Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Vanika Choudhary’s guide to Mumbai

Chef Vanika Choudhary and a view of Mumbai.

Mumbai photo by Renzo D'souza on Unsplash

Vanika Choudhary’s guide to Mumbai

The Noon chef shares her favourite places to eat breakfast, thali and even pizza in Mumbai.
01 September, 2023

Vanika Choudhary is the chef behind Noon, a modern Indian restaurant in Mumbai focused on foraging and fermentation, inspired by the region of Jammu and Kashmir, where she spent her childhood – ‘noon’ is the Kashmiri word for salt.

Choudhary has spent time living with and learning from South Korean chef-monk Jeong Kwan, and at any one time has around 50 ferments bubbling away in her lab. Dishes include elements such as lacto-fermented pineapple, shio koji chutney, and millet miso.

The Noon team also has a strong social conscience, the largely female group working with social enterprises, farmers’ collectives and anthropologists across the country to help create a better food system. 

Here is Vanika Choudhary’s guide to where to eat in Mumbai, from great breakfasts to thalis and even pizza.

Shree Thaker Bhojanalay

“Hands down the best traditional Gujarati thali in Mumbai. It was founded in 1945 and I’d describe this as a true institution. They don’t accept reservations, it’s completely vegetarian, and you’ll need to queue, sometimes it can take up to an hour. I’d suggest eating a super light breakfast the day you plan to go for lunch to Shree Thaker as they serve hearty soul food. It’s synonymous with home-style cooking and a place that I take all my guests to.”


A dish at Soam in Mumbai.

“Soam is another brilliant vegetarian restaurant that places an emphasis on seasonality. I love Soam for its delicious Gujarati and Rajasthani food. Their chaats are absolutely divine, especially ragda pattice. Keep an eye out for their specials.”

Swati Snacks

A dish at Swati Snacks in Mumbai.

“A trip to Mumbai would be incomplete without visiting Swati Snacks and trying the panki (rice flour pancake steamed in banana leaf, this is a Gujarati delicacy) and misal pav (Maharashtrian street food of usal/sprouts curry, served with a pav [bread roll]). Another quick-service, casual institution.”

Cafe Madras

“This is an iconic spot in Mumbai for a quick breakfast serving great South Indian food. My favourites are set dosa with white butter, neer dosa, and idli butter podi.”

Highway Gomantak

“This is a legendary spot and the best place in Mumbai for Goan seafood thali. You’ve got to try the special fish thali, crab masala thali and fish roe koshimbir thali. I love their bhakris (rice roti) too.”

The Table

Dishes at The Table in Mumbai.

“One of the pioneers that kick-started the fine-dining movement in Mumbai 15 years ago. It’s celebrated for its global eclectic flare and has the most amazing small and large sharing plates. I love their shrimp tacos.”

Mag Street Cafe

Dishes at Mag Street Cafe in Mumbai.

“If you’re looking for something casual and comforting and love a sourdough pizza, look no further than Mag Street Cafe. Caramelised onions and goat’s cheese are my favourites.”