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12 Street food gems in Mumbai you must try

12 Street food gems in Mumbai you must try

By Aquib Nawab

11 Jun, 2024

Mumbai welcomes you, a city that is always busy, with its streets filled with the smell of spices frying in oil. In this vibrant city where life never stops to rest, street food does not mean a hurriedly taken meal – it is a lifestyle; something like eating out in Mumbai, which is truly a culinary journey through the cultural fabric of this place.

Every street delicacy from the legendary Vada Pav to the gorgeous falooda has a story behind it symbolising its well-rooted traditions and innovations as well as the free spirit of the urban dwellers.

Let’s take an exploration walk along the mysterious alleys of Mumbai for some of her unforgettable street foods that are at the centre stage of her cuisine.

From the rowdy Crawford market to Fort’s little cafe huts, expect your taste buds to tingle and be prepared to try some amazing dishes that will make you want more.

1. Vada Pav at Ashok Vada Pav, Dadar

In Dadar, at Ashok Vada Pav you can try out for yourself the famous vada pav. For years now, this ground has been a centre for dishing out Mumbai’s most popular snack with people crowding in seeking to have a taste of it that encompasses spiced potato fritters between puffed-up pav buns.

Thus, one can feel the real spirit of street food in the city when enjoying garlicky chutney and potato-dusted flavours.

Ashok Vada Pav (Credit: Canva)

2. Pav Bhaji at Sardar Refreshments, Tardeo

If you want something filling and satisfying head to Sardar Refreshments located in Tardeo where you can experience their famous pav bhaji. This ultimate indulgence is prepared with a combination of mashed veggies fried with spices and served with soft buttered pavs on the side. As you enjoy your favourite Mumbai street food classic amidst the bustling Tardeo market, appreciate its rich aromas and bright colours.

Sardar Refreshments, Tardeo Credit: Canva

3. Bhel Puri and Pani Puri at Elco Pani Puri Centre, Bandra

Elco Pani Puri Centre is located in the vibrant neighbourhood of Bandra and is a magnet for bhel puri fans. This bustling street food joint is famous for its addictive combination of rice puffs that are crispy, tangy chutney made from tamarind, crunchy sev and fresh vegetables.

Therefore, be it a walk along the busy streets of Bandra or an evening stroll leisurely by the seaside, having Elco’s signature plate of bhel puri would seem like a necessity.

Elco Pani Puri Centre, Bandra (Credit: Canva)

4. Bombil Fry at Gomantak, Dadar

Gomantak in Dadar has some bombil fry that will put before your eyes the culinary finds from coastal Maharashtra. This modest food joint specialises in Malvani cuisine where you can find fresh fried bombil (Bombay duck) which is crunchy as well as flavorful. Served with a squeeze of lime and fiery green chutney on the side, this dish truly represents Bombay’s seafood culture.

Gomantak, Dadar Credit: Canva

5. Misal Pav at Aaswad, Dadar

To taste Maharashtra’s culinary heritage go to Aaswad in Dadar and have their famous misal pav.

It consists of sprouted lentils cooked into a fiery gravy topped off with farsan to give that crunchiness then onions chopped up in tiny bits are spread all over it then squeezed on top with some lime juice making it slightly sour. Have it with buttered pav to soak up every bit of the tasty gravy; it is a popular breakfast that will surely give you a good start for the day.

Aaswad, Dadar(Credit: Canva)

6. Dabeli at Kirti College Dabeli Centre, Dadar

Discover the tastes of Gujarat through a stop at Kirti College Dabeli Centre in Dadar which has the best dabeli in town.

A famous street food snack, it contains a spicy potato mixture inside a bun called pav and is topped with a lot of tangy tamarind chutney, crispy peanuts and juicy pomegranate seeds. With its mix of sweet, hot and salty tastes, dabeli is always a hit that cannot be easily forgotten.

Kirti College Dabeli Centre, Dadar(Credit: Canva)

7. Kheema Pav at Olympia Coffee House, Fort

Revive memories of old Bombay with kheema pav at Olympia Coffee House in Fort- an Irani café known for its delicious kheema pav. Prepared with minced meat cooked in aromatic spices served on a bread roll smeared with butter, this meal is preferred by both locals and tourists. The ideal way to enjoy your afternoon would be to accompany it with Iranian tea.

Olympia Coffee House, Fort(Credit: Canva)

8. Falooda at Badshah, Crawford Market

Soak up the blazing Mumbai sun with a glass of falooda from Badshah located at Crawford Market. This iconic Indian dessert drink has layers made up of smooth vermicelli noodles, sweet syrup made from rose petals and blended ice cream known as kulfi that when eaten together create different textures and flavours.

Enjoy every sip while immersing yourself in this busy atmosphere; it’s one of Mumbai’s oldest markets ever.

Badshah, Crawford Market(Credit: Canva)

9. Kulfi at K Rustom's Ice Cream, Churchgate

For coolness during the summer season, you can have some kulfi from K Rustom's Ice Cream outlet in Churchgate. The shop has been making homemade kulfi since 1953 which keeps Mumbaikars coming back for more due to their rich creamy taste. At KRustoms there is something for everyone ranging from malai kulfi to falooda kulfi.

K Rustom's Ice Cream, Churchgate(Credit: Canva)

10. Frankie at Tibbs Frankie, Colaba

Take a bite of the yummy Frankie rolls in Tibbs Frankie which is situated in Colaba. It has become a street food favourite as it consists of a light paratha enclosing inside it spicy marinated chicken or paneer with tangy sauces and crispy onions. This Tibbs’s snack can be enjoyed while on the move or late at night.

Tibbs Frankie, Colaba(Credit: Canva)

11. Baida Roti at Bademiya, Colaba

Feast on baida roti from Bademiya located in Colaba; an all-night eating joint loved by locals and tourists alike. It’s a rich dish that has a crispy flatbread stuffed with minced meat/vegetables and shallow fried until golden brown. Late-night snacks cravings are best satisfied by this comfort food served alongside mint chutney for additional taste.

Bademiya, Colaba(Credit: Canva)

12. Patties at Anand Stall, Vile Parle

If you are anywhere near the Vile Parle area then do make a stopover at Anand Stall to try out their famous vegetarian patties. They are deep-fried potato patties filled with well-seasoned vegetables, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried till golden and crisp. Therefore grab it along with some sev and dips and enjoy your walk alongside Mumbai streets.

Anand Stall, Vile Parle(Credit: Canva)

Closing up

In Mumbai, there is something beyond satisfying the hunger instincts of street food ; it is a moment for flavours, touch and smells that awaken these sensations of being. It doesn’t matter if one has been to many restaurants in their lives or they are visiting as tourist, exploring the street food stalls in Mumbai feels like nothing else as it narrates history with every mouthful & takes one deep into the city’s cooking culture.

So, next time you walk on these busy streets of Mumbai ensure you gobble any of these street foods that can make you crave more. After all, meals in this city are not mere eating activities but experiences one can have and never want to forget.

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