While travel is an essential part of urban life in the rush and urgency of it all we often forget to give our bodies one of it’s most primary needs-food. Especially if you are part of the lakhs of commuters who take the local train in Mumbai everyday and for whom battling the crowd and getting to their destination often takes precedence over filling your stomach. But if you are a regular on the locals and prioritise gratifying your hunger pangs, you will know that every station has its secret food corners, kahu galis, loyal hawkers at or just outside the station as a messiah for travellers who have time for meals and snacks only if it’s served on-the-go.
So we did an exhaustive survey of the most scrumptious food available within close parameters of Mumbai’s local stations so you can eat your meal and catch that train too! What’s more all the dishes on our curated railway food menu are extremely pocket friendly (most of them cost well within just two digits) and for the ones that are slightly higher we’ve mentioned the cost. Though we must caution that our culinary recommendations are for those with a strong constitution-if eating street food costs you one-two many trips to the bathroom, we suggest you stick to your home-packed lunch. While for the rest, whose stomach linings are made of tough-stuff we have some delicious treats for you. From a wholesome breakfast of idli-sambhar and kheema pav to the tastiest of vada pavs and kebabs to lassi and mava cake for your sweet tooth, here is a list of 10 local stations in Mumbai and the best food that they have to offer.
Where: Outside the station
A. What: Idlis
For all you rice lovers there is nothing like hot and fluffy idlis with that classic coconut chutney after a crowded train ride during the morning rush hours. Your messiah is a man with a big steel box that beckons you with his call of this promising breakfast in early hours of the morning. Find him and get your plate of idli chutney now!
B. What: Omlette Pav, Egg Bhurji
Where: Outside the station
Are you that person who likes to have their shots but also prioritises their carb cravings? If yes, the egg dishes here with dollops of masala (and cheese if you please!) served till 1am, is the place for you.
II. Charni Road
What: Sandwiches and Milkshakes
This has been an old hangout spot for the young and the old looking for snacky treats. Fresh, hot and generous with cheese and butter wherever required the food and drinks here have maintained their high taste and hygiene standards for years! At this pure vegetarian joint we recommend their “Special Sandwich” for a day you would like to pig out and their seasonal milkshakes that are sure to refresh you!
Cost: 600 for a meal for two.
III. Grant Road Station
Where: B Merwan And Co.
What: Mava Cake
Since 1914 this Iranian Cafe has been giving people the goodness of a spongy warm mava cake. Perfect for you sweet tooth these palm-sized freshly baked cakes are so popular that each day they are get over even before its time for breakfast! If you decide to take a trip down to this quaint cafe don’t forget to try their other food classics; bun maskas, mava puff, Irani chai and omelettes!
IV. Bombay Central
Where: Outside station, next to Arabia, Cafe
What: Shami Kebab Rolls
These small patties of minced meat (usually beef, mutton or lamb), with ground chickpeas and spices are are perfect for your afternoon tea snack. If you missed that lunch because of your hectic urban life, you deserve these fried savouries!
V. Lower Parel Station
Where: Bara Building, Opposite Phoenix Mills
What: Burnt Garlic Egg Mayonnaise Roll
The softness of this flat bread with the right amount of creamy mayonnaise flavoured with garlic and that added egg for the protein you know you need is what dream lunches are made of. Don’t forget to make a stop here when in the neighbourhood!
Where: Chaos Control Cafe
What: Kesari Chai and Malai Toast
Skipped breakfast in that rush to catch that train? This place has you covered with saffron flavoured tea and a toast done desi style!
What: Idli, Dosa, Filter coffee
Considered the Madras Of Mumbai, this place opens as early as 5.30am to serve commuters before their long day of work ahead. With one of the most authentic filter coffees in the city and you definitely cannot go wrong with their idli sambhar we have also heard that they have a rather good variety of experimental sheeras; pineapple sheera, banana sheera, chocolate sheera and of course badam sheera to name a few. You have to give your tastebuds an experience of the food here; one the city’s most iconic restaurants.
Where: J P Lunch Home
What: Kheema Pav
If you are looking for a wholesome breakfast; here is where you will find your kheema cravings being satisfied. The minced mutton dish here will not disappoint but don’t forget to share it with a friend or be ready to eat some for lunch as the portion served is enough for two! Grab this favourite Mumbai street treat when you are at this station next!
Cost: INR 135
Where: MM Mithaiwala
What: Malai Lassi
This is an iconic spot at this station and as everyone wants to get a hand on the shop’s goodies the lines often spill onto the streets. While we recommend its heavenly malai lassi, we also highly recommend a go at their vada pav, panipuri, chaat, jalebi and samosa pav!
Where: Outside the station
What: Vada Pav
When it comes to a quick fulfilling and filling bite vada pav is always the choice of the hour and we’ve heard the ones at this station have that classic crunch and bread as soft as pillows.
If you know of any great Mumbai local station food spots write to us at [email protected]
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