I’ll be honest. I was dragged to Thane, that too for work. I run restaurants for a living and someone literally dragged me there to show some spaces. I thought Thane would be this backward sleepy-small town in Mumbai’s backyard. Thane surprised me. I did end up opening a restaurant here and in the process discovered a lot more. The look and feel of Thane is not dissimilar to Mumbai. The same train system of Central Railways feeds in and out like other parts of Mumbai; the same ‘building’ culture which houses most of Mumbai, Thane and around; autoricksaw drivers who more or less quietly go where ever you want and billing through the meter and the same traffic jams. Though I must say that Thane’s a bit more organised, neater and cleaner than regular Bombay places and home to Gajanan vada pav
The Thane Vada Pav
One of the earlier pioneers of the Vada Pav concept was a place called Rajmata Vada Pav who started selling somewhere in the late sixties or early seventies. Rajmata now has many branches across Thane, but has lost some of their earlier sheen. Their claim to fame and reason for their meteoric rise was the yellow chutney they served alongwith their vada pav
The yellow chutney is perhaps distinct to Thane as I don’t think I’ve seen this anywhere else. It’s made using a combination of cooked besan and sev with some chilly and minimal spices. Some just give this on it own alongwith the vada pav and some give a green chilly thetcha alongside
Gajanan Vada Pav
Gajanan started selling vada pav in Thane somewhere in the 80’s. A few years after Rajmata started selling theirs. Apple to Apple, Gajanan does their vada pav slightly better. Their yellow chutney’s tastier and they stylishly thrown in a dash of green chilly thetcha on top of the yellow chutney. Their Pav’s also pretty decent. All-in-all, a very good vada pav.
Address of their original outlet – Gajanan Vada Pav, Naupada, Thane West
Happy hunting and chowder-on!!