piece, I plan on going there. Also, did you have those enormous steamed pork buns there?

    And thanks for reintroducing me to my city. Always good to take a look through someone else’s eyes.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Avinandan, cool to hear you’re living in Kolkata. Unfortunately the vendor selling the steamed pork buns wasn’t there the day I went, but I would have loved to eat them!

  • Ashley

    6 years ago

    do you eat the meat thats been on the floor, dumb question. Is the veggies safe aswell how do you know what to eat without getting ill.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      As long as it’s all been cooked, I eat it!

    • Avinandan Kundu

      6 years ago

      I guess it is more of a psychological thing. But there are certain basic pointers I guess which will prevent you from falling sick in India and a lot of other places. If the food is freshly prepared and is hot, it is generally safe. And trust the locals. Avoid stalls which are empty. People will flock to places where the food in known to be good. And they don’t really keep the food on the road. I wouldn’t eat it then.

  • leon

    6 years ago

    just stumbled upon your blog and found some really nice travel review about kolkata.

    If you are still in kolkata maybe you would want to visit tangra, which is a unique place in india.

    you can also try out some indian chinese food which is pretty famous in kolkata and around the world.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Leon, thanks for the comment. I’m not in Kolkata anymore, but I’d love to visit again sometime in the future. I appreciate your tips!

  • Jan Paul

    6 years ago

    Hehe the cats, they seem hungry. Nice pictures. I feel like it’s the first time I see the real India.

  • Stephen S.

    6 years ago

    Great post Mark, what a crazy place. Those momos looked so freaking good :). Love the site man.

  • Chiao

    6 years ago

    Awesome pictures! I missed Calcutta ! I am a Chinese was born in Calcutta lived there for 17 years than came to States. Love your articles.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Chiao, great to hear you’re originally from Kolkata. Do you go back to visit sometimes?

  • Owen Lipsett

    6 years ago

    Great pictures and explanations Mark! I’m amazed not just at the diversity of Indian foods here, but the diversity of non-Indian ones. By the way, the fried momos looked a kind of like samosas and also kind of like fried wontons (of the sort you’d get at a Chinese restaurant in the U.S.) to me. What did they taste like? 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Owen, yah, this is traditionally known as a Chinese market, so even though it’s so Indian, much of the food was very Chinese. Yes, the fried momos were just like fried wontons, filled with a bit of minced pork and light spices. They were tasty!

  • Mike

    6 years ago

    Interesting how low-to-the-ground or on-the-ground so many of the stalls are there. The momos look real good. The early morning sure is ideal for snapping shots. These are just top-notch.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Mike, I agree, as soon as I arrived in India I notice how everything was so low on the ground, but then I got used to it, didn’t even notice it after a few weeks. Thanks a lot!

  • Jimmy

    6 years ago

    The poverty/ sanitary conditions humble me in this pics …. but still I adore Indian food, colorful pics! Are well done, u deff captured the “real” deal… There Alive and natrual looking.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Jimmy, thanks a lot for checking out this post. Glad you love Indian food too!

  • Colleen

    6 years ago

    LOVE the picture “Breakfast at Kolkata’s Tereti Bazar.” The color, content, compostion – wow. = )

  • Mike

    6 years ago

    Excellent, Mark! The photos are really great, such wonderful atmosphere that places us readers right into the middle of the action. Cheers.