Where To Take Friends From Out Of Town | MF Guide
Apart from iconic Victorian structures, art galleries, museums and the sea, Mumbai’s heart beats through its mesmerising food industry. This melting pot of diverse cultures blesses its inhabitants and tourists with dreamy delicacies from across the country and world; and as natives we take utmost pride in showing out-of-towners around the city of dreams!
From a staple like vada pav to classic English breakfast, from a basic cutting chai to rich coffee, you will find the best of all worlds right here in Mumbai. So when a friend or cousin is excited about seeing the city, you ought to give them a thorough tour that involves an amalgamation of quintessential local food along with charming global cuisine.
Café Mondegar, Colaba
Dated back to 1932, the iconic Café Mondy’s has an old-world charm with wall murals by the late legendary cartoonist Mario Miranda. While it flaunts a great history along with an extensive menu that offers Continental, Chinese, Indian food and awesome beer, their breakfast menu is what attracts most tourists. The masala omelette, stuffed mushroom, and fresh fruit juices will ensure a great start to your day filled with travels. Also, its perfect location on the popular Colaba Causeway makes it an easy access point to most tourist spots.
Best meal: Breakfast.
Leopold Café, Colaba
Another popular joint on Colaba Causeway is Leopold Café, that first started off in 1871 as a wholesale cooking oil store and pharmacy but gradually transformed into a full-fledged restaurant. This quintessential Irani Café serves a number of Irani delicacies along with amazing roast chicken, salads, mutton kheema, beer and more. Also, a bullet hole from the 26/11 attacks remains in one of the mirrored walls of this café representing the resilient spirit of the city and attracting plenty tourists.
Best meal: Lunch.
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Established in 1946 as a makeshift seekh kebab counter, Bademiya now has a number of restaurants and still maintains its original location as a takeaway and drive-in joint. It is one of the few places that people around Mumbai drive to, in the middle of the night, for a spicy roll of chicken tikka or mutton seekh kebabs with raw onion and green chutney. The sit-down restaurants are a big hit with families who love to delve into Mughlai dishes like bheja fry and baida roti.
Best meal: Post midnight cravings.
For the love of all things baked, Gaylord opened its doors in 1956. This unique bakeshop is co-owned by the founder of Kwality Wall’s Ice Cream and their show-baking concept turned out to be a huge attraction for its customers. It’s hard to walk past the fresh aroma of baked goodness and not buy a bread, croissant, or get lured into having a sumptuous meal at Gaylord. Located in a bylane of Marine Drive, this bakeshop also serves Continental and Indian food in an al fresco and in-door space. You can enjoy the best malai kofta, butter chicken, spaghetti napolitaine and lamb pepper steak here. Do not forget to delve into their featured desserts like sizzling walnut brownie, chocolate eclair, and caramel custard. It’s no surprise that the excellence of this brand was taken overseas to London, Japan, the U.S.A. and other countries.
Best meal: All meals.
K Rustom’s Ice Cream, Marine Drive
Established in 1953, K Rustom’s serves eccentric flavours of ice-cream sandwiched in thin crispy wafers of waffle! Need we say more? Every local knows that a visit to Marine Drive is incomplete without a pit stop at this iconic Parsi ice cream parlour, that has modestly stood unaltered through the years, on a posh locality pavement, facing the sea. Coco mint crunch, candied cream, sitaphal and mango are few our favourite sandwiches here. You can also try the mango lassi during the peak mango season and be overwhelmed.
Best meal: Dessert. Unless you like ice-cream for breakfast.. We won’t judge.
Kala Ghoda Café, Fort
A walk into the heritage neighbourhood of Kala Ghoda is a must. You’ll find yourself reeling when you see the number of hidden cafés and boutiques in these quaint little lanes, and when you step into the charming Kala Ghoda Café, the coffee-lover in you will thank you. They serve signature blends of organic, home-grown coffee and guilt-free, freshly baked breads. You will more than enjoy their egg sandwich for breakfast and their heavenly chocolate cake, but do not forget to relish a cup of coffee at KGC. It is essential to do so.
Best meal: Breakfast & Coffee.
Britannia & Company Restaurant, Fort
Another age old Parsi restaurant, Britannia was established in 1923 and stands tall in a heritage building at Ballard Estate. Try the famous berry pulao or the mutton biryani that you’ll be served on red and white checkered tablecloths at Britannia, and do not forget to call for caramel custard as dessert!
Best meal: Lunch
B Bhagat Tarachand, Marine Lines
Nothing describes a Gujarati meal better than a wholesome thali, and a select few in Mumbai do justice to the traditional thali like B Bhagat Tarachand. Tucked in a crowded street of hawkers and shoppers, this simplistic, no AC space, is clearly not a grand affair but the food is what will linger in your hearts way after you’re done with your hearty meal. Its famed “Spl Thali” includes 3 chapatis, dal fry, a vegetable sabji, paneer sabji, rice/pulao, papad, chaas, mithai; all for about ₹260/-. Is it possible to spend a bare minimum in Mumbai and feel that full? Apparently it is.
Best meal: Lunch
Known for its “legendary” status, Gallops was established in 1986 and is one the oldest restaurants on the Mahalaxmi Racecourse. What makes it special amongst other eateries in the arena is it’s turf view and lucky sightings of a beautiful racehorse or two. We recommend the chicken dori kebab, fish tikkas and mushroom risotto along with wine at Gallops. The monsoon is undeniably the best season to visit here if you want to behold lush fields and the Mumbai petrichor.
Best meal: Lunch & Supper
Located in the prime corporate region of Mumbai, The Bombay Canteen boasts an eclectic menu that has recreated various Mumbaikar dishes. A few picks from their ever changing menu include the Red Snapper Ceviche, Barley and Jowar Salad, Eggs Kejriwal, Tandoori Pork Spare Ribs and the Guava Tan-Ta-Tan. For major foodies who can’t decide what not to order they have a set menu that rounds it all up!
Best meal: Lunch
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An oldie but a goodie! Our Tandoori Pork Spare Ribs doused in a delicious caramelized jaggery sauce spiked with ginger and green chilies, with it’s fall-off-the-bone charred smoky meat is amongst our all-time favorites. One of those dishes which may disappear off the menu for a while to make way for seasonal additions, but will always, always make a comeback. And it perfectly pairs with our Tibetan Steamed Garlic Tingmo. 🤗 . What are your all time favorites at @thebombaycanteen ? Tell us in the comments below. Pic by @tiffintales #tandooriporkribs #tandooriporkspareribs #classicTBCdishes #indiainspired #thebombaycanteen #mumbai
The Fort edition of The Nutcracker is as popular as any of the aforementioned spaces but they recently came up with a branch in Bandra, that is in close proximity to tourist attractions like the Mount Mary Church and Bandstand. Known for maintaining an old world charm with its interiors and menu alike, this lovely café boasts dishes made with fresh produce and a list of decadent desserts. From delicate pancakes to rich hot chocolate and amazing sandwiches, come here for a hearty meal that speaks to your soul.
Best meal: Breakfast & Dessert
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Get ur weekend brunch fix with us while you listen to some fun music by @mrinalinisomani on Saturday, between 11.30 am – 1.30 pm @ The Nutcracker Bandra. PC – @poojamehrotra9 #livegig #liveperformance #gig #performance #music #musiclover #brunch #saturdaybrunch #weekendbrunch #bandra #nutcracker
Jai Hind Lunch Home, Bandra
Mumbai being a port, its original inhabitants were Koli fishermen that led to the rise of seafood delicacies the city swears by even today. Jai Hind masters the authentic nature of fish with great traditional flavours that will remind you of home. We recommend the neer dosa and prawn curry, pomfret thali, and prawn fry thali here. Also, swing past the street for an affordable drink or two at Janta Bar. You can thank us later.
Best meal: Lunch or Dinner
Prithvi Café, Juhu
Along with the iconic Prithvi Theatre the Café was founded by the legendary Bollywood star Prithviraj Kapoor in 1944. It’s hard to score a spot in this al fresco space that is almost always jam packed with stage artists, theatre enthusiasts and college-goers. The waiter will probably seat you on a shared table and we recommend you order a cutting chai, aloo paratha or chicken baida roti. In the evenings the fairy lights come on, that’s when this place looks magical.
Best meal: Finger food & Cutting Chai
Mahesh Lunch Home, Juhu
This popular family restaurant serves delicious Mangalorean seafood in the heart of Juhu and claims to have spearheaded the launch of Mangalorean food in Mumbai. The jumbo prawns, pomfret fish fry and chilli paneer with appam are a must try, along with coconut payasam for a complete meal. If you love crab, this is where you ought to try it in Mumbai.
Best meal: Lunch (as the name suggests)
South Indian food has a special place in our hearts for its crisp dosas, light idlis plus sweet and spicy sambar, and not many restaurants perfect it as well as Dakshinayan does. Right from their server’s attire to the humble surroundings, this place makes you feel like you’ve traveled all the way to the South of India. We love the gunpowder idli, chettinad dosa, chaas and filter kaapi here.
Best meal: Breakfast & Filter Kaapi
Dhiraj Vada Pav, Vile Parle
Driving up north, ahead of Juhu beach are food kiosks lined up outside the prime college area of Vile Parle. The most famous of them all is Dhiraj Vada Pav where you will find men deep-frying vadas and placing them between fresh pavs that are slathered with generous amounts of butter and green chutney. Did you start driving there before you finished reading that sentence? We thought so.
Best Meal: Breakfast
Joey’s Pizza, Andheri
Lastly, you can grab a slice or two of delicious desi pizza from Joey’s, Andheri. Named after my favourite Friends character, this pizzeria is popular for being generous with its meat toppings. Call for the butter chicken pizza and super cheese garlic bread (non-veg), and you can relate with Joey for not sharing his food! Drive by or call for a delivery, the hearty portions of their cheesy delights will never let you down.
Best meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. It’s pizza, duh!
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It may be hard to handpick only a few from the above, so we suggest you dedicate yourself to trying out all these places and its recommended dishes. Let’s call this the #MumbaiMunchMission and leave us a comment if you are going to feast on ‘em all!