Photo: Amrita Diwanji
Scarborough, Ontario-born, third-generation chef Kelvin Cheung got his start in his father’s Cantonese kitchen at age 12. After stints at culinary school in Chicago and as sous-chef at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel, Cheung moved to Mumbai in 2012. He now runs Bastian, a sea-food restaurant, and One Street Over, a street-food-inspired cocktail bar. “As soon as I land in this massive city, I feel a rush like I’ve never experienced elsewhere.”
Photo: Tokai Coffee Roasters
This modern café is an oasis of calm hidden down a quiet street in the otherwise busy Mahalaxmi area (use the Waze app to find it). People bring their dogs and sit outside. The coffee is fresh-roasted in small batches – a rarity in Mumbai – and I order a black eye: coffee with two shots of espresso.
Unit 20–22, Laxmi Woolen Mill, Shakti Mills Lane, off Dr. E. Moses RD., Mahalaxmi
Photo: Alex Robinson/Getty Images
South Mumbai’s most lively arts and culture district is like an outdoor maze – perfect for a weekend stroll. The artists on the terrace outside Jehangir Art Gallery always catch my eye; I love their charcoal sketches of the city skyline. Local fashion designers have set up shop too, like Obataimu, where Japanese-style clothing is made and sold on site.
Imagine a Brazilian steakhouse but for vegetarian thali, where 500 rupees ($10) gets you unlimited servings. The place is known for its sweet dahl with roasted coconut and lots of ghee, which pairs nicely with the made-to-order breads — naan, chapati and roti. The owner and his sons are always around to chit-chat and refill your plate until you’re very full.
Building 31, Dadiseth Agiyari Lane, Gaiwadi, Kalbadevi
Photo: Manish Mansinh Sampat
I love the relaxed and intimate feel of this nearly 40-year-old venue. The 200 seats are set in a semicircle, so you feel like you’re right there with the performers. They stage Indian and international plays, and an eclectic lineup of musicals, literary readings and modern dance. I’ve made it a tradition to order an Irish coffee at intermission.
20 Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Rd.