Ever dreamed of embarking on culinary road trips from Mumbai just to appease your gastronomical fantasies? Well, check out these epicurean-inspired getaways from Mumbai, where food leads the road and rest follow suit. By Kumar Shree

Best Culinary Road Trips From Mumbai –

1. Mumbai To Igatpuri

 

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Igatpuri, a quaint hill station nestled in the verdant forests of Western Ghats is one of the most popular getaways from Mumbai. Surprisingly, this West-Indian destination serves some delectable North-Indian delicacies. Think kukkad masala at the Oye Punjabi restaurant. For vegetarians, options are galore. This road trip is dotted with restaurants and street-side stalls offering mouthwatering local vegetarian dishes. The destination enjoys a pleasant climate all year-round and its beauty grows by many folds during the monsoons. The Vipassana International Academy or Dhammagiri adds to its popularity. Many tourists come here just to take a course in meditation.

Duration of the trip: Mumbai to Igatpuri is about 120 kilometres, which can take anywhere between two to three hours depending on the traffic and the number of breaks you take.

Best time to take this road trip: June to September is the ideal time for a road trip from Mumbai to Igatpuri.

Where to stop and eat: Oye Punjabi restaurant and Green Land Pure Veg restaurant on Mumbai-Nashik Highway are good options for a lovely meal.

Where to stay: Vivaant Retreat & Conventions would be a great choice to book a stay in Igatpuri.

Things to keep in mind: Igatpuri has many options for adventure sports, so pack your bags accordingly and be ready for some adrenaline rush.

2. Mumbai To Talasari

Talasari, a town in the Palghar district of Maharashtra does not rank high on the tourism map, but a one-day trip to this place especially to indulge in some authentic Parsi food makes it worthwhile. We are talking about some mouth-watering chicken farcha and salli boti for non-vegetarians and paneer salli for vegetarians. Pair them with hot bun maskas and a steaming cup of Irani chai foa delicious combo. The views that come along with this culinary experience makes it worth the drive! 

Duration of the trip: Mumbai to Talasari is about 140 kilometres via NH48 and takes about two to three hours.

Best time to take this road trip: Year-round.

Where to stay: If you wish to stay in Talasari, Mantra Resort is a good option.

Where to stop and eat: Parsi Da Dhaba along the Maharashtra-Gujarat border serves mouth-watering food.

Things to keep in mind: Leave early and opt for a light breakfast as the food at Parsi Da Dhaba will make you want to stuff all the desi goodness.

3. Mumbai To Malshej Ghat

 

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Another hill station in the Western Ghats that is blessed with waterfalls, forts, and lakes is Malshej Ghat. If you wish to do nothing but relax, this place awaits you! Soak in the healing sensation of its air and unwind. Talking about the food bit, the road trip from Mumbai to Malshej Ghat is known to have eateries along the way that serve up authentic Maharastrian food like taambda rassa, puran poli, and misal pav. The route also has several popular outlets that offer delectable South Indian food. If you happen to land at one of these establishments, we highly recommend getting a plate full of bonda with extra chutney on the side. This also happens to be one of the most popular culinary road trips from Mumbai.

Duration of the trip: Mumbai to Malshej Ghat is a 134-kilometre drive and can be covered under three hours via NH 61.

Best time to take this road trip: July to September is the best time to visit Malshej Ghat as Siberian migratory birds arrive here during this time.

Where to stay: Saj By The Lake Malshej is one of the best options here.

Where to stop and eat: Flamingo Restaurant at MTDC Resort offers sumptuous food and gorgeous views of the valley. If you’re looking for Maharashtrian food, check out Visvash Garden Restaurant.

Things to keep in mind: Don’t forget to carry a pair of binoculars and a good camera with a decent zoom lens as Malshej Ghat is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

4. Mumbai To Matheran

 

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Established by the British in 1850, Matheran is a serene hill station perched at a height of 2,516 feet above sea level. Located in the Raigad district, this place is an eco-sensitive zone and is also India’s only automobile-free hill station. Non-vegetarians are especially in for a treat on this road trip from Mumbai to Matheran. While Sabbir Bhai is one of the well-known establishments to indulge in some scrumptious biryani on the way, there are many local eateries that serve fish delicacies as well. Also, since there’s some walking involved on the way, you’ll come across many tiny food stalls set up by residents of this humble hill station that has a host of delicacies on offer.

Duration of the trip: The 80-kilometre stretch is well connected by Sion-Panvel Expressway. You can drive from Mumbai to Matheran in just two hours.

Best time to take this road trip: October to November.

Where to stay: Westend Hotel and Radha Cottage Heritage Resort are the best properties in Matheran.

Where to stop and eat: ‘Biryaniwala’ Sabbir Bhai serves one of the best chicken, mutton, and veg biryani on this route. The kebabs and other dishes at ‘Biryaniwala’ are equally good too.

Things to keep in mind: You cannot drive to Matheran as the cars can only go up till Dasturi, which is about an hour-long walk from the destination. You can choose to walk or take a horse rickshaw for the remaining journey. If you’re into landscape photography, Matheran is contoured with viewpoints that will make for great images.

5. Mumbai To Lonavala/Khandala

 

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Any list that talks about road trips from Mumbai cannot be complete without the mention of the famed Lonavala-Khandala route — the most popular road trip from Mumbai. The destinations offer a perfect balance of greenery and serenity. Solo riders, college groups, couples on a romantic drive, and family picnics — the Lonavala-Khandala route is everyone’s favourite. Seafood lovers and those who live for the Maharashtrian fare will adore this road trip. The route is known for local eateries that serve some of the best prawn thalis, Surmai thalis, and pomfret thalis that are high on flavours! 

Duration of the trip: The 83-kilometre stretch takes about two hours to complete.

Best time to take this road trip: June to September.

Where to stay: The Machan and Viola Beacon Resort in Lonavala are great options.

Where to stop and eat: Shree Datta Snacks in Raigad offers authentic Maharashtrian fares. Pitstop Café near Police Training School in Lonavala is an ideal multi-cuisine establishment and Samudra Manthan is a seafood lovers’ haven on this route.

Things to keep in mind: Expect to witness crowds at the destinations as the route is an extremely popular one.

If you have taken any of these culinary road trips from Mumbai, do share the pictures with us on social media and use the hashtag #TnlRoadTrips.

Related: #TnlRoadTrips: These 5 Road Trips From Delhi Will Forever Have Our Hearts!