Personalize your experience
Set City

Eat, Shop, Repeat: Here's Everything You Can Do In Matunga

4773 Interested |
22K  Views

Once used as stables for elephants by the King of Mahikavati (present-day Mahim), Matunga is one of the older neighbourhoods of Mumbai that's characterised by the whiff of filter coffee, snippets of Tamil, and freshly plucked flowers. It gets its name from "Matanga", the Sanskrit word for “elephant”; and was one of the first well-planned localities of Mumbai. Despite its changing topography, Matunga's flower market is a reference point for many in the city, especially during Ganesh Chaturthi. You'll see some of the largest flower garlands and the largest Ganesh pandals here, which are known to be decorated a little hatke. 

Matunga is predominantly a TamBrahm neighbourhood, so it's a great place to get romba South Indian supplies; and of course, South Indian fare at Udipis that were set up aeons ago but still function with the same gusto. But as the Dadar Parsi Colony also extends into Matunga, the area also has Irani cafes, killer chaat and pav bhaji. And, it is home to some of Mumbai's leading education institutes.

While it's obviously Mumbai's best pocket to grab a steaming hot kaapi and exquisite sarees, read on for a (hopefully) great list of things to do in Matunga.

Where To Shop


Shilpa Sarees

You can't be in a Tamilian neighbourhood and not shop for quality sarees. Offering several styles including Maheshwari silk, Chanderi, Kanjivaram, Begampuri Bengal Cotton, and other varieties of sarees, this store has been around for years and is one of the best spots to buy a drape. 

Their price range starts at INR 1,500 and you can buy everything from a simple cotton to a Benarasi silk saree here. They also have a few designer options. 

Shay

A little boutique shop, Shay showcases many designers at their store. The multi-designer boutique offers western wear, primarily dresses for women that are trendy with many contemporary details. You can shop for jumpsuits, resort wear dresses and kaftans, and head-turning outfits. If there's an event you're shopping for, it's likely that you'll find something at the store. 

Their price range for dresses is upwards of INR 2,000, and you can get gowns and other elegant outfits starting at INR 3,000.

Alive Cotton

If you're looking for everyday casual wear, you can shop at Alive Cotton. Cotton crop tees, shirts, spaghetti tops and cotton dresses rule the roost here. With some clothes that are even fit to buy for THAT Goa holiday! The shop also has ample denim -- think Jeans, jackets and shorts. 

Their price range for tops starts at INR 350, dresses start at INR 750, jeans start at INR 900 and denim jackets are upwards of INR 1,000.

Check out more shops for everyday casual wear here.

Chamois

Trendy bags and ethnic potlis are what you'll find as you step into Chamois. From totes, handbags, sling bags, purses to wallets, you'll find every kind of bag you need here. We spotted leather bags, animal printed ones, cane bags and more in their collection. The store is fully stocked and there are SO MANY options that you'll be spoilt for choice here. 

The price range for potlis starts at INR 300 while their more elegant, contemporary bags start at INR 600. 

Beautiful

A large retail store with several outlets, Beautiful is a must-visit if you're looking to shop for make-up and beauty items, as well as home decor. The retail store is big-ish and has many make-up and beauty counters: Nykaa, Maybelline, Plum Goodness, Lakme, among others. They also have hair accessories, tools for DIY nail art, makeup pouches, vanity kits, and more. If that's not something you'd go for here, you can grab linens, towels, and napkins that are from quality local brands offering soft fibre options. Outside the store, you'll find a few pots and pans that you can pick up too. 

The price range here varies from brand to brand, as many are housed under Beautiful's roof.

Mysore Concerns

You can't visit Matunga and not shop for coffee! You'll find Mysore Concerns available at many retail stores across the city, but they have their own store in Matunga. Shop for their Legacy Blend or the Brindavan Bold. You can choose to buy coffee beans if you have your own grinding equipment or they'll grind it for you, as you like. The store also has coffee equipment if you need to change your coffee filter or are just entering the world of coffee and need an Indian filter to get brewing. 

Read more about Mysore Concerns here.

Cornucopia

An offshoot of the Cafe Madras legacy, Cornucopia is a gourmet food store that stocks exotic ingredients, gormet breads, vegan cakes and bakes, healthy alternative snacks, and also offers sandwiches, dry fruits, pure spices and masalas and more. They support the local economy by offering everything that's from India or made here, but they make it bougie! 

The Book House

Located right beside Mysore Concerns, The Book House has been around since 1958, making it one of the oldest secondhand book shops in the city. You can shop for new and old titles here, and also for secondhand medical and engineering textbooks. The owner also has a secret stash he reserves for regular customers. And, you can always return a book after reading it here and get 50% of the money back. 

Read more about The Book House here.

Gomathy Moorthy Enterprises

You can't come to Matunga and go home without supplies for nights when you're in the mood to cook South Indian fare. Get idli/dosa batter, coffee, sambar masala, rasam masala, podi and more here. You can stock up for your pantry and be sure that you're returning home with quality ingredients.

Where To Eat

Go On A South Indian Food Trail

If you're in Matunga, you're obviously bound to eat at one of the many Udipis you'll come across. But amongst the many Udipis you spot here, each is known for something special. Here's what you should eat at each. 

At Cafe Madras, get the pesarattu dosa, ragi masala dosa, bisibele baat and kaapi.

At Arya Bhavan, a steaming hot bowl of rasam vada, thatte idli, Brahmin idli, and the paniyaram do the trick.

If you're one to love upma, you must visit Sharda Bhavan. We also think they serve up one of the better filter coffees in the neighbourhood.

For super long paper dosas, ghee podi dosa and pineapple sheera queue up at Ram Ashray.

At Manis Lunch Home, medu vada, Mysore dosa and upma are crowd favourites.

At Cafe Mysore, be sure to grab the idli gadbad, neer dosa and the pineapple sheera

If you're in the neighbourhood for lunch, make a trip to Udupi Shree Krishna Boarding House for a thali served on a banana leaf where you get upkari (bhaji), two kinds of gravy, chapatis, rice, papads, and more, all for under INR 200.

DP's Fast Food Center

Want to try one of the best pav bhajis in Mumbai? Make your way to DP's. An old favourite that's frequented by many, DP's offer a variety of Mumbai fast food, think: idlis, dosas, chaat and more. But what you must go here for is the spicy, buttery pav bhaji. The restaurant has recently upgraded and added more seating, and even changed its logo! But loyalists continue to find their way here for a plate.

Meal for Two: INR 500

Koolar & Co.

One of Mumbai's oldest and most popular Irani cafes, Koolar cafe is located around King Circle and you may have probably already seen it in some Bollywood film. Your order here should be quite obvious since it's a Parsi joint. But Koolar takes the Parsi's love for eggs up a notch by offering the Irani Wrestler omelette, which is made with 5 eggs and to be honest, quite hard to finish. You can opt for the chicken/mutton omlette too. But do try their chicken/mutton/veg puffs and cutlets. It's also a great place to get root beer, Pallonji's flavoured soda, bun maska with chai (obviously!) and the caramel pudding (were you going to leave without it?)

Meal for Two: INR 400

Pizza Kitchen by 1Tablespoon

Great pizzas have finally arrived in Matunga, thanks to Pizza Kitchen. The little joint offers a few tables, but is best to takeaway a pizza or get one delivered. And, we love their variety! They offer a sourdough or a wheat thin crust pizza; and you get the New York Double Cheese, Basilico E Rucola (basil and arugula), Goat Cheese (with caramelised onions & basil). They also have two healthier pizzas - Greeko and Insalata -  which are loaded with veggies, come on a whole wheat base and are not more than 600 calories each. The Pizza Kitchen also offers half n' half pizzas, so you can try more toppings on just one base! 

Meal for Two: INR 450

Matunga Dabeli

Close to Matunga station, grab one of the best dabelis in Mumbai. Matunga is known for garlic pav, and here's where you'll find it. What it means is a very garlicky dabeli that's crisp on top and sweet-tangy-spicy as soon as you bite into it. They also offer Jain options, and you can choose yours without peanuts too (but where's the fun in that, really?). The dabeli here is truly Kutchi-style, so we know you won't leave without eating at least two. 

Meal for Two: INR 100

Gupta Chat Centre

If there's one chat place you mustn't miss out on, it's this! While Gupta offers sandwiches and paninis with an extensive variety, we'd say skip that and focus on the chat menu. Their staples - sev puri, dahi puri, ragda pattice, samosa ragda, dahi kachori chat - are some of the best you'll sample in the city, and that's mostly because their chutneys are absolute magic. The flavour you get in every bite has a punch and the spicy-tangy chat here will ensure you come back for more.

Meal for Two: INR 200

Things To Do

Stroll Around Maheswari Udyan

The island garden, more commonly known as King's Circle (until 1962), Maheshwari Udyan is a good spot to take a stroll, jog, play a game or to simply relax on a bench and people watch. It's one of the greenest spots in the locality and has a few artsy statues worth observing too.

Visit The Asthika Samaj Kochu Guruvayoor Sree Ram Mandir

Built in 1923, the architecture of this temple is worth admiring. The temple's oldest idols are of Lord Shri Ramachandra, Sitadevi, Lakshmanan and Hanuman. Later, idols of Lord Karthikeyan, Navagraha Idols, Lord Kochu Guruvayurappan, and Swamy Ayyappan were installed. It's commonplace to conduct marriages and other social religious gatherings in the neighbourhood. But for Mumbai, it's one of the oldest temples built in Dravidian architecture style.

Explore The Matunga Flower Market

Once exclusively occupied by migrants from Tamil Nadu, the Matunga Flower Market is small but it's what the neighbourhood is known for. If you're looking for large garlands that are made-to-order, here's where you go! The market starts bustling at 4am as that's when fresh flowers arrive, and workers get busy. Strings of gajras and a variety of fragrant flowers are in abundance here, but another aspect that the market is famous for is the Matunga Phool Galli Ganpati. Throngs of people visit this tiny lane to witness the decor at the Ganpati pandal during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. As a kid, I've witnessed a different Ganpati made entirely of a variety of flowers for all 10 days of the festival.