17 Lesser-Known Maharashtrian Eateries In Mumbai

17 Lesser-Known Maharashtrian Eateries In Mumbai
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kaju chi usal Metkut Kaju chi usal at Metkut. Photo: Metkut

Mumbai has its vada pav stalls in every nook and cranny, but places serving a good Maharasthrian meal are few and far between. Well, that’s what we thought before we started researching for this story. There might be fewer Maharashtrian restaurants in the city when compared to Gujarati thali places or the ubiquitous Udipis, but they’re definitely not scarce. To celebrate Maharashtra Day tomorrow, we’ve put together a list of places serving food from various regions and communities of the state.

Sujata (B Tambe) Upahar Griha, Girgaon

Girgaon is largely inhabited by Maharashtrians, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that one of the best eateries is in the by lanes of Girgaon. The place is around 100 years old and is housed in a building older than that. The food is simple with snacks and thalis on offer. Go for the thalipeeth served with white butter or a special thali with aamti/varan, usal, bhaji, bhakri, rice and other accompaniments.

Meal for two: Rs. 250

Matruchhaya, Prabhadevi

Mumbai is brimming with places that serve Malwani food, most of them in Dadar. Go a bit ahead and you’ll find this sooty restaurant that serves one of the best kombdi vade – dry chicken curry with puri-like deep-fried breads in Mumbai. Their prawns thali clubbed with prawns fry is another must try. Add to it their spicy sol kadi and you’ll have a meal of your life.

Meal for two: Rs. 350 – 400

Ladu Samrat, Lalbaug

The sweet and snack shop is quite well-known in the area and the foodie circle. The vada pav with its unique chutney is the bestseller here. The kothimbir vadi, misal pav, kadak boondi laddoo and kairi pana are a must-try too.

Meal for two: Rs. 350

Aagri Culture Express, Lower Parel

This small restaurant serving food of the Aagri community is the latest entrant in the city’s Maharashtrian food scene. Aagris are one of the oldest inhabitants of Mumbai and are known for their love for fish and rice. Their food has more generous use of spices. Their kolambi bhaji or shrimp fritters and surmai taat, which is a thali with fried surmai, curry, rice and bhakri are winners.

Meal for two: Rs. 600

Mama Kane, Dadar

There’s more to Dadar than Aaswad’s misal pav and Prakash’s sabudana vada. This tiny joint near Dadar station is more than 100 years old and has been serving a small menu of Maharashtrian snacks and meals. We recommend the crisp batata vada with lasoon chutney, thalipeeth and kothimbir vadi. Wash it down with their kokum or amla sharbet.

Meal for two: Rs. 200 – 350

Potoba, Mahim

This small restaurant in Mahim doesn’t look anything like a homely Maharashtrian eatery with its colourful and cafe-like decor. The food is pure vegetarian and we’d suggest you stick to the Maharashtrian fare – they serve Chinese and north Indian food too. The misal pav isn’t too spicy here, but is flavourful. Go for their amrakhand with bhakri – an odd combination, but definitely worth a try. They also serve ukadiche modak – steamed rice dumplings stuffed with a coconut and jaggery mix.

Meal for two: Rs. 500

Sadichha, Bandra East

The unassuming Malwani restaurant in Bandra (E) is usually shadowed by the famous Highway Gomantak. It’s the kind of place where you get in, share tables, eat and quickly get out to make way for the waiting crowd. The mutton sukka thali and pomfret thali with bombil fry are highly recommended.

Meal for two: Rs. 500

Mani's Vada Pav, Vakola

The vada pavs at Mani’s stall in Vakola are pre-ordered and sell out as soon as they come out of the wok; we’ve heard the tale from the regulars and have experienced it first-hand. There’s a special masala that goes in the vada and the potato is mashed such that there’s no lump. Mani’s Vada Pav stall is set up in the evening and stuff sells out fast, so make sure you’re there early.

Meal for two: Rs. 50

Purepur Kolhapur, Vile Parle (E)

Kolhapuri cuisine is famous for its robust mutton and chicken dishes, and Purepur Kolhapur stays true to the region. The spice quotient is toned down a bit, but there’s no compromise with the taste. A mutton thali here comes with mutton curry, mutton kheema, egg curry, pandhra rassa, which is a creamy, soup-like curry made with mutton stock, tambda rassa, a spicy curry flavoured with Kolhapuri chillies, bhakri and sol kadi. A typical vegetarian thali will have varan, usal, bharli vangi or stuffed eggplant, a saag – usually palak or chauli, kharda – spicy chutney of green chillies and garlic, kurdai – deep fried papad made with fermented wheat flour, dahi, pickle, rice and dessert.

Meal for two: Rs. 500

Mee Marathi, Vile Parle (E)

Located in close proximity to Purepur Kolhapur, Mee Marathi is a small vegetarian restaurant. The food is simple and you must try the pithlabesan ki subzi with bhakri, misal pav and batata vada.

Meal for two: Rs. 300

Minks Saoji mutton at Minks. Photo: Facebook

Minks - The Nagpur Saoji Treat, Marol

Don’t go by its name, Minks is a desi restaurant serving food from the Saoji community of Nagpur. The food is extremely spicy and is big on mutton. Try their paya Saoji (feet of lamb) and mutton Saoji with hot chapaatis along with gurda (goat kidney) and khur sukkha or paya.

Meal for two: Rs 500

Ratnagiri, Goregaon East

Right at the corner of Film City Road in Goregaon, this Malwani restaurant serves one of the best surmai fry. They don’t serve a thali so we’d suggest you go for fish curry, rice and dry chicken.

Meal for two: Rs. 600

Girgaon Katta, Borivali

In the midst of an area brimming with Gujarati food joints, Girgaon Katta holds up the flag of Maharashtrian cuisine. Go for their simple pohe, thalipeeth, spicy misal pav and crisp vadas. Wrap up the meal with puran poli and have a kokum sharbet to wash it all down.

Meal for two: Rs. 250

Metkut, Thane

The pure vegetarian restaurant in Thane serves authentic Maharashtrian food that belongs to the Konkanastha Brahmin community. They serve three kinds of pohe, dhirda – sweet and savoury rice pancakes, kothimbir vadi, thalipeeth, Khandeshi vangyachi bharit – eggplant mash with peanuts and thecha tempering, various kinds of koshimbir – salad, and dalimbi usal – field green curry among other things. The kaju chi usal made of fresh cashews is a must try. Wash it all down with tival – a spicy kokum drink or piyush – a thick yoghurt-based drink.

Meal for two: Rs. 350 – 500

Ruchkar Raje, Thane

On our quest to find Maharashtrian eateries in Mumbai, we came across this delivery/takeaway place that serves food from the CKP (Chandraseni Kayastha Prabhu) community. The CKPs are known to be foodies and love their meat and fish. Ruchikar Raje serves a good mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food along with thalis. Their fish thali, jawala – dried prawns dish, sode khichadi – dried prawns pulao, ninaav – sweet gram flour, coconut and jaggery fudge, and ukdiche modak are worth a try.

Meal for two: Rs. 400

Gokhale Uphar Gruh, Thane

Thane has its famous Mamledar Misal, but it has also got Gokhale Uphar Gruh that serves one of the best misal pav in Mumbai. Also try their batata vada, crisp sabudana vadas with a glass of piyush.

Meal for two: Rs. 100

Agri Katta, Thane

It’s a small, unassuming joint serving Aagri food. There are a few tables and the menu is a black board. Try their prawns fry, mutton sukka and paya with fresh, soft bhakris.

Meal for two: Rs. 300

The author is a freelance food and travel writer and shares her stories on Foodchants. She is on a perpetual quest to learn about the history of regional food.

Shirin Mehrotra

Shirin Mehrotra

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