Where to Eat in Mumbai: A Culinary Guide to the Indian Megacity

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 21, 2024 20:00 PMNews
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Indian food on green leaf
Indian food on green leaf. Source: unsplash

Mumbai, India's bustling west coast metropolis, is renowned for its vibrant food scene. From inventive chefs to timeless street food, the city offers a culinary journey like no other. Here’s a guide to some must-try dining experiences in Mumbai.

Satinder Singh, a street vendor in South Mumbai’s historic Fort neighborhood, serves his famous nimbu pani (lime soda), a refreshing staple in the city's heat. This is just one example of Mumbai's beloved street food culture.

Exploring the downtown Colaba area with local guide Pooja Madan Kathuria reveals the city's rich culinary heritage. On the Bombay Express walking tour, we visit a vada pav stand near Churchgate Station. This iconic street food, a deep-fried potato dumpling in a bun, has been a favorite since 1971. We also see the city's eclectic architecture and sample various traditional dishes along the way.

A short train ride to Marine Lines takes us to Parsi Dairy Farm for sweets and falooda, a rose-flavored dessert. Nearby, the historic Kyani & Co café offers keema pav and Pallonji’s raspberry soda, staples of Mumbai’s Parsi and Irani cuisine.

The Lalbaug Spice Market and Bhaji Gully market showcase the evolving tastes of Mumbai's residents, from traditional spices to exotic produce like avocados and wild garlic. During Ramadan, food stalls off Mohammed Ali Road offer delightful treats such as custard-apple ice cream and fried chicken.

In Bandra West, the Bombay Sweet Shop reinvents traditional sweets, while Sequel offers farm-to-fork dishes in a chic setting. Chef Rahul Akerkar’s Ode in Worli combines local ingredients with modern techniques, creating dishes like walnut onion cappellacci pasta and dark chocolate mole sauce.

Must-Try Restaurants in Mumbai

  1. Jimmy Boy: Located in Colaba, this family-run restaurant has been serving Parsi delicacies since 1925. Try the mutton pulao dal and keema pav for a taste of tradition.
  2. Bombay Canteen: This Lower Parel spot offers regional dishes with a twist. Pani puri with prawn and avocado and Telangana chicken curry are crowd favorites.
  3. Shree Thaker Bhojanalay: A vegetarian Gujarati institution in Kalbadevi, known for its unlimited thali featuring a variety of snacks, daals, and chutneys.
  4. Joshi House: In Pali Hill, this Rajasthani-style mansion serves inventive dishes like truffle ravioli and mutton biriyani. Don’t miss the paan kulfi ice cream.

Five Foods to Try in Mumbai

  1. Vada Pav: The king of Mumbai street food, a deep-fried potato patty in a bun with tangy chutneys.
  2. Chindian Cuisine: Try chicken Manchurian, a fusion of Chinese and Indian flavors, a favorite since 1975.
  3. Maska & Chai: Fresh maska (soft bread with butter) and masala chai from Irani cafés like Yazdani.
  4. Green Chilli Thecha: A spicy Maharashtrian chutney served with crispy millet flatbread.
  5. Bombay Sandwich: A street food staple, a grilled sandwich with chutney, vegetables, cheese, and chaat masala.
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