When it comes to binging on food, nothing can beat the spicy, tangy, sweet, sour delicacies on the streets of Mumbai. Street food in Mumbai is one of the most sought-after things to do for any traveller. It is a potpourri of flavours ready to burst on your tongue and a foodie’s absolute delight! From Pav Bhaji to Pani Puri to Falooda, there is no dearth of dishes to explore. It is said that the real essence of any place lies in its streets. So, what are you waiting for? Gorge on the street food in Mumbai and see what this city is all about!
Let’s satiate our taste buds with some of the best dishes from the streets of Mumbai.
9 Street Food Dishes From Mumbai
- Pav Bhaji
- Sev Puri
- Pani Puri- Vodka Pani Puri at Pratap Da Dhaba
- Misal Pav
- Bombay Sandwich
- Vada Pav
A spicy amalgamation of chopped, boiled and mashed vegetables mixed with spices, Pav Bhaji is the best street food in Mumbai. With a squeeze of lemon juice and freshly chopped onions, it is sold majorly by hawkers but is also available in hotels. Served with a bun, called Pav in Hindi, Pav Bhaji is a prime dish for people craving something spicy yet filling.
One of the chaat dishes in Mumbai, Sev Puri is a snack you would want eat when there is an absolute craving for food. Toppings of chopped tomatoes, onions and boiled potatoes sprinkled with spicy, sweet chutney and garnished with semolina i.e Sev, served on a flat Puri – that’s Sev Puri for you and you have to eat one puri in a go! The crunch and the flavours are just out of this world, much wow!
Pani Puri- Vodka Pani Puri at Pratap Da Dhaba
A dish with a lot of names in plenty of different places, Pani Puri is a dish which soothes every Mumbaikars soul. A dish, you never have to make plans for, you just have to go, order a plate and relish the aftertaste. A round puri filled with mashed potatoes and chickpeas is dipped in a sweet liquid of tamarind and jaggery, then in another mix of mint and coriander – you can imagine the taste! Pani Puri is a dish for which Mumbaikars have duels and believe it or not, there are champions crowned every day at a thelawalas. So, how many Pani Puris can you down?
Maharashtra is best known by the dish of Vada Pav, but Misal Pav should be made the state dish. True to its Maharashtrian roots, Misal Pav is not for the faint-hearted. The spicy meter for this dish is pretty high but you do have the option to opt for a less spicy version. This dish is a healthy mix of sprout beans which are then added to ‘Tari’, a cooked liquid mixture of red chilli powder and a lot of oil. After the beans are added they are topped with raw, chopped onions, coriander and crunchy farsan. This is served with Pav.
There is one whole street in Mumbai dedicated to non-vegetarian street food called the Mohammad Ali road. Head over to experience the ultimate food extravaganza! This street never sleeps and is always open with stalls serving juicy meat delicacies and is the one dish which stands out. Freshly prepared and cooked on skewers, this dish has a juicy taste and alluring aroma. Head on in the early hours of the evening as these Kebabs tend to sell out fast.
This Indian version of a sandwich can give a run to any kind of sandwich in the world. A countless number of variations from Cheese Garlic Sandwich, to Masala Toast to Aloo Cheese Toast to Grilled Sandwich, this is a go-to dish for your hunger pangs. A spread of Mint and coriander chutney, with another layer of tomato sauce, topped with sliced vegetables of your choice, but commonly onion rings, boiled potatoes, beetroot with grated cheese. It is then grilled or toasted as per your choice and served hot with chutney and sauce.
Originally known as the Poor Man’s Burger, Vada Pav is one iconic dish which you will find at every nook and cranny of this city. In fact, the identity of Mumbai’s street food is through this dish. A potato patty with a mix of ginger and garlic is coated with besan batter and deep fried. One fried patty is placed in a bun and slathered with garlic and chilli dry chutney, green mint chutney and chopped onions. It is served with fried green chillies if you want to spice it up. This is a fast snack you can pick up anywhere and eat on the go if you do not have the time to enjoy it a leisure.
Heard of the phrase ‘Chai aur Bhajiya’? This is a phrase every Mumbaikar lives by when monsoons arrive. Pouring rains, a hot cup of tea paired with a plate of steaming hot Bhajiyas. This is how a rainy day looks like in Mumbai. Chai and Bhajiya are a match made in heaven. Also known as Pakora, the onion Bhaiyas is an absolute favourite. Other than that, potato bhajiyas, moong daal bhajiya are worth a try too! These Bhajiyas are served with fried green chillies and a hot cuppa of Indian Tea.
Originating from the desert plains of Kutch in Gujarat, this dish has found a humble home in Mumbai. Dabeli or Kutchi Dabeli is a mix of mashed potatoes sweetened with tamarind and jaggery chutney, spices and authentic Dabeli masala. This masala is then stuffed into a Pav, topped with salty and spicy peanuts, chopped onion, chopped red cherries, red chilly chutney and then is roasted on a tawa. This dish tastes both spicy and sweet at the same time and the peanuts add a nutty flavour to it.
There is an abundance of food to explore on the streets of Mumbai and these dishes do not burn a hole in your pocket too. As Anthony Bourdain quoted in his book, The Kitchen Confidential, “Good food is very often, even most often, simple food”, and Mumbai’s street food is a testament to this.
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