Mumbai street food is as exciting as it is mouthwatering.
Not only do you have a chance to taste some incredibly flavorful combinations of ingredients, but standing along the humid streets of Mumbai, watching countless people go by, is part of what adds to your experience.
In this blog post I’m going to share with you 10 of the best Mumbai street foods and also where to eat them.
But first, if you haven’t already watched the video, press play below:
(Of you can watch it on YouTube here)
1. Vada Pav
If you take a walk down any street in Mumbai, you’re bound to quickly come across vada pav, one of Mumbai’s most popular and widely available street food snacks.
Also referred to as the Mumbai vegetarian burger, vada pav consists of a spiced mashed potato mixture, which is deep fried into a patty, packed into a white fluffy bun, and garnished with a variety of different chutneys and spices for seasoning.
Although it sounds rather simple, and it is, it’s one of greatest tasting vegetarian burgers you’ll likely ever eat. The chutney makes all the difference. And also, don’t miss those fried chilies on the side to give you a kick of heat and flavor.
Where: Ashok Vada Pav serves one of the legendary versions of vada pav in Mumbai (supposedly the original), and it’s sensational.
Address: Kashinath Dhuru Marg, Dadar, Mumbai (near Kriti College, Dadar)
Open hours: 11 am – 9:30 pm on Monday – Saturday (closed on Sunday)
Another Mumbai street food you’ll commonly find throughout the city, especially along the busy beaches like Girgaum Chowpatty and Juhu, is bhelpuri. Although it’s common around India now with many variations, bhelpuri is one of the homegrown Indian snacks from Mumbai.
The basic recipe includes puffed rice and sev, which are mixed together with potatoes, onions, tomatoes, again a variety of chutney, and it’s often topped with a handful of chopped cilantro. The result is a crunchy snack that’s tangy, spicy, and sweet from all the sauces, with a wonderful balance of flavor. It’s the type of Mumbai street food that once you start eating it, you can’t stop.
Where: I tried the bhelpuri in the video at Juhu Beach Food Centre at a place called Om Sai Sagar Chaat Centre.
Address: Juhu Beach Food Centre
Open hours: 10 am – 1 am daily
3. Sev Puri
Chaat is a word that is used to describe a huge variety of mostly savory snacks in India, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were thousands of different types of chaat. I’ve eaten a few of them, and one of my personal favorites so far is Mumbai sev puri.
Sev puri begins with a flat puri, which is essentially a little round chip, topped with mashed potatoes, onions, cilantro, sev, and a trio of garlic, tamarind, and chili sauces to give it an incredible balance of flavor. Finally, sev puri is topped with a handful of sev, as the name suggests, and also sprinkled with little bits of green sour mango.
Take a full bite of sev puri, and the flavor explosion will overwhelm your mouth and it may just turn out to be on of your favorite Mumbai street food snacks as well.
Where: I found 6th Road Sev Puri on Foursquare, and since I was in the area I had to give it a try. Turned out to incredible.
Address: On the corner of Indravadan Oza and 6th road, very close to Juhu Beach.
Open hours: Not totally sure of their hours, but I think they open starting around 4 pm in the afternoon.
4. Pav Bhaji
I had my first taste of pav bhaji years ago in Kolkata, but when I posted about that, I received many messages from people telling me I needed to try Mumbai pav bhaji. And so finally on my trip to Mumbai with Star Alliance, I made it out to Juhu Beach one day, and the first thing I headed for was pav bhaji (and there are about 20 places to eat pav bhaji in the food section of Juhu Beach, maybe more).
Pav bhaji has an interesting history, and it was originally a late night food that was made for workers from leftovers. A combination of vegetables were mashed up, mixed with spices, and served with bread.
Today, the common recipe includes potatoes and tomatoes, mashed up with spices, and served with buttered toasted bread to mop it all up. It’s simple, and delicious, and it’s a street food you can’t leave Mumbai without trying.
Where: At Juhu Beach I had pav bhaji at a place called Shri Krishna Fast Food. But in Mumbai, also try Sardar Pav Bhaji or Canon Pav Bhaji.
Address: Juhu Beach Food Centre
Open hours: 10 am – 1 am daily
5. Kebabs and Rolls
On this list of top Mumbai street food you’ll find a lot of vegetarian food (and I happen to think some of the world’s best vegetarian food is in India), but kebabs and rolls are undoubtedly non-veg.
Mumbai has a number of legendary restaurants that serve delicious kebabs and rolls, and one of my personal favorites are the Mumbai bhuna rolls. Bhuna rolls are made with boneless chicken which is cooked in a spice filled gravy, and wrapped within a freshly cooked rumali roti, which is a thin roti that’s very similar to a tortilla.
A bhuna roll is the perfect late night snack that you want to be eating at about 3 am in the morning, and feeling really good about it.
Where: Bademiya in Colaba
Address: Tulloch Road, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai
Open hours: 7 pm – 3 am daily
This is not really a food, but I had to include it on this list because of its importance and dominance in the street food arena in India. Chai is not just a cup of tea, but it’s a hot and soothing brew that offers a time to take a rest from the chaotic streets of the city, to slowly sip and enjoy.
Although it’s not served in clay cups like in Kolkata, chai in Mumbai is just as delicious and omnipresent. The tea is usually brewed quite strong, then supplemented with plenty of creamy milk, and seasoned with cardamom, masala, or ginger to give it an extra kick of flavor and spice.
Drinking cups of hot chai on the side of the street is one of the joys of visiting India.
Where: You’ll literally find chai everywhere you look while walking around Mumbai. A cup should cost anywhere from 5 – 15 Rupees depending on where you are and the size of the cup.
7. Pani Puri
It takes some serious street food genius to come up with something like pani puri; Who would think to add flavored water to a circular chip that gets soggy?
I’m here to tell you, it works extremely well, and it’s an absolute stunner of an Indian street food.
The little puris are poked with a hole, half stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas, seasoned with spices, and filled with chutney and flavored water. As soon as the vendor hands you one, you’ve got to eat it on spot immediately so the puri remains crunchy, and the spice filled water will collapse in your mouth with the potatoes and chickpeas.
Pani puri is a just a wonderful thing to eat. However, since it does contain water, do be cautious where you eat it.
Where: At Girgaum Chowpatty, there’s a stall called Badshah Pani Puri that serves great pani puri, and they did mention they use filtered water.
Address: Chowpatty, Girgaum, Mumbai, India
Open hours: 3 pm – 12 am midnight daily
8. Bombay Duck Fry
Although Bombay duck is also served at indoor restaurants and local spots in Mumbai, I had to include it on this food list because it’s a favorite food in Mumbai. Although it’s called Bombay duck (or bombil), it’s not really duck at all, but it’s a type of lizardfish.
The lizardfish is coated in a layer of semolina, then deep fried to a crisp. The result is a crispy outer edge and the fish remains creamy and oily on the inside. Bombay duck is a fantastic dish to eat in Mumbai, and it goes particularly good with a full thali meal that includes rice, chapati, and a variety of side curries to enhance everything.
When I visited Mumbai, Bombay duck was one of the foods I was most looking forward to eating, and it was wholly satisfying with every bite.
Where: Gomantak Boarding House Restaurant serves outstanding Malvani seafood, and one of their specialities is bombil fry.
Address: 301 Miranda Chawl, Kelkar Road, Dadar West, Mumbai
Open hours: 11 am – 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm – 11:30 pm daily
9. Mumbai Sandwich (Bombay Sandwich)
If you’re like me, a sandwich isn’t the first thing that would come to mind when you’re thinking about Indian food. But when it comes to Mumbai street food, a local favorite is the Bombay sandwich, and you’ll find food vendors all over busy parts of the city whipping up grilled sandwiches with expertise.
Typically the sandwiches are vegetarian, and they all begin with a couple slices of white bread that are buttered on either side. Then in goes a combination of cilantro and mint chutney, with thin slices of vegetables that can include beetroot, onion, cucumber, tomato, and a layer of masala potatoes, followed by shredded cheese and a sprinkle of chili and cumin.
I think the best way to enjoy your Mumbai sandwich is to order it toasted, so you get it hot and fresh, and crispy on the edges. Don’t forget to dip your street food sandwich in more chutney before taking a bite!
Where: You’ll find Mumbai street sandwiches all over the city, especially in busy areas of the city. In the video, I had the sandwich on a street just off Mumbai’s Bhendi Bazaar.
Although dosas are originally from South India, since Mumbai is such a melting pot of India, the dosa is also a very common street food in Mumbai.
A dosa is made from a batter of rice and urad bean flour which is lightly fermented, and then fried on a hot circular plate in a thin crepe like shape. Once it’s golden and crispy on the bottom, any number of fillings can be added to the center. The traditional version is the masala dosa, where masala potatoes are added to the dosa, and it’s served with sambar and coconut chutney on the side.
But in Mumbai you’ll find some fusion and very creative types of dosas as well, where both Indian and Chinese dishes are served with the dosa, and they work so well.
Where: Anand Stall serves the dosa of your dreams, and when I went I ordered the paneer tikka dosa, which was unbelievably good.
Address: Outside Mithibai College, Gulmohar Road No. 1, Vile Parle West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400056, India
Open hours: 8 am – 11:30 pm daily
Mumbai is one of the most important cities in India and it’s a city that loves to eat.
Take a walk through Mumbai and you’re bound to discover a near limitless amount of options when it comes to delicious foods to try.
There are dozens of Mumbai street foods you could try, but this list of 10 is just a beginning, a start to the amazing street food possibilities that you’ll enjoy in Mumbai!
I visited Mumbai on my Round The World Trip for Food with Star Alliance.