Five Iconic Eateries In Mumbai That Satiate The Soul

Mumbai is a great place for foodies who love nostalgic flavours. Many restaurants have been around for decades offering homely food and interesting stories from the past
Marine Drive at twilight
Marine Drive at twilightFlickr: avowi

Mumbai is a foodie's dream. If you love food that strikes a chord and makes you nostalgic then it's the perfect place to be. With several eateries dating back decades you can rest assured that you will always be satiated whenever the craving for some soul food hits.

In addition to the homely flavours, you can relish stories from the past that the staff generously share with those keen to listen. The next time you want some old world magic, head to these iconic spots in Mumbai.

Britannia And Company At Ballard Estate

Bombay duck and berry pulao at Britannia and Co.
Bombay duck and berry pulao at Britannia and Co.Flickr: Andrew Sydelko

Housed inside a colonial bungalow in Ballard Estate, Britannia & Co. is located in one of Mumbai's oldest areas, Fort, and is one of the most famous Iranian eateries in the city. Rashid Kohinoor was a Zoroastrian immigrant who founded the famed eatery in 1923. Initially the restaurant provided continental dishes that appealed to British palates but after independence, Mughlai and Parsi flavours have become the norm.

The current owner Boman Kohinoor's late wife Bachan lent several of her recipes to the menu. Their popular berry pulao is one of them and is a must-try at Britannia. Order a chilled bottle of raspberry soda to wash it down and cap off the meal with a caramel custard. 

Address: Ballard Estate, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Kyani and Co. In Marine Lines 

The shopfront of Kyani and Co.
The shopfront of Kyani and Co.Flickr: Mamiko Oka

Next in line is Kyani and Co., another beloved restaurant serving Parsi delicacies and nostalgia. Founded by Zoroastrian immigrants trying to find a semblance of home when they moved to the city, this restaurant has been around since 1904 and is one of the oldest in the city. Its interiors and menu prices have not changed much in over a century. You can order as many as 10 dishes and still not spend more than INR 500.

The staff are friendly but busy so chances are you won't have much luck chatting them up unless you have a question about your order. Do try their chicken sali boti, Irani kebab, rum ball, chicken salami sandwich, chicken and cheese bhurji, and kauri on toast. 

Address: Jer Mahal Estate, 657, Jagannath Shankar Seth Rd, opp. Metro Inox Theatre, Dhobi Talao, Marine Lines, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400002

Leopold Cafe In Colaba

Inside the Leopold Cafe
Inside the Leopold CafeFlickr: Ninara

If you know anything about Mumbai's food scene then this name will not come as a surprise. Featured heavily in the novel 'Shantaram' by Gregory David Roberts and one of the sites of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Leopold Cafe in Colaba buzzes with high-spirited folks. If you still can't put an image to the name, look for the cafe scene in the movie 'Gully Boy' where Alia Bhatt's character gets into a brawl with Kalki Koechlin's character.

While it's perfectly fine to only get a drink at the cafe, don't hold yourself back from indulging in their specialities like keema pav, chicken tikka, the classic Leopold cheesecake and chicken stroganoff.  

Address: Police Station, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, near Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Gaylord Restaurant At Churchgate

The signage of Gaylord Restaurant
The signage of Gaylord RestaurantFlickr: daydreamermagazine

If you want a taste of nostalgia and the oomph of fine dining, Gaylord is where you should make a reservation. With a dance floor, a bar and a designated area for performances such as jazz recitals, it's where the creme-de-la-creme made their way to in the old days.

Its patrons have included Dilip Kumar, BR Chopra, Lata Mangeshkar, Raj Kapoor and Asha Bhosle. If you are a fan of old-school continental creations like Chicken A’la Kiev and chicken cecilia, Gaylord's menu will be a gastronomic delight.

Address: Mayfair Building, V N Rd, Churchgate, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020

Cafe Madras In Matunga

Inside Cafe Madras
Inside Cafe MadrasFlickr: Premshree Pillai

This Udupi restaurant was established in 1940 and offers inexpensive meals served in no time. Mumbaikers in the area throng the cafe daily for breakfast because of their delicious idlis, dosas and filter coffee. Try their ragi masala dosa, bisibile bhaat, rasam idli and the Madras dahi misal.

Address: Ground Floor Kamakshi Building, 391/B, Bhaudaji Rd, Matunga East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019

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