Best take-out biryani in Mumbai

Best take-out biryani in Mumbai

North to south, streetside to five-star hotel, these are the best biryani joints in Mumbai for devotees of slow-cooked, saffron-laced pots of happiness
Mumbai biryani
Lucky biryani and his buddies: raw onions soaked in vinegar, yogurt mixed with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and still more raw onions.

Biryani has been beloved for centuries by kings and critics as a paragon of Mughlai cuisine. It is also one of the easiest ways to over feed a gang of hungry dudes.

Put down a huge, aromatic pot of rice packed with hidden treasures of tender meat and bone before them, and then insist they chase it all back with beers, and there you have it: a comatose and satiated rabble.

It is in this noble tradition that we present the definitive Mumbai biryani take-out list.

Gentlemen, start your flip phones.

1. Lucky Restaurant at the SV Road junction

Lucky is synonymous with biryani in Mumbai. Purists carp that it’s not what it used to be, but try Lucky's chicken biryani and see if they're not wrong. The original restaurant is in Bandra, and that’s the one we recommend.

Junction of Station Road and SV Road, Bandra (W), +91 (0) 22 2644 2973, 6684 3311

Lucky Hotels

2. Shalimar at Bhendi Bazaar

A little out of the way this one, but we've never heard an unkind word about any Shalimar dish, let alone the biryanis. Tip: ask them to substitute the red meat or chicken for some amazing, yet unorthodox, prawn biryani. Shalimar also breeds its own livestock and freshly grinds its masalas.

Vazir Building, Bhendi Bazaar, +91 (0) 22 2345 6630

Shalimar Group

3. Jaffer Bhai's Delhi Darbar

Dubbed the "Biryani King of Mumbai" for its succulent dum style kache gosht ki biryani, Jaffer Bhai's is top-three for sure; its client list of actors and politicians would doubtless agree. There are outlets across the city and they deliver promptly, so you know it's not just whipped together on the spot.

1st Marine Street, big three building, shop no. 94, opposite Metro Gol Masjid, +91 (0) 22 2201 6363

Delhi Darbar

4. Moti Mahal at the tip of town

Moti Mahal, we’re told, are the folks who introduced the world to the tandoor in a restaurant setting, and we know that’s what they do best. Surprisingly though, they do a mean Mumbai biryani too. Light, fluffy, flavorful.

105, CR2 Mall, Nariman Point, Churchgate, +91 (0) 22 66546454

Moti Mahal

5. Dum Pukht at the Maratha

This is the Bentley of biryanis, five-star take-out for connoisseurs of authentic Avadhi Dum cooking. Prepared by master chefs in a signature ITC kitchen, their murgh biryani, slow roasted in its own juices, is on a completely different plane of existence.

ITC The Grand Maratha, Sahar Road, Sahar, Andheri (E), +91 (0) 22 40341800

ITC Welcom Group

Presently Gaurav Jain is the head of Illusion Interactive Animation based out of Mumbai. When not busy creating India's first animted superhero he indulges his passion for food.

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