10 lesser known places to get beer on a budget in Mumbai
While a lot of us carefully time our clocks in sync with the happy hours at leading city pubs, there are cheap joints, where happy hours last all day (and in some cases, all night) long. Some legendary, some unknown, some shady, some really cool, here’s a list of dirt cheap drinking joints in Bombay where you can chill with your buddies, with beer on a budget.
(No, we haven’t included Junta, Gokul, Mondegar, Leopold, Toto’s and the likes)
Ha, starting perhaps with the shadiest! This bar is so perfectly tucked away near Metro theater, that only regulars will be able to guide you best to its location. Ideal for pre-party cheap drinks, Harvic is frequented majorly by Xaviers’ students and young professionals from nearby offices. The boiled eggs and chana zor garam are recommended must-haves with drinks, at the place where two people can have a meal under 500 rupees.
Where- Anandi Lal Poddar Marg, Near Kitkat Restaurant, Dhobi Talao,
Another bar which holds a special place in the lives of Xaverites; be it broken hearts, mended friendships or the Malhar frenzy, you will find students from Xaviers in Sunlight’s puny corners at all times. A typical bar-like setup, this place has a diverse menu ranging from bar snacks to those authentic bombils and mandli fishes. Moreover, there’s even popcorn for chakna, which comes really cheap and a pint of beer costs approximately 150 rupees.
Where- Ravindra House, Kalbadevi Road, Near Furtados, Dhobi Talao, Kalbadevi
After shopping at Hill Road or lounging by Carters, if you are in the mood for something stronger than the drinks at Candies, Yacht could be a place you should head to. Regulars and newbies are treated equally and you can order a quarter or half bottle of alcohol here. Egg preparations are plenty along with (shhhh) beef ones. In short, when you are extremely broke and need to give a cheap treat, Yacht could come to the rescue.
Where- Near Bandstand & St Andrews Church, Hill Road, Bandra West
Well, ahem, well, not to sound privileged but hassle-free entry to this makes us ‘presswallas’ feel like the coveted ones. Unlike common perception, not all, but only one of you needs to hold a press club membership to enter here and binge on cheap beer and cheaper food. The food is good, the terrace seating is wonderful, and the place has decent crowd. This one’s probably not the cheapest, but we let you eavesdrop on all the dope we have on celebrities, politicians and even aliens from Jupiter! Sounds about right, doesn’t it?
Where- Glass House, Azad Maidan, Fort
A place where future CEO’s (IIT undergrads) and entrepreneurs can be found nonchalantly sipping some chilled beer or whiskey. Over the years, a lot more girls are found on the first floor of Laxmi (which is the bar area) while the place continues to be a pure-veg family restaurant on the ground floor. Their masala pao and tava pulao are to die for. The place is pure vegetarian (what???) but still has over 50 accompaniments with drinks, in multiple courses, so you can skip the tangdi for once.
Where- IIT Main Gate, Powai
Another pre-party drinks place at Pali Hill, PJs has an equal share of followers for the food too. Indian, Chinese and a hint of Italian, their chilly cheese toast is brilliant, along with the pepper steak. The only drawback- the place charges 50 rupees on weekdays and 100 rupees on weekend as entry fee (weird). But that works in a way, as the crowd gets filtered and you can clink glasses with a lot better crowd.
Where- SAISA Gymkhana, St. Anthony's Institute, 33rd Road, Pali Hill, Bandra West
We discovered this place when we walked up to Taj, realised we could never afford it, but wanted to have beer with the same view. Since this rooftop place overlooks the Gateway of India, couples can easily plan their date-nights here. The place serves only beer and wine, with multi-cuisine food options, and leaves you mesmerised with unending views of the Mumbai harbour.
Where- Hotel Harbour View, Kerawala Chamber, Opposite Radio Club, 25, J P Ramchandani Marg, Colaba
An erstwhile Irani café, Café Ideal has retained the Parsi-ness in the menu by offering limited, yet authentic Parsi delights, along with a range of multi-cuisine options. They still have a jukebox, where you can play old favourites and enjoy some beer, along with mild liquor and cocktails. The place is another café by the seaside, as it is located along the Chowpatty beach. Ideally, grab a window table at Café Ideal and unwind over some lunch, chilled beer and old music, while seeing the world go by.
Where- 5, Fulchand Nivas, Chowpatty, Mumbai
Well the best thing about this place is, that it is present everywhere. Named as Jughead’s or Pop Tate’s, this ‘unrestaurant’ serves brilliant sizzlers, pastas and starters, along with a host of drinks, with amazing happy hours from 2:47 pm to 7:42 pm. With outlets right from Thane west to Sakinaka and Mulund to Malad, you are likely to be near an outlet in the ‘burbs as you read this.
Where- Malad, Vikhroli, Saki Naka, Vashi, Thane, Andheri, Mulund
The location couldn’t have been more posh, and the pricing couldn’t have been more modest. Situated in the lanes of Colaba, Alps preserves that old world Bombay charm, in a setting which couldn’t be more Bombay-sque. Right behind Taj, in the same lane as Mondegar, head to Alps for a cheap pitcher of beer (and no other alcohol) and some delectable starters.
Where- Nawroji Furdunji Road, Roosevelt House, Behind Taj Intercontinental, Colaba
While most of these places may make you go ‘shady shady shady’ the minute you enter, remember that you are drinking daru at a cheap place, so don’t expect a swanky crowd or the most chic ambiance. These places are mostly thronged by college students and broke people, so no, not date material. Also, women, just gauge the crowd if you are going alone, but the staff at all the places is polite and courteous to their lady guests. Relive your college days and bring in the weekend. After a few drinks everything will turn hazy anyway!