Food Culture at Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar has undergone an immense evolution in the past five years to secure World Rank-19 in the list of sophisticated “Global Smart Cities”. The transformation has not come easily as it is a place portraying the rich ancient cultural heritage of Odisha, popularly known as “The Temple City”. Staying true to its tag of being “one of the thoroughly planned developing cities in India”, Bhubaneswar has been skyrocketing into the nation’s metropolitan league. Entrepreneurship, sports, tourism are some of the fields where the city has been bolstering itself as prime destination. Over time, institutes of national repute like IIT-BBSR, Institute of Physics, NISER-BBSR; top notch IT firms like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Mindfire Solutions, Mindtree, Capgemini has come up in the capital of the state. This has lead to brewing up of migrated urban population from different parts of the country.

Needless to say, this has lead to creation of vast opportunities for shops, eateries and food start-ups to prosper in the city. The food culture especially has developed into a competitive scene where eateries need to be innovative, diverse and pocket-friendly in order to thrive. KIIT square and Infocity Square are hot favourites for foodies as famous eateries, food trucks, fast food joints, momo kiosks, paani-puri stalls, noodles and omelette vendors throng the place. The crowd is perceptibly drawn by the overwhelming aroma of the place. Even though Bhubaneswar has several famous eateries scattered all around the city, it won’t be wrong to point out that KIIT area hosts the central beehive of quality eateries acting as the focal point of propagation of new food cultures.

One can get spoiled for choices of food palate as the variety of options available is luxurious. The enticing look of Shawarmas, wraps, sandwiches, momos, litti chokha, pakodas, paani-puris, omelletes, and noodles can activate ones hunger pangs even without the cooperation of digestive system. There is brilliant offering of regional cuisines like Punjabi, Gujrati, South-Indian and Marwari dishes too.

Bhubaneswar is known for its sea-food delicacies that frequently fail to make into the menus of these prime eateries. Simple staple breakfast dishes like chuda/poha, upma are not popular among these young masses. Succumbing to the flashy eateries, the small shops that serve the above are forced to shift or even shut down in most places. With development, there’s always some collateral damage; and in this case it has to be the traditional food culture of Bhubaneswar. Even though the traditional food culture is still prominent in the city, one can’t argue with the fact that it will fail to make place in the hearts of the millennials if it’s not moulded according to the fashionable and trendy culture.

Even with these challenges the city harbours restaurants, hotels, shacks, stalls and even food trucks with contrasting styles that still keeps attracting lot of people from various cultures to the capital craving for more and thereby steadily transforming it into food capital of the state.

Sulagna Pattnaik – B.Com, 2nd Semester
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