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In the 1960s Balasaheb Thackeray appealed to Maharashtrians to become entreprneurs, the way South Indians had by setting up Udipi restaurants. Thus, was born the brainchild of one Ashok Vaidya in 1966, whose ‘Vada Pav’ stall was stationed just outside Dadar Station.
The street side fast food ‘Vada Pav’ is a favorite snack of Mumbaikars as well as the rest of Maharashtra. In fact, the ‘Vada Pav’ is now a pan Indian snack, just as Idlis and Dosas.
From restaurants, to office – factory and college canteens, to roadside eateries, the ‘Vada Pav’ is an anytime snack for many, and a day’s meal for others. The humble snack does not distinguish between rich and poor.
Pune has its own share of the delectable ‘Vada Pav’ in every corner of the city. The most iconic amongst them is;
‘Garden Vada Pav Center’ in Camp on Butte street, founded by Kashinath Naiku in 1972. Sons Rajeendra, Sanjay, Narendra and Deepak run it today. Another outlet is located at Nal Street, Erandwane.
Originally, the ‘Vada Pavs’ were sold from a cart near J.J. Gardens in the Camp area, that’s how the nomenclature ‘Garden Vada Pav Center’ stuck.
A few other vendors are Rohit Wadewale, Joshi Wadewale across Pune and Priyadarshan Snacks, Deccan Gymkhana.. There’s one in Undri by the name of Dhanraj Vada Pav Corner dishing out mouthwatering ‘Vada Pavs’ to satisfy one’s craving. To conclude, the humble ‘Vada Pav’ is a snack equally popular with the young and old alike. It’s a crying shame that despite its immense popularity the ‘Vada Pav’ has not earned a GI Tag yet.