Four Truly-Indian Fast Food Chains That Continue To Thrive

Four Truly-Indian Fast Food Chains That Continue To Thrive

Four Truly-Indian Fast Food Chains That Continue To Thrive

Whenever there is a discussion on fast food most people assume that it’s about American fast food that has been thrust into the lifestyles of people living in more than 120 countries around the world due to extremely aggressive branding and marketing by the likes of McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, Dominos, Taco Bell, KFC and many more.

Even though India has taken to American fast food with somewhat mixed reactions in the last couple of decades, there are a number of home-grown fast food chains that have done exceedingly well for themselves even when up against the American juggernauts.

Some familiar but often overlooked names:


Unarguably the oldest fast food restaurant chain in the country, Nirula’s was also the very first fast food joint in New Delhi, where it opened its first outlet way back in 1977. Over the years, it has expanded to over 70 stores spread across Delhi NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and even Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. The most popular items are Indianized versions of very popular American fast food. Nirula’s remains hugely popular in Delhi and has successfully staved off severe competition from the American fast food majors with its uniquely Indian tastes embedded in otherwise hip and happening Western fast food items. It would not be out of place to mention that it was due to this that almost all the American chains were forced to take a relook at their menus to make them more appealing to the desi palate. Nirula’s very attractive pricing also added considerably to its popularity.

Goli Vada Pav

Goli Vada Pav became the first chain to attempt to move the immensely popular fast food from off the streets to the inside of a restaurant more conducive to families. The chain’s celebrated vada pav that has immense appeal to people of all ages who want a fast and convenient bite without paying the typical prices of American fast food such as the McDonald’s party pack, for example. It was established in 2004 as a single QSR with an investment of four million rupees in Kalyan, a typical Mumbai suburban locality. Today it rakes in sales of over 150 million rupees that is being planned to be ramped up to 1,800 million rupees by expanding to 500 stores from the current 300. Currently, it has a presence in 61 cities spread across Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh where it sells around 100,000 vada pavs daily.


A Mumbai-based pastry and bakery chain, Monginis has a presence throughout the country as well as in Egypt. The company is very popular for its economically priced cakes and savory items that are a mix of Indian favorites like the samosa and the cutlet as well as international favorites like doughnuts and a variety of puffs. The outlets also sell a variety of bread, cookies and festival specials. The company operates on a franchise model.

Wow! Momo

A relatively recent chain specializing in the very popular Tibetan dumpling, Wow! Momo was established in Kolkata as recently as 2008. It has since then spread across many other cities across the country buoyed with cash received from investors who have taken a fancy to its concept and operations. Always a popular street food item for customers preferring a light, healthy, tasty yet cheap snack, the chain has literally taken the simple dumpling with vegetarian or non-vegetarian fillings to a new level altogether offering variants and innovations that have created a very loyal base of customers. Walk into a standalone store, kiosk or even a food court outlet you are likely to be astounded with the menu offering that includes Sizzler momos, tandoori momos, momo chaats, and even chocolate momos.

Author bio: Andrew Thompson is a well-known food critic and restaurant consultant. A passionate foodie, he travels across the country to discover tasty bites, but Samuel is not averse to ordering from for a fill of comfort food.

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