History of Vadapav: The Journey from a brain to a belly


History of Vadapav: The Journey from a brain to a belly
Source: LBB
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Mumbaikars love food and as the city hosts people from different cultures, it tends to offer lip-smacking delicacies and the number of new food items served in the city increases every day. But, if there is one such item which connects all the Mumbaikars, it is undoubtedly the ‘Vada Pav.’ Be it rich or poor, this mighty simple dish has been the favourite for many and over the years, the popularity of this dish has exponentially grown along with the fan base.

While we may all relish the dish, not many of us know the history behind the same. Here are some points which will help you understand the journey Vada Pav made from a brain to a belly!

  • The credit for the Vada Pav goes to a man named Ashok Vaidya who introduced this to the city of Mumbai, and today the legacy is proudly being carried forward by his son Narendra Vaidya.
  • Ashok set up a stall outside Dadar Station in the 1960s where he sold just the Vada and Poha, opposite a stall that sold Omelette Pav. Upon understanding the food lovers’ craze and interest in Pav, he decided to insert the Vada in the Pav, along with some chutney to add flavour. This was loved and thus Vada Pav was born.
  • Despite the struggle, Ashok ensured that his children get the best education possible. Though he was good at studies, his financial condition did not allow him to continue the education. Even though his Vada Pav got a lot of love, he could not fulfill the wish of making his stall into a shop.
  • One might think that his son Narendra would have not set up a shop to continue to the business, but it is amusing to know that he still stands outside Dadar station’s platform number 1, on the stand stall where his father did all those years. Today, he has developed the menu and also sells other items like the samosa, pakora, and a lot more.
  • It is said that Late Balasaheb Thackeray was a fan of Ashok Vaidya’s Vada Pav and used to visit his stall frequently to eat. This friendship eventually developed where Thackeray informed the BMC officials to not bother Vaidya, thereby assuring him the same that no ward officer would trouble him.
  • Many senior leaders like Manohar Joshi and others have also been a fan of Vaidya’s Vada Pav, and the dish was also being served during the meetings and at several campaigns and rallies. Thackeray had invited Vaidya to meet him at Matoshree, but after Sena’s win in 1995 state elections, the security around Thackeray was tightened due to which Vaidya was not allowed to meet.

Today, the snack is being served in different forms, and here are some popular places to eat Vada Pav in Mumbai

  • Kirti Vada Pav aka Ashok Vada Pav – Kirti College Lane, Prabhadevi
  • Anand Vada Pav – Opposite Mithibai College, Juhu
  • Shree Krishna Batatawada, Dadar West
  • Aaram Snacks – Capital Cinema, CST station
  • Graduate Vada Pav – Byculla East
  • Gajanan Vada Pav – Thane
  • Samrat Vada Pav – Vile Parle
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