3 Thrifty Eats & 3 Bargain Places to Shop in Mumbai, India

3 Thrifty Eats & 3 Bargain Places to Shop in Mumbai, India

Don’t miss these 6 items you must eat and must buy in Mumbai!

Being the largest and busiest city in India, it comes as no surprise that there’s an overwhelming amount of sights to see and things to do in Mumbai. You might be excited about hitting up the Gateway of India, going on an evening stroll along Marine Drive or maybe even heading out to see the Elephanta Caves. But don’t neglect the fact that Mumbai is an absolute gastronomic and shopping haven; there are more food and shopping options that you can possibly cover during your visit!

That’s why we’ve narrowed down the three most affordable on both fronts for you! If you’re ready to take on this Indian coastal city, eating and shopping to your heart’s content, keep reading.

3 Thrifty Eats in Mumbai

1. Vada Pav

vada pav

Image credit: Kabirsabri

This is one of the most low-priced, widely available delicacies that you’ll find on the streets of Mumbai, so of course it’s the first on our list. If you have no idea what this food item native to the Maharashtra state is, a trip to Mumbai will change all of that.

some ingredients of vada pav

Image credit: Deepeshmd

Vada Pav is often wrongfully labelled as “Indian burger” or “vegetarian burger”, and while it’s not completely off the mark, it’s so much more than those names suggest. It’s essentially a potato cutlet — which itself is packed with fresh coriander, green chillies, a dash of ginger or garlic that’s cased with chickpea flour — stuffed into a fluffy bun. When paired with some delicious chutney, you’re bound to fall in love with every bite.

Costing as low as S$0.40, stalls selling this yummy snack are abundant in Mumbai — with the most notable being Ashok Vada Pav located across the road from Kirti College in Dadar. This is where Vada Pav is often credited to have originated, so there’s really no better place to try it!

2. Pav Bhaji

pav bhaji

Image credit: Barry Pousman

Another ‘pav’ favourite in Mumbai is the Pav Bhaji, which is another flavourful vegetarian dish that originated in the city. Pav Bhaji consists of a mish-mash of leftover vegetables — mostly tomatoes and potatoes — to produce a beautiful, thick curry. It’s then eaten with buttery bread, which some stores prepare with cheese!

For a tantalising serving of Pav Bhaji, hunt down the historic Sardar Pav Bhaji on Tardeo Road in South Mumbai. At just S$4, it’ll cure you of any midnight hunger pangs you may get after a full day of travelling in Mumbai. Tables always seem to be filled during its opening hours from 12pm to 2am, but if you have the chance, be sure to pull up a seat and make conversation with other diners at the stall!

3. Kathi Roll

kathi roll

Image credit: Jason Lam

Although many of Mumbai’s delicious street food are of the vegetarian variety, economical meaty eats aren’t impossible to procure either. You’ll definitely run across a good kebab-and-shawarma stall (read: Bademiya) or two while roaming the streets of Mumbai, selling their own takes on chicken or mutton rolls. The Kathi Roll may have originated from Kolkata, but you should take this chance to have a taste of the Mumbai variation as well!

more kathi rolls

Image credit: Satyajit Dhawale (L); kspoddar (R)

What’s different about Kathi Rolls are that instead of regular pita bread, fluffy paratha is used to wrap flavourful boneless chicken; the flavours are unmistakably Indian.

Chicken rolls start from S$2.40 at Kathi Kabab Roll, a tiny joint located in Lower Parel. Tip: the best flavour is said to be the Chicken Burnt Garlic Mayo Roll, so if you’re having difficulty choosing from their extensive menu, order this one!

3 Bargain Places to Shop in Mumbai

1. Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai

crawford market

Image credit: Mumbai Tourism

Formerly known as Crawford Market, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai is one of the most famous markets in Mumbai. It’s housed in a colonial era building which was fascinatingly the first building in India to be lit up by electricity!

inside of mahatma jyotiba phule mandai

Image credit: Shabbir Siraj

Operating every day except for Sundays, head over to this massive market for all the best bargains on basically everything under the sun. They sell — at wholesale prices — fresh fruit, vegetables, dried goods, sweets and many other interesting knick-knacks such as jewellery and hand-woven baskets.

Once you’re done with the inside of the main market area, step out into the outer bazaar where you can continue bargaining for fabrics, flowers as well as trinkets and souvenirs to bring home.

2. Linking Road

linking road merchants

Image credit: Abe Bingham

Shoe-shop until you drop at Linking Road in Mumbai’s Bandra West suburb, with the shopping paradise extending up to about a kilometre in distance. Here’s where you’ll find great bargains on trendy footwear, bags, clothes and various other fashion items — including both traditional Indian clothing and whatever’s in trend at the moment. 

Don’t be afraid to quote your price, and you’ll leave happily with your well-negotiated buys. The main market opens from about 11am till late, so prepare enough shopper bags for however much you’re planning to haul back.

3. Colaba Causeway

wares sold at colaba causeway

Image credit: ghoseb

Unique antiques, precious stones, paintings and even furniture — this place has it all. If you’re seeking to find any curios, make sure you head south of Mumbai to visit the Colaba Causeway or Shahid Bhagat Singh Road. It’s your one-stop place for getting your souvenir shopping done on a budget. It’s not out of the way either, being close in proximity to the Gateway of India.

There you have it, six thrifty eats and bargain places to shop in Mumbai! While this list only covers the essentials that you mustn’t leave out from your Mumbai itinerary, you’ll be left wanting to seek out everything else that this food and shopping hub has to offer. Find more information on what you can discover in Mumbai and India by visiting India Tourism’s official website and Facebook page.

Also read: The Best of Mumbai in 4 Days: An Itinerary for First Timers

Brought to you by India Tourism Singapore.

About Author

Sharifah Nur Afiqah
Sharifah Nur Afiqah

Always going from one extreme to the next, Sharifah’s constantly agonising over what to order off the menu, yet she tends to jump head-first into the major things, on the basis of intuition. Catch her at her loudest when she’s on a roller-coaster, cable car, or any other thrill-inducing contraption.