Mumbai, the city of dreams. Thousands come from far and wide into this land, in the search of love, acceptance, money, fame and what not. And all these people need food.
If you’ve lived in this city even for a day, there’s no way you cannot fall in love with the street food that defines Mumbai -- vada pav.
For some it's just another local snack, for some it's a quick breakfast option and for others, especially Mumbaikars, it's LIFE!. Also known as the Poor man’s burger, Vada Pav is savored by one and all Mumbaikars and visitors to the city alike
A delectable, spicy and affordable Maharashtrian snack, vada pav is a soft pav stuffed with a spicy golden-fried potato vada served with finger-licking dry garlic chutney and deep fried green chillies. No one definitely knows how this iconic fast food dish became associated with Mumbai, but some unconfirmed sources authenticate the history and the journey of Vada Pav. The dish was started to be dished out on hand cart in the Dadar area of Mumbai in late 60s which became popular over the time among laborers, office goers and students as a quick bite on the run, eventually getting itself synonymous with Mumbai.
However, there are few joints in Mumbai which standout when it comes to serving the best and original Mumbai Vada Pav
ASHOK VADA PAV - DADAR
We start from Dadar’s Ashok Vada Pav, which is located in the Kirti College vicinity. Also known as Kirti College Vada Pav locally, it is a joint which is a favorite among the Vada Pav lovers for the last 35 years. The owner claims that he uses more than 40 ingredients to make the dish along with the garnishing Chutneys and the joint has been mentioned and recommended in various food and travel magazines of local and international repute. Many celebrities such as Madhuri Dixit,Jackie Shroff,Sonu Nigam and Sushmita Sen often visit the place to enjoy Ashok Vada Pav’s offerings. Open between 11 am to 9:30 pm, they serve their vada pav at `15.
2) Aaram Vada Pav
Located in the heart of the city,in the CST area, Aaram Vada Pav has been dishing out mouth-watering vada pavs for over 70 years.They are popular for serving their vada pavs with onion and fried chillies. Not only do they serve thousands of daily customers but also several Famous political heavyweights including Balasaheb Thackeray and Rajiv Gandhi.
3) Graduate Vada Pav
Located just outside busy Byculla (W) station, for around 20 years this stall has never been seen empty,serves more than 2000 people on a daily basis Their authentic vada pav along with the variety of chutneys ranging from chilli, garlic,Coconut and tamarind has been a hit since the day of opening. With an aim to feed the city’s fast-moving crowd, the owners continue to serve from a small stall and refuse to upgrade to a proper eating joint.
4) Samrat Vada Pav
Located in the the heart of the city’s western suburb of Vile Parle Mumbai. Situated at Nehru road and near the Parleshwar temple is one of the most visited places in the area and Samrat is filled with customers at all times of the day.
A twist to the regular vada pav comes as chopped coconut mixed in with the potato and butter spread inside. They also dish out samosas and bhaji pav which are equally delicious. Mouth-watering vada pav at a humble cost of `12.
5) Gajanan Vada Pav
One of Thane's most famous vada pav joints, Gajanan has been serving this delectable street food since 1978, this is one of the most famous joints in Thane. It personifies the phrase ‘Simple, yet special’. Gajanan Vada Pav sticks to the traditional vada pav but what makes it different is the chutney they serve along with it. It is mix of besan and chillies with the consistency like that of imli chutney. The hot vada pav with this chutney just makes it a different experience.
Happy customers enjoy this unique experience and return to treat themselves, time and again
6) Jumbo King
Inspired by the business model of Burger King, Dheeraj Gupta started his own chain serving vada pav in 2001. Their main target has been the youth of Mumbai. They sold their 100 millionth vada pav in April last year. Along with the traditional vada pav, they also serve Schezwan Jumboking, Corn Palak Jumboking, and Veg Crispy Jumboking. They, now, have over 60 outlets across the country.
7) Goli Vada Pav
This is another famous snack chain that has made its own innovations keeping Mumbai’s staple food as its base. Started off as single fast-food restaurant, Goli Vada Pav is now a `15 crore business with nearly 300 stores across over 60 cities across the nation. Along with the regular vada pav, they also serve Makka Palak, Aloo Tikki, Schezwan and Cheese Vada Pav.
8) Anand Vada Pav
Located outside Mithibhai College, this joint sees frequent visitors especially college students at all times. The hot and spicy vada pav served here is considered by many to be the best in the city. College students swear by Anand Vada Pav. Bollywood celebrities too frequent this place to eat some hot and tasty vada pavs.
Where: Opposite Mithibai College, Vile Parle West, Mumbai6. Anand Vada Pav, opposite Mithibai College, Vile Parle (West)
9) Shivaji Vada Pav
Another joint near Mithibhai College, a direct competitor to Anand Vada Pav this snack stall started around 35 years back and today sells nearly 1,000 vada pavs on a day-to-day basis and is frequented by people from various walks of life, especially college students.
This award winning stall also prepares sandwiches & dosas, however priced at `15; Vada Pav still remains their most popular offering.
Where: Outside Mithibai college, Vile Parle West, Mumbai9. Shivaji Vada Pav, outside Mithibai College, Vile Parle (West)
10) Shree Durga Snacks
Located in the most popular areas of Thane, Shree Durga Snack which is based at the corner of Gokhale and Ram Maruti Road offers the most yummy vada pav for which people are ready to take that extra detour on their way home from station. The crisy vada, soft pav and to top it off, the spicy garlic chutney makes for a quick and tasty snack.
11. Mangesh Vada Pav, Borivali (West)
Mangesh Pandit's vada pav joint has been tickling Borivali resident’s taste buds for over 20 years now.
What sets it apart is their special meetha chutney that's made of dates, jaggery, tamarind and green chillies.
12. Jai Maharashtra Vada Pav, Apna Bazaar, Andheri (West)
Dishing out delicious vada pavs since 1966, this stall sells over 1,000 vada pavs daily.
The owners claim that their grandmother’s well-kept secret recipe is what makes their vada pav unique and yummilicious.
The vada pavs served are so good that even American chef Mathews couldn’t resist featuring this stall in one his YouTube videos.