First things first it’s important to mention that the conventional Mumbai (or Bombay to the locals) working day is 10/11am - 7pm meaning that people have more time to enjoy their mornings. What a brilliant concept! Secondly Indian’s in general take breakfast very seriously. One of the biggest surprises was just how good the breakfasts in India are. As believers that it's the most important meal of the day this was indeed a welcome surprise!
To kick things off and make sure we got a well rounded view on Mumbai breakfast things we sought the advice of 3 different food lovers based in the city:
The Food Connoisseur: @mumbaifoodie
The Bombayite: @mumbai_igers
The Expat: @daniellakbutcher
Armed with insider tips we set about stuffing our faces for 5 days. Here are our findings:
A Traditional Indian Start To The Day
Curry and spice do not appeal to everyone first thing in the morning, however you would be surprised as to how well it goes down. Therefore, when in Mumbai you must do as the locals do and try some of these Indian favourites. Local breakfast spots tend to be no-nonsense, with people of all ages tucking into a variety of cheap eats, reading their papers and chatting over cups of Chai (the best drink ever). We found the fuss-less feel to these cafes really different and they certainly saved us some money!
Cafe MySore - Located in Kings Circle, this humble breakfast spot is the perfect way to recharge after an early morning at the nearby Flower Market. Try the Umpa (a semolina porridge with tomato and spices), Idils (steamed rice cakes) and Dosas (very thin pancakes) for typical Indian fair. What’s more you can fill up and have your morning coffee for little over £1
The Cafe Scene
Having already spent over a month in India we were shocked to find out just how big the cafe scene in Mumbai is. Often hidden amongst the chaos of the surrounding buildings, traffic and people, stepping inside some of Mumbai’s hipsteresque cafes makes you feel like you’ve been transported back to Shoreditch. While this doesn’t sound the most adventurous find, if you’ve been travelling in India for a while, you’ll most likely relish a peaceful haven like this. What’s more, you can get all those breakfast favourites you’ve probably been craving; eggs, avocado and sourdough or organic muesli, yoghurt and fresh fruit and it even tastes how you would expect (previously ordering any Western food had been a minefield, a particular favourite was scrambled egg seasoned with sugar!)
Pali Village Cafe - This was our favourite in terms of interior design with a cool mezzanine level looking down over the cafe. We tried the scrambled eggs, sourdough and spinach, and the cinnamon porridge with curd and fresh fruit. All was delicious, though the eggs were pretty heavily garlic’ed something to keep in mind depending on what you have planned for the rest of the day.
Street Food Feasts
Though Delhi belly disaster stories make this initially daunting, the advice to only buy from the busy stalls and to make sure it’s piping hot has faired us well so far! If you are looking for a breakfast on the go then this is the way forward, Mumbai is famous for it’s street food so here is the place to be adventurous.
Punjab Sweets - By far and away our favourite street food and at 50p a pop it’s the ideal mid morning snack or on the go energy boost.
Our favourite was the Bhel Puri (puffed rice with an amazing tangy yoghurt and tamarind sauce).
The eclectic mix of food on offer in Mumbai was one of the many surprises India sprung on us. The fusion of different cultures and influences within the city, combined with a relaxed start to the day meant that our Mumbai mornings were some of our favourites. If you love breakfast as much as us then we strongly suggest adding Mumbai to your travel wish list.