Favorite thing: No one should really miss the seafood tastefully done at any of Mumbai's finer Indian restaurants especially if you are travelling onwards inland where seafood becomes scarce and unfresh yet expensive. In the finer restaurants, you usually get to see your catch before its put in the frying pan. You will notice that prices inland are almost 3 times higher than a coastal town. Many restaurants have also have a Chinese menu which I wouldn't suggest you trying unless you have had a bit too much to drink! So the whole point of this tip is: TRY THE SEAFOOD IN MUMBAI & NO CHINESE IN INDIA!
Favorite thing: I've put some of my restaurant experiences in my Restaurant Tips. In general, Bombay can be a fantastic place to eat. Dozens of cuisines can be found around town, and armed with a little research, you can spend your whole time here and never have even a mediocre meal.
Mumbai offers the avid food junkie everything from vada paav, a streetside delicacy, to the best in French cuisine, served in fancy restaurants, with even fancier names. Breakfast timings are usually from 6.30 am -10.30 am, lunch between 12.00 Noon -3.30 pm & dinner from 7.30 pm -1am. (there are tons of eateries open 24-7 as well)
1.Freshly cooked food is safest.
2.Ice can be suspect, especially if it has arrived in a block carried on a bicycle and dropped off on the street in front of the restaurant.
3.Quite a few travelers avoid meat in India, reasoning that meat is more likely to be off, or make you sick. India has probably the best vegetarian cuisine in the world, so this is no hardship. However, if your diet does include meat you may not want to miss some of the excellent meat dishes you can get here. As a rule, though, don't do your meat ordering in the lower end restaurants or station platforms.
4.Keep your finger nails short and clean. Wash your hands frequently, and especially before you eat. Even the dirtiest drive will have a place to wash hands, though they may not have soap. Carry some with you, though you can usually get someone to deliver a tiny sliver of soap, or a bit of liquid or powdered dish soap if you protest long enough. I see this as a service to other patrons, and have noticed that more and more restaurants, even on the low end, are trying to supply soap.
If you are craving a clean salad and 'western' atmosphere, then go to Leopolds, in Colaba.It's also a good place to meet other travellers, it gets quite busy there and sometimes you can feel like you can;t relax after a meal as they want your table to give to someone else...still i was glad i went there..
Fondest memory: Sneaking on foot in the backstreets of some Mumbai suburb, away from a police patrol car in the early hours of the morning, with my Mumbai friend. Going to this grunge bar and feeling right at home..
Favorite thing: Bombay has a culture and cuisine of it's own. You must try 'pav bhaji', a spicy vegetable mash eaten with local bread. It will set you on fire that can only be doused with Duke's Lemonade! If you want to play safe, try 'vada pav', somewhat akin to hashbrowns with bread, instead!
Favorite thing: Eat Paan from the roadside stands. If you're afraid and think you might get sick, well, this is a risk you take. During my 3 week stay in Mumbai my cousins would regularly take me to savour delicious paan from the panwallahs on Chowpatty beach. The photo was taken from the back of my cousin Farhan's scooter.
Cannot miss the Pav Bhaaji, Vada Pav and 'Energy' the milk drink at Chowpatty. The other absolute must-dos are (1) ride a suburban train all the way from ChurchGate Station to Andheri. (2) Have a beer at Cafe Mondegar at Colaba Causeway. (3) shop at fashion street and Linking road. (4) Read the Midday, specially the Sunday edition :). The list goes on and on...
Fondest memory: What I miss most about Bombay is the complete freedom and the choice. There is really so much you can do...go to the beach, take a weekend trip to matehran or mahabaleshwar, go to Esselworld, watch a play, go to south bombay etc etc etc... I also miss the late nights. The clubs and discos were open pretty late. And there are a whole lot of them.