Mumbai is a foodie’s dream come true. It boasts of many restaurants that serve an amazing variety of South Indian delights that includes both traditional bites as well as those with modern twists. Think crisp dosas, melt-in-mouth idlis soaked in hot sambar and fragrant fish curries crackling with mustard seeds and curry leaves. There’s something to please every kind of palate. If you’re new to the city or are looking to explore the rich diversity of food from down South, here’s your guide to the best South Indian restaurants in Mumbai.
1. Café Madras
If you haven’t explored Matunga yet, now is a good time to and Café Madras is the place where you should be heading. The restaurant brings the best of Madras (now Chennai) to Mumbai and is famous for classic dishes like Rasam, Butter Idlis, Upma Podi, Madras Dahi Misal, Neer Dosa, and Pineapple Sheera.
Address: 38 B, Circle House, King’s Circle Near Maheshwari Udyan, Matunga East, Mumbai
2. Banana Leaf
Banana leaf offers a quick trip to Mangalore and also gives you a chance to explore the neighbouring cuisines of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. As the name suggests, the food is served on a banana leaf so you get to enjoy an authentic experience. Everything from their fiery Andhra Idlis to the home-style Oats and Ragi Uttapam is worth coming back for.
Address: Shubham CHS, Opposite Vikram Petrol Pump, Juhu Versova Link Road, 7 Bungalows, Andheri West
3. Ram Ashray
This is one of the best spots to enjoy a great South Indian breakfast. Their Rava Onion Dosa
, Idli Podi and Rasam Vada along with a cup of steaming filter coffee can give your day a great start.
Address: Bhandarkar Road, Matunga East, Mumbai
This tiny eatery in Malabar Hills has been serving tasty, authentic and well-priced Tamilian fare for years now. If that’s not enough to compel you to pay a visit, know that they serve the best fluffy idlis in town. Their golden Nai Roast Dosai rich with ghee is another attraction.
Address: 183, Teen Batti Road, Walkeshwar, Malabar Hill, Mumbai
5. Arya Bhawan
The owner of this restaurant, Muthuswamy, has been in catering service for more than 70 years and is popularly known as the Idli King of Mumbai. You must visit this place to try their milky upma and the golden onion Mysore masala dosa stuffed with their in-house spicy red masala.
Address: Opposite Matunga Railway Station, Matunga East, Mumbai
6. A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna
At this humble restaurant, you can enjoy a lavish meal South-Indian style on a banana leaf squatting on the floor. It is believed to be the first Udipi restaurant in Mumbai established during the British Raj in 1942. Come here with a big appetite to enjoy their wholesome South Indian thali complete with rice, fresh pickles, puris, one curry, raita,one lentil dish, dal, pappad and unlimited sambar or rasam.
Address: 1st Floor, LBS Market Building, Near Matunga Central Railway Station, Matunga East, Mumbai
7. Sharda Bhavan
Sharda Bhavan is particularly known for serving a lovely Mangalorean breakfast. Their medu wada, ulundu dosa, kaidi idli
and masala milk make for an ideal morning meal.
Address: Opposite Matunga Railway Station, Lakhamsi Napoo Road, Matunga East, Mumbai
8. Hotel Deluxe
If you want to relish homemade Kerala food, you’d probably have to queue up outside Hotel Deluxe. This restaurant serves authentic Malayali cuisine. Come here to try traditional evening snacks like Banana Fry, Rice Ada and Neyyappam. This is also a great place to try some meaty delicacies. Karimeen Fry, Kakka and Kallummakaya are among its non-vegetarian specialties.
Address: 10-A, Pitha Street, Opposite Lane of Citi Bank, Fort, Mumbai
The beauty of South Indian food lies in the simplicity of its ingredients and the skillful balance of subtle spices to lift up the flavours which each of these restaurants have mastered.