Is there any better way to start your day than with appam and stew, vada and dosa and some gunpowder chutney and filter coffee on the side? For this, it doesn’t get better than Matunga East, where the flavours of south India reside in Mumbai. Here are our favourite picks from some of the finest South Indian eateries in the area.

Ram Ashray

There’s no doubt as to why this place ranks number one in our list. The small Udupi is located near Matunga Central station, and opens its doors to patrons as early as 5am, and by 6am it’s already flooded with foodies.

Photo source: Denise Krebs via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]

Photo source: Denise Krebs via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]

If you don’t mind waiting for an hour {we don’t}, then be rest assured you will be welcomed with varieties of sheera {pineapple, banana, chocolate, badam}, rasam podi, medu vada, and Mysore sada dosa among their other specialties. They’re service is super quick and their servers are friendly, making it an awesome morning for us.

Arya Bhavan

Ever tried coin idlis? Well, you can now at Arya Bhavan, that serves steaming hot baby idlis with gun powder and ghee at the side.

 Photo source: Priya1Iyer via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Photo source: Priya1Iyer via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]

The other must-haves of this slightly more refined south Indian eatery are their Brahmin idlis, rawa Mysore masala dosa and paniyaram {dal vadas}. Their filter coffee is authentic enough to make you call for a round two.

Cafe Madras

The South Indian eatery to rule them all – getting a table here is a struggle in itself.

Photo: Nikhil Sachdeva/ LBB

Photo: Nikhil Sachdeva/ LBB

Good old Café Madras is iconic to this city, what with its popularity having risen over the last 75 years that it has been around. Go here for their delicious ragi dosa {all of their dosas are so crispy}, upma podi, bisibele baat {our personal favourite}, some filter coffee and close the meal with their amazing rawa ladoo.

Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krshna Boarding

Once you’re at Rama Nayak’s, it’s pretty simple. You sit and eat, because the huge thali {served on a banana leaf} will have enough and more items to keep you busy.

Photo source: Sudiptorana via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Photo source: Sudiptorana via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]

The traditional south Indian meal comprises upkari {bhaji}, two kinds of gravy, chapatis, rice, papads, and more. And if you eat here once, you will come back for more.Where: 1st Floor, LBS Market Building, Near Matunga Central Railway Station,Matunga East

Cafe Mysore

Photo source: Scott Dexter via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Photo source: Scott Dexter via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 2.0]

From rasam vadas to idli gadbad, neer dosa and pineapple sheera {it makes a comeback}, Café Mysore is a quaint joint where you can spot people of all age groups enjoying the delicious southern flavours. Since it’s one of the oldest udipis around, pretty much everyone living in and around Matunga {and every south Indian} has eaten here at least once.

Udipi Idli House

Photo source: Durvankur Patil via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Photo source: Durvankur Patil via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Hugely popular among college kids {because the food is cheap and extremely delicious} and Matunga locals, this joint will offer you a complete value for money meal.

Savour their yummy rava idlis while you sip on their excellent and famous ginger lemon drink. Their khotto sambhar is another hot-favourite!

Featured photo: Nikhil Sachdeva/LBB