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7 Legendary Places in Mumbai for The Best Ice Cream & Iconic Flavours

Mumbai's summers draw crowds to its iconic ice cream spots like K Rustom, Natural’s, Bachelorr’s and more. Here’s what makes these eateries so iconic.

7 Legendary Places in Mumbai for The Best Ice Cream & Iconic Flavours

It is the season for extra wads of tissue, endless bottles of sunscreen, and a chilled glass of juice that is welcome at any hour of the day. But though effective, these are brief reliefs in the sweltering heat. The best antidote continues to be a popular frozen delight made with milk, sugar and cream!

Found every few kilometres, and loved across borders, the ice cream continues to be one of the most affordable knacks to tide through the summer. Every city has its favourite haunts, places described by guidebooks as the “best”. But today we turn to celebrities, chefs, and foodies to dissect where one should get their fill of ice cream when in Mumbai.

1. K Rustom

The ice cream sandwich at K Rustom is a popular dessert in the city
The ice cream sandwich at K Rustom is a popular dessert in the city, Picture source: Google Photos: Mitul Ashra

What’s better than an ice cream? An ice cream sandwich, of course!

And no one does it better than this Iranian joint that has fascinated its customers since 1953 when the legend K Rustom began treating the crowds at Marine Drive to ice cream bars sold on porcelain plates.

Tuck into their classics — mango, chocolate and vanilla — or get adventurous with their fusion flavours — orange marmalade and prunes! As interviews on the web suggest, the parlour is a favourite of actor Boman Irani who tucks into their pista ice cream sandwich whenever he visits.

2. Natural’s Icecream

Natural's Icecream is a popular brand name in India but once started as a humble shop in Mumbai,
Natural’s Icecream is a popular brand name in India but once started as a humble shop in Mumbai, Picture source: Instagram: Natural’s Icream

Many enjoy the array of flavours the brand has to offer — with real fruit pieces popping up as the ice cream melts on the palate. But few know about the compelling story of how this iconic brand scaled from the ground up.

The founder, Raghunandan Srinivas Kamath, grew up in Mangaluru’s Puttur taluk. It was during his frequent visits to the family field to help his father that Kamath learnt to identify high-quality, ripe fruits. He was only 14 when his family moved to Mumbai. Failing to clear his boards got Kamath thinking that there was another dream to pursue.

In 1984, he introduced the country to his original fruit ice cream, which is hailed as one of the absolute best today.

3. Bachelorr’s

The iconic strawberry cream dessert that is a hit item on the menu at Bachelorr's
The iconic strawberry cream dessert that is a hit item on the menu at Bachelorr’s, Picture source: Instagram: Bachelorr’s

If you’re in Mumbai’s popular Girgaum Chowpatty and looking to make a pit stop at its most famous food locales, don’t miss this ice cream spot. Since 1930, the place has been doing justice to the frozen dessert, with not just ice creams to their credit but tall, drool-worthy glasses of milkshakes too!

Little did Ghaziabad’s Omprakash Agarwal guess that he would create such a loved brand in the city he ran to while escaping his home. With no money in the initial days, Agarwal was engaged in a multitude of odd jobs eventually setting up a fruit stall by the beach flocked to by the British and locals alike.

In an interview with Mid-Day, celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani was quoted proclaiming his love for the outlet. “Mumbai has a tonne of desserts to choose from. It can change from season to season. In winter, there is nothing better than the strawberry and cream at Bachelorr’s.

4. Taj Icecream

Veteran actors Madhubala and Waheeda Rehman loved their ice creams. And on any given day, if you’d ask them from where they wanted the sweet treat, they would answer ‘Taj Icecream’.

Nestled in the bylanes of Crawford Market in Mumbai and churning magic for 137 years is this outlet started by a gentleman from Kutch — Valilji Jalaji. While the business began with selling fruits and then jellies, it soon scaled to one that was giving the city some of the most wonderful ice cream flavours.

As Aamir Icecreamwala, the sixth-generation owner of the business, tells The Better India, “The original menu was bite-sized pieces of pineapple, grapefruit, and chikoo mixed in milk and dates and served cold in clay pots.”

5. Snowmans

“An upmarket neighbourhood in South Mumbai” is how the internet describes Cumballa Hill. But even amidst its skyscrapers and plush residences is a humble ice cream parlour that has found a special place in the hearts of the city’s residents.

As food and travel writer, Aatish Nath recalls in an interview with Conde Nast, “My favourite ice cream that also makes me very nostalgic is the chic choc roll from Snowmans in Breach Candy. It’s handmade and imperfect — something we’ve lost in the age of photography for Instagram. Snowmans will also always be a favourite because it’s a place we were introduced to on drives with our family. And through all these years, their menu doesn’t seem to have changed at all.”

6. Gokul Ice cream

The Gokul ice cream is popular for the consistency in taste the brand has maintained since 1970,
The Gokul ice cream is popular for the consistency in taste the brand has maintained since 1970, Picture source: Gokul Ice cream

The brand began treating Mumbaikars with its ice creams in 1970, when its founder Shri Gundraya S Kamath launched it. They also specialise in shrikhand (a creamy, thick Indian delicacy made with yoghurt, saffron, and sugar).

In an interview with Unfiltered By Samdish, director Hansal Mehta revealed an anecdote involving the ice cream spot. “My father and Rajiv Gandhi were friends. He [Rajiv Gandhi] used to feed us ice cream quite often. He loved ice cream, particularly Gokul ice cream in Santacruz. Whenever he used to come to Mumbai, he used to take us out for ice cream, and he’d order one of every flavour. He’d get sitafal (custard apple) flavour packed for himself to take back home in a special container.”

7. Haji Ali Juice Centre

Treat guests like family — as the website of this loved spot reads, this philosophy has remained a constant since the 1960s, when a gentleman Fareed Noorani opened the Haji Ali Juice Centre overlooking the shrine of Haji Ali along the Arabian Sea.

What started out with the intent of offering refreshments to weary pilgrims has transformed itself into a food-lovers paradise. While customers praise the grape juice which is guzzled down by almost every pilgrim, others proclaim their love for the sitaphal cream.

And one among its many fans is pastry chef Pooja Dhingra. In her book ‘Coming Home’, she shares her love for the dessert at the juice centre adding that it formed one of her core food memories as a child.

Cover pic credits: Instagram: Go Out Mumbai

Edited by Pranita Bhat

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