Delicious Delights: Exploring Mumbai’s Traditional Food Scene

February 28, 2024

Mumbai, the vibrant and rocking City of Dreams, is not just famed for its iconic landmarks, skyscrapers, busy streets, and overall Bollywood fame, but also for its wide range of mouth-watering traditional delicacies that are hard to find anywhere else. From drool-worthy street-side delicacies to scrumptious coastal delights and innovative fusion offerings, the traditional food scene of Mumbai has something in store for everyone.

When in the city, you get a chance to experience the tantalizing and vibrant traditional food delights, wherein flavors come alive and the most awaited culinary adventures start. If you are visiting this dreamy city, it is signatory for you to try out its traditional cuisines. Let us find out!

Mumbai Traditional Food to Relish

The local food scene in Mumbai keeps evolving from time to time. The city never fails to surprise you with delicious servings of the day. Whether you try out the classic traditional cuisines or continental cuisines, you can have your selection of the right food items every single time.

If you wish to give the traditional food of Mumbai a try, here are some of the must-have delicacies you can order from the best restaurants and eateries of the city:

1. Vada Pav

Vada Pav

There is no denying the fact that vada pav is one of the most iconic traditional dishes of Mumbai. The traditional dish combines the divine flavours of two primary ingredients, the vada and the pav. Indeed, there is a supporting role of additional ingredients like the spices and tangy chutneys.

A typical platter of this dish usually features a delightful potato fritter sandwiched between a bun known as the pav. This delicious snack serves as the staple of the traditional food culture of Mumbai. It is often sought-after as the ultimate solution to the traditional version of a burger. The history of this famous snack item dates back to the 1960s when an individual Ashok Vaidya started selling this snack from a small stall close to the Dadar Railway Station in the city.

2. Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is yet another popular traditional snack item in Mumbai. The dish depicts a spicy, flavourful curry prepared out of a blend of various veggies, including peas, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and capsicum. The delicious curry is served with a butter bun or pav. To enhance the overall flavours, the dish is usually garnished with coriander leaves, onions, and a dollop of butter.

As far as the origin of this traditional dish is concerned, it originated way back during the 1850s to serve as a quick and simple meal for textile mill labourers in the city. The curry or bhaji was prepared with leftover veggies that were mashed and cooked with spices. The curry was then served with the buttered pav to serve as a quick and cheap meal option during lunch breaks.

3. Bombay Sandwich

Bombay Sandwich

With something featuring Bombay in its name, what could be more quintessentially special about this dish? The traditional version of Bombay Sandwich blends staple ingredients like potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, beetroot, capsicum, cheese, and chutney. All the ingredients are meticulously placed between the slices of buttered white bread.

While trying out the popular snack in Mumbai, if you want something more peculiar, then you can customise the dish according to your preferences as well. Plain or toasted? With or without beetroot? There are several options to enhance the overall flavours.

4. Bombil


The Bombil or classic Bombay Duck is a fish common in the waters of the city. It is one of the most popular and sought-after fish variants that is highly favoured by the locals. The dish prepared out of the variant is typically served in the batter-fried, crispy form at several street-side food stalls or eateries in the city.

It is also a highly beloved fish variant amongst the Parsi community of the city. As a matter of fact, Britannia even comes forth with a cracking version of this fish. On the other hand, you can also consider trying out the dried versions of Bombil, crackling the fish over tandoor until smokey and crunchy.

5. Chinese Bhel

Chinese bhel

The irony of this famous snack item is that it is a popular dish in the local food scene of Mumbai. As a matter of fact, the dish is quite typical to Mumbai as it draws ample cultural influences from all parts of the world while enmeshing the same into its own culinary art.

The overall popularity of Chinese Bhel grew quite lately thanks to the innovative street-side vendors who sell Chinese Noodles. Therefore, the famous snack item sprung up as a beautiful amalgamation of onions, cabbage, fried noodles, and an abundance of spices.

6. Rolls


The first-ever Tibbs Frankie stall or kiosk came into existence in Mumbai in 1969 in Powai. Taking its major influence from the traditional Lebanese shawarma, the family lineage of Tibbs Frankie came up with innovative creations to cater to the culinary preferences of the local people.

The overall popularity of Frankie soared rapidly. It is because it served to be a cost-effective, quick, and flavourful snack item. In the modern era, Frankie or Rolls in Mumbai are available in a diverse range of options, including Mutton Rolls and Chicken Rolls. At the same time, you can relish the vegetarian flavours, including paneer roll, veg kebab roll, and so more.


Indulge in the traditional culinary delights the famous city of Mumbai has to offer. If you wish to enjoy something in the comfort of your home, you can even order food online in Mumbai from Swiggy.


1. What is Mumbai’s traditional food known for?

The traditional delicacies of the city are quite unique with respect to the overall taste and the use of ingredients. Some of the traditional dishes, including kanda batata, masala bhaat, vada paav, missal pav, and others are distinctive to the region.

2. Are there any special sweets or desserts associated with Mumbai’s traditional food?

Mumbai is rich in its culinary scene. Therefore, in addition to savoury delights, you can also encounter a number of sweet dishes or desserts to fulfill your cravings. Some of the must-have sweet dishes here are Puran Poli, Shira, and Modak.

3. How does Mumbai’s traditional food differ from other regional cuisines in Maharashtra?

The traditional food scene of Mumbai has its characteristic taste and style of preparation. A typical traditional Mumbai platter will depict mild and spicy dishes in comparison to other regional cuisines in Maharashtra.

4. Which dish is considered the iconic traditional food of Mumbai?

Several dishes form part of the iconic traditional food scene of Mumbai. Some of these dishes are vada pav, pav bhaji, misal pav, batata vada, and bun maska. To relish these flavors, you can order food online and enjoy it in your comfort.

5. Is Mumbai’s traditional food known for its unique cooking techniques?

Famous for closely-secured recipes and specialized cooking techniques, the traditional food scene of Mumbai is distinctive to other regional cuisines. The city promises heavenly traditional food items that are prepared with meticulous methods and special ingredients. 

Read more: Best Healthy Restaurants to Try in Mumbai

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