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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 29, 2019
Headline for 07 Chennai Eateries You Must Not Miss - Top 7 Restaurants to Experience in Chennai
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07 Chennai Eateries You Must Not Miss - Top 7 Restaurants to Experience in Chennai

Often regarded as South India's culinary epicentre, Chennai is a food lover's dream destination in India. Here are seven restaurants all visitors must dine in during a Chennai holiday.


Ratna Cafe

Located in Triplicane, this restaurant which dates back to 1948 is a veritable institution in its own right. Run and managed by the founding family of Triloknath Gupta, the eatery is arguably the best place to grab breakfast in Chennai. From soft white idlis to crispy ghee roast dosai fresh out of the tava to an irresistible sambar, the choices are as endless as they are delectable. Every traditional Indian dish is not only served here but prepared to perfection.


Karpagambal Mess

Situated in Mylapore, this restaurant resembles a temple so convincingly that one would be forgiven for mistaking the venue for a place of worship. With kolam patterns leading visitors to the interiors and the many larger than life paintings of deities, this restaurant takes its Indian heritage to new heights. With a 50-year history, Karpagambal Mess is not only the best place to eat Keerai Vadai but also the restaurant's Vazhai Poo Adai which comes with a side of Avial. The locale's Kasi Halwa is also to die for but the savouries are the venue's crowning successes.


Novelty Tea House

Occupying pride of place down Mint Street, the oddly named Novelty Tea House is not only a great place to enjoy a cuppa but a host of traditional South Indian fare as well. The Pudhina Onion Dosai is simply to die for and is the signature dish most diners come here to sample although the Pav Bhajji is no less explosive as far as flavours go. Having started its journey as a humble tea house in the latter half of the 1950s, the venue now boasts branches across Chennai but the oldest restaurant is the best. Visitors based at Citadines OMR Gateway Chennai or similar rests and serviced apartments in Chennai will find that the Novelty Tea House is within easy reach.


Rayar's Mess

Those who are staying in Mylapore should not miss the chance to enjoy a lunchtime meal at Rayar's Mess which is an ancient eatery which dates back a whopping 75 years. As a popular and modest eatery frequented by locals and tourists alike the signature dish at Rayar's Mess is, of course, its delicious Kara Chutney. The fermented idlis served at the locale are so soft they melt in one's mouth while the vadai and pongals are equally delectable.


Mami's Mess

Located near Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mami's Mess is a hit with the older crowds of Chennai as well as young students and professionals. The most ordered item on their menu is the Thavala Vada but the other conventional Indian snacks available at Mami's Mess are just as inviting. The Bhajjis and Bondas are out of this world while the Kozhukattai is another favourite dish among regular patrons.


Kalathi Stall

This eatery in Chennai is not known for its dosas or idlis but a mouth-watering beverage which is created using a secret family recipe. The rose milk at Kalathi Stall is worth a trip to Chennai while diners can also buy a glass of Panner soda at this stall which is known to have served quite a few celebrities.


Jannal Bhajji Kadai

As the name indicates this restaurant specializes in Bhajji and every variety of the fried dish imaginable. The hero dish of the menu is the Vazhakkai Bhajjji although idlis, upma and other favourites are also served here.