Skip to content

New local business brings popular Indian street food vada pav to New West

A spicy, crunchy, and carb-loaded snack is here to satisfy your fast food cravings.

A new takeout business aims to give New West residents a taste of a street snack from the home of Bollywood: Mumbai.

Vada pav is a vegetarian snack that’s ubiquitous on the streets of India, especially Mumbai — a city on the West Coast of the peninsula, in the state of Maharashtra. 

Usually sold by vendors on streets, it’s often made right in front of the customers’ eyes — spicy potato patties are dipped in gram flour batter and deep-fried in large woks of hot oil before being sandwiched between two heavily-buttered buns and drizzled with garlic chutney.

The humble fast food has even had its share of international fame, when the late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain called it “the best thing” he had ever eaten, in a 2007 interview.

And now, New West residents can grab an order of this greasy goodness right here in the city.  

On Jan.4, Vada Pav Mirchi by Geeta, a takeout spot for vada pav and other food items specific to the city of Mumbai and its surrounding region, opened on Fifth Avenue. 

Joining in the takeout trend

The eatery is the brainchild of Surrey resident Geeta Batule, who operates the business along with her daughter Viyoga Batule. 

The two had first started selling vada pav out of their home kitchen a few months into the pandemic — July 2020.

“I have always liked to cook for others and feed others,” said Batule, speaking in Hindi. 

Though she had the intention to start her own eatery for about two decades, it was the pandemic and the constant encouragement from a family friend that pushed her to take the plunge, she said.

“A family friend who liked my cooking always used to ask me, ‘Why don’t you start selling what you cook to the public?’,” she said. And since takeout was growing popular during the pandemic, Batule decided it was the right time to heat up the griddle and get cooking. 

“So I started cooking vada pavs at home, and selling them to people.” 

At the time, there was only that one item on her menu — the vada pav. 

Now, there are as many as 25, including a frozen dairy dessert called kulfi, and crispy onion fritters called kanda bhaji.

"In just a few days, there was a line outside my home!” Batule recalled with a note of excitement.

Initially, the word spread through friends and family; Batule worked Fridays through Sundays to fulfill the orders. But as soon as her son advertised the business on Facebook Marketplace, the demand grew enough to consume Batule’s entire week. 

Vada Pav Mirchi by Geeta showed up on SkipTheDishes, Uber Eats and DoorDash. 

For the heaps of onion fritters, sweet dumplings and buttered buns that were being ordered, her home kitchen suddenly seemed too compact a place to stack up the many takeout boxes. 

So, Batule moved her stove, mixing bowls and ladles to her home garage — transforming the space into a fully-functional kitchen.

During the weekends, the line of people waiting for their orders snaked around her home to the road, she said.

But though it seemed like her fledgling business had become a success, there was just one issue. 

“We didn’t know we couldn’t run a business from home,” said Batule.

The government of British Columbia requires all food-production businesses to follow a food safety and sanitation plan, and work out of a shared-use or commercial kitchen space.

Eight months after founding the business, Batule moved it to a commissary kitchen in Langley for a while, before, finally, settling down in New West this year. 

Batule and her daughter are at the kitchen by 10 a.m. every day — between Wednesday and Sunday. By the time they get back home, it’s half past nine at night, she said.

Recreating the taste of 'home' for clients

“Everything is made from scratch in the kitchen… even the spices and the ghee (clarified butter).” 

Though it’s a lot of work, Batule said, “I don’t get tired cooking for clients because I am happy when I see their happy faces.” 

When she moved to Canada from India about 22 years ago, she found few options for food that reminded her of her home. “Authentic Maharashtrian (Mumbai is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra) food was nowhere, not even in Indian restaurants.” 

Frozen vadas (savoury doughnuts) were the closest to an authentic Maharashtrian snack that she could buy. “But the taste was not that great,” she recollected. 

Through Vada Pav Mirchi, she wants to offer items that give those who live far away from the region in and around Mumbai a taste of their homeland. 

“So far, the reaction from people has been great. Some clients said that they hadn't tasted anything like it for the past 10 to 20 years here!” 

Her takeout has brought in clients from as far as Seattle, Victoria, and even Toronto. “The other day, we got a call from someone in Toronto who asked if we had a franchise in Toronto!” 

But despite all that resounding validation from her clients, in November 2022, Batule scratched her itch to compare her vada pavs with the ones made by the vendors in Mumbai. 

“When I was in India, my driver took me to one of the shops that was known for its misal (a spicy gravy) and vada pav. I decided to taste test and compare my vada pav with his…”


“His weren't as good as mine,” said Batule with a laugh.

Vada Pav Mirchi by Geeta is located at 1122 Fifth Ave. Orders can be placed online through their website