There's only one Bandra and it's Bandra West. Tell a rickshaw driver 'Bandra' and even he'll ask you-Reclamation, Bandstand or Linking Road?. East never made the cut and is vastly dominated by regional Maharashtrian cuisine while Bandra Kurla Complex slash BKC feels like a Sochi Olympics ghost town once you step out of the restaurant you're dinning in; Unlike the crowded scenes of Pali Hill, 33rd Road or Carter Road where you can start binging on Dimsums, detox with some Kale Salad, move to meaty Burgers, eat a bowl of Pasta, and still think about one last scoop of Gelato before calling it a night. For the pissheads, you have cheap alcohol at Janta or Sunraj or Yacht and each of these have a dedicated paan-patti shop just around the corner too, if not the portable chai kettle on a cycle smuggling cigarettes in after hours. In short there's a place for every person and every wallet, you just need to know where it is and what's good there. Probably not always your Bandra friend will be at your beck and call to answer your question "arey koi acha jagah bata na Bandra mein?" As vague as the question is, the answer can be even more vague.
Here's a list that sorts things for you when on a date, loner, sophiscated, big shenanigans kinda group or hosting a hukka party at your residence:
- Candies - Bandra's answer to anything and everything quick food and reasonable. Three outlets across Bandra - Reclaimation, Pali & Union Park. The first one is now spacious while the second one was itself built on a hill. Union Park, the smallest of them all is best to make a quick dash to pack up something for the road. Avoid Pali Candies on obvious days and hours, for it's loaded with countless number of hipster douchebags occupying the tables.
Must try: Wildberry Ice Tea, Chutney S/W, Chicken S/W, Tuna Sunflower S/W, Chicken Club S/W, Chicken Crispy Burger, Potato Chops, Asian mini meals, Beef Lasagne and Lemon Tea Cake.
Pricepoint - The most expensive of dishes is under 200 bucks.
- Good Luck Cafe - Come here for your dose of the best Irani Chai of the suburbs. Bun Maska, Kheema Pao, and Chicken Cutlets fly out of the kitchen every other minute. Mind you their Kheema & Haleem is prepared from Beef a.k.a Water Buffalo meat. Reminder of the menu is passable, also including the Shawarma.
Must try - Reg Chai, Sulemani Chai & Kheema.
Pricepoint - Meal dishes are upwards of 100 bucks, but Chai is 20 and single Kheema with Pao sits under 100.
- Villa Vandre - A rather new entrant on the Bandra eating out scene and apparently they score some killer Breakfast and main meals. If aren't from closeby, chances are you'll probably drain out your data package and battery both. Best to call them and ask for directions.
Must try - Villa Vandre Set Breakfast, Lox on Bagels, Coronation Chicken and Smoothies. The East Indian Sausage Fry, Kasundi Risotto and Bangers & Mash are recommended for your other meals of the day.
Pricepoint - Sandwiches are in and around the 200 bucks mark while Mains are between 300 to 400 bucks.
- Bagel Shop - A better hipster place with excellent WiFi and pretty faces. One of Bandra's best known hang out, freelance work & Macbook meetup place. Quaint neighborhood, subtle ambiance, loads of magazine and good Bagels make this a neat little all-day joint. Requirements to enter the place are scruffy hair, overgrown beard, nerdy frames and a Macbook of any variation. Just kidding! Come as your are, its Bandra! no one is judging you.
Must try : Bagel Sandwiches, Shakes, Fresh Juices & Piri Piri Beef Burger.
Pricepoint - Bagels with filling starts at 150 bucks and go upwards, similarly Bagel S/wiches are between 250 and 350 bucks.
If you're in the mood to splurge more than 500 bucks on your brekkie and looking to enjoy your meal with Egg Florentines with sides of Cronuts, Croissants, Baguette, cured Salmon or smoked Turkey breast, then you can get some lip-smacking dishes at Eat Around The Corner, Smoke House Deli, Indigo Deli, Salt Water Cafe & Pali Village Cafe.
If you live on green leaves, healthy seeds and baked meat, then your probably gonna look for a salad places.
- Bombay Salad Co. - Anything and everything Salad is found here in this tiny block of commercial space. Absolute heaven for those slender waist and oversized eaters who occasional swear to cut down.
Must try - Any salad mix that entices you, Clockwork Orange (dessert) and Banana Almond Whey Smoothie.
Pricepoint - Large bowls go upto 400 bucks while small bowls max out at 250 bucks.
- The Yoga House - Yoga toh ek bahana hai, mujhe toh Organic khana hai! If that's your mojo, then drive to Sherly Rajan Road. A very inconspicously located cafe and quite popular among the niche yoga community.
Must try - Ten Grains Toast, Ayurvedic Oat Porridge, Yogi Breakfast and Detox Chai.
Pricepoint - Most expensive of dish is under 400 bucks.
- Birdsong Cafe - Got an appetite for french windows, exposed walls and electrical cables? Oh yes, and organically cute portions? Then Birdsong is your gig. Do not venture into its lane with your four wheeler, you might just cause a jam and get flustered within minute. Best to walk down the lane after A1 Bakery on Hill Road. Voracious eating boyfriends, this is the ideal place for your delicate getting-full-in-four-bites girlfriend.
Must try - Sesame Milk & Chocolate Milkshake (Vegan), Virgin Caprioska, French Toast, Lamb Khichda, Chicken and Black Rice Rissotto.
Pricepoint - Dishes average between 250 and 450 bucks.
- Busago - Chef Nikhil Cheb's chain of quintessential South Asian comfort food and the best place perhaps to indulge in a bowl of creamy Burmese Khao Suey. Miss it at no cost if you like intensely flavoured coconut broth with noodles and selection of condiments.
Must try - Chicken Khao Suey, Cambodian Curry with Sticky Rice, Beef Bulgogi and Strong Man's Banh Mi.
Pricepoint - 290 for a bowl of Chicken Khao Suey with Noodles or Rice. Banh Mi's are priced under 200 bucks.
- Wok Express - The latest entrant of Wok-style meal in a box. Neat, tasty and hearty portions make this place a total value for money joint. Dumplings are average. Always go for the meal in a box with customized preparations. Toban, Sambhal & Teriyaki Sauce base are chopstick lickable. Bubble Tea may or may not be your way to end the meal.
Must try - Udon Noodles with Fish in Teriyaki Sauce, Flat Wheat Noodles with Chicken in Toban Sauce and Thai Milk Bubble Tea.
Pricepoint - 210 bucks for medium chicken or fish meal and 280 for large one. Bubble Teas are priced at 70 bucks.
- Khane Khas - Killer Biryanis and Rolls. There's a novelty when you home order their Biryani and its arrive in an earthern pot. Very unique taste and fingerlicking good Biryani masala. Rolls are loaded with stuffing, makes for a great on the move snack.
Must try - Punjabi Chicken Salan, Mutton Rogan Josh, Chicken Biryani, Paneer Bhurji Roll and Chicken Bhuna Masala Roll.
Pricepoint - The Biryani is bit high priced at 330 bucks, but then huge on flavours. Mains average at 300 to 350 bucks while Rolls are close to 200.
- Imbiss - A heaven for voracious meat eaters. Beef, Pork, Veal, Duck, Rabbit - You name it and they have it. It's tough to get a table without waiting on weekends and no alcohol to wash down all that protien. A true grill house ambiance with shouting orders and fragrance of red meat in the air.
Must try - Hungarian Goulash, Pickled Quail Eggs, Beef Roast S/W, Duck Sausage, Buffalo Steak, Rabbit Terrine, Schitzel, Chorizo Rice and Baby Back Spare Ribs.
Pricepoint - All these exclusive meat dishes average at around 250 - 300 bucks.
- The Fatty Bao - Chef Manu Chandra's fresh import from its original Bangalore base. Perhaps the only righteous place to sip on aromatic Ramen and get wow on Pork Belly Bao. Make sure to give them a ring at least 4-5 days prior to make sure you have a table for yourself.
Must Try - Salmon Carpaccio, Char Sui Bao, Chasu Ramen & Green Chiffon Cake.
Price Point - A loaded meal for two will set you back by 2500 bucks.
- Mughai Cuisine - Some other noteworthy options for Mughlai and North Indian food as well.
- Persian Darbaar - Must have the Raan & Kepsa dishes, Biryanis, Kebabs and in general curries and roti.
- Sheesha Rooftop - Romantic escape in a pseudo arabic mood under dimly lit tables and lanterns. Their Kebabs are phenomenal and so is their Mutton Rogan Josh. The key to enjoying a meal here is patience, since dishes are generally made from scratch and require time.
- Sigdi - Bandra's late night hub for above par food. Rolls are excellent here and so are the mains.
- Biryani 360 - Your solution to guiltless, aromatic and perfectly sealed packages of Biryani. Veg and UnVeg (Chicken) variations available. Made from scratch every few hours, thus one needs to be patient with the deliveries.
- European Cuisine - Anything European and served with a finesse, these are your places:
- Smoke House Deli - Seasonal menu with excellent choice of meats and fish. Hospitality is unmatched here.
- Indigo Deli - Lavish, gourmet and satiates all your steak, pasta and flatbread cravings.
- Eat Around The Corner - Dressed in all white and glass, makes for a great place for uncomplicated meals. Hot Dishes are much recommended here. Always check for Chef's Monthly Special Menu.
- Salt Water Cafe - An exact replica of Smoke House (run by the same hospitality). Making reservations on weekend is adviced.
- Eat Pray Luv - A few months old baby of Chef Davide Canazi. Italian masterpeice and hub for original Rissotto, Fondue, Flatbreads and Tiramisu.
- Luxury Eating : Hakkasan, the Michelin Starred Restaurant from London is probably your best choice for lavish and rave worthy Cantonese cuisine. Some noteworthy dishes are Roasted Mango Duck, Mabu Tofu, Salmon in Black Bean, Wok Fried New Zealand Lamp Chops, Chilean Sea Bass and other Hakka classics. Load up your wallet, make a reservation and dine under the stars, it doesn't get better than this. They also do a 'Taste of Hakkasan' set lunch which starts at 1200 bucks (excluding taxes) and serves a decent combination of simple classic fare.
Bandra also has a ton of cheap eats, You can read about them in this blog post - Under 101 bucks in Bandra West.
Since eateries spring up and close shutter as soon as within a month or weeks, this post will receive an update after a few months. Until then share this when you get a call or message asking "arey koi acha jagah bata na Bandra mein"