Malayalis are famous for three things: their food, their unity in times of calamity and their passion for kallu (alcohol). While Kozhikode may not take the top spot in this regard, we have a few resto bars you should consider visiting to unwind on your next weekend getaway.
Hotel Sea Queen
When you visit Kozhikode, the first thing on your itinerary would probably be to visit the infamous Kozhikode beach and maybe watch the sunset. Well, why not make it even better by grabbing a cold beer and unwinding at Hotel Sea Queen’s beachside bar, offering the finest view of the beach?
I’ll be honest with you: their menu leans on the pricier side, with beers starting at around 500. However, Hotel Sea Queen boasts the finest ambience, and by the fine ambience, I mean you can bring all your girls, get sloshed and feel absolutely safe. This also implies that it’s a welcoming spot for friends, family, and even children. One might assume that this is a given, but unfortunately, as we haven’t reached that level of progressiveness yet in Kozhikode, I find it necessary to mention it. I also believe that the level of safety an establishment and its audience provide for women is a crucial indicator of how excellent that establishment truly is (being a girls girl and all that).
The prime time, of course, is during sunset, and you should visit the rooftop bar. You can relax, savour your drink while gazing at the orange-hued skies, and perhaps indulge in one of their signature dishes (by the way, their food is also excellent).
Hotel Sea Queen is hard to miss, as it is just a 6-minute walk from Kozhikode Beach. Additionally, you can easily get an auto (no, uber isn’t a thing yet) from there, so you don’t have to worry about driving and leaving your vehicles at home. Opening times are 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Definitely one of the best resto bars in Kozhikode.
ZIirkon Bar at the Raviz Calicut
Zirkon Bar is a sports-themed bar within The Raviz Calicut. With plush sofas, super attentive staff and an amazing outdoor poolside view, the bar is perfect for those who enjoy high-quality drinks and a refined social experience. The bar counter itself is sleek and well-stocked with an array of premium liquors and spirits.
It is also a popular destination for sports enthusiasts, consistently featuring major sporting events on large screens within the bar. Operating from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM, it offers an extensive menu encompassing a diverse selection of cocktails, mocktails, vodka, scotch, rum, flamers, and more.
Paroppadi Shaap stands out from the other options on this list of the best resto bars in Kozhikode, but it happens to be my personal favourite. There’s an interesting lore behind it as well. It was once a traditional “toddy shop,” where you could frequently spot elderly men who had indulged a bit too much passed out in front. However, all of this changed when the owner’s son decided to revamp the establishment. He transformed it into a hip and modern place while still preserving the essence of the “shaap” culture and making it a comfortable spot for families and young people alike.
Now, as the name suggests, this isn’t a bar; this is a proper, traditional, family-friendly ‘kallu shaap’. Toddy Shops or ‘Shaaps’ are a cultural experience that you must not miss out on. Order some spicy crab roast paired with soft kappa and wash it down with some fresh, chilled Toddy. It’s worth noting that Toddy has a similar alcoholic content to beer, so don’t underestimate its potency – you might just get a pleasant surprise.
The warm and friendly demeanour of the staff, the delectable Mallu cuisine, and above all, the opportunity to savour traditional Kallu make it a must-try if you’re seeking something beyond just whiskey on the rocks (boring!).
The Beach Hotel is an enduring classic that has weathered the test of time. Even today, it stands as one of the most coveted bars in Kozhikode, perfect for winding down on a Friday evening after a demanding workweek. Its outdoor courtyard-style seating area and traditional architecture offer a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, allowing you to savour the evening skies.
Additionally, I’ve heard enthusiastic reviews about their wood-fired pizza, which comes highly recommended. However, similar to other comparable establishments in Kozhikode, it tends to draw a predominantly male crowd, and if you’re not entirely comfortable with that, I would not recommend this place.
Le Chicago Bar & Grill
This is a fairly new establishment in the scene and has been getting a lot of rave reviews lately. While not all of my personal experiences here have been stellar, mainly due to the seedy crowd that frequents the place, it remains the sole location in Kozhikode that truly captures the essence of a proper pub ambience. It even occasionally hosts DJ Nights, mostly on Fridays, and offers a selection of exciting drinks, making it a noteworthy spot in the city.
If you’re looking for something similar to the pubs in Bangalore and other metropolitan cities in India, Le Chicago is as close as it gets in Kozhikode. The lively Bartenders, the good food and music and the overall laid-back ambience are great! But, like any restobar, it’s wise to exercise caution when dealing with strangers.
Le Chicago is located in Palayam on MM Ali Road, and it is open from 1 pm to 11 pm. To stay informed about their upcoming events, you can easily follow them on Instagram.
Regrettably, Kozhikode does not offer many comfortable resto bars for unwinding, especially if you’re a woman. Do I hold hope that it will get better? Not anytime soon. If you do crave a drink, however, there are five excellent choices right here. It’s worth noting a few other options, such as Rocks Bar in Copperfolia, Gossip Lounge Bar, and Logan’s Lounge in the Gateway Hotel. Above all, remember to drink responsibly, folks!