According to the Times of India, vada pav was first created in the 1960s in a train station in Mumbai. Ashoka Vaidya, the inventor, already had a street food stall in the station that was selling vada (deep-fried fritters), and his stall was located next to another that was selling omelet pav (omelet on bread). One day, he decided to put the two together and the rest is history. Vada pav quickly took off and many new stalls opened to sell the working-class snack. By the time McDonald’s came to India in the ’90s, vada pav was so widespread and popular that the burger chain had a hard time breaking into the local market.
Today, vada pav continues to reign supreme in Mumbai and has spread across India. You can even find people selling vada pav in the U.S. in major cities like Los Angeles and New York.