Crawford Market Mumbai: The Go-To Place for Thrift Shopping

A city with endless fascinating places, yummy street food, great cheap markets, and a diverse population, a visit to Mumbai generally has a plethora of destinations for tourists to visit. One such ever-famous and happening place is the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai that provides its visitors with a number of options for wholesale shopping from bags, home decor items, stationery items to Women and Children Clothing, fruits, vegetables, and poultry products, among others.

Popularly referred to as Crawford market, named after Arthur Crawford - the first Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai, this market sports Flemish and Norman architectural styles that depicts the fascinating old-charm of this city; much like many other buildings situated in Mumbai. Other than the striking architecture, you can expect to be welcomed in this market by many vendors selling things like scarves, and table mats. You’ll also find that lanes in this market are segregated with each of them dedicated to different varieties of items such as party items, home decor, stationery, perfume, fruits and vegetables, and spices. 

But much like any other place, there are a few pointers that you should learn about before venturing there which we have tried to cover up in this blog.
Timings: 11 AM - 9 PM (Mon - Sat)
Location: CST Building, Dhobi Talao, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mohammed Ali Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra

What to Buy at Crawford Market

Among the plethora of products available for sale at the Crawford Market, the following are some of the few ones that are bought widely by the visitors:

1. Fruits and Vegetables 

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One of the major reasons why people prefer to visit this market is that it offers a large variety of fruits and vegetables for its visitors and that too at good prices. Moreover, this includes imported goods which are very difficult to find in other markets. Fresh bakery products, pet food, imported cheese, meat and poultry are also widely sold at Crawford Market.

2. Spices

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After you cross the cosmetic and utensil shops in the market, you’ll find a tiny lane known as ‘Mirchi Galli’ that is filled with small spice stores (ask around anyone if you have trouble locating it). This is one place where you will get almost all kinds of spices that are sold across the country ranging from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur Chillies to Kashmiri Chilli, Reshampatti Chilli, and Bedgi Mirchi. 

One will also find a variety of other spices such as turmeric and ground peppers being sold here along with the chillies. Typically, noon is the time when this place experiences rush hour with many housewives coming to stock up on spices. One of the highlights of shopping here is that you get them with assured quality and at affordable prices; which is why it has become one of the most popular spice markets in the city.

3. Stationery Items

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Whether you are looking for fine art supplies of a specific brand or some cute stationery supplies, you will get almost anything and everything in Crawford Market. For all Stationery lovers, Abdul Rehman street is like a dream come true with items like aesthetic folders, gift packing materials, wooden frames, laces and tassels and many other products available at very cheap prices. 

Royal Sales Corporation (for beautiful folders), Al- Nawaz Stickers (for pretty stickers), Supernova (for gift packing materials like intricately-detailed boxes and baskets) are some of the most famous shops here. One thing you need to keep in mind when shopping here is that you can bargain and get a great deal here; especially if you are buying in bulk so be prepared to put your negotiating skills to use.

4. Clothes, Handbags and Other Knick Knacks

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Within Crawford Market, there are many shops and stalls that feature a huge variety of printed suit and saree materials, casual t-shirts, tops and Kurtis. Other than these, you will be delighted to find many printed as well as chic handbags, slings, and wallets being sold at very low prices. Eyewear, scarves, towels, bedsheets, and branded makeup products are some other items that visitors buy from here.

5. Funky Jewellery Items

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Throughout this market, you will see a lot of stalls with sellers persuading you to buy funky jewellery items ranging from rings, bangles, anklets, nose pins, to earrings and watches. Some especially notable stalls are situated below the popular shop called Gulshan Toys; which are known for its stunning peacock rings sporting elaborative feathers that sell at merely INR 100. You will see many women purchasing statement necklaces and other accessories from this market that they then match and wear with their chic outfits to complete the look.

6. Imported Candies and Chocolates

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With a number of candy and chocolate stores in the market, you can expect to get almost anything ranging from local chocolates and Indian sweets to imported cheese, candies, and other sweets in this market. So, if you have got a sweet tooth, this market is just the right place for you!

7. Stunning Home Decor Items

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Are you one of those many people that spend a large amount of their time scrolling through stunning home decor pictures on apps like Pinterest and Tumblr? If your answer to this question is affirmative, then you will most likely fall in love with the paradise that this market is. With unique pastel coloured cute home decor items like cute baskets, unique mirrors, dazzling disco style curtains, stunning garden decor products available here at budget-friendly prices, you can manage to grab a lot more in this market than any other place and bring your dream home decor to life.

8. Other Things at Crawford Market

Apart from these products, there are a lot more small shops in this market that provide a lot of services to its customers including a watch repair shop and other stalls where you can buy cheap footwears and mobile accessories like back covers, screen cards, and earphone covers. The market also houses some branded stores like Metro Shoes and more than 10 pet shops that includes one where songbirds are displayed and sold to customers. Antique crockery is another thing that is widely sold here; with unique coloured classes for the city's famous Cutting Chai being a popular demand.

Moreover, this market features a completely different vibe when certain festivals such as  Diwali and Christmas roll around. For instance, many huge Christmas trees, colourful lights, beautiful decor items, and a number of people strolling the streets with baskets on their heads (so that they can help people carry Christmas trees to their vehicles) is what is generally witnessed during the time of Christmas.

Famous Food Joints at Crawford Market

In this market, you’ll see a lot of small food stalls scattered throughout the streets selling a large variety of food items including different kinds of juice and shakes and delicious quick bites. Apart from these stalls, there are also many famous food joints either in or situated at a short distance from the market. We’ve enlisted some of them so that you know where to go when your stomach aches for some yummy food in the middle of your shopping spree.

1. Baadshah 

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Known for its large range of juice, shakes, dessert items, and other cool treats that include Falooda, Kulfi, Lassi, and Soda Ice Creams, Badshah is one of the most popular food joints situated in this market. Among many quick bites that are served here, some of the top ones are Chaat, Burgers, Mushroom Pav Bhaji, Panipuri, and Idli. So, if you wish for a refreshing drink or some quick bite during your visit to Crawford, this is an iconic place that you may definitely want to visit.
Opening Timings: 7 AM - 12:30 AM (Mon-Sun)
Average Cost for Two People (approx.): INR 600

2. Gulshan-E-Iran

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This is a famous Mughalai restaurant that is known to serve a wide variety of mouth-watering food items from Mughlai and Chinese cuisines. Some of the top dishes served here include Biryani, Butter Chicken, Crispy Chicken, Seekh Kebab, Tandoori Roti, and Falooda, among others. Many fast food items such as delicious burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, rolls, and Chinese appetizers like Chicken Spring Roll and Fish Chilli Dry, are also greatly enjoyed by people here. 
Opening Timings: 7:30 AM - 1:30 AM (Mon-Sun)
Average Cost for Two People (approx.): INR 500

3. Ustaadi

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Featuring a cosy and comfortable atmosphere with aesthetic vintage architecture, Ustaadi is one of the best restaurants near Crawford Market that is widely known for its eclectic menu that includes a number of dishes from varied cuisines ranging from North Indian, Chinese, Mughlai, and Continental.  Some of the best dishes served here include Butter Chicken, Malpua, Chicken Tikka Biryani, Butter Naan, Raan, and Kulcha. Coupled with amazing food and prompt customer service, the little nooks in this place that are decorated with small artefacts and some books prove to be just the perfect background for a good picture and make up for an overall enticing experience.
Opening Timings: 12 PM - 4 PM, 7 PM - 4 AM (Mon-Sun)
Average Cost for Two People (approx.): INR 1500

4. B Bhagat Tarachand

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Serving a large variety of North Indian and Maharashtrian food, B Bhagat Tarachand is a Vegetarian restaurant situated near Crawford Market that is widely visited by locals and tourists alike. Some of the delicacies served here include Paneer Chatpata, Dal Tadka, Paneer Paratha, Mango Lassi, Khichiya Churi, Paneer Tikka Masala, and Rabdi, among many others. Along with mouth-watering dishes, decent ambience with excellent atmosphere and quick service are some other aspects that make it one of the best in the area. 
Opening Timings: 11 AM - 12 AM (midnight) (Tue-Sun); Closed on Mondays
Average Cost for Two People (approx.): INR 550

5. Shree Thaker Bhojanalay

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As it is written on the name board outside this restaurant, this place is known for ‘serving the best Gujarati Thali since 1945’. The thali served here is the perfect blend of Gujarati, Sindhi and Rajasthani cuisine with Bengali sweets served on the side. There is a reason that this restaurant has been so popular ever since it was founded which is that each and every dish on the plate is cooked to perfection and leaves you wishing for seconds. The amazing hospitality and cosy home-like atmosphere is another reason why people visit this place so often.
Opening Timings: 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM (Mon); 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM, 7 PM - 10:30 PM (Tue - Sun)
Average Cost for Two People (approx.): INR 1200

Reasons Why You Should Visit Crawford Market

  • Spend Less and Buy More:
Since the prices of products are invariably low in this market, you can purchase a lot more in your budget here as compared to other markets. Also, many sellers allow you to easily bargain so make sure you try your hand at it to reap more benefit. 
  • Variety Shopping At One Place:
This is possibly the best aspect about this market i.e the fact that you’ll be able to get almost everything here; from clothes to footwear, food items, home decor articles, fashion accessories, and even household items like buckets and brooms. This will save you lots of time and energy that you would otherwise spend in visiting different markets to purchase a variety of things from your shopping list.
  • Enjoy the Aesthetics Of this Place While Shopping:
Another noteworthy aspect of this market is the obvious beauty that it beholds. Designed by the British architect William Emerson, this market sports a perfect blend of Flemish and Norman Style architecture that takes one back to the good old days spent in this city. So, while shopping, you can admire and capture this stunning market in your camera.

Tips to Shop Smartly at Crawford Market

  • One of the most essential things that you need to keep in mind when shopping at Crawford Market is that you must negotiate the prices before purchasing anything. It is common for sellers here to quote high prices (especially, if they know that you are a tourist) so don’t hesitate to put your foot down and bargain to make your purchase at a much cheaper price.
  • When you are going to Crawford market, make sure you make more than enough time to look around. This market is huge and filled with so many fascinating things available at cheap prices that it will most likely take you more than a couple of hours. And having too many things lined up following the shopping spree might keep you from taking full advantage of this wonderful place.
  • Since Crawford market hosts a lot of small side shops who do not give a shopping bag along with the purchase so it is a good idea to carry a large shopping bag along with you. 

How to Reach Crawford Market

Mumbai is especially famous for the number of transportation options that it offers for its locals and tourists so you will definitely have many conveyance alternatives to reach Crawford Market such as taxis (kaali peeli, as they are commonly referred to as in this city), buses, and trains.

By Taxi

In addition to these, you can simply put in ‘Crawford Market’ as the drop location on any of the ride-hailing apps such as Ola or Uber to reach your destination conveniently. Though, your ride cost can amount to quite a lot when you are in a farther area in the city and let’s not forget about the terrible Mumbai traffic, which is why most locals prefer using public transport. 

By Train

There are three train lines that people use to commute around the city namely Central, Harbour and Western. Fortunately, the market is located quite close to Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Station (CST) which connects Central as well as Harbour lines; so much that it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to reach from station to market upon walking. The Marine Lines station that falls in the western line is also located at a walking distance of about 20 minutes from the Crawford Market. If one is not in the mood to walk, they can hail a regular taxi or even a sharing taxi from the station to get to the market faster.

By Bus

The transit line that has a route near Crawford market is Bus number 51 so one can check and travel by bus if their location falls in the route.

In a nutshell, Crawford Market is one of the best places to shop cheap good items in Mumbai. You will not only have so many options to choose from but will be able to get them at much lower prices than you may have anticipated. So, save up some money, set a date, and venture out to visit this place with no list but excitement and enthusiasm to haul some great things!

This post was published by Kanushka Chandnani

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