Your travel bucket-list for Sri Lanka

Get off the beaten track to experience Sri Lanka with a difference

Itineraries are an important part of every holiday and while most people may choose to go by a tour, it is important to make a personal list on-the-go so that interesting places aren’t skipped for the lack of time.

Sri Lanka has many popular places to visit but it is ideal to stick to the central, south and south-west region as it is said to be safer than the rest of the country. These particular regions have so much to offer that missing out on the upper-half region won’t even cross your mind.

Our itinerary included Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Bentota and finally the capital city Colombo but we did visit many places en-route including Kalutara, Kosgoda and Balapitiya; the latter opens out to the sea and subsequently 18 islands in Sri Lanka.

Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Travelling from Bandaranaike Airport in Negombo, the closest sight-seeing spot is the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in the village by the same name. We were lucky to witness the elephants religiously going for their daily bath across the street to a nearby lake. The 25-acre coconut plantation houses the Asian elephants in captive breeding and also takes in any elephant that has been orphaned by its herd in the nearby jungles. Interestingly, many shops have sprung up on the route the elephants take and have different kinds of accessories being sold made from elephant dung. The accessories include books, calendars and other stationery.

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Elephants bathing at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Kandy
Situated in central Sri Lanka, the city of Kandy should be on the list of every traveller looking to visit Sri Lanka. It has an old-world charm in its architecture with a mix of hills and a sparsely populated city. Spending an afternoon around the lake in the centre of the city is certainly relaxing if you want to take things slow. The city also has the Royal Botanical Garden, a Gem Museum and the Temple of the Tooth Relic Of The Lord Buddha; all of which can be done only if there is an interest but otherwise may not impress many younger travellers. 

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Kandy City Centre

Nuwara Eliya
While the weather in Sri Lanka is very similar to most parts of India, it is Nuwara Eliya that makes for a perfect hill-station in the country like north India or Munnar and Ooty in the south among others. The resemblance to colonial-style structures along with the lush green fields engulfed us even before our driver told us it is fondly called ‘Little England’ by the locals. While it has a golf course and various other sight-seeing spots, a visit to the local bars is mandatory if you crave for some spirits to keep you warm. Enroute the hill-station, a visit to the tea plantations is a must because of the flavourful tea served and the fact that Sri Lankan tea leaves are commercially sold in many countries under different brand names.

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The hill station of Nuwara Eliya

Bentota
While we spent most of our time at the Hotel Eden, a beach resort with a beautiful view, there is a lot more that the town has to offer if one sets out on foot including local eating spots and a lot more. However, the resort town is popular for its water sports and the boat safari; the latter is a must when in Sri Lanka for the most unique experience at sea around the 18 islands off the Sri Lankan coastline.

Also Read: This is all the money you need for a Sri Lankan holiday

Speeding through the surrounding Madu Ganga river, the boatman will take you through the breathtaking mangroves and move over to Cinnamon island to see the making of various products from cinnamon trees including cosmetics and cooking masalas. He will then take you under the bridge leading to the largest inhabited island of 300 people and drink coconut water for Rs 100 from a man in a shop on the waters. Among the many islands, a Ganesha temple is the smallest island surrounded by a mystery that you have to be lucky to be told by the guide. Ending the safari with fish pedicure is also a relaxing experience after a two-hour-long tour.

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Mangroves off the Mandu Ganga river close to Bentota in Sri Lanka

Kosgoda
Travel to south-west of Sri Lanka to Kosgoda to visit an interesting Turtle Hatchery and Conservation area. The farm houses a variety of turtles -big, small and handicapped from the fishing nets. A tour around also enlightens tourists about the effort being taken by the locals to preserve the turtles that come to hatch every year on the closest beach, The small town also has a beach that not many know about as it is guarded by trees but is a must-visit for some quite time and escape from the cacophony of the city. Driving back would also reveal a train track running across the road and you would be lucky to spot the occasional train going from station to station, to complete a fulfilling experience.

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Turtle Hatchery in Kosgoda in Sri Lanka

Colombo
The capital city should ideally be left for the last as it turns out to be as crowded as any other metropolitan in the world. Clearly, the shopping district in Sri Lanka, it can keep you busy for a whole day if you’re a shopaholic. Restaurants serving local food are easily available and definitely worth a try because the food is absolutely delicious. For the devout, the city also has many churches around (both catholic and orthodox).

Other places to visit
While we covered most of the important places during our five-day trip, we were left with a need to see more as we hadn’t had enough of the country yet. It would be best to visit Sri Lanka for at least 10 days to make the most of it. I, personally, was really disappointed we couldn’t visit Galle which is further south than Kosgoda because it is known to be a famous Dutch colony and hence piqued my interest. The Portuguese and British influences along with the local setting make it an interesting spot to visit.

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This is the second article in a series about my Sri Lankan travel experience. Come back for more on the food and culture and my personal experiences.

This is all the money you need for a Sri Lankan holiday

Travel cheap to an underestimated destination

Planning international trips take a while mostly because of the money involved and while it may seem a lot, it is also important to see if it is worth the experience. While most travellers settle for exotic destinations in Europe and the US and UK among others, looking closer home may help Indians looking for shorter trips.

Around India, Sri Lanka is an under-explored destination and can be a good change for people on a shoe-string budget. There are many reasons to visit the colourful land but an easily available visa and the lower currency rate are easily on top of that list. The currency is almost two-and-a-half times the Indian Rupee and the visa comes to you within two days.

If you’re itching to go on a cheap holiday, Sri Lanka is not more than INR 60,000. Our trip for five days turned out to be an amazing stay that encompassed almost everything we wanted to do while in the country. Here is the break-up of the money spent followed by tips on how it can be cheaper.

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Local food in Sri Lanka

Money spent for five days:

Flight tickets – INR 18,200 (round trip)

Tour Package – INR 28,500 (including car with driver, breakfast and dinner, stay)
The tour included staying at two five star hotels – Amaya Hills in Kandy and Hotel Eden in Bentota and a three star Hotel Sapphire in Colombo (which is closer to the airport).

Visa – Rs 1,400 (for one month) 
The visa can be applied for online or can be acquired on arrival. Applying for it online is easier and less time-consuming

Miscellaneous expenses – Rs 12,000 (lunch, alcohol, shopping and souvenirs)

Do’s and Don’ts

1. Book flight tickets four months prior to reduce cost to barely Rs 12,000.

2. Do not spend on food at big restaurants. Eat local food at SLR Rs 130 – 150.

3. Travel by local transport or be ready to spend on food and drink for personal driver.

4. Inform personal driver that eating local is priority and not at fancy restaurants if comfortable with local cuisine.

5. Walking around will save money and help explore place better.

6. Do not go by a tour guide as it will save a lot of additional unwanted costs.

This is the first article in a series about my Sri Lankan travel experience. Come back for more on the best places to visit, food and culture and my personal experiences.

10 Cheesy Pizzas That Will Definitely Make You Go Beyond One Slice

These pizzas are what dreams are made of

This article first appeared on Burrp.com while I was a writer there and is republished here only for personal use.

Meatball Pizza @ Light House Café, Worli
Drop by Light House Café for a typical Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. The meatball pizza is more like a meat extravaganza for a meat-lover and is delicious to the last bite. The thick crust in-house speciality has Italian meatballs stuffed in mozzarella cheese to make a dreamy combination of meat and cheese and a tangy flavour from the marinara sauce.  A small group will definitely relish it.

Price: Rs 795 + taxes

Satisfaction @ The Playlist Pizzeria, Bandra West
We don’t know if the pizza name is inspired by the song from Benny Benassi or The Rolling Stones but if both ate it they would definitely become satisfied pizza lovers immediately. The crisp-wheat base pizza had marinara sauce on the base and was loaded with ham, bacon, salami and cheese. The spicy meat varieties make for a good combination with mozzarella cheese and make for a delicious pizza meal.

Price: Rs 950 + taxes for a 12 inch pizza

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Satisfaction Pizza at Playlist Pizzeria, Bandra West

American Pie @ Crave, All Outlets
Don’t want to experiment with your pizza? American Pie stands out over a wide variety of pizzas at Crave. The crisp thin-crust pizza has a tomato base and is simply loaded with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. The meat and cheese combination perfectly complements the tangy sauce to produce a burst of different flavours.

Price: Rs 395 + taxes

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American Pie Pizza at Crave, All Outlets

Margherita Meatball Pizza @ 1441 PizzeriaOshiwara
If you haven’t tried wood-fired pizzas in Mumbai yet, the Italian-style cheesy Margherita Pizza at 1441 Pizzeria is a must. Chicken meatballs are added to a classic margherita topped with mozzarella cheese; the pizza has a pepper and spice flavour that blends perfectly with the cheese and the smoky flavour from the fresh pizza crust. The meatballs are a part of the toppings and have to be added to the pizza with no extra cost.

Price: Rs 345 + taxes

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Margherita with Chicken Meatball Pizza at 1441 Pizzeria, Andheri West

Genovese @ Fable, Juhu
The Genovese pizza at Fable is a must-try. The wood-fired pizza is crisp and wafer-thin with basil pesto, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and rucola leaves. The colourfully loaded pizza has a creamy pesto flavour, sweetness from the cherry tomatoes that blends perfectly with the goat cheese flavour; the slice ends with a smoky wood-fired taste that makes it instantly desirable.

Price: Rs 475 + taxes

Also Read: Try These Unbelievably Meaty Kebabs During Ramzan

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Genovese at Fable, Juhu

Tertullia – ahh @ Tertullia, Dadar West
Try a restaurant special. Tertullia prides over their house special vegetarian pizza that is loaded with scarmoza and parmigiano cheese topped with creamy spinach and tossed rucola. The pizza has freshness from the spinach and rucola that blends perfectly with the combination of cheeses to make a perfect treat.

Price: Rs 415 + taxes    

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Tertullia-ahh at Tertullia, Dadar West

Peppered Prawns and Calamari with Jalapeno @ True Tramm Trunk, Juhu
Want some seafood in your pizza? The prawn and calamari topped pizza at T3 is delicious. The Margherita-style pizza with tomato and cheese is topped with generous amounts of prawns and calamari and jalapeno. The cheese and peppery blend makes the pizza a must with their Indian—inspired cocktails.

Price: Rs 550 + taxes

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Peppered Prawns and Calamari and Jalapeno Pizza at True Tramm Trunk, Juhu

Tostada Pizza @ California Pizza Kitchen, Lower Parel
Eat a vegetarian pizza with a difference. How is it different? California Pizza Kitchen has a unique concept of hot and cold pizza – where the base is hot and the topping is cold. The Tostada pizza is a thin-crust pizza baked in a wood-fire oven with cooked black beans, cheddar cheese and Fontina cheese. It has a cold topping of shredded lettuce, crisp tortilla chips and ranch dressing. The crisp and crunchy pizza is spicy from the roasted tomato salsa in it.

Price: Rs 605 + taxes for a 9 inch pizza; Rs 765 + taxes for a 14 inch pizza

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Tostada Pizza at California Pizza Kitchen, Lower Parel

Creamed Spinach Pizza @ Indigo Delicatessen, All Outlets
If you don’t like experimenting, try a simple vegetarian pizza at Indigo Deli. Creamed spinach and roasted mushrooms are added to a bed of scarmoza cheese and tomatoes that makes it almost instantly desirable.

Price: Rs 665 + taxes   

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Creamed Spinach Pizza at Indigo Delicatessen, All Outlets

Chilli Freak @ Jamie’s Pizzeria, Lower Parel
Never thought you’d like a vegetarian pizza? You will probably change your mind after the Chilli Freak at Jamie’s. The pizzeria serves a pizza so spicy, we doubt there is any other as spicy; they owe it to their well-guarded chilli recipe. The pizza has jalapenos, vegetarian parmesan, fresh chilli and mint that balance the taste with every bite if you can’t handle the spice.

Price: Rs 329 + taxes

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Chilli Freak at Jamie’s Pizzeria, Lower Parel

5 Real Chinese Dishes That Will Make You Skip Cheap Chinese In Mumbai

Authentic Chinese dishes that you will love with the first bite

This article first appeared on Burrp.com while I was a writer there and is republished here only for personal use.

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Authentic Chinese Restaurants In Mumbai You Should Try

Spicy Braised Pork Belly @ Yauatcha, Bandra Kurla Complex
The braised pork belly at Yauatcha has a well-balanced sweet and spicy flavour from the yellow bean sauce. The stacked pork belly is garnished with micro-greens (herbs) served with subtly sweet breadstick like Mantou Rolls.

Price: Rs 1,750 + taxes

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Spicy Braised Pork Belly at Yauatcha, BKC

 

Jalapeno Peanut Chicken Bao @ Wok Express, All Outlets
A Chinese meal is incomplete without a bao (Chinese steamed buns) in Mumbai. Wok Express serves some of the most delicious baos in the city. A generous helping of spiced chicken and peanut mixture is stuffed on a bed of green jalapenos to give a spicy sour flavour from the chillies and jalapenos and nutty flavour from the peanuts, which makes it instantly desirable.

Price: Rs 150 + taxes

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Jalapeno Peanut Chicken Bao, Wok Express, All Outlets

Lamb Burnt Chilli with Steamed Chinese Bread @ Sernyaa, All Outlets
Skip your local Chinese for something more authentic. Sliced lamb is marinated with Chinese wine and bean herbs before being pan-fried and cooked in burnt chilli sauce. The sweet and spicy lamb preparation is served with soft steamed Chinese bread. We won’t be surprised if you clean your plate to the last crumb after this meal. You can also try the Pork pancakes while there.

Price: Rs 390 (inclusive of taxes)

Also Read: These Unbelievably Meaty Kebabs Will Keep You Busy During Ramzan

Har Gau Dim sum @ Shiro, Worli
If you’re a fan of dim sum, then head over to Shiro to try the Har Gau. Made in a typical Cantonese preparation, the starch dough rice sheet is packed with lightly flavoured prawns with sesame oil and seasoning.

Price: Rs 310 + taxes

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Har Ghau Dim Sum at Shiro, Worli

Sweet and Sour Pork Nanking Style @ Ling’s Pavillion, Colaba
There is no bigger treat than eating at one of Mumbai’s oldest Chinese restaurants. While any dish on their menu is good, the Sweet and Sour Pork Nanking Style, is delicious. Minced pork balls, batter fried sliced pork or the traditional sweet and sour pork cubes – you can take your pick before the dish is cooked in typical Nanking style. It is off the menu and is best ordered with fried rice.

Price: Rs 350 + taxes

These Unbelievably Meaty Kebabs Are Going To Keep You Busy During Ramzan

These colourful and deliciously creamy kebabs will leave you wanting for more

This article first appeared on Burrp.com while I was a writer there and is republished here only for personal use.

Ramzan has just started and while it is the fasting month for Muslims, the others are busy savouring delicious kebabs in their own cities. We list down some of the best places to eat kebabs in your city in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai during the holy month of Ramzan.

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Kebabs you must try during Ramzan

Bangalore
Frazer Town lights up during Ramazan in Bangalore. If you’re passing by today or tomorrow, you know the preparations have already started with a various kinds of delicacies on display. We’ve picked out the best that will wake the meat lover in you almost instantly.

Chicken Pahadi Kebabs @ Richie’s Rahhams, Frazer Town
Among the various options on Frazer Road, the Chicken Pahadi Kebabs at Rahham’s are recommended to experience the true experience of Ramazan. The greenish-yellow kebabs are served after being tandoored along with mint chutney. The creamy and subtly spicy meaty kebabs cannot be missed when you’re on MM Road.

Price: Rs 200 (half plate), Rs 350 (full plate)

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Chicken Pahadi Kebabs at Richie’s Rahham’s, Frazer Town (Picture for representational purpose only)

Chicken Seekh Kebab @ Albert Bakery, Frazer Town
Frazer Town’s very own 114-year-old bakery is a favourite among everybody for it’s brain puffs during Ramazan and other bakery items. But, only those who have experimented know that the Chicken Shami Kebab is just perfect. The slightly charred shami kebabs are tender meaty delights that are literally just waiting to be eating when
you visit the bakery.

Price: Rs 25 per kebab

Mumbai
Mumbaikars know that when it is Ramazan, you have to head to Mohammad Ali Road for the delicious Mutton Biryani, Nalli Nihari, Malpua and obviously succulent kebabs. For kebabs, our favourite on Mohammad Ali Road and one close-by made it to our list.

Mutton Burra Cream @ Delhi ZaikaGrant Road
A creamy kebab unlike the usual dry kebab and chutney combination, Delhi zaika serves a delicious Mutton kebab that has to be ordered when you’re there. The kebab is made from hung curd, raw papaya, pomegranate seeds along with Indian spices to give it a sweet and spicy taste. When you’re in Colaba and looking to eat kebabs during Ramazan, head to Delhi Zaika.

Price: Rs 240 (quarter kilo), Rs 480 (half kilo), Rs 900 (One Kilo)

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Chicken Seekh Kebab at Karim’s Hotel, Jama Masjid (Picture for representational purpose only)

 

Cream Lemon Kebab @ Café 12, Thane West
If you wish to skip the roadside setting and go to a better setting, head over to Café 12. The restaurant serves a mean Cream and Lemon kebab that is malai chicken roasted in tandoor and pan tossed with cream and lemon sauce. The kebabs are creamy and have a sour and spicy flavour that is perfect for an even during Ramazan.

Price: Rs 275 + taxes per plate

Also Read: 5 Freakshakes In Mumbai That Are Too Freakin’ Good

Chicken Shami Kebab @ Noor Mohammadi, Mohammad Ali Road
Mumbai and Ramazan are synonymous with Muhammad Ali Road. And if you’re looking for kebabs, Noor Muhammadi has the best Chicken Shami Kebabs in town.Patrons swear by their kebabs even though the restaurant is famous for its Nalli Nihari. The classic reddish-brown kebabs are soft which a delicious flavour that is enhanced by Indian spices. It is served with mint chutney.

Price: Rs 15 per kebab

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Chicken Shami Kebab at Noor Muhammadi, Grant Road (Picture for representational purpose only)

Delhi
We know the street food in Delhi is what everybody loves but you just cannot ignore kebabs during Ramazan in Jama Masjid, Khan Market and CP. Regular’s at Karim’s and Khan Chacha’s swear by the kebabs and so we couldn’t help but recommend the favourites while you are there.

Chicken Seekh Kebab @ Karim’s Hotel, Jama Masjid
You cannot go to Delhi and not go to Karim’s. Many might say they’re over-hyped but we love the kebabs there, truly. The soft meaty kebabs are perfect and a favourite among many who visit the place for their kebab fix.

Price: Rs 55 for a full plate

 

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Mad Dhoka Dahi Kebab @ Caffe Madhouse, Sohna Road

Mad Dhoka Dahi Kebab @ Caffé Madhouse, Sohna Road
If you’re craving vegetarian kebabs, head over to Caffe Madhouse for some delicious dahi kebabs. The dish has a quirky name called Chicken Nahi Toh Yehi Sahi on the menu. Hung curd and spicy minced bell peppers are mixed and stuffed in drumstick-shaped bread coated kebabs before being served with a classic tangy mint dip.

Price: Rs 299 + taxes for 8 kebabs

Mutton Kakori Kebab @ Khan Chacha’s Kebab Corner, Khan Market
Ask a Delhite where to eat kebabs in Khan Market and they instantly say Khan Chacha’s. The famed Mutton Kakori kebab is typical from the region Kakori it is named after, on the outskirts of Lucknow. The creamy gram and egg flavoured Mutton kebabs are served along with mint chutney and at the restaurant.

Price: Rs 170 for 4 pieces 

10 Things You Can Relate To If You Are A Foodie

I’m sure we all have one in us

This article first appeared on Burrp.com while I was a writer there and is republished here only for personal use.

Your Friends Never Get The Last Piece Of Food, You Do
All your friends have their eyes on the last piece of pizza but nobody wants to look greedy, you are shameless and will instinctively pick up that piece without even asking anybody if they want.

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You Are Forever Hungry (Literally, Always)
While everybody is maintaining a diet or putting restrictions on their eating habits you are hungry and looking at the first opportunity to eat. It helps because you know your you can eat odd hours.

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You Drag Your Friend To A New Restaurant Every Weekend
Your weekends are booked forever and you may not have a social life apart from one best friend but it is totally worth it. You are even willing to pay for your friend so that they accompany you.

You Always Make Your Friend Order Extra
If you are eating ice cream or dessert, you will always make your friend order an extra helping, because one is never enough. If your friend is ordering for food, he has to always order an extra helping for you.

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You Know Where To Find Cheap Treats When You Are Broke
Eating out the whole month is going to leave you broke at the end but you don’t have to worry. There is always a cheap treat that is priceless because it’s the best you’ve tasted.

You Always Serve First For Yourself
We all have friends who help each other out anywhere and everywhere but you will not help anybody but yourself. He definitely cares to ask if you’ve eaten or not but only after he has served food for himself and his plate is heaped with delicious looking food.

Also Read: Guide To The Cheapest Food In Mumbai

You Surround Yourself With Food All The Time
You don’t need an occasion to surround yourself with food. You surround yourself with food all the time, your sofa is witness to that. A cold drink in one hand, chips in the other, hot dogs on the table and dessert for the end, the list is endless. You also need to have a bag of chips or other portable food that you can munch from while talking, working or simply lazing around.

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You Order Dishes With The Weirdest Names
You are always curious about different dish names and want to try them out and your friends are victim of these experiments. Whether it be pasta at a street-side stall or ice cream dosa, you eat at the hidden gems that not many people know about.

You Wake Your Friends Up To Eat At Random Hours
It is because you get those hunger pangs at 3 am that your friends have to go sleepless nights. You need them with you just so that you have company  to chomp down unhealthy snacks.

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You Make Your Friends Eat At Hidden Gems (Which Is Awesome)
Know that restaurant that is almost invisible in a crowded lane? Yes, you do because you love eating and you won’t tell anybody except your best friend. It may be small and may barely accommodate a few people but you have tried the food and know it is too good to miss out on.

Guide To The Cheapest Food In Mumbai

Cheap eats that you will love with every bite

This article first appeared on Burrp.com while I was a writer there and is republished here only for personal use.

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Amul Pav Bhaji at Sardar Refreshments, Tardeo (Picture for representation purpose only)

Amul Pav Bhaji @ Sardar Refreshments, Tardeo
If you love pav bhaji, you HAVE to go to Sardar’s. The restaurant has a variety of pav bhaji variations but the Amul Pav Bhaji is a favourite. Topped with dollops of butter, the spicy sweet bhaji with tomatoes and peas is delicious along with pavs soaked in butter that make it a delicious option on any day.

Price: Rs 110 (inclusive of taxes)

Mutton Seekh Kebab @ Jai Jawan, Bandra West
Mohammad Ali Road is definitely famous for its kebabs but the suburbs have got Jai Jawan for that. The succulent mutton kebabs are a must if you’re shopping near Linking Road. The kebabs are made with mutton mince and mix of Indian spices that lend a delicious taste to the kebabs. The roadside stall is also famous for its fried fish, if you love seafood.

Price: Rs 170 (inclusive of taxes)

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Seekh Kebabs at Jai Jawan, Bandra West (Picture for representation purpose only)

Rajma Chawal @ Crystal, Chowpatty
If you’re a college student looking for cheap food and getting affect by the note ban at the same, Crystal’s is your answer. The restaurant has been feeding college students and other people alike for ages. Known more for their home-style food, the Rajma Chawal, Dal Makhani and Kheer too. South Bombay is not only about expensive restaurants you know.

Price: Rs 75 (inclusive of taxes)

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Rajma Chawal at Crystal, Chowpatty (Picture for representation purpose only)

Khottu Idli @ Cafe Mysore, Matunga East
We know many of you love Madras café but the Khottu Idli at Café Mysore we hear is an amazing speciality. The dish is simply an idli wrapped in jackfruit leaf and steamed before being served with sambar. The delicious combination with the flavour of jackfruit should make you want to go there right now!

Price: Rs 60 (inclusive of taxes)     

Also Read: 5 Freakshakes In Mumbai That Are Too Freakin’ Good

Mutton Kheema Pav @ Koolar Café, Matunga East
Mumbai has many Irani cafes to boast of but Koolar situated in the heart of south Indian restaurants yet manages to yet capture many diners with their authentic Irani food. The café is popular for its spicy Kheema with soft paos (Indian bread). It is also famous for brun maska and deliciously Irani chai for the taking.

Price: Rs 220 (inclusive of taxes)

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Mutton Kheema Pav at Koolar Cafe Co., Matunga East (Picture for representation purpose only)

Chicken Puff @ Hearsch And Co., Bandra West
Bandra is known for its bakeries and their delicious puffs and pastries along with other bakery items, Hearsch has a chicken puff that is meaty and a perfect snack. The peppery chicken filling that is amazing with every bite.

Price: Rs 30 per puff

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Chicken Puff at Hearsch Bakery, Bandra West

Cheese Chilly Toast @ Jay Sandwich, Bandra West
The Mumbai sandwich is very popular, sliced vegetables with some spice and toasted till crisp and Jay Sandwich has mastered that along with many others. The Cheese Chilly Toast served has green chillies, capsicum and is loaded with cheese before being toasted. Every bite filled with cheese and spice reminds you of why Mumbaikars love the sandwich.

Price: Rs 80 (inclusive of taxes)

7 Street Food Variations In Restaurants That Will Beat Khau Gallis

From a delicious pani puri in shot glasses to crab bhurjee pao, you will love them

This article first appeared on Burrp.com while I was a writer there and is republished here only for personal use.

Pani Puri @ Fable, Juhu
No, there’s no ragda or mashed potatoes but instead Paan Puri at Fable is stuffed with green apple, a little bit of mint, green chillies and tamarind; the coriander paani is served in shot glasses. The puri placed on top has to be eaten after pouring water from the shot glass. Street side food just got cooler, didn’t it?

Price: Rs 175 + taxes

Drunken Bhel @ True Tramm Trunk, Juhu
Cheap Chinese just got a better version and you can’t help but love it. True Tramm Trunk serves Chinese Bhel with a twist and calls it Drunken Bhel and not it does not have alcohol. Made from long strips of bell pepper and Kashmiri apple slivers, it is topped with schezwan sauce and green chillies that make the dish a spicy one and it isn’t even expensive.

Price: Rs 125 + taxes

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Drunken Bhel at True Tramm Trunk, Juhu

Rajasthani Pyaaz Ki Kachori @ Farzi Café, Lower Parel
If you’re craving kachori chaat and are willing to experiment, head to Farzi Café for some Rajasthani Pyaaz Ki Kachori. A spicy Masala Kathal (vegetable curry) is filled in typical Rajasthani mini dough shells along with jackfruit and Aloo Rassa reduction (a thickened potato curry) that burst into many flavours with the first bite.

Price: Rs 255 + taxes

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Rajasthani Pyaz Ki Kachori at Farzi Cafe, Lower Parel

Seafood Bhel @ The Bombay Canteen, Lower Parel
Fish in bhel? A classic chaat gets a makeover at the popular Bombay Canteen. It includes sautéed prawns, calamari and clams tossed with raw mango pieces and date chutney. Long strips of carrot, radish and herbs like mint, cilantro and chives give the bhel a salad-like crunchy, tangy and spicy flavour. Give the drab sukkha bhel a miss already.

Price: Rs 300 + taxes

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Seafood Bhel at The Bombay Canteen, Lower Parel

Bheja Masala Fry @ MasalaBar, Bandra West
Quite a favourite on the streets of Mumbai and roadside stalls, MasalaBar serves Bheja Masala Fry differently and you’ll love it. It came like a crostini with spicy lamb brain laid out on toasted bread to be eaten mess-free. The bheja is perfectly cooked and has a buttery taste from the bread that will make you skip the classic bheja masala fry and pav for many reasons.

Price: Rs 375 + taxes

Also Read: 10 Restaurants In Mumbai Serving Malayali Food That Is Pure Bliss

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Bheja Masala Fry at MasalaBar, Bandra West Photo Credits: Cryselle D’souza

King Crab Bhurjee Pao @ Masala Library By Jiggs Kalra, Bandra East
Give roadside egg bhurjee pao is skip, try the crab bhurjee pao at Masala Library for entrees. Crab meat is cooked in Indian spices with masala scrambled eggs to make a peculiar combination; it is served on a bed of Indianised French toast.

Price: Rs 495 + taxes

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King Crab Bhurjee Pao at Masala Library, Bandra East

Dahi phuchka chaat @ Made In Punjab, Malad West
Always wondered what phuchka chaat would taste with a different filling? Made in Punjab serves a Dahi Phuchka Chaat as leavened puff bread made up of semmolina and refined flour stuffed with potatoes, chickpeas sweetened yoghurt, pomegranate topped with tamarind chutney and spicy mint chutney. The sweetness from the yoghurt and pomegranate with a tangy tamarind and spicy chutney are perfect if you’re craving street food only in a cleaner surrounding.

Price: Rs 145 + taxes

These Vegetarian Burgers Are What Every Vegetarian Has Dreamed About

Did you know delicious vegetarian burgers existed?

This article first appeared on Burrp.com while I was a writer there and is republished here only for personal use.

Haven’t we always thought of the perfect burger having a chicken or beef patty, loaded with bacon, cheese and egg? Now that the beef patty is impossible, the perfect burger doesn’t have to always be non-vegetarian, there are vegetarian burgers too. We give you a list of the best vegetarian burgers in the city and where to eat them, vegetarians we heard you.

The Monster @ Cubano Bar And Kitchen, Kemps Corner
If you thought there never could be a vegetarian monster burger, walk to Cubano Bar And Kitchen to try The Monster.  A tender and juicy grilled patty is balanced with the goodness of burger buns served with fryums & vegetables topped with a whole lot of cheese. If you cheese, you’ll drool at the thought of the burger, we bet.

Price: Rs 425 + taxes

BBQ Pulled Kathal Burger @ MasalaBar, Bandra West
Love jackfruit? Stop by MasalaBar for a BBQ Pulled Kathal Burger. The kathal or jackfruit as it is more commonly called is grilled and served with Indian masalas before being stuffed in a burger. The spicy burger and crisp and sweet jackfruit is a refreshing taste among vegetarian burgers.

Price: Rs 300 + taxes

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BBQ Pulled Kathal Burger at MasalaBar, Bandra West

Messy Burger @ The Spare KitchenJuhu
Always thought burgers were American? Try a Lebanese burger at The Spare Kitchen. Stuffed with mayo, vegetables, creamy cheese sauce, lettuce and tomatoes; the mix is served in a soft pita bread burger-style arrangement. The burger stays true to its name and cannot be had without messing your fingers.

Price: Rs 345 + taxes

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Messy Burger at The Spare Kitchen, All Outlets

Assorted Veg Sliders @ Global Chaos, Fort
Global Chaos serves small burgers or sliders as they are more commonly called. The pulled Seitan (wheat gluten) patties are tossed in a homemade BBQ sauce and is served along with coleslaw in green and pink buns. The colourful treat is a delight for not-so-big eaters as they are easy to eat and is delicious with every bite.

Price: Rs 350 + taxes

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Assorted Sliders at Global Chaos, Fort

Mexicali Veggie Burger @ Old Wild West, Lower Parel
Craving for burgers while shopping in Lower Parel? Old Wild West serves a simple yet appetizing burger; classic black beans are mashed and infused with mushrooms, carrots and chipotle barbecue sauce topped with guacamole ranch dip and serve with seasoned fries. The classic burger and fries combination is cheesy flavour with some spice and tangy taste that is definitely a winner.

Price: Rs 425 + taxes

Palak Paneer Burger @ Genuine Broaster Chicken, Andheri West
Did you ever imagine a Palak Paneer Burger? The newly-opened Genuine Broaster Chicken serves your favourite Indian dish as a burger and how! A perfectly made palak paneer patty topped with creamy spinach sauce and some iceberg lettuce is held by two soft in-house buns. The burger has an authentic flavour of the north Indian dish and is quite a deal.

Price: Rs 199 + taxes

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Palak Paneer Burger at Genuine Broaster Chicken, Andheri West

The Maha TUP Burger @ The Usual PlaceSanpada
If you don’t want to take a train from Navi Mumbai to the suburbs, head to The Usual Place for the Maha TUP Burger. The patty made from spiced potato and flavoured garlic and coriander is served with chilli garlic chutney and a mint and green chilli coulis (puree) but not before being topped with a yogurt cheese spread.

Price: Rs 340 + taxes

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The Maha TUP Burger at The Usual Place, Vashi

Summer Vegetable Burger @ Boveda Bistro, Andheri West
Drop by Boveda on a rainy day and order the Summer Vegetable Burger while you sink into the bistro-like ambiance. The burger has a patty made from potato and jalapeno and is served with herbed rice and coleslaw. The spicy burger is will make you forget all your worries, at least for the day.

Price: Rs 345 + taxes

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Summer Vegetable Burger at Boveda Bistro, Andheri West

Portobello Mushroom and Goat Cheese Sliders @ The Daily Bar And Kitchen, Bandra West
Love mushrooms? The Daily serves a Portobello mushroom burger that you will definitely like. The crisp patty made from sautéed mushrooms is placed on fresh lettuce and topped with a slice of cheese before being covered with a soft bun; it is served with a creamy garlic aioli dip. The slate comes with three miniature burgers that are easily enough for two.

Price: Rs 350 + taxes

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Portobello Mushroom and Goat Cheese Sliders @ The Daily, Bandra West

Potato Corn and Jalapeno Slider @ Brewbot, Andheri West
Stepping out to sip on some craft beers? Brewbot boasts of flavourful beers and there is nothing like ordering their sliders. Loaded with a luscious potato and corn patty, a spicy jalapeno jam and greens, the Potato Corn and Jalapeno slider is an interesting choice.

Price: Rs 345 + taxes

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Potato Corn and Jalapeno Slider at Brewbot, Andheri West

Spicy Black Bean Burger @ Bonobo, Bandra West
The Spicy Black Bean burger at Bonobo is a combination of jalapeno, crème cheese, BBQ Aioli and Pico De Gallo, a Mexican salsa that makes a delicious combination. The patty is placed on a bed of lettuce between two buns and is available all day at the restaurant.  

Price: Rs 364 + taxes

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Spicy Black Bean Burger @ Bonobo, Bandra West

Nothing But Cheese Burger @ Light House Café, All Outlets
LHC has a burger so cheesy, you wouldn’t mind an overdose. The crisp patty has a filling of melted cheese only, yes only Cheese. The burger also has fried pickles, tomato oregano sauce and jalapenos. Cheese burger anyone?

Price: Rs 500 + taxes  

Also Read: 10 Restaurants In Mumbai Serving Malayali Food That Is Pure Bliss

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Nothing But Cheese Burger at Light House Café, All Outlets

Beetroot Quinoa And Cottage Cheese Burger @ Woodside Inn, All Outlets
Want to eat a healthy burger? A healthy burger is hard to find but Woodside has a burger that is quite close. The patty is made from beetroot, quinoa and creamy cottage cheese and pistachio pesto; that’s not all, the burger is also topped with a slice of Emmental Cheese and served with French fries and a Kale and Pomegranate mini salad.

Price: Rs. 545 + taxes

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Beetroot Quinoa And Cottage Cheese Burger at Woodside Inn, All Outlets

Panko Crusted Vegetable Burger @ Four Points By Sheraton, Vashi
Four Points By Sheraton serves an amazing vegetable burger. The sweet baked buns sandwich a luscious patty that has a mash of mixed vegetables rolled in panko bread crumbs. It is dressed with a creamy cheese and mayonnaise layer that makes it a perfect treat. The burger is served hot with a side of salad or french fries.

Price: Rs 450 + taxes

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Panko Crusted Vegetable Burger at Four Points by Sheraton Navi Mumbai

Barley & Sprout Burger @ The Sassy Spoon, Nariman Point
If the suburbs are too far for your burger craving, The Sassy Spoon is your stop for a delicious vegetarian burger. The restaurant makes a crisp patty with barley and sprouts with mint & coriander; the patty is topped with melted cheese dripping off till the bun below; it is then topped with gherkin mayo and caramelized onion and served with fries on the side.

Price: Rs 415 + taxes

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Barley and Sprout Burger at The Sassy Spoon, Nariman Point

Spinach and Corn Burger @ Fable, Juhu
If you don’t like the regular potato patty burgers, try something different. Fable serves a apt burger for everybody who loves corn. The patty is made from spinach and corn and is dressed with delicious salsa sauce and served with a load of fries too.

Price: Rs 345 + taxes

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Spinach and Corn Burger at Fable, Juhu

Mediterranean Vegetable Burger @ White Owl Brewery, Lower Parel
If you want to skip Indian and try exotic flavours, head to The White Owl for the spicy Mediterranean Vegetable Burger. The patty is made from red pepper chutney, baby corn, sweet potato, carrots & fresh mozzarella. It is served between two grilled whole-wheat buns and has a cheesy and spicy flavour along with the sweetness from the potatoes, corn and carrots.

Price: Rs. 345 + taxes.

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Mediterranean Vegetable Burger at White Owl Brewery, Lower Parel

Colourful Veg Sliders @ Myx, Juhu
Myx serves a colourful lot of four sliders – blue, red, indigo and pink. The patty is an in-house special mix that is a secret and but has a burst of flavours that you will love. The buggers are served with a mustard and ketchup caviar, that adds an additional flavour to the colourful burgers.

Price: Rs 350 + taxes

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Colourful Veg Sliders at Myx, Juhu

Spicy Cottage Cheese Burger @ Olive Bistro, Goregaon East
Craving paneer? Try the Paneer Burger at Olive Bistro, the crusted paneer patty is served between two soft buns, a layer of lettuce and tomato, chilli and slice of cheese on top. It is served along with tomato relish and roasted peppers with Tzatziki. 

Price: Rs.290 + taxes

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Spicy Cottage Cheese Burger at Olive Bistro and Bar, Goregaon East

Veggie Brown Rice Burger @ One Street Over, Bandra West
If you’re in Bandra and looking to have a burger, head to OSO for some variety. The patty is placed on a layer of fresh lettuce, tomato and pickles; the patty made from brown rice is topped with heap of caramelized onions and a spicy sriracha aioli. The burger is delicious and can be had if you are willing to spend a little more on burgers.

Price: Rs 600 +taxes

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Veggie Brown Rice Burger at One Street Over, Bandra West

The Barbecue Paneer Burger @ The Rolling Pin, Lower Parel
Have taken a fancy for black buns? The Rolling Pin serves The Barbecue Paneer Burger with a smoky flavour that goes perfectly with the paneer and fresh vegetables. The spicy paneer patty-like preparation on lettuce is one that anybody would love. It is served with fries and a tasty tartar sauce on the side.

Price: Rs. 250 + taxes

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The Barbecue Paneer Burger at The Rolling Pin, Lower Parel

Roasted Beet Burger @ Craft Deli, Bistro And Bar, Kurla West
We know not many of you like beetroot but the Beetroot burger at Craft will definitely change your opinion. The roasted beetroot patty is crisp and sweet with a cheesy ricotta flavour. The patty is placed on a feta spread and soy aioli that is absolutely delicious.

Price: Rs 395 + taxes

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Roasted Beet Burger at Craft Deli, Bistro And Bar, Kurla West

Veggie Burger @ Monkey Bar, Bandra West
No, there isn’t any meat, so what? Monkey Bar serves an amazing black bun burger that has crunch and flavour that every vegetarian will love. A lentil and bean burger is placed on a bed of black rice along with amaranth leaves and walnuts; it is also topped with strips of Portobello mushrooms, a spicy chutney mayo and a cheesy jalapeno fondue. The burger has a nutty and cheesy flavour while being fresh and spicy, just like we like it.

Price: Rs 280 + taxes

10 Restaurants In Mumbai Serving Malayali Food That Is Pure Bliss

Macha try some avial no, it is simbly tasty

This article first appeared on Burrp.com while I was a writer there and is republished here only for personal use.

India has the privilege of being a land of many cuisines, some almost like chalk and cheese. While all of them have their own flavours, food from Kerala is often romanticized to an extent that is hard to match in a city like Mumbai. Yet, there are some restaurants that make the cut and the food which our in-house Mallu has approved as home-like food.

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Kerala Food That You Must Try In Mumbai

Lalit Refreshment – Taste Of Kerala, Fort
You cannot come to Mumbai and not go to Taste Of Kerala for some authentic Kerala food. Recently renovated, you can now eat Kerala food with the perfect ambiance. The menu has a variety of specialities including the Unlimited Thali on a traditional banana leaf, Appams, Malabar Chicken Biryani, Avial, Rasam and others that will keep you busy and definitely stuffed by the end. Unfortunately, they do not serve the famed beef curry but they got the Malabar parothas alright.

Meal For Two: Rs 500 (inclusive of taxes)

Spice Of KeralaAndheri East
A favourite among many in Andheri, Spice of Kerala boasts of its delicious non-vegetarian fare. Try the mutton stew with Kerala parothas or try the classic Fish Pollichathu with your choice of fish. You can also try the traditional Chicken Biryani cooked in the spicy Malabar style.

Meal For Two: Rs 400 (inclusive of taxes)

Sneha, Mahim West
If you’re in Mahim and need to eat delicious south Indian food, Sneha makes for a good stop. One of Mumbai’s older restaurants opposite Paradise Cinema, the restaurant serves some of the best Kerala food around Mahim. Though non-air conditioned, it is thriving all the time because of its famous Surmai Fry, Chicken Sukha and Malabar Paratha, patrons also like the Chicken Biryani served there

Meal For Two: Rs 300 (inclusive of taxes)

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Surmai Fry at Sneha, Mahim West

Hotel Deluxe, Fort
It’s not easy for geographically handicapped people to find Hotel Deluxe, a favourite among Mallus in Mumbai but if you ask around you’ll find it in the lane opposite Citi Bank and a few paces away from Taste Of Kerala. The small dingy restaurant may seem uninviting to many who are used to a better ambiance it fool you. Apart from the sadya meal (eaten on the leaf), this place is popular for people who like to taste the non-vegetarian food of Kerala. The Chicken Sukha and Malabar paratha is a favourite and hard to miss.

Meal For Two: Rs 300 (inclusive of taxes)

Udaya Lunch Home, Chembur East
Udaya is another favourite of many Mallus in Chembur. Patrons check in to the restaurant to get their fix of delicious food like Appams with Sukka Mutton, Fish or Chicken curry. Nel Chor – ghee and rice preparation is very famous at the restaurant and definitely a must try when you are there.

Meal For Two: Rs 500 (inclusive of taxes)

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Sukka Mutton at Udaya Family Restaurant, Chembur East (Picture for representational purpose only)

Cardamom, Andheri East
If you’re in Andheri and craving Kerala food, head over to Cardamom to try some unique dishes that that aren’t available at many places. The small restaurant is air-conditioned and cheap too. They serve delicious Ghee Dosa, Ayala Shappu – a roadside toddy shop preparation. The duck roast is also a favourite among locals there.

Meal For Two: Rs 300 (inclusive of taxes)

Also Read: 5 Freakshakes In Mumbai That Are Too Freakin’ Good

Onam Family Restaurant, Vasai West
If you’re in Vasai, drop by for a quick lunch or dinner at Onam. A few minutes away from the station, it is situated next to Catholic Bank and serves authentic food. The Beef Chilly is a rage here along with the Malabar paratha, the spicy beef curry has a rich flavour of garam masala that is hard to miss. If you don’t want to experiment too much, the Rasam is perfect with fat rice, like it is served in houses in Kerala.

Meal For Two: Rs 300 (inclusive of taxes)

Just Kerala, Hotel SamrajAndheri East 
Just Kerala boasts of authentic vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian Kerala food. The restaurant in one of the fewer options in Chakala for a good Kerala meal. Their specialities are the Sadhya (typically served on the leaf) meal. They are serve a delicious vegetable and chicken stew that anybody would love with the first bite.

Meal For Two: Rs 600 + taxes

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Sadhya at Just Kerala, Hotel Samraj, Chakala (Picture for representational purpose only)

Hotel Madina, Mahim West
If you’re yearning for Kerala food, start your meal at Sneha and end it at Madina. You cannot miss the delicious non-vegetarian fare that is also cheap and pocket-friendly, a luxury you don’t find in Mumbai these days. Try the Chicken Biryani – a mound of falvoured rice with chicken gravy at the bottom that has to be mixed to get a complete experience; Chicken Masala and parathas are also a favourite there. The restaurant boasts of Muslim food from Kerala which is also a rarity in the city.

Meal For Two: Rs 400 (inclusive of taxes)

Hotel Sunny, Chembur East
While western Mumbai has a variety of options, central Mumbai has Hotel Sunny that boasts of a variety of vegetarian Kerala specialities that will delight a Mallu and impress any Mumbaikar with the food. Try soft Appams with fish curry, the restaurant also Aviyal and Puttu at this cozy little restaurant that borders Shell Colony.

Meal For Two: Rs 400 (inclusive of taxes)

Photo Credits: Cryselle D’souza