If you’re coming to India your likely to be flying into either Delhi or Mumbai – Bombay to the locals – and Mumbai is definitely a city worth getting to know and spending a bit of time in, even if just to visit all the amazing cafes serving vegan meals, cakes and smoothies! You’ll be spoilt for choice for eating vegan in Mumbai.
I past through Mumbai on my first trip to India back in 2014, when I was vegetarian at the time. I got to see some contrasting sides to the city, from going to a drum and bass night in Bandra’s Blue Frog club where cocktails exceeded London prices, to visiting the slums of Dharavi with local Mumbaiker friends who had never seen that side of their own home city. It was an eye opening experience for us all, not only to the extreme poverty which is evident anywhere you go in India. But to the ingenuity of the people who had set up all sorts of cottage industries to recycle, reuse and produce all sorts of raw materials to be sold onto larger industry.
When I returned to India in 2016 I decided to fly into Mumbai for a few reasons. Firstly, because I was planning to go to Goa to chill out on the beaches and spend time in one place for a while before I started travelling around the country. So it made sense to base my point of entry nearer to Goa. And secondly, because I had flown into New Delhi on my last trip and only spent a few days in Mumbai previously, I wanted the opportunity to get to know the city more. I knew Delhi pretty well from my last trip having spent a few weeks there taking part in a yoga course and returning there after my Vipassana course before flying out to Thailand. And so in a way I didn’t want it to be too familiar, I wanted that challenge of figuring out a new place.
Having now spent time in both cities I enjoy them both for different reasons. Mumbai is much less hassle, there aren’t as many people trying to hound you and sell you stuff (there’ll always be some). I loved the markets in Bandra West, and being near the ocean was a plus for me;walking along marine drive at night with the skyline lit up is magical. But I feel Delhi had more green space and more of a travellers hub to it in Paharganj. Mumbai doesn’t really have a backpacker focal point, although I definitely recommend Backpacker Panda Hostel for a great location next to the metro, sociable vibe and place to meet other travellers…and get scouted for Bollywood films!!
But anyway…the food!! All the vegan food! There is so much plant-based deliciousness to be found in Mumbai. This was my first time back in India as a vegan. I didn’t really have any concerns as being vegetarian is super easy in India. With an abundance of pure veg (no meat, fish or eggs) restaurants, and even non-veg places usually dedicating half their menu to vegetarian options, I knew once I kept dairy in all its forms out of the equation there would be plenty of vegan food to enjoy.
Paneer (a type of Indian cheese), curd and raita (a yoghurt dip) are easy to avoid, but just check and ask for no ghee when ordering if you’re not sure as ghee is often used to cook with, but oil us commonly used too.
10 Delicious Places to Eat Vegan in Mumbai
From local and traditional Indian restaurants to Western influenced salad bars and cafes, here are my top places to eat vegan in Mumbai:
This light and airy café is a part of and situated upstairs from The Yoga house’s yoga studio which offers daily classes and drop ins for those just passing through.
There are lots of vegan options to choose from, including smoothies made from almond, walnut and rice mylk. The signature smoothie made with banana, almond mylk, cashew nut, coconut, raisins, puffed rice, sesame seeds, dates, figs, ginger and cinnamon was amazing and so filling!
Other menu items include the ayurvedic porridge made with coconut, pomegranate and stewed apple, the fig salad, detoxifying juices such has The Booster (carrot, beets, coriander, amla and ginger) and quinoa burger. Super nourishing after a morning yoga class.
This local Indian restaurant serving all the traditional dishes you’ll come to know and love on your travels throughout India is close by to Backpacker Panda Hostel and Chakala Metro station. It’s a pure veg restaurant and they also cater for Jains who also avoid onion and garlic. Just ask for no ghee and they’ll be happy to accommodate this.
The channa masala (chickpea curry) served with rice and masala dosa (lentil flour pancake rolled and stuffed with curried potato inside) served with coconut chutney and tomato sambal are super tasty and filling.
The Pantry is a French style café in south Mumbai, and whilst it also serves non-veg food, there are some really amazing vegan options too! Think bean bolognaise served with carrot and zucchini noodles, vegan waffles, almond mylk shakes and lattes, and spinach and lentil stuffed kohlrabi with mushroom sauce.
The rose, vanilla and beetroot almond mylk smoothie is definitely one of the most gorgeous tasting smoos I’ve ever had! The staff are super helpful and knowledgeable about vegan options and will suggest suitable options too.
This place is amazing for getting in plenty of your salad veggies, and they serve huge filling portions too. The menu is clearly divided into veg and non-veg and you can create your own salad or try out one of their combinations.
Choose your base ingredients (leafy greens and grains, any 3), add your veggies (any 3), fruits and nuts (any 1), extra portions of each if you wish, and finally choose your dressing. The oat-chia pudding made with cashew mylk is a yummy dessert option too!
Just around the corner from Bombay Salad Co. this little café offers lots of vegan meals and smoothies. Their menu is 100% gluten free and refined sugar free and all ingredients are organic.
The salad and cacao smoothie were really good. Although I didn’t try them, the cacao and raspberry cookies perched next to me on the counter looked so tempting!
Kitchen Garden by Suzette
Ingredients sourced are organic where possible and the menu clearly labels vegan options, as well as gluten free items. You can create your own salad and sandwiches. The Powerhouse smoothie was really good, made with cacao, banana, dates, almond butter and almond mylk.
I created a salad combo of kale, spinach, quinoa, pomegranate, carrot and gluten free falafel with a spicy miso and ginger dressing. Their sister café Suzette is located a few doors down too and worth checking out.
Come here if only for the chocolate cake! Its so delicious! One of the best vegan chocolate cakes I’ve had. The green smoothie was super good too.
A café and shop combined, they serve a huge vegan breakfast comprised of tofu scramble, gluten free bread with jam and vegan butter, fruit salad, mini porridge made with coconut mylk, mini carrot cake and almond mylk latte (with interchangeable options depending on your choice). Perfect to fuel you up for a day of city exploring!
There’s lots of vegan and gluten free items on the menu and you can stock up on your own supply of items sold in their shop. The cakes looked amazing too!
A similar set up to Bombay Salad Co. where the menu is split into veg and non-veg, you can try their suggested salads and wraps or create your own combination.
Another pure veg restaurant, located not too far from Gopal Krishna Veg. Super local vibe and prices. I opted for the thali and made a few swaps to make it vegan, getting extra dahl in place of the raita yoghurt dip, and leaving out the gulab jamun (as tasty as these little Indian desserts are they contain dairy).
So there you have it, my favourite places to eat vegan in Mumbai. And of course these are just a starting point. I love to combine checking out a few places to eat vegan that I discovered in advance when researching a place to visit, with just wandering and seeing what places I stumble upon that will offer up plant-based deliciousness.
Have you got any other suggestions of places to eat vegan in Mumbai? And will you be checkingout any of these places on your next visit? Let me know in the comments below!