Mumbai is a city. Bombay is an emotion. As you course through India’s ‘Sin City’, plan your shop stops sensibly to maximise your time. You can broadly divide Mumbai into three segments. SoBo (South Bombay), burbs (Bandra) and NoBo (North Bombay). Map out your halts adroitly for the best picks
the city has to offer...
If you love trinkets and junk jewellery, head to this buzzing lane lined with vendors, after you have bought the Mario Miranda signature cartoon montage-laced mega mugs from Cafe Mondegar at the beginning of Colaba Causeway. Curio Cottage sells the spiffiest accessories from feathered ear-cuffs to haute neckpieces and silver somethings to woo your heart. Looking for a cheaper bet? Saunter past the stalls to the pavement selling everything from vintage neckpieces to eye-catching earrings to chunky anklets and beaded bracelets.
Sift and sieve, bargain a lot! You can net superb picks in flowing dresses, trendy tops, belts, bags and wallets along this stretch that is also lined with retail outlets of leading brands. For netting cool bargains in cotton wear, you can stroll down Fashion Street near Metro as well. Chor Bazaar is a famous rip-off mart for antique pieces of all kinds. Get a local to accompany you here.
A clutch of haute labels under a single, swanky roof, with installations to gawk at. The toniest mall in Mumbai beckons with the best collections by Massimo Dutti, Antony Morato, Furla, Bottega Veneta, Emporio Armani, Paul Smith... sheer luxury. A large compound knits the mall to Phoenix High Street that houses mass-ier brands in Charles & Keith, Marks & Spencer... with superb food offerings in Wine Rack and Farzi Cafe. The central courtyard plays the perfect venue for rock concerts, bustling flea and farmers’ markets where food connoisseurs and home chefs come to promote their wares (organic health bars, granola goodies, oats specials, farm-fresh honey...) at affordable prices. Home furnishings and accessories abound in neighbouring mills compounds in Tranceforme, Good Earth, Oma...
Linking Road and Hill Road in Bandra are your best bets in boho chic haath phools, naths, fabulous gladiators, traditional Kolhapuris, pretty pumps, and more. Dip into Sole to Soul, Svago, Trendy, Bootmaker... and hundreds of small ‘bakhras’ (stalls) selling slip-ons at throwaway prices on Linking Road, where almost every lifestyle major has a retail point. La Jodie, opposite the famous Elco Market on Hill Road, offers superb sole picks for one-third of the crazy tags in showrooms.
Nestling here are the best lingerie shops, and the choicest picks in digital printed t-shirts. Trios is a one-stop shop for tuxedos, and glitzy and glam items for wedding shopping. If traditional wear and accessories are on your radar, zip into the Santacruz Station Market for the latest in traditional totes, imitation jewellery, trendy silhouettes in lehengas and sherwanis, and evenly priced kidswear. Shop for embellished Pakistani jootis and hair accessories in the street shops here.
There are curious stand-alone fashion boutiques (Fiza, Atosa...) fringing Juhu and then lining the chowpatty (Marathi for ‘beach’) with a sprinkling of superb shopping stretches in JVPD scheme and Irla (Gujarati stronghold dotted with brilliant snacky picks in vacuum-packed khakhras and pickles, torans, footwear, nightwear, exhibition centres, Charlie and the Chocolate factory-candies, imported perfumes and cosmetics...). If you must skim malls, the best ones are here in NoBo: Oberoi, Infiniti 2, Inorbit. Organic vegetables and fruits, a string of the best salons, kid-friendly play areas and great chomp options abound.