Chennai is Tamil Nadu's dining capital. The city has an excellent selection of both Indian and international restaurants. The restaurants along the waterfront have unrivalled ambience, are the best maintained and serve the most authentic cuisine.
Chennai cuisine is typical of South Indian food and is mostly rice-based. The choice of dishes available is wide, and caters for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. However, Tamilian cuisine is predominantly vegetarian.
The delicious combination of flavors will appeal to foodies. All meals are served with coconut chutney, lentil broth and a powdery mix of lentils. It's no wonder coffee is a major constituent of South Indian diet; the combination of roasted coffee beans and fresh chicory creates an irresistible aromatic blend.
A good selection of cheap and cheerful eateries is dotted around Anna Salai, while T. Nagar is home to Chennai's mid-range dining options. The city's most expensive restaurants are those specializing in international cuisine, such as Chinese, Italian and Japanese. Most of these high-end establishments are strategically located close to five-star hotels, in areas such as Cathedral Road, Nungambakkam and St Thomas Mount.
This area has a distinct international flavor and is peppered with restaurants serving everything from tapas to Thai. This is the most expensive dining area, but diners can expect a high level of service accompanied by delectable dishes.
A wide range of food is available in this busy shopping district, ranging from tasty take-aways to sit down South Indian buffets. Most restaurants function solely as refueling stops.
For truly traditional South Indian fare, Mylapore is the best spot. Restaurants in the area have been past down through the generations, so menus feature dishes which have been perfected by time.
Home to the city's widest selection of mid-range restaurants, this area is also where you'll find a few familiar names in the food business such as Dominos Pizza and McDonalds.
Sheraton Chola, 10 Cathedral Road
Phone: +91 44 281 0101
From the brains behind Delhi's award-winning Bukhara Restaurant, Peshawri is equally as impressive. Aside from the array of succulent marinated meat dishes and vegetarian options, the restaurant has incredible ambience.
ITC Hotel Park Sheraton & Towers, TTK Road
Phone: +91 44 2499 4101
This intimate and inspiring restaurant is particularly good for seafood, especially the lobster and prawn dishes. Featured dishes draw their influences heavily from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
No. 77 Usman Road, T Nagar
Phone: +91 44 2434 5577
An institution in Chennai, this reliable chain has 15 establishments in the city and serves consistently good food at very reasonable prices. Thalis, Indian-style tapas, are a must-try at Saravana Bhavan.
Find more information about Chennai and hotels in the area:
Chennai hotels | India hotels