Mumbai is not only the biggest financial hub of India, but it is also a cultural melting point. It is to India, just like New York is to US. Apart from being the financial powerhouse of India, it is a city which is known for its stock markets and India’s film industry also known as Bollywood. It’s also known as a fashion hub.
As far as food is concerned, Mumbai offers a diverse range of food that represents the metropolitan nature of the city.
Food that represents India’s kaleidoscopic culture
It’s not difficult to find budget hotels in Mumbai. Avoid suburban areas, if you want to avoid the peak hour rush and traffic on the roads.
Get up early in the morning and you will find Mumbai streets buzzing with activity. Mumbai wakes up as early as 4 o’clock and by 6 o’clock in the morning, most of the restaurants and dhabas are open. Ask for a cutting chai. A cutting chai is strong tea with milk, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. It is served in a shot glass.
After that rush to the Sassoon Dock fish market and watch the morning activity. You can enjoy a medicinal Masala chai as well, which can be therapeutic for your mood. Mumbai street food includes some of the refreshing new cuisines that are sold by hawkers and roadside stall owners. The interesting thing about Mumbai is that wherever you can spot a cluster of people, it is almost certain that it would be accompanied by a street full of food vendors.
So from public places to railway stations, high rise office buildings and colleges, you will find these food vendors almost everywhere. Now let’s discuss some of the most exotic foods available on the streets of Mumbai.
You can start of your morning with Dosa, a South Indian dish which is in the form of a thin pancake. Dosa is popular all across India, but in Mumbai, it’s like local food. You can try Schezwan Cheese Dosa apart from Mysore Masala Dosa and Chinese Dosa. You can try it with a variety of chutneys. If you happen to visit Juhu Beach, visit Nandu Dosa Stall, which is the famous hangout of Bollywood celebrities. Their specialty is Chocolate Dosa.
Pani Puri is also a popular street food and you will find vendors chopping coriander, which is an essential ingredient of Pani Puri. Indians are quite fond of Pani Puri and you will find clusters of boys and girls popping the whole Pani Puris in their mouth and enjoying this delicacy. The burst of flavor you feel in your mouth because of the ingredients offers an experience, which is simply out of this world.
Bhelpuri Is also one of the most popular foods in Mumbai. It’s an unusually crunchy snack that offers a unique taste. It is a mix of spicy, sweet, tangy and sour. The ingredients include raw tomatoes, onions, and puffed rice served with tamarind sauce. Try an icy glass of lemonade afterwards. The locals call it Nimbu Pani.
Dahi batata Puri
This is another form of Puri, which is filled with chickpeas and mashed potatoes. It’s served with chili powder, spicy green chutney and tamarind chutney. It is laced with sweetened yoghurt decorated with chopped coriander, mung beans and crushed fried noodles.
Vada Pav is among the most popular street foods in Mumbai. It is a deep fried potato patty served with spices and coriander. It is the Indian version of burger and is available on almost every street in Mumbai. Vada in this case is a potato fritter and Pav is the bread buns wrapped around it. Sweet and spicy chutneys are complementary with almost every street food available in Mumbai. If you want to taste the exclusive Vada Pav, visit Anand Vada Pav Stall, which is located in Vile Parle (West) in front of Mithibai College.
Pav Bhaji is also an iconic and quintessential street food in Mumbai. Bhaji is referred to vegetables cooked with butter and spices.
It’s the non-veg Pav that’s served with the minced meat.
Apart from these foods, you’ll also enjoy, sandwiches, jalebis, laddoos, kulfi, milk shakes, barfi, peda and son papdi. Yes, don’t forget the iconic food served by the “dabbawalas”. Many hotels in Mumbai offer these foods in-house. So hurry!