You’ll find a lot of delicious street food snacks in Mumbai.

But perhaps if there’s one street food snack that could be considered the pillar of Mumbai street food, something people from all walks of life in Mumbai enjoy, it would be vada pav (another contender would be pav bhaji).

And if you’re looking for one of the best spots to eat vada pav in Mumbai, Ashok Vada Pav is a street food stall you don’t want to miss.

vada pav
Vada pav – Mumbai street food

What is vada pav?

Really quickly, what exactly is a vada pav?

First of all, an aloo vada is a potato pakora (or potato cutlet), and a pav (or also known as pao) is an unsweetened bun / white roll. So the combination is a potato cutlet stuffed into a bun.

But when combined with seasonings, chilies, and most importantly chutney, it’s so much more than just a fried potato sandwich.

Although it’s considered one of the favorite street foods in Mumbai, and you’ll find it throughout the entire city, what’s really interesting is that, unlike other things in India, it’s quite a modern street food snack invention that only dates back to the 1970’s (source).

Ashok Vada Pav
Ashok Vada Pav stall

Ashok Vada Pav

Located just down the road from Kirti College, and tucked within a very pleasant tree lined neighborhood, Ashok Vada Pav is a hotspot for vada pav lovers in Mumbai.

The owner of Ashok Vada Pav, Mr. Ashok Thakur, who is credited with inventing vada pav, is a culinary hero to many who love to eat vada pav… and after you try the vada pav here, he’ll be your hero too.

Along the road, right outside the gate of an apartment complex, you’ll see a crowd of people standing around, what’s little more than a permanent little stall with a tarp over it and a bar counter for serving.

Ashok vada pav mumbai
This is where all the cooking happens

The vada pav magic all happens in the back of the stall where you’ll see a couple pans of bubbling oil.

A mixture of mashed potatoes and seasonings are formed into burger shapes, dipped into a gram flour, deep fried to a light golden crisp, stuffed into a fluffy bun, seasoned with chutneys, and sprinkled with a generous amount of gram flour crispies.

When you order, in a few moments, your vada pav is slopped on the bar counter and you grab and go, or just stand around and eat.

Mumbai street food
Amazing Indian street food in Mumbai!

The first thing that struck me was just how beautiful this vada pav was.

Those colors, and contrast of the golden crispy bits and the green chutney, and overflowing on a little paper plate.

I just loved how it was thrown together so quickly, yet so artfully.

Taking a bite of this vada pav at Ashok Vada Pav, was a moment of vegetarian glory.

best vada pao in mumbai
One of the best vada pav in Mumbai

At first my teeth sunk into the soft and fluffy bun, followed by the crispy batter fried cutlet, but the potato inside was so silky smooth it almost reminded me of avocado.

Then came the blast of spice from the seasoning and especially the mighty chutney (vada pav wouldn’t be anything without the chutney).

There were a couple of different chutney’s involved in this vada pav. One was more of a chili based chutney I believe, while the green chutney was more of an herb minty and gingery refreshing chutney.

vada pao
Take a look deep into the middle of this vada pav!

To appreciate the interiors of this vegetarian burger delight, you need to get an even closer look at the insides.

Look at all that flavor packed into that bun – it was remarkable!

At Ashok Vada Pav they also had a bowl of fried salted chilies on the counter for self service. I grabbed a couple, and wished I would have grabbed a few more. They were excellent, spicy and salty, and blistered from being fried.

The final thing I will say is that it was a little on the salty side… and although that added to why it was so irresistibly good, by the time I had devoured the entire thing, I could feel that saltiness coating my mouth.

Perhaps just a little less salty and it would have been even better, but I am not complaining.

Mumbai street food
The legendary Ashok Vada Pav in Mumbai

Conclusion

When you’re in Mumbai, there are many delicious foods to eat like Bombay duck and Parsi food, but one of the top street foods you have to try is vada pav.

Vada pav is one of Mumbai’s most popular and widely available snacks, a bun stuffed with a fried potato patty, and doused in chutney. It’s not only filling, but it can be extremely tasty.

For one of the best vada pav’s in Mumbai, Ashok Vada Pav is the place to go. What I love so much about their vada pav is the combination of chutneys which make each bite of vegetarian sandwich explode with flavor.

Ashok Vada Pav

Address: Kashinath Dhuru Marg, Dadar, Mumbai (near Kriti College, Dadar)
Open hours: 11 am – 9:30 pm on Monday – Saturday (closed on Sunday)
Price: 20 INR
How to get there: I took a taxi to get there, and the taxi driver knew exactly where it was – he must have been a vada pav lover! Probably the easiest way to get there is by taxi.

I visited Mumbai on my Round The World Trip for Food with Star Alliance.



22 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Melanie

    4 weeks ago

    This burger looks and sounds amazing! Indian vegetarian food is the best!

  • Jolene Ejmont

    5 months ago

    Oh wow!! Now that looks like one super interesting burger! I love trying out vegetarian burgers … even though I’m not vegetarian, this one looks fabulous!

  • Julia Sheed

    6 months ago

    Wow YUM!! This vegan is heading to India asap 🙂 🙂 🙂

    http://Www.cultwanderer.com

  • Rojen

    9 months ago

    Hi marks yours blogs and all vedios in youtube are just fabolous .. thump up marks

  • [email protected]

    9 months ago

    It always makes me happy to read of a dish that is vegetarian, and in this case also vegan, unless you left some ingredient out 🙂 The world is full of fantastic vegetarian and vegan food, but it seldom gets into the travel and foodie blogs, so this was a nice exception.

    I sounds like you have to prepared to get thirsty after eating the vada pav, bit of it is a good as you say, I guess it’s worth it 🙂

  • Nitin Parab

    10 months ago

    Hi Mark,
    this is nitin from mumbai INDIA, saw your Video and blog about the VADA PAV i like it very must and i cant stop myself to comment it on the same. as a mumbaikar (that’s we called our self who leave in mumbai) i have VADA PAV every single day, without which my day never ends. there some side kicks to like SAMOSA, KANDA BHAJI (Fry Onions with barter), Cutlet (bread with Smashed potato masala), Kachori.

    currently i am watching your video of TRIP TO AROUND THE WORLD FOR FOOD and you know i loved it very much, whant to suggest you when you come INDIA next time please do visit to North part of INDIA (Rajesthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujurat) where you find some most unique food combination.

    All the best for your journey and god bless you with most amazing food destinations. till the time take and travel for food

    ),

  • Nitin Parab

    10 months ago

    hi mark this is nitin from mumbai India, i lived here at mumbai from last 29 years and yes i do eat VADAPAV every single day, without which my day ends.
    currently i am watching you around the trip from food on youtube and i am kind of got addicted to see your video blog on youtube (special your expression after you taste food).
    next time you com india ill recommend you to Madhya Pradesh, Rajeshthan which is north part of india where you find some great spicy food.
    till the time take care and travel to eat

  • Rakesh Urugonda

    12 months ago

    Why don’t you try South India’s famous “Hyderabad Biryani”. It has very long history.

  • Pamela

    1 year ago

    I was hoping you would make a city guide for Mumbai….. I love what you have written about Indian food so far. Please, more about Mumbai. I read and watch everything you both do!!

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Pamela, thank you very much. I will, I just ran out of time, but I’m going to work on it now. Thank you!

  • Laure

    1 year ago

    Really great and useful article ! We would like to eat right now 🙂 Thanks for sharing it

  • Swati

    1 year ago

    Hi Mark,
    I love your videos on food n travel. I am from Mumbai, and if I knew you were gonna visit Mumbai, I would have suggested a lot more places to eat, few of them being family owned restaurants. Do let me know if you plan to visit again.

  • Dannielle @ Endless Caribbean

    1 year ago

    I want one! Now I’m off to find a recipe for this. I love a good vegetarian burger.

  • Art Travel Eat Repeat

    1 year ago

    Ok…this looks amazing. I want to eat this right now.

  • Kishor VR

    1 year ago

    I stayed in Mumbai for two weeks, and I had vada pav every morning. Great snack, especially if you have it with Indian milk tea. Great post, nice review.

  • Manu

    1 year ago

    Hey Mark. Nice photos.

    He seems to have given you a lot of the small pieces of flour as well. For those who might not be sure what the actual vada looks like – http://www.dfordelhi.in/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/vada-pav.jpg

  • k

    1 year ago

    Hi , been following your blog for a while now. Amazing to read about so many great food items from around the world ! Looking forward to read more of your upcoming travel related articles from around the world !

    Being Indian myself , I hope you get a chance to try out much more Indian cuisine from the different States of India

    One slight correction – In India , the currency is INR.

    IDR is Indonesian Rupiah

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey K, great to hear from you, thank you very much. Thank you for catching that mistake, got it fixed!