Drinking in Mumbai rarely comes cheap. There are plenty of bars and pubs to go to but not too many that spare a thought to your bank balance. Heading out can put a huge dent in your monthly budget if you love drinking and don’t choose the right place to knock back a few pegs. Thankfully, Mumbai has some great bars that go by the “quarter system”, offering alcohol by the quarter bottle (180ml) at rates that are affordable and, sometimes, downright cheap.

While there are many bars in the city where you can buy by the quarter, only a handful are comfortable and clean enough to enjoy a date at or an evening out with friends without feeling out of place. We round up the safest, cheapest bars in Mumbai that are welcoming to all.

1. Alps Restaurant and Beer Bar

Alps Restaurant and Beer Bar is an old English style pub in South Mumbai. The alcohol prices will have wallets smiling and the ambiance is such that you can actually spend quality time with a date. It’s quiet enough to have a conversation. On the drinks menu, there’s plenty to choose from, including beer and wine. The food too is easy on the wallet and delicious.

Location: Colaba

Average Cost for two: Rs. 700

2. Janata Lunch Home

Situated in Bandra West, on the ever-crowded Pali Mala Road, Janata Lunch Home is a favourite hangout spot for Bandra’s young working crowd who appreciate its friendly vibe and budget prices. Order hard alcohol here by the quarter to get an even more affordable bill. The food menu is extensive and famous for its seafood dishes. The Indian Chinese is also great to try on a night out. Here you will find everyone from corporates to young couples, students to retired folk, so it’s perfect for any casual evening or afternoon. Keep in mind that it can get a bit noisy in the evenings and on the weekends.

Location: Bandra West

Average Cost for two: Rs.1,000

3. Asiad

For the college students of Vile Parle, Asiad is a haven during bunked lectures or birthday treats. The bar offers drinks at wallet-friendly prices and the food is also quite affordable. Take your pick from Chinese or Indian delicacies. Popular snacks include masala papad and boiled chana – the go-to Indian accompaniments for drinks. In the evenings, getting a table can be a hassle and there is no table reservation system so aim to get there early.

Location: Vile Parle West

Average Cost for two: Rs. 700

4. Gokul

A charming hole-in-the-wall bar in South Mumbai, Gokul is a drinking institution of sorts, especially for the college-going and young working crowd of Churchgate. Alcohol prices are cheap and there is delicious food here. As is the norm with most bars in Mumbai, Chinese and Indian food is popular on the menu. There’s no music played here, so expect to hear a lot of chatter. The wait staff at Gokul can sometimes be busy during peak hours, so you’ll have to wait your turn to be tended to.

Location: Apollo Bunder

Average Cost for two: Rs. 900

5. Cafe Universal

From the outside, Cafe Universal will remind one of a typical French Cafe. But on the inside the bar is simple and homely. On an average day, you’ll find local townies sipping on a beer and relishing Irani food. The cafe has a good choice of fries and Indian appetizers to go with your drinks. Do not miss out on the free chakna that comes with your beer.

Location: Ballard Estate, Fort

Average Cost for two: Rs. 1,000

6. Vithal’s Vegetarian Family Restaurant and Bar

Vithal is popular as a completely vegetarian bar in CST that serves great snacks to perfectly accompany your extremely affordable drinks. What’s more, the place has happy hours from 6pm to 9pm so if you are really short on cash you can still be sure of a great time provided you plan an early evening out. Big drinkers and groups will benefit from their quarter-system prices on hard liquor which can significantly reduce the overall price of your bill.

Location: CST

Average Cost For two: Rs. 500

7. Yacht Resto Bar

This old-school Bandra joint is an iconic place to have a few drinks in the suburb. A much-loved and very reasonable place to get your drinks and food through decades, Yacht had a reputation for being a bit dingy and dark. However, recent renovations has breathed new life into the establishment that is now frequented by even more couples and tourists than before.

Location: Bandra West

Average Cost For two: Rs. 800

8. Sunlight

Sunlight is a relatively tiny bar with a larger-than-life reputation in Marine Lines. The iconic establishment has two sections – non-AC that is on the ground floor and a slightly more expensive AC section upstairs (you’ll need to go here in the sweltering Mumbai summer). Sunlight is always crowded with customers, many of them students from colleges in the area.  The ambience is cute and old-fashioned, with a charming jukebox that plays old songs.

Location: Marine Lines

Average Cost For two: Rs. 500

9. PJ’s

This gymkhana club’s bar and restaurant is not “members only” like most in Mumbai and it sticks to the dirt-cheap drinks prices that gymkhanas boast about. There is a dress code here – no slippers allowed and no-shorts for men – so it’s a good place to go to if you want to dress up a little or grab a few cheap drinks before heading to a fancier party spot. There is a small entry fee to be allowed into the restaurant but it’s merely a token compared to the savings on your total bill.

Location: Bandra West

Average Cost For two: Rs. 800

10. Social

Omnipresent in Mumbai, Social is a hip and happening place to relax and unwind with a great selection of alcohol that is pocket-friendly and an ambience that is super chill. The decor varies from location to location but the Socials aren’t just for drinking but for… err… socialising too, so the places are nicely done up and you can definitely go there for a dressy date or a casual evening out. Add to that a small but delicious selection of food, good music and the amazing quarter system, and you got a recipe for a fantastic time.

Location: Colaba, Todi Mills, Versova, Khar, Carter Road, Vikhroli, BKC, Goregaon East, Lower Parel

Average Cost For two: Rs. 1400


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