Best South Indian Restaurants in Mumbai You Should Visit Once

For most people when they hear the words ‘South India’ only one word comes to their mind and that is “Madras”. Same happened with one of my friends until he visited Southern India for a family vacation. 

He not only learned that South India has 5 states with rich culture but also has 5 different delicious and amazing food cuisines that can’t be found anywhere else on the earth. 

People also have another stereotype about South Indian food and that is it consists of only Idli, Sambar, Medu Vada, and Masala Dosa. But again there is much more than this. There are vegetarian and nonvegetarian dishes such as Chakra Pongal of Tamil Nadu, Appam of Kerala, Hyderabad Biryani of Telangana and much more. 

The best thing about South Indian food is its usage of spices. Which not only adds color and smell to the food but also the taste which keeps you licking your fingers. 

There is a lot of concern regarding the health benefits of South Indian food so here is everything you need to know about the health benefits of it.

10 Best South Indian Restaurants in Mumbai

1.) Cafe Madras

Cafe Madras was started in 1940, is one of the best south Indian restaurants in Matunga and the whole of Mumbai.

It should be one of the first places you should be heading to if you want to taste best South Indian dishes.

Some of the best dishes of Cafe Madras are Panpoli, Rasam Vada, Upma Podi, Madras Dahi Misal, Neer Dosa, and Pineapple Sheera.

Address: No. 391/B, Ground Floor, Kamakshi Building, Bhaudaji Road, Kings Circle, Matunga East, Mumbai 400019

Google Maps location

Cost for two: Rs.250/- for two (approx)

Hours: 7.30AM to 2.30PM and 4 PM to 10.30 PM.

Contact: 022 24014419

2.) Hotel Ram Ashray

Hotel Ram Ashray is the best place to start your day with an authentic South Indian breakfast.

Some of its best dishes are Tamarind rice, Masala Dosa, Pineapple Sheera, Lassi, filter coffee, Idli podi and many more.

Address: Bhandarkar Road, Matunga East.

Google Maps location

Cost for two: Rs.200/- approximately.

Hours: 5 AM to 9.30 PM (Tue to Sun).

Contact: 022 24102369/ 022 24102623

3.) Arya Bhavan

If you plan to visit this place on a weekend then you need to wake up early and visit the place because it is always packed on the weekends.

The owner of this restaurant, Mr.Muthuswamy, is popularly known as the Idli King of Mumbai because he has been in the catering business for over 70 years.

The famous dishes of this restaurant are milky Upma, golden onion Mysore masala dosa stuffed with their in-house spicy red masala Bisi belle bhaath, Mysore masala dosa, and Mangla Pudi.

Address: Shop No. 9 & 10, Bhanujyoti Building Opposite Matunga Central Railway Station, Lakhamsi Napoo Rd, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019.

Google Maps location

Cost For Two: Rs 400/- for two (approx)

Opening Hours: 7.30 AM To 11 PM

Contact022 24159449

4.) Banana Leaf

For all my Mangalorean people who want to taste Mangalorean food in Mumbai, the  Banana Leaf is the place where you need to go.

As the name suggests it serves the food in the banana leaf which will give you an authentic South Indian experience.

The famous dishes of the restaurants are Oatmeal Uttapam, Potato Medu Vada and the Ragi Dosa.

Address: Shubham CHS, Opposite Vikram Petrol Pump, Juhu Versova Link Road, 7 Bungalows, Andheri West.

Google Maps location

Cost for two: Rs.900/- for two (approx)

Hours: From 11 AM to 11 PM (Mon to Sun).

Contact: 022 49749547

5.) Dakshinayan

This tiny eatery located in the posh neighborhood of Malabar Hills is a must-go place for people loving Tamilian cuisine.

The best dishes of this restaurant are Mulagapudi Idli, Pepper Dosa, and Nai Roast Dosai rich with ghee.

Address: 183, Teen Batti Road, Walkeshwar, Malabar Hill, Mumbai 400006

Google Maps location

Cost for two: Rs 600/- for two (approx)

Hours: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm

Contact: 022 23676701/ 022 23811188

6.) Sharda Bhavan

Sharda Bhavan is one of the best Udippi restaurants in Mumbai.

It serves dishes like Medu Wada, Ulundu Dosa, Kaidi Idli and Masala milk that will make your morning wonderful.

Address: Opposite Matunga Railway Station, Lakhamsi Napoo Road, Matunga East, Mumbai

Google Maps location

Cost for two: Rs.200/- approximately.

Hours: 7.30 AM to 8.30 PM (Mon to Sun, Wed closed).

Contact: 022 24141271

7.) Cafe Mysore

Cafe Mysore is the best place to eat a home-cooked South Indian food.

It serves Neer Dosa and Idli gadbad to name a few.

Address: Durlabh Niwas, 1/461, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Rd, Opp B.N. Maheshwari Udyan, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019.

Google Maps location

Cost for two: Rs.250/- approximately.

Hours: 7 AM to 10 PM (Mon to Sun, Wed closed).

Contact: 022 24021230

8.) Mani's Lunch Home

This place is well known for its affordable price and best South Indian food in Mumbai.

The Rava Masala Dosa is quite famous among the ex-students of Ruia college and while of Mumbai.

Address: Plot. No. 153/C. Mhaskar Building, Lakshmi Narayan Road, Matunga, Dadar, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019

Google Maps location

Cost For Two: Rs 500/- for two (approx)

Hours: 7 AM To 10.30 PM

Contact022 24127188

9.) Simbly South

Have you heard Gunpowder Idli? If not, then first head over to Simbly South in Andheri East.

It will serve you some of the best South Indian dishes.

Address: 280-285, Gulmohar Marg, Sanjay Nagar, Sher E Punjab Colony, Andheri East, Sher E Punjab Colony, Andheri East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400093

Google Maps location

Cost For Two: Rs 350/- for two (approx)

Hours: 8 AM To 3 PM, 5 PM To 10 PM

Contact: 09870078956

10.) South of Vindhyas

If you want to lit up your taste buds then South of Vindhyas will serve you.

This will suit only niche clientele when compared to other South Indian restaurants in Mumbai.

Address: Orchid Hotel, 70C, Nehru Road, Vile Parle East.

Google Maps location

Cost for two: Rs.2500/- approximately.

Hours: 7 AM to 10.30 AM, 12 Noon to 3 PM and 7 PM to 11.45 PM (Mon to Sun).

Contact: 022 26164040.

How To Choose Best South Indian Restaurants in Mumbai?

1.) Hygiene 

As a customer, you won’t be allowed to enter in the kitchen area just to check the hygiene standards. There is one trick which my friend uses to judge the hygiene level of a restaurant and that is using the washroom of the restaurant. If you find the washroom to be clean and hygienic then the chances are likely high that the particular south Indian restaurant follows basic hygiene standards. 

2.) Excellent Service

As the saying goes, “To Earn Respect, Give Respect”. So if you want to be served royal you need to treat the waiters royally. Remember to treat them just like you would treat your family members or your friends. 

Remember that the waiters are very busy and on top of that they interact with thousands of people on a daily basis. Make sure to befriend the waiters so as to receive the royal treatment. When you see them carrying many things to your table, be helpful. Give them space to put it. In case they are carrying a lot of things and finding it hard to place on your table then take some things from them. These may seem little things but when you make them feel important they will go out of their way to make sure you are served properly. 

And don’t forget to give them a tip if you really find their service nice. They will remember it next time you visit back to the restaurant.  

3.) Location of the Restaurant

Location of a restaurant is the most important factor when choosing a restaurant.

Obviously, if there is a good restaurant at a walkable distance from your home then it is awesome. Because you don’t want to ride back in a taxi paying hundreds of Rupees.

Obviously, excuses can be made if the restaurant has a sea-view or a lake view.

Another aspect of choosing the best South Indian restaurants in Mumbai is if the neighboring area safe? Safety and security of your loved ones is your highest priority and it can’t be neglected. So always do research beforehand and find if the crime rates of that area.

4.) Value For Money

Whenever you throw a party for your friends or family always remember that everyone has a liking for a different kind of food. Some may like dishes that are expensive while some may like dishes that are not so expensive. 

This doesn’t mean that you would choose a cheap restaurant just for the sake of satisfying your people. Make sure that the restaurant that you are choosing provides value for money. Make sure that the food which is being served makes you feel happy about paying. You are satisfied with what you get. 

5.) Ambiance Matters

Another aspect of best South Indian restaurants in Mumbai is its ambiance. Does the restaurant reflect the South Indian culture? Sometimes the restaurant may be beautiful but the d├ęcor is not to your state. It jars away your senses. Obviously, you don’t want to ruin the good vibes of your loved ones when you are with them.

Check beforehand whether the restaurant plays music? if yes, then how loud. Check if the restaurant is situated close to the roadside and if there is constant honking due to the and bikers. Check beforehand if the restaurant has a banquet hall for party purposes and if there is then check prior to your lunch or dinner if there is any party happening. See if the restaurant has any painting which might not be liked by your loved ones.

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6.) Availability of Your Favorite Cuisine

This has got to be the biggest turnoff if you or your loved ones don’t find your/ their favorite cuisine on that particular day. A lot of restaurants have a food timetable i.e. a particular type of south Indian food is served on that particular day. 

Obviously, you would want to check out if your favorite dish is available on that particular day and on that particular time. 

7.) Does That Restaurant Have Proper Parking Facility? 

Mumbai is one of the densely populated cities in India. So finding best south Indian restaurants in Mumbai which has a proper parking facility is like a herculean task. Obviously, if you want to try out a restaurant which is far away from your place you would want to take your car to commute. Having a proper parking facility will not only save you a lot of time but is also a must need because it makes sure that your car is parked at a safe place and legally untouchable by any RTO police. 

Moreover, the ingress and egress from the parking spot should be hassle-free in case the restaurant doesn’t provide you with valet parking facilities.

8.) Choose A Child -Friendly Restaurant

Checking the restaurant if it is a child-friendly will help you decide better if you can take your kids with you. To check if a restaurant is child-friendly you can look if it has high chairs so that your kids won’t drop the food while eating. Make sure the restaurant has a kid customized menu because a lot of time kids won’t be able to eat those spicy South Indian food which adults can. Also, make sure that the restaurant has a breastfeeding zone for mothers with babies. 

9.) Do They Take Reservation

When you enter a restaurant you obviously want to instantly get the empty table. Just in case you don’t find one and have to wait for a long time making sure that the restaurant takes a reservation.

10.) Popular

Another great feature of best south Indian restaurants in Mumbai is its popularity. Obviously, a restaurant isn’t a popular one if you haven’t heard its name from your foodie friends. 

11.) Online Presence

Make sure that the restaurant has an online presence for example website or social media accounts as it will help you understand the restaurant better and know in and out of the restaurant. 

12.) Tried and Tested Restaurants

Another method of choosing the best South Indian restaurants in Mumbai is "Tried and Tested" method. It becomes important whenever you are arranging a party for a large group of people. You can focus on the evening when the place is familiar and the staff knows you very well. You can make certain recommendations, ask for different arrangements or services. 

This will help you in arranging the event better so that you can actually interact with the people, talk with them without having to worry about the food. 
So now you have chosen your ideal or appropriate restaurant according to your needs but now the question arises of which South Indian dish to eat. 
Because there are varieties of dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and each state has its own unique dish. So here are some amazing South Indian dishes to try.

Must-Try South Indian Food

1.) Masala Dosa 

Masala Dosa is one of the famous South Indian breakfast dish popular across whole India. It is made of fermented rice-and-lentil batte. It is stuffed with mashed potatoes and onions and it is available with various different combinations such as paneer, cheese, etc. It is accompanied by sambar and coconut chutney and sometimes with spicy tomato chutney. 


2.) Idli and Vada


Another breakfast dish is idlis. It is soft and fluffy which is fermented with lentil and rice and later steamed in circular molds. It is served with sambar and coconut chutneys. It is a very light snack for your stomach. 

Medu Vada 

Vadas are deeply fried, hot and crispy. It is made of black lentils spiced with chili, onion cumin. It is also served with sambar and coconut chutney. 

3.) Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani 

Moving on from breakfast it is now time to talk about the real deal. If you visit Hyderabad and don’t have Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani then it is a serious offense (Disclaimer: given that you are a Non-vegetarian). This dish was brought to India by Mughals. It is served with raita. 

4.) Vaangi Bath

It is one of the famous Karnataka vegetarian cuisines. Vaangi means brinjal or eggplant and bath means rice and mixing them in appropriate proportions and adding secret spices will give you Vaangi Bath. 

5.) Puttu and Kadala Curry

A popular breakfast dish in Kerala is Puttu and Kadala Curry. Puttu is made up of rice and is cylindrical in shape whereas, Kadala is a kala chana or black peas curry and tastes delicious by adding grated coconut and ripe bananas. 

6.) Kerala Fish Molee

The word Molee means stew. Molee is a preparation where fish is stewed in coconut milk and very low spices, so that flavor of the fish dominates the taste of the curry. Fish can be Kingfish to Prompet.

7.) Chettinad Chicken

It is one of the best spicy chicken masala of Southern India, particularly of Tamil Nadu. It is cooked with some peppery authentic Chettinad paste with coconut and onions. 

8.) Curd Rice

After eating has huge health benefits as it is good for digestion. After all, eating spicy delicacies all day eating curd rice will give the required relief to your stomach. It is prepared using rice, unsweetened curd with some salt to give it some flavor. Curry leaves and peanuts can be added as toppings. 

9.) Mysore Pak

Mysore Pak is one of the best sweet dishes of Karnataka. It was invented in the kitchens of Mysore Palace.  It is made up of mainly three ingredients besan (gram flour), ghee and sugar. Here ‘pak’ means sugar syrup. 

10.) Payasam

One of the best Kerala desserts is Payasam. It tastes divine. Made of an authentic sweet rice kheer, prepared by using rice, milk, ghee, sugar, added with crunchy dry fruits and chopped coconut.

So now you have chosen the dishes which you are going to eat. But before you head towards your restaurant here are some amazing facts you might be interested in knowing about South Indian dishes.

Amazing Facts About South Indian Food

1.) Rice is the King

The sole reason that rice is the staple food of South India is due to its geography. You see, the climatic conditions in South India are suitable for rice cultivation. Also because it’s very hot in Southern India, so the bodies get heated up very fast, so people necessarily have to sweat to cool off. Eating rice will encourage sweat, more sweat will cool off bodies.

It is also the most widely available food grain there and consequently, the grain which the highest number of people have access to in their day-to-day life. 

2.) Importance of Coconut 

First of all the South Indian states don’t use coconut in everything they eat. It is mainly used

in the dishes of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. They do it simply because coconut as the fruit is edible in its tender form, in its raw form and can be used as one of the best sources of oil. And another reason is it is available in abundance.


3.) Calories

You have to jog for about 30 minutes to burn the calories of 1 vada. 

4.) Health Benefits

The curry leaves strengthen the black color of your hair and can help to control diabetes. 

5.) Want to lose weight? 

Eating dosa can help you lose weight. Because it is easy to digest, is high in proteins, low in calories, fat and has a rich source of minerals and provides vitamins. And secondly, when served fresh and hot it is tasty, nutritious and healthy. 

6.) Rich History 

The first mention of idli was made in the Kannada writing of Shivakotiacharya in 920 AD. When cooks who accompanied the Hindu kings of Indonesia during their visits home during the 8th to 12th centuries AD brought fermentation techniques with them, as also perhaps steaming methods and vessels.

7.) Importance of Banana Leaf

Banana leaves contain compounds called polyphenols which are natural antioxidants that battle free radicals and helps prevent diseases. It is also believed that the leaf has anti-bacterial properties that kill all the germs in the food, thereby reducing the chances of you falling sick. When hot food is placed on the leaves, the wax melts and lends its flavor to the food, making it taste better. Research Study. 

8.) Sambar is Maharashtrian 

Legend says that Shivaji Maharaj’s son Sambhaji Maharaj, who was one of tried making dal when his head chef was away. He added little tamarind to the dal. It was not common to use tamarind in the dal those days. And no one dared to correct the Sambhaji Maharaj. He loved his own dish so much that later it was called “Sambar”.


Is South Indian Food Spicy?

Indian food is not complete without spices. They are like the soul of the food and the same is the case with South Indian restaurant food. 
South Indian food is seasoned with chilies such as red, fresh green chilies, red chili powder, and spices especially pepper each has a different potency and add heat to the food. 
So if you don’t like the spicy food, the only solution is to reduce the amount of chili you use. While this is not ideal and will reduce the authenticity of the dish, better the dish be less authentic and you can eat it than it is 100% authentic and too hot for you.

Is South Indian Food Healthy?

Surely South Indian food is healthy as it uses rice and coconut as key ingredients with steaming as a method of cooking for many dishes. It also uses a lot of different varieties of spices which are beneficial to the body. 

So now you have finally decided to go to a South Indian themed restaurant but the next question arises i.e. which restaurant to choose from.

Literally, there are hundreds if not thousands of restaurants and not each and everyone would be ideal according to your needs or priorities.