Best Food in Mumbai | Mumbai Food Scene Guide
Mumbai, the vegetarian heaven on earth! Home of the vada pav and pav bhaji this is a city where the street food rules, but, look closely as you may get surprised and find alongside the street stalls and the established fine dining hotel restaurants new quirky and modern places that have a word to say in the Mumbai food scene.
Mumbai has more than half a million eateries, but for me, there are places in this city that I would come back each and every time, either for their geniality in pairing exotic ingredients with the classic Indian cuisine spices or for the amazing feeling it is to grab a popular street snack that tastes delicious every time no matter how many thousands are made and sold in a day!
So, here are the places that won a place in my heart and stomach and will have a granted visit on each trip to Mumbai:
5 * Dining – ITC Maratha Hotel
I will always have a special memory of this restaurant, it was in its gardens that I’ve got engaged to the love of my life but I can guarantee you in any case that my opinion it’s not biased by the storm of feelings I was going through in that dinner.
A lovely classic decor, friendly and attentive staff has set up the ambience for the most amazing biryani and perhaps dinner ever. Herbed cheese stuffed morels biryani, this could have gone wrong in so many ways and yet the chef totally nailed the dish, an amazingly done beautiful pairing, with each ingredient complementing the other and where each one exists without overpowering the other, all smothered up with a delicate raita. Do not skip the papad & chutneys they were all delicious. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the gulab jamun because no one ever gets tired of classics, especially if brought up to a new level of delicacy and warmth like this one.
Easy going joint
This place has been servind faloodas for 120 years and so it’s no surprise that the hotel Badshah is named the king of faloodas, even the Bollywood celebrities often spotted here would agree that this place serves the most tasty and refreshing faloodas in the city.
Ram & Ashraya
Casual South Indian
Simply the best dosa in Mumbai, I could sit all day at this place just devouring each type of dosa, coconut chutney and sambar on a loop. But, because my stomach has certain limitations I could only have this time the podi dosa, rava dosa and Mysore dosa, there were also some banana fritters, idli and medu vada but I consider those just side dishes comparing to the star of the house – the dosa, don’t forget to complete your meal with a proper South Indian coffee.
Ram & Shyam
About Ram & Shyam, I must start by saying that the reason that there are no pictures of the pani puri is because no one has explained to me how the pani puri queue works and without even having time to think I was handed more pani puri snacks than I could handle for the entertainment of the stall cooks, luckily I was hungry enough to taste all the other chaat snacks. My favourite with no surprises, dahi batata puri, there’s just something about the chaat with yoghurt and tamarind chutney, it’s just perfect. If you are experienced in street food you will find this stall quite expensive compared to the average but have a taste and you will understand why after this they are still able to keep their clientele.
I always love to hear stories of success of hard-working people and maybe that’s one of the reasons this is my favourite place for the street sandwich, for the cleanliness for the flavour, for the amazing scene it is to have a glance of the street sandwich buzz. And, I may be a chef by training, proudly exhibiting fine dining experience on the cv but even though I have the same sandwich masala at home, I can never replicate the amazing flavour of this sandwich in the Santacruz market. If you try it, don’t go full on dipping in the chutneys, first because the sandwich will be already packed with flavour and second because those are some seriously hot chutneys.
Shree Gangour Sweets
Sweet & Snacks Shop
I came here for Kolkata style breakfast – the Bedmi Puri & Aachari Aloo but went home in love with their chola bhatura, they are not even famous for this dish and it’s not even from the same cuisine but somehow they make it just perfect in my opinion, and that raw mango pickle, so goooood!!!
Opposite Juhu Beach
A Rajasthani thali that filled up stomach and heart! Such comforting food, each bite after another, each sabzi wrapped on a piece of soft, warm and delicious bread after the other, a loop only to be broken by the ridiculous quantity of ras malai and moong dal halwa I’ve stuffed myself with! Nice sweet paan masala also…
Sweet Paan | Maharaja Bhog | Best Food in Mumbai
Street Ice cream and Juices
I do work on new product development for the food industry but I think not even on my wildest dreams I would think of something as green chilli ice cream, and, as I heard about it I was convincing myself it would be just a marketing strategy at the same speed my curiosity was growing I found myself going for it as a devote spicy food lover I am. My hopes were all on the sitaphal and cream, one of my favourite fruits and cream the classic fruit friendly indulgent topping but I was fairly disappointed, too sweet, too fatty! And so, I’ve turned myself to the green chilli ice cream, first spoon felt bad and wrong, at the third I was addicted and as all spicy food, if you stop it burns the tongue so better to keep going…
This restaurant was actually a lovely surprise, I was reluctant at the beginning after a few past experiences of below average food on places that focused only having modern decor and trying to hard to give a twist to the Indian food. That did not happen here, an incredible respect for the roots of each dish and ingredient, nothing is forced, the new but simple, uncomplicated focused on the amazing flavours of the country.
Kirti College Vada Pav Center
There would be no better way to finish this list than with the iconic vada pav, the Kirti college Vada Pav Center is a popular stall for the world famous vada pav and you can expect to wait in queue for 15 minutes before you can put your hands on one of those, a glance at the pace of things here will make you wonder why with so many customers the price of this amazing warm potato fritter on a soft roll drizzled with chutneys cost only 20 p but don’t think too much, just enjoy and come back for more!