You may be a luxurious traveler who would go for the best accommodation and food when in Mumbai, but you haven’t tasted the real essence of the city, until you step out of that comfort zone to venture into the small by-lanes and narrow streets of the city that offer the best street food you can get your hands on. Mumbai has always been a place for street food lovers and you will find tons of places all over the city where people gobble up food in few minutes that keeps them going on for the rest of the day. I call it a pit stop because most foodies never stop here for more than 10 to 15 minutes and they refuel because they have lot of job on their hands for the rest of the day. Local people in the city love McDonalds and Pizza Hut for sure, but they never forget the street food that offer them better food experience at an affordable price. Today, I am going to take you deep into the small lanes and corners of Mumbai where foodies go to devour their favorite street food.
Anand’s Vada Pav
Life in Mumbai waits for nobody. Most people here live a fast life and they are crazy about fast food. In the world of burgers, vada pav still manages to be the number one On-the-Go street food for every Mumbaikar. It is basically potatoes mashed with chillies, garlic, coriander dipped in chickpea flour and fried until they are golden, and then served in pav (bread). You will find millions of such vada pav stalls all over the city and in the suburbs, but Anand’s Vada Pav at Vile Parle West certainly deserves a recommendation. The stall opens early morning 7:30 and you can get vada pavs here until 11 pm at night. If you are not sure how to find the stall you will find it right opposite Mithibai College. If you are too hungry, just walk down the road and I am sure you will find a vada pav stall in your area as well.
If you are hungry somewhere around midnight, well you can go to Bademiya at Apollo Bunder and find some meaty menu right in front of you. The open air kitchen on wheels has been offering the best street food to locals and international visitors for many years now. I have seen many international tourists coming here late at night, obviously with some Indian friends. I believe they find the food spicy, but they still enjoy it and simply can’t resist from ordering more. If you are not sure about what to order, go for some chicken tikka rolls and seekh kebabs and you will never feel disappointed. They also serve roomali roti (paper-thin flatbread) which is one of the best items you can enjoy here along with the chicken and meat. The stall opens at 5 pm and is open till 4 am in the morning. The stall is located in the backstreet right behind Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
Feeling thirsty? Well, head to Bachelorrs near Charni Road Station facing towards Chowpatty Sea, and find yourself around people sipping juices, smoothies and milkshakes. Bachelorrs have been in the business for around 80 years now, and they have created their brand and loyal customers gradually. Go for the cream and strawberry milkshake that still remains the most popular item on their menu. You will find many people enjoying their drinks in their cars and on their bikes. The stall opens up after 4 pm and you can enjoy milkshakes here till midnight. If you don’t have a car, you can order your milkshake or juice and enjoy the walk on Marine Drive which is around 5 minutes walk from here. They have also come up with their new branch at Churchgate which is a great option for juice and milkshake lovers. The picture above is of the original stall from where they grew their business right next to the train track close to Charni Road station.
Not so far from Mumbai Central station when you walk towards Tardeo Bus Depot you come across Sardar’s Pav Bhaji that offer lip smacking and finger licking pav bhaji that you will find across the city. Pav Bhaji is a local dish that has a mixture of vegetables like loads of tomatoes, potatoes, green peas mash together until it forms a thick gravy. A dollop of butter is added on the top along with optional toppings like cheese and dry fruits. Sardar has managed to keep up with the taste for so many years now and has created loyal fans that visit the stall almost every week. The food here is affordable and the stall is open from 10 am to 2 am in the night. In terms of pricing, I would not vote in their favor because I believe they charge more for the kind of popularity that they have gained over the years.