Chennai, the buzzing Indian metropolis, is a haven for foodies. No, we are not talking just about idli and dosa. Of course, if you savour these traditional south Indian delicacies you will find them aplenty here. However, over the years, the city has become metropolitan even in terms of its cuisine. It is home to global cuisines, and you will have a tough time settling on any one type of cuisine and restaurant. This is because the city is home to many food havens and family restaurants. You can get not only the best north Indian food here but even the best Italian food.
There are several places offering the perfect fine dining and casual dining experience. You can try an array of cuisines and party until the wee hours.
Top 12 Restaurants In Chennai
- Copper Chimney
- ITC Grand Chola
- Dakshin, Crowne Plaza, Alwarpet
- Murugun Idli Shop, T Nagar
- Junior Kuppanna, T Nagar
- Kaaraikudi, Ashok Nagar
- Annalakshmi, Egmore
- Royal Vega, ITC Grand Chola, Guindy
- Velu Military Hotel, Nungambakkam
- Bay View, Vivanta By Taj Fisherman’s Cove, Muttukadu
- Wild Garden Café, Amethyst Royapettah
1. Sigree, Adyar
Craving for appetising grilled delicacies? Well, head straight to Sigree, which is one of the best family restaurants in Chennai when it comes to grilled food. The preparation is done here on a low charcoal fire in an iron vessel. It is this iron vessel which is called Sigree and the restaurant is named after it. You should visit it on an empty stomach as there are many delectable starters waiting for you.
This restaurant has an amazing buffet spread with many yummy starter preparations. So, head here for some kebabs and tikkas, which will hardly leave room for the gravies. The buffet has some nice curries, rice dishes and desserts too. However, the USP remains their starters, which will make your tummy quite full.
A Must Try For: Murg tikka lababdar, kebabs, kastoori Shabnam, paneer Rawalpindi, kadhai paneer, Bhoot Jhalokia Chicken Tangadi
The Best For: Buffet
2. Copper Chimney, Phoenix Market City, Velachery
North Indian and Mughlai delicacies anyone? Then, the Copper Chimney restaurant at Phoenix market city in Velachery is the place for you. You should try their black dal and kadakroomali bread. These two are their signature dishes and will add you to their loyal customers’ group.
Along with these signature dishes, you should give their char-grilled cheese mushroom preparation a try. In no time, these three will become your all-time favourite and will keep bringing you back to this place.
A Must Try For: Char grilled cheese mushroom, black dal and Kadakroomali
The Best For: Outdoor Seating Arrangement
3. Avartana, ITC Grand Chola, Guindy
Are you up for South Indian fine dining experience? If this is something that you have not tried, then you should visit Avartana at ITC Grand. It has the perfect amalgamation of ambience, music and food. You should visit this family restaurant to try authentic south Indian preparations that are made using authentic spices. But when it comes to the food presentation, there will be a slight twist, so be ready for an innovation at that end.
You may read some new names on the menu. However, they are ancient recipes with a contemporary makeover. The essence of the dishes is the same old. So, you can get the same old taste that often keeps bringing people back to this old gem of a restaurant in Chennai. Moreover, even though they offer you a fine dining experience, they procure most of their ingredients locally.
A Must Try For: Coconut stew, asparagus, pan-fried cod and infused tomato rasam
The Best For: Fine Dining, Luxury Restaurant
4. Dakshin, Crowne Plaza, Alwarpet
South Indian delicacies and Carnatic music can make for a great gastronomic experience. This is the USP of this fine dining restaurant. It is fancy, amazingly done up and offers the best south Indian food with the most fantastic Carnatic music. You should give their Iyer’s Trolly a try. It is one of their signature dishes and is a tribute to the Rtd. Parameswaran Iyer. There is a collection of high teas in it. You get to try banana dosa, adasi and paniyaram.
This luxury dining restaurant is also perfect for some coastal delicacies. It is one non-veg restaurant that is famous for yerra, which is masala fried prawns. For the veggie lovers, trying the raw banana dumplings is a must. You can find it on the menu in the name of vazhalshunti.
A Must Try For: Vazalshunti, banana dosa, yerra and Iyer’s Trolly
The Best For: Fine Dining
5. Murugun Idli Shop, T Nagar
Are you looking for traditional south Indian delicacies? Well, head straight to Murugum idli shop, which has been serving Chennai residents for the last two decades. One of the best veg restaurants in town, it is known for serving the best idlis you have ever tasted. The idlis at Murugun idli shop are the fluffiest and softest. They serve the idlis with four chutneys like coriander, coconut, mint and tomato.
Along with idli, you should give paniyarams a try too. These are made using black lentils and rice. This preparation is also similar to that of idlis and dosas. With these dishes, you should savour the unique chilled drink, Jigarthanda. It is made using a mixture of ice cream, sabudana and milk.
A Must Try For: Jigarthanda, idli, paniyaram and onion uthappam
The Best For: Breakfast
6. Junior Kuppanna, T Nagar
Longing for yummy and authentic non-veg food? Then, give this Junior Kuppanna restaurant a try. Serving fresh and authentic dishes, this restaurant specialises in Kongu Nadu cuisine. The staple at this restaurant is rice and exotic spices. It had started as a family restaurant by Mr Kuppanna and his wife in 1960 in Erode. Even today, the spices used at the restaurant are made by his wife. It is one of the best non veg restaurants, and you should visit it to indulge in their delectable spread.
A Must Try For: Mutton biryani, nalli gravy, chicken pallipalayam and mutton pallipalayam
The Best For: Lunch
7. Kaaraikudi, Ashok Nagar
Is Chettinad cuisine something that you have been meaning to try for quite some time? Then the sheer aroma of spices at this restaurant will give you hunger pangs. In Chettinad cuisine, several spices are liberally used, and it is these spices that lend a unique flavour to the preparation. You will see lots of peppercorns, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon and green and red chillies in the dishes.
This family restaurant only offers authentic and spicy Chettinad preparations. However, there are many options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
A Must Try For: Fish kariveppillai fry, mutton nalli kuzhambu, crab pepper masala and idiyappam
The Best For: Chettinad Cuisine and regional food
8. Annalakshmi, Egmore
Get ready to be in a state of food coma when at Annalakshmi. This veg restaurant had started as a non-profit organisation in 1984 in Malaysia. A part of their income went as donation to the Temple of Arts, a centre of performing arts.
You should visit this philanthropic restaurant for some delectable south Indian preparations. They specialise in vegetarian food. Moreover, the people who serve food here come from diverse backgrounds, which make for an interesting experience. So, visit this restaurant for some yummy south Indian vegetarian dishes and don’t forget to try the range of payasam preparations they have in store for you.
A Must Try For: Ennai Kathirikkai, Payasam, Dosai and Vegetarian Thali
The Best For: Buffet
9. Royal Vega, ITC Grand Chola, Guindy
Another veg restaurant, it promises a captivating experience right from the time you step inside. Along with the ambience, even the menu is completely unique. The menu features dishes from the six seasons and has selective dishes from across the country. Besides, adding to the exclusivity is the fact that everyone preparing and serving the food is also a vegetarian. So, they take the vegetarian discipline very seriously.
Furthermore, most of their ingredients are crafted in-house. So, now you know the secret of their tasteful and aromatic recipes. If you are looking for the best veg and family restaurant in Chennai, then experience fine dining in this epitome of luxury.
A Must Try For: Thalis, kesarialoo, gucchibasmati, pithipoori and paneer khaasa
The Best For: Brunch and fine dining experience
10. Velu Military Hotel, Nungambakkam
A non veg restaurant, it is a haven for fish lovers. This military hotel is famous for its Meen Kuzhambu (fish curry). It is so renowned that even the political population of Chennai craves for it. According to tales that go around this place, even M Karunanidhi and M G Ramachandran relish this home-style preparation.
This restaurant has not only stood the test of time but even managed to carve a niche for itself in a generation when military hotels are becoming history. The credit for this definitely goes to the founder Velu Ambalam, who is known to get the fish curry made again if he doesn’t smell the aroma while entering the hotel.
The restaurant is known for using their homemade spices. Hence, the taste and the aroma are unique and typical.
A Must Try For: Prawn masala, liver fry, brain fry, vanjaram (seer fish), mutton gravy, kozhambu (gravy) and chicken curry
The Best For: Budget eating option
11. Bay View, Vivanta By Taj Fisherman’s Cove, Muttukadu
A beach theme restaurant by the beach is perfect for that romantic date night with your bae. The restaurant features rooftop seating overlooking the lovely sea, which makes it perfect for every special occasion. Moreover, making it ideal for everyone is the multi-cuisine menu of this restaurant. There are plenty of options for both meat and veggie lovers.
Besides, the seafood fare at this restaurant definitely makes it extra special. The staffs get the fresh stock from the Coromandel Coast and then prepare it with the best local spices. So, you can get yummy preparations with a hint of coriander, pepper and tamarind. The best part is that it is all infused with the local flavour.
A Must Try For: Lobster, tiger prawns, beer batter calamari and fried nathli
The Best For: Date Night, outdoor seating and brunch
12. Wild Garden Café, Amethyst, Royapettah
A European style theme restaurant, it offers the perfect eating experience in a garden. Breathe in fresh air and satiate your taste buds with some delectable European offerings. They have some amazing all-day breakfast options that will make this place your favourite soon after your first visit.
It is a café style restaurant spread out in a lush garden. You should visit it to try some delicious kinds of pasta and sandwiches and of course pair them up with a cup of hot tea.
A Must Try For: Arabiata sourdough pizza, waffles benedict and pizza marinara
The Best For: Outdoor café and all-day breakfast
Chennai is for sure a haven for foodies. Whether you are looking for budget or luxury dishes, local or international cuisines, you will find it all in this capital city of Tamil Nadu. The city is gradually embracing global cuisines, and so are its people. While retaining the local flavours, the best restaurants here have amalgamated flavours and aromas from every part of the country and globe to bring you something exotic. The ambience and service in such restaurants are also unique. There are several family restaurants that are coming up in every part of the city today. So, when you are going out to eat with loved ones, you will be more than spoilt for choices.
P.s. You might like these related resources:
- The best time to visit Chennai and the best places to make your visit worthwhile
- Historical Places In and Near Chennai That You Can’t Afford To Miss Out On
- The top places to visit in Chennai for a great holiday
- Top 10 Weekend Getaways From Chennai That’ll Leave You Spellbound
- Activities in Chennai that Make it a Unique Metropolis