All In A Day’s Paan: Meet Mumbai’s Famous ‘Paanwaalas’

{1 Comment}

0

Remember the song, ‘khaike paan Banaras wale, khul jaye bandh akal ka taala?’ That is the kind of magic that a simple betel leaf combined with the right concoction can create. A paan is like a tradition that completes the Indian meal. Maghai, Banarasi, Calcutta, Meetha, Saada and the types of paan are endless. The quintessential paan has been around for generations and so have some paanwalas with their fascinating varieties. But the one thing that is constantly evolving are the innovative ingredients that paanwalas now experiment with. It may have started with a basic Saada paan but now we have a Rasmalai paan, Chocolate paan, paan with gold, you name it and there’s a paan to suit every taste.

Almost every street corner in Mumbai is home to a popular paanwala whom the locals vouch for. So we bring you a list of ‘paan ki dukaans’ which are not just renowned in their area but the entire city for their delectable paans.

Mucchad Paanwala. Image by muchhadpaan.com
Mucchad Paanwala. Image by muchhadpaan.com

Mucchad Paanwala
A high-tech paan shop, complete with a website of its own, is how Mucchad Paanwala is best defined. He is undoubtedly the most famous paanwala not just in Mumbai but also outside Mumbai. The shop was set up by Shyam Tiwari over 30 years ago and is today run by Jaishankar Tiwari and his family. The interesting name ‘Mucchad’ stems from the trademark moustache which is a tradition in the family. Based in Breach Candy, Mucchad offers a scrumptious variety of over 50 paans ranging from Banarasi, Maghai, Kalkatta and Muchhad Specials. Their homemade gulkand is yummy and the Meetha paan infused with coconut is worth a try. They also take special orders for weddings and parties and have outlets in Andheri, Juhu etc. Mucchad is nothing short of a legacy when it comes to the best paans in Mumbai.
Where: Opp St Stephens Church, Near Oomer Park, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Breach Candy.
Contact:
022-23690782

A yummy Chocolate Paan. Image by riotofflavours.blogspot.com
A yummy Chocolate Paan. Image by riotofflavours.blogspot.com

Ghantawala Paan Mandir
Surely a unique name for a paanwala and one that has an interesting story behind it. Tiwari from Banaras runs this shop in Borivali wherein he rings a brass bell every time he begins making a paan and then again when he accepts the cash. As a result his customers keep gifting him bells and he thus made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for possessing the largest collection of bells. With over 125 varieties of paans on offer, there is something for everyone here. Some specialties include the ‘Chocolate paan’ dunked in khus syrup and dry fruits, ‘Chappan Bhog’ made with 56 different ingredients, ‘Samosa Meetha’ that is shaped like a samosa and available in different flavors along with a bunch of other innovative paans. If that was not sufficient, the paan comes in an attractive package that carries Tiwari’s contact details and tagline which is ‘The Real Taste of Life’.
Where: Chandavarkar Road, Borivali (W).
Contact: 
022-28922032

Volga at Fort. Image by burrp.in
Volga at Fort. Image by burrp.in

Volga Paan House
The Fort based Volga is an institution for good paans in SoBo. Started by Sadhoo and Kamta Singh in 1953, Volga is now run by their grandsons Dharmendra and Avinash. The paan shop was set up outside a restaurant named Volga and hence the name. The permanently long line of customers and cars reiterates its popularity. On offer at Volga are specials like Kimam, Meetha paan (which has a paste of rose petals) and Volga made Rasiya Supari Mawa in addition to the regular assortment. They also offer home delivery and have another branch at Vasai.
Where: Nanabhai Lane, Fountain, Fort.
Contact: 022-22881442

Specially designed boxes for paans. Image by yummraj.files.wordpress.com
Specially designed boxes for paans. Image by yummraj.files.wordpress.com

Yamu’s Panchayat
A branch of the famous Delhi based chain, Yamu’s is a paan parlor with a difference that serves the betel leaf in an air conditioned set up. With two stores in Lokhandwala, Yamu’s offers a diversity of paans in extraordinary flavors like Butterscotch, Pineapple, Sandalwood, Strawberry and more. But the most remarkable aspect is their philosophy which is to revolutionize the scenario of paan shops in the country. They introduced a non-spit paan, wherein all the ingredients can be consumed and hence there is no scope of spitting thus making it a hygienic proposition. Additionally this is the only chain owned (Delhi based Anita Lalwani is the owner) and managed by ladies making it a comfortable environment for lady customers. Though their Mumbai store doesn’t have female staff yet, it is only a matter of time before they take over. They now have outlets in Mumbai, Delhi and Ujjain and are steadily expanding their footprint.
Where:  Shop No 8, Citizen Building, Lokhandwala Market, Andheri West.
Contact: 022-61634167

Maghai jodi. Image by Travbuddy.com
Maghai jodi. Image by Travbuddy.com

Mishra Paan Bhandar
This paan bhandar is high on the celebrity index as it is frequented by Bollywood stars who swear by its flavors. Ram Manohar Mishra’s shop at Juhu is best known for its Maghai Jodi and Saada paan. The Malai Meetha is also mouth-watering as is the seasonal Mahoba (a special paan leaf from the Mahoba district in UP) available only 3-4 times a year. It is known to have one of the best sweet paans in town.
Where: Palm Grove Building, Juhu.
Contact: 022-26170868

Sweet paan. Image by hubimg.com
Sweet paan. Image by hubimg.com

Mama Paanwala
Located near King’s circle, Mama Paanwala prepares over 25 varieties of paan. His Mawa paans are a hot favorite and are made without tobacco. He hails from Rajasthan and has been around for a long time. His prime location has given him an array of regular customers.
Where: Mohan Niwas, Dr Ambedkar Road, Matunga.
Contact: 022-4091842

Jay Bhole Shankar Paan House
Get a taste of authentic Maharashtrian tradition with the Karanji shaped paan available here. Karanji is a typical Maharashtrian sweet and the karanji shaped Calcutta masala is recommended here. Another joint frequented by celebrities, Jai Bhole Shankar is located near Mithibai College in Vile Parle.
Where: Vaikuntlal Mehta Road, Near Mithibai College, Vile Parle (W).

The quintessential Saada paan.Image by mycreativeflavours.com
The quintessential Saada paan.Image by mycreativeflavours.com

Trivedi Paan House
Established in 1964 in Ghatkopar East, Trivedi Paan House has gone on to become a well-known name in the area. They also export betel leaf and have products ranging from various paans to roasted supari, after mints and more. They undertake orders for marriages and parties as well.
Where: 11, Vasant Niwas, Tilak Road, Ghatkopar (E).
Contact: 022-25130850

Yash Prakash Paanwala
This paan shop is situated at Chowpatty near Babulnath Temple. Seldom will you find the place empty as patrons regularly flock here to enjoy their delicious paan. The owner Yash Prakash vouches for his authentic ingredients brought from Kanpur, Kolkata and so on. Though they have several options to choose from, their Calcutta Saada and Mawa paans are definite winners.
Where: Near Babulnath Temple, Chowpatty (Girgaon).
Contact: 022-23619333

And then there is the Cream Centre Paanwala (Chowpatty), Pagal Paan Bhandar (Bandra), Lakhan Pan Centre (Mulund), Sharad (Shivaji Park) and the list goes on. So the next time you step out for a meal, don’t forget to complete it with a perfect paan from one of these famous outlets.

Add your favorite paan shops to our list. Mail us at [email protected] or comment below.

Post By Esha Verma (33 Posts)

Writing is a passion I discovered a little late. But better late than never. When not penning my thoughts, you'll find me sniffing around for good food - trying out every new restaurant in town is a hobby. I swear by Hindi films and when doing nothing of the above you'll find me troubling my pet pooch.

Connect

Esha Verma

Esha Verma
Writing is a passion I discovered a little late. But better late than never. When not penning my thoughts, you'll find me sniffing around for good food - trying out every new restaurant in town is a hobby. I swear by Hindi films and when doing nothing of the above you'll find me troubling my pet pooch.
  • Priyanka

    I enjoyed the one behind Taj Colaba. Also, Lpaan at Powai.