Asking a local for suggestions is a fun way to try new things. Here are a few suggestions:
- Vada Pav, the vada is a mashed potato patty. Pav is a kind of bread that has its roots in Mumbai. (The word comes from the Portugese word "pão", for bread). The potato patty is sandwiched in the bread. Liberal helpings of three kinds of chutneys (sauces) are also added to the sandwich to make a seriously tasty snack. It is widely available on the streets and most folks price it Rs. 4 a piece. If you feel uncomfortable with the hygiene of a particular stall, avoid it. The Jumbo Vada Pav outlets at almost all train stations in the city are hygienic and its not risky to have Vada Pav from there.
- Pav bhaji - Part of the street food culture, this is mashed vegetables cooked in spices, topped with butter and served piping hot with pav. Widely available.
- Bhel puri and sev puri — A classic Mumbai concoction, bhel-puri (or bhel for short) comprises mostly of puffed rice and assorted spices with a few chutneys. You can specify whether you want it spicy or bland and the vendor will make it for you. It is quite tasty and again ought to be had off the streets to get the real flavour. Most people though, like to flock to Juhu beach to try this out.
- Pani puri - For first timers, this can be seriously intriguing. The vendor hands you a plate. Next he takes a puri (it looks like a golf ball, but brown in color), makes a small hole in it, and dips the puri into two jars. These jars contain water - one tangy on a tamarind base, the other spicy on a mint base. He tops it off with some condiments and places the puri on your plate. You pick it with your hand and pop the whole thing into your mouth. The outcome is an explosion. Awesome. A word of caution here though. Make sure you don't have your pani puri from any vendor. The best vendors use only packaged water. Stick to that and enjoy the taste.
- Indian-Chinese - Nothing like regular Chinese. For a typical Bambaiyya flavour, try the Chinese Bhelpuri!.
- Variations of world cuisine, such as Tandoori Chicken Pizzas or McAloo Tikki burgers.
- If you happen to be in Mumbai in summer, try eating some Hapus (Alphonso) mangoes.
- Mewad ice cream - If you happen to be in mumbai, it is recommended you avoid ice creams from the famous and expensive parlors and try out the cheap Mewad ice cream stalls. They are a lovely treat at their price and provide a lot of options. The venders are available everywhere across the streets, but avoid ones which appear unhygienic.
- Natural ice cream - The Mumbaikar's answer to Gelato with flavors like chikkoo and mango to get you in the right Indian mood. Chemical free, organic, and delicious.
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