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Food & Beverages

Kozhikode's Top 10 Must-Try Dishes

By Vidhi

Updated - May 22, 20246 min read

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When discussing the culinary capital of Kerala, it’s hard to overlook the gastronomic marvel that is Kozhikode. This city, steeped in history and tradition, has been a vibrant center of trade, especially renowned for its spice trade. This rich history has culminated in a unique and diverse food culture that continues to evolve. From age-old recipes influenced by Arabian traders to contemporary innovations, Kozhikode's cuisine is a symphony of flavors waiting to be explored. Here's a culinary journey through ten dishes that make Kozhikode a must-visit for food lovers, complete with price details for each delight.


1. Kozhikodan Biryani

Kozhikode's biryani is a beloved dish across South India. This biryani is distinctively subtle in its use of spices, with the small grain jeerakasala rice providing a unique texture. Enhanced by fried onions and often accompanied by a sweet and spicy date pickle, this dish is a symphony of flavors. 


Where to Try: Paragon Hotel, Kannur Road  

Price: ₹250 per plate


Image courtesy: Suji's kitchen


2. Sulaimani

No meal in Kozhikode is complete without a glass of Sulaimani. This black tea, infused with spices, lemon, and jaggery, is a perfect end to a hearty meal or a refreshing pick-me-up any time of the day. 


Where to Try: Paragon Hotel or various tea shops around the city  

Price: ₹20 per glass


Image courtesy: Scroll


3. Banana Chips

Kozhikode is famous for its banana chips, fried in fresh coconut oil. These crispy snacks are a favorite takeaway for visitors. You can witness the live preparation of these chips at Kumari Banana Chips, opposite Paragon Restaurant on Kannur Road.


Where to Try: Kumari Banana Chips, opposite Paragon Restaurant, Kannur Road  

Price: ₹100 for 250 grams


Image courtesy: Dassana's Veg Kitchen


4. Nannari Sarbath

Ideal for combating Kozhikode's humid climate, Nannari Sarbath is a refreshing drink made from sarsaparilla. The most famous stall, located opposite Paragon Restaurant, offers this rejuvenating beverage.


Where to Try: Nannari Sarbath Stall Opposite Paragon Restaurant, Kannur Road  

Price: ₹30 per glass


Image courtesy: Sharmis passions


5. Pathiri and Fish Curry

Pathiri, a delicate rice flour bread, is best enjoyed with spicy fish curry. This traditional breakfast dish is a staple in many Kozhikode homes.


Where to Try: Sagar Restaurant, IG Road  

Price: ₹150 per serving


Image courtesy: Slurrp


6. Pazham Pori, Mutton Cutlet, and Other Teatime Snacks

Teatime in Kozhikode is a culinary experience in itself, with snacks like pazham pori (banana fritters) and mutton cutlets. These treats pair perfectly with multiple versions of tea, including the rustic 'kattan chaya'.


Where to Try: Bombay Hotel, Silk Street  

Price: ₹20 for pazham pori, ₹60 for mutton cutlet


Image courtesy: NDTV foods


7. Sharjah Shake

Despite its name, the Sharjah shake is a Kozhikode original. This rich milkshake, with ingredients rumored to include banana and Boost, is more of a meal than a drink.


Where to Try: EPK Fruit Centre, Manachira  

Price: ₹70


Image courtesy: Something's cooking


8. Kozhikode Halwa

Kozhikode halwa, especially the black version, is a beloved sweet treat made from flour, coconut oil, and jaggery. This dense, chewy dessert is available at Maharaja Sweets on TB Road, Perampara.


Where to Try: Maharaja Sweets, TB Road, Perampara  

Price: ₹200 per kilogram


Image courtesy: Onmanorama


9. Arikadukka

Arikadukka, a must-try for seafood enthusiasts, features mussels stuffed with a spiced rice mixture, steamed, and then fried. Best enjoyed fresh, this delicacy can be found at Zain's Hotel on Convent Cross Road.


Where to Try: Zain’s Hotel, Convent Cross Road  

Price: ₹150 per plate


Image courtesy: Slurrp


10. Fish Fry

The fiery poricha meen (fish fry) is a staple in Kozhikode, with variations including ayala fry, aykoora fry, and shark fry. These dishes are intensely spiced and fried to perfection in coconut oil.


Where to Try: Amma Hotel, Puthiyara Road  

Price: ₹120 per plate


Image courtesy: Pepper delight


Exploring Kozhikode’s Culinary Landscape

Kozhikode’s cuisine is a testament to its rich history and cultural exchanges. The city's position on historic trade routes has resulted in a diverse and vibrant food culture, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts. The influences of Arab traders are particularly evident, blending seamlessly with local traditions to create a unique culinary identity.


A City with a Passion for Food

In Kozhikode, food is more than just sustenance; it’s a passion and a way of life. From the bustling street food stalls to the well-established restaurants, there's an undeniable pride in the city's culinary offerings. Locals are always eager to share their favorite spots and dishes, adding a personal touch to the city’s food culture.


The Ongoing Culinary Evolution

Kozhikode’s food scene is not static; it continues to evolve, embracing new influences while staying true to its roots. Whether you're a seasoned food explorer or a curious traveler, Kozhikode promises a gastronomic adventure that’s both enriching and delightful.


Kozhikode stands out as Kerala’s unofficial food capital, not just for the variety and richness of its cuisine, but for the stories and traditions that each dish carries. The city’s culinary offerings are a reflection of its history, culture, and the collective passion of its people. So, pack your bags, and let Kozhikode's flavors captivate your taste buds on your next culinary expedition.


Paragon Hotel, Kannur Road: A hub for trying out Kozhikode's famous biryani and Sulaimani.  

Kumari Banana Chips: Ideal for witnessing the live preparation of banana chips.  

Sagar Restaurant, IG Road: Renowned for its Pathiri and fish curry.  

Bombay Hotel, Silk Street: Famous for teatime snacks like pazham pori and mutton cutlets.  

EPK Fruit Centre, Manachira: Best known for its Sharjah shake.  

Maharaja Sweets, TB Road, Perampara: The go-to place for Kozhikode halwa.  

Zain’s Hotel, Convent Cross Road: Known for arikadukka.  

Amma Hotel, Puthiyara Road: A must-visit for fish fry lovers.


Explore these culinary landmarks and immerse yourself in the flavors that make Kozhikode a true food lover’s paradise.