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Mar
26

Cheap flight to Mumbai-Top Ten Street Foods!

10 of the best street foods in Mumbai

magic of India

magic of India

India has the best food, I swear I gained ten pounds the last time I took a flight to Mumbai. But I never tried the street food because I was worried I’d get sick. Street food is becoming a culture of its own now. And it’s taken off big time.  But how do you know where to eat? What’s safe and what’s not? Well, before you hop on that cheap flight to Mumbai, print this list!

Patties, puris, kebabs and lassis … Mumbai is the city of street food. But how do you know which is the best? Here’s a list of the top ten best street foods in Mumbai straight from a from a local chef’s mouth:

Pav Bhaji hve to be one of the most popular foods in India. To get the best head to:

1. Pav bhaji @ Sardar’s

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

A five-minute walk from Mumbai Central station, Sardar’s specializes in finger-licking pav bhaji. It’s hidden behind white barriers, so it can be hard to find, but everyone in Mumbai will know what you mean when you say “Pav bhaji?”  They’ll point you in the right direction and good news, you won’t have to wait. Two metal plates arrive within minutes: one containing thick vegetable masala straddled by a slab of butter, the other with fluffy rolls so well buttered the bread’s yellow. Squeeze some lemon on top,eat with your fingers, of course.

Open from noon until 2am

2. Kebabs @ Sarvi

Kebabs

Kebabs

Some people book cheap flights to Mumbai just for the kebabs. And Mohammed Ali Road is famous for skewered kebabs, which hang from smoking stalls like sizzling curtains. But towards the north end, veer left on to Dimtimkar Road and head to Sarvi. It’s been around for 90 years, has no sign, looks fire damaged, but man oh man it grills the most tender beef seekh kebabs in the city. Crisp on the outside with a melt in your mouth middle, with a hint of mint – rumor has it they grind papaya into the meat. Get there early evening, as they sell out fast.

Open until 11:30 pm

3. Vada Pav @ Anand

Vada Pav

Vada Pav


Fly to mumbai and you’ll see it’s ever Mumbaikar’s grab-and-go snack. And perfect for us vegetarians. Potato patties mashed with garlic, chillies and coriander are dipped in chickpea flour, fried golden, then laid in “pav” – a springy white bap that’s well buttered, spread with coriander chutney and sprinkled with garlic and chilli powder. Everyone from students to businessmen flock to the Anand stall, under a purple and green awning, which whips up more than a thousand a day. An added touch is a plate of rock-salted fried green chillies, which aren’t nearly as fiery as you might think. Cool off with mini bottles of sweet lassi from the stall to the left.

Open 7.30am-11pm

Pani puri @ Elco Pani Puri Centre

Pani Puri

Pani Puri

The making of it is part of the fun: First you poke a thumb into a crisp fried sphere, fill it with potato, chickpeas, onion and sprouted lentils, then dunk it into a sweet-and-sour mix of tamarind and jaggery, then a liquid blend of coriander, mint and garam masala. The flavors just explode in your mouth. Eat it whole, and unless you have a stomach of steel, don’t go anywhere but Elco Pani Puri Centre, where they use mineral water. Pull up a red plastic stool and sit on the pavement with Bandra’s locals, and the occasional Bollywood actress.

Open 10am-11.30pm

Chicken tikka rolls @ Bademiya

Chicken Tikka Rolls

Chicken Tikka Rolls

This is a lite-night spot for a city that never sleeps. In fact most Mumbaikars don’t go before 3am. A glorified open-air kitchen on wheels, Bademiya sits in a backstreet directly behind the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Waiters in red aprons appear from a cloud of smoke and hand over plastic menus, but the chicken tikka rolls are the best option. Slid off skewers, the meat is wrapped in a steaming roomali roti – as thin and soft as a handkerchief – and topped with strips of fried onion. No sauce required, its juices are enough. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it?

Open 5pm-4am

Bhel puri @ Sharmajee’s and Badshah’s

Bhel Puri

Bhel Puri

Fly to Mumbai and you’ll see that Bhel puri is one of the most common snacks: a crunchy, cold, sweet-and-sour mix of puffed rice, sev, chopped onion and potato, and tamarind chutney. It has to be mixed and eaten on the spot, and most vendors will concoct their own variations. Chowpatty Beach is the home of bhel puri, where it is eaten while strolling along the shore. Try Sharmajee’s (No 22) or Badshah’s (No 11), amid the cluster of stalls opposite the Levi’s Store, where rugs are spread out and bhel puri “touts” will bring it over to you.

Open all day

Kheema Pav @ Olympia Coffee House

Kheema Pav

Kheema Pav

Try breakfast the way the locals do it – with a plate of fried minced meat and hunks of fresh baked bread to eat it with. Directly opposite the infamous Leopold’s, Olympia does plates of delicious masala kheema – and don’t forget, this is a coffee house, so top it off with a short, sweet cup. Olympia is a local Muslim haunt, so you won’t see too many women,  but female visitors shouldn’t be put off: the waiters are friendly, courteous and no one bats an eyelid.

Open 7am-midnight

Channa bhatura @ Cream Centre

Channa Bhatura

Channa Bhatura

Even in Mumbai, restaurants with laminated menus showing photos of their food aren’t to be trusted. Cream Centre is an exception. It does a version of channa bhatura that’s a bit on the oily side, but it’s rated the best in Mumbai by the hordes of students, families and workers on breaks. Sit tight in your booth as a football-sized, deep-fried puri arrives alongside a bowl of creamy masala chickpeas, diced potatoes and onions. Poke a finger in the top and watch the puri deflate slowly into a chewy bread for scooping up the masala. And all this for $3.50 you can’t beat it! heck, I’d book a flight to Mumbai just to try it. That bread makes my mouth water.

Open noon-11.30pm

Crab @ Mahesh Lunch Home

Crab

Crab

Okay, this is not your usual street food, but it’s a sin to fly to Mumbai and not eat crab. Trishna is excellent, but full of expats and loads of tourists, so try Mahesh, around the corner from the Mocambo Café, in Fort. Order the jumbo butter garlic crab with a roomali roti to enjoy the sauce of garlic and chilli. There’s only one way to eat it – with a bib and both hands, making as much mess as you like and all for $12.

All day-

Juices and milkshakes @ Bachelorr’s

Juices and milkshakes

Juices and milkshakes

Bachelorr’s is the hangout for smoothies, shakes and juices. It’s been in business since the 1940s and has generated a loyal following, who gather by the roadside kiosk during warm evenings, where they sit on to pof their cars and drink a cool smoothie. The cream-and-strawberry milkshake is a classic, but it also churns out numerous chocolate variations – from Classic Chocolate and Black Gold Premium to Liquid Marble – along with a host of fresh lime, coconut water and lychee juices.

Open 3pm-11pm

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