There are very few neighbourhoods in Chennai that can match the sheer array of options in and around Alwarpet. You don't need to leave this neighbourhood to go on a global gastronomical journey. From Korean-style bibimbap to soft shell tacos to sushi rolls, you will be spoilt for choice:
Also Read: 12 Best Breakfast Restaurants In Delhi NCR
1. Canvas by Sketch:
The tropical motifs on the vibrant walls are a showstopper at this cheerful cafe. This all-day dining destination serves global plates with an accent on comfort food. We like the attention to detail with everything from the show plates to the walls. Regulars swear by the double espresso pork ribs and the edamame dim sums. If you're a 'dessertarian' do check out their dense and decadent chocolate torte.
Location - TTK Road
2. Sage and Lavender Bistro:
Another global bistro that allows you to travel vicariously, this charming dining spot was once an old warehouse. The restaurant offers a cluster of small tables as an outdoor dining option, but you won't miss the openness of the outdoors even when you're in the indoor dining section thanks to the high ceiling. Try the Singapore-style chicken curry and their sinful, tiny Lindt chocolate cake.
Location - TTK Road
Takes its name from Japan's northern-most island that is also one of the country's most popular culinary hotspots. The constant stream of Japanese visitors is a testament to the authenticity of this restaurant and has forced the move from a smaller location to a more cheerful, larger restaurant on TTK Road. Their lunch platters are perfect for first-time visitors.
Location - TTK Road
A traditional delicatessen with the finest meats, cheese and imported food products, Mediumrare also offers a finely curated menu of Western-style mains. Most repeat diners come back for their classic roasted leg of lamb served with black pepper sauce or the British style fish and chips. Aside from their roasts - the Jamaican Jerk chicken roast is a favourite, their pies (like the lamb and onion pie) are worth checking out too.
Location - St Mary's Road
5. Chamiers Cafe:
A favourite among expats and locals alike for an anytime meal or snack. The cafe's interiors transport you to Colonial Era Madras plastered with wallpaper and sepia photographs. The menu features artisanal coffee, freshly pressed juices and their signature comfort snack - the jalapeno infused dyna bites. But it's their all-day breakfast that has our vote. Location-Chamiers Road, Alwarpet.
6. Pumpkin Tales:
Set up by three women entrepreneurs including a restaurateur from Vancouver, Pumpkin tales is helmed by an all-woman service crew. The interiors are cheerful, with plenty of natural light. In a city where non-South Indian breakfast options are limited, Pumpkin Tales' breakfast menu is a welcome option. We're partial to their egg Benedict varieties, power smoothies and Morning Glory Bowls that include a Congee and Miso Soup.
Location - Bheemanna Garden Street
Chennai is home to the largest Korean expat community in India and a long list of authentic Korean eateries. Most of these restaurants were not high on the experience factor. Aeseo raises the bar for the city's Korean restaurant landscape - the interiors are more plush and the bibimbap is probably the best you can sample in India.
Location - Kesavaperumal puram, Chamiers Road.
8. Black Orchid:
One of our favourite upscale restobars in Chennai. This is one of the spots where you're likely to see Chennaites looking sharp on a Saturday night. Most of them don't just come back for the vibe and the cocktails; it's also the food. From exquisite sushi rolls to Mediterranean signatures, it's all in the mix.
Location - Chamiers Road, RA Puram / 9176477647
A no-frills Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurant with a casual vibe. Perfect for an impromptu office lunch or a catch up with your school buddies. The menu is loaded with comfort food. The quesadillas are our pick here, the toastadas with grilled pineapple and the Tres Leches cake are popular options too
Location - Co-operative colony (off TTK road)
10. Les Amis:
If we must pick one spot in Chennai for gelatos it's Les Amis. With a choice of 30 gelatos on any given day, you're always spoilt for choice. Add their selection of desserts and artisanal coffees and you have the perfect post-meal destination. But Les Amis is more than just a sugar rush destination, call in a day early and check out The Whole Shebang, the intimate rooftop dining section that offers a seven-course European-inspired menu
Location - Chamiers Road
About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie - a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.