Our team spent the day exploring every nook and cranny of Commercial Street {and a few nearby areas} to find the best street food under INR 50 for the shopper on a budget. Extra cash to blow on some cute earrings never hurt anyone, right? From quick bites to wholesome South Indian dosas, you better be prepared to head on an empty stomach cause you won’t want to miss all the awesome things we’ve found!

Chana Chatpata

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The Chana Chatpata guy on Commercial street is one of our must stops on every shopping spree here. Crunchy flattened chaana, roasted to perfection, served with tomatoes, onions, chillies, garnished with coriander and finished off with squeeze of lime. Plus, a secret masala to make everything oh-so spicy.

Where: Right next to Chai Point on Commercial Street

Damages: INR 40 for a medium cone

Bharathi Dosa Camp

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While we’re sure you’ve been spoilt rotten by those 99-variety dosa carts, nothing beats the old classics: masala dosa, family sized paper dosas, rava dosas, onion masala dosas, and even a special ricebath dosa, to name a few. This tiny street restaurant has 12 kinds, and even sells ricebaths in flavours such as kesari pineapple and pudina. And all the food is priced at INR 30, except for the family sized dosas, which sell for INR 100. The masala dosa we ordered was spicy, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, and had a rich ghee flavour to it.

Where: #161 Veerapillai Street, Shivajinagar

Damages: INR 30 for a masala dosa

Raw Mangos/Cucumbers

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You can find these two basically anywhere around the area, but of all the raw mango vendors we tried, this guy had a mean green chilli-tomato chutney that’ll leave your tastebuds tingling long after you’ve wolfed down the goods. Make it a point to find him, or risk missing out. The chutney’s free, so pile it up!

Where: Opposite Manoranjan Silks on Ibrahim Sahib Street

Damages: INR 20 for the mango, and INR 10 for the cucumber

Guavas

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Again, commonly found all throughout, this particular guava seller stood out to us since he’s basically a permanent commercial street fixture, having worked there since 1992. Drop by for a chat with this friendly guy, and grab a chilli-salt slathered guava while you’re at it.

Where: Near Chai Point on Commercial Street

Damages: INR 20 for one guava

Roasted Peanuts

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You don’t need an excuse to munch on roasted peanuts. We decided to interrupt our fresh fruits streak with a little bit of protein. Grab these roasted little poppers and be on your way. It’s mess free and oh-so tasty.

Where: This cart always on the move, so be on the lookout

Damages: INR 20 for a cone of peanuts

Bael Fruit

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The wonderful thing about street food is that it sometimes celebrates local, seasonal produce. And one of our cool finds was the Bael fruit. The round yellow fruit comes with a tangy, almost spoilt taste, and a very pungent smell to it. This street vendor mixed his with jaggery {you can get a savoury version too} and claims it has medical properties that prevent allergies and {how should we put this} gives you an easy visit to the loo! We were a little weirded out at first, but the taste grew on us after the third or fourth bite! It’s a seasonal dish, so you’re good to go until January.

Where: Opposite Manoranjan Silks on Ibrahim Sahib Street

Damages: INR 30 for a bowl of bael fruit

Rose Apples

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We found these juicy rose-flavoured fruit per chance, since the season is typically from January to April, but hey, who’s complaining? Although a little pricey, it was totally worth our money when we bit into the juicy fruits, with a hint of rose.

Where: Dispensary Street near Alice Jewellery

Damages: INR 60 for 100g

Gobi Manchurian

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This little street cart only comes out after dark, intoxicating passers-by with a flavourful cloud of chilli, soy and vinegar. Made fresh to order,  we gobbled down these crispy delights, even licking our fingers for just a little more.

Where: Veerapillai Street, before Bharati’s Dosa Camp.

Damages: INR 40 for a plate

Corn

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Everyone’s favourite is available on Commercial Street in two forms: butta street style on the cob, or buttery-masala kernels {American-style, supposedly}. Have it your way, be it charcoaled with salt, lemon and chilli, found on Dispensary Road, or get it to go in a convenient little cup anywhere around Commercial Street. You can’t miss it!

Damages: INR 35 for a corn-on-the-cob, or INR 30 for a cup of kernels

Where: All over Dispensary Road and Commercial Street

Fresh Lime Soda

After all that eating, we were pretty damn thirsty and popped by one of these juice stands. The stall had numerous cordials {blueberry, apple, lime-ginger, etc}, and really gave a refreshing spin to this classic. We got blueberry, and even ordered a second round!

Damages: INR 35 for a glass of lime soda, or INR 40 for the masala pepsi

Where: Near Safina Plaza and all over Commercial Street

Tibbs Frankie

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Hungry from all that snacking, we hit up Tibbs near Safina Plaza for something more substantial. A classic in the city, everyone knows you get the tastiest and most reliable frankies at this joint. They also make a mean vada pav. Branch out and try something new at this old favourite, located just outside Safina Plaza’s main entrance.

Damages: INR 60 for a frankie, or INR 30 for a vada pav

Where: Outside Safina Plaza

Khoa Naan

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Just outside Lubbay Masjid sits a man selling clothing, perpetually busy with his phone or browsing customers. Unless you’re looking to purchase his wares, skip all that and take a look at the delectable coconut and jaggery stuffed naans sitting atop a makeshift cutting board counter. This is the only spot we could find this baked and flakey-as-hell coconut-jaggery delight. Reminiscent of a very Indian croissant, we can safely say the French got nothin’ on us. It was somehow mysteriously warm, as if it just came out of the oven. We actually went back for a second round to take home on our way out.

Where: Outside Lubbay Masjid, near Ibrahim Sahib Street

Damages: INR 30 for half a naan {more than enough for one person}

Rawal Jalebis

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Commercial Street has several sweets vendors to pick from, but did you know about this hidden gem located just behind in Shivajinagar? Hit this little stall up at 5pm if you want your jalebis hot and fresh out of the kadai. The jalebis were the perfect level of crunchy, sweet — not too thick, not too thin!

Where: #55 Veerapillai Street, Shivajinagar

Damages: INR 30 for 100g

Photos: Abheet Anand/LBB