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Best late-night restaurants in Mumbai
From roadside kebab stalls to 24-hour coffee shops, Mumbai after-hours pit stops are a tradition that won't be stopped by 'official' curbs on nightlife
Thanks to late-night restaurants Mumbai would be the original city that never sleeps, if not for the recent changes in drinking and eating laws that have altered our once-flamboyant, late-night lifestyle.
Among the victims of the regulations curbing bar hours and drinking ages are the late-night restaurants in Mumbai which used to attract hungry packs of after-hours diners and debaters.
The good news is that a handful of late-night restaurants in Mumbai have managed to stay busy despite the city's official bar/night club closing time of 12:30 a.m. -- which, as we all know, is more like 1:30 a.m.
Below, our tribute to the places that are still keeping our kebabs hot and our not-completely-sober conversations rolling well into tomorrow.
What started 70 years ago as a late-night roadside restaurant on a moving cart is now a Mumbai landmark, serving kebabs and baida rotis (eggs in traditional Indian bread) to opinionated crowds who sit at rickety tables, lean on the hoods of cars or just stand, in order to eat what could be the some of best post-midnight kebabs in Mumbai.
No argument about that.
Behind Taj Mahal Hotel, Tulloch Road, Apollo Bunder, +91 (0) 22 2284 8038; 6 p.m.-1.30 a.m. (official closing)
Late-night restaurants in Mumbai are all about convenience, a truism the staff at Ayub’s have taken seriously since 1983.
Super-quick waiters can rattle off the entire menu by heart, but they usually end up speeding back to customers with Ayub's legendary chicken rolls (everyone seems to want them).
Because the diner is a little tricky to find, it's usually not too crowded. Major plus point.
Shop No. 5, 43, Dr. V.B. Gandhi Marg, Fort (near Rhythm House), +91 98 2119 9147; 6.30 p.m.-1.30 a.m.
Bharat Dairy and Juice Centre
A sanitized, late-night vegetarian restaurant close to Marine Drive and next to Bharati Vidya Bhavan College, Bharat Dairy and Juice Centre looks like just another hole in the wall.
Ask your parents -- they’ll tell you this landmark is known for salty South Indian food, chaat (bhel and sev puri) and toasted take-away sandwiches.
But it's most famous for its sickeningly sweet but delicious handmade ice creams, especially the roasted almond and sitafal.
Second Summer Heights, opposite Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, K.M. Munshi Marg, +91 (0) 22 2369 2921
24-hour coffee shops
A rundown of Mumbai late-night restaurants wouldn't be complete without a mention of the many 24-hour hotel coffee shops that for years have added a touch of class to the post-drinks parade around town.
Popular stops include the Shamiana at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Apollo Bunder, Vista at Taj Lands End in Bandra and Lotus Café at JW Marriott in Juhu. The Trattoria at Taj President in Cuffe Parade is South Mumbai's time-tested 24-hour coffee shop. The classic Mumbai late-night food order is the pizza at Trattoria.
Vivanta by Taj President, 90 Cuffe Parade, +91 (0) 22 6665 0808