Breakfasts, for most of the swarming millennials taking over this city, might largely consist of a cigarette, some mouthwash and a serious frenzy to get to work/ their first meeting/ the least crowded train. Despite numerous warnings that it might just be the most important meal of our day, that is. But on those few odd days that you do remember that there’s no simpler or greater pleasure in life than a leisurely (or not so leisurely) morning meal, you should know that this city is still your friend.
As serious breakfast champions ourselves, we put together a list of our favourite breakfast spots around town, replete with every detail you’ll ever need about them. And without any restrictions based on area, budget or cuisine type.
If we’ve eaten it, loved it, and threatened to return time and time again, it’s on this list. And we’re going to vouch for the fact that you will too.
Breakfast is served.
Timings: Daily, 9am to 12.30pm.
We get it. You want bacon and you want it now. And you know what, we can arrange some for you for a small fee--namely, a spot at your table. You needn’t look further than Salt Water Cafe for a real, hearty breakfast—the kind that gets its balance between hippie vegan preferences and carnivorous carb-hunters just right. It’s also the kind of place that serves breakfast all day so whether it’s a snack on the way to work or a late, boozy brunch, this is still one of the best leisurely options in town what with their endlessly varied menu and their incredible selection of freshly baked breads.
What You’re Getting: If you’re into unlikely pairings, the smoked bacon pancakes come highly recommended by us. Top it off with maple syrup.
Other Options We Love: The Fluffy Omelettes (stuff it whatever you like from BBQ chicken to an assortment of imported cheeses) are delicious and you can’t go wrong with their Eggs Florentine. Whatever you end up ordering though, make sure you get an extra side of rosti/ hash browns. No one in the city does them this right.
Meal For 2: You’d better fuel up for the rest of the day @ Rs. 1500
Where: Rose Minar Annexe, 87 Chapel Road, Next to Mount Carmel Church. Bandra (W)
Timings: 7am to 12am.
Been up all night, and still feeling a little drunk? We’re walking proof that this old Irani joint, bang opposite Mehboob Studio in Bandra, can cure all hangover ailments with a portion of their kheema ghotala with buttery pav. Orders here come within minutes and we suggest coercing them into putting a ripe slice of cheese right on top of the chilli-doused minced meat and letting it melt right into all that goodness. Wash it all down with multiple cups of masala choice of course. And keep your sunglasses on, no one cares who you are or where you’ve come from.
What You’re Getting: Duh, The Kheema Ghotala. You’d never even notice that beef was banned.
Other Options We Love: We’ve never come here for anything else, but we’ve heard their emu version of the dish is worth a shot for the adventurous sort. And the healthier option too.
Meal For 2: Prepare to become a repeat offender here @ Rs. 450
Where: Opposite Mehboob Studios, Near Bandstand, Bandra West, Mumbai
Timings: 7am to 11pm.
For a long time, Cafe Madras was our go-to when leaving the city super early in the morning for a weekend getaway. We’d make a quick pit-stop, fill up on the best south Indian breakfast fare the city has to offer and then wash it all down with as much traditional filter coffee as we could manage without suffering from serious over-caffeination.
Whether it’s their perfectly crisp dosas—rava, sada or stuffed with various versions of masalas—or their multiple versions of Idli Vada, everything comes accompanied with the most delectable home-made butter (white, if you’re smart enough to demand it) and of course, that mulga podi deserves a paragraph all unto itself. The place is always packed but there’s never a waiting of more than 10 minutes because no one comes here for a long, leisurely culinary experience. This place is pure efficiency in deliciousness, all the way through, and they want you out in under 20 minutes. Not that time spent is, in anyway, correlated to your satisfaction levels.
What You’re Getting: Savour the Idli with home-made butter and Mulga Podi (more popularly known as gunpowder chutney) or eat your way through delectable Tuppa Dosa and Pesarattu Dosa, all accompanied with hearty servings of spicy Sambhar. None of that sweetened, Shiv/Sai/Shree Sagar-y nonsense for these guys.
Other Options We Love: Set Dosa With Homemade Butter or the soft, moist Upma Pudi.
Meal For 2: Never judge quality by price @ a measly Rs. 400
Where: 38 B, Circle House, King’s Circle, Matunga East, Mumbai
IV. Hotel Ram Ashray
Timings: Daily, 5.30 a.m. - 10. 30 a.m.
And while we’re on the topic of Matunga East’s unnaturally good breakfast offerings, this one might just be the best and worst kept secret all at once too. By 5.30 a.m. we hear there’s already a queue outside the hotel waiting to get in, get a table and get their bellies filled with any variety of dosas, vadas, uttapams and other south indian fare. The menu changes daily and is written outside on a blackboard.
What you’re getting: What many call the best upma in town. Moist, just the right kind of salty with jewels of nuts and crunches hidden between and that perfect kadi patta flavour. Plus they’re more than happy to replenish your sambar and chutney endlessly.
Other Options We Love: Can’t go wrong with a masala dosa.
Meal For 2: Eat more than you normally would @ Rs. 300
Where: Near Matunga station, Lakhamsi Nappu Road. 2414 2623.
Timings: Mon-Sat 8.30am-midnight; Sun 11am-11pm.
We wouldn’t blame you for thinking this is an odd choice for breakfast, but when they’re not baking up massive batches of millionaire brownies or perfectly iced upside down cakes and puddings, this city favourite serves up a mean English Breakfast. In fact, it’s probably our favourite because they don’t skimp out on any of the good stuff so go all out on two sunny side ups, baked beans, bacon, sausages, mushroom tossed with corn and onion, hash browns and toast. Then drown out your guilt in one of their almost-a-meal-in-itself shakes or a cup of strong cafe mocha. Whichever you have enough room for.
What You’re Getting: What we just spent so much time enticing you with—the English breakfast.
Other Options We Love: If you can handle a (borderline) burger for breakfast, the Chip Butty is phenomenal. The burger bun is slathered in butter and mayonnaise, topped with a handsome serving of French fries and laid with a generous slice of cheddar. For a decadent, breakfast-y twist, add strips of bacon and a fried egg to the carb overload.
Meal For 2: Well, you’re not going to be able to move after @ Rs. 750
Where: 24, Cusrow Baug, Electric House, Colaba, Mumbai
Timings: 9am to 11pm.
As bonafide Bandra locals (we swear we don’t live at the gym or share privileges of being able to get ludicrously cheap alcohol at Bandra gym) we’ll let you in on a little secret—if you get to Suzette’s before 9:30 a.m. you might just be lucky enough to grab one of their perfectly flaky, freshly-baked, warm croissants. This is never a sure thing though because it only opens at 9, and every Frenchman in Bandra seems to know this secret too so they’re usually over within minutes.
Don’t be too upset if you miss out though, the place is known for its authentic French crepes too, which you can either construct painstakingly yourself with the choicest of ingredients or just get one of their ready-to-order combinations on their menu whether it’s filled with a medley of incredible cheeses and/or meats or wonderfully fresh vegetables, herbs and more. Most importantly, the food here is delightfully different from what you’re used to and filling as well.
What You’re Getting: Since we’re talking breakfast, we’d probably opt for the complete (egg, emmenthal, ham or chicken bacon) in non-vegetarian or the bleu (blue cheese, mozzarella, fresh cream, toasted walnuts) in vegetarian fare. Their freshly squeezed juices are a must try and the Apple Carrot Ginger is usually our go-to. Smoothies are also incredibly good but a little filling if you’re going to be eating heavy.
Other Options We Love: Croque Olive with Crooked Ham and a Raspberry Yoghurt Smoozie. But if you’ve got a sweet tooth, and you enjoy a generous portion of fruits with your breakfast, nothing touches the Apple Compote classic crepe. The Mariage freres tea is mild, aromatic and just the right pick-me-up to the morning.
Meal For 2: Not a luxury you can afford everyday, but that’s what makes it a luxury @ Rs. 1200
Where: Opposite Gold’s Gym, St. John Street, Pali Hill, Bandra West
Timings: 11am to 11pm.
No life stirs here before 11 a.m. so there’s no sense in rushing to get here either. Sleep in, forget to brush your teeth and make your way over to the most heritage-rich part of town to order up a serving of Salli Per Edu. An absolutely divine combination of fried potato straws with eggs, Parsi style, which you’ll undoubtedly follow up with some Bun Maska for a taste of the creamy, Irani chai, this might just be one of our top 3 picks on this list. We hate playing favourites but you won’t blame us when you get here.
What You’re Getting: First, the Salli Per Edu. Then, anything else you want.
Other Options We Love: Akuri on toast. Nobody does Akuri like these Irani Cafes, and scrambled eggs are just never quite as satisfying in terms of flavour.
Meal For 2: We’d break the bank for that Salli Per Edu @ Rs. 850
Where: Vikas Building, Bank Street, Horniman Circle, Fort
Timings: 7am to 8pm.
No matter how many fast food chains and swanky joints make their way into Mumbai’s enticing market, no true local would ever trade up the charm of the quaint Irani cafe culture. Kyani & Co. happens to be one of the oldest Irani joints in the city and despite its ambience being reminiscent of a dilapidated, worn-and-torn building, they’ve been churning out some of the best food we’ve ever eaten for many generations now. Cheap, delicious and one-of-a-kind, its visitors vary right from a billionaire chowing down on khari biscuits and chai for old time’s sake, to the hoards of college goers from nearby schools. Our pick of the menu here is definitely an uncommon choice, one we’re sure very few have dared to test out, but we can guarantee that it’s amongst the best French Toast we’ve ever had. You heard right—french toast for everyone. You should know that a lot of people insist the quality here has dropped so it’s best not to be too experimental and stick to the staples we’ve suggested.
What You’re Getting: The French Toast is just slightly sweet, with a hint of ginger and incredibly soft. We’ve gotten through many a lecture at Xavier’s because of it, and we’ve bunked many for it too.
Other Options We Love: Cream Roll, Khari Biscuit, Cheese Scrambled Eggs, Irani Chai, Kheema Pav, Mawa Cake.
Meal For 2: Legacy doesn’t come quite as cheap as you expected @ Rs. 450
Where: Jermahal Estate, 657, JSS Road,Kalbadevi Rd, Tak Wadi, Lohar Chawl, Marine Lines.
Timings: 11am to 10pm.
Situated in the most state-proud part of the city, Prakash has become one of our favourite joints for real, authentic Mahrashtrian breakfasts, which can otherwise be translated into vadas, vadas, and more vadas. And we’ll throw in some Batata Pohe for good measure.
It doesn’t look too promising from the outside, and enjoys a relatively low-key crowd, but the people who’ve discovered their batata vadas swear by its reputation. Crispy and fresh on the outside with a hot, moist interior, make sure you slather it in plenty of hara chutney (only if you can handle spice) and rest assured, you’ll eat about 6 more before you’re done. The flavours here are some of the best we’ve tasted and we’re sure you’ll agree.
What You’re Getting: Batata Vada.
Other Options We Love: Thalipeeth, Bhajni vada & Batata Pohe.
Meal For 2: The best things in life are (almost) free/ very cheap @ Rs. 300
Where: Balkrishna Sadan, Gokhale Road North, Near Shiv Sena Bhavan, Dadar Shivaji Park, Mumbai
Timings: 9am to 11:30pm.
They may have disregarded the apostrophe in their name but this Bandra joint has shown no such disrespect towards the phenomenal food they’re whipping up. An all-day cafe that joins the ranks of the many delis before it, Breakfast here is modestly represented by the usual suspects of waffles, pancakes, and a whole variety of eggs to order but each item is treated with love.
One of the most loved, and most filling options however, has to be the baked egg bowl. Inspired by oeufs en cocotte, the dish is made up of two runny yolks that are supported by a happy blend of creamed spinach and herbed tomato sauce. Just the kind of mess you want to be mopping up with a slab of buttered toast or french bread.
What You’re Getting: The baked egg bowl. Especially if you’re not sure you’ll have time for lunch.
Other Options We Love: A healthier option perhaps, but the Spinach & Mushrooms healthy egg white omelette is light and fluffy. Pair it with a nice, hot espresso if you’ve got the time to sip slowly and revel.
Meal For 2: This price is more about its zipcode, but we’ll take it @ Rs. 1000
Where: 9, ONGC Building 3, Near Lilavati Hospital, Reclamation, Bandra West, Mumbai
XI. Cafe Zoe
Timings: 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
It’s perfect for breakfast meetings, getting a little early morning work in or just taking the day off and enjoying a delicious, leisurely breakfast. With one of the best egg selections in the city (think truffle scrambled eggs or sundries tomato pesto & poached eggs) to some deliciously sweet breakfast offerings, it’s always a satisfying experience to walk out of there post a hearty meal. The best part? You can eat their breakfasts all the way till 5 p.m.
What you’re getting: Their stack of pancakes is the best in the city.
Other Options We Love: And if you still haven’t satisfied that sweet tooth, the pain au chocolat is gooey, fresh and delicious.
Meal For 2: Up there but worth it @ approx. Rs 800 (with juices)
Where: Mathurdas Mills, Lower Parel, Next To Toit
Timings: 9am to 11:30pm.
The best breakfasts are portable and this long-time city favourite has always tapped into this secret. A go-to for serious foodies, struggling creatives and beefed-up gym bros alike, you also know their breakfast’s going to be good considering they’ve fashioned their entire menu around something that’s technically considered to be a breakfast item in just about every east-coast city in North America.
The thing we love most about them? Their consistent culinary quality. They’ve never strayed from their original concept of serving up warm, toasty bagels day in and out, but they’ve continued to experiment within its frameworks and the result is some of the best breakfasts (and lunches and dinners if we’re honest) that you’ve ever had.
What you’re Getting: The Breakfast Bagel (3 eggs with baked beans and cream cheese served on top of a toasted sesame bagel) and an extra portion of spanish bacon or sausages for the carnivores.
Other Options We Love: The Smoked Salmon Bagel, slathered with Philly cream cheese, for those who like to play it safe.
Meal For 2: Cold, angry New Yorkers are cursing you @ Rs. 1000
Where: 30, Pali Mala Road, Carter Road, Bandra West, Mumbai
Timings: 11am to 11pm.
Second only to Madras Cafe, higher up on this list, Dakshinayan is another of the city’s impeccable odes to South Indian cuisine, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have 2 chains between South Mumbai and Juhu and neither wastes time with niceties or pretty furniture. Instead, they pore over their food with utmost precision, serving up some of the best adai dosas, idlis and uttapams you’ve ever had.
What You’re Getting: The Rava Garlic Dosa or the Rasam Idli. We’d go with the latter if you can’t decide because the rasam here is untouchable as far as we’re concerned in terms of precise flavourings.
Other Options We Love: The ambassador idli or the onion uttapam.
Meal For 2: Bang for your buck @ Rs. 600
Where: Hotel Anand, Gandhigram Road, Near Hare Krishna Temple, Juhu, Mumbai
Timings: All-day breakfast. Daily, 9am to midnight.
Where do we begin? Their perfectly poached eggs florentine—a masterpiece in yolk runniness (is that a word?) placed atop a bed of creamed spinach and crispy English muffins? Or perhaps it’s their penchant for deliciously flavoured Moroccan cooking that you should stick with and order up their eggs Shakshouka, rife with the sourness of tomatoes, and the bite of peppers and onions? Whichever you pick from its vast breakfast offerings, you won’t be disappointed.
What You’re Getting: Only because it’s a rarity, the Eggs Shakshouka but if you’re not interested, their thick, buttered French Toast for sure.
Other Options We Love: Their rather classy version of egg bhurji and toast. Plus it doesn’t hurt that all of this comes served with a side of pan tossed potatoes garnished with chilli flakes and parsley and even three cocktail chicken sausages, if you ask for it. (In the case of the florentine, they actually sautee the sausages in the same sauce!)
Meal For 2: Eggs have never been this sophisticated @ Rs. 1500
Where: Sentinel House, Arthur Bunder Road/ Pali Naka, Bandra
XV. Colaba Social
Timings: Available all the way to 7.30 p.m.
Colaba Social’s breakfast trays have become the stuff of culinary legend, with unique personalities of their own. With quirky little names, and totally unexpected offerings (think everything from oreo cookies to a PBJ milkshake along with an assortment of other options) all on one tray for your very happy consuming. If you’re the kind of person who needs options for breakfasts, these trays are what you’ve been waiting for.
What you’re getting:
Hardy Bhai Istyle tray, which includes kheema ghotala, bun omelette, bun mask, masala chai, cutting with khaki biscuit/ parle g.
Other Options We Love: Or you could cure yourself with the hangover breakfast, which includes a virgin mary, eggs & bacon, vitamin water, bananas, toast and water with a discount for those who got drunk at the social itself last night. Now that’s good service.
Meal For 2: Double up on them trays, if you have an appetite. It’s @ Rs. 700
Where: 24, Ground Floor, Glen Rose Building, Behind Taj Mahal Palace, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai 400001
Timings: All-day breakfast. Daily, 9am to midnight.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—there’s a reason Indigo Deli has always been our favourite restaurant in the city and it has everything to do with the combination of their consistency and flavours. They literally revolutionised the concept of an all-day deli in the city, which explains why they’re popular enough to run 4 different outlets across it.
Whether you go for the pancakes, waffles, french toast, appam with stew, eggs in many different ways, or more, you know whatever you get is going to be slamming and we know it too.
What you’re Getting: The Eggs Benedict is the best in the city, largely because of their unmatched, homemade hollandaise sauce.
Other Options We Love: The breakfast sandwich. Bacon, sausage, emmenthal, grilled onion and a fried egg. Enough said.
Meal For 2: Well worth your weekly splurge @ Rs. 1500
Where: Clifton Trishool Housing Society, Oshiwara Village, off Link Road, Lokhandwala, Andheri West.
Timings: 8 am – 11:30 pm, Breakfast All Day.
If you’ve ever dreamed about the streetside-café Parisian breakfast experience, The Pantry is about as close as you can get in this crowded city. Minus some street and plus a lot more experimentation as far as their menu is concerned. Everything about this place screams fresh out of the oven, and most regulars insist that there’s no time like breakfast to visit. Partly because the food options are even better, and partly because the ambience is far more relaxed. But it doesn’t really matter because breakfast’s served all day.
The potato rostis are so well seasoned, you’ll never attempt one on your own griddle again, while the tomato scrambled eggs with parmesan and country loaf bread comes recommended by the chef himself. Suitably runny, cheesy, and just the right amount of real tomato flavouring. And then there’s his take on the Indian staple, Upma. Whether you go with his suggestions or ours though, we can guarantee a breakfast here (paired with one of their delicious, fresh juices) will set you up well for the rest of the day. Especially if it involves lying around in bed feeling stuffed. Oh, and if you’re the kind of person who enjoys dessert for breakfast - their almond tarts come with perfectly crumbly crusts, and definitely aren’t sweet enough to make you feel too guilty.
What You’re Getting: Tomato Scramble Eggs with Parmesan, Potato Roesti, Country Loaf Bread
Other Things We Love: Breakfast Burgul Upma with Almonds & Raisins
Meal For 2: We’d shell out more @ Rs. 1000 (including beverages)
Where: B Bharucha Rd, Kala Ghoda, Fort.
Timings: 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (but you can totally get whatever you want at any time)
You might be surprised to see one of Colaba’s oldest Irani joints, best known for their dangerously delicious bheja fry only the truly adventurous swear by. Though open early, it doesn’t necessarily seem like the kind of place that understands breakfast and that’s probably the best part about it. Their ‘Nasta In The Morning’ just sees them doing what they do best offering mutton kheema, bhaji gosht and mutton roast as though it’s perfectly reasonable to eat these things first thing in the morning, and our question is—why not?!
What You’re Getting: Err…mutton roast, obviously. You can get some roti with it too.
Other Options We Love: Mutton Kheema is spicy, filling and delicious.
Meal For 2: Don’t worry about it @ Rs. 150
Where: Rahim Mansion 1, SB Road, Colaba, Mumbai
Timings: Daily, from 9am to 12.30pm.
These last two options are a bonus throw in of choices that err on the side of good nutrition and health, without compromising on taste whatsoever. Colaba’s cozy Kala Ghoda Cafe is definitely first on that list, winning extra points for actually baking their own thick, home-made whole wheat toast.
And whether they’re offering you fresh fruits with yogurt and muesli or a combination breakfast with all the works, their sole aim is clear—to keep you healthy and happy. All breakfast combinations come with their signature Apple Beetroot Carrot juice so don’t pass it up and hurt their feelings.
What You’re Getting: The Muesli with fruit and yogurt, followed by their Belgian waffles with chocolate sauce just because we have your gluttonous back.
Other Options We Love: They have a really good, veggie-loaded masala omelette to die for. And they’ll make it according to your preferences too.
Meal For 2: Cheaper to make at home but it wouldn’t feel quite as good @ Rs. 500
Where: 10, Ropewalk Lane, Kala Ghoda,Fort, Mumbai
Timings: 8am to 9:30pm.
And finally, here’s part two of the healthy breakfasts brigade. Full of well, slightly pseudo ‘i <3 yoga’ names like ‘i am healing’ and ‘i am relaxing’ for their dishes, don’t be put off by all the drama. The food lives up to the expectations of people who enjoy the taste of health and many of the options include ingredients you wouldn’t see in most other restaurants, so it always makes for an interesting meal.
What You’re Getting: Don’t kill us but their signature hash browns are ridiculously divine. Probably the least healthy option on the list but they do infuse their deliciously fried organic potatoes with mozzarella, red and green peppers, spinach and herbs and top it off with a yogurt and mustard dressing. It’s basically the kind of dish that will have you spearing your veggies with joy.
Other Options We Love: Their Poha is a very different take on the Maharashtrian staple and the Ten Grains Bread & Paneer Bhurji is every bit as extravagant as it sounds.
Meal For 2: The taste of health @ Rs. 1200
XXI. Four Season Hotel’s Breakfast Buffet, Cafe Prato
Timings: Daily, 6:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Thanks to popular demand, there was no way we could get away without including one 5 star buffet meal in this compilation and as far as we’re concerned, few do it as well as Four Season’s Hotel in Worli. With live egg counters, dosa counters, and everything from bacon and hash browns to idli vada and fresh fruit, there’s something for everybody here. Most of the options are cold and then all the hot stuff is to order.
What you’re getting: Everything!
Other Options We Love: Everything!
Meal For 2: Hey, it’s all you can eat @ Rs. 1500 per head.
Where: Four Seasons Hotel, 114, E Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai
[We’re good but we’re not that good. If we missed out on a favourite that you think warrants mentioning, let us know by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org]