Cherishing the Bambaiya pav bhaji is a journey in itself, starting from the sight of the preparation of the dish to the post facto effects of an acidic stomach and a happy tongue. One would resonate it with a dish being cooked on a large black tava with the clanking sound of the masher, mixed with red-spiced ingredients and dollop of extra butter. If you have lived in the city, it’s unlikely that you haven’t tasted this speciality or dislike it. It incorporates all of the flavors of the city, which makes it so special. The most preferred variations are special double teekha or cheese pav bhaji along with masala pav. Tempting enough? Head to any of the following popular joints to satisfy your taste buds.
Amar Juice Centre, Juhu
Situated in the hub of Juhu, Amar is an iconic roadside fast-food joint famous for its pav bhajis. You will witness waiters hovering across both the sides of the street assisting in car parking, taking orders, and serving a one-kilometer-long line of cars on the road. It is open till 2 a.m. and always crowded with students and ravenous foodies. The red-flavored pav bhaji served with masala onion and coriander salad will never disappoint you. Other must try food items at Amar include chatni powder masala pav with cheese, tawa pulav, and the garlic cheese roll.
Maruti Pav Bhaji, Vile Parle
Ever heard or seen black-colored pav bhaji? This is the place to go for the regular pav bhaji with a twist – the use of its secret ‘black-spiced masalas’. It is traditionally famous as a make-shift kitchen in the by-lanes of a residential locality, creating a nighttime picnic spot. One must-try is the unique masala pav – ‘Babu pav’ made with its secret black spices, coriander and lots of butter.
Maruti Pav Bhaji, 202, Old Police Ln, Kamala Nagar, Mumbai, India, +91 22 3856 5497
Sukh Sagar, Chowpatty, Charni Road
For the most masaledar and buttery pav bhaji in South Bombay, visit Sukh Sagar. It is located right across from Chowpatty Beach, where you will find a row of a multiple Sukh Sagars each serving different cuisine. When you come across a tiny non-AC restaurant in the row outfitted with an open kitchen, you know where to enter. It only serves pav bhajis, masala pav, and idli chatni. Stop by for a visit to experience the feasting upon pav bhaji and also the chance to see the entire preparation as well as chat with the cook.
Sukh Sagar, Marina Mansion, SVP Road, Chowpatty, Mumbai, India, +91 22 2367 9614
Sardar Refreshments, Tardeo
If you want to have Amul butter with the same amount of bhaji mixed in it, make a visit to Sardar’s. The bhaji isn’t as flavorful as the others, but one thing that is unbeatable is the massive amount of Amul butter. Don’t think much about calories and just cherish how smoothly it settles in the tummy and how the pav dipped in massive amounts of butter just melts in the mouth.
Bhagwati Pav Bhaji, Borivali
Bhagwati is a famous roadside pav bhaji stall in the northern part of the city that is also open till midnight. It serves lip-smacking perfectly flavored food. Due to its speciality, you will find this place always crowded, especially at odd hours of the night. For the best experience, stand by the stall for a quick meal while enjoying the sight of fresh tasty food being cooked.
DP’s Fast Food Corner, Matunga
DP’s is a famous fast-food joint located in the prime residential and educational locality of Matunga. It is usually flocked by college students for its chilled ambience and quick service. The pav bhaji is just a perfect mixture of flavors and veggies served with cotton-like soft and butter-drenched pavs. It is nearly impossible to just eat one. Do try its famous masala pavs too.
Located in the ‘khau galli’ of the Gujarati dominated Ghatkopar region, Achija is the sister restaurant of Amar Juice Centre. It is perpetually crowded and is open till past midnight. Its extra cheese and double teekha pav bhaji with chatni masala pav is to die for. Follow up your spicy meal with the famous faloodas and malai golas from the nearby stalls.
Achija, Sai Dham, Tilak Rd, Ghatkopar East, Mumbai, India, +91 22 2102 7359
By Krutika Maniar Doshi