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Dishoom

From Bombay with love

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The old Irani cafés of Bombay

ABOVE: The legendary B. Merwan on Bombay’s Grant Road dates from 1914 and is still open.

THE OLD IRANI CAFÉS have almost disappeared. Their faded elegance welcomed all: rich businessmen, taxi-wallas and courting couples. Students had breakfast, families dined, lawyers read their briefs and writers found their characters. Fans turned slowly. Bentwood chairs were reflected in stained mirrors, next to sepia family portraits.

Opened early last century by Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran, there were almost four hundred cafés at their peak in the 1960s. Now, fewer than thirty remain. These cafés broke down barriers by bringing people together over food and drink. They were the first places in Bombay where people of any culture, class or religion could take cool refuge from the street with a cup of chai, a simple snack or a hearty meal. People from all walks of life shared tables, rubbed shoulders and broke bread together.

Shared spaces beget shared experiences, and Bombay was more open and welcoming for the existence of these cafés.

Dishoom pays homage to the Irani cafés and the food of all Bombay.

THE OLD IRANI CAFÉS of Bombay have almost all disappeared. Their faded elegance welcomed all: courting couples, sweaty taxi-wallas, students, artists and lawyers. These cafés broke down barriers by bringing people together over food and drink. Bombay was more welcoming, more cosmopolitan, for their existence. Dishoom pays homage to the Irani cafés and the food of all Bombay.

Food & Drink

All day, every day

Bombay breakfast, lunch, afternoon chai, dinner and late night tipples. Available for delivery.

Food & Drink

Breaking down barriers

Food is a way of breaking down barriers, and this is at the heart of what we do. Since Ramadan 2015, for every meal we serve, we donate a meal to a child who would otherwise go hungry. A meal for a meal. So far, we’ve donated 20 million meals (...and counting).

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Celebrating differences

Our events bring people of all walks of life together to celebrate culture and food. Whether it’s bringing together non-Muslims to celebrate Eid, non-Hindus to celebrate Diwali, or people of every possible background to tie Knots of Protection – we create shared spaces where differences are celebrated rather than judged.

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Introducing Permit Room, an all-day bar café

Our shiny new all-day bar-café is a salute to Bombay’s eating and drinking culture. Find us smack-bang in the middle of Brighton’s Lanes or arched into the cobbled streets of Cambridge. Oxford pals – we’re coming for you soon. 

We’ve got round-the-clock deliciousness from morning until late with an all-new menu (alongside some Dishoom favourites). Swing by for a Bacon Naan Roll for the morning after the night before. Grab craveable snackery and savouries for lunch, or hang here till late with crackingly good cocktails or for a beer, bite and boogie. 

Expect to have a damn good time.

A cherished Bombay tradition, offered freely

Wander into any Dishoom on a Wednesday and enjoy a simple yet sublime Bun Maska Chai, offered complimentary between 2pm–5pm.

This beloved treat, a Bombay staple, is more than a snack: it’s a ritual. The backdrop of countless mornings and the solace of many afternoons. Soft, fluffy buns drenched in rich, melting maska or butter. Dunk it in chai – sweet meets salty. Each bite speaks to the ineffable joy of simple pleasures. Come, enjoy it with us.

Read the café stories

Suggested Reading

See the journal

The Art of Mango

As an ode to the beloved fruit, we have invited two friends and one Dishoom-walli to interpret their love for mangoes in their own unique way. One expresses through spoken word, another through an essay. The third is through an illustration.

Dishoom Loves. Issue XVII.

June brings the promise of sun-drenched days – or monsoons – balmy nights and a smattering of first-class cultural happenings.

Permit Room Cambridge: A tribute to 1970s Bombay

Arched into the cobbled lane of Trinity Street, behind a mustard yellow door, an all-day bar-café cuts loose. Not to be confused with the buzzy bars in Dishoom cafés, this Permit Room is entirely other – a tribute to the way Bombay kicks back and cuts loose – a salute to the city’s permit rooms, beer bars and drinking holes.

Dishoom Impact Report

People, community and planet.

Awards & Accolades

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Best Small Group

Good Food Guide UK

2017

Ben McCormack

Squaremeal

Dishoom was a game-changer: stylish, affordable and with a defiantly youthful outlook that was more focused on how Londoners wanted to eat in the 21st-century than outdated British attitudes to both Indian cuisine and India itself.

Top 10 Best Places To Work For

The Sunday Times

2024

Winner of Best Breakfast & Brunch

HARDEN'S

2019

Richard Vines

Bloomberg

The staffers are friendly, the prices are low and the food is first-class. I had one of my most enjoyable meals of the year here. Dishoom well encapsulates the current trend for quality without fuss.

Awards and accolades

Top 10 Best Places To Work For

The Sunday Times

2024
See our awards

Rewarding Careers at Dishoom

Seva badge - Big Hearted & First Class

If you’re a big-hearted person looking for a first-class career in hospitality, read on.

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