Cuisine of Chennai, India
Eating out in Chennai
For excellent vegetarian meals try, the Saravanaa Bhavan Chain. You can go for clean inexpensive self-service restaurants to up market swanky outlets.
Vasanta Vihar at Rajaji Salai serves same vegetarian food and good strong South Indian coffee.
Get good dosas from Bhoopathy café located opposite the station.
Udipi Home Mathsya serves excellent vegetarian home style cooking from a varied menu.
Go for delectable south Indian cuisine at Ceylon restaurant located inside Hotel Regal.
Ananda Bhavan at Triplicane High Road serves luscious banana-leaf thalis and excellent dosas.
Mathura Restaurant at Tarapore Tower Anna Salai is an excellent up market vegetarian restaurant.
Go for multi cuisine restaurant at Food Plaza with air-conditioned and open-air seating located at Anna Salai.
Only Veg at 82,Anna Salai does tasty snacks and juices.
The Gallopin'Gooseberry serves American and Italian cuisine and exotic range of juices.
The restaurant at New Woodlands Hotel is popular with the locals for dosas, tandoori and milk sweets.
Palki across the road offers north Indian specialities.
Coconut Lagoon has excellent Goan and Kerala fare.
Roomallee at Mylapore provides an outdoor barbecue with Hyderabadi dishes.
Kabul located at TTK Road specializes in Northwestern frontier food like biryanis, tandoori items and kebabs.
The Pinnacle rooftop restaurant at Hotel Ranjith is very popular.
Cascade at Khader Nhawaz Khan Road serves huge portions of good-quality Chinese, Malaysian and Thai food. The sound of water cascading down like a waterfall creates a pleasant ambience. Chinese vases and plates they use reflect the Oriental connection. They also serve seafood, favorite with the regulars.
Sangeetha at MG Road offers one of the biggest menus in town.
The Red E Food Court located at Harrington Road dishes out Indian, Chinese, Mexican and Western dishes. There is a buffet special on Sundays called the 'Brunch' - from 12 noon to 3:30 pm. There are theme parties and birthday packages. In addition, combo offers specifically for corporates from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on weekdays. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare is available at all counters.
For coffee-lovers, Barista at Kadar Nawaz Road serves good espresso coffee with wide range of sandwiches and muffins.
Beach Castle Restaurant at Elliot's Beach has become a food court with pizza, Chinese and kebabs being served.
Chennai's only revolving restaurant, Carnival Heights is a multicuisine rooftop restaurant. The capsule lift, that takes you to the restaurant, gives you a panoramic view of the traffic on Poonamallee High Road.
Kwality Riviera and Aditya are two restaurants offering generic North Indian/Punjabi fare located at Adyar. For vegetarians and those who like a taste of the South, Adyar has some good south Indian vegetarian places.
Ramprasad in Kasturba Nagar is a reasonable place for standard South Indian fare like thalis and idlis and dosas and vadas.
First Main Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, just behind the Bus Terminus a little way up from Food World is Kumarokam a proper Kerala place with everything from Puttu, Fish Moilee, Appams, Karimeen Fry and so on.
Next to, it in the basement below Nuts and Spices is Mr. G's that serves pastas and burgers, soups and salads.
On Lattice Bridge Road are two restaurants - Usilampatti serving chettinad style food and above it, Jus' Parathas serving every possible type of stuffed paratha.
Dhaba Express on Cenotaph Road has a good vegetarian lunch buffet that is great value for money.
Opposite Dhaba Express is the new Cornucopia serving European style food, salads and soups including Cous-Cous and the like. The largest number of restaurants though, in terms of density, is on TTK Road.
About half a kilometer from Park Sheraton Hotel, on TTK Road itself is a new Thai restaurant called Benjarong (Five Colours - Pancharanga). The food is great and authentic Thai since they fly in most of their ingredients, the interior decoration is lovely, and the tables have vases with real orchids.
As you go further up Cathedral Road on the right are three restaurants - Don Pepe, Copper Chimney and China Town. The first serves Mexican and Spanish food along with some 'Euro-Mex" combos. Its good value for money and their platters are very nice. Copper Chimney offers again generic North Indian/Mughlai food. China Town is a reasonably good Chinese restaurant.
Next to these three eating-places is a new 'Spanish Tavern' called Zarra - a rather classy bar with a wonderful collection of snacks (prawn croquettes, grilled lamb chops, grilled fish and prawn all made very well) and a lot of cocktails and beer.
Facing the famed bookstore of Chennai, Landmark, (on Nungambakkam High Road) on the other side of the road is the new 3 storeyed snazzy Ispahani shopping Centre. Here there is Marrybrown, a fast food place reviewed further down.
The Copper Point serves Indian food including the not-so-common South Indian dishes like Fish Moilee and the like.
The Oriental Pearl serves Thai and Chinese food in the same price range and has a wide variety of items. A small sprinkling of other Southeast Asian dishes from Malaysia, Japan etc. is on the menu.
On Ambujambal Street in Alwarpet is a restaurant in an old style bungalow with a very pleasant setting called Bay Leaf. It has a combination of Punjabi and Bengali items on the menu with a pleasant place to sit.
On Kasturi Rangan Estate appropriately next to the Chennai Culinary Institute is the first exclusive French eatery in Chennai, La Madeleine run by a French chef.
Finally, one should mention a new Lebanese place called Cedars in Kotturpuram near the ICICI bank counter. Nice ambience, good food and lots of different kinds of Kebabs.
For best seafood, try Bay View Point (Taj Fisherman's cove) at Covelong Beach, Kanchipuram District. It offers unparalleled vicinity to the sea with Coromandel Coastal specialties, derived from the Chef's tour of homes on the East Cost of Tamil Nadu. Step in at Coconut Lagoon at 1 Cathedral Road for a taste of the coastal cuisines of Kerala, Mangalore & Goa. Seafood from mussels to squids to jumbo prawns cooked and served in various forms according to the regions they represent.
Coffee Bars In Chennai
Cup N Saucer
No. 49, First Main Road, Gandhi Nagar,
Savor the tantalizing taste and alluring aromas of over 72 varieties of teas and 20 different kinds of sandwiches in this tea pub. Varieties of tea available include - Regional, Blends, Oolong, Premium, Vintage, Green, Herbal, Flavored, Aromatic, Spicy and International teas.
Qwikys - Alwarpet
Lifestyle Store, 81 TTK Road
G7 Gee Gee Emerald, 151 Village Road
93 Tower Victoire, G.N. Chetty Road
This 'cozy' pub offers around 100 varieties of coffee. The most common varieties are Espresso, Mocha, Cappuccino and Americano. Try syrups in different flavors to give your coffee that special taste. They also have a whole range of cold coffee called, Friazzo, which comes in Espresso, Mocha, Vanilla flavour and Biscayyo (topped with crunchy pieces of biscuits). Snacks include yummy cheesecakes, pastries, brownies, submarine sandwiches, Greek sandwiches made from specially flavoured bread etc. This pub also sells international magazines, Hallmark greeting cards, and Q-gear, which is a special clothesline done by a designer from US.
Cafe Coffee Day - Elliots Beach Road
34 Elliots Beach Road
First Floor, Ispahani Centre, 123 & 124, Nungambakkam High Road
Cafe Coffee Day offers more than 10 types of hot coffee, 5 types of cold coffee and one tea for tea-lovers. International syrups like Hazelnut, Irish cream and English tonic are also available. The range of syrups on the menu changes every month. The three international coffees on the menu (Columbian Juan Valdez, Kenyan Safari and Ethiopian Qawah) are imported and blended according to Indian taste. Pizzas, Burgers, Sandwiches and Pastries are also available for those who want something to munch along with their coffee. There are also snazzy T-shirts, caps, cruise mugs and of course Coffee Day coffee powder.