Recently, we found our phones pinging with WhatsApp forwards talking about some of the most delicious, often entirely hyper local meals in Mumbai—meals that aren’t necessarily found within the plush confines of five-star establishments, fusion pop-ups or the likes thereof, but rather, those found in eateries that have been dishing out the same items for decades, ensuring that what you find placed in front of you is nothing short of iconic.
When we poked around a little further, we discovered that this list was compiled in 2014 by a certain Jay Amrutia for Kadvacorp, whose passion for food is plain to see. We’re tipping our hat to him because we discovered that this list, which we’ve broken down into two digestible parts, is nothing short of a foodie’s wet dream. The kind that it takes serious know-how and a true penchant for culinary adventure that takes you to every street corner and every hole-in-the-wall spot you never thought you’d get the very best dal pakwan in.
Scroll down to see Vol. I of the series started by Mr. Amrutia, who, unknowingly, may have started something and look out for Vol. II tomorrow. We plan to be utterly shameless and knock a few of these off our list this long weekend itself. We’ve also created a special map of all these places for you below so you know just how to best navigate your way through the city’s mean streets to satisfy your belly at the earliest.
1) At Sassanian & Co. at Dhobi Talao, have the buttery bun maska and spicy akuri. (Rs. 15 and Rs. 35)
2) At Cream Center, have the rich shahi paneer.
3) At Prakash, the Mattha Misal is what it’s all about. (Rs. 45)
4) At Pratap Da Dhaba, let loose with their vodka pani puri. (Rs. 199)
5) At Bachelorr’s, be adventurous and try the green chilli ice cream. (Rs. 55)
6) At Mamledar Misal, don’t over think. Order the misal pav. (Rs. 65)
7) At Café Madras, get the Upma Podi and filter kaapi to wash it down. (Rs. 45 and Rs. 25)
8) At Ashok Vada Pav Stall, the only thing is the best thing—fresh, hot vada pav. (Rs. 20)
9) At Gypsy Corner, try the Bhareli Vangi. It’s a dish of stuffed brinjal with spices. (Rs. 96)
10) At Bhojohari Manna, you’ve got to order the jaggery ice cream. It’s delicious. (Rs. 120)
11) At Govinda Restaurant, order the vegetarian lunch, which comes with dal, kadhi and spicy biryani. (Rs.500)
12) At Balaji Idli House, get the buttery idlis. A few plates should do it. (Rs. 60)
13) At Pritam Da Dhaba, the dal makahani has even northerners swearing by it. (Rs. 240)
14) At Elco, it’s their famous pani puri that gets our vote. Ice cold and spicy pani teamed with the sweetness of their chutney makes for a great combination. (Rs. 60)
15) At B Merwan, the mawa cake is dense, buttery and oh-so-good. (Rs. 25)
16) At Vig, the dal pakwan is pretty spectacular. (Rs. 50)
17) At Bikaji Food Junxon, the chhole bhature is deeply satisfying. Rich, flaky puri and delicious chana. (Rs. 140)
18) At Oven Fresh 1993, try the corn cheese balls. They’re balls of deep-fried happiness. (Cost Rs. 140)
19) At Badshah, it has to be the special Badshahi Falooda, served in a bowl, with malai-kulfi and kesar flavouring and basil seeds. (Rs. 135)
20) At K Rustom’s Ice Cream, take your pick from their staggering variety of ice cream sandwiches. Our favourite is the mango, and the coffee. (Rs. 60)
21) At Sukh Sagar, the hot and spicy pav bhaji is a gamechanger. It doesn’t hurt that it comes drowned in butter. (Rs. 110)
22) At Kobe’s, get the chicken sizzler, it’s their signature poultry sizzler doused in their special in-house sauce. (Rs. 590)
23) At Pancham Puri Wala, get the trademark Pancham Thali. It comes with three kinds of puris: plain, stuffed and green Palak puri; rajma, chole, kadi, paneer and dry carrot sabzi; pulao made of beans carrots and paneer, chaas and gulab jamun. (Rs. 130)
24) At Swati Snacks, do your best to steer yourself away from the tempting chaat and try the panki chatni. (Rs. 175)