“Mumbai is special and so its food and cuisine which has lots of varieties because of diverse community people and inhabitants in city. One can find community special food and also some regular meal found all over. At Typical Udipi and South Indian Special hotels, Dhabas has some regular menus, But few decade old Irani Cafe, Few Star Hotels, Other Cafe and other luxurious food corners has some speciality food menu on list, Lets have a look on same..”
So What’s Special About City Cuisine
Mumbai is the only city in India that has this many varieties of food because of its cosmopolitan nature. Basically the inhabitants here are communities called Kolis, Maharastrians, Iranis, Boris (Also called ‘Bohrahs’), Khojas, Kuchis, Marwadis, Gujaratis, Muslims. So are the typical North Indian and South Indian food dishes of Mumbai.
Exceptions to the star and luxurious hotel cuisine menu, Most of the cuisine list has spicy north and south Indian dishes in regular meal at major restaurants, chat corners, street side food corners in this city. Most of the cuisine corners are udipi restaurants (Special South Indian Cuisine Dishes), they also serves spicy punjabi food which is North Indian speciality.
Street Side Food
Walk along any busy street corners and you will find many hawkers and typical khau gulli food corners (Also called ‘Chat Corners’). Such street food is what Mumbai is famous for and what citizens enjoy the most apart from those classy restaurants and cafe.
Such street side food corners are boon to city middle class group and other executives for whom lunch and dinner at cafe’s and restaurants daily is a costly affair. The fast running middle class life of Mumbai city keeps those food corners in demand day and nights for all those including some street food lovers living classy life too.
So what’s is the Speciality food at such street side food joints. Mostly fried items on list, Starting with Mumbai’s iconic and famous Vada Pav, then comes Samosas, Batata Bhajiyas (Potato Fry Stuffed), Cutlet (Fried Bread with Potato and other spice stuffing), all with spicy chatni available all around Mumbai, Not just South of city but till far north and famous Suburban locations in western and central route of Mumbai.
Extending the list and menu at street side food joint are Sev Puri, Pani Puri, Ragda Petis, Dabeli, Masala dosas, Usal and Misal pav, Pulav, Frankies, Khiciya Papad and few more which i am sure i missed.
Special Cuisine by Community
Now when i talk about a particular community cuisine, i also mean location wise special food dishes which is also enjoyed by other community people who visits such locations from far places in Mumbai.
Muslim Community Cuisine
Recollecting my best, Here are known Muslim communities in general like Borahs, Khojas, Pathans and many more that have caste and sub caste like Shia and Sunni etc. Most of them are Non-Veg food lovers and when talking about same, We can’t miss eating community special food at the famous ‘Mohammad Ali Road’ and places like Bade Miya in south of Mumbai.
Dishes like Kheema pav, Bhurji, Boiled Egg, Tangdi Fry, Kaleja fry, Chiken, Mutton and other varieties of food is what makes Mohammad Ali Road and many such food corner and a well known cuisine corners of Mumbai so special. During Ramzan festival this lanes are worth visiting.
Hindu Community Cuisine
Long list of Hindu community people with hundreds of caste and sub-caste. Mumbai is cosmopolitanism city blessed with almost every other caste and community people who also brings in varieties of food options from around various states and cities of India. Listing out few Hindu communities typically seen are Maharastrians, Gujaratis, Marvadis, Jains, People from South of India speaking Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and other languages are all staying with peace and harmony at various corners of city.
Delicious varieties of regular meal has Dal, Chapattis, Rice and Bhaji with some sweet, curd etc and Marathi special Thaalipeeth at few speciality food restaurants. A typical regular plate full of food Cuisine is called ‘Lunch Plate’. Idli Sambhar, Pohas, Dosa, Uttapam in snacks and breakfast is what one can find in Mumbai.
Other South Indian special cuisine being Masala Dosa, Dahi Wada, Idli Sambhar, Uttapam etc.
Irani Community Cuisine
Zoroastrians migrated from Iran and other locations are famous for their Irani cafes like B Merwans and Company. Irani bakeries are very famous mostly found in south of city. The fast phase of redevelopment and changing face of Mumbai city crushes many iconic restaurants and Irani bakeries and food joint, Now only few very old found at major street side corners.
Cuisine speciality being Puff pastry, Bun Maska Pav with tea, Parsi Snacks, Egg items (Anda Pav) and other such food menu available in their restaurants and bakeries.
Gujarati Community Cuisine
Now this is one community known for the liking to eat varieties of all type and not just their typical Gujarati Thali. Although being a Gujju myself, i am not that foodie, But visiting few locations / stations known to be major by Gujarati residential like Borivali, Kandivali, Mulund and Ghatkopar, one can see how the fast food corners and famous khau gulli’s makes their business.
“Kahavanu, Peevanu ane Majja ni life”, That famous gujarati phrase also be heard in movies like Munna Bhai MBBS is what make a Gujarati focused on Business, Family and Food typically apart from other likings of travelling and exploring around world and its food specialities.
Lets list some of the famous Gujarati food found at restaurants and fast food corners too. Starting with the trade mark dish Dhoklas, Muthiyas, Undhiyu and Srikhant puri and extending the list to sweets like Jalebi and Fafda, But not limiting the taste and liking to Typical Gujarati Unlimited Thali available at major locations in city.
Want more ? Head towards north on Mumbai Ahmedabad Highway (National Highway 8) and reach Naigaon Highway (After Crossing Bhayandar Creek) and you find couple of Kathiyawadi Dhabas (Now renovated and made attractive) with typical Kathiyawdi food (Kathiyawad is a city inside Gujarat State of Mumbai).
International Cuisine in Mumbai
Since the liking and huge acceptance of western culture and its food by Mumbai people, City now has lots of Multi Cuisine restaurants famous for Chinese, Italian, French and other country food available at various restaurants and cafe at posh and classy locations like Malls, Powai, Bandra, Khar and Andheri.
Typical sea food is also available at major Non-Veg restaurant and other outlets specialized by Marathi community. I must mention and recommend you to visit Worli village during special sea food festival held yearly.
Pizza corners, McDonald’s, Cafe Coffee Day, Barista are some international brand cuisine restaurant corners in the city. Checkout the Mumbai cuisine menu to understand the typical food menu available.