The Vada Pav is Mumbai’s version of a burger—well, sort of.
The pav, or bun, has a small oval shape and is soft and pale in color. It is split in the middle and then stuffed with a spiced potato fritter, the vada, which is then topped by a sweet and a spicy chutney, as well as a hot, dry red chutney powder. This is served fresh off the wok, usually on a sheet of newsprint.
Vada Pav stalls and carts can be found on every other street corner. If you don't enjoy spice, ask the vendor to hold the chutneys.
Every neighborhood, office block, and street corner in Mumbai seems to have its own chaiwallah, or tea stall. They serve hot, sweet, milky tea sometimes flavored with cardamom or ginger. In Mumbai, the tea is generally served in small, transparent glasses, filled only three quarters of the way up—this serving is what’s known as cutting. They say a cutting tastes much better than a whole glass of tea. No one knows why that is, but it’s true!