Chennai is not restricted to the image of an overwhelming ‘Idli-Vada’ city. It definitely has tonnes of street foods to offer. Imagine calming your ears with melodious Carnatic music while sipping a cup of hot Filter Kaapi (Coffee). It is the best thing to start and end your day with!
Chennai is not restricted to the image of an overwhelming ‘Idli-Vada’ city. It definitely has tonnes of street foods to offer.
Imagine calming your ears with melodious Carnatic music while sipping a cup of hot Filter Kaapi (Coffee). It is the best thing to start and end your day with!
With the help of our local host, we have curated this list to give you the first hand experience of what it is like to be a Chennaite!
Dosas at Bharathi Mess- Here, you should try the very famous, Pearl Millet, Finger Millet (Ragi) and Spinach Dosa. Dosas are like flat savoury pancakes. Some are thin and crispy while some are fluffy, based on the type you order! The ones you get here are very fluffy, flat and dotted with pores. The exterior is a little crisp and these go very well with coconut and red chilli chutneys.
Karuvepillai Podi Idli- This is another must try! These idlis are tossed in curry leaves powder and spices. As they are stacked on top of each other, they look like dark green balls.
Bharathi Mess is usually flooded with foodies. The amazing flavours and good quantity will leave you full and satisfied.
Price- INR 300 for approximately two people.
Bhajiyas at Marina Beach- Bhajiyas (fritters) are never a no, no. You could try the raw cauliflower and banana bhajiyas. The speciality here is that the batter isn’t spiced up at all, it is only the tangy-spicy chutney that contains spices. They are freshly made and taste good.
Nombu Kanji- Nombu Kanji is a mildly spiced porridge. Its main ingredients are rice, lentils and boneless meat pieces. You can also taste the good flavour of Methi (Fenugreek) in it.
Fun Fact- A lot of Muslims during Ramadan like to break their fast with this.
Other than these, there are a lot of things like corn, kulfi etc to try here. Marina Beach has a lively crowd enjoying their hearts out!
Appalam at Annai Bajji Stall- Appalam is a big deep fried ‘paapad’ that is super crunchy. The common way to serve it is to sprinkle it with some red chilli powder.
It is like a snacks on the go. When walking, grab one and enjoy your road!
Fish at Jennifer Fry Fish Stall- This one’s extremely spicy! They serve well fried fish, coated with a batter and sprinkled with a variety of spices.
You can only see spices on the exterior of the fish. It is a very popular outlet!
Mud Coffee at Mud Koffee- For most of the Indians, this coffee is new thing. It is a fusion of Turkish and Indian style coffee. Mostly, the taste is not so different but it is the preparation style that makes it special. After the coffee is made, the vessel is kept in hot mud for it to get ready.
It is then served in Kulhads (earthen cups). You can try the caramel and the hazelnut version.
Shawarma at Al Elaf- Keema or minced meat is dressed with mayonnaise and put between two Maida (refined flour) rotis.
It is not raw but spiced up. It is one of the best shawarmas you get in Chennai. After eating one you might as well get one packed.
Butter Chicken at Charminar- The cheaper you spend the better you feel! Here you get Butter Chicken and even a full sized naan is served at this price at a surprisingly low price. However the taste is really good.
Dum Ka Roat Halwa at Tamil Nadu Halwa House- This place is famous for the different kinds of halwas. The most popular and the best one is Dum Ka Roat. It is a well cooked halwa made up of sugar, milk and ghee (clarified butter).
You can also try their ‘Ande Ka Halwa’. It is so perfectly cooked that it does not smell or taste like eggs at all.
Atho at a local food stall- Atho is a noodle salad. It is inspired by Burmese style of cuisines. It is a combination of shredded cabbage, chicken, some crisps, boiled noodles and a peppery soup.
Sundal- This is available anywhere and everywhere. It is a beach style snack which is basically spiced up peanuts. It has finely chopped onions, tomatoes, raw mango pieces, lemon juice etc.
It is served in a paper rolled up into cone and tastes a little sour and more towards the tangy side.