Street food of Mumbai is the food sold by hawkers from portable stalls in Mumbai. It is one of the characteristics of the city. The city is known for its distinctive street foods. Although street food is common all over India, street food in Mumbai is noted because people from all classes eat on the roadside almost round the clock and it is sometimes felt that the taste of street food is better than restaurants in the city. Many Mumbaikars like a small snack on the road in the evening. People of Mumbai cut across barriers of class, religion, gender and ethnicity are passionate about street food.Street food vendors are credited by some for developing the city’s food culture.Street food in Mumbai is relatively inexpensive as compared to restaurants and vendors tend to be clustered around crowded areas such as colleges and railway stations.
Vada Pav is noted as the most popular street food in Mumbai. Other noted street foods in Mumbai include Panipuri, Bhelpuri, Sevpuri, Dahipuri, Sandwiches, Ragda-pattice, Pav Bhaji, idlis and Dosas, all of which are vegetarian. In terms of non-vegetarian offerings omelette-pav, kebabs and fish are found on Mumbai streets. The amount of variety of street food is attributed to the cosmopolitan culture of the city. In the 1980s Indianised Chinese food is an emerging trend on Mumbai streets.
Kulfi (a type of ice cream) and gola (type of ice cone) are among the desserts and coolants found on Mumbai streets.Apart from snacks, Mumbai has several juice and milkshake bars on the roadside that offer a variety of juices and milkshakes. Fresh Sugarcane juice vendors are synonymous with Mumbai roads and offer a cheap form of refreshment. Tea vendors cycle around the city, selling the beverage hot on the streets. Street vendors normally remain unaffected by general strike calls and do business all year around. Paan, a betel leaf preparation eaten as a mouth fresher post meals in India is also sold at Mumbai’s roadside stalls.
Areas and spread
Lanes with a sizable cluster of street food stalls are known as “Khau Galli’s” locally. Girgaum Chowpatty beach is noted for its Bhelpuri and kulfi. Street vendors at Nariman Point, one of the city’s financial hubs, do brisk business during the lunch hour.
Mumbai’s street food has made its way into kitchens of restaurants in the city, including five star hotels. In fact, restaurants in various parts of the world have incorporated Mumbai’s street food into their menu cards. Homegrown fast food companies that serve street food in Mumbai have been launched in recent years.