5 gentrified, female-friendly dives to visit in Mumbai
HT48HRS_Special Updated: Dec 17, 2015 20:06 IST
The Adventures of Cheap Beer is a podcast that we started earlier this year to spread our love for Mumbai’s amazing quarter bars (places where you can by drinks by the quarter bottle; quarter equals 180 ml). We’ve made it our mission to find the hidden gems of the city’s nightlife because these places have a lot of charm but are still cheap places to get a drink, in a city where the price of drinking is skyrocketing. Quarter bars might not have tablecloths and napkins, but you’ll find awesome food at these places and that could mean seafood, Chinese or even Thai food.
If you want to save some money and still have a great night out, head to these five bars. They are mostly female-friendly as well.
House of Food, Andheri (w)
The sheer size of House of Food is the first thing that strikes a new visitor. The bar has three floors, and is easily the biggest bar on this list. Those crowded weekends in Andheri are no longer a problem because House of Food has space for everyone. We recommend the delicious Crispy Chicken and perhaps some more of the Chinese starters here. If you want some entertainment while you drink, climb up to the top floor where some sort of televised sport is projected onto the huge wall. House of Food is definitely one of our top picks for Andheri quarter bars.
What to order: Chicken crispy, Soya bean chilli
Big bottle of Kingfisher:Rs 215
Quarter of Old Monk:Rs 210
Where: JP Road, Munshi Nagar, Andheri (W)
Call: 2623 3970
Akshaya Bar, Parel
When you want to eat Thai food with your Old Monk and Coke, Parel is not the first place you think of, even though it should be. Akshaya Bar is one of the best-kept secrets in Mumbai with brilliant food, ranging from Maharashtrian seafood to all kinds of Asian cuisine. If you had to pick one cuisine to eat here, it would definitely be the Thai fare. If you have any problems, you can talk to the unofficial manager of the place — Bruno, the German Shepherd. He likes to keep an eye on things and make sure all the customers pay.
What to order: Cheese cherry pineapple, Red pepper coconut chicken, ThaiGreenCurryKhichdi (sic)
Big bottle of Kingfisher: Rs 200
Quarter of Old Monk: Rs 250
Where: Kalpataru building, Dr SS Rao Road, Parel
Call: 2410 1155
Vithal’s Family Restaurant and Bar, Fort
Vithal Khadawala started making bhel and chaat in 1875 and the Khadawalas have kept that tradition alive with their restaurant near New Excelsior Cinema. The prices for drinks are steep but you get a huge selection of chakna (fried snacks) — for free and refilled without question — to make up for it. It includes roasted papad, peanuts, two kinds of salad and heavenly methi pakodas. The main draw is the legendary chaat.
What to order: Golden Bhel, Sev Batata Puri, Pani Puri and Dahi Batata Puri
Big bottle of Kingfisher: Rs 300
Quarter of Old Monk: Rs 400
Where: Near Excelsior Theatre, CST
Call: 92233 36527
Saheb Restaurant & Bar, Bandra (E)
This is the one bar on the list where you could take a date. Saheb has elegant and well-lit interiors with a great bar and hygienic facilities. We think of it as a corporate quarter bar with a large number of office workers from Bandra-Kurla Complex passing through its door every day. This place has Mangalorean seafood that will make your day, so order anything fishy from the menu. Saheb is also one of the few places that serves a decent selection of wine and has separate washrooms for men and women.
What to order: Urdu dosa (only on Saturdays), Prawns Puli Munchi
Big bottle of Kingfisher: Rs 230
Quarter of Old Monk: Rs 270
Where: 36, Gandhi Nagar, Bandra (E)
Call: 2651 1919
Kitkat Bar, Dhobi Talao
Students of St Xavier’s College have a soft spot for Kitkat Bar. This bar has a glorious history stretching back at least 40 years. Kitkat was beautiful but decrepit and finally underwent a renovation that has seen its seating capacity increase quite a lot. You order varieties of popcorn with your drinks or the regular Chinese/Indian fare. If you’re near Metro Cinema and need a drink, look no further.
What to order: Butter masala popcorn, KitKat Hot (chicken starter covered with cheese)
Big bottle of Kingfisher: Rs 220
Quarter of Old Monk: Rs 220
Where: Opposite Metro Adlabs, Dhobi Talao
Call: 2209 4112
Siddhant Mehta, Karan Agarwal and Suyash Barve are the creators of the podcast. For more information, visit adventuresofcheapbeer.in or search for Adventures of Cheap Beer on Soundcloud, Stitcher or Podcast Addict