Mumbai is crammed with interesting places to eat, from glamorous rooftop lounge bars to hole-in-the-wall kebab shops. The cafés, bars and restaurants of Colaba encompass just about the full gamut of possibilities, while a short walk or taxi ride north, Kala Ghoda and Fort are home to some of the best cafés and restaurants in the city, including its last traditional Parsi diners, whose menus (and sometimes decor as well) have changed little in generations.
The city is renowned for distinctive street foods – especially bhel puri, a quintessentially Mumbai masala mixture of puffed rice, deep-fried vermicelli, potato, crunchy puri pieces, chilli paste, tamarind water, chopped onions and coriander. More hygienic, but no less ubiquitous, is pao bhaji, a round Portuguese-style bread roll served on a tin plate with griddle-fried, spicy vegetable stew, and kanji vada, savoury doughnuts soaked in fermented mustard and chilli sauce. And if all that doesn’t appeal, a pit-stop at one of the city’s hundreds of juice bars probably will. There’s no better way to beat the sticky heat than with a glass of cool milk shaken with fresh pineapple, mango, banana, chikoo (small brown fruit that tastes like a sweet pear) or custard apple. Just make sure they hold on the ice – which may be made with untreated water.