Chennai's cafes and lounges have long been one of the integral elements of the city's evolving dining scene. Long before the cafe wave happened, all-day diners in hotels were the default hangouts if you wanted to linger. Amethyst can take some of the credit for the city's 21st-century wave of cafes. In many ways, it set the template for the city's cafe scene with its 'loungy' vibe and emphasis on sharing plates. Like most other F&B trends, the city's recent newest wave of cafes has been shaped by Instagram. Spaces that are good for the gram and also offer dishes that are photogenic.
Also Read: Best Standalone Restaurants And Bars In Anna Nagar, Chennai
The city has seen a whole new bunch of cafes and lounges that have debuted over the past few months. From a photography-themed cafe to a bakehouse that offers a 'pocket-friendly' menu and a luxury lounge and grill, we've checked out some of the city's hottest new cafes and lounges.
Here Are 7 Of The New Cafes And Lounges In Chennai You Must Try:
Not all cafes score on the food front, Bistrograph is that rare exception. Positioned as one of the country's first photography-themed cafes - you can even get your picture snapped and printed onto your cappuccino foam, this cafe is located in a quiet residential pocket in Sastri Nagar. There are multiple spaces including a secluded outdoor zone and a dedicated studio area for pro shoots. While the setting is serene, it's the food that hits the right notes - their smoked chicken soup, burrata salad and panna cotta espresso are all worth checking out. Their well-trained baristas keep churning out an array of artisanal coffees throughout the day.
Where: 10th Cross Street, Sastri Nagar
2. Pelican Deck
If you're looking for the best chicken wings in Chennai, your search might end here. Located within Sheraton Grand, one of Chennai's most luxurious beach resorts along the East Coast Road, Pelican Deck has been relaunched after a menu overhaul. The setting is terrific - an elevated deck with views of the Bay of the Bengal in the distance. This dinner-only, al-fresco lounge (open Thursdays - Saturdays) offers some of the finest international grills in the city.
Where: Sheraton Grand, East Coast Road
3. Glen's Bakehouse
Glen's Bakehouse is the newest entrant to Anna Nagar's fast-changing F&B scene. After a dozen outlets in Bengaluru, Glen's has now cast anchor in Chennai with the same template that has worked well for it over the decades. It's the same white bungalow - Glen's design signature, and a well-priced menu that has made it a trending campus hangout. The food menu is uncomplicated - burgers, sandwiches and small plates that are easy to share. It's their desserts that are the big draw. We dig their tiny, bite-sized tarts; many regulars also keep coming back for their signature red velvet cake
Where: 5th Avenue, Anna Nagar
4. Coco Maya
This trendy F&B hotspot is one of Chennai's most trending venues for sundowners. This rooftop lounge bar and grill offers an eclectic menu - most regulars swear by their shakshuka. We also recommend their jumbo prawns and chicken bulgogi which make the perfect accompaniment for their wicked sundowners. Coco Maya's convenient location and relaxed vibe add to its appeal as a lounge space whether you're catching up with your buddies or making a pitch to your client.
5. Entrance Cafe
One of Chennai's most buzzed F&B spaces, Entrance Cafe raises the bar for cafe decor and cuisine in the city with its large 5000 sq. ft. footprint. A koi pond is at the centre of it all and is the showstopper design detail at Entrance Cafe. Everything from the lights to the crockery has an interesting twist. The menu takes you on a global journey of sorts - the spiced rubbed corn ribs are a house favourite. We also recommend the miso prawns and the vegan Creme Brule.
Where: Taylors Road, Kilpauk
Also Read: 7 Of The Best All-Day Diners In Chennai
Translates to the 'shining surface of the ocean'. The perfect name for Chennai's newest beachfront cafe that is located within Sea Breeze resort. It's close to the historic Mamallapuram shore temples that are a magnet for locals and international travellers alike. This beach lounge is spread over three levels and also includes a section with its own hammock. Aside from a wide variety of cocktails, the menu offers a mix of seafood, Indian and International favourites.
Where: Mamallapuram, ECR
7. Ciclo Cafe
When the first Ciclo Cafe debuted in the swish Kotturpuram neighbourhood it became one of India's first-ever cycling-themed cafes. Chennai is not just a hub for cycling enthusiasts but has also been one of India's cycling production hubs for decades. The latest outpost of Ciclo cafe debuted along East Coast Road, one of the city's popular weekend F&B zones. The menu doesn't deviate from the Ciclo Cafe template and offers an array of small plates, desserts and their fail-proof pizzas.
Where: East Coast Road, Uthandi (near the ECR Toll Plaza)
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.