Mumbai Street Food
A culture in itself, Mumbai street food is the best way to tantalize your taste buds and ditch the diet. Unlike your daily meals, the street food of Mumbai is an adventure for the mouth but also an experience you don’t want to miss out on.
Here’s a guide to the best of Mumbai’s street food and where you can find them!
1. Vada Pav
Known as the common man’s food in Mumbai, Vada pav is one of Mumbai’s most popular street foods. A simple dish yet the ever glorious food is made of a batata vada, which is a deep fried potato patty mixed with coriander and different kinds of spices, sandwiched between two slices of bread to balance the taste. The pav is usually tossed with green chutney and dry garlic chutney.
Vada pav stalls in Mumbai can be found in every corner of the city, but the best one is the Ashok Vada Pav in Dadar. A 35 years old stall, is one of the oldest vada pav stalls in Mumbai started by Ashok Thakur and has been serving thousands of people on a daily basis and is open from 11am to 9:30pm.
Some of the other famous Vada Pav stalls include Dhiraj Vada pav known for its spicy schezwan vada pav in Vile Parle west, Aaram Vada Pav famous for its cheese vada pav in Fort.
2. Mumbai Chaat
A perfect evening snack for the ones who love a mixture of spicy & tangy, Chaat originated in India and was sold on stalls and food carts. Chaats are made by mixing a variety of Indian condiments and spices along with yogurt, chickpeas and fresh coriander. The main part of the dish becomes the aloo (potato) patty or samosa (triangular shaped flaky pastry with spicy filling).
The best place to satisfy your chaat cravings at the most famous chaat place, Tiwari bros, which has multiple outlets across Mumbai. Another player serving some of the best chaats in Mumbai is Elco Pani Puri Centre in Bandra (don’t miss out on eating the Pani Puri which you are here!)
3. Cutting Chai
Amidst the bustling city life, cutting chai (tea) is a warm hug that makes you feel at home. Cutting chai, which is typically a half cup of tea is more of a drink enough to refresh your senses. A tea lover or not, being in the nation of chai lovers, it’s a must to taste the chai found at various chai stalls across Mumbai. Sip on the sizzling cup of chai to start your day right or end your evenings with one while watching the sunsets at the Worli Sea link, it’s always good to include the cutting chai in your day.
4. Bun Maska
A popular invention of the Irani Community, Bun Maska has been an elite street food in Mumbai since the 19th century. Being an integral part of the city, the Irani delicacy is popular amongst college kids as well as the working community.
Soft yet buttery in the mouth, the best place to find this dish in Irani Cafes as well as famous colonial joints around Mumbai. The best way to enjoy Bun Maska is when served with a hot cup of masala chai, making it the perfect breakfast to start your day with.
5. Pav Bhaji
A spicy, mashed mixture of pan cooked vegetables with a semi-liquid consistency and one of the most popular dishes, Pav Bhaji is served with hot buttery pavs. From stalls to the famous restaurants around the city, this dish has been the love of many lives due to its beautiful texture and softness in the mouth. One of the only South Asian dishes to be associated with ‘street food’, the origin of the dish dates back to the 19th century when the womenfolk of Maharashtra first started selling it in their chawls.
While the dish was a simple way to create a healthy and filling food to be served to the families, it has evolved a lot since its birth where additions such as butter, cheese and spices have been added to make it more tasty. Even though the dish is available in almost every restaurant or stalls in every nook of the city, the best place to try it is at Sardar Pav Bhaji located in Tardeo.
6. Pani Puri
A dish that occupies a special place in the hearts of Mumbaikars, Pani Puri is the epitome of roadside snack and is also known as Gol Gappe. An amalgamation of Puri, a crunchy round hollow deep-fried flour and Pani, a tangy & spicy flavoured mint water, Pani Puri belongs to the family of chaat is popular amongst all. Once the puri is fried it is stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas and seasoned with spices after which they are filled with the delicious pani forming a divine combination in your mouth. This simple dish can be found in any part of the city and is one of the foods that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
7. Mumbai Sandwich
A local favourite, Bombay sandwich is different from any other sandwiches found in the world. A quickly made sandwich found in any corner of the city, the dish is a combination of carbs and fibre in the form of potatoes and fresh vegetables sandwiched between two slices of bread that are applied with the tasty and minty green chutney. Originally created to fuel the stomachs of millions of mill workers in the 60th century, the Bombay sandwich is one of the classic dishes that has remained the same and has still found its way in the hearts of Mumbaikars as well as its visitors. The best way to enjoy the sandwich is to order it toasted when it’s served hot and crispy!
Dosa is a south Indian dish that found its way to Mumbai along with many other dishes from different parts of the country and has become a popular street food. Dosa’s are Indian versions of crepes that are made from fermenting and grinding rice and bean flour and are then fried on a hot circular pan.
Traditionally dosa was eaten with coconut chutney and filled with masala (mashed potato) but over the time, vendors have found to make unique and creative types of dosas filling it with all kinds of vegetables and spices as per your taste. Although all the types of dosas are unique in its own way, the top recommendations would include masala dosa, genie dosa and pav bhaji dosa.
9. Bombay Duck Fry
Bombay Duck Fry or popularly known as Bombil fish amongst the locals is not a duck but a lizardfish is one of the moist fishes and easy to eat. The famous dish of Mumbai is also found in many restaurants but the best way to try it is when it’s made street style. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, the fish is marinated in a mixture of spices and fried till golden brown. This authentic Malawani dish is served with mint chutney and is one of India’s signature fishes and also a must try if you like seafood!
10. Icecream Sandwich at K Rustom Ice cream
Classic and old but serving the freshest and the yummiest ice cream sandwiches in Mumbai, K rustom is not a dish but a place that has to make it to the list of top street food in Mumbai. The stall was opened in 1953 and has only grown in popularity ever since. The iconic place serves ice cream sandwiched between crispy wafer biscuits wrapped in thin butter paper and is available in many flavours. The shop has kept its original colonial charm and attracts visitors from all around the world due to its authenticity. Although all the flavours are a must try, the top recommendations include kesar pista, walnut and choco roasted almond crunch.
K Rustom ice cream address – 86, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020, India
Mumbai is known as the city that loves to eat. Upon walking around the city, you are bound to come across a number of options of street food that are amazing and delicious. Although the above ones are must haves when in Mumbai, allow yourself to get amazed by the varieties famous street food that will easily make your trip worth it.
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