One of the quickest words that come to mind when you talk about Kolkata is sports. They have the world’s second largest and India’s largest cricket stadium - Eden Gardens and India’s largest football stadium – the Salt Lake stadium.
Kolkata is home to two-time IPL champions, the Knight Riders, and also to two of the most famous Indian football clubs – Mohan Bagan and East Bengal. Hence, it is not surprising that the city of joy has a lot of amazing sports themed cafes, and every sports lover should visit at least one. In no particular order, here are the top 5.
#1 Offside Sports Café
Guests at home? India vs Pakistan clashes with mom’s favourite serial? The Offside Sports Cafe has now got you covered. All you have to do is put on your team’s jersey and they will do the rest. Two giant screens are enough to bring alive the match-day atmosphere. You will also find a dedicated EPL hookah lounge.
A wall of fame is the first thing you will see on entering the cafe. Sir Alex Ferguson to Sachin Tendulkar, they’ve covered almost all sporting icons. Next, try your luck at the mini goalpost which you will find in the interiors of the café. If you are not a football fan, indulge in a mini rock-climbing course by the stairs.
And if you are a cricket fan, enjoy your food on a bat-shaped platter.
#2 Hit Wicket
As the very name suggests, this is a completely cricket-themed café. As soon as you walk in through the door, you will step onto a green cricket ground like carpet and see Ishant Sharma bowling. And for a second, you may feel like you’ve just entered the Eden Gardens for a live game.
This is the cafe to be in whenever there’s action on the 22 yards. Although it is not very spacious, it is not cramped either, and gives you the right match day feel with eight TV screens and a giant projector.
They serve a variety of cuisines — from Indian to Italian, Chinese to Lebanese. And on a match day, you can avail some exciting discounts as well. The perfect time to visit this café is during the upcoming IPL when the home team KKR takes the field.
#3 The dugout
This café is mostly frequented by college students and has its own charm which you won’t get in your regular sports bar. The two-level café is full of posters containing inspirational quotes and sports legends.
The second level has stylish red and black interiors and floors covered with artificial grass mats. The entrance will make you feel like you are walking through a dugout. The menu has everything from pasta to pizza, hookah to drinks, and main courses as well.
It is difficult to find a table on match days without prior booking. They have two giant screens and during the IPL, flags of all the teams are put up to add to the excitement.
#4 Caught N Bowled
Much like the name suggests, this place is also about the willow and the cherry. This cricket-themed restaurant will definitely knock you for a six. Known for its sizzlers, it is a complete family restaurant.
If you want a quick sip, you can go to the POWERPLAY, and enjoy the trendy bar with its vibrant and sporty ambience. The foot-tapping music will have you grooving to it as well.
Autographs and photographs of cricketers adorn the walls of this comfortable restaurant and a lot of celebrities are often spotted here. Due to the high prices, the restaurant is usually visited by families and not the younger crowd.
#5 BJ’s sports café cum lounge
This is one of the newest additions to the family of sports-themed cafes in Kolkata. If you want to chill with your sport crazy friends, then this is the place to be at. Unlike other cafes, BJ’s sports café cum lounge has most sports covered.
It has all sorts of sports-themed equipment including bats, balls, basketballs, and boxing gloves. All these are on display along with the walls and glass panes which have posters of cricketers, boxers, footballers and other famous sporting personalities. You will also find jerseys of major cricket and football teams hung up, along with a replica of KKR and ATK’s trophies.
So if you want a picture with the trophy, head to this place.