Pani Puri. These two words have the power to stir a host of feelings in each one of us. Craving, nostalgia, contentment, exhilaration, excitement and happiness. For some of us, this tangy, spicy dish would bring back the memories of moments spent sneakily with our first love eating this snack; while some of us would reminisce about the countless times spent after school at a chaat place near our home.
Whatever the reason may be, all of us are emotionally connected to this dish. Pani Puri, Gol Gappa, Phuchka, Pani Ke Battashe, Phulki, Gup Chup, Pakodi, name it whatever you want to, this treat is popular among people across regions, religions and classes. It’s like; Pani Puri is the ultimate leveler.
We give you 10 unforgettable Pani Puri places, in no particular order of preference, in Mumbai which will surely tickle your taste buds. So, indulge!
Where: 2/A, Elco Market, 46 Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai
Touted to be the ‘best chaat house of the city’, this outlet in the famous Elco Market, serving Mumbai street food for eons now, is known for creating a perfect balance between taste and hygiene. The snack here is at a slightly higher cost but the taste and hygiene of the place make it totally worth it!
Where: Mumbaidevi Commercial Centre, 69/75, Zaveri Bazaar, Kalbadevi, Mumbai
Bhagatchand Tarachand, Kalbadevi branch, serves lip-smacking Gujarati food but is also known for its chaat counter. This outlet too has a tradition of serving chaat for decades now and therefore is an absolute must-try.
Where: Panch Pakadi, Madanlal Dhingra Road, Bhakti Mandir, Panch Pakhadi, Thane West.
Prashant Corner is a bustling shop in the suburb of Thane. It is a hot favourite among the locals. The shop is crowded even during the weekdays. The plus point of having pani puri here is that you can finish off your hearty meal with a generous helping of homemade pot ice-cream, sold outside this chaat house.
Jai Jhulelal Snacks
Mulund Station Road, Vidya Vihar, Mulund West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400080
Located in the suburb of Mulund, known as the chaat hub in the adjoining areas, this age-old establishment is specialised in selling Sindhi chaat. Proprietors of this snack house originally hail from the Sindh region, now a part of Pakistan. They came to Mumbai as refugees and started this quaint little shop which soon gained popularity.
Sindhi Pani Puri
Where: Navjeevan CHS, Next to UCO Bank, Vasi Naka Road, Chembur (E), Mumbai
Give a Sindhi twist to your Pani Puri. The USP of this joint is that the masala for Pani Puri is prepared daily. You can savour this tangy, spicy treat till your heart is content and not be afraid of contracting infection; the hygienic environment here assures that.
Punjab Sweet House
Where: Dheeraj Arcade, opposite Jude Wine Shop, Pali Naka, Bandra (West)
This outlet is exclusively for the health freaks, as this is one of the few places where you can enjoy your chaat made in mineral water. The place has been crowned with ‘Best Pani Puri in Mumbai’ by CNN Travel.
Where: Guru Kripa Building, Road No. 24, Plot No. 40, Ahead of SIES College, Sion
This is the ultimate ‘go-to’ place for SIES college students. And a definite a must-not-miss place for everybody. Popular since ages for its A1 samosa, pani puri and dahi puri, you will find crowds naturally getting attracted towards this chaat corner.
Where: Sector 9, Big Splash, Vashi, Mumbai
No matter how full you are, you would always have an urge to have a pani puri, or perhaps a two! Jhama Sweets lives by this adage. Touted to be one of the most known outlets in Navi Mumbai, Jhama, aside from Pani Puri, is known for its delectable selection of sweets. So, if you are in for a complete and hearty meal, stopover at Jhama and you will not be disappointed.
Where: Near Breach Candy Hospital, Warden Road, Breach Candy, Mumbai
This obscure looking stall actually sells awesome Pani Puri among other snacks. The only problem is that this place is tiny and crammed, but the delicious taste of these tangy balls of fire (Pani Puri) compensate for the same.
This list is incomplete without writing mentioning the historic outlet of Vithal Bhelwala. Standing proud near CST railway station, for over a century, this outlet is a mother of all chaat houses in Mumbai. Started out as a humble stall outside the historic station in the pre-independence era, Vithal Bhelwala has burgeoned into a restaurant frequented by the who’s who of the city.