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Navi Mumbai – the name itself conjures up images of an endless journey to some far flung place only worth stopping for a vada pav on the way to Lonavala. What most people don’t know is that there’s much more to Navi Mumbai today than there was around five years ago. From top-notch gourmet restaurants to hole in wall khanavals, chai tapris to uber cool cafes, khau gallis to air-conditioned food courts, Navi Mumbai has it all.
Dining out options were very limited to Indian (typically serving North Indian, Punjabi, Tandoori cuisines), Chinese, Udipi restaurants and chaat shops. However, as Mumbai became increasingly unaffordable and more people moved here, the market for a wider range of restaurants and cuisines grew. Malls have only helped get restaurants, and global and Indian fast food chains to Navi Mumbai. Pizza Hut, Chilli’s, Starbucks, KFC, Smokin’ Joes, BBC, Flury’s - they’re all here.
Earlier options were limited to Vashi but today you will find good food in every node, from Airoli to Vashi, right up to Panvel. In the last few years, there has been such a surge in dining out options the Navi Mumbaikar is spoilt for choice.
Pot Pourrie – Inorbit Mall, Vashi, is a huge favourite with Navi Mumbaikars. Daily lunch buffet and a dinner buffet on Wednesdays. The recently revamped menu has global street food, salads, pizzas, mini meals, sizzlers and lots more.
West Coast Grill – Airoli. BBQ grills, burgers, pastas, highly recommended!
Sigree – Platinum Techno Park, Vashi – North Indian and Mughlai food, they have lunch and dinner buffets and an extensive À la carte menu.
Café Monza – Kharghar, just off the Mumbai Pune highway. Open all day starting with breakfast. Sun dried tomato and basil poha, Masamman lamb curry, Chicken tagine are among the top picks here. Desserts are also recommended.
Macchiato – Belapur: Top notch Italian food here, this restaurant has three levels with a bar at the top. Machhiato can give some of the best Mumbai restaurants a run for their money. The Sea Bass Carpaccio, Mixed Mushroom Crostini, Prawn stuffed Agnolotti, and the Italian Cheesecake – Mamma Mia! The bar serves signature coffee based cocktails and favourites like shooters, classic cocktails, premium spirits, and wines, and of course, coffee.
Kutchi King – Kharghar: This Gujarati snack shop chain has more than 200 outlets and the only Mumbai outlet is in Kharghar. The Kutchi Bowl has fried croutons, boiled potatoes, chopped onions, sev, sweet and spicy chutneys and is garnished with pomegranate seeds. Delicious!
You, Me & Cuppa Tea – Tucked in the greenery on Parsik Hill you can enjoy a variety of teas sourced from tea gardens from all over the world. No tea bags here! A huge space, you can bring your laptop and work from here. They also serve snacks and desserts.
Singhland – Belapur: Home-style vegetarian Punjabi food – kulchas, aloo tikkis, thalis, rajma chawal. Comfort food!
Annapurna Sweets – Nerul west, Sector 12: This small shop makes superlative Bengali sweets. Try the mishti doi and the kheer kodom for sure.
Salad Bar & Walnut Café – Haware Infotech Park, Vashi: A café and a salad bar under one roof, this place offers two menus and has a live salad bar with everything from arugula to olives.
Bong Adda – Belapur: Bong-style biryani, chaap, rolls, veg and non-vegetarian thalis.
Photo Credit: Rhea Dalal
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