Which is your favourite cafe in Mumbai

Of the many things the Persians brought to India, their local cuisine is most beloved. Even today, Irani and Parsi cuisines remain a favourite of many local Mumbaikars, who relish every opportunity to sample Parsi favourites like Irani chai, salli boti, akuri and dhansak.

While many have shut shop, there are a few that have stood the test of time and exorbitant operating costs. In this article, we tell you about the top 13 Irani Cafes in Mumbai where you can enjoy Lagan Nu Custard, Chicken Farcha and other delicious Irani delights.

Irani Cafes in Mumbai – Fort Area

1. Yazdani Bakery

Yazdani Bakery, Fort

Located in a busy bylane near Flora Fountain, Yazdani is an iconic bakery that has been serving patrons since about 100 years. One of the few bakeries that has stood the test of rising operating costs in Mumbai, locals still throng the place looking to satisfy their craving for typical Iranian food.

Ideal for an afternoon chai, this place serves only Iranian snacks. Some items you mustn’t miss out on eating here are the bun maska, Irani chai, ginger biscuits, and if during Christmas, the plum cakes.

  • Location: Fort
  • Cost for Two: Rs 250
  • Famous For: Mawa Puff, Ginger Biscuits, Brun Pav
  • Timings: 7 am to 7 pm

2. Café Excelsior

Cafe Excelsior is a family-run restaurant that’s now being run by the third generation of the Mazkoori family. There are no grand interiors here, but that doesn’t dampen the spirits of patrons who come here faithfully to enjoy Irani food that is simply out of this world.

The café’s menu has everything that you can ask for from a typical Irani Cafe. Please note that the restaurant doesn’t accept credit or debit cards, so if you are going to dine here, you’ll have to pay the bill by cash.

  • Location: Fort
  • Cost for Two: Rs. 550
  • Famous For: Brun Maska
  • Timings: 8 am to 11 pm

3. Ideal Corner

Its prime location in Fort makes Ideal Corner a favourite hotspot for breakfast. If you go here in the afternoon, you’ll find the town office crowd enjoying a typical Parsi lunch that often consists of traditional items.

Available here are kheema pav and a few Parsi dishes like mutton and chicken dhansak and atheli chicken. A must try is also Pallonji’s Ice Cream Soda that is a hit at most Parsi restaurant. Those who don’t like Parsi or Irani food can enjoy a few Chinese varieties on the menu.

  • Location: Fort
  • Cost for Two: Rs 400
  • Famous For: Sali Chicken, Lagan Nu Custard
  • Timings: 12 pm to 4 pm

4. Café Military

An ideal place for an afternoon beer

If you are keen on dining at an Irani restaurant in Mumbai that has history to it, we would suggest you try Café Military. The café gets it name from the fact that it is located in a place that was once home to many military personnel.

Till this day, the café maintains its old world charm and serves the same quality of food it did 100 years ago. Popular here is the Kheema Pav and the Chicken Biryani. The plus point of going to dine here is that with your meal, you can grab a quick beer.

  • Location: Fort
  • Cost for Two: Rs. 400
  • Famous For: Sali Boti
  • Timings: Monday to Saturday 8.30 am to 9 pm

5. Jimmy Boy

Jimmy Boy is one of the best place for Irani cuisine in Mumbai. Located in the Fort area of Mumbai, Jimmy Boy  has been serving lip-smacking Salli Par Eedu, Chicken Farcha and Mutton/Chicken Dhansak for a long time. Upon entering the Parsi café, you’ll be greeted to old chandeliers, rustic furniture and smiling wait staff who are always ready to serve you.

The food here consists of typical Irani fanfare. If you are looking for a typical Parsi dining experience, we suggest that you try th Lagan nu Bhonu (Parsi Thali).

  • Location: Fort
  • Cost for Two: Rs. 500
  • Famous For: Berry Pulao
  • Timings: 12 pm to 4 pm

Irani Restaurants in South Mumbai

6. Merwan & Co.

Merwan Café is located across from Grant Road railway station, on the east. It’s convenient location makes it a popular breakfast joint for office goers in Grant Road. From the early hours of the morning till about 10 am, patrons come to Merwans in large numbers to savour delicious buns that are smeared with butter and a hot cup of Irani chai.

In the evenings, you’ll find them heading back at Merwans to sample on cakes, puddings, and milkshakes. Another favourite is their mawa cake, perhaps the best you’ll eat anywhere.

  • Location: Grant Road East
  • Cost for Two: Rs.100
  • Famous For: Bun Maska, Mava Puff, Macaroon Cakes
  • Timing: 7 am to 6 pm

7. Sassanian Boulangerie

The Sassanian Boulangeriestory is an inspirational one. The owner opened the restaurant by selling tea and biscuits, worked hard and then transformed Sassanian into a much-loved Iranian Café. Just like it is with other cafes, Sassanian has moved with the times and has extended their menu to offer more than just Iranian or Persian food. They’ve also added Chinese and Sizzlers to their menu. The best time to visit the bakery is on Sunday for breakfast or a quick afternoon chai.

  • Location: Grant Road East
  • Cost for Two: Rs. 200
  • Famous For: Chicken Puff, Sali Keema, Dhansak
  • Timing: 7 am to 10 pm

8. Kayani Bakery & Co

Kayani Bakery & Co, Marine Lines

Kayani, Mumbai’s oldest Irani café, is a favourite of many celebrities and Bollywood stars. It’s interiors, with its high ceilings, red checkered mats, old rustic furniture, and neatly lined up glass jars of cookies at the counter, resemble a typical Iranian cafe.

It’s location in Marine Lines makes the café popular with college students and the office going crowd. They will often drop in for a quick early morning breakfast before heading out to college or work. Truly one of the most iconic Irani cafes in Mumbai.

  • Location: Marine Lines
  • Cost for Two: Rs. 300
  • Famous For: Akuri, Beans on Toast
  • Timings: Monday to Saturday: 7 am to 8.45 pm; Sunday: 7 am to 6.45pm

9. Paradise

Located on the bustling Colaba Causeway, Paradise is undoubtedly a haven for authentic Parsi food lovers. The café once had a rustic charm to it. However, after it was renovated it now sports a very contemporary look.

The food here is typical of any Parsi restaurant. You’ll find the regulars like Dhansak, Salli Boti and Lagan Nu Custard. But what sets this place apart from the rest is that it serves two exotc Parsi dishes in the form of Papeta Ma Gosht and Atheli Marghi. Paradise also has a weekly menu from where you can pick the specials of the day.

  • Location: Colaba
  • Cost for Two: Rs. 700
  • Famous For: Mutton Dhansak
  • Timings: 11.30 am  to 10.30 pm

10. Britannia and Co

Britannia and Co, Ballard Estate (source)

A prominent landmark in Mumbai’s Ballard Estate. From the outside, Britannia and Co looks like a rundown place; however, the exterior doesn’t reveal exactly what is inside. Whenever you are in this area next, do step into this Irani café for their iconic Berry Pulao. The key to their pulao’s amazing taste is that some of the ingredients used are imported from Iran.  

Not much has changed in this café since it first started, Britannia & Co still has old Polish chairs and the high ceilings that made it famous in the 70s. Britannia and Co is closed on Sundays and not open for dinner.

  • Location: Ballard Estate
  • Cost for Two: Rs. 1000
  • Famous For: Berry Pulao
  • Timings: 11.30 am  to 4 pm

Irani Cafe Mumbai (Central)

11. Gulshan Café

A hit with the students of the Podar, Ruia and Welingkar colleges, Gulshan Café is a great place to enjoy typical Parsi delicacies like bun Maska, caramel custard and mawa cakes. From staples like kheema pav and bhurji to a variety of buns and breads, the place has a very good breakfast menu.

Although they have had a decent selection of Irani cuisine, what you should really go here for is their special dum biryani, which is simply just amazing. Vegetarians can enjoy veg biryani and a few paneer dishes.

  • Location: Matunga
  • Cost for Two: Rs. 700
  • Famous For: Dum Biryani
  • Timings: 9.30 am  to 11 pm

12. Cafe Irani Chai

This one is new and, therefore, not as well known as the other Irani restaurants in Mumbai. But don’t be fooled by its unpopularity; the food here matches that of any of the above mentioned Paris places in the city of Mumbai.

The breakfast menu at Cafe Irani Chai is very popular with the people of Mahim and Bandra who come here mostly on the weekends to enjoy typical Iranian breakfasts. Must try items at this quaint café are the Akuri (scrambled eggs, Parsi style), toast bun maska and the mutton kheema. Of course you can’t miss the special Irani chai served here.

  • Location: Mahim
  • Cost for Two: Rs. 400
  • Famous For: Akuri and Haleem
  • Timings: 7 am  to 11 pm

13. Koolar & Co.

Koolar & Co is where The Lunchbox was shot (source)

On entering this place for the first time, you may find it familiar. That is, if you have watched the movie The Lunchbox, starring Irfan Khan. Koolar & Co is very famous for its kheema pav and for its large five-egg omelette. Like many of the other places mentioned here, it, too, has all the traits of a typical Irani cafe: old owners yelling orders to the kitchen, chequered table mats and lots of eggs on the menu.

  • Location: Matunga
  • Cost for Two: Rs. 600
  • Famous For: Akuri and Kheema
  • Timings: 7 am  to 11 pm

The next time you are in Mumbai either for a holiday or a business trip, save a few hours from your schedule to enjoy the lovely Irani restaurants in Mumbai. To make your experience a special one, we would suggest that you dine at one of the above-mentioned places.

In case you already have, we would love to know about your experience. Did you like the dishes we’ve mentioned in the article? Do let us know in the comments section below.