24 Hours in Calicut- A Food Journey happened during our last visit to India, where our itinerary was pretty much packed with events and yet we managed to make this food trip happen. “City of Spices” was how Kozhikode was called during the Middle Ages. Wondering why so much hype about this Malabari state? Its home to the best centre for cuisine in Kerala. There have been many Indian and foreign influences on the food forms available in the streets and bazars of Kozhikode. It’s also a known fact that Calicut has the friendliest people. They are polite, hospitable and very helpful. Fab Food and Great Company, need more reasons to visit Calicut eh?
24 Hours in Calicut- A Food Journey- Where to go and What to try?
Visit to the beach
A trip to Calicut is not complete without a visit to the beach. The beaches in Kozhikode are clean and sparsely populated during the daytime. Since we are beach lovers, we made it to the beach to catch sunrise and sunset. If you have some time in Kozhikode, then we recommend you visit the Kappad beach (also popularly known as Vasco da Gama beach). Kappad beach is said to be one of the beaches in Kerala and is a 50-minute drive from Calicut city.
Try the local Kozhikode beach food
While you are enjoying your walk on the beautiful beach don’t forget to check out the yummy Kozhikode street food. I am talking about the pickled fruits and vegetables sold by the street vendors. It is popularly known as Uppil Ithhadhu. We tried out salted cucumbers, gooseberries, carrots, pineapples and mangoes. Another must try is Ice Orathi. It is a street food speciality from Kozhikode. Ice Orathi is scraped ice with interesting blend of sweet and sour, hot and cold, spicy and sweet. Try it once, you will not be disappointed. More than the Ice Orathi, I enjoyed watching the vendor make it for me!
A walk on SM Street also known as Sweet Street (Mittai Theruvu)
While in Kozhikode, how can you leave the city without visiting the colourful Mittai Theruvu. SM Street also nicknamed as the Sweetmeat Street, is one of the busiest places to shop while in Kozhikode. It is a shopper’s paradise in the heart of Kozhikode. Always crowded and bustling with people especially in the evenings. You can buy footwear, apparels, sweets etc from here at very reasonable prices. This is a good place to taste and pick up the famous “Kozhikodan Halwa“. Even if you are not a Halwa fan please do give it a try while in Kozhikode. They come in all colours and many relishing flavours. Our favourite is the Elaneer Halwa (coconut flavoured) and the Pineapple one. While in Calicut do not forget to buy some hot and crispy banana chips. You should also remember to pick up some spices from the City of Spices before you leave.
Malabar Non-Veg Snacks from Zains
Zains Hotel is your place to be if typical Malabari snacks is on the cards. It’s very close to the Calicut beach and is a must visit. My cousin who lives in Kozhikode suggested Zains and I owe it to him for introducing us to this foodie’s paradise. The restaurant is small and clean and is run by an elderly woman named Zains. Can you believe if I tell you that they have a Muslim prayer room inside the restaurant for customers to use? It can’t get more authentic than this. Now the most important question – What to eat while in Kozhikode ? Kallummakkaya or Kadukka (Mussels) is a Kozhikodan speciality and should not be missed if you are a seafood lover. We tried the popular Kadukka Nirachathu which is nothing but stuffed mussels. Next was Unnukkaya, which is a fried sweet dish with coconut & ripe plantain, again a must have from Zains. Followed by some irachi pathiri before finishing off with a hot cup of Sulaimani (lemon tea). Our tummies were so stuffed with the heavy snacks and had no place for Biriyani.
Biriyani with Ayakoora fry from Paragon
Always wanted to try out biriyani from the original Paragon and we made it happen. We went in early afternoon and so there was no waiting time. We tried the biriyani with Ayakoora fry as suggested by my cousin and oh boy it was the best biriyani I have tasted till date. So, light on the stomach yet supremely tasteful. This place is surely worth the hype. We really enjoyed the Biriyani with fish fry and dates pickle. Reasonably priced and fantastic food quality. Really wish they opened more outlets.
We had barely 24 hours in Calicut this time and we managed to cover the above places. As you can see, it was more of a food trip than sightseeing. Nevertheless, these are some of the Best Things to do in Calicut. We wish we had a little more time here to tick off a few more things on our Calicut Bucket List. A few places we would like to visit next time include Biriyani from Hotel Rahmath, Mananchira Square, Rafting at Arippara falls, Beypore beach, Mother of God Church,Tali Temple , Stone Memorial and Thusharagiri Waterfalls.
Have more time and looking to squeeze in more places into your Calicut itineary? You should consider adding Kakkayam dam, Lions Children’s Park, Planetarium in Jaffarkhan colony, and Hi Lite Mall.
We hope you enjoyed this post “24 hours food journey to Calicut/ Kozhikode”.This is how we spent our one day in Calicut (Kozhikode). If you happen to visit Calicut, do try out the food recommendations listed above and let us know your experience.