When In Mumbai, Eat What The Locals Eat

When In Mumbai, Eat What The Locals Eat
Dabeli is a popular Maharashtrian street food, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Feel the heart of Mumbai through its most popular dishes. From its delectable chaats to flavourful Pav Bhaji, feel the energy of Mumbai with every bite

Khushi Khurana, Adharsh Thangamani
March 26 , 2019
08 Min Read

India, a country best known for its diversity in people, languages, cultures, terrains etc. also offers a diverse range of cuisines to its foodies. However, one of the best cities in the country to discover some of the most flavourful delicacies is the nation’s commercial capital; Mumbai. Straight from the streets of the city that never sleeps, we bring you a list of 12 food items you would not want to miss you’re there.

Street vendor make fast food at Juhu beach in Mumbai


Batata Vada

Batata Vada is a popular and scrumptious snack from Maharashtra, made by dunking spiced mashed potatoes in thick besan. Crispy on the outside and a heavenly abode to paradise for your taste buds on the inside, this vada can never bore you. You can have it at literally any time of the day. On a visit to Bombay, do not miss this dish along with its sister dishes, the Vada-Pav and the Dabeli.

Where to go?

Aaram Vada Pav opposite CST station, Ashok Vada Pav at the Kirti College Lane, Prabhadevi and almost any street vendor in Dadar.


Ranking second to the famous Marine Drive, Mumbai is best known for its street food, especially its variety of chaats. Bhel Puri, made with puffed rice and a mix of vegetables, accompanied by the twist of a tangy tamarind sauce, is probably the most popular of them all. Another eye-watering chaat that can set your taste buds on fire is Pani Puri. With different names for this snack throughout the country, the special flavour of Bombay added to the concept, makes it a must try. So can be said about Sev Puri, well known as papdi chaat in the north.

Where to go?

Khau Gali in Ghatkopar East, Monsoon- The Chaat corner in Andheri West and obviously the Juhu beach.


Pav Bhaji

Giving the famous Vada-Pav and Batata Vada a run for their money, we have one of the most famous dishes in Mumbai, the Pav Bhaji. At any corner, any place serving pav bhajis, you will find a huge Queue lined up outside the eatery as the cooks mash the vegetables, even on a weekday. The aromas amble down the queue with the rich smell of butter, whetting appetites, making the wait both, unbearable and worthwhile.

Where to go?

Shiv Sagar (anywhere in the city), Sardar Pav Bhaji at the Tardeo Road junction and Cannon Pao Bhaji opposite CST station.


A street food seller at Mohammed Ali Road in Mumbai, India, rustles up fresh kebabs for customers

Tender meat, marinated in a variety of different sauces, with a unique mix of spices and herbs is cooked in various different ways to make a succulent, mouth-watering dish; and is served with the most savoured Hari chatni and onions. Even though Kebabs are a Mughlai delicacy available throughout the country, the Muhammad Ali Road in Mumbai is dedicated to making the juiciest, melt-in-mouth kebabs that you can’t afford to miss.

Where to go?

Bademiya restaurant in Colaba, Ayub’s at Gandhi Marg and the entire Muhammad Ali Road


The tasty Bombil Fry

Bombay Duck may not be very attractive to look at but it sure makes for a tasty snack when it is deep fried. The Bombil fry is a class apart and undisputed dish for the taste buds of most seafood lovers across the country. When you see a fresh plate of Bombil fry you sure will want to sink your teeth into the crispiness of the dish and let the flavours burst into your mouth. It goes well with spicy green coconut chutney and this dish is a must have especially if you are a seafood lover and you’re visiting Bombay.

Where to go?

Gajalee, anywhere in the city and New Martin at Strand Cinema Road


Puran Poli

A recipe made with chana dal, flour and cardamom and sugar, it is a Maharashtrian recipe which is perfect for any person who has a sweet tooth. This sweet dish is extremely rich in flavours and simply adds life to all the festivities all around town, especially during festivals like Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi but you would find it perpetually in any corner of Mumbai if you want to try out this authentic sweet recipe.

Where to go?

Aaswad and Mi Marathi


Baida Roti is one of the most typical snacks amongst the youth of Mumbai. A Mughlai delicacy yet again, it is a shallow fried bread traditionally stuffed with minced mutton and a shallow fried egg. The dish makes for a perfect meal with the heavy, filling and the green chutney on the side. If you get a chance to try one during Ramadan, it might turn out to be one of the best decisions of your life.

Where to go?

Bademiya Restaurant in Colaba and Ayub’s at Gandhi Marg


Pithla Bhakri

Zunka with Bhakar or Pithla Bakhri is the staple food of the common Maharashtrian. A vegetarian preparation, majorly made with chickpea flour porridge, called pithila is served with the classic bread of Maharashtra- Bhakri. The peasant’s meal is considered complete only when complemented with Thecha and sometimes even Kanda bhaji. It is a very simple dish that manages to capture your heart and makes you take the recipe home.

Where to go?

Aaswad and any typical Maharashtrian home


Bombay Sandwich

The tea-time snack in every household, the pocket-friendly street food, and at times the most convenient breakfast, Bombay Sandwich is one of Mumbai’s favourites. A thoroughly grilled sandwich, layered with vegetables and different sauces, buttered and filled with chutney and masala on each of the slices, this sandwich outranks the high-class brands of sandwich shops that you might have been savoured all these years.

Where to go?

Candies in Bandra West and Ghatkopar Khao Gali


Very similar to what one commonly calls a wrap or a roll, a Frankie is a popular quick snack that has been treating generations of foodies now. Unlike other rolls, with a distinct way of making fillings into some sort of a cutlet, and wrapping it with another layer of a form of an omelette, Frankies create a totally different category for themselves.

Where to go?

Ghatkopar Khao Gali and Churchgate Khao Gali


Nothing like the exotic pizzas made at popular pizzerias, these street tava pizzas have a tradition of their own. Prepared using simple vegetables like capsicum, tomatoes and onions and tangy tomato ketchup and green chilli sauce with ready-made pizza bases, these pizzas have gained a lot of popularity on the streets of Mumbai with its flavourful desi twist and vibe to it. It fills your tummy up with the utmost satisfaction and it does anything but leave a hole in your pocket.

Where to go?

Khau Gali near Churchgate Railway Station


Modak, a Maharashtrian speciality

There sure is a reason why Modak is considered our Adored Lord Ganesha’s favourite food items. The word 'modak' is synonymous with 'happiness' and the only thing you will feel after eating this dish stuffed with bursting with flavours of coconut, jaggery and cardamom with the richness of ghee on top is happiness. Another dish most popular during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, this is another dish you shouldn’t miss if you have a sweet tooth and you’re travelling to Mumbai.

Where to go?

Adarsh Mithai Mandir at Grant Road and Modakam near Siddhivinayak Temple


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