Vada Pav and cutting chai, maybe the ‘fuel’ of Mumbai today, but did you know Mumbai’s very own burger, Vada Pav, came into being only in the late 1960’s. That’s right, somewhere in 1966, Ashok Vaidya snuck in a batata vada inside a fresh pav and sold it in his stall outside Dadar station. In the coming years, the snack became a massive rage among the mill workers and the working-class population of Mumbai. The popularity of the snack can also be gauged by the fact that it is the only Maharashtrian snack to have a day dedicated to it. 23rd August is celebrated as the National Vada Pav Day, but if you ask us, Mumbai celebrates this snack everyday. Whether in traffic or in rain, in the office or outside college, vada pav and vada pav fans are just about everywhere. Here are some places where you might score the best ones in the city.

Ashok Vada Pav, Prabhadevi  

One of the oldest and most iconic Vada Pav stalls of Mumbai that has also apparently found fans in some of the megastars of Bollywood such as Jackie Shroff and Shabana Azmi, Ashok Vada Pav has been going strong for more than 30 years. The crispy potato dumplings and pav are served with a tangy chutney and a chilly, also try their choora pav, where crispy, sev-like fritters are placed inside the pav with chutney and masalas instead of the batata vada.  

Where: Kashinath Duru Street, Veer Savarkar Marg, Prabhadevi, Near Keerti College, Dadar West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400025

Cost For Two: INR 100

Aram Vada Pav, Fort

Situated right outside Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, this yet another legendary Vada Pav Stall has managed to capture the hearts of Mumbaikars. The soft and crispy vadas are served with an array of chutneys making for an eclectic fare. Their Kothimbir Vadi, Kanda Poha are also worth a try. The prime location of this stall is an added boost. You just have to walk diagonally from the main station and you would see the stall, flocked with crowd.

Where: 42, Mint Road, Opposite GPO, Fort, Mumbai

Cost For Two: INR 150

Graduate Vad Pav, Byculla

If 20 years of undisputed business counts for anything then this humble stall outside Byculla station is sure to graduate with straight A’s and nothing less. The soft and crispy batata vada here is so perfect, you do not mind another serving of just that. The vada pav here also comes with a mix of interesting chutneys, made of garlic, tamarind, chillies and what not.  

Where: Railway Reservation Office, Byculla Station Road, Byculla West, Jacob Circle, Mumbai

Cost For Two: INR 180

Anand Stall, Vile Parle

If you truly want to explore the street food of Mumbai, you have to visit the road right outside Mithibai college. Competing with more ‘urban snacks’ such as sandwiches and cold coffee is the Vada Pav, specifically that from Anand Stall. In addition to the regular vada pav, you also find many interesting versions such as Schezwan Vada pav, where the pav is slathered over with hot Schezwan sauce before it envelopes the vada. If you do not have the best spice tolerance, slightly safer option would be the cheese vada pav.  

Where: Opposite Mithibai College, Gulmohar Road 1, Vile Parle West, Mumbai

Cost For Two: INR 110

Laxman’s Vada Pav, Ghatkopar East

Laxman’s Vada Pav is not just ideal for days when you want a quick snack that you can just grab and go, but also for those looking for a pocket-friendly deal at the end of the month. Even the slightly ‘exotic’ permutations like Schezwan cheese vada pav would cost only INR 55 here. Have a happy meal

Where: 19, Building 104, Garodia Nagar, Ghatkopar East, Mumbai

Cost For Two: INR 100