Mumbai is where one finds ethnic diversity. The food here is a demonstration of the multiculturalism the city boasts of. Several restaurants in Mumbai bring out the authentic flavours of regions across India. Here are 10 of them that excel at giving Mumbaikars a taste of the regional cuisine.
1. Bengali: Oh Calcutta! (Khar, Lokhandwala & Tardeo)
Bengalis love their sea-food and how! Besides the staple fish, the sweet milky desserts are what gets everyone indulgent. And Oh Calcutta is the best place to enjoy your indulgences. Rumour is, Bengalis in the city visit the place when they miss home. Surely that’s a asign of how authentic and delicious the food here is. The Daab Chingri (Bengali Prawn Curry), Fish Fry, Smoked Hilsa (Hilsa fish wrapped in Banana leaves and cooked with rice), Aam Diye Bhindi (ladyfinger with mango and mustard sauce) are the must-haves. Pick from Rosogollas, Payesh or Mishti Doi, but make sure you do not leave the place without dessert.
Approx Cost: ₹ 1,200 for two people
Where: Ramee Guestline Hotel, Plot 757, Opposite Post Office, SV Road, Khar West, Khar, Mumbai. (2 other locations in Tardeo and Andheri Lokhandwala)
Also read: 5 Of The Best Bengali Restaurants In Mumbai
Delicious Daab Chingri at Oh! Calcutta. Source: Oh! Clacutta Facebook Page
2. Sindhi: Sindhful (Khar)
Comforting Kadhi Chawal or greasy Aloo Tuk, Sindhful in Khar ticks all the boxes. A venture started by mother-son duo Kanchan and Sannat Ahuja, this restaurant brings flavours of Sindh to Mumbai. Sion, Ulhasnagar, Chembur are popular Sindhi localities with many small and big Sindhi restaurants. Sindhful is new, affordable and sticks to its roots. Undeniably, the Dal Pakwan, Aloo Tuk, Koki, Sai Bhaji, Bhuga Chaval, Macaroni Aloo and Dal Chole Pattice with Pav are definite choices from the Sindhi Menu. Sindhful also delivers to your doorstep!
Approx Cost: ₹800 for two people
Where: Haji Mansion, 5th Road, Khar West, Khar, Mumbai
3. Goan: Soul Fry (Bandra)
Beach shorts, sand, chilled beer and a hammock – you’re instantly transported to Goa. The party scene and the susegad way of life is a calling for many, but those who can’t answer, Goa comes to you in Mumbai. Sans the sand, shacks and beach, Soul Fry offers the best of Goa – its food! Known for its legacy of seafood, the authentic Goan flavours are best relished in their Caldeirada (Creamy Fish Stew) and Crab Xec (Goan Specialty – Crab, soft and juicy on inside with a coconut gravy and eaten with Pav). The Goan Sausage Fry is another top-pick at Soul Fry. To complete the Goan vibe, this Bandra eatery also hosts regular Karaoke nights.
Approx Cost: ₹1,000 for two people (approx.)
Where: Pali Mala Road, Opposite Pali Vegetable Market, Pali Hill, Bandra West
4. Gujrati: Friends Joshi Union Club (Kalbadevi)
A bhojnalaya back in the day, Friends Union Joshi Club is where food takes precedence over décor and frilly presentations. Those who crave for home-style food can find solace in this legendary eatery. For ₹ 250, you can enjoy a complete meal consisting of two or three daals (sweet and spicy), four vegetables, hot rotis/bhakri/puris, rice and farsan. The varieties of farsan change time to time, but dhokla, Dahi vada and kachori often make a comeback. A cool glass of Chaas and the many variations of chutneys complete your meal. Gulab Jamun or Basundi make for perfect dessert options. Mumbai houses a lot of joints that offer a delicious and complete Gujarati meal. From Maharaja Bhog, Soam to Thakers and Bhagat Tarachand, one can find several options, but the simplicity and the legend of Friends Joshi Union Club wins hearts always!
Approx Cost: ₹ 250 per thali.
Where: 381, 1st Floor, A Wing, Narottamwadi, KalbadeviRoad, Kalbadevi, Mumbai
5. Maharashtrian: Purepur Kolhapur (Vila Parle, Thane & Dadar)
You cannot boil down to one single place in Mumbai when it comes to relishing in true Maharashtrian delicacies. From hole-in-the-wall eateries to swanky restaurants serving Maharashtrian cuisine, Mumbai has lots where one can enjoy the local flavours. Purepur Kolhapur is one such place, where you can savour the zesty flavours of Maharashtra’s Kolhapur region. Marathi food is known for its spice and Purepur Kolhapur is all about it. Be it the delicious Tambda/Pandra Rassa (red and white chicken gravy), Chicken Dhangari Meal or Vangyachi Bhaji, you’ll get all the fiery flavours you need! The place is known for complete Maharashtrian Thalis.
Approx Cost: ₹650 for two people (approx.)
Where: 1, 2 Aditya Apartment, Parleshwar Road, Parleshwar Mandir, Vile Parle East, Mumbai (2 more locations in Thane and Dadar)
6. South Indian: A. Ramanayak (Matunga)
A menu that remains unchanged after 75 years, A Ramanayak in Matunga is a homage to South-Indian food. Opened in 1942 as A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, this restaurant is quaint, cosy and legendary. The food is served on a banana leaf with a fixed menu serving unlimited portions. The south-Indian Thali at A.Ramanayak consists of Rassam, dal, three varieties of vegetables and payasam. Fresh vegetables made every morning, pappads from Kateel and rotis made from whole wheat, A. Ramanayak is wholesome, simple and affordable.
Approx Cost: ₹ 225 (unlimited Thali), ₹ 108 (Limited Thali)
Where: 1st Floor Lakhamsi Nappu Road | Near Matunga Central Railway Station, Matunga
7. Bohri: The Bohri Kitchen (Colaba)
Yet another example of acing Ghar-ka-khana is The Bohri Kitchen. The Colaba apartment turned restaurant for 8 is where Nasifa Kapadia showers all her love in sizeable portions of a scrumptious Bohri meal. A unique concept, The Bohri Kitchen is a community dining experience where people from different walks of life come together to feast on authentic Bohri flavours. A complete package, the Bohri thaal is home-cooked, delicious and full of authenticity. Coated Chicken Drumsticks, Smoked Mutton Kheema Samosas, Raan Masala, Kesar Phirni are some dishes that will make you go back. TBK is strict about its visitors. Make sure you have a friend who knows a friend is a friend of a friend. Basically, they stick to their no serial killer policy.
Approx Cost: ₹ 1500 for per thaal
Where: Army Area, Nora, Navy Nagar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra
When: Weekends; Saturday and Sunday lunches
8. Assamese: Bhogdoi (Vashi)
Mumbai still needs to explore the tastes of North-East India. But one can find a delicious Assamese Thaali at Bhogdoi at the Assam Bhavan in Navi Mumbai. The veg Assamese Thali or the Rohu Tenga Thaali (Sour fish served with rice) is packed with nutrition and flavour!
Approx Cost: ₹ 400 for two people
Where: Assam Bhawan, 1st Floor, Opposite Centre One Mall, Vashi, Navi Mumbai
9. Peshawari: Peshawari ITC Grand Maratha (Andheri)
If you’re interested in dining like the Royals, ITC’s Peshawari is where you should be feasting. The flavours of the north-west frontiers laid out on your plates! Peshawari with its locally sourced ingredients, finesse and five-star service offers its patrons a quintessential Peshawari meal. Food prepared traditionally on clay oven and tandoors, the award-winning restaurant pays great attention to detail. Paneer Kurchan and Kebab, the Dal Bukhara cooked overnight in a traditional Bukhara are crowd favourites!
Approx Cost: ₹ 5000 for two people
Where: Peshawri, ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton, Andheri, Mumbai 400099
10. Parsi: Kyani & Co. (Marine Lines)
Still going strong, Mumbai’s iconic Iranian Café is an ode to Parsi cuisine even after 113 years since its inception. A vintage vibe to it – checkered mats, rustic tables, display jars of cookies and biscuits, the café’s décor freezes time. Besides reminding you of the past, the café serves delicious Parsi food. The Akoori (scrambled eggs) here are to die for! The signature Kheema Pav and Cheese Omelette will have you drooling too. The puddings, caramel custard, biscuit and cream puffs are some of the dessert favourites. Whatever time of the day, you cannot leave the place without a taste of the Iranian Chai and Bun Maska.
Approx Cost: ₹ ₹300 for two people
Where: JSS Road, JerMahal Estate, Opposite Metro Cinema, Marine Lines, Mumbai