The Shivaji Park are has never really been in the list of the areas in Mumbai which were considered as “THE PLACES TO EAT”. Though that is rapidly changing now, with the super fast usher of new & exciting places in this area, the question remains that “What exactly is it that made the people in Shivaji Park, want to hang out only in and around Shivaji Park?” The answer for me is – apart from the beautiful open space of Shivaji Park, it is the street food. YES! The highly understated Street Food that is available in this area.
Though the favorite street food vendors in this area are quite limited, people who have grown up or live in this area, swear their loyalties to these vendors. Such is the impact of the Street Food vendors in this area.
Inspite of being dominated by a huge chunk of Maharashtrian people, the best part about this area is that it is extremely secular when it comes to Street Food. Vada Pav to Chinese to Chaat to South Indian….Name it and you will find it! Correction. You will find the BEST of it!
Now, though it was a herculean task for a foodie like me, I managed to, after a lot & lot & lot of speculation, to narrow down on the 3 Street Food Vendors you just essentially have to try NOW!
The Very Famous ASHOK VADA PAV: Also known as the “Kirti College Vada Pav” this stall has been & still remains to be a favorite. I know people who drive down from Vashi to eat Vada Pav at this stall. Infact, there was a time in my life when I was going to take admission in the not so famous “Kirti College” for this very very famous Ashok Vada Pav. But my head took over my tongue for a change, and I chose otherwise. 😛 Located in the Kirti College Lane at Shivaji Park, getting you order in this tiny shop is a task in itself. I believe that the effort you take makes the Vada Pav tastier 😛 You will be exhausted till the time that that divine piece of Vada Pav reaches your hands. But BOY, ITS TOTALLY WORTH IT! The owner (Ashok), stuffs those crispy and crunchy Vadas into Pavs drizzling with chutneys, at a supernatural speed. The most unique and the best part about this Vada Pav is that, along with the Vada, he also stuffs the Pav with some crispy “Choora” which just totally elevates the experience of eating Vada Pav. The Vada Pav (with choora) is priced at Rs. 20 and you can also opt for the Choora Pav for Rs. 15. Not recommended for the people who cannot deal with spicy food, this place for me, is the inarguable king of Vada Pavs in the City of Vada Pav!
The Famous Tibbs Frankie Stall: Located right in the buzzing centre of Shivaji Park, this Tibbs Frankie stall, inspite of being one of the hundreds of the Tibbs Frankie otlets in the city, makes a big mark on the street food scene in Shivaji Park. This place holds a very special place in my heart as it does in all the kids who have grown up in this area. The kids in this area, without a doubt, must be eating the Frankies here atleast once a week. I can still taste the bliss of eating that hot piping frankie loaded with that spicy and tangy Chicken Masala. This Tibbs Frankie outlet, along with a huge variety of Frankies, also serves some Burgers & Sandwiches. But I recommend sticking to the Good Ol’ Chicken Frankie. A lot of Frankie places tried to set shop around this Tibbs stall. But the popularity of this outlet is still unmatched!
The Not So Famous Malai Gola: I highly doubt that the people outside the Shivaji Park area are even aware the existence of this Malai Gola stall which is so very popular in the Shivaji Park area. This guy has been in existence, long before all the fancy gola places came into the city. All you need to do, is ask the people of Shivaji Park about ” The Shivaji Park Malai Gola” and they will give you tales of its deliciousness! Manish Thakur, the owner, sets shop opposite the Shivaji Park ground at around 7pm and is avaliable till around 10pm. Watching him grate the ice and then artistically twine it with all sorts of beautiful syrups is an experience in itself. What I love about this place is the crazy, quirky & amazingly delicious flavors theat he has. He also serves a Special Gola known as the “American Gola” which is available in April & May. Also, what’s different about this guy is that he serves his Golas on a plate as opposed to the usual Golas on sticks. Wondering how?… Well, try it out now!
Though fine dining and eating at expensive restaurants has a charm of its own, its the Street Food that remains in you memory. That Ice Cola wala you bought that Rs.1 ice candy from… the neighboring Chaat wala who always gave you that extra Masala Puri…these are the memories that stay with you wherever you go. This post is a tribute to all those memories I have and which I owe to the area of Shivaji Park that I have stayed all my life in! I hope all you guys (irrespective of where you guys stay) can relate to it and love it!