A Mouthwatering Guide To Street Food in Mumbai

Mumbai ‘chaat,’ a term used for the tangy and savory roadside food of India, offers a dining experience like no other.
street food in Mumbai

India is known for its street food and if you want to get a taste of Mumbai’s real culture (quite literally) and live an experience as unique as it gets, you have to give the local food a try! Yes, think exotic, tangy and probably face reddening spicy!

Mumbai ‘chaat,’ a term used for the tangy and savory roadside food of India, offers a dining experience like no other. The variety, quality and the taste of street food in Mumbai is top notch and, in my opinion, incomparable to other cities in India.

I do realize that it can be quite overwhelming if you’re in India for the first time and have no idea of what to try or expect. Which is why I’ve compiled this mouthwatering guide to street food in Mumbai. The suggestions on this list are mostly individual hawkers or roadside stalls selling edibles that you probably haven’t even heard of or known about before! So get set for a real localized experience like never before and try these items for an authentic ‘taste’ of Mumbai.

 

Pani Puri

Best Street Food in Mumbai

Image via Dishkhoj

These are crispy round shaped cups that are filled with ‘teekha’ (spicy) or ‘meetha’ (sweet and tangy) flavored water and a filling of chickpeas or potatoes done up with spices. Each cup is small enough to fit in your mouth at once and you’re meant to eat each cup in its entirety for a real burst of flavors! Trust me when I say this, once you’re hooked on the taste, there is nothing else like pani puri in the world!

Where To Find It:

  • Prashant Corner – Here you’ll find one of the oldest and most famous ‘chaat’ places in Mumbai. 17 & 18, Gagangiri Society, Panch Pakhadi, Thane West.
  • Sindh Pani Puri – Known especially for its pani puris, this place is a must-try if you want the most authentic taste. Chembur Colony, No 13.

 

Samosas Or Piazos

Best Street Food in Mumbai

Image via Zomato

These are flour pastries hand shaped and deep fried in triangular cone forms. You can choose from either an onion based filling or spiced potatoes. Enjoy these with chutney (usually tangy and sweet) and take them on the go as they’re quite convenient as travel food.

Where To Find It:

  • Guru Kripa – Quite popular even with the celebrities, why don’t you try the most loved samosas of Bollywood? 40, Guru Kripa Building, Near Sies College, Sion West, 400022

 

Vada Pav

Best Street Food in Mumbai

Image via TripAdvisor

One of the first few things you will likely notice in the hands of locals upon landing in Mumbai is Vada Pav — and rightly so! This city staple food is made of a deep fried patty (stuffing is done up with potatoes, spices, coriander, garlic, and chilies) that is pressed between flat buns on each side! Think of it sort of like a burger, but one that’s all about the spices and tastes nothing like a Big Mac. They spread sweet, chilly or garlic chutneys and powder on the inside depending on what your palette is yearning for. I enjoy my Vada Pav with loads of garlic chili powder and also a roasted green chili and voila! I’m in my happy place!

Where To Find It:

  • Ashok Vada Pav – Well-known as the best vada pav place in Mumbai, it has been serving thousands of customers every day for more than 35 years now! Kashinath Dhuru Marg, Dadar West, 400028
  • Anand Vada Pav – Near the ‘Mithibai’ college, this is a favorite with students and celebrities alike. You can also find a huge range of other mouthwatering snacks here. Opposite Mithibai College, Gulmohar Road No. 1, Vile Parle West, 400056
  • Aaram Vada Pav – More than 70 years old and my personal favorite, the garlic chutney here is to die for. You can also give the cheese vada pav a go. Opposite Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, 128, Hazarimal Somani Rd, Azad Maidan, Fort, 400001

 

Bhel Puri And Batata Puri

Bhel puri is a cold, crispy puffed rice dish that is mixed with a variety of toppings such as potatoes, onions, sev (tiny fried crispy shavings made of chickpea paste), raw mango, coriander, spices and chutneys (garlic, green chili and sweet/tangy) and served in paper cones. Use the wooden spoon provided to scoop out mouthfuls of a Mumbai delicacy that is likely altogether different than anything else you’ve ever had.

Batata Puris are flat, crispy, round shaped wafers that are topped with similar toppings as the bhel puri. If you want to truly experience this food like a local, you’re supposed to have one of each in its entirety to get the full taste of it all!

Also, try ‘Dahi Batata Puri’ if you like curd and want something easier on the palette.

Where To Find It:

  • Chowpatty – This is the most famous beach of Mumbai and the home of bhel puri! Try Sharmajee’s (no 22) or Badshah’s (no 11) opposite the Levis store amongst the many food stalls on the beach.

 

Pav Bhaaji

Best Street Food in Mumbai

Image via Zomato

Mumbaikars love their Pav (think, a special type of soft, double-sided flatbreads slathered with butter) and it goes along like a dream with Bhaaji (a cooked tomato based curry that uses mashed vegetables like potatoes, capsicum and the like). If tangy and sour is what you like, you have to try Pav Bhaaji. Don’t forget to pair it with raw onions and even more lemon to enhance the taste.

Where To Find It:

  • Cannon Pav Bhaji – Another one very close to the CST station, you can indulge and look at the CST lights at the same time! Mahapalika Marg, Opposite Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
  • Sardar Pav Bhaji – One of the most famous for Mumbai Pav Bhaji, however, I preferred the others to this in my most recent visit. Drop by here for its popularity as one of the oldest and for its cheese version of the dish. 166-A, 166-B, Tardeo road junction, 400034
  • Juhu Beach Stall – Juhu beach is the other really famous beach in Mumbai and I tend to find it much nicer than Chowpatty. I tried Pav Bhaaji from a random stall of the many here on the beach and it tasted even better than the popular ones in the city! 1, Juhu Tara Rd, Airport Area, Juhu, 400049

 

Mumbai chutney sandwiches

Best Street Food in Mumbai

Image via Foursquare

Yes, sandwiches whipped up by individual hawkers on the road! The key here is the extremely thin and soft white local bread that these guys use. It’s too good to miss out on and the fresh green chutney that is smeared between the layers makes it a total winner!

Expect crushed potato and fresh tomato slices, cucumber, and cheese as the typical sandwich ingredients. Avoid the sweet sauce to experience the local taste at its best. This one’s not usually as spicy as the other forms of ‘chaat’ so it’s perfect for those who are already dreading their mouths burning with the chili heat. Some outlets also serve grilled sandwiches with a variety of fillings that are hard to imagine (think, bhaaji, instant noodles, pizza sauce, Nutella fillings and much more)!

Where To Find It:

  • Khao Galli – Even though suburban to the city, this has to be my number one go-to place for street food in Mumbai on each visit. The name literally translates to ‘eat street’ and this is exactly what this insane place is all about. Picture a street full of hawkers selling the best they can and all possible varieties in one single place – definitely a street food heaven for a foodie like me! MG Road, Ghatkopar East, 400077
  • There is an individual sandwich and bhel puri hawker right outside ‘Amarsons’ shop in main city area. This has to be the best chutney non-grilled sandwich I have ever tried and if you’re lucky to find him there, you will see what I’m talking about. 63/A, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Cumballa Hill, Breach Candy, 400026

 

Frankies

Best Street Food in Mumbai

Image via Zomato

Frankies are rolls made of flour and filled with a vegetable patty, cheese, Szechuan sauce, tangy seasonings, onions and much more depending on what you opt for. Great as an on-the-go takeaway snack and quite filling — try your hand at these for a quick tangy lunch.

Where To Find It:

  • Tibb’s Frankie – One of the oldest and most popular Frankie brands, it houses branches all around the city, so you can expect to spot a Bibb’s Frankie outside huge shopping streets, malls and in cinemas. Churchgate Station, Churchgate, 400020

 

Kulfi

best street food in mumbai

Image via Remote Traveler

Tired of all the spicy talks? This one’s going to cool your taste buds. My ultimate favorite reason for going back to the city, kulfi is sort of an ice-cream which is milk based, firmer in structure and made by local hawkers from a variety of fresh fruit and other natural ingredients.

Mumbai kulfi has a charm completely different from the kulfi in the rest of the Indian cities. Expect raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, pistachio, mango flavored frozen discs of creamy flavored milk. Perfect for cleansing your palette, the outlets cut these up into small pieces and you can easily hog them all with a spoon.

Where To Find It:

  • Khao Galli – Yes the same one as before! Try the seasonal flavors first as these are made from actual fruits, although my personal love has to be ‘malai’ which is cream based. You can choose a mix of different flavors and pay according to the weight of the pieces. MG Road, Ghatkopar East, 400077


Gola Or Chuski (Ice Candies)

Best Street Food in Mumbai

Image via TripAdvisor

Yes, another super cold and more on the sweeter side treat for you! Especially popular in Mumbai but found all around India, these are basically balls or cylinders made of crushed ice pressed together and infused with a syrup or juice of your choice. Think colorful explosions of ice in your mouth and loads of flavor — doesn’t it sound exciting?

A favorite of children and adults alike, try flavors such as rose, orange, raw mango, pineapple and the iconic ‘kaala katha’ (a Mumbai specialty that has blackberry syrup, lemon juice, and tangy black salt)! Served on a stick so that you can sip the syrup off it like a popsicle with more dipping juice in the glass or on a plate as an ice globe with a spoon to scoop through and escape to childhood once again! You can also mix different juices and syrups on the same ice ball to make it all the more fun. Think, five-flavored ice golas, golas filled with condensed milk, peppermint toppings and much more!

Where To Find It:

  • Juhu Beach – I love the rose gola from the stands here. You can also try the raw mango/kaala khatta if you love sour. I usually skip the added salt and extra lemon that is squeezed on the top as I like mine super sweet after all the spicy overload. However, if your sweet tooth isn’t as powerful as mine, the extra dash of lemon and salt would be the perfect call. 1, Juhu Tara Rd, Airport Area, Juhu, 400049.
  • Baby Garden Gola Stall – Go here for the malai golas and the peppermint topping. Outside the Baby Garden, Motibai St, Agripada, 400008

 

So there you have it, a mouthwatering guide to street food in Mumbai. Are you hungry yet? The dishes are all super budget-friendly and you will be amazed at just how vibrant the food can look and taste when served like this!

Oh, and one more quick final word to the weary — Don’t worry about the spice, as most all of the aforementioned street food delicacies are prepared right in front of you, so all you have to do is tell the hawker your tolerance level or go for the sweet/tangy chutney as opposed to the green chilli chutney.

 

Author’s Favorite Travel Gear

 
                              

Nooformer Travel Mini Umbrella: This compact mini umbrella is a must, especially when traveling during the onset and offset of Monsoons.

HYDAWAY Collapsible Pocket-Sized Travel Water Bottle: Mumbai heat can be scorching and the food extremely spicy, so be sure to carry your own water at all times. This cute collapsible bottle is so convenient and something that I love.

Funky Junque’s Embroidered Floppy Sun Hat: Saving yourself from the harmful rays of the sun is extremely important in the sunny regions of a country like India. I love this ultra cool and young hat that adds to the good vibes and fun of the place!

mm

Sakshi Singhania

A 24-year-old travel enthusiast, Sakshi Singhania, from Kolkata, India is a keen observer and sucker for anything that has a unique culture and feel! While at University she got a chance to visit many places across Europe and she loves sharing her student appropriate, fun, budget-friendly and localized experiences! She has traveled across the US, Asia, and of course the Indian subcontinent! Currently, she’s working as a freelance writer and an academic counselor.

More Posts

Categories
AsiaIndiaTips and Guides
No Comment

RELATED