Year-end festivities call for something special. Ring in 2022 with loads of food, drinks and beautiful views at the best spots in town.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve is the best time to make some beautiful memories with your loved ones. Whether you are looking for warming comfort food that makes you feel fuzzy inside, decadent desserts you would ordinarily decline or sparkly cocktails with the richest liquors — here are some of the hottest new spots to get you in the festive spirit.
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Best cafés in Mumbai
The Craftery by Subko
Love your croissant with your coffee? This is where you can see the coffee making process from bean to cup as well as witness the magic of the 27-layer croissant that Subko is so known for. Apart from a café the space also hosts a retail store, a roastery and a bakehouse all rolled into one. The air here is thick with the aroma of coffee and the vibe is very social. Do try the Notella Toast with a lavish spread of hazelnut over rich sourdough and the Podi BG, a lip-smacking snack of mustard podi cream cheese spread over thick, dense sourdough. Yummy.
Address: Unit No. 2 Jak Compound, 1st Cross Lane, Byculla East. Tel: +91-9004700654
The Bandstand Pantry
Breakfast lovers and sea addicts have a great new spot to indulge in. The Bandstand Pantry is where you can spend hours overs a perfectly assembled egg benedict or a comforting bowl of Mac n Cheese while watching the waves from the Bandstand promenade. Then there are yoghurt bowls, sandwiches and artisanal coffees too. The lamp posts, black and white chevron tiles and wooden furniture lend this café a Parisian vibe.
Address: Bandstand Apartments, Shop 1, BJ Road, next to Barista Cafe, Bandra West.
Mag St Café
With floor-to-ceiling glass panes, potted plants, paintings and ample sunshine, Mag St Café is the kind of place you’d want to spend hours in. The butter croissants, quiche, Danishes, cinnamon rolls and almond croissants will keep you good company as also the coffee from Nandan Coffee. The all-day menu has a little bit from all of Gauri Devidayal’s restaurants.
Address: 4, Mandlik Rd, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai. Tel: 022 2280 1144
This full-of-charm neighbourhood café is the perfect spot to grab a seat, order a hearty espresso and just linger. The vibe is energetic and conversation friendly. The small but beautiful dining room is dressed up with old world light fixtures, imposing mirrors and black and white photographs depicting the Parisian way of life. Meals at Café Noir include classic French selection (read crepes, ratatouille, quiches and mixed cheese and cured meat platters) as well as crowd pleasers such as pastas, burgers and grilled meats.
Address: World Crest, Lodha, Upper Worli, Lower Parel.
The latest Social is yet another great spot to work from or catch up with friends. The iconic breakfast trays, munchies, china boxes and biryanis make this café and restaurant a popular choice. The legendary 1,000ml Longest Long Island Iced Tea is still a great option. Social transforms from a collaborative space into a high-energy bar when work hours end. Extra points for the strong wi-fi and great coffee.
Address: Inorbit Mall, New Link Road, Malad.
Kala Ghoda Café
This quaint, almost clandestine café tucked away inside a 20th-century barn in a quiet lane in Kala Ghoda offers organic coffees, herbal teas and infusions, as well as a range of snacks and salads. All their breads are freshly baked at the café itself. The must try here is the classic Belgian waffle with butter and litchi honey. The café also serves the all-time favourite Shrewsbury biscuit, ginger cake and mawa cake but in a mini muffin avatar. All the cookies and muffins are baked freshly in the KGC kitchens every morning which fills the café with tantalising aromas.
Address: Kala Ghoda, Fort. Tel: 098338 03418
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Best restaurants in Mumbai
This newest Japanese restaurant in town is inspired by hole-in-the-wall ramen shops in Japan. Expect lots of colours, manga imagery on the walls and pretty umbrellas dangling from the ceiling. The kitchen is helmed by 34-year-old Parvez Khan who honed his skills at Wasabi by Morimoto at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Naturally the sushi here is outstanding as also the black cod miso and ramen topped with chunks of fried chicken. Wash it all down with a wasabi-infused gin cocktail.
Address: Rajabahadur Mansion, Mumbai Samachar Marg, Fort. Tel: +91-9769999918
This swanky new place at Lower Parel is where you can wine, dine and even buy a bottle of alcohol along with some fresh flowers and cheeses. Mansionz hosts a New York style tasting room, a restaurant and a speak easy bar. The open-air cocktail bar on the rooftop is perfect for private parties and sipping signature cocktails. The restaurant serves meals from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Korea along with hand-rolled pasta and pizza. Reserve a couple of hours to experience it all.
Address: Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
If you are looking for a restaurant with lovely outdoor seating then Silly is the place for you. Dine, lounge, read, sip a cocktail or catch up with friends under a gigantic 65-year-old mango tree or choose the swing inside. The interiors are colourful and quirky and the menu eclectic. Some of the best sellers include Peri-Peri Devilled Eggs, Cheese & Foam Puri, Philly Truffle Cheese Fried Wanton and Cuban Sriracha Tofu Sandwich.
Address: 759, 5th Ln, opp. Union Bank ATM, Khar, Ram Krishna Nagar, Khar West. Tel: +91-9004418654
This all-day brunch place with a herb garden hanging from the ceiling and private dining pockets is a fun place to ring in the festivities. A tall flamingo looks approvingly at guests while millennials jostle to get clicked next to it. Brunch classics such as pancakes, waffles and perfectly cooked eggs dominate the menu. But the one dish you have to try here is the egg benedict topped with beautifully carved avocado and an egg with hollandaise flecked miso. The pearl barley salad is good too.
Address: Ground Floor, G-4, The Capital, G Block BKC, Mumbai. Tel: +91-7710805999
Apart from an absolutely delectable healthy food menu Sante Khar also scores on the ambience front. The green and white décor along with potted plants and relaxing music makes this restaurant a soothing balm for your nerves. The sattvik menu here holds an array of salads, energy drinks, wholesome smoothies, dimsums, pizzas, grills and guilt-free desserts. Stellar dishes include the thin crust truffled buratta pizza, cranberry cheese ravioli and pumpkin spiced risotto. Wrap it up with salted peanut butter mud cup. Mocha fans will love the coconut milk infused coffees.
Address: Fortune Paradise, Khar West.
This hugely good-looking restaurant brings amazing Greek food with a lush Santorini vibe and fun tradition of breaking plates. The Opa hummus, Canadian lobster and peinirli, a Greek version of pizza similar to the Turkish pide, are some of the must haves on the menu. Stay long enough and you will witness a song and dance performance by the staff and also the plate-breaking frenzy. It’s all a lot of fun.
Address: Wadia International Centre, Worli.
La Pôz Place
This all-vegetarian restaurant in Kala Ghoda is a charming space housed in a colonial building. There’s a swing to relax and take in the atmosphere while you wait for a table. The old-world window arches, teak wood doors, whimsical wrought iron chandelier and textured glass lend this restaurant a quaint appeal. The menu by Chef Gracian D’Souza and Chef Arnez offers European delights. The breads are the highlight here along with spinach and feta filled filo pastries, wood-fired pizzas and French Truffle Balls.
Address: 105, Mumbai Samachar Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort.
Nestled inside Kitab Mahal, a 131-year-old architectural marvel in a quaint lane in Azad Maidan, Ekaa is an experiential restaurant by Sagar Neve and Niyati Rao. The menu is not restricted to a particular cuisine but highlights three different menus — a tapas menu paired with the bar menu, an a la carte menu and a 10-course chef’s tasting menu which plays on nostalgia. The interiors are in the Nordic style — clean and minimalistic.
Address: Kitab Mahal, 1st Floor, D. Sukhadwala Rd, Azad Maidan, Fort, Mumbai. Tel: +91-9987657989 /022-40022744
Since opening its doors in 2018, Foo has wowed critics and guests with its innovative approach to Asian food, high-octane design and stellar drinks. The new outlet in Andheri has a glowingly lit al fresco section with dreamy cabanas and a zen garden that manages to be dark, sultry and sexy for date nights. The vibe is informal, sociable and great fun. There are new additions to the tapas menu as well as an outstanding gin menu.
Address: Foo Andheri, Morya Landmark 1, G-5, Veera Desai Industrial Estate, Andheri West, W. Mumbai. Tel: +91-9321346591
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Best bars in Mumbai
The 28-foot-tall hydraulic bar here is a whisky connoisseur’s dream come true. There are over 60 bottles of American whiskies, blended scotch, single malts, blended malts and Irish whiskies to choose from. Not a straight drinks person? The amiable bar veteran John Leese can make you a delectable cocktail of your choice. The small plates, including sushi, grills, etc. are perfect accompaniments for the drams.
Address: Wadia International Centre, Worli.
Ling Ling, Hakkasan
This very exclusive lounge and bar never disappoints with its cocktails. The main draw here is the whisky cabinet that stocks a wide range of whiskies from around the world. But wine enthusiast will be equally thrilled with the fine selection of wines from around the world. Their perfectly balanced gin cocktails here are some of the best in town. The exquisite Cantonese dishes and eclectic playlist add to the experience.
Address: Krystal Building, Waterfield Road, Bandra West.
This Bandra hotspot with Asian and Latin American cuisine is also famed for its cocktails. Particularly noteworthy is the Scent of Kochi, a zesty vodka-based cocktail with yuzu and Angostura bitters. Also on the menu are 14-15 types of sake, umeshu (plum wine), shochu (a Japanese beverage made of rice, barley and sweet potatoes) and two special beers brewed by Bombay Duck Co. Fans of Japanese whisky will love the stock here — Hibiki, Yamazaki, Togouchi and Mars Iwai.
Address: 21, Pali Hill Rd, Union Park, Khar West. Tel: +91-22-2648 2727/ +91-9833373888
Doolally Taproom, Khar
Everyone’s fave microbrewery, Doolally Taproom boasts a stellar range of craft beer — Hefeweizen, Mango Cider, Belgian Wit, Apple Cider, Rauch Bier and English Bitter.
Address: Raj Kutir Apartment, Khar West. Tel: 022-4893 1314
This Middle Eastern restaurant and bar at The St Regis concocts some of the best oak-barrel aged Negronis. The Luxury Boulevardier and the Crystal Truffle Negroni are particularly enticing options. Pair them with the hot and cold mezzes like Hummus Beiruti, muhammara, garlic labneh, Israeli couscous risotto and the Georgian bread. The setting is luxurious and the view gorgeous.
Address: The St Regis, 462, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel. Tel: +91-8657522950
This cocktail bar with an indoor as well as lush green al fresco section has an extensive cocktail menu with more than 20 martinis and 50 shooters along with a variety of other drinks. Pair it with their wood-fired pizzas and signature dishes like avocado and goat cheese crostini, the five-herb tofu, shish taouk and the three-cheese Swiss chard ravioli curated by Chef Makarand Samant.
Address: Ground floor, Bombay Art Society, Reclamation, Bandra West. Tel: +91-9052579000.
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Some old classics
The Bombay Canteen
This perennial favourite is buzzing with a new winter menu. Expect an array of new and exciting dishes, returning favourites and classics with a winter makeover. The ‘No Rules Brunch’ is another exciting reason to enjoy unlimited craft cocktails with a chaat raw bar.
Address: Kamala Mills, Near Radio Mirchi Office Lower, Parel. Tel: +91-8880802424
One of India’s most celebrated restaurants, The Table offers an eclectic and extensive selection of small and large sharing. Noteworthy dishes include lobster ravioli, yellowfin tuna tataki, Korean barbecue beef tacos and shrimp dumplings with spicy ginger broth. Low lighting, cosy seating and excellent cocktails make it ideal for a special occasion, but it’s equally suitable for a casual lunch or brunch.
Address: Kalapesi Trust Building, Opposite Dhanraj Mahal, Apollo Bunder Marg, Colaba.
This iconic gastropub with outposts in Colaba, Bandra and Andheri is famous for their laidback vibe, appetising European cuisine, craft beers and delicious cocktails. Don’t miss the Sunday brunch with live acts and brunch favourites such as poached egg bennies, toasties, salads, hearty fare, craft beers & cocktails.
Address: Indian Mercantile Mansion, Opposite Regal Cinema, Colaba Causeway. Tel: +91-9321728192
This smallish place run by husband-wife duo Seefah Ketchaiyo and Karan Bane is known for their sumptuous Thai and Japanese fare. Portions are hearty and the staff amiable. What else can you ask for? The hero dishes include teriyaki-glazed Eel Sashimi, Roasted Tenderloin Shoyu Ramen and the decadent Honey Toast, made with toasted brioche, honey with ice-cream.
Address: Khan House, Hill Rd, above McDonald’s, Bandra West. Tel: +91-8928895952
For the most wonderful view of the sea along with great food and cocktails head to Cecconi’s at Soho House. Cosy up at one of the tables near the glass window at this all-Italian diner and indulge in the most sumptuous gnocchi, pasta or pizza. Sunsets are the most coveted time here but it’s beautiful all day long.
Address: Address: 16, Juhu Rd, Chandrabai Nagar, Juhu, Mumbai.
This quaint coffee and wine bar offers a warm and inviting place to catch up with friends or just chill with a book. The coffee menu carved from single origin specialty coffee has some excellent single shot espresso, frothy cappuccino and Vietnamese coffee. Be sure to try out the Coffee Sangria, a crowd favourite here. The menu is seasonal. There’s also an affogato bar is on offer, where guests can build their own affogatos. Whatever you do, don’t miss the cheese board made of local cheeses.
Address: Ground Floor, 12, Union Park, Off Carter Road, Pali Hill, Bandra West, Opposite Hakim Aalim. Tel: +91-9321375915